Big Words

Big Words: Introduction

Pastor Craig Carter I’ve discovered a lot of folks are reluctant to read their Bibles and dig deeply into what it means to be a Christian because of the “big words” associated with the faith that are hard to say and even harder to understand.  I’m not talking about names and places like Nebuchadnezzar or Mesopotamia. No, I’m referring to “big words” that aren’t commonly used in the English language that involve complex theological concepts.  When was the last time you used propitiation, justification, or sanctification in an everyday, casual conversation? Yet, those words are a part of the language …

Comeback Sunday

On Sunday, September 12th we celebrated Comeback Sunday. If you weren’t with us in person or online, I encourage you to watch the service here. I think you’ll agree that we have quite a comeback story to tell.  I wish I had kept a journal over the past three years because I think I could have turned the story of our congregation’s journey into a best-selling book. Better yet, in movie form, it might be a blockbuster hit.  Which makes me wonder, who’d play me? Don’t answer that! If our comeback story were a book or movie, it’d be the …

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, …

Back to the Good Old Days

Pastor Craig Carter Whenever a setback occurs, a normal response is a desire to return to the way things were.  The baseball pitcher who suffers an arm injury just wants to return to the mound.  A business that faces financial ruin longs to get back to operating in the black again.  Do you remember how we felt immediately after Hurricane Michael? We all wished (and prayed) for the return of running water, for power to be restored, and for our yards to be free of downed trees and debris. We talked about the good old days of when we had …

Back to the Basics

Pastor Craig Carter By definition, for a comeback to occur, some adverse circumstances must be experienced. It may be an athlete that suffers a career-threatening injury, a business that faces financial ruin, or a church like ours that loses its facilities in a Cat-5 hurricane. In each instance, a setback occurs that prevents the person or organization from operating at their peak level or the ways in which they are accustomed.  In other words, they are knocked down a notch or two and may even suffer the loss of all that they had accomplished previously. And for a comeback story …

A Comeback Story

Pastor Craig Carter Everyone loves a comeback story, don’t they? I was recently watching the Baseball All Star Game Homerun Derby and found myself rooting for Trey Mancini, even though I know little about him and am not a fan of the team he plays for – the Baltimore Orioles. But I do know a year ago he was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer, underwent surgery and chemotherapy, and is already back in the big leagues and will probably win the Comeback Player of the Year award (and deservedly so).  Beyond just athletic comeback stories, we’re inspired when we …

A Different Set of Eyes

Pastor Craig Carter The Old Testament books of Joshua and Judges are a study in contrasts. Joshua describes the successful invasion and conquest of the Promised Land by the Israelites while Judges chronicles a sad time in the history of the nation of Israel.  Rather than obeying the Lord as they promised to do, God’s people turned from Him and rebelled against His commands. As a result, they suffered the consequences of their disobedience and were defeated by their enemies and fell into a state of despair and distress. But God didn’t give up on them so He raised up …

Samson

Pastor Terry Tatum For the last couple of weeks we have been reading through the book of Judges. Last week Craig taught us about Gideon, a man the world didn’t see as very valuable but God used him to do great things. The week before Mindy explained the cycle the Israelites were on at that time: disobedience, defeat and distress, and deliverance. We learned that God delivered His people from bad situations time and time again, but despite his deliverance they continued to do things their own way, thus repeating the cycle.  With both of those teachings in mind I …

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 …

Breaking the Cycle

Mindy Clemons  Freedom. It’s a wonderful word. A powerful concept. Something we celebrate. Sometimes we say, “Freedom is not free.” What does that mean? Freedom is fought for, earned in battle, maintained at a cost. We celebrate freedom. We work together to keep freedom and live in peace. What is the opposite of freedom? Being trapped? Enslaved? Stuck? In prison? Have you ever known someone who was stuck? Trapped in a pattern of behavior? Maybe enslaved to a behavior that was destructive? Maybe it’s someone in your family, or a friend, or even you? Struggling to find freedom can be …