Hearing the Creation Speak

Isaac Newton declared, “Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who sets the planets in motion.” He also shared, “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.” One of the most influential scientists of all time, who developed the principles of modern physics and is most famous for his law of gravitation, understood what many of us have tried to deny: a created universe demands the existence of a Creator.

 

Isn’t this what the Bible has told us all along? Psalm 19:1-4a says:

 

The heavens declare the glory of God;
            the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
            night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
              no sound is heard from them.
4a Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
            their words to the ends of the world.

 

As we wrap up summer, a season when many of us spend a good deal of time outside, enjoying the created world in which we live, let us remember that the beauty of nature comes from the Beautiful One who designed it for us to enjoy. Let us thank God for the peaceful experience of walking through the woods, the simple joy of swimming in the lake, and the relaxation of walking on the beach. And let our amazement at the creation point us to the One who created it.
 
Troy Burns


Leaving Town to Find Home

A few days ago, I returned home from an amazing trip to my favorite place in the world – the Oregon coast. Why does that area hold such a special place in my heart? Is it the beauty and vastness of the ocean? Maybe, at least in part. Is it the peace and relaxation that comes with staring into the waters and hearing the waves crash onto the shore? Perhaps. But really, what makes the coast so special is the people who travel there to enjoy it with me – my wife and three children. These are the things dreams are made of for this husband and father: our kids’ excitement for the upcoming trip, the quality time we spend together (that seems so hard to do in “real life”), and the lasting memories we make just by hanging out and walking on the beach. I’m so thankful to the Sunrise elders for allowing us to get away and for their understanding of the high priority we should all place on our families.

 

God’s Word requires leaders to demonstrate faithfulness at home before they can be considered eligible for church leadership (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1). As leaders, we are called to serve Christ’s church with all of our might, but we will also give an account on the last day of how we led our families: how we loved and taught and spent time with and sacrificed for our spouses and children. I truly appreciate the opportunity I have to spend all of my “vocational” time in ministry while working alongside a group of leaders who want me not only to serve the church with a passion, but also to do the same for my family.
 
-Troy Burns


It’s Worth It

As I read Ecclesiastes chapter 7 this morning, verses 13 through 15 leaped off the page:

Look at what God has done:

No one can straighten what he has bent.

When life is good, enjoy it.

But when life is hard, remember:

God gives good times and hard times,

and no one knows what tomorrow will bring.

In my useless life I have seen both of these:

I have seen good people die in spite of their goodness

and evil people live a long time in spite of their evil.

Just over a week ago, a great man of God died in spite of his goodness. I won’t pretend to understand why he spent only 57 years on this earth. I can’t comprehend the fact that he left behind a loving family and church that he also loved and served with a genuine passion. However, I do find immense joy in knowing that Dave Adams has entered into glory and heard the words all Christ-followers long to hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

Hebrews 12:2 tells us, “For the joy set before him he [Jesus] endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” No matter how difficult life can be, no matter how much we grieve, Jesus showed us that it’s worth it. In fact, it’s so worth it that He willingly endured infinite pain and suffering on our behalf, just so we could spend eternity with Him. Christ paid the price for an unimaginable “forever” that our friend and brother Dave has begun to realize more fully than those of us left behind. Well done, Dave, well done.
 
-Troy Burns