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2015-07 The Cardboard Castle

The Cardboard Castle

When three-year-old Max, his younger sister, Story (they’re American) and mum, Dee, helped their dad build a mega cardboard castle in their front garden, the end result was nearly every child’s dream. 

Jeremy Trentelman’s giant cardboard fort that was made out of old boxes that he had brought back from work, came complete with trap doors, turrets, secret tunnels and a green slide to exit. It was not only a big hit with his own kids but also his neighbour’s kids too.  However just one day later when Mr Trentelman, of Ogden, Utah, returned from work, he found a letter from Ogden City’s code enforcement office, describing his creation as ‘junk’ and asking him to get rid of it. 

Mr Trentelman, who only intended to keep the fort for a few days and received no complaints from his neighbours, wrote: ‘We build a completely awesome box castle in our front yard for our kids to play in and we get a notice from code enforcement?!?’  The official letter gave him 15 days to scrap his cardboard palace or he would be liable for an £84 ($125) fine. 

Neighbour Curtis Price said: “It’s great what they’re doing for their kids. I think they should add on to it.”  Jeremy Trentelman has invited all his neighbours to join them in the cardboard playhouse, which also includes a trampoline and a lemonade stand.  One neighbour has even asked others in the area to build their own cardboard castles and leave them up for 14 days in solidarity. 

Whether we are conscious of it or not, we are all ‘builders’.  We may not be building an elaborate cardboard castle in the front garden; but the way we live our lives, the examples we set, the standards we keep; by all these (and much more) we are ‘building’ a legacy.  Sadly, for many, that legacy will amount to nothing but scrap!

Jesus told the story of two builders, one wise the other foolish.  The wise builder constructed his house on rock, the foolish builder constructed his house on sand.  Naturally, during the ‘storms of life’, whilst the house on the rock stood firm, the house on the sand collapsed, (see Matthew 7:24 - 27).

To hear and practice the teachings of Jesus, this is wisdom.  The wise will build something that cannot be removed; either in this life or the next.

Rev. Doug Atherton, Pastor


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