Fishers UMC Blog

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Glory Beyond all Comparison

I guess at some time in all our lives, we’re forced to do something “new” that is just really difficult to grasp.  Typically, when we do new things, it is because we have experienced some sort of change.

Change can be awesome.  When the winter begins to give way to budding flowers, green grass, and yes, even Indiana pollen, a huge transformation occurs.  For me, everything gets a bit easier.  I trade in my hated winter coat for a light sweater.  I no longer dread having to go outside, for fear of freezing some part of my anatomy, typically my nose.  And there is no more waiting while the car warms up!  I LOVE the change from winter to spring!

Change can also be difficult, frightening, uncomfortable and frustrating.  A lot of it has to do with perspective – attitude.  Do you welcome this change, this new way of doing things?  Or are you going, kicking and screaming?  Jeremiah tells us: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  With this in mind, change should be a breeze.  Still, it isn’t always.

Aging causes change – many changes that none of us want to experience.  Given the opportunity, I think most of us would at least consider for a moment, the opportunity to experience the youth we once enjoyed, in exchange for a little hard-earned wisdom and a headful of grey hair.  In 2 Corinthians, Paul says, “Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”  I’m not sure I will EVER treasure the thought of wasting away, even if my inner self is getting a complete makeover.  Still, Paul had things in perspective.

Many changes we bring onto ourselves.  For example, the choice to change jobs.  That’s a HUGE change!  I don’t know why we do it so often!!!  It’s one of the top most stressful changes we experience in life.  It seems that we experience so much emotion at an already difficult time, it can be a real roller coaster of a ride.  Joshua reminds us to “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

So as I make what I PRAY is the last job change I will EVER experience – leaving my administrative desk for a chance to teach in our awesome preschool – I know with all certainty this is part of God’s plan for my future, and the futures of those surrounding me.  I could not be more certain of this, even if He had sent me a telegram.  I am ready, a bit anxious, but joyful beyond belief that I’ve been given this opportunity.

To continue through Paul’s above thought, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” 

Peace.

Kim Manka

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All I Really Need to Know…

I never went to Kindergarten.  When I was five years old, Kindergarten was optional, and my parents opted not to send me.  Later in life, they would opt to not send me to college, either – but that is material for an entirely different blog.

In an age when we literally begin our children’s educations prior to their first birthdays, I began my education three months after I turned six, which put me behind by at least five years.  That’s a lot of time to make up…  So when a friend shared a book with me by Robert Fulghum, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” I was confused about many things.  Of his 16 rules, here are a few:

  1. Share everything.  Maybe that should have been, “Share most things.”  Share toys, puppy kisses, hugs and laughter.  Never share a cold – that is simply not cool.  The same goes for measles, chicken pox and stomach flu.  But never EVER share a lie or an untruth.  The 9th commandment says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” and believe me, it is NOT cool to disobey commandments.
  2. Play fair.  Had I written it, it undoubtedly would have said, “Play fairly,” but it’s a great rule, nonetheless, and when followed carefully, can make the world a much more fun place in which to live and play.
  3. Don’t hit people. I think that should be expanded to include, “don’t hit, push, trip, kick, choke, drown, shoot, run over, stab, poison or otherwise injure people.”  My way would have never fit on a tablet, but it does lead us to the 6th commandment, “thou shalt not kill.”  Some versions of the Bible have been updated to read “thou shalt not murder” but since I didn’t go to kindergarten, I’m not sure of the difference.  Both ways, someone ends up dead.
  4. Put things back where you found them and
  5. Clean up your own mess. Are these two not the exact same thing? 
  6. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.   No exceptions.  To take something that doesn’t belong to you is one of the most uncool things anyone can do.  The 8th commandment tells us:  “Do not steal.”  That is so straight forward, it requires no further comment.
  7. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. A good, honest “I’m so sorry” goes a long way in mending hearts and relationships.  It amazes me that those two words – I’m sorry – are so difficult for children and adults alike.  In Fulghum’s words, “sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can break your heart.”

There are more rules – really cool ones - but you get the message.  Some seem to parallel the rules we learn from the bible - not all of them, but some.  And the remaining – those which don’t appear anywhere in scripture – are pretty good suggestions, as well:

  1. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Well, perhaps not so good for your waistline, but they certainly are good for the soul.
  2. Take a nap every afternoon. I don’t know how anyone can even argue with this one, it’s so obvious!
  3. No matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

One last thought from Fulghum:  “If the dream is held close to the heart, and imagination is applied… everything is possible.”  Albert Einstein one of the smartest people in the world, said, “Imagination is more important than information.”  I’m not sure I believe that, but I’m sure I don’t not believe it…

An abundance of peace and love to each of you!

Kim Manka
Administrative Assistant/Facility Scheduler
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