Author Archives: John Collins

Stories of Faith: Joan Holmes

I’m coming at this really late in the game given that her visitation is tonight (Friday, October 20, 2017, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.) and her memorial service is tomorrow morning (Saturday, October 21, 2017, at 11:00 a.m.), but I’m looking for your (the congregation’s) stories of Joan Holmes’s faith.

Care Packages for College Students

From Wendy Robinson via Julie Mayden:

We will be sending care packages to our college students again this year.  We are blessed with 29 college students to whom we can minister this year.  The youth will be making cookies and purchasing a few items to include in the boxes we send.  We are encouraging you, the congregation, to help us let the college students know we love them, miss them, and encourage them to perform well on their finals.  So there will be a basket in the Narthex beginning mid-October for donations of non-perishable items or monetary donations to help aid in the shipping of the boxes to the students.  We thank you in advance for your prayers and donations for the college students.

*Parents of college students:  Please note, we can’t get these wonderful care packages to the students without a correct address.  Please send the complete and correct address of your college student to Wendy as soon as possible; we don’t want to leave anyone out!

Thanks for Installing LED Bulbs

The strips of lights in the sanctuary, both below and above, have now been replaced with high-efficiency LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs. A few months ago Herman Hoffman and Darrol Dunham replaced the strips in the lower coves and yesterday the Hoffman Family (Herman, Chris, Lillian, and Mia) replaced the ones up above. The cost of this project was covered by the Jon Thayer Fund. Thanks!

Have We Got to Become Such Idiots?

The German catalyst of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther, was a devoting and loving father, but like all parents, he had his moments. Such moments were sometimes captured by his students who took notes of what he said even at the dining table. As related by a biographer, “When Luther looked at his family in 1538, he remarked,”

Christ said we must become as little children to enter the kingdom of heaven. Dear God, this is too much. Have we got to become such idiots? — Martin Luther [1]

Can you imagine what his children must have been up to at the time?

[1] Roland H. Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013), Kindle, 4224-4225.

Trusting God in the Moment

Today’s quotable comes via Twitter.

My life has never failed to work out, God has never failed to be with me. Someday, hopefully, God’s ongoing faithfulness will produce in me the trust God deserves.

[1] Nadia Bolz Weber. Twitter post, September 29, 2017, 5:59 p.m.,

Take a Deep Breath

I wrote this post yesterday. I’ve calmed down some, and in the big scheme of things this is not a matter of life and death, but I’m posting it because the potential blasphemy in the service of patriotism disturbs me deeply.

The following appeared in a story at and was backed up by an article at the Sports Illustrated website:

“Before the performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at today’s [Sunday, October 1, 2017] game between the Ravens and Steelers, the P.A. announcer at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore asked fans to join and “pray that we as a nation embrace kindness, unity, equality, and justice for all Americans.” When players knelt to observe the prayer, a cascade of boos rained down upon them from the stands.” [1]

To the fans who thought this was another protest of the national anthem because they didn’t hear the announcement, I say: “Take a deep breath, pause, and make sure you don’t inadvertently commit an offense against God.”

To the fans who heard the announcement, knew the players were kneeling to pray and booed anyway I say: “Repent and believe the Gospel.”

To the fans who missed the whole thing because they were at the concession stand or in the bathroom because the lines are shortest during that national anthem, I say: “That’s the America I know and still love.”

[1] Nick Greene, “Fans Booed NFL Players Who Knelt to Observe a Prayer,” Slate Magazine, October 01, 2017, accessed October 03, 2017, See also: Chris Chavez, “Ravens Fans Boo Players during Prayer before National Anthem,”, October 01, 2017, accessed October 03, 2017,