Author Archives: John Collins

Online Worship — July 18, 2021

If you’re having trouble streaming our worship videos, you may want to simply download the entire video to your device and then play it. You can do so with this link.

If you want to follow along with bulletin you can follow this link or the link in the menu above.

You can make a contribution online via tithe.ly. Other options can be found here.

Previous worship services can be found at vimeo.com/abilenefirstumc.

Voices: Andy Griffith on God’s Grace

“Each of us faces pain, no two ways about it. But I firmly believe that in every situation, no matter how difficult, God extends grace greater than the hardship, and strength and peace of mind that can lead us to a place higher than where we were before.” — Andy Griffith [1]

Being a Christian doesn’t mean we don’t experience hardship and loss. It does mean that God is with us no matter what comes our way.


[1] Griffith, Andy. “Guideposts Classics: Andy Griffith on God’s Grace.” Guideposts, April 27, 2020. https://bit.ly/36HWlzy.

Online Worship — July 11, 2021

If you’re having trouble streaming our worship videos, you may want to simply download the entire video to your device and then play it. You can do so with this link.

If you want to follow along with bulletin you can follow this link or the link in the menu above.

You can make a contribution online via tithe.ly. Other options can be found here.

Previous worship services can be found at vimeo.com/abilenefirstumc.

My Father Died

My father, Bob Collins, died yesterday afternoon. Funeral arrangements are pending. I appreciate all the prayers you have prayed and the space you have given me.

As far as my work as your pastor it may be somewhat hard to catch me for a bit. Please know that I won’t purposely ignore your phone calls (unless you’re selling church supplies or extended car warranties). If you can’t reach me on my cell phone and or if I don’t return your voicemail, please email john@revcollins.com or call Pam Simpson in the church office at 785-263-2623 and leave a message with her.

Lunch with the New District Superintendent

This coming Wednesday (July 14, 2021) at 11:30 a.m., there will be a luncheon in the Salina First UMC fellowship hall to welcome our new District Superintendent, Karen Rice Ratzlaff. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come to this event and meet Karen.

Lunch is free, but you need to register your plans to attend so that enough food can be prepared. Please reply online by noon on Tuesday, July 13, by completing the following form: https://salinafirst.breezechms.com/form/99f601 or call the Abilene First UMC office at 785-263-2623 by 11 a.m.

I don’t know what the exact definition of a luncheon is, but I do know that Salina First is right next to Cozy Inn, so we’ll have options.

Walter Hartman Has Died

Jenny and I just learned that Walter Hartman died yesterday, Wednesday, July 7, 2021. More information is available at martinbeckercarlson.com. Walt was one of the most intelligent people I have ever known—he was quick to clarify that we was not a rocket scientist, but he was a rocket engineer. He was also very kind-hearted, and he always had an encouraging word—probably the result of his profound faith.

This Week’s Sermon and Family Dynamics

This coming Sunday, July 11, 2021, I plan to preach on Mark 6:14-29. It will be a sermon about the persistent advance of the Reign of God in the face of opposition and adversity. But, before I read the scripture, I plan to introduce the passage by noting that “King” Herod had cheated on his wife with his brother’s wife, then divorced his wife and married his brother’s wife. Herod’s wife and her daughter were both named Herodias. You can come to hear about the tenacious advance of the Kingdom of God or you can come to hear about a set of family dynamics that will definitely make you feel better about your own. Either way we’ll be happy to see you.

The Bible as a Model for U.S. History

This past Sunday (July 4, 2021), I talked about the fact that we as a country are blessed by the fact that we can (and do) admit our mistakes, repent, and seek to do better. That involves being truthful about our history and not omitting our mistakes as a nation. Here’s an article by Mark George asserting that to do so is to follow the example found in the Bible.

“As a Bible scholar, I am struck by the ways the Bible tells both the good and bad of ancient Israel’s history – even when the narratives conflict. Instead of only celebrating moments of glory or tragedy, the Bible recounts both together. This approach to history – treating narratives as one rather than cherry-picking the bits that fit a certain point of view – offers an example of how we can reframe the debate about how the U.S. tells its own history.” — Mark K. George

You can read the whole article at https://bit.ly/3yxGr6L.

Online Worship — July 4, 2021

If you’re having trouble streaming our worship videos, you may want to simply download the entire video to your device and then play it. You can do so with this link.

Our Vimeo page is: vimeo.com/abilenefirstumc.

If you want to follow along with bulletin you can follow this link.

You can make a contribution online via tithe.ly. Other options can be found here.

Previous worship services can be found at vimeo.com/abilenefirstumc.

Worship Tomorrow

Livestreaming on Vimeo worked really well last Sunday, so we plan to livestream 8:15 worship service tomorrow (July 4, 2021). That video will stay up until it’s replaced by a higher quality recording of the 10:30 worship service (hopefully by Monday morning).