For those who don’t know me that well, I’m always on the hunt for illustrations, especially preaching illustrations. I’m a preacher and I understand the value of an example that I can use to crystalize a Biblical truth.
Having said that, today we had some work done at the Parsonage and it required digging up part of the back yard and I had the opportunity to speak to the gentleman who was doing back-breaking work outside to see how the work was going. As I stood in the doorway, he told me that when he dug up the yard, he discovered bricks. Apparently at some point in the past, topsoil was added on top of the existing brick. The bricks from the former pathway were not removed, but simply topsoil and then grass seedings were added – so much so that years later no one even knew that underneath there lies bricks.
It made me wonder – how many of us have bricks in our souls – those things, those strongholds, those burdens, those pains that have not been removed or exorcised or dealt with – instead have been paved over, with weaker material; paved over, with decorative topsoil; paved over – so that when the years go by no one can see what’s underneath the skin, underneath the soil, and yes, underneath the soul.
In order to flourish in ministry you have to deal with the bricks under the soil. It’s impossible to serve others with bricks that are below the surface. Many of us know Pastors and Ministers that have fallen into publicized sins because there were bricks – an abusive childhood, a terrible marriage, the stress of pastoring and ministry – which are there – they haven’t been dealt with, they haven’t been unearthed – but that day could be coming in the future and when they’re unearthed, it could cause problems in life.
I’m praying that every pastor, every minister will deal with the bricks. No matter how painful, no matter how embarrassing, no matter how sensitive – will deal with the bricks. Let me tell you that removing bricks is something to praise God for. Removing the bricks means that God has more in store for you. Removing the bricks means that you have forgiven those who have hurt you and released the Holy Spirit the opportunity to cleanse your spiritual palate and it gives God the opportunity to propel you away from the pain, the hurt, the anger to a point of where the bricks are no longer part of your personal story.
Thank God, the bricks have been removed. Today, he hauled the bricks away. Where? I have no idea – but when the Lord does it, too, I don’t know where, but I’m glad they’re gone.
A Life Well Spent . . .
Mabel Hutchison Conda, 97, widow of Joseph Conda, daughter of the late Will and Lucinda Brannon Hutchison, went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on September 1, 2012 at the Hospice Care Center, St. Joseph Hospital, Lexington, KY.
Mabel was educated at Rosenwald School and was a graduate of Mayo Underwood High School. She accepted Christ at an early age and remained a faithful member of First Baptist Church, 100 Clinton St., until her death. She was a devoted church worker and served on the Usher Board for over 50 years.
In addition to reading the morning announcements most of those years, she was active in the Senior Ministry, Golden Girls and the WMU. She was a long time member of Senior Citizens Club #1 and thoroughly enjoyed socializing with the members. Mabel retired from Marcus Furniture Store after 40 years of service.
Mabel was also preceded in death by Brother Norman Hutchison. Mabel leaves to cherish her memories, cousins Julia Griffin, James (Pat) Monie, and Emma Tillman, all of Frankfort, KY; sisters-in-law Nellie Sheerer and Lucy Conda, Dayton, Ohio; special friends Geneva Benson and Renee Redding and a host of other cousins and friends.
Pall Bearers are Charles Robinson, Robert Robinson, Richard Hawkins, Bradley Robinson, Samuel McIntosh and David Chisley.
Visitation at 9:00 a.m. Saturday September 8, 2012 until time of funeral services at 10:00 a.m. Pastor Robert E. Houston, officiating. Smith-Jackson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to First Baptist Church or Hospice of the Bluegrass in Miss Mabel’s memory.