Author Archives: John Collins

As If It Were True

“We don’t believe something by merely saying we believe it,” he said, “or even when we believe that we believe it. We believe something when we act as if it were true.” — Dallas Willard

Not sure you whether or not you believe in God, not confident that you have faith in Jesus, act as if you do. Act as if you do and give the Holy Spirit time to work on and in you.


Dallas Willard, cited by Rachel Held Evans, Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again (Nashville, Tennesee: Thomas Nelson, 2018), 186.

Trust without Reservation

Another day, another quote featuring Elton Trueblood:

It is therefore correct to say, with Elton Trueblood, that “faith is not belief without proof, but rather trust without reservation.” Therefore faith is more an act of courage than it is an act of knowledge. [1]

I don’t think “trust without reservation” means not having any doubts, it means choosing to act as if we didn’t. Let us take courage and live out our faith.


[1] Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch, The Faith of Leap: Embracing a Theology of Risk, Adventure and Courage (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011), 81.

God is Like Jesus

I think this one speaks for itself:

“The historic Christian doctrine of the divinity of Christ does not simply mean that Jesus is like God [the Father]. It is far more radical than that. It means that God [the Father] is like Jesus.” — Elton Trueblood


Elton Trueblood, cited by Rachel Held Evans, Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again (Nashville, Tennesee: Thomas Nelson, 2018), 55-56.

Of Aid for Immigrants and Romans 13

Yesterday, a parishioner asked Jenny and me if there was a United Methodist Organization working with the refugees and asylum seekers who are being detained and separated from their children. Indeed there is, please see the link below.

On the related issue of the interpretation of Romans 13, which has been cited to defend the current administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents, I’ll just follow the lead of another pastor and point out that the man who wrote Romans 13 was executed by the state for his steadfast refusal to submit to the governing authorities when doing so was in conflict with his obedience to Christ.

Link: http://njfon.org/donate/

UMs Oppose Separation of Immigrant Families

Jeff Sessions is United Methodist, but that’s not stopping the council of bishops, annual conferences and agencies of the general church from urging him to stop the practice of separating immigrant children (apparently including very young children still nursing) from their families. I’ve been avoiding public comment on this topic, but I can do so no longer. This is wrong, may God be with the parents and their children who have been forcibly separated to give them comfort and consolation and a future with hope, may God be at work in our country that this injustice might be brought to an end.

Link: http://bit.ly/2y7ZPwV


Note: If you’re extremely upset or extremely pleased that Jeff Sessions is United Methodist, please remember that Elizabeth Warren is as well. It’s like the fact that both George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton are United Methodist. We are a broad denomination. I’m not trying to take one side or another, I’m not trying to side with Democrats or Republicans, I’m trying to side with God and those God sides with.

Streaming Worship Yesterday

Jenny and I were on vacation yesterday, but we streamed a service from a large United Methodist Church at 7:30 a.m. and then we streamed the 10:30 service from Abilene First UMC. As you might have expected, the stream from the large church had better production values, but when we watched the service that you all were in we could see the people sitting near the front of the sanctuary and we could hear the congregation singing. It felt much more like we were right there with you. That was great and more than made up for the image not being quite as sharp. My thanks to whoever started the camera.

Please Pray

I just read the article in the Abilene Reflector-Chronicle about the arrest in Pennsylvania of a man accused of 150 rapes in Abilene/Dickenson County between 2006-2015. I’m thankful for the dedication of the local law enforcement officers who tracked the accused down, but I’m overwhelmed by all the amount of pain present in our small community of which I’ve been completely unaware. There is suffering all over the world, including our little corner of it. I pray for the victims and those who suffer with them. Please pray with me.

Link: http://bit.ly/2xH5kmb


“Man Accused of 150 Rapes in Abilene,” Abilene Reflector-Chronicle, June 04, 2018, accessed June 05, 2018, http://bit.ly/2xH5kmb.