Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Rusty wrote this article for the Hillsboro church e-bulletin a couple of weeks ago. I thought it was very well-written, so I decided to share it here. (Read to the end for a picture of Alex in his new bed!)

For those of you who don't know, both of my parents have passed away. Dad died 14 years ago after a lifelong struggle with a heart condition. Mom died 3 years ago this month from a brain tumor. He was 52 and she was 64 when they died.

I don't share all of this with you for sympathetic reasons, but because I often wonder about what they passed on to me and what I will pass on to my own children. One thing my father passed on to me was the hobby of making, building, or restoring things out of wood. I've actually had little time for this hobby over the years and I still have a lot to learn. Two weeks ago I mentioned in our worship service about a set of bunk beds that he had made for my sister and me to use and enjoy. Now I'm in the process of refinishing them and making them 'new' again so that my children, Alex & Stephen, can use and enjoy them. I have really enjoyed restoring a perfectly fine set of beds that my dad took the time and energy to make. Had I not pulled them down out of the rafters of a really dusty old barn in Oregon, they would have gotten thrown in a pile of rubbish and destined for a bonfire. I was able to finish one of the beds the other day. We then went and purchased some mattresses for it. For the first time in a long time, Alex, our oldest, is sleeping well. It brings me a sense of pride and accomplishment knowing that my little boy, who was sleeping on a mat on the floor until last week, is now sleeping on a good solid bed – a bed that my deceased father made for his little boy.

As I was working on the bed, it got me thinking about why do we, as human beings, have such an innate desire to make or create things? We encourage our children to be creative in school. Our places of employment often praise or reward creativity and innovation. When employers are looking for a new hire, they often look for someone or something that can bring a sense of revitalization or refreshment to the program. We are often attracted or excited by the newness of things.

Again, I have to wonder why? Why did God instill within us an appreciation for newness? Of course we appreciate and value the old and its aestheticism. But there is certainly more of a draw towards the new. Even if it's old, like a classic car or a bed in the rafters of a dusty barn, it is appreciated more when it is restored and brought back to life.

I think God feels that way as well. You see, when we are separated from Him, He has no relationship with us. But when we return to Him, as a new creation, we become washed by the Lamb, white as snow, made in the likeness of His Son. God gets to see His own creation become alive and new again. Eph 2:10 calls us his "workmanship." In the Greek this word is 'Poema' and is where we get our word 'Poem.' When we are in relationship with Him, we represent His best, His workmanship, His poem. We were handcrafted to display His wonder, to be a testimony or witness for Him.

May we live our days knowing that we are masterfully created or recreated works of art.


  1. Thank you for sharing this.. i enjoyed reading it... I am sure lots of love went into making the beds the first time around and lots of love went into preparing them for another generation! Hope you all are doing well... let us know when you might be back this way! Love you guys!

  2. Beautiful story, Rusty, and well spoken from the heart. Alex and Stephen are blessed to have you for a daddy. And we love you, too! Mom and Dad