End of Semester at Seminary

This past week the PRC Seminary concluded its second semester, with classes ending on Friday May 12 and exams yesterday, May 18. There are still some papers to be written (for Dogmatics) and the seniors are still busy preparing for their synodical exam in June, but most everyone is breathing a sigh of relief.

Because some were leaving for out of town rather soon, we held our annual Spring picnic last night at the home of Prof. and Mrs. R. Dykstra. Though the evening cooled off quickly, it was a beautiful night of good food, rich fellowship, and healthy fun. After a delicious potluck supper, outdoor games were played, and later group singing took place inside.

Below are a few pictures from the evening, including a nice group picture set up on Prof. Dykstra’s camera.

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Don Doezema shows off his bean-bag form, with Prof. Gritters waiting for his turn. In a classic battle between registrars and professors, the registrars lost. 😦

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Lots of bean bag toss was enjoyed, but also ladder toss and bocce ball.

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The whole Seminary family!

A week ago, we had our final grilled brat lunch together, complete with some extra guests from Singapore and a few of the wives. That time of fellowship was finished off with some intense games of ping-pong. Below are a couple of snapshots of that fun.

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As you will see, the seminarians take their game seriously, headbands and all. 🙂

Published in: on May 19, 2017 at 10:44 PM  Leave a Comment  

Boston Public Library’s ‘Car Wash’ for Books

For our “Friday Fun” item on this first Friday of May, we present this nifty carwash device for books, compliments of the Boston Public Library. The geography trivia website Atlas Obscura posted this last week (April 26, 2017), and it immediately caught my attention. What a clever invention!

Below is the introduction to this “bookwash” instrument. Be sure to catch the little video by clicking on the link below or on the image above. Quite amazing. But my manual device works fairly well top (two hands, vinegar and water mix, and paper towels). Enjoy!

Library books change hands all the time, and in the process, they end up getting pretty dirty, hence: the Boston Public Library’s book-sized “car wash,” which gets rid of dust and grime.

In a video the library recently posted to Twitter, the automated system, called a Depulvera, pulls books through a familiar looking series of stations to get their books clean. In the video, a book can be seen being pulled down the line by a conveyor system that drags it through a couple of steps, reorienting the book past a series of spinning brush bars, and finally out the other end, through a curtain of hanging plastic strips, just like in a full size car wash.

And it’s very satisfying to watch in action.

Source: The Boston Public Library Has a ‘Car Wash’ for Books – Atlas Obscura

Published in: on May 5, 2017 at 8:46 AM  Leave a Comment  

More Special Visitors to the PRC Seminary (and some beautiful blossoms)

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This week the PRC Seminary once again hosted some special visitors – two more Christian school classes. On Tuesday, April 25, the fourth graders from Hope PR Christian School (Walker, MI) paid us a visit (taught by Mr. Dan Hanko).

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After listening to Prof. R. Cammenga’s introductory talk on the seminary and its work, the students were given a tour of the building.

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Following that, the students gathered for devotions with the faculty and students, with the students introducing themselves for the benefit of the Hope CS students. And then it was time for snacks over coffee – or, in the students case, over juice boxes.

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On Thursday, April 27, Mrs. Jordan Pettit’s fourth-grade class from Heritage Christian School (Hudsonville, MI) made a visit to us. This group too was informed by Prof. R. Cammenga of the nature and labors of the seminary and then given a tour of the facilities.

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And, of course, shared homemade snacks were provided – something we always look forward to! 🙂

We are grateful that our Christian school teachers take an interest in the special school we have in our PRC Seminary, and that they take the time to stir up interest in their students. In this way we are encouraged in our labors – and we trust some special seeds of interest in the ministry of the Word are sown in the souls of a few of the young boys. May the Lord so work!

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As part of this post, I will also include some pictures of the beautiful trees blooming on our property. April and May are special times as the spring trees blossom here and everywhere in West Michigan. Once again, see the handiwork and glory of our Creator-Father!

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O, and it’s Friday – time for grilled brats! 🙂 Have a good day!

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Published in: on April 28, 2017 at 2:22 PM  Leave a Comment  

The Stadsbiblioteket (Stockholm Public Library) – Atlas Obscura

Ready to tour another world library on this Friday, compliments of Atlas Obscura?

Check out this beauty in Stockholm, Sweden. Amazing design and over 2 million volumes to browse. Visit the link below to see all of the images, but you get the idea from this one here.

Here is part of the description offered by “AO”:

The Stadsbiblioteket, the main branch of the Stockholm Public Library System, is one of the most distinctive buildings in the Swedish capital. The 360-degree tower of books at the top is a bibliophile’s temple to reading in-the-round. The graceful rotunda is open to the public, who can climb to the top of the stacks and peer down on the collections below.

The library is an example of Nordic Classicism, pioneered by Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund in the 1920s. The slightly chilly façade is, at the same time, oddly inviting, as if to say “we are here to work, but all are welcome.” This style was sometimes known as “Swedish Grace,” a simplified and accessible classicism that had great influence on everything from furniture design to sculpture.

By the way, you ought to subscribe to the Atlas Obscura emails too. Each day you will receive a list of unique places in the world to visit. Did you know there is museum of the alphabet in North Carolina? Go find out!

Source: The Stadsbiblioteket (Stockholm Public Library) – Stockholm, Sweden | Atlas Obscura

Published in: on March 24, 2017 at 6:31 AM  Leave a Comment  

Early March Madness for PRC Ministers and Seminary Students

Our “Friday Fun” item for this week comes a day late. But it is no less fun on Saturday morning. 🙂

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As you know, March in the U.S. is known as “March madness” time, because of all the basketball tournaments – both at the high school level and at the college level.

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Last week Saturday (March 4) saw a very special version of “March madness,” as down in Dyer, IN (Hoosier-land!) a group of PRC ministers from that area and a group of PRC Seminary students  (“Sons of the Prophets”, I have now learned) from up here combined to form a team to play against the basketball teams of Heritage Christian High School (the Defenders!). The big game was a fundraising event put on by the young people of Cornerstone PRC.

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Thanks to some pictures taken by Prof. R. Dykstra, who was in the area to preach last Sunday, we can show you some highlights.

DSC_0013Ryan VO and Ted A at the scorer’s table. Do you have a tape of the game?

After seeing his album of pictures and hearing who did the announcing (Ted Andringa) and listening to the stories of the contest at Seminary coffeetimes this week, I wish I had been there. Sounds like a great time was had by all – and for a good cause!

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Rev. G. Eriks shooting a big freethrow with the game on the line.

Who won the game? Well, just check out that last picture here.

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The scoreboard doesn’t lie – our students contributed to the one-point victory! Perhaps it was Coach “R” and his smart maneuvers throughout the game (That would be Sem student Stephan Regnerus). Go “Sons of the Prophets”! Are there any other challengers out there?!

In any case, thankful to report that there were no serious injuries. But I can imagine there were some mighty sore muscles Sunday morning. 🙂

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Published in: on March 11, 2017 at 8:33 AM  Comments (2)  

Ask a Librarian: What’s the Strangest Thing You’ve Found in a Library Book? | Tin House

4-leaf-clover-in-bookSaved for Friday’s such as this one, this article at the website “Tin House” (Posted Jan.10, 2017) contains the responses of librarians to the question, “What’s the strangest thing you have found in a library book?”

I have found a variety of special things in the (used) books we have purchased or been given, but none that compares with these! So, on this crisp March morning in West Michigan, let’s warm up with some laughter triggered by these amazing answers.

 

THE QUESTION

What’s the most interesting, memorable, or just plain weird thing you’ve found in a library book?

THE ANSWERS

**Winner** A taco, perfectly preserved and pressed like a flower in the middle of a book. It was so slim you wouldn’t know it was there until you opened the book. —Amanda Monson, Bartow County Library System

**Winner** I am a first generation immigrant from Russia. My senior year of college, at least the last semester of it, I had to write a senior thesis. I had gotten permission to write a historical fiction, a creative piece but one that would demonstrate my impressive researching skills. So, I chose to write about Soviet era Russia, primarily the political and religious oppression that existed. I was very familiar with this topic, having arrived in the U.S. as refugees due to the fact that our family was persecuted for our religious beliefs. I scoured the internet for books on the topic; I had to dedicate an entire bookshelf to those books. One little book called “Konshaubi: A True Story of Persecuted Christians in the Soviet Union” by Georgi Vins. Georgi Vins was a big name in our community. He was expelled from Russia, along with a few other dissidents, in 1979 in exchange for 2 Soviet spies. As I flipped through this very humble book, I landed on a page of photos. On one of them, I noticed three familiar faces. My grandfather, grandmother, and uncle’s. My grandfather served four 3-year sentences (total of 12 years) in the Soviet prisons for his involvement in the Baptist church. My uncle served 3 years. My uncle had just died that February. It was so shocking to see his face and the faces of my grandparents. I showed my mom, and she cried when she saw her parents and brother. It was, and still is, the most memorable and interesting find in a book. —Violetta Nikitina, Union County Public Library

**Winner** A letter in a sealed, stamped envelope that had never been sent. I decided to mail it. —Christina Thurairatnam, Holmes County District Public Library

Sonogram pictures of a developing baby. —Chantal Walvoord, Rockwall County Library

A piece of bologna! It was in a children’s picture book, so I think someone was snacking while reading. —Joy Scott, Steele Creek Library

Source: Ask a Librarian: What’s the Strangest Thing You’ve Found in a Library Book? | Tin House

Published in: on March 3, 2017 at 9:51 AM  Leave a Comment  

Friday Seminary Culture Session – Art History!

You may recall that for a few years now those providing food for the Friday brat/burger lunch at Seminary (we divide ourselves up into groups) have the opportunity also to provide a “cultural” experience for the entire group.

In the past we have enjoyed unique music, learned to sing the Psalms chant style, benefited from a presentation on coins from the biblical era, and learned about Philippino life, among other things.

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Today we were privileged to have Mr. Peter (Robert) Adams, retired PRCS teacher and former administrator/teacher at Eastside CS in Grand Rapids, give a presentation on art. It is actually a two-part presentation, with today’s being on the Renaissance and art, while next week’s will be on the Reformation and art.

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Today we learned how art was influenced by the humanism of the Renaissance movement, so that the Christian themes that once dominated art in early Christianity and in the Middle Ages were replaced by man-centered themes (as you will see from the pictures).

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Now we look forward to “part 2” next week and hearing about how the Reformation influenced art.

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For the rest of our “Friday fun” feature today, we include these pictures of a great gathering of deer last month in the Seminary’s “backyard.” First we counted 13, then a little later we counted 16 – the most we have ever seen at once on our grounds! The snow was gone after our January thaw, and the deer had “fresh” grass to nibble on. No doubt, thoughts of Spring were on their “minds.” They are on us humankind’s minds too. 🙂

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Hope the rest of your Friday is good too!

Published in: on February 10, 2017 at 3:10 PM  Leave a Comment  

Morning has Broken – January 6, 2017

A glorious sunrise appeared on Seminary hill this morning. With the white coat of freshly fallen, lake-effect snow, it was beautiful. I captured these out the front windows. Yes, it was cold (around 5 F) and I stayed in! 🙂

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On December 27, 2016, during our thaw period, these deer and turkey were roaming and grazing in the green grass up front. Always a treat to see them. Well, the deer at least. Those turkeys, well, they are a tad messier, if you know what I mean. 🙂

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Published in: on January 6, 2017 at 12:03 PM  Leave a Comment  

White Walkers and Other Wonders in Our Sudden Michigan Winter

I know those in West Michigan know, but in case those outside of our great state do not, we are experiencing winter in full force in the last two weeks! After a frigid week with plenty of lake-effect snow, a major system is coming our way today, with promises of 6-10 inches of more snow.

Rather than complain or run to warmer climates, we cherish and relish “the treasures of the snow”, our winter wonderland! Our mighty Creator and loving Father certainly displays His glory in special ways through the season of winter.

“Michigan in Pictures” had another beauty posted this morning (see below).

White Walkers, photo by Aaron Springer I think we can all agree that Winter is not merely coming, it’s here. View Aaron’s photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

Source: White Walkers | Michigan in Pictures

But we have also seen some special beauty in our little “neck of the woods” here at the PRC Seminary. Yesterday I took a few pictures of the grounds out front. Enjoy! And know what you “outsiders” are missing! 🙂

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The Man Who Invented Bookselling As We Know It | Literary Hub

When did the modern, massive bookstore idea begin and first become reality? Would you believe back in the 18th century, in London, England?

Literary Hub (Oct.11, 2016) tells the story of the first mega-bookstore and the man behind it. I give you the opening paragraphs here and encourage you to read the rest at the link below.

Happy Friday! Will you be “booking” this weekend? Don’t forget those local indie bookstores (like Schuler, here in Grand Rapids)!

Today, few people are likely to remember James Lackington (1746-1815) and his once-famous London bookshop, The Temple of the Muses, but if, as a customer, you’ve ever bought a remaindered book at deep discount, or wandered thoughtfully through the over-stocked shelves of a cavernous bookstore, or spent an afternoon lounging in the reading area of a bookshop (without buying anything!) then you’ve already experienced some of the ways that Lackington revolutionized bookselling in the late 18th century. And if you’re a bookseller, then the chances are that you’ve encountered marketing strategies and competitive pressures that trace their origins to Lackington’s shop. In the 21st-century marketplace, there is sometimes a longing for an earlier, simpler age, but the uneasy tension between giant and small retailers seems to have been a constant since the beginning. The Temple of the Muses, which was one of the first modern bookstores, was a mammoth enterprise, by far the largest bookstore in England, boasting an inventory of over 500,000 volumes, annual sales of 100,000 books, and yearly revenues of £5,000 (roughly $700,000 today). All of this made Lackington a very wealthy man—admired by some and despised by others—but London’s greatest bookseller began his career inauspiciously as an illiterate shoemaker.

Source: The Man Who Invented Bookselling As We Know It | Literary Hub

Published in: on November 11, 2016 at 6:29 AM  Leave a Comment