My Thanks to PRTSPosted: May 14, 2010
Not sure how many are interested in reading my short graduation speech. However, I thought I’d post it for the few of you that would like to read it. I am posting this at 5:15pm, 2 hours before I’ll actually be giving it.
PRTS Graduation Speech May 14th, 2010
On behalf of the graduating class of 2010, I have been asked to spend the next few minutes thanking Dr. Beeke and the seminary (PRTS) for what they have done in the past two to four years in our lives. Needless to say the time is not nearly sufficient, and we owe a great debt to all of you who make up the PRTS community. We would like to say thanks to all of those who have helped us along our way at seminary.
#1 First, we would like to thank Reformation Heritage Books. We cannot even imagine what PRTS would be without having RHB right there. It’s like Luther and Melanchthon, Calvin and Beza, and Ursinus and Olevianus – they go hand and hand in ministry. We would like to thank Steve, Jay, and others that run the store on a daily basis; we thank you for your hours and ministry that you have put into RHB. We thank you for ordering our text books, we thank you for the discounts you give, and yes, Steve we thank you for the times that we can barter back and forth and get just a little more of a discount from time to time.
#2 The PRTS Board. We know you do a lot of work behind the scenes, and we are most certainly thankful for the decisions you make in leadership, the guidance you bring and the direction, and the scholarships you help distribute among the PRTS students. Thank you.
#3 We would also like to thank all the supporters of PRTS. Many of you are here tonight. Without your prayers and your faithful generosity, PRTS would not exist, and we would not stand here tonight. It’s our prayer that God will richly bless you and your gifts, perhaps even through the ministry of some of us who have benefitted from your support. So thank you for your generous giving.
#4 The Library Staff . Where would we students have been without the library staff? We thank Fred, Laura, Kim and the others for all of the countless hours you have put into categorizing our library. For without your help, we would have been in seminary for eight, nine, maybe ten years and would still be using the JRB system. We thank you for making out studies easier.
#5 The Food pantry volunteers, what would we have done with out the food pantry, I honestly have no idea. Thank you for serving us while we were in seminary.
#6 The PRTS Staff – Chris Englesma, We thank you for your countless hours and headaches that you have put into the growth of the distance-learning program while we have been here. Chris Hanna, we thank you for all that you do in development, marketing and helping the seminary to continue to grow. Ann Dykema, we thank you for all that you do behind the scenes, working away in front of your computer. From managing time sheets, paying bills, to even giving us our bills, and reminding us that we need to have them paid in order to graduate. Henk Kleyn, Henk, if it were not for you, I honestly do not know what a good number of us would have done from time to time. You are simply the glue that holds PRTS together. From figuring out my GPA 10 times a semester, to helping new students find a place to live, to preparing that place yourself, the scheduling of classes, speakers, and adjunct professors, you simply seem to do it all for us. No matter what we may have needed as students, we knew that you were the one to go to.
#7 PRTS Adjunct Professors. We thank the adjunct faculty, including the various ministers from the Heritage Congregation and the Free Reformed denomination, for the time they make in their own schedules to come and teach us God’s Word and to prepare us for our future ministry.
#8 Dr. Murray, a number of us (Maarten, Marty, Scott, Tim and myself) of this graduating class knew what PRTS was before you came. However we would never want to remember PRTS without you. We thank you for your preaching, and no, it is not only your accent that captures our attention, but it is your words of wisdom and proclaiming the gospel that captures our hearts and we pray will forever change both our lives and future ministry. Dr. Murray, thank-you especially for teaching us the importance of preaching Christ from the Old Testament.
#9 Dr. Bilkes, right away I think of your witty 3-point sermons that you can just makeup on the spot after reading a text from the Bible. We all wish we had a mind like that. No matter what the issue – our grades, scheduling classes, praying together about a matter, or simply to talk about life, we thank you for always having an open office. Dr. Bilkes thank you for teaching us the importance of staying true to the text, and preaching what is in the text and not wondering away from the text.
#10 Dr. Beeke, thank you for your zeal in making preachers of the gospel. Your warm and gracious heart has taught many of us how to preach the Bible with application, which we have all come to know as experiential preaching. Dr. Beeke thank you for your example of workmanship for the gospel. Your work ethic as a minster and teacher, we are grateful for – was there ever a night that we as students ever had to worry about who would turn the lights at seminary? Most nights, you were always the last one out the door.
#11 Lastly we want to give thanks to our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Who has allowed sinners like us, to know him, study His Word, and forever serve Him until our blessed hope. Thanks be to God for allowing us to study at PRTS and thanks to all of you who help and make PRTS what it is today. Thank you.
On behalf of the graduating glass of 2010, I would like to present this donation to the PRTS library, so that it can continue to purchase the books that fuel much of the study at PRTS. Thank you.