Big Words: Glorification

In our current sermon series we have explored the language of our faith that communicates what we believe as Christians. Today’s post will discuss one final big word, glorification, which is the end result of all the other words.  We’ve quoted the founder of our denomination, John Wesley, a good bit during this series. For him, glorification was the ultimate goal of the Christian life and the final step in salvation. It is when we achieve our divinely-appointed destiny and share in God’s glory with our resurrected bodies in the new heaven and the new earth. Glorification is the culmination …

Big Words: Perseverance

Pastor Craig Carter Throughout our current sermon series, we’ve pointed out that, as Methodists, most of our theological views are similar to other denominations, but in some areas we differ.  Pastor Terry ended his recent message on ecclesiology by discussing how we, in the church, hold to one baptism. But he pointed out that as United Methodists we believe baptism can be administered through three methods – immersion, pouring, and sprinkling. Some other denominations feel differently.  Today we’re going to look at another subject that Methodists view differently than some other denominations, although we use the same big word – …

Back to the Future

Pastor Craig Carter In the weeks leading up to our Comeback Sunday celebration on September 12 we’ve been exploring how we can complete our comeback as a congregation.  The idea for this series of messages took shape this spring as I was looking ahead at our schedule. We had our Back to School Bash for Southport Elementary on the calendar and we were talking about inviting people back to church since many have been away due to the pandemic. That got me thinking in terms of “back to…” phrases and so we’ve explored getting back to the basics of prayer, …

Gideon

Pastor Craig Carter Having finished reading through the Old Testament Book of Joshua in our Summer Book Club, we are now turning our attention to the Book of Judges.  Our Adult Discipleship Director, Mindy Clemons, an Asbury Theological Seminary student, pointed out in a message last week that Judges chronicles a sad time in the history of the nation of Israel. Following their invasion and conquest of the Promised Land, God’s people turned from the Lord and rebelled against His commands. As a result, they suffered the consequences of their disobedience and ended up defeated by their enemies and in …

Caleb

Pastor Craig Carter Like many adults, I enjoy some good summer reading. I took a couple of books on a recent vacation, one of them being Greenlights, the autobiography by actor Matthew McConaughey. It was an interesting read as he is a fascinating character, to say the least.  Another fascinating biography is found in our Summer Book Club readings – Caleb. His story is told in Joshua chapters 14-15, but to understand what we’re told about Caleb there, we must first be familiar with the prequel which is contained in the Old Testament Book of Numbers, chapters 13-14.  The Israelites …

Sacred 4-Letter Words: FULL

Pastor Craig Carter In our current sermon series, we’re looking at some English words consisting of four letters that help us live as God intends us to live. But they are not the type we normally associate with the phrase, “four-letter words.” Instead, they are Sacred 4-Letter Words that enable us to be holy as God is holy. Last week we observed that our #1 enemy in living the Christian life is SELF. It is “the disease of me” that has infected every member of the human race from Adam and Eve onward. Jesus applied the cure when He is …

A New Year of Anticipation

Pastor Craig Carter Today is the second Sunday of Advent. As we anticipate the celebration of Jesus’ birth on Christmas we also look forward to the day when Christ will come again. The Apostle Paul describes Jesus’ promised return in this way… The Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout,           with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God … Then we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NLT) How would you respond to this news? Your father is coming! It all depends on the situation, doesn’t it? …

How to Live with Others (Part 2)

Pastor Craig Carter This fall, we are exploring the New Testament Letter of James. It begins with a claim that life is a series of tests consisting of trials and temptations. While Satan wants us to fail these tests so that we stumble and fall, God wants us to pass them all because they enable us to grow and develop as Christians. Given that life is a test, it shouldn’t surprise us there is one day going to be a final exam. Jesus suggested as much during His earthly ministry. And since the Lord hopes we pass with flying colors, …

How to Live: Series Introduction

Pastor Craig Carter It’s sometimes said, “You are what you eat” (so don’t become a cinnamon roll!). That’s true to a degree, but it’s more correct to say, “You are what you do.” It’s not an oversimplification to suggest that if you help, you’re a helper or that if you encourage, you’re an encourager. On the other hand, if you complain, you’re a complainer and if you lie, you are a liar. You are what you do so if you do good things, you’re a good person. But if you do bad things, well … you get the picture, right? …

Essential: Becoming

Pastor Craig Carter What do you want to be? Ask that question of children and you’d expect them to say things like, “I want to be a firefighter or an astronaut or a baseball player or a dancer.” Ask that same question to the kids’ parents and you’ll probably get a radically different response: “I want my child to be kind, honest, hard-working, fair, compassionate, loving…” Parents are more concerned about who their children become as a person than they are about what they do as a profession. That sentiment is shared by our Heavenly Father. God is more interested …