Fishers UMC Blog

Reflections from year one

As I write this I am nearing the one year anniversary of my commissioning as a Deacon in the United Methodist Church.  Serving both in a church and as a counselor, something has become abundantly clear to me:  people are dealing with difficult things all the time, all around us, every day.  One of the things I love about my work is getting to hear peoples’ stories.  As I listen to the painful struggles people share with me, I can’t help but think about all the people they encounter every day who have no idea what they are going through and therefore don’t know they need a little extra compassion.

We humans tend to be compassionate and supportive when others are struggling, but what about those times we don’t know about the struggle?  That less than cheery cashier may have just gotten an eviction notice; the guy who cut you off in traffic may be racing to the hospital after getting one of those calls we all fear.  We just cannot know all the stuff in people’s lives.  If we cannot know the struggles of the grouchy cashier or the hurried driver, how can we know when to show extra patience?

I am reminded of the fruit of the Spirit.  The “fruit” is a list of several qualities a person should exhibit when the Holy Spirit lives in them (i.e. Christians).  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Gal 5:22)  When I read this verse I can’t help but notice the “fruit” isn’t about what is going on around me, it is supposed to come from within me.  In other words; my reaction to the grumpy cashier is about me – not her.  Ouch!

When I fail to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle or demonstrate self-control I let myself get in the way of the Spirit who lives in me.  I also lose an opportunity to shine a light in someone’s darkness.  I lose an opportunity to show another what the Spirit looks like, feels like, and how it changes a person.  I lose an opportunity to tell the story of Jesus.

So the next time someone cuts you off in traffic, consider the possibilities of why they might be in such a hurry and say a prayer for them that they arrive safely.  When a server or cashier seems less than friendly ask him or her about their day, or give them a compliment.  When we have the Spirit, we have the “fruit.”  We just have to get ourselves out of the way.

Jill Buckler
Director Of Congregational Relations


Posted by Jill Buckler with

Whose Hands Is It In

As I write this article I have been looking at the tasks and the opportunities that lie ahead of us as to minister to and with our community as we seek to make a lasting impact on people’s lives for the cause of Christ. I am excited about all the possibilities. At the same time I feel inadequate to carry out the task to which God has called me. Maybe you know what I’m talking about. But, is it up to us alone, in our own strength with our own limited resources to do it? The answer is “No.” A friend sent me an email that, I think, may speak to our needs as we look to the days ahead – everything depends on whose hands things are in….Read on.

A basketball in my hands is worth about $19.00.
A basketball in Michael Jordan’s hands was worth about $33 Million.
It depends whose hands it’s in.

A baseball bat in my hands is worth about $15.00.
But a baseball bat in Alex Rodriguez’s hands was worth about $29 Million.
It depends on whose hands it’s in.

A tennis racquet is useless in my hands.
But a tennis racquet in Pete Sampras’ or Venus Williams’ hands is a Wimbledon Championship.
It depends on whose hands it’s in.

A rod in my hands might keep away a wild animal.
But a rod in Moses’ hands will part the mighty sea.
It depends on whose hands it’s in.

A slingshot in my hands is a kid’s toy.
A slingshot in David’s hands is a mighty weapon.
It depends on whose hands it’s in.

Two fish and five biscuits in my hands is a fish and chips combo.
But two fish and five biscuits in God’ hands will feed thousands.
It depends on whose hands it’s in.

Nails in my hands might [if I’m really lucky] produce a birdhouse.
But nails in Jesus’ hands will produce salvation for an entire world.
It depends on whose hands it’s in.

You get the picture by now. Everything depends on whose hands it’s in. As we look to the future of our lives there are so many questions that arise that excite us or that threaten to steal our peace. What will it be like now that our kids are gone and we are alone for the first time in twenty five years; or what will this new job entail; or can we do it well; or will we be happy?... or will we continue to move forward caring for people in new effective ways; will the commitment of time and energy and finances we need to do all we have planned continue; can we do it? 

The questions are frightening only if we try to answer them and do what comes next in our own power. In our hands these questions have uncertain answers, but in God’s hands, our future as His children - as His church - is guaranteed. It all depends on whose hands it’s in. There is an old hymn we don’t sing anymore – a favorite of mine – the chorus says,

“Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand. But I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand.”

Who is holding your tomorrow? In whose hands are you placing your life, your future, your ministry?

For The Only Cause That Matters,

Kevin McKinney
Senior Pastor

Posted by Kevin McKinney with