How to Live with a Controlled Tongue

Craig Carter The New Testament Letter of James is filled with practical advice to help us live as Christians. As a congregation we have been studying this letter in detail since early September. We have observed that James first introduces a wide range of subjects in the opening chapter and then addresses each topic in greater detail throughout the remainder of his letter. Today we are going to explore James’ statements in chapters one and three regarding how to live with a controlled tongue.  In chapter one, he says, “If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, …

How to Live by Faith

Mindy Clemons, Lynn Haven UMC Adult Discipleship Director As a church we have been reading through the Letter of James – a section each week – and exploring the letter’s How to Live instructions through Sunday’s teaching sermons and our mid-week Bible study. It is our hope that every member of our church is growing in faith by participating in this plan. We have learned that James, the half-brother of Jesus and a leader of the church in Jerusalem, was writing to an audience of Christian believers. It’s important to know whose mail we are reading for the passage we …

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 with Others (Part 1)

Pastor Terry Tatum Many times in church world we go a mile wide, reaching all kinds of people, but we only go an inch deep as far as actual teaching. With our current sermon and study series, How to Live, our goal is to go a mile wide AND a mile deep, to help as many people as we can go deep into God’s word. How to Live is a church-wide study of the letter of James. The way this is set up will allow you to go deeper into God’s word by reading Scripture several days each week, hearing …

How to Live in Victory

Pastor Craig Carter Last week we looked at the opening verses of the letter of James where he writes… “My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy…” (James 1:2 NCV) The Greek word translated “troubles” literally means “trials, tests or temptations.” Another translation puts it this way: My brothers and sisters, be very happy when you are tested in different ways. (James 1:2 GWT) While most students aren’t very fond of tests, they can and do serve a useful purpose: They assess where we are in our grasp of the subject …

How to Live with Patience

Pastor Craig Carter My wife Lee is an avid reader. But I long ago gave up buying books for her because I discovered we use radically different approaches in selecting a suitable book to read. I tend to be drawn to books with catchy titles or fancy artwork on the cover. Yes, I’m a very superficial person! But Lee chooses a book, not based on its cover, but by its initial contents. She loves the “look inside” feature on Amazon which allows her to read the first few pages of a book she’s considering. She says she knows right away …

Essential: Believing

Pastor Terry Tatum Last week, Pastor Craig touched on a concept that guided the church world for generations. The concept was BELIEVE, BELONG, BECOME. Those words in that order represent a process for people to fully develop in Christ. For much of the last century this was the formula that guided many churches as they sought to spread the Good News of Jesus. While that formula was responsible for much of the great foundation today’s Christians enjoy, over the last 25 to 30 years it hasn’t been as effective as it once was. In recent years, many people have been …

Essential: God’s Perspective

Pastor Craig Carter As most of you are well aware, we were scheduled to resume in-person worship in our newly renovated church facility last Sunday, June 7. With everything in place and ready to go, we received word on Friday, two days before the planned opening, that we did not have the required certificate of occupancy and services could not be held in the building until several issues were remedied. Needless to say, that news was quite disappointing and very frustrating since we have endured delay after delay and setback after setback in the twenty months since the destruction of …

Essential: God

Pastor Craig Carter I set aside some time this past Tuesday, June 2 for sermon preparation. I was excited about preaching my first message in our newly renovated building after being “homeless” for nearly 20 months, having had our two facilities destroyed by Hurricane Michael. As I settled into my study, I received a text alert that Tropical Storm Cristobal had formed off the Mexican coast, in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. I looked at our 10-day local forecast and for Sunday, June 7, it stated: “Eyeing the tropics.” A bit ironic, don’t you think? But it’s not altogether surprising …

A Hopeful God

Pastor Craig Carter According to the Apostle Paul, “Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT) In our current sermon series, we’ve been looking at these enduring realities. First, we explored how we can ensure these virtues are part of our lives. Now we’re studying how they have their origin in the very character of God. To put it simply: You and I are to be faithful, hopeful, and loving because God is. Today we’re going to explore the hopeful nature of God. In his letter …