The Tree Fort #1

Posted: December 29, 2011 in Images that Speak
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

As I drove out of the AXIS parking lot, after an amazing Christmas Eve service, I felt this strange since of “Whew” spread over me. I was entering a three week vacation/sabbatical. It has been full tilt Go! for about three years. But you will never hear me complain. i love it and I really am not one to sit down and do nothing. In fact, the next few weeks is going to be a lesson in sitting and hearing God.

For a while now I have told my boys I would build a killer tree fort on the first limb of the huge maple tree in our back yard. And by huge I mean fifteen feet in circumference at five feet high. (That’s the distance around the trunk of the tree, which is somewhere around five feet in diameter.) So this is the week to do just that.

Maple Tree in the Backyard

If you know me well, I am a builder by design. So every once in a while I get this itch to build something with my hands. One thing you must have to enter into a project like this is, time. Well this week I have some time. With the help of a great friend, a one Aaron Schwartzenbart, and his truck and the unasked borrowing of a certain other friend’s trailer, (thank you Jeff Campbell), I scored about three hundred dollars worth of lumber from a local sheet metal company’s left over pallets. Their trash became my tree fort project.

Lots of free lumber.

So it was set in motion on Christmas day; after a great breakfast from my dear wife, the opening of several neatly wrapped presents and the interaction of said presents, my boys and I set to the task of breaking the pallets down into stacks of usable lumber. Lumber that ceased be exist in the form of pallets.

Nice Stack of Lumber from Pallets

I had drawn up a sketch of what the tree fort would look like a few days earlier with my youngest son Kaleb. At seven years old, he is going to benefit the most from this project, so he got to help me draw it. He was bouncing around with excitement as we drew it and dreamed. We all need some imaginative dreaming of forts in trees don’t we?

Tree Fort Sketch

One of my degrees out of High School, many moons ago, was architectural drafting. Everything comes around. After I climbed the tree and took some measurements I realized that in the end the sketch will indeed be only a sketch. So we began measuring and cutting and building. The platform would be placed just ten feet off the ground and resting on the main branch that stretches out to the South.

The Beginning with Konnor in the Tree

 

The massive branch that protrudes from the side of the tree is itself two feet in diameter and could be a tree all of its own. It reminds me of John 15:5 where Jesus tells his disciples that we must abide in him as a branch is affixed to a vine. In fact, if we are not abiding in him, he goes on to say, we can do nothing.

That massive limb on the side of my maple tree is doing some serious abiding in the main tree and because it is doing so it has become incredibly healthy and strong. Strong enough to hold up one big tree fort. After all, if you know me, I believe in doing things in epic proportions.

But the question is pounding at the back of my skull like a jack hammer on old concrete. “Am I abiding in Christ?” “Am I that healthy?” “And if I am not that healthy, Why?”  Well the answers lie in my actions and my hearts desires for the health of my Savior. The question would have to come back to, “Do I really believe abiding in Christ is worth it?” Because if I truly believed it was, I would abide. Can the movement of ministry here in Seattle be slow and unhealthy because I am not abiding as I could be?

My prayer this week is that I rediscover Abiding and that the church I pastor, Epic Life Church, would discover the same things. How wonderful it would be if we all truly abide in Christ.

 

 

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