Thursday, February 7, 2019

Pastor L.L. Collins

I fully expected that I would be writing this blog somewhere in Lousiana, Mississippi or even Alabama. We love Texas, but as long as we are in Texas it means the BoggsMobile is not fully rolling yet and that is not good. We should be on the road later today. I will give you more of an update later. Keep praying if you will.

Please know that we are encouraged and peaceful in this stressful situation. God has been very gracious to us. We are receiving plenty of positive reinforcement from friends and family and we are grateful for that. The power of Christ has rested on us at strategic times through this and we are even more grateful for that.

Pastor L.L. Collins
We received news that Pastor L.L. Collins passed away. Bro. Collins had been very sick for a long time and I am completely sure he is as happy as he has ever been right this moment. Please pray for his family and church family for the next few days. Bro. Collins funeral is tomorrow.

Bro. Collins served the Lord in churches all of his adult life in several different states. He became the Pastor at Highway of Holiness in Hamilton, Ohio before I was a teenager so I have been aware of his influence most of my life. He was the face of the Highway and represented them well throughout the Miami Valley and beyond.

Bro. Collins was never my Pastor, but he had a profound effect on me during my early years as a Christian and as a preacher. The Highway sent out thousands of preaching cassettes every month and they providentially found their way into my hands, my ears and my heart.

On those tapes and even more so in person, Bro. Collins' preaching spoke to me and my wife at very critical junctions in our marriage, and our ministry. He helped me understand critical points of doctrine that I was reading in the Bible and could not wrap my mind around. I have so many stories I could tell about that.

But there is a story that is even more dear to me.

25 years ago I had a dream that Bro. Collins had a word of encouragement for me. Now, I had a good Pastor and a good support system and was not looking for anything else, but that dream planted the notion in my mind that Bro. Collins was going to have a "word fitly spoken" for me and my family.

We began visiting Highway on Saturday nights, but most services we were there a guest preacher or young preacher from the Highway would be preaching. We were blessed by the services and the fellowship, but I knew there was something more.

Quite a bit of time elapsed and we attended a revival at Rt. 4 Church in Germantown. Bro. Miller and Bro. Collins were taking turns preaching during the revival. We went one night when Bro. Collins was supposed to preach, but the service never made it to the preaching.

The next night was Bro. Miller's night but the Pastor asked Bro. Collins to sing first. As Bro. Collins began to sing the Spirit of the Lord began to move and Bro. Collins began to preach while strumming his guitar.

We had come in late and sat in the very back row. That is not my normal position in church and I was having a hard time tuning out all of the distractions until the Holy Ghost tuned in on me.

Bro. Collins was speaking with the anointing of the Holy Ghost and speaking directly into my soul. He was saying words that I did not even know I needed to hear. I heard as if I was hearing straight from Heaven and I knew this was the moment I had been made aware was coming to me. It was an incredibly significant point in my life and I have never forgotten it.

A few years later I had some time with Bro. Collins and I had his undivided attention. I ask him if he remembered that night. He did remember and he felt like he was speaking directly to someone. I told him that I was that someone and that it had made a lasting difference in my walk with the Lord. I think he already knew that too.

I also wrote him a "thank you" card later to express my gratitude. I am very thankful I was able to pin my flowers on him while he was alive to smile and shed a few tears for me too.

God bless you, Bro. Collins. We miss you already.

Thank you for reading today.


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