Home > Humor > The old smoke house…

The old smoke house…

S E Corner 2Yesterday morning, Cass and I went out to the tool shed, which was once a smoke house many years ago, and repainted it for her grandparents. I’ve been learning a lot about the history of this farm, and even though it is not my bloodline that has lived here for close to 200 years or more, I still feel that by being here, seeing the scenery and helping to work to maintain the place, it has earned me a small, minuscule piece of the history of this farm.

So as I balanced on a ladder yesterday with paint more on me then on the tool shed, some of the things Grandpa Jim was telling us (using his Southern, Alabamian accent) begin to make sense in the realm of ministry. In reality, as ministers, we are helping to restore the body and offer resources to maintain the heart for the people we serve, hoping that the good we do will withstand the weather and the storms, not by our empowerment but by God’s.

However, here are a few key terms used by my grandfather-in-law that can most definitely be incorporated into our style of ministry:

“We’re not going for look, we’re going for coverage!” – When spending 5 years in college and close to $100,000 to attend a college of your choice and study in the area of ministry you desire most, you can easily come out striving for a ministry program that is highly sufficient and productive, and you would hope it becomes the standard for which all other ministries in your area hold to. But in reality, Jesus tells us to give it all away, to stop striving for the world’s riches and begin to work on and with the heart of man; not to get caught up in the glamor of the world, yet seek out the grace of God and share hope with all those you encounter no matter how sloppy it might be.
We want a ministry that looks like it is being productive and is the model for which all ministry should be ran when in all truth, there are many more wounds throughout that ministry than there are people. However, Christ shows us that hope is not found in what the world deems as grand. The one that shows it’s vulnerability and wears it’s scars, the ministry that works to improve it’s stability and not just cover it’s flaws, this is the ministry of reality and of the future.
And as the storms hit, the winds rise and the hurricanes pass by, the only one of the two tool sheds (ministries) that surpasses the weather is the one with better coverage. Not the one with fancy doors and windows.

“Just sop it all on there, it doesn’t matter if it drips.” – If we are striving for coverage to be our goal, then we can’t afford to be greedy with the paint (Word of God). Take the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23). The farmer had the seed (God’s Word, the Gospel) and began to scatter it. Now, he was not scattering on the good soil only, rather he was scattering on all the soil (path, rock, thorns). He threw it every where he went, and whether he knew that the rocky soil would quickly lose the seed or not, the farmer still scattered seed in all the areas.
So as Cass and I continued to the paint the shed, we had to get as much paint on the brush as it would hold so that we could fill all the cracks and grains of the wood. Though much of the paint ended up on our clothing and the ground, the tool shed would take what it needed and it could use, even if we applied a heavy amount.
In ministry, we often fail to saturate the people with the Word of God to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to their hearts. In fact, churches have moved away from using the Bible as the primary source of their preaching and lessons. It could be one passage that offers the opening of the sermon, or even a simple verse that iterates our message within the sermon. We need to fall in love with God’s scripture and saturate our ministries with it instead of our own ideas and programs. Make sure the the people in the ministry take what it is needs and can use because they have to much to choose from.

“Just joog it. Get in between those cracks.” – Joog? Never heard that word before until now. In fact, it is clearly defined by my grandfather-in-law as pushing the brush into the wood alongside the edges so that all the exposed wood sidings are covered with the paint. Now, this is a tedious and time consuming project. Cass and I careful went along each column of siding, jooging them. This process secures all the wood from being exposed and damaged during any weather or storm.
But, how often do we joog our ministry, keeping a careful eye at all the edges of our program where the weather or storm begins its damage? Of course, we cannot prevent damage from occuring in all areas, but by carefully covering all exposed areas that are vulnerable for damage to take place we are able to protect our ministries and prolong their coverage.
However, the most important part of this process is the careful eye, taking the time to look over the edges and recognize problems areas before they may have to endure the storm with little or no coverage. Often times ministries set up programs that are extravagant and productive, but do not take the time to follow through with the complete process which in turn can badly harm the program, or worse destroy it all together.

“Look at that pretty thing!” – And last, enjoy the work of the Holy Spirit. Make sure you recognize that it was not you who did it, but you that was empowered by God to be responsible and maintian it. Enjoy the blood, sweat and tears that was put into it and marvel at how God can take something that was nothing (or close to nothing) and use someone like you to make it grand.
Ministry is something great and life-changing, but it is not about us. We are not the builders, we are the maintainers. Work hard, and enjoy the outcome! Peace.

Categories: Humor
  1. Grandpaw Jim
    May 14, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Great job with the blogs as well as the work you and Cassie did while visiting us at the farm. I look out and walk out to the old Smokehouse/Shop and look it over and feel so proud of the jobs the two of you and the work Andy helped me do when he was here.

    I really enjoyed the connections that you made with the worship of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Keep on Joogin’ and do the coverage.

    Thanks again.

    Grandpaw Jim

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