Miscellaneous Winter-time Meanderings

On this Friday, we post a little fun in photos for our readers, which we will call miscellaneous meanderings, because I have a collection of miscellaneous pictures that I have taken this winter while meandering here and there. So, join me as we move about randomly, enjoying this, that, and the next thing. At least I did 🙂

 

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Of course, we have to show some pictures of our seminary animal friends! This was taken during our January thaw.

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And then we got hit some with some major snow again.

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With several grandsons involved in winter basketball, we took in a few of their games. Future CCHS Chargers are they.

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And we have seen the current CCHS Chargers play a few games too – including last week at Calvin  College against South Christian. A certain quartet was privileged to do the national anthem. 🙂

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Last night we took in Heritage CS’s “Fine Arts” night, which included this fine piece by our granddaughter, Laelle – a budding artist.

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And Mr. Dan Van Dyke’s room included awesome book summaries in poster form. Yes, I was pretty excited about these!

Speaking of books, here are a few miscellaneous items related to such real, printed-on-paper things:

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A book snowman made at Herrick Library in Holland, MI (thanks to Bob Drnek for the photo!)

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A few more bookplates from books in the Letis collection found in the Seminary library.

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And a few examples of title pages with wonderful publisher ensigns – a distinguishing mark of publishers in the past, and still today, though not as elaborate as these.

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And how could we forget on such days that we do still have our Friday grilled burger/brat lunches. Tim Bleyenberg at Sheldon Meats is our supplier. Once you’ve had his meats, you will not need to go elsewhere. The best!

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Have a wonderful weekend!

Published in: on February 23, 2018 at 8:19 PM  Leave a Comment  

Winter Has Arrived in West Michigan! (Updated with Lake Michigan Pictures)

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No doubt those outside of Michigan have heard about the fast, furious, and frigid winter that has descended on us here in West Michigan. After a beautiful, mild, drawn-out Fall, winter came with a flourish in mid-December and has not let up yet – although the hope of a “January thaw” is in the forecast for next week.

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These are pictures taken back and front of our home last weekend when we received over a foot of lake-effect snow in two days. And this week on top of 8-10 inches of fresh snow, it has been bitter cold – -3 (F) this morning and wind-chills below 0 (F) all day yesterday and today – and colder yet tonight!

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But, as you can see, there is a marvelous beauty that is revealed in God’s winter work. Truly, He makes a wonderland of white that covers all the death and decay underneath and around us. What a gospel picture!

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And His creatures all look to Him for food – the deer and wild turkeys have been coming close at Seminary, poking around in the landscape for food (where are those luscious hostas?!) – or visiting Prof .Cammenga’s bird feeders for free seed.

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How do we snow-stricken, frozen-chosen Michiganders cope? Why, we get out and enjoy the snow, of course! Monday, a few brave souls in our family – including some grandkids for the first time – went cross-country skiing at Pigeon Creek Park west of us. It was cold but was it ever beautiful in the woods and along the creek!

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And if one really wants to have fun, do some backyard ice bowling! [This video appeared on MLive this week.] See what you are missing!

Late this (Saturday) afternoon my wife and I went out to Holland State Park to see Lake Michigan. Word was that the ice formations were amazing, so we decided to check things out, partly because the time-frame for seeing ice caves, etc. can be so short. Though we have seen icier conditions, it was still good. Here are a few pictures I took with my phone.

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Rev. G. Vos 25th Anniversary Ministry Album: the Edgerton PRC Years, 1943-48

GVosOver the last several months we have made various posts concerning the recent treasure-gift for the PRC archives – a beautiful leather volume commemorating the 25-year ministry anniversary of Rev. Gerrit Vos (1894-1968).

The album (which must date from 1952 and probably at least a year before that) is filled with pictures and congratulatory notes from the four PRC congregations Rev. Vos had served up to that point – Sioux Center, IA, 1927-29; Hudsonville, 1929-1932; Hope, Redlands CA, 1932-1943; Edgerton, MN, 1943-1948; and then Hudsonville again, 1948-1966, which is where he was when his 25th anniversary in the ministry was celebrated.

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In our previous post we featured those years of Vos’ third charge, when he was in Hope PRC of Redlands, CA, from 1932 to 1943. Today (our final PRC archives post for 2017) let’s look at the time of his fourth charge, which was Edgerton (MN) PRC from 1943 to 1948.

We can easily post these pages from the album since there are but six (6) of them. But these too are packed with information – enjoy – especially those of you with Edgerton roots!

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Published in: on December 28, 2017 at 8:46 AM  Leave a Comment  

Friday Fun Items: Christmas Book Tree and Digitizing in 2017

We have highlighted book Christmas trees here before, but a friend recently sent me this photo of a book display found currently at the Grand Rapids (MI) Public Library.

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Our second feature on this Friday is another Atlas Obscura item (these folks feature a lot of great book and archive items!). This week (Dec.15, 2017) they did an article on the digitizing of various archive materials in 2017, which included valuable items added to the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, and the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

Here’s the introduction and the link to the post, as well as the coolest picture they included, in my estimation. I love those medieval illuminated books (and this is a medical manual) – real works of art!

What do a 1,275-foot painting, a 1958 photograph of Carrie Fisher joining a Brownie troop, and an illuminated manuscript by a famed medieval surgeon all have in common? As of this year, all are newly and freely accessible online (provided that continues to mean anything)—via the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Los Angeles Public Library, and New York Academy of Medicine, respectively.

These efforts are just a drop in the digital ocean: In 2017 alone, the National Archives added 17.1 million digital files (texts, images, sound recordings, and films) to its online catalog. When Atlas Obscura asked Miriam Kleinman, their Program Director for Public Affairs, for a highlight from the year, the digitization team was spoiled for choice. “Having to pick one,” they reported, “is like picking your favorite child.”

From these archives and others, Atlas Obscura has a selection of items that made their digital debuts this year.

Published in: on December 22, 2017 at 3:26 PM  Leave a Comment  

Sem Scenes – November/December 2017

On this Friday, for fun, let’s take a look around and see what has been happening at the PRC Seminary of late (this Fall of 2017).

An early Fall picture of seminary front.

I have been taking a few pictures of people and things, so here you go!

Sunset on Wednesday night this week.

The next morning – this Thursday after first snowfall of the new season.

Mrs. Judi Doezema’s Christmas cactus (forefront) and Mandevilla plant (background) – taken this week.

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One of our students (Jacob Maatman) playing the pump organ at seminary.
Note: He loves good Luther hymns and Genevan Psalms as well as classical pieces.

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We enjoyed a special visitor from the Netherlands this week (Cees Van Steenselen), who sat in on classes at seminary, visited two of our Christian schools, and whom I took downtown Grand Rapids by the river for a short (cold!) stay by the fish ladder.

A certain new professor excited about his new office.
Don’t worry, we are teaching him how to use his furniture properly.
🙂

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Sometimes we get “friendly” visitors outside the doors whom we don’t want to come inside (though they have in the past – just ask Rev. R. Barnhill, our former snake-lover!).

Finally, a book plate I recently came across in one of the Letis books. As we enter the winter season, one to make us long for Spring.

Published in: on December 8, 2017 at 2:17 PM  Leave a Comment  

Rev. G. Vos 25th Anniversary Ministry Album: The Redlands PRC Years, 1932-43

In the last few months we have made several posts concerning the recent treasure-gift for the PRC archives – a beautiful leather volume commemorating the 25-year ministry anniversary of Rev. G. Vos (1894-1968).

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The book (which must date from 1952 and probably at least a year before that) is filled with pictures and congratulatory notes from the four PRC congregations Rev. Vos had served up to that point – Sioux Center, IA, 1927-29; Hudsonville, 1929-1932; Hope, Redlands CA, 1932-1943; Edgerton, MN, 1943-1948; and then Hudsonville again, 1948-1966, which is where he was when his 25th anniversary in the ministry was celebrated.

In our previous post we featured those years of Vos’ second charge, when he was in Hudsonville PRC for the first time, from 1929 to 1932. Today let’s look at the time of his third charge, which was Hope, Redlands CA, from 1932 to 1943.

We are able to post all nine (9) of the scanned pages from the album. Those of you with Redlands’ roots will recognize these people and places – enjoy!

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Published in: on November 30, 2017 at 2:22 PM  Leave a Comment  

PRC Seminary Expansion! 1994-95

Recently, while looking for some paperwork in my office file cabinet, I discovered some old pictures of my predecessor (Mr. Don Doezema) on the major expansion project at the PRC Seminary in 1994-95. This was the addition that housed the new professor offices, the new library, the PRC archives, and the RFPA (the latter two in the lower level). Today we make these our PRC archives feature for this week.

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Removing trees and breaking ground on the new seminary addition

Plans and preparations for this addition originated with the PRC Synods in 1991 and 1992, when these broader assemblies instructed the Theological School Committee (TSC) to hire an architect to draw up plans for expansion, approved those plans, and “authorized the TSC to proceed with producing construction drawings when 50% of the estimated cost of the addition has been collected in gifts, and to award a construction contract when 75% of the estimated cost is collected” (from a special brochure published by the TSC in August of 1993).

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Footings set and walls poured

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In that August 1993 brochure a final appeal was made to the churches to contribute to this project, with hopes of breaking ground in 1994. That appeal was effective and in the Fall of 1994 the project commenced, with completion coming in 1995.

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Wood and steel framing goes up

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Progress on the exterior during the winter months

Next time we will include some interior pictures and then the open house that was held when the addition was done.

Published in: on November 9, 2017 at 8:57 AM  Leave a Comment  

North Country Michigan in October

Shoreline near Arcadia, looking north

With a seminary reading recess on the calendar today and the latest Standard Bearer issue completed this morning (the second special Reformation issue!), my wife and I took the rest of the day off to take an overnight trip north along the western shoreline of our beautiful state.

Pt. Betsie Lighthouse – great waves today, as the wind picked up the farther north we went!

Yes, in mid-October the shoreline is still a fine destination. It was a mild day and we hoped the fall colors would be full and  brilliant. They were not, as the north country is also behind what it usually is. But it was still a splendid day as we stopped in Manistee, Point Betsie lighthouse, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, and Crystal Lake in Beulah.

Sleeping Bear Dunes, looking northwest toward the Manitou Islands

Included here are a few pictures from the many we took. Enjoy a taste of our day!

View of upper and lower Glenn lakes from the national park scenic loop

Though Saturday calls for storms and lots of rain, it’s a beautiful morning in Beulah-land so far (picture below is Crystal Lake with the Saturday morning sunshine on it). I spent some childhood summers at a cottage here with my family and family friends. Brings back good memories of fishing, swimming, and family/friends fun.

It was a good day (Saturday) to stay north. Though most of the lower half of the state had heavy rain, the north country didn’t receive it until late in the day.

So we went farther north, taking beautiful M-22 up and around the Leelanau peninsula. The fall colors were better and the views of the lake fantastic. At the top of the peninsula is Leelanau State Park, where sits the stately Grand Traverse lighthouse. But before you get to that, you walk by this unique northern white cedar tree (above).

Once again, the skies opened and we enjoyed sunshine and 60 degree (F) temperatures.

They even did a fog horn demonstration and opened up that separate 1889 building, which is now a museum. 

But the lighthouse – built in 1858! –  is definitely the magnificent structure on this northernmost point of the peninsula, serving the ships and sailors for many years.

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This last part of the post was designed for a “Friday fun” item (even though I conclude this post on Saturday night after we returned home).

Lest we forget our Reformation month tribute, we include this photo I took at grandparents’ day at Adams’ Christian School on Wednesday. It is also a Friday fun item. If only we could hear Luther comment on this pumpkin picture 🙂

Summer Creation Marvels

When we are daily surrounded by God’s creative and providential work in this season of summer, it is easy to overlook these miraculous marvels, large and small.

Gorgeous Hibiscus and Asian lilies at my parents’ flower garden.


Lilies amid other blossoms in my rock garden.

I have been taking pictures throughout the summer, here and there, and share a few of them with you tonight.


A trip to Reeds Lake in East Grand Rapids after dinner out in June.


Storm clouds over the area this past Thursday.

New family of deer (fawns) at seminary.

Lying down in the shade this past week.


View of the one of the lakes at Millennium Park in Grand Rapids (another bike ride).


Catching a turtle with grandsons on the 4th of July (It was fish we were trying to catch!).

It was the last one my wife and I saw tonight by the Grand River that especially prompted me. Enjoy! Isaiah 40:31

Yes, a bald eagle was perched above the river at Grand Ravines Park (new Ottawa County park along the Grand River just north of where we live). Earlier in the week I rode my bike there and enjoyed this serene scene.

Published in: on August 5, 2017 at 9:15 PM  Comments (2)  

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