Hope that Lasts Forever

Pastor Craig Carter Last week I introduced a sermon series on three things that last forever – faith, hope, love. We began our investigation of these eternal realities with a description of faith provided by the writer of Hebrews: “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1 NLT) In this definition, we see the close connection that exists between faith and hope. Hope is the starting point of our faith and so, without it, there is no faith. We observed last week that faith has …

Faith that Lasts Forever

Pastor Craig Forever I heard someone remark recently that they feel like they’re in the movie, Groundhog Day. Remember that film where Bill Murray lived the same day over and over again? The current Covid-19 pandemic kind of makes us feel that way, doesn’t it? After only a month of the stay at home order and social distancing guidelines, it seems like there is no end in sight as one day runs into the next. If my mom were still alive, I know what she’d be saying, “This too shall pass.” Of course, it may pass like a kidney stone, …

Easter Sunday – That’s A Winner!

Pastor Craig Carter Happy Easter! Since I’m a pastor, you’re probably not surprised when I say this is my favorite time of the year. Not even the Coronavirus pandemic and social distancing has kept me from thoroughly enjoying this week as we celebrate the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, church buildings all across America are empty today, but so is the tomb. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! This is also my favorite time of the year for another reason. You see, not only am I a pastor, I’m also an avid sports fan. …

Praise Sunday

Pastor Craig Carter Palm Sunday and marks the beginning of Holy Week, the final days in Jesus’ life and ministry leading to His crucifixion on Good Friday and resurrection on Easter. Palm Sunday commemorates an event that is recorded in all four gospel accounts. It is commonly referred to as the triumphal entry when Christ was welcomed into Jerusalem as a coming king. As you read the account from Luke’s gospel, look for what is noticeably absent: Jesus went on toward Jerusalem…[The disciples] brought a colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on. As …

Family Album: Joseph and God’s Providence

Pastor Craig Carter I remember right after Hurricane Michael, folks would use the phrase, “Welcome to the new normal.” In my mind, nothing has been remotely normal since October 10th, 2018. So I’m not surprised that, just as we were about to restore some normalcy to our church’s life and move into our renovated facility this weekend, the Coronavirus pandemic upended our plans. Maybe God is trying to tell us something – there is no new normal for the Lynn Haven United Methodist Church. And that’s okay because I’m not sure God really wants His people to settle into a …

Overcoming Fear – Coronavirus special message

Pastor Craig Carter Because of the world-wide pandemic that has brought about a national state of emergency, we have suspended in-person church gatherings for at least the next two weeks. That’s the bad news…now for the good news: March 22 was supposed to be our last Sunday at the Bay Haven gym, which has been our temporary home for nearly a year and half after our buildings were destroyed by Hurricane Michael. We were scheduled to hold our first worship service in our renovated church building, the former Fusion campus, on Sunday, March 29. Well guess what? We got in …

Family Album: Jacob

Pastor Craig Carter All of us have some things we feel like we just can’t live without – for many of us these might include hot showers and cell phone service. But these items haven’t always been considered indispensable. Here in Bay County, we all learned 17 months ago that we could live without those things and a whole lot more (Internet, cable, air conditioning, oven, even ice and flushing toilet). In actuality, there are very few things we can’t live without – air, food, water, shelter.           But the next character we encounter in our Family Album, Volume 1, …

Family Album: Isaac and Rebekah

Pastor Craig Carter When I was in the 9th grade my track coach decided I needed to become a distance runner. He entered me in the mile at our next track meet. I had never run a mile in my life. My coach sent me onto the track with this advice, “Just follow the other guys and try to run their pace. Then as the race goes along, see what you can do.” Got it, coach! The gun went off and I settled into the middle of the pack on the first lap. I had previously competed as a sprinter …

Family Album: Abraham and Isaac

Pastor Craig Carter Since the first of the year, we’ve been reading through the Book of Genesis as a congregation. Then each Sunday, we’re exploring characters we meet in the first book of the Bible. Last week we learned some valuable lessons from an unlikely source – Hagar, an Egyptian servant. She showed us what to do when life doesn’t make sense, a condition with which most of us can relate. Many things that happen, whether of our own doing or because of someone else’s choices, simply don’t make much sense. But, as I pointed out in that message, oftentimes …

Family Album: Hagar

Pastor Craig Carter In life, it’s just a fact that a lot of things just don’t make sense. Here are a few examples: Why is a round pizza cut into triangular pieces then placed in a square box? Why is the person who handles and invests all of your money called a broker? Why do slim chance and fat chance mean the same thing? Those sort of things may leave us perplexed, but there are times when life really doesn’t make sense and serious matters are involved, such as… You’ve worked hard and spent lots of time and money to …