Archive for August, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dear Emmalee: My prayer for you on your 4th birthday

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August 29, 2010

Dear Emmalee,

I can’t imagine how difficult the decision was for Ruth when she vowed to leave her home and everything she’d known to follow Naomi back to Bethlehem. Ruth’s life had already been hard enough, with the death of her husband at such a young age. Now she was facing another challenge and increasing uncertainty as her mother-in-law was preparing to depart from her.

Ruth could have stayed where she was comfortable. She could have done what her sister-in-law Orpah did – bid Naomi a tearful farewell and returned to the life to which she was accustomed. But leaving Moab meant more to Ruth than simply walking away from a familiar lifestyle. It also meant turning her back on the false gods the Moabites worshiped and embracing the one true God that Naomi worshiped. “Your people will be my people,” Ruth told Naomi, “and your God my God.” That was the main reason why Ruth chose to go with Naomi – because the Lord had done a work of grace in her life and had called her in such a way that she couldn’t refuse.

It was obvious that the Lord had important plans for Ruth when he asked her to leave her pagan world and follow him in faith. But Ruth had no idea what was in store for her during her early days in a foreign land, when she was dependent upon the kindness of strangers for her very survival. God took care of her, however, and provided her a godly husband in Boaz. She eventually became the great-grandmother of the great King David, and the ancestor of the even greater King Jesus.

For the past four years, you have been a bright beam of light in our lives. I’m thankful for your exuberance and the vitality that you exhibit daily. I can’t count how many times you’ve made your mom and me laugh hysterically. You’ve always been a child quick to flash your beautiful smile, quick to laugh and quick to love. The joy you’ve brought to our lives is immeasurable.

So, Emmalee Ruth Ellsworth, as you celebrate your fourth birthday, my prayer for you is that the Lord would call you to follow him in the same way he called Ruth so many years ago. I pray that while you are still young, you would embrace Jesus Christ and his gospel, that you would in essence say to me and your mom, “Your God will be my God.”

You will find that to be the most important decision you will ever make in your life. No matter what else God may have in store for you, none of it will amount to anything if you have gotten the most important question wrong. By the Lord’s grace, Ruth got it right. She was willing to risk everything in her pursuit of the living God, and I earnestly pray that you would follow her example. It may cost you friends, or prestige, or riches, or status in the eyes of those who love this world. It may even cost you your life. But those are small prices to pay in exchange for an eternal home in heaven, which the Lord Jesus has prepared for those who love him.

Happy birthday, Sweet Pea. I love you with all my heart.


Categories : Family
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Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Treehouse Diaries, Vol. 2

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Since I was able to step outside today without immediately passing out from the heat, I figured I’d spend the day working on the treehouse. I already had part of the frame in place (see details in Vol. 1), and my goal for the day was to complete the frame. To do that, I was going to have to dig two post holes and attach the final three pieces of lumber. Unfortunately, some unforeseen difficulties kept me from meeting that goal.

The day started off well enough, as I got the second piece of the frame (a 2x8x8) attached easily enough to the 2x8x12 that I had already secured to the tree.

That proved to be the easiest part of the day. Next up was the first post hole. I borrowed an auger and a post hole digger from my friend Robert, and figured that getting to my desired depth of a little more than two feet would be no problem (unless I encountered some roots). I didn’t have any trouble with roots, but discovered that since we haven’t had much rain lately, the ground was incredibly hard and the auger had a hard time digging through it. I had to run the auger for a little bit to loosen up the dirt, then use the digger to remove the dirt from the whole. It was laborious work. Finally, I was close to reaching my depth when another problem surfaced.

Here is one end of the auger’s starter cord:

and here is the other end:

Yes, the cord broke on me as I was trying to start the auger. Just call me Superman. I know I’ve been working out more lately, but I didn’t realize how drastic the results would be. In reality, I didn’t pull the cord that hard, but it broke anyway. So that was the end of my digging for the day. Fortunately, I was able to finish the job with the post hole digger and returned it to Robert, while I will take the auger to another friend tomorrow to have him fix it.

I then planned to attach the 2x8x8 to the post, but discovered another problem: the hole location was a little bit off. That meant that if the post were level vertically, the 2x8x8 wouldn’t be square with the 2x8x12. You can see from this picture how it’s off a bit. It’s level, but it’s not square.

So now I have to make a decision. I haven’t set the post in concrete yet. If I want the frame to be both level AND square, I’m going to have to do some more work on that post hole when I can get the auger fixed and borrow the post hole digger again. Or, I can say, “To heck with being square. It’s a treehouse and it’s level, so that’s good enough.” I haven’t decided yet which route to take. If you have construction expertise and would like to offer your advice on the matter, please feel free to do so.

Regardless, I here’s how it look when I finished work for the day:

Up next will be to dig the second post hole once I get the auger fixed (and after I water the area a little bit for a couple of days to make the ground softer. Lesson learned.).

Categories : Treehouse
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