New York Public Library’s quirkiest inquries | The Guardian

New York Public Library’s quirkiest inquries | Books | The Guardian.

A little belated “Friday Fun” item for you this Saturday morning, compliments of The Guardian (May 28, 2015). You will enjoy these old librarian question cards being published by the New York Public Library. As they will reveal, a librarian truly had to be a multi-faceted person!

Here’s part of the introduction to this post:

Today, we cast a nostalgic eye back in time – to the days when readers regarded librarians as a cross between oracles, therapists and confessors, phoning in the most personal, complex or frankly dotty questions which were dutifully copied out, often in longhand. The New York Public Library has been publishing a cache of vintage question cards on its Instagram account and on Twitter via the hashtag #letmelibrarianthatforyou. Since we first reported on it back in January, the questions have kept on coming.

And here are a couple of personal favorites (for more, visit the link above):

“Please give me the name of a book that dramatizes bedbugs? - PQ 9/22/44”

'Why do 18th century English paintings have so many squirrels in them, and how did they tame them so that they wouldn’t bite the painter?' 10/76

“What does it mean when you dream you’re being chased by an elephant?” 5/27/47

“Get good books” by Thomas Watson

The 3 R's Blog:

Good thoughts from Puritan Thomas Watson posted by a fellow blogger and good book lover at “Tolle Lege”. May you gather good books that may be a well of water to your soul.

Originally posted on Tolle Lege:

“Get good books in your houses. When you have not the spring near to you, then get water into your cistern; so when you have not that wholesome preaching that you desire, good books are cisterns that hold the waters of life in them to refresh you.

When David’s natural heat was taken away, they covered him with warm clothes (1 Kings 1:1); so when you find a chillness upon your souls and your former heat begins to abate, ply yourselves with warm clothes, get those good books that may acquaint you with such truths as may warm and affect your hearts.”

–Thomas Watson, “Parting Counsels” in Sermons of the Great Ejection (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1662/2012), 166.

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Published in: on May 30, 2015 at 6:56 AM  Leave a Comment  

Next Phase of Sem Driveway/Parking Lot Project

Yesterday and today were more busy days at the PRC Seminary for the new driveway/parking lot project. Yesterday Jay Kuiper was busy with more excavating work, clearing up along both sides of the new driveway and spreading new topsoil in preparation for the landscaping and new lighting to come.


Today bright and early Fliers trenching service was on site with their boring machine and trencher, to run the conduit for the electrical lines to be run to the new lights in front of Sem and along the drive and to the new sign at the new entrance on Scenic River Dr. Tomorrow they will set the concrete posts for the lights.

Kleyn Electric will follow up with the actual electrical work (that’s Nick Kleyn in the picture below coordinating the work with Fliers). There was another Kleyn electrician who showed up today too – to repair the line to the current sign, which was severed in some earlier excavating work. As Kleyn would say, “No worries, mate!”

By the way, we are hoping to keep our existing sign along Ivanrest Ave., so that we still have a “presence” along that busy road. And, in case you are wondering, we will keep our current address as well. That is making our secretary quite happy. :)


Feeding the conduit back through the boring machine - amazing machine!

Feeding the conduit back through the boring machine – amazing machine!

The other phase that started today was the removal of the old drive – all completed by this afternoon! Jay K. was busy on this as well, with Kamps trucking hauling the old asphalt away for recycling. More topsoil will be brought in tomorrow and this area will be seeded with new grass.

"Out with the old...."

“Out with the old…;”

Moving down the old drive removing the asphalt.

Moving down the old drive removing the asphalt.

Next Monday they are hoping to put the finish coat of asphalt on the driveway and parking lot, which will be grand!

Thanks for following us along on this project. Stop in to see us this summer and take in the “new” view!

Published in: on May 28, 2015 at 10:52 PM  Leave a Comment  

Heathly School Libraries Significantly Impact Student Test Scores

school libraries positively impact student test scores  | Book Patrol.

Now that many colleges, universities, and grad schools have completed another year of educating, with high schools and grade schools right behind, it is a good time to reflect on the role that libraries and librarians play in this teaching/learning process.

“Book Patrol” carried the news of this report on May 15, 2015, including a rather helpful graphic. Once again, the close connection between a healthy library and a healthy education was established.

We certainly understand this connection at the PRC Seminary, something I am personally grateful for. How about you as a parent or educator? Do you support and encourage the role of the library in your child(ren)’s life (lives)? Here’s the lead portion of the online post at “BP”, followed by the graphic.

Well what do you know –  another study, this this time from the South Carolina Association of School Librarians, confirms once again that schools with vibrant libraries and librarians make a difference.  A big difference. Test scores and reading levels are higher and the chance of long-term academic success is greatly improved when a school boasts a healthy library.


Published in: on May 27, 2015 at 10:27 PM  Leave a Comment  

Calvinism is Militant! – Prof.B.Gritters

SB-May15-2015In the latest issue of the Standard Bearer (May 15, 2015) Prof. B.Gritters continues his series on “What It Means to be Reformed” (on Calvinism and its implications) with an important reminder that Calvinism is also militant. We let him explain the meaning of this aspect of our Reformed faith.

Calvinism is also militant. In fact, militancy is not so much an implication of Calvinism as it is an essential aspect of it. If a Christian is a Calvinist, he is a warrior for truth. This does not surprise anyone who knows even a little bit about Calvinism.

To be militant is to be polemical. Polemics is the activity of exposing, opposing, resisting, and ultimately (by the power and grace of God) eliminating error – error of teaching, or error of conduct. Polemics is being militant.

Reformed Christians must be willing to fight for the truth of God – His name and reputation, His works, and centrally His work in Jesus Christ to save His covenant people. Answer the questions: How did God save His people? How today does He accomplish that wonder-work? Why does He save them? The answer to those questions is truth. And for that truth, Reformed Christians are willing to fight. Lies about God’s work must be exposed. Spades must be called spades. And if Pelagianism is again resurrected out of hell in 2015, we must be willing to call it so, to expose and eliminate it, just as our fathers did at Dordt 400 years ago (365).

To read more about this militant side of Calvinism, read your May 15, 2015 “SB.” To become a subscriber, visit the “SB” link above and let the RFPA know.

How Do I Teach Doctrine to My Family? – Jon Payne

How Do I Teach My Family? by Jon Payne | Reformed Theology Articles at

TT May 2015Another excellent article on the subject of doctrine in this month’s Tabletalk is the one linked above by Dr. Jon Payne (see bio information below). Payne addresses the practical question of teaching doctrine in our homes.

There are three good thoughts for us as husbands and fathers (who are called to lead in this calling, but you also who are wives and mothers must assist us!). I include the opening one, in part because we may be surprised that Payne placed this one first. Yet it is so crucial for the sound doctrinal foundation of our families. Do not take it for granted.

Every Christian home is meant to be a school of Christ—a place of spiritual nurture, loving discipline, sound doctrine, and biblical piety. This is not a reference to Victorian-era portraits of the Christian family; it is the clear teaching of Scripture and the Reformed tradition. Even so, our hectic schedules, ubiquitous gadgets, and misplaced priorities often make our homes similar to those of our unbelieving neighbors. God becomes an afterthought. Here are three things to remember as we seek to build God-centered homes where sound doctrine is the foundation and our Lord Jesus Christ is the cornerstone.

First, we must be committed to the ministry of the local church. Every Christian family needs God’s appointed means of grace and the shepherding care of godly elders (Acts 20:28Heb. 13:171 Tim. 3:1–7). The ministry of the visible church is a nonnegotiable for believers and their children. The first Christian families were “devoted to the apostles’ teaching [doctrine] and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). They were under the loving spiritual oversight of elders—men who were called to “shepherd the flock of God” and “give instruction in sound doctrineand also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9, emphasis added; see 1 Peter 5:2Titus 2:1). The church was central to their Christian identity. It is inside, not outside, the divinely ordained structure of a biblical church that Christian families are grounded in the gospel. A faithful church is where families mature in their knowledge, understanding, and practice of sound doctrine. Therefore, Christian households are encouraged to submit joyfully to the ministry of a local church body and to learn from pastors who labor “to present everyone mature in Christ” (Col. 1:28–29; seeEph. 4:11–16).

Rev. Jon D. Payne is senior minister of Christ Church Presbyterian in Charleston, S.C., and visiting lecturer at Reformed Theological Seminary in Atlanta. He is author of several books, including John Owen on the Lord’s Supper.

Just a Common Soldier: A Moving Tribute for Memorial Day

Just a Common Soldier: A Moving Tribute for Memorial Day.

Today we post something special for Memorial Day – a powerful tribute to those who have served our country defending her existence and freedoms. As you enjoy this national holiday, I hope you also take time to remember the purpose of this day.

Here is a brief introduction to the video:

For many years, Stephen Clouse has made videos designed to inspire donations to worthy causes. Recently, he made a different kind of video. It’s not designed to solicit donations but to honor those who have given so much for our country.

In this video, …Tony Lo Bianco reads a poem called “Just a Common Soldier.” It’s a moving tribute to the soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen who have served our country. As Tony reads the poem, viewers are treated to emotional images of our honored vets. As they were on the battlefield; and as they are now.

And here is a little more about the poem itself:

“Just A Common Soldier”, also known as “A Soldier Died Today”, is one of the most popular poems on the Internet. Written and published in 1987 by Canadian veteran and columnist A. Lawrence Vaincourt, it now appears in numerous anthologies, on thousands of websites and on July 4, 2008 it was carved into a marble monument at West Point, New York. This year marks the poem’s 25th anniversary.

Pentecost: “From first to last… the Spirit says, ‘Jesus.’ – S.Ferguson

In Christ Alone - SFergusonOn this Pentecost Sunday evening we go backwards in Sinclair Ferguson’s book In Christ Alone (Reformation Trust, 2007), in order to post a section from one of his chapters treating the Holy Spirit and Pentecost.

This quotation is from chapter 18, “Seeing Jesus – At Pentecost”, where Ferguson points out that the coming of the Holy Spirit in fulfillment of Pentecost (the OT feast) was a work of the risen and ascended Christ, and that the Spirit’s work is to make Jesus and His saving work visible.

This is his third and final point about this proper relationship:

Third, Pentecost was the firstfruits of the fulfillment of Jesus’ own promise about the ministry of the Spirit: ‘And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment’ (John 16:8). Jesus’ own explanation of this is illuminating. The Spirit will convict the world ‘of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged’ (John 16:9-11). The conviction mentioned in this promise is related to the way the Spirit reveals Jesus himself. The Spirit makes it evident that He is the Messiah, the Son of the Father to whom He has returned, the One who defeated Satan by defeating death as the wages of sin. From first to last, then, the Spirit says, ‘Jesus.’

Is there any pastoral value to this biblical theology? Yes, indeed. One hundred and twenty men and women were full of Christ. They were overwhelmed with a sense of His exaltation and enthronement, absolutely assured that He is reigning and will reign throughout the world. They had a heartfelt certainty that if God had kept this, the greatest of His promises, He would keep all of His promises.

Somewhere along the line, many Christians have lost this sense of the exaltation, enthronement, and triumph of Christ. We need to grasp that Jesus’ coronation has taken place. He is already enthroned. That is why we are to go into the world with the good news – in the power of the Holy Spirit (Kindle ed.).

Pentecost Meditation – “The Spirit of Jesus”

holy-spirit-pentecost-1On this Pentecost Sunday we post another prayer/devotional from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, edited by A.Bennett (Banner of Truth, 1975). This one is titled “The Spirit of Jesus”, and is a fitting prayer for us to make personally as we remember our Lord’s gift of the Holy Spirit to His church and people.


Fill me with thy Spirit
that I may be occupied with his presence.

I am blind — send him to make me see;
dark — let him say, ‘Let there be light’!

May he give me faith to behold
my name engraven in thy hand,
my soul and body redeemed by thy blood,
my sinfulness covered by the life of
pure obedience.

Replenish me by his revealing grace,
that I may realise my indissoluble union with thee;
that I may know thou hast espoused me
to thyself for ever,
in righteousness, love, mercy, faithfulness;
that I am one with thee,
as a branch with its stock, as a building
with its foundation.

May his comforts cheer me in my sorrows,
his strength sustain me in my trials,
his blessings revive me in my weariness,
his presence render me a fruitful tree of holiness,
his might establish me in peace and joy,
his incitements make me ceaseless in prayer,
his animation kindle in me undying devotion.

Send him as the searcher of my heart,
to show me more of my corruptions
and helplessness
that I may flee to thee,
cling to thee,
rest on thee,
as the beginning and end of my salvation.

May I never vex him by my indifference
and waywardness,
grieve him by my cold welcome,
resist him by my hard rebellion.

Answer my prayers, O Lord,
for thy great name’s sake.

New Seminary Driveway Progress Update

Last week Thursday (Yes, a mere week ago!) we started to report on the progress being made on the new PRC Seminary driveway project. Well, as you will see from the pictures today, we have come a long way in a week!


Lots of sand was brought in!

Lots of sand was brought in!




As of yesterday, the base coat of new asphalt is down. Next week the electrical will be run for the driveway lights and the new sign, the landscaping will get started, and underground sprinkling will be installed, among other things. Once all is in place, the old driveway will be torn up and replaced with nice grass. Plus, our new city water line is in the building – it just needs to be connected yet.




And though our privacy has been compromised a little with the opening to the south, the view is still fantastic and the deer and wild turkeys are still around. What’s to say about the new driveway and expanded parking lot? Let’s just say that they will be greatly appreciated! Especially in the winter! :)

Thanks to our all contractors and to our project manager for a great week of progress!

Published in: on May 22, 2015 at 5:26 PM  Leave a Comment  

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