Rev Helen H Collins

A Message for You

February 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

Third Time’s the Charm, I hope by REV. HELEN H. COLLINS North Kent Presbyterian Church Well, I’ve done it again. At least I sure hope I have—beaten cancer number three. Not one cancer in—and then out—of remission, but three different cancers, theoretically unrelated, over 41 years. The first one was ovarian carcinoma in 1970, found on a routine annual physical. The second one was non-Hodgkins lymphoma, 24 years later. The last one was found about this time last year—breast cancer—once again found on a regular annual physical with the help of routine mammography. “Third time’s a charm,” we say to our passenger, smiling nervously as we try “one more time” to get the car to start on that cold, snowy morning. “Third time’s the charm” is the comfort we offer to a five-year-old when the child timidly approaches the new two-wheeler after already weathering two crashes. “Third time’s a charm” is the mantra batters recite when they’ve already got two strikes against them. I sure hope the “third time is a charm.” I remember that Jesus asked Peter three times if Peter loved him. When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time Jesus said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time. He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep,” (John 21:15-17). Perhaps Jesus asked Peter three times to counter the three times when, in spite of himself, Peter had denied he even knew the Lord. Maybe he asked three times because in the Hebrew culture, three is a perfect number. Perhaps he asked three times, because the third time really is the charm. What it took Peter three times to get—and most of us a lifetime to practice—is that the question about loving the Lord and the command to feed his sheep are […]

A Message for You — June 10, 2010

June 10, 2010 // 0 Comments

We’re all in life together by REV. HELEN H. COLLINS North Kent Presbyterian Church One of my members recently sent the following story to me: A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. “What food might this contain?” the mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap. Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed this warning: “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.” The mouse turned to the pig and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The pig sympathized, but said, “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.” The mouse turned to the cow and said, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.” So, the mouse returned to the house, his head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap—alone. That very night a sound was heard throughout the house—the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it. It was a venomous snake whose tail was caught in the trap. The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital. When she returned home she still had a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup. So the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient. But his wife’s sickness continued. Friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. But, alas, the farmer’s wife did not get well—she died. So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all […]

A Message for You — February 4, 2010

February 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

He knows what it’s like by REV. HELEN H. COLLINS North Kent Presbyterian Church   I had lunch with a friend today, whom I haven’t seen for almost a year. But this is the kind of friendship in which you just sort of pick up where you left off. We caught up on the important news and before we knew it, we’d been sitting there talking for four hours. (I figure I can do that without guilt on my day off.) One of the reasons we are such good friends is that we have a lot in common. We’re both musical. She plays the organ. I play the piano. Her children are close in age to mine, close enough that we feel as though we raised them at the same time. And we’ve experienced some of the same problems in life, so I know my friend “gets me.” Although we don’t agree about everything; we don’t judge each other. We understand that people of good conscience can disagree. One thing we do agree on is our faith in God and our belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. As I drove the 30 miles to meet my friend today, I thought about how my friendship with Jesus is a lot like my friendship with her. Sometimes I don’t talk to Him as often as I should, but when I do we just pick up where we left off. I know I don’t do or say or think everything Jesus would, but I know He doesn’t judge me. He just loves me anyway. And the more I read about Him and talk to Him, the more I realize He understands first-hand the things I’m going through. Jesus understands joy and sorrow. He experienced frustration, anger, pain and rejection. He knows what it’s like to want to do something different from what God wants. When He went to the cross, He even knew what it was like to feel separated from God. It makes me sad that sometimes the people think that you have to have your life in order before you can approach God, that somehow you have to be “good enough” or you shouldn’t come. If you read God’s handbook, you’ll discover that’s not […]

A Message for You — November 5, 2009

November 5, 2009 // 0 Comments

Help those in need by REV. HELEN H. COLLIN North Kent Presbyterian Church We’ve just had Halloween, which means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Christmas decorations and sale items have been in some stores for several weeks already. It is a wonderful, festive time of year, but not for everyone. For some, the holidays create stress on an already overstretched budget. For others, it’s the first Thanksgiving or Christmas without a loved one who passed away this year. For still others, holiday gatherings highlight the fact that they are lonely. I read once about two men who got together for dinner one night and started to talk about the lessons they had learned from their fathers over the years. One man remembered that every time something went wrong, his father would say, “Just remember the turtle on the post.” As a young man, he didn’t pay much attention and didn’t really have any idea what his father meant by that. Eventually, as he grew a little more mature, he heard his father say it again, “Remember the turtle on the post.” This time he stopped his dad and asked him, “What about the turtle on the post? You always say that. What do you mean?” His father looked at him and said, “Do you know how the turtle got up on the post?” “No,” the young man answered. “No?” said his father. “Well, he had help.” Think about it. Where would we be without family, friends, neighbors or fellow Christians to help, advise and encourage us. The turtle needed help, and sometimes we do too. And sometimes we are the ones called upon to help, to offer comfort to those who grieve, companionship to those who are alone and food to those who are hungry. In these tough economic times, some of us will have plenty of food on our Thanksgiving tables, and more gifts under the Christmas tree than we know what to do with. Meanwhile, the North Kent Service Center (NKSC) is struggling to meet the needs of record numbers of clients who have lost jobs this year. Several years ago at our church we started “Bring a Turkey to Church” Sunday to help provide turkeys for Thanksgiving dinners. Now we’ve learned […]

1 2