5 Things That Are Wrong With Your Life And How To Fix Them

I have been following the thrive UMC facebook page and really am inspired by what this young church is doing.  I thought this blog of theirs was worth sharing.

5 Things That Are Wrong With Your Life And How To Fix Them

1.  You’re looking for ‘answers’ on the internet.I know, I know: you only clicked on the link because you were curious to see what form of idiocy would bear such an outrageous claim.  And I’ll admit -I exaggerated a bit.  I can’t offer anything to ‘fix’ you, or even insights to help you fix yourself. It’s not really a lie, per se; it’s just internet lingo: where you get promised something new and exciting, but the reward is a poorly-written article about stuff you already knew, and pictures already trending on the net.  This is the lesson of Buzzfeed.  But let’s face it: nothing on the internet is going to help you on big-picture issues, or make your life any better.  It will only pass the time, which you could either call ‘fun’, or maybe it’s the squandering of the greatest thing you have.

So go outside and enjoy nature; or have a conversation with someone. Or just take a few moments to sit in the quiet –it actually feels really nice.  Say ‘thank you’ for any encounter you may have with beauty, compassion, or goodness.

2.  You imagine being ‘right’ matters.

As we were growing up, it was always important to be right –especially in school.  There is only one acceptable response for problems like: ‘2+2=___’; or ‘The United States Declaration of Independence was signed on _____,___ 1776.’  But as we become more mature, we discover that ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ don’t apply as readily, to as many things, as they did in our childhood.  Is there actually anything wrong with your life?  Is there even a ‘right’ way to live?  How do we know?  I highly doubt there is a one-size-fits all life-style model for every single dramatically unique human being.

The truth about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ is that they are often terms of control and power.  If I can establish myself and my views as ‘right’ it means I am smarter, better informed, more trustworthy, etc. (at least in my own head).  But striving to be right (‘righteous’) rarely encourages the trust or friendship of others.

Rather, if you’re trying to build relationships, it’s better to be open: listen to others, share their struggles, and build them up where they are.  Another name for that practice is ‘compassion.’

3.  You’re afraid of tough questions-  especially those questions that challenge your values and your sense of who you are.

Learning is fun.  Discovery is exciting.  Learning and discovery are practices at the center of an enriching life.  Yet, those things don’t happen if we don’t question, seek, doubt and challenge -which all also feel dangerous.  What if we don’t find the answers?  What if our discoveries disrupt our grip on reality, or destroy our values?  Thus growing feels like something scary, since it involves an encounter with the unknown.  So instead we try to stay safe.  We establish routines; and avoid venues where we might encounter uncertainty, which directly challenges the newness and sense of renewal in our daily lives.  Because we’re scared, we make our lives smaller.

Instead, seek a bigger life.  Engage in dialogue with people you don’t understand with the goal of being enriched.  Break out of your tiny, homogenous community that you’ve jailed yourself up in.  And have new experiences.

4.  You pretend you’re okay.

You’re not.  You’re going to die.  You’re dying already, since you haven’t fully matured in your approach to how to live fully –in all sorts of ways you may not even be aware of.  You’re anxious; you’re depressed -and these are anticipations of what’s to come.  Everything you value in life is threatened by this one single bit of knowledge: that what you do, and who you are, will come to an end.  This single anticipation effects us constantly, in dozens of ways, on a daily basis. And most of the time we’re hardly aware of the effect it has on us.

But the good news is that you’re not alone.  This is a central part of the human experience; and it’s a big part of what keeps us together.  And the knowledge that this life doesn’t last for ever can help us to treasure it, if we’re fully engaged in what it has to offer –and aware of what we can offer in return.

5.  You don’t have enough people you trust, and who trust you.

Because we aren’t open with our values; and because we’ve set the habits of our lives to isolate ourselves from the things that challenge us and our sense of who we are; and because our fear too often prompts us to approach one another in a spirit of competition rather than cooperation, we’ve inadvertently set limits on ourselves and the influence that we could share with others –and the help and support we could receive from others.  One thousand friends on Facebook won’t keep you from being alone.  Sitting high on the corporate totem pole only sets us up to receive the gift of thrown stones.

Only by being open about our needs, and ready to greet and receive others with compassion and urgency will we be freed to gain a rich sense of the life, and create a powerful sense of meaning, for which we were created.




100th Anniversary Goal

It is the goal of the Missions Committee to collect and send 100 kits to Ingathering this year, in celebration our 100 Anniversary.  Ingathering kits are one of our missions through UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief).  These kits are provided to people during times of crises, such as earthquakes, drought, flooding, famine, hurricanes, storms and tornadoes.  This Month’s Kit (June) is the Health Kit:

Health Kits help disaster victims reclaim their dignity and self respect and are used as teaching tools with children.  When people can maintain personal hygiene, their overall health improves.  Health Kits include:

  •    1 new hand towel (15” x 25” up to 17” x 27”)
  •    1 bath sized bar of soap in wrapper (3 oz. or Larger)
  •    1 large sturdy comb (not pocket size)
  •    1 new toothbrush in original sealed wrapper (not child-sized)
  •    1 nail file or fingernail clipper (no emery boards or toenail clippers)
  •    1 new washcloth
  •    • 6 band-aids (3/4”)

The kit for July will be a Sewing Kit:

Sewing Kits foster independence rather than dependence.  Cottage industries often grow out of sewing classes where these kits are used to practice skills. Sewing kits include:

  •    3 yards cotton or cotton-blend fabric (one piece)
  •    1 new spool matching thread (Medium to large size)
  •    5-8 matching flat buttons on card or fastened together
  •    1 sewing scissors
  •    1 package hand sewing needles

August will be School Kits:

School Kits provide tools for education, which changes lives.  In countries where children don’t have books, school supplies or classrooms, a school kit may be their only educational resource.

  •    3 notebooks, approx. 8 1/2”x11” wide ruled (210 to 250 sheets total) spiral or bound
  •    1 30 cm metric ruler
  •    1 box of 24 crayons (must be a 24 box)
  •    1 2 1/2” eraser
  •    1 blunt scissors (metal)
  •    1 hand pencil sharpener
  •    6 unsharpened pencils with erasers

There is a basket at the back of the Church that you can place items into. Or, if you would like us to do your shopping for you, money can just be put in the offering plate. Please make sure it is labeled for the Missions Committee or for Ingathering. The value of a completed kit is:

Health kit: $14.00

Sewing kit: $20.00

School kit:  $13.00

You can also give any items or money to any of the Missions Committee Members: Sally Dose, Jean Oswood, Blake McClenathan, Karen Willett, Mary Ann Schwiebert, & Danielle Haines.

For more information, please contact: Danielle Haines at 641-522-4334 or ajdhaines@yahoo.com; or Sally Dose at 641-522-5391 or alsallk@netins.net

 – Submitted by Danielle Haines

It’s Not About the Bunny

My son and I were at the drugstore when he noticed a bunch of big Easter baskets perched high on a shelf. The store manager had placed them there while the employees where moving out the Valentine’s merchandise.

With great excitement he exclaimed, “I want one of those, Mommy, pleeeese!” The colorful baskets wrapped in shiny cellophane and filled with chocolate eggs, a fluffy white bunny and assorted toys was very enticing to my four year old. Then he said something that stopped me dead in my tracks. “Mommy, Easter is when the Easter Bunny comes.” “What did you just say?” I asked him. “Easter is when the Easter Bunny comes,” he repeated. Oh no, I thought. This is NOT good. I didn’t want him to think that an overgrown bunny bringing baskets of candy and eggs is what Easter is about. It was time for him to learn that Easter isn’t about the Bunny, it’s about the Lamb.

Setting the Record Straight     Today, when many Christians celebrate “Easter” their intention is that it be a celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Yet with the growing trend toward secularizing Easter, many Christians are finding it difficult to keep their children from being influenced. This was the case with our son. One of the things we have done to combat this pressure is to start referring to Easter as Resurrection Sunday. We feel that by calling it by a Biblical name that it will help us keep a spiritual focus.


Recounting the Story     An important part of our Resurrection celebration is the recounting of the Resurrection story. Because our son is young we have decided to read the story to him from his children’s Bible and use puppets to re-enact the event.

If your children are old enough to comprehend more detailed information about the resurrection, they might enjoy doing a Bible study. Have them read the following passages and make notes on what they learn. Starting the Friday before Resurrection Sunday, read about the Last Supper and the betrayal of Jesus. Luke 22: 7-54. Then read the Crucifixion account. Matthew 26: 47 through 27: 55 On Sunday read about the Resurrection: Matthew 27: 57 through 28: 10

Send the Bunny Packing     Since we wanted the Lamb of God to be the center of our Resurrection celebration, we decided to give the Easter Bunny his walking papers. We wanted our son to understand that this celebration is about Christ and not a floppy-eared rabbit. By eliminating the Bunny we can then focus his attention on Christ, where it rightfully belongs.


Keep it Fun     Easter, especially in America, has become very commercialized. Stores carry Easter baskets filled with chocolate eggs, peeps (marshmallow chicks) and fluffy stuffed animals as early as the week after Valentine’s Day. The appeal of these secular items is that they are fun.

When we made the decision to do away with the Easter Bunny we didn’t want to do away with the fun. Our intention was to emphasize the real reason for the holiday. So we decided to incorporate activities that were fun while at the same time teaching the Resurrection story.

Because children learn not only from verbal instruction but also from what they see and experience we decided to do some hands-on lessons. On the Saturday evening before Resurrection Sunday we thought it would be fun to spend some family time making Resurrection Cookies and Resurrection Rolls.


Make it Memorable     Symbols are a great way to enhance the teaching process. Instead of giving our son an “Easter Basket” we decided to give him a “Resurrection Basket” filled with things that relate to the Resurrection Story. If you are interested in doing this, below are a few examples of what you might put in a basket:

  • a small stuffed lamb (Jesus the Lamb of God)
  • a chocolate cross
  • candy “stones” (similar to jelly beans) that represent the rock that rolled was rolled away from the tomb
  • a packet of seeds to represent the new life that Christ offers
  • bubbles to represent the angel that heralded “He has Risen” to the women at the tomb (Matthew 28:5-6).
  • Christian coloring books
  • a Christian Children’s books about the Resurrection
  • the Resurrection Story on Video or DVD

Another thing we plan to do is make our own homemade version of the popular Resurrection Eggs and have an egg hunt. This activity is similar to a conventional egg hunt but instead of hiding hard-boiled eggs you hide twelve plastic eggs filled with scriptures and items that represent different stages of the Resurrection story. After they are all retrieved, you open each egg and discuss the scriptures and the contents.

For centuries Christians have given eggs as a symbol of the new life that Christ offers. Today this symbol is still used to teach children about the greatest gift, salvation through Jesus Christ.

If your children enjoy coloring eggs try this idea. Decorate your eggs (the hard-boiled kind) by drawing Resurrection symbols and sayings on the eggs with crayons before you color them. Then when you dip them in dye, the wax resists the dye and your images show through. Some examples of sayings you can write on your eggs are: “He has Risen!”, “Lamb of God”, “He Lives” and “New Life”. Some symbols are: a cross, a lamb, and an empty tomb.

You could also have a scavenger hunt using a list of articles that represent the resurrection. Children can fill their list from things they find at home.

Celebrating the Resurrection should be about the joy and excitement of Christ’s victory over death, not about a bunny that delivers eggs and candy. I hope you’ll try some of these ideas or create traditions of your own. After all, Easter isn’t about the Bunny it’s all about the Lamb.


1 Peter 1:3-4 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you…” (NIV)

About the author: Martha Matthews is a wife, mother, home manager and the Executive Director of Christian-Homemaking.com, a web site with resources dedicated to helping Christian homemakers succeed.

This article by Ms. Matthews, posted here on the GUMC blog, has been edited only to reduce the overall size to better fit the space.    – Kristin,  for GUMC

Lent and Easter Definitions

Ash Wednesday, and therefore Lent is quickly approaching and it seems each year, I have to remind myself what each part of Lent is, and what it means to me.  So this year, I decided to put it all down and share it.  (I have pulled much of this information from many sources online, more than I can remember in order to give proper credit here.)  I hope this is helpful to you on your Lenten journey this year.

Shrove Tuesday:  the day before Ash Wednesday and therefore the day before Lent begins.  In today’s world, many people know this day as Mardi Gras and therefore, as a party day.  In the history of the church, this day was a time for people to use up the lard, butter, fat and all the good things that were in the cupboard, in preparation for the long Lenten fast.  In the church, this day is a day to give thanks for the feast of God’s love and abundance, as the next day begins the 40 days of Lent and the journey toward the cross.

Ash Wednesday:  The first day, or the start of Lent.  We receive ashes upon our foreheads as a reminder that we came from dust;  God breathes life into us, and eventually, we will return to dust, and our souls received by God into heaven.  This day begins our journey of Lent.


Lent:  Lent is a period of somber self-examination and penitence in preparation for Easter.  Today, many Christian churches associate Lent with Moses’ 40 days on the mountain with God, the 40-year journey of the Israelites in the desert, and Jesus’ 40-day period of fasting and temptation.  

Fasting or “acts of work” during Lent:  The Methodist Church encourages fasting as a private matter.  John Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, fasted twice a week.  Fasting, or abstaining from such activities as watching television, eating favorite foods, or doing hobbies is also encouraged during Lent.  Fasting does not have to be a complete denial of all food.  Fasting should be accompanied by prayer to refocus a person’s heart away from the world and focus it on God and Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and in our lives.

Acts of Work is another approach many people choose during Lent.  Instead of giving up something, make a concerted effort to give or do.  Visit the nursing home every week.  Make and take homemade goodies to each of your neighbors.  Write random thank you notes.  (Here is a great website with other ideas:  http://40acts.org.uk/the-challenge/ )

Holy Week It is the commemoration of Jesus’ last week leading to his death and resurrection.  It begins with Christ’s entry into Jerusalem on a donkey (Palm Sunday), the Last Supper (Maundy Thursday), the Crucifixion (Good Friday), and finally the celebration of his resurrection on Easter.   Holy Week is often full of rituals and traditions, repentance and reflection, all in preparation for Easter Sunday.


Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the week of events leading up to Jesus’ death.  This is the time of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover.  The gospels record the arrival of Jesus riding into the city on a donkey, while the crowds spread their cloaks and palm branches on the street and shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David” and “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” to honor him as their long-awaited Messiah and King.  Christians today often celebrate Palm Sunday in a joyous, triumphant manner during worship services.

Good Friday:  Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus. It is typically the most solemn day in the Christian calendar as the church is often left undecorated and unlit.  Good Friday is a day of sorrow mingled with joy.  It is a time to grieve over the sin of man and to meditate and rejoice upon God’s love in giving His only Son for the redemption of our sin.


Easter Sunday:  Easter is the biggest and most important holiday in the Christian calendar, bigger even than Christmas.  At it’s purest meaning, Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, which is the foundation of Christianity.  Easter Sunday is also a symbol of the open relationship we have with God through Jesus.  It is a celebration and a new beginning.   (For some history, check out this site:  http://www.sharefaith.com/guide/Christian-Holidays/what-is-easter-and-the-resurrection.html )



Calendar of Dates for Lent and Easter 2014

    Ash Wednesday – March 5

    First Sunday in Lent – March 9

    Palm Sunday – April 13

    Good Friday – April 18

    Easter Sunday – April 20

Should Christians Make New Year’s Resolutions?

It’s that time of year again.   We’re going to lose weight, exercise more, get out of debt, stick to a budget, stop smoking, save for the future, and spend more time with family.

We make resolutions because we want to bring change to bear on our circumstances. We want to improve ourselves and our quality of life. And the top resolutions, for most people, tend to revolve around the same three poles: money, health and family.


But what would a set of New Year’s resolutions look like for you and your church, your role as a leader, or simply as someone who wants to live a life of strategic Kingdom investment?   And specifically, what if they came from the Bible?

Though many more could be added, here are 15 to consider:

1. Pray more.     So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord … ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty (Zechariah 4:6, NIV).

2. Invest in your spiritual gift(s).     Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress (I Timothy 4:14-15, NIV).

3. Get more intentional about evangelism.     I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some (I Corinthians 9:22, NIV).

4. Care for yourself spiritually.    Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me (Philippians 3:12, NIV).

5. Make the tough decisions you know are best.     And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace (Acts 20:22-24, NIV).

6. Confront debilitating patterns of sin.     Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1, NIV).

7. Do the hard work needed to build community.    If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over (Matthew 18:15, NIV).

8. Keep in touch with contemporary culture.     From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders. … All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take (I Chronicles 12:32, NLT).

9. Quit comparing yourself to other Christians, other leaders and other churches.     Turning his head, Peter noticed the disciple Jesus loved following right behind. When Peter noticed him, he asked Jesus, “Master, what’s going to happen to him?” Jesus said, “If I want him to live until I come again, what’s that to you? You — follow me.” That is how the rumor got out among the brothers that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that is not what Jesus said. He simply said, “If I want him to live until I come again, what’s that to you?” (John 21:20-23, Msg)

10. Read more.     Timothy, please come as soon as you can. … When you come, be sure to … bring my books… (II Timothy 4:9, 13, NLT)

11. Prioritize your family.     A leader must be well-thought-of, committed to his wife, … attentive to his own children and having their respect. For if someone is unable to handle his own affairs, how can he take care of God’s church? (I Timothy 3:2-5, Msg)

12. Refuse to use ministry to satisfy your personal ambition.     Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not (Jeremiah 45:5, NIV).

13. Love people, not just crowds.     If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love (I Corinthians 13:1-3, Msg).

14. Be more open to change.     See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? (Isaiah 43:19, NIV)

15. Stay focused on the vision.     They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:42-47, NIV).

– from http://www.crosswalk.com, by James Emery White

Ingathering: November 2, 2013


The Thanksgiving Ingathering is a way for Iowa United Methodist’s to help address hunger problems locally and around the world.  We do this in a variety of ways that benefit 6 project areas:  Heifer International, Iowa-Nigeria Partnership, Church World Service, Self Help International, UMCOR Deport, & P.E.T.   You can find information about the history of the Thanksgiving Ingathering  at this link:  http://www.iaumc.org/pages/detail/1072

Please consider contributing items (or complete kits).

This weeks (October 6) featured Ingathering Kits are the Health & Layette:

Health Kit:   (value $14)

  • 1 new hand towel (15”x25” up to 17”x27”)
  • 1 bath sized bar of soap in wrapper (3oz or larger)
  • 1 large sturdy comb (not pocket sized)
  • 1 new toothbrush in original sealed wrapper (no child-sized)
  • 1 nail file or fingernail clipper (no emery boards or toenail clippers)
  • 1 new washcloth
  • 6 band aids (3/4”)
  • $1 for toothpaste (to be purchased by the UMCORE Depot)

Layette Kit:   (value $37)

  • 6 cloth diapers
  • 2 gowns or sleepers
  • 2 diaper pins with plastic closures
  • 2 receiving blankets (30”x30” or 32” x 32”)
  • 2 shirts or 2 one-piece body suits (Onesies)
  • 2 baby washcloths
  • 1 sweater or jacket open in the front

Next weeks (October 13) Kits are School & Dorm:

Dorm Kit: ($17 value)

  • 1 large new bath towel (24”to27” x 44” to 52”)
  • 1 bath-sized bar of soap in wrapper
  • 1 toothbrush in original sealed package
  • 2 spiral notebooks (10 1/2”x8”. wide rule. 3 holes, approximately 70-80 sheets each)
  • 1 washcloth
  • 6”-8” comb, wide tooth or hair pick
  • 6 unsharpened pencils with erasers
  • 1 hand pencil sharpener

School Kit: (value $13)

  • 3 notebooks, approx. 8 1/2”x 11” wide ruled (210-250 sheets total) spiral or bound
  • 1 30 cm metric ruler
  • 1 box of 24 crayons (ONLY 24)
  • 1 2 1/2” erasers
  • 1 blunt scissors (metal)
  • 1 hand pencil sharpener
  • 6 unsharpened pencil with erasers

Week of October 20 will be Sewing & Knitting Kits:

Sewing Kit:   (value $20)

  • 3 yards cotton or cotton-blend fabric (one piece)
  • 1 new spool matching tread (medium to large size)
  • 5-8 matching flat buttons on card or fastened together
  • 1 sewing scissors
  • 1 package hand sewing needles

Knitting Kit: (value $17)

  • 1 pair 10” needles, size 8
  • 2   7 oz. skeins of yarn (acrylic, same dye of a worsted solid color)
  • 1 crochet hook, size E
  • 2 yarn needles, size 16
  • 1 pair small scissors, size 4 or 5

The final week of October will be a Special Offering to be donated to other projects.

ALL donations for the 2013 Ingathering will need to be at the Church by Sunday October 27th.


Common questions about the kits:

Can you pack extras items in the kits?   It is very important that the kits are packed with ONLY the requested items.  Paying careful attention to size requirements.  Do not add extras.  Boxes sent to other countries go though customs.  Sometimes the boxes will be opened and contents checked to make sure they are what the papers say they are.  If there are discrepancies, the entire shipment could be rejected.  In the case of a sea container, that could be well over 12,000 kits.

Why are completed kits placed in Ziploc bags?   Kits are placed into Ziploc bags to help keep them clean and dry, and also to keep the kits together.

A little information about each of the project areas:

What is Heifer International?   Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth.  The idea behind Heifer is similar to the notion that it is better to teach a man to fish so the can feed himself than to give him a fish that will feed him just once.  One animal can help a whole community, because the one who receives it passes an off spring to another family and the gift of giving keeps on giving.  Gifts to the Heifer Project can be as small as $20 for a flock of birds (ducks, geese or chicks) all the way up to $5000 for a Gift of an Ark.

What is the Iowa-Nigeria Partnership (INP)?   For 24 years the Iowa United Methodists have covenanted with the United Methodist Church in Nigeria to share in the planning, promoting and funding of agreed upon programs and projects.  This program has been the recipient of Ingathering Kits and funds.

The primary focus to the INP was to assist the Nigerian church with their educational pursuits of building schools.  The present emphasis of the INP is focusing on the Wilmot Village Wells program to survey and drill deep boreholes to provide villagers with accessible clean water.  Working with agricultural development program (ADP) directors to raise A#, Neem, and moringa trees with medicinal properties and Quality Protein Maize (QPM) for more protein in the diet in one of our immediate goals.

 What is UMCOR?   The United Methodist Committee of Relief is the Not-for-profit global humanitarian aid organization of the United Methodist Church.  Their mission is to alleviate human suffering whether caused by war, conflict or natural disaster with open mind and hears to all people.  The UMCOR Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin, LA is the head quarters for UMCOR.  The Iowa Ingathering helps provide the approximately $4 million in supplies shipped from the Depot each year.

UMCORE supply kits help to care for the most vulnerable people during times of crisis.  They also help to sustain everyday life by providing basis necessities to people who lack ready access to essential supplies.  These Kits provide vital support for the work UMCOR does throughout the world.  By donating Kit supplies or financial gifts to purchase the supplies, you make a direct and tangible different in sustaining people’s lives.

 What is the Church World Service?   Church World Service was born in 1946, in the aftermath of World War II. Seventeen denominations came together to form an agency “to do in partnership what none of us could hope to do as well alone.” The mission: Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, comfort the aged, shelter the homeless.”  They do this though so many ways, we help though the donations of Blankets, One Great Hour Of Sharing, and the CROP walk.

What does Self Help International do?   Since 1959, Self-Help has spanned the globe fighting hunger and promoting self-reliance in developing countries. Today, Self-Help focuses on three main programs in two countries, Ghana (West Africa) and Nicaragua (Central America):

What is P.E.T.?   Personal Energy Transportation device is a sturdy, hand-cranked mobility cart or “wheel chair”  specifically designed for the rough terrain found in many countries, particularly in rural areas.  Using simple technology that can be maintained easily anywhere, the PET goes where standard wheel chairs can’t go.  Solid rubber tires, used on wheelbarrow in the USA, provide puncture-proof transportation.  For persons with limited upper-body strength, there are also push-type and pull-type PET, by which a family member or friend can assist the disabled person.  There is also a 3/4 scale “kids PET” for use by children.

PETs are manufactured in the USA by approved affiliated of PET international.  Begun in Columbia MO, there are now “PET Places” for the manufacture and assembly of PETS in 16 states in the USA and in 4 countries abroad.  Volunteers throughout the US provide the parts: welding frames and steering columns, cutting and shaping wooden beds and seat assemblies, drilling plasic crank handles and more.  These parts are transported to the nearest PET place where more volunteers assemble teach PET, put together a simple tool kit and some spare parts for each unit, and then box them, ready for shipment to one of the 86 countries where PETs are distributed.

Please contact Danielle Haines with any questions!

 – Submitted by Danielle Haines

How Do You Know That You’re Loving Your Children Well?

Do your kids know you love them?  There is one question that tugs on the heart of every child.  There is one question that impacts their identity. And that question is this: Do you love me?  Every child wants to be loved.  As their parent, it’s up to you to love your kids, but you have to be intentional to love them well. 

So how do you know that your children feel loved by you?  Ask them!  In my book All Pro Dad, I wrote about the time I did this with my daughters when they were younger:

I asked Megan, “Megan, how do you know I love you?”  

          “Because you tickle me,” she said.

So I said, “What if my hands were tied behind my back and I couldn’t tickle you?  Then how would you know that I love you?”

          She responded, “Because you spend time with me.”

Then I asked Emily, “Emily, how do you know that I love you?”

           “Because you say so,” she said.

“Well what if my lips were zipped together and I couldn’t say so?  Then how would you know that I love you?”

          She smiled and shouted, “Because you play with me!”

Here are seven Love Actions to help you give your children a rock-solid answer to this timeless question, “Do You Love Me?”

  • Words.  Tell your children, “I love you.”  Don’t ever just assume that your children know you love them.  Be sure to say it, and say it often.
  • Time.  Both Megan and Emily said that spending time with them was the best expression of my love.  So I challenge you to spend 30 fewer minutes watching TV today and 30 more minutes playing and building memories with your children.
  • Letters.  It is simply impossible for our kids to remember every word we tell them and every time we spend together.  Why not write a letter to capture your love for them in a way that will last forever?
  • Presence.  Ten years down the road, you won’t remember the emails you sent that caused you to be an hour late getting home after work.  But your kids will remember the days that they waited anxiously by the window for their Daddy to get home.  Don’t let them down; be there, be present, and be on time.
  • Acceptance.  All kids want to trust their Dad to love them no matter what.  So don’t let a mistake or a misunderstanding keep you from accepting the imperfections of your children. Love them unconditionally.
  • Listen.  Even if it’s an inconvenient time, be sure to stop whatever you’re doing and really listen to your kids when they need to talk. Don’t focus on anything else. Give them your full attention.
  • Compliments.  If you see your children acing a test or making a goal in soccer practice, don’t be slow in complimenting them.  They will love to receive that recognition and affirmation from their Dad.


Published Tuesday October 1, 2013 on www.familyminute.com by Mark Merrill

Got pain? Get over it! (Life 101.9)

2 years ago, the front tire of my bike, met the space between a railroad track and the road. A half second later, my hands met the pavement. I broke both of them… in a few different places.

That moment of physical pain provided lessons (always cross the tracks at a 90 degree angle… and unclip from my pedals).  And it left scars that will probably be with me for the rest of my life.

That physically painful experience was short lived and I was ultimately able to get over it.

Emotionally painful moments are rarely provided in such neat packages. While we may desire to be able to just learn our lesson and move on, many tend to find a new identity in the painful moments they’ve experienced. Quite often hurt feelings, guilt, esteem tend to weigh us down and lead to some unhealthy habits.

Mary Whelchel, author of the book “Get Over It: Letting Go and Moving on With God” says it’s important to work through out pain.

“We have to go through the process of putting everything behind us so we can move forward. But, I think many times we let our identity become our pains and our sorrow, instead of thinking of letting God, through the Holy Spirit, really help us get over it so we can move forward. If you’re stuck in a pain or a sorrow, you can’t move forward with God.”

Whelchel calls this “bondage”. She says that when we get stuck in hurt and exaggerated feelings, it may be time to pause and remember that life is too short to be in bondage to “pity parties”.

When she gets stuck in moments of Pity, Mary looks to verses like Phillipians 4:8 and tries to focus on what is “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy”.

“You see, these problems are 99.9% in our thought process. It’s what we allow ourselves to think about. It’s what’s occupying our mind. The Bible says we’ve been given the mind of Christ, and we can learn to replace wrong thinking with right thinking. It’s because I’m allowing myself to think about things I should not be thinking about. I’m still learning this lesson about bringing every thought into captivity and making it obedient to Christ.”


Blog by Carl Bliss, Originally posted on Life 101.9: September 17, 2013

Circle of Friends takes on the Fireman’s Challenge!

I try to run the Brooklyn Fire Department/EMS annual 5K each year.  I do this event for several reason’s:

1.  It’s local and

2.  The fire department/ambulance service is something that I like to donate my money to.

So this year, when I got an email about the 5K, there was also an added event: “The Fireman’s Challenge” that the Fire Department/Ambulance Service were holding as a fund raiser for Lyle Bauman.  Lyle was a long time member with the Fire Department and Ambulance Service and they wanted to do something to help him out.  Plus, Kim Bauman and I have been friends since 3rd grade.  She was my best friend from third grade through high school.  Her family is my other family.

So, I thought, why not do this!  I could get my Sunday School class, the Circle of Friends, together and we could try this challenge.  Comments were, “We love Kim and Lyle let’s do this!”, or “I will cheer, but not sure I can do this!”  Obviously ignorance is bliss, because I had no clue what I was getting everyone into!  My plan was to get as many of us to sign up, not all of us would do it, but if a Circle of Friends, teammate was struggling, we could tag team in and “cheat” if necessary!  Turns out, we didn’t have to cheat because they allowed us to do the challenge as a relay with a partner.  We tried to come up with a name for our group, which we didn’t really do until the challenge, then I yelled “Go cheating Church Ladies!”  HA!  We didn’t cheat, but the cheer was fun!


The challenge was:

1. Put on the fireman’s gear

2. Run 100 yards

3. Pull the fire hose out around a pole, then stop and pull it all past a line,

4. Raise and lower a ladder,

5. Take a sledgehammer and hit a heavy puck a long ways, or at least it seemed like a long ways, then.  (This was meant to simulate a forced entry situation.)

6. Drag (rescue) a 200 lb. mannequin, dressed in full fireman’s gear,

7. Carry the equipment and

8. Run another 100 yards.  (Piece of cake!  NOT!)

Those that participated were:  Kevin James (the only guy!, and no he isn’t in our Sunday school class!!);  Taylor Daniel and Alyssa James – representing the GUMC High School group; then: myself, Mary Sherwood, Tammy Jones, Kay Knight, Beth Brown, Danielle Haines and –  Jodi James, who cheered us on!!


I think that all of us that participated would do it again.  In fact if they do this again next year, we may challenge other churches in the area!  I do have an even greater respect for all fireman/women!  It wasn’t that hot out the day we did this, but, the fireman’s gear is heavy and hot!

– Nancy Ollinger


Welcome to the new and improved GUMC blog! Most of you probably didn’t know our church even had a blog and if you did, I know you haven’t read it lately. This summer, through several discussions, it was decided to drop the church website and the current blog, and create a Face Book page and new Blog with some new energy and a new mission.

So, what is a Blog?

“Blog” is an abbreviated version of “weblog,” which is a term used to describe web sites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. On a blog, the content consists of articles (also sometimes called “posts” or “entries”) that an author(s) writes. In our case, we will have multiple authors, each writing his/her own articles. And we may share blogs written by other sources. You can think of it like a magazine of articles and news on a variety of topics.

As with anything in volunteer-based organization, it takes someone to step forward and “take the reigns”. I’m excited about the possibilities that we can bring to our church through the new blog and FB page, and I really hope you will join me on this adventure with ideas, suggestions, articles, photos, etc…

– Kristin