Little Free Pantry Collection

Tomorrow, September 5, 2021, we’ll be taking up a collection for the Little Free Pantry. You can contribute money or food items. If you choose to bring food, we especially need Energy/Snack/Granola bars, peanut butter and jelly, pancake mix (the kind that only needs water is best), macaroni, canned meat/fish, individual cereal packets, pasta, spaghetti sauce, fruit snacks, snack bars, canned fruit, and self-contained microwaveable meals, personal hygiene products, and water.

Worship Tomorrow

Tomorrow (Sunday, September 5, 2021), we’ll have the experience of the Youth Praise Band leading us for two hymns and providing special music. I’ll be preaching on James 2:1-17 and talking about how we go about putting our faith to work in our daily lives.

A Prayer for the Close of Day

During the time I spent in retreat, I encountered this prayer from Dietrich Bonhoeffer in The United Methodist Hymnal (689).  I have updated some archaic language and I plan to use it before going to bed. I wanted to share it with you.

O Lord my God, 
I thank you that you have brought this day to its close.
I thank you that you give rest to body and soul.
Your hand has been over me, 
guarding me and preserving me.
Forgive my feeble faith 
and all the wrong I have done this day,
and help me to forgive all who wronged me.
Grant that I may sleep in peace beneath your care,
and defend me from the temptations of darkness.
Into thy hands I commend my loved ones,
I commend this household,
I commend my body and soul.
O God, your holy name be praised. Amen.


The United Methodist Hymnal (Nashville, TN: United Methodist Publishing House, 1989), 689.

Worship — August 29, 2021

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

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.

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.

Sermon on Anger

Last week, I received a request for a sermon on dealing with anger. I think different people deal with anger in different ways and so I’m looking for some help. Send me your suggestions and strategies for handling anger at john@revcollins.com or by facebook, text, or phone.

Worship — August 22, 2021

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

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.

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.

Blood Drive

A PSA from Molly Burton:

Abilene High School is hosting a blood drive on Sunday, August 29th from 12-6PM. We would love to have you come donate. Your donation will not only help save lives, it will also help two Abilene seniors earn college scholarships. You can use this link to sign up or reply to this email with the time(s) that would work for you. Thanks!

Link: https://rcblood.org/2XKuw8H

Voices: The Riddles of God

I came across the following words of G. K. Chesterton quoted in a tweet: “The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man.” I did a little digging and found the context and the quote gets even better. It comes in the context of an introduction to the book of Job found in the Old Testament.

“The other great fact which, taken together with this one, makes the whole work [the book of Job] religious instead of merely philosophical, is that other great surprise which makes Job suddenly satisfied with the mere presentation of something impenetrable. Verbally speaking the enigmas of Jehovah [God] seem darker and more desolate than the enigmas of Job; yet Job was comfortless before the speech of Jehovah and is comforted after it. He has been told nothing, but he feels the terrible [awe-inspiring] and tingling atmosphere of something which is too good to be told. The refusal of God to explain His design is itself a burning hint of His design. The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man. [1]”


[1] G. K. Chesterton, Introduction to the Book of Job (Titus Books), Kindle Edition.

Voices: the Source of Joy

A keen insight on the nature of joy from Henri J. M. Nouwen:

“Joy does not come from positive predictions about the state of the world. It does not depend on the ups and downs of the circumstances of our lives. Joy is based on the spiritual knowledge that, while the world in which we live is shrouded in darkness, God has overcome the world. Jesus says it loudly and clearly: ‘In the world you will have troubles, but rejoice, I have overcome the world.’ ” [1]

We can rejoice even during the tough times because we know that in the end, “God’s light is more real than all the darkness, that God’s truth is more powerful than all human lies, that God’s love is stronger than death.” [2] I pray that you may find joy.


[1] [2] Henri J. M. Nouwen, Hear and Now: Living in the Spirit (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company), 39-40.