Family Album: God

Pastor Craig Carter It’s been a year since my mom died and we’re still trying to decide what to do with all of her stuff. We’ve got boxes piled along one wall of our garage and one-by-one we’ve tried to sort through their contents. If you’ve ever done something similar you know it’s a long, arduous process. And it’s very easy to get sidetracked when you find interesting or unusual items. That’s especially true when you come across photographs. Perhaps the most fascinating book among my mom’s collection is an album of relatives. My sister and I cannot even identify …

Develop Great Habits

Pastor Craig Carter How many of you have made a resolution to get in better physical condition this year? How many of you have already broken that resolution? How many of you have given up on the idea long ago and resigned yourself to being flabby and out of shape? I must confess I probably haven’t been in this poor of physical shape since I was about six months old – when I could barely crawl…and I’m not far away from that now! It’s not that I don’t believe it’s beneficial and it’s not that I don’t desire to be. …

The Wonder of a Manger

Pastor Craig Carter Several weeks ago my wife, Lee, asked, “Where should I put Jesus?” That may seem like an odd question so let me provide a little context. We were putting out the Christmas decorations (or should I say, she was putting out the Christmas decorations). One of our cherished items is a figurine of the Christ-child. Lee’s mom had one that she placed beneath her tree each year. We searched for a similar one for years, but to no avail. Finally, we found one during our trip to the Middle East two years ago, in a Bethlehem shop …

The Wonder of the Angels

Pastor Craig Carter During this Advent season we’re exploring “The Wonder of Christmas.” A wonder is defined as “a sense of awe, admiration, or amazement.” The greatest wonder of Christmas is that it demonstrates the amazing love of God. Because of Christ’s birth, we no longer have to question God’s love for us. It was demonstrated in a tangible way when God’s Son, Jesus came and lived among us. Most of the elements of the Nativity story are fairly ordinary and don’t evoke a great deal of wonder or amazement at first appearance. Last week when we studied “the wonder …

The Wonder of a Name

Pastor Craig Carter Today is December 1st and according to the popular song of the season: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Is that true? Maybe, maybe not. As a matter of fact, many of the things mentioned in the song make it a much less than wonderful time of the year. “There’ll be parties for hosting…” potentially making it a most stressful time of the year. “And tales of the glories of Christmases long ago…” likely making it the saddest time of the year for those who remember family members who are no longer present. “When loved …

Give Great Thanks

Pastor Rudy Olivo I have had in my life the same conversation with multiple men about how each views Thanksgiving versus Christmas. The conversations generally go like this: “I like Thanksgiving so much better because there is no stress of buying a perfect gift, no need to decorate my place with lights, and (if they have kids), no need to put together a bunch of toys. At Thanksgiving I can eat, sit back, relax, maybe watch some football, kind of do nothing, and you know, just give thanks.” This line of thinking has always struck me for multiple reasons. First, …

Make Great Sacrifices

Pastor Craig Carter Several weeks ago I went to pick up my daughter, Abby, from work as she was unable to drive while she recovered from hip surgery. I was in Lynn Haven on 389 where it becomes 12th Street headed toward Highway 77. Suddenly traffic came to a standstill. Figuring there was a wreck or roadwork, I headed down a side street. Looking for a way to get to my intended destination of Lynn Haven Elementary School, I was thwarted again and again as every cross street was blocked. Zigging and zagging as best I could, next thing I …

Take Great Risks

Pastor Craig Carter In our current sermon series we are looking at how we can rise above the mundane in our relationship with the Lord by refusing to settle for a mediocre brand of Christianity. In doing so, we move from simply being good Christians to becoming great in God’s eyes. The reason we aspire to greatness is not so much for our own sake as it is for God’s. By becoming great (as God defines it), we bring great glory to Him and are enabled to accomplish great things for Him. So, over the last several weeks, we have …

Leave a Great Legacy

Pastor Terry Tatum I have had a pretty normal life. I’ve worked hard. I’ve played hard. I’ve had great friends. I know what it means to love and to be loved. Thinking about all of that, it has occurred to me that one day this will all be over with. One day I’m going to breathe my last breath … then what? At a recent funeral I used a line that I use a lot at funerals. I told those gathered that no matter what the deceased had, no matter how wealthy they were, someone else owned their stuff now. …

Pray Great Prayers

Pastor Craig Carter In recent weeks we have been looking at how we can become great in God’s eyes. This should be the desire of every believer because being a great Christian, rather than settling for just being a good Christian, enables us to bring great glory to God and accomplish great things for His kingdom. We have observed that our journey toward greatness begins with thinking great thoughts, dreaming great dreams, and surrounding ourselves with great people. We’ve also learned that God wants us to enjoy great moments with Him and those around us. Starting today we’re going to …