Friday, February 29, 2008

Crispy Critter Christians

Jesus third most popular role model for children - poll

Jesus Christ has come third in a survey to find the top role model for children in Britain.

A family member took top place in the poll by Opinium Research asking Britons who their children should look up to, whilst the multi-millionaire maverick entrepreneur and part-time daredevil Richard Branson took second place.

Teachers, placed fourth, were more popular than former South African president and freedom fighter Nelson Mandela who came in fifth.

Read more of this story on Christian Today.

'Hannah Montana' Star Says Faith Keeps Her Grounded

Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus recently credited her family and faith for keeping her grounded and out of trouble when many young fellow celebrities have made headlines for their reckless lifestyle and running into legal trouble.

The 15-year-old singer and actress told TV presenter Barbara Walters during an Oscar night celebrity special that aired last Sunday that family and faith are more important than materialism and partying.

“Some people don’t have a family to fall back on, like I have, and that’s when something greater than even that comes in – and that’s faith and that’s what I have for me,” Cyrus told Walters, according to ABC News. “That’s what keeps me strong.”

The teen sensation explained that many young stars turn to drugs or alcohol because they’re trusting the wrong people and losing touch with God.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Famous Runner

Q: Why was Adam a famous runner?

A: Because he was first in the human race.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Cottondale, FL Meeting In March

Click image to enlarge.

America's Most Sinful Cities?

What are America's most sinful cities? How could we know? Well, give Forbes magazine credit for giving this ranking challenge a try. The magazine recently offered rankings on the traditional seven deadly sins - and ranked America's "top ten" on each sin.

The folks at Forbes determined a way of tracking statistics on each of the sins. As the staff explained, "For each sin we stretched our imagination to find a workable proxy - murder rates for wrath, per capita billionaires for avarice - then culled the available data sources to rank the cities. Some of the results were surprising: Salt Lake City as America's Vainest City. Some were not: Detroit as America's Most Murderous."

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Wealthy Palestine

Q. Which area of Palestine was especially wealthy?

A. The area around Jordan. The banks were always overflowing.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Biblical Puns

Q: What was the secret of Delilah getting into Samson’s house?
A: She picked his locks.

Q: Why didn’t Pharaoh let the Israelites go into the wilderness after the first six plagues?
A: He was in de Nile.

Q: Why did Samson try to avoid arguing with Delilah?
A: He didn’t want to split hairs.

Gospel Prescription

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

iTell Conference

I will be attending the Florida Baptist Convention's iTell Conference Monday and Tuesday, March 3-4, 2008. The event will be held at First Baptist Church of Orlando, Florida. I'll be assisting with the exhibit of the Conference Of Florida Baptist Evangelists (COFBE).

Please pray for safe travel and that I'll learn something that will better equip me in serving our Lord.

For more information call the Florida Baptist Convention Evangelism Division at 800-226-8584, ext. 3090.

Making Restitution


He shall make restitution for his trespass in full. —Numbers 5:7

During the compilation of the Oxford English Dictionary, managing editor James Murray received thousands of definitions from Dr. William Chester Minor. They were always sent in by mail and never brought in personally. Murray was curious about this brilliant man, so he went to visit him. He was shocked to find that Minor was incarcerated in an asylum for the criminally insane.

Years earlier, while in a delusional state, Minor had shot an innocent man whom he thought had been tormenting him. Later he was filled with remorse and began sending money to support the widow and her family. Minor was imprisoned for the rest of his life but he found practical ways of easing the pain of his victims and contributing to society through his work on the dictionary.

When the dishonest tax collector Zacchaeus heard Jesus’ message of grace, he chose to return more than what he had extorted from others. “Look, Lord, . . . if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold” (Luke 19:8). The gospel of grace stirred Zacchaeus to help those he had harmed.

Have you wronged someone? What steps will you take to help make things right? — Dennis Fisher

Forgive me, Lord, for all my sins,
The many wrongs that I have done;
And show me how to make things right
Before the setting of the sun. —Bosch

Making restitution reveals genuine repentance.


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A Better 2008


I received this in an e-mail and thought it was funny, so now I'm sharing it with you.

Oklahoma City workers can celebrate Christmas again

Christians who work for the local government in Oklahoma City will be able to celebrate Christmas again this year after having been told all religious symbols and observances were off-limits for Christmas 2007.

The memo delivered to Oklahoma City government managers was crystal clear, according to Byron Babione, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF). "About mid-November of 2007, the city sent out a departmental memo that basically [stated that] with the upcoming Christmas holidays ... they didn't want any of the employees to display religious symbols of Christmas in their workplaces," he says.

Read more of this story on OneNewsNow.

Wrong E-mail Address

The Gallaghers, a couple from Minneapolis, decided to go to Florida during the icy winter. They planned to stay at the same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier.

Both husband and wife had hectic schedules and it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. The husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday while his wife planned to fly down the day after.

Mr. Gallagher checked into the hotel and decided to send an email to his wife. But in typing he accidentally left out one letter in her email address. Without realizing his error, he sent the email.Meanwhile, in Houston, the widow Gallager returned home from her husband's funeral. He had been a minister of many years, called home to glory following a sudden heart attack. The widow decided to check her email, expecting messages from relatives and friends. After reading the first message, she fainted.

The widow's son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife
Subject: I've Arrived
Date: February 5, 2004

I know you're surprised to hear from me. It’s amazing—they have computers here now and you can send emails to loved ones. I've just arrived and have been checked in. Everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then! Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.

Love,
Harry

P.S. Sure is hot down here!

Monday, February 25, 2008

People Now Spend Twice As Much Time On The Internet As Watching TV

NOTE: This is a good reason for ministries to utilize as many areas of the internet as possible, i.e. website, podcasting, video, e-mail. The James Croft Evangelistic Association utilizes the internet in various ways.

People now spend twice as much time surfing the Web as they do watching TV, according to new research from IDC.

IDC surveyed nearly one thousand Internet users for the survey. They found that:

  • The Internet is the medium on which online users spend the most time (32.7 hours/week). This is equivalent to almost half of the total time spent each week using all media (70.6 hours).
  • People spend twice as much time on the Internet as they spend watching television (16.4 hours).
  • People spend eight times as much time on the Internet as they spentd reading newspapers and magazines (3.9 hours).
Read more of this story on Podcasting News.

Dead iPod Song

Looking Heavenward

The temporary Sunday School teacher was struggling to open a combination lock on the supply cabinet. She had been told the combination, but couldn't quite remember it.

She went to the pastor's study and asked for help. The pastor came into the room and began to turn the dial.

After the first two numbers he paused and stared blankly for a moment.Finally he looked serenely heavenward and his lips moved silently.

Then he looked back at the lock, and quickly turned to the final number, and opened the lock.

The teacher was amazed. "I'm in awe at your faith, pastor," she said.

"It's really nothing," he answered. "The number is on a piece of tape on the ceiling."

Homosexuals rip Penn. principal for wearing Boy Scout uniform

NOTE: Share your thoughts by clicking "comments" below.

Diane Gramley, a pro-family activist in Pennsylvania, says it's hard to comprehend why a public school principal is being criticized for wearing a Boy Scout uniform during a television segment.

Gramley is president of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania, and she is talking about the fact that homosexual activists in the Keystone State are blasting a public school principal simply because he is a Boy Scout leader. Robert Wheeler, principal at Cleveland Elementary School in Allentown, recently appeared on the PBS show Tempo, dressed in his Scout uniform.

Read more of this story on OneNewsNow.

Do you think this photo shows the profile of Jesus' face?


Can the cracks in the road or the formation of potholes create a profile of a person or an animal? How about a profile of Jesus' face?

While traveling down East 29th Road, north of Seneca, Kris Jackson said in an e-mail that Jesus' face just "came up and hit me in the face" when she noticed the formation of the cracks.

Read more of this story on Chicago Sun-Times.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

JCEA Video Player

To select a different video click the menu button on the player screen.

Fonder And Fonder

“If absence makes the heart grow fonder,” said a minister, “a lot of folks must really love our church.”

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Profiting from Mistakes

"Is it proper for a man to profit from the mistakes of another?" a parishioner asked his minister.

"Definitely not," was the preacher's answer.

"Are you absolutely certain?"

"Yes, my son, absolutely."

"Okay. In that case, I wonder if you'd mind returning that $25 I gave you after my wedding last year?"

Friday, February 22, 2008

Live Oak, Florida Meeting In March

Mega-Church

Between The Eternities


These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them. —Hebrews 11:13

In the television western Broken Trail, cowboy Prentice Ritter must provide words of comfort at the funeral of a friend. Uncomfortable in the situation, he quietly says, “We are all travelers in this world. From the sweet grass to the packing house, birth till death, we travel between the eternities.”

In a sense, he was right. We are travelers—pilgrims—in a world that offers no lasting peace or rest. And while there is only one eternity, we travel between eternity past and eternity future, waiting for promises of a home and a hope that will last forever—promises yet to be fulfilled.

In those times of struggle and despair when our pilgrimage of life is difficult, it is helpful to remember that though we are pilgrims who travel between the eternities, we have a Savior who is the Lord and Master of eternity. He has offered us the promise of life with Him forever and has secured that promise with His own sacrifice. This was the promise spoken of by the writer of Hebrews 11:13.

We are locked into the moments and hours and days of life, but we look ahead by faith in Christ. One day, we will experience the promises of eternity when faith will become sight as we see Him. That hope is what lifts us beyond life between the eternities to a joy that is eternal.
Bill Crowder

Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but Thou art mighty,
Hold me with Thy powerful hand. —Williams

For time and eternity, Jesus is all we need.


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Cookies In Heaven?

An elderly man lay dying in his bed. In death's agony, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs. He gathered his remaining strength, and lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands, he crawled down the stairs.

With labored breath, he leaned against the door-frame, gazing into the kitchen. Were it not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven: there, spread out upon waxed paper on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies. Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?

Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table, landing on his knees in a rumpled posture. His parched lips parted: the wondrous taste of the cookie was already in his mouth, seemingly bringing him back to life.

The aged and withered hand trembled on its way to a cookie at the edge of the table, when it was suddenly smacked with aspatula by his wife.

"Stay out of those," she said, "they're for the funeral."

NFL Allows Churches to Host Super Bowl Parties

Churches can now show the Super Bowl on big screens, the National Football League said this week.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a letter dated Tuesday the league would not object to "live showings – regardless of screen size – of the Super Bowl" by religious organizations, according to The Washington Post.

The letter was address to Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah).

Controversy arose when the NFL gave warning last year to an Indianapolis church not to hold a Super Bowl viewing party. Fall Creek Baptist Church had planned a gathering at church for about 100 young adults to watch the Super Bowl on a big screen and was going to charge admission to cover snack costs. It also promoted its Super Bowl party on the church Web site.

While the NFL allows churches to screen the big game, the Indianapolis church had violated the league's policy and copyright law which bans mass out-home viewing except at sports bars and other businesses that televise sports as part of their everyday operations, prohibits charging admission to watch the game, and restricts the TV screen to 55 inches.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Five Very Funny Commercials

These Ameriquest Mortgage commercials are absolutely hilarious!

Objective: Display of national motto in America's cities

What began as a grassroots campaign in a California city to get the national motto displayed in a public meeting room is expanding nationwide.

In 2001, Jacquie Sullivan, a resident of Bakersfield, heard about a group of people who were upset with the public display of the nation's motto, "In God We Trust." In response, she set to work to get the motto displayed in Bakersfield City Council chambers. After finding success there, the campaign spread to cities throughout California -- such as Carson City, Ridgecrest, Shafter, Sonora, and Paso Robles.

Now Sullivan, who is running for her fourth term to the Bakersfield City Council, is looking to expand the movement and is spearheading a campaign to get the national motto displayed in council chambers nationwide.

Read more of this story on OneNewsNow.

Fla. board approves evolution compromise

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (BP)--Rejecting advice from both sides in the evolution debate, the Florida Board of Education voted 4-3 Feb. 19 to add "scientific theory of" before each reference to "evolution" in new science standards for public schools in the Sunshine State.

The vote to approve compromise language suggested by Florida Department of Education Commissioner Eric Smith ends for now a debate that has engulfed the state since October 2007 when the first draft of the 10-year document was proposed. But opponents say they now will turn to the Florida legislature to seek support for a fix to what they believe is a dogmatic approach to evolution.

Read more of this story on Baptist Press.

Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons Fastest-Growing 'Churches' in U.S.

The two fastest-growing church bodies in the United States and Canada, according to a newly published report, are ones whose beliefs are known to conflict with traditional Christian teaching.

Jehovah's Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, regarded by many Christians as cults, reported the largest membership increases in a year, according to the National Council of Churches' 2008 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches.

Although Jehovah's Witnesses currently rank 25th in size with over 1.06 million members, they reported a 2.25 percent increase in membership since the publication of the 2007 Yearbook. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – also known as the Mormon church – grew 1.56 percent and is listed by the NCC as the fourth largest “church.”

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Is God Everywhere?

President Bush Visits Ghana

NOTE: I received a call from JCEA Ghana Ministry Coordinator, Evangelist Raphael Adjei Kingbi, telling me about US President George Bush visiting his country. He was excited about the visit, so I thought I would share a couple of stories about the president's trip to Ghana.

Bush Motorway Gets Favorable Mention

President Bush’s economic-development program for poor countries has been criticized for getting off to a slow start. So when he traveled this week to Ghana, regarded as one of the program’s star pupils, he was hoping finally to see some concrete results — literally.

Bush pressed his host, President John Kufuor, for a drive-by look at the major highway redevelopment being paid for with some of the $547 million grant the U.S. gave to Ghana in 2006. But at a state dinner on Wednesday night, Kufuor said the presidential inspection turned out to be impossible, given the time constraints. Kufuor promised to take Bush to see it the next time he comes to town, however, when Bush will be an ex-president — and, Kufuor added, the highway will be named the George Bush Motorway.

Read more of this story on The Wall Street Journal.


In Africa, Bush Shifts His Personal 'Mission of Mercy' to Ghana

ACCRA, Ghana — U.S. President George W. Bush is pushing trade and aid in this tropical land of gold and diamonds, the latest stop on what he has dubbed his "mission of mercy" to Africa.

Bush got a ceremonial welcome Wednesday in Ghana, a stable democracy that gets U.S. assistance to fight disease, build roads, train teachers and expand markets for its crops. Several thousand children in their school uniforms lined the streets of Accra and waved tiny Ghanian flags as Bush's motorcade made its 10-minute drive to Osu Castle, a centuries-old building that was once a hub of slave-trading and now is the seat of government.

Read more of this story on FOX News.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Second Opinion

This guy was climbing a tree when suddenly he slipped. He grabbed at a branch and was hanging in mid air. After an hour, he felt himself getting exhausted and looked up to the heavens and cried out: "God, help me! Please, help me!"

All of a sudden the clouds parted and a voice boomed out from on high. "Let Go!" said the voice.

The guy paused, looked up at heaven once more, and said: "Is there anyone else up there?"

One Way To Get Noticed

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

FBC Lake Butler Wednesday

I will be preaching at my home church, First Baptist Church of Lake Butler, on Wednesday, February 20th at 6:30pm. The church is located at 195 East Main Street in Lake Butler, Florida. For more info call Pastor Jason Johns at (386) 496-3704.

Kitten Baptism

Johnny's mother looked out the window and noticed him 'playing church' with their three kittens He had the kittens sitting in a row, and he was preaching to them... preaching to them? She smiled and went about her work.

A while later she heard loud meowing & hissing. She ran back, opened the window, and saw Johnny baptizing the kittens in a tub of water.

She called out, "Johnny, stop that. Those kittens are afraid of water!"

Johnny looked up at her and said, "They should have thought about that before they joined my church."

Chuck Colson: Muslims are 'Better Theologians' than American Christians

Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, says radical Muslims would make better theologians than most Christians in America.

n his new book, The Faith, the prominent evangelical observes that radical Islamists have a better understanding of the Muslim faith than most Christians in America have of Christianity.

A study by Barna Group shows that 60 percent of Americans fail to name five of the Ten Commandments, cites Colson in his book.

His own interaction with those he deemed as mature Christians also confirmed that many believers are not sure what the biblical core beliefs are.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Ex-Stripper Turned Preacher Film Stirs Controversy

NOTE: Read the story before you start wondering, "Why is this on a Christian blog?" Please feel free to share your thoughts by clicking "comments" below.

A new documentary on a former stripper turned evangelist is stirring controversy within the Christian community between supporters of the film and those against the ex-stripper’s unorthodox way of ministering to sex workers.

The documentary, “The Pussycat Preacher,” which was released Friday, follows ex-stripper Heather Veitch as she struggles to start a ministry for women in the sex industry. The film chronicles the formation of the ministry JC (Jesus Christ)’s Girls – from Veitch gaining acceptance from other women at her church to bringing a few women from church to minister at strip clubs.

Perhaps the most controversial part of the ministry is its method of evangelizing those in the sex industry.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Lincoln's Testimony


Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? —Luke 24:26

Abraham Lincoln was a backwoodsman who rose from humble beginnings to the heights of political power. During the dark days of the US Civil War, he served as a compassionate and resolute president. Depression and mental pain were his frequent companions. Yet the terrible emotional suffering he endured drove him to receive Jesus Christ by faith.

Lincoln told a crowd in his hometown in Illinois: “When I left Springfield, I asked the people to pray for me; I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ. I do love Jesus.” Life’s most painful tragedies can bring us to a deeper understanding of the Savior.

When two men walked the road to Emmaus, they were dumbfounded by the senseless murder of Jesus of Nazareth. Then a stranger joined them and gave scriptural insight about the suffering Messiah (Luke 24:26-27). The stranger was Jesus Himself, and His ministry to them brought comfort.

Heartache has a way of pointing us to the Lord Jesus, who has shared in our sufferings and can bring meaning to seemingly senseless pain. — Dennis Fisher

Though tragedy, heartache, and sorrow abound
And many a hardship in life will be found,
Just put all your trust in the Savior of light,
For He can bring hope in the darkest of night. —D. De Haan

Suffering can teach us what we can’t learn in any other way.


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Hacker Needed

Saturday, February 16, 2008

It's A Fact


READ: Ephesians 4:1-6

[I pray] that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You. —John 17:21

In doing research for his epic story Roots, Alex Haley embarked on the freighter African Star, sailing from Monrovia, Liberia, to Jacksonville, Florida. He did so to better understand the travails of his ancestors, who were brought in chains to America.

Haley descended into the ship’s hold, stripped himself of protective clothing, and tried to sleep on some thick, rough-hewn bracing. After the third miserable night, he gave up and returned to his cabin. But he could now write with some small degree of empathy of the sufferings of his forebears.

It’s one thing to say we believe that Jesus Christ, the second Person of the holy Trinity, identifies Himself with us. It’s quite another to feel the blessed experience of our identification with Him. But we need not resort to extreme measures to grasp the truth of that oneness, for Christ Himself has endured the most extreme of all measures to identify with us. He went to the cross to reconcile a sinful human race to Himself (Rom. 5:10-11).

Reading Scripture, praying, and partaking of the Lord’s Supper can help us gain at least some awareness of our identification with our Lord and Savior. But regardless of how we feel, our unity with Him is a fact that we must grasp in faith.
Vernon C. Grounds

With longing all my heart is filled
That like Him I may be,
As on the wondrous thought I dwell,
That Christ liveth in me. —Whittle

The just shall live by faith—not by feeling.


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How Old?

B.C.

Friday, February 15, 2008

March Meeting In Cottondale, Florida

Click image to enlarge.

Art, Worship, and the Bible

NOTE: This is a thought-provoking opinion on the way churches look. Feel free to share your thoughts on the subject by clicking "comments" below.

The neighbors watched the new church building go up in just one month—and what a sight it was! The church was a squat, square building made of unrelieved concrete. On the inside was garish red carpeting. A massive parking lot surrounded the church.

Nothing could possibly have been uglier—and the fact that so many Christians build church structures like this reveals how far Christians have strayed from the place beauty and art are meant to have in our lives.

As the late Francis Schaeffer notes in his book, Art and the Bible, we evangelicals tend to relegate art to the fringes of life. Despite our talk about the lordship of God in every aspect of life, we have narrowed its scope to a very small part of reality. But the arts are also supposed to be under the lordship of Christ, Schaeffer reminds us. Christians ought to use the arts “as things of beauty to the praise of God.”

Read more of this opinion on The Christian Post.

Growing Through Grief


It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes. —Psalm 119:71

A woman who lost her husband of 40 years to a sudden heart attack said that the resulting grief had caused her to value love more. When she heard couples arguing, she sometimes spoke to them, saying, “You don’t have time for this.” She noted that the wasted moments in all our lives become more precious when they cannot be repeated.

Grief changes our perspective on life. It is trite but true that how we deal with sorrow will make us either bitter or better. In a remarkable statement, the psalmist actually thanked God for a difficult experience: “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word. . . . It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes” (Ps. 119:67,71).

We don’t know the nature of the psalmist’s affliction, but the positive outcome was a longing to obey the Lord and a hunger for His Word. Rarely can we use this truth to comfort those who hurt. Instead, it is the Lord’s word to us from His compassionate heart and the touch from His healing hand.

When we grieve, it feels more like dying than growing. But as God wraps His loving arms around us, we have the assurance of His faithful care.
David C. McCasland

I have been through the valley of weeping,
The valley of sorrow and pain;
But the God of all comfort was with me,
At hand to uphold and sustain. —Anon.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. —Psalm 116:15


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Spike's Change

Israeli Woman Claims to Be 120; If True Would Make Her Oldest Person on Earth

JERUSALEM — Mariam Amash filled in the routine form with anything but routine information.

Amash, who recently applied for a new Israeli identity card, said she was born 120 years ago — a claim, if confirmed, that would make her the oldest person in the world.

The Guinness Book of Records currently lists 114-year-old Edna Parker of Shelbyville, Indiana, as holding that title.

Sabine Haddad, a spokeswoman for Israel's Interior Ministry, confirmed that Amash, from the Israeli Arab village of Jisr a-Zarka, is listed in the population registry as having been born in 1888. "We're just not sure it's correct," Haddad said.

Read more of this story on FOX News.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hug Coupons

Here is a perfect Valentine Day gift idea suitable for all ages: Free Hug Coupons!




What Is Love?

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (NKJV)

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body £to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

John 3:16-17 (NKJV)

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

YouTube Top 9 Videos

Below are our top 9 viewed videos from our YouTube Channel. The counts reflected were as of 1:57 PM on Thursday, February 14, 2008.

Bluegrass Gospel Medley
Added: 4 months ago
Views: 3,799
3'10" tall evangelist James Croft
Added: 1 year ago
Views: 1,691
Do You Know?
Do You Know?
03:50
Added: 5 months ago
Views: 867
A Very Scary Halloween Story
Added: 3 months ago
Views: 786
Happy Camper
Happy Camper
01:17
Added: 7 months ago
Views: 714
James Croft television news feature
Added: 11 months ago
Views: 689
A Great Heritage
Added: 6 months ago
Views: 536
Belinda Sings
Added: 5 months ago
Views: 523
Good Food
Good Food
01:15
Added: 9 months ago
Views: 373
See All 36 Videos

Doctor: Billy Graham Alert After Surgery

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Evangelist Billy Graham underwent successful surgery Wednesday to update a shunt that controls excess fluid in his brain, and was expected to remain in the hospital for several days.

Graham was listed in fair condition at Asheville's Mission Hospitals after the 28-minute procedure. "He's on a soft diet tonight, will be on a regular diet tomorrow and should be up and walking around," said Larry Ross, Graham's spokesman.

Dr. Ralph C. Loomis installed a new valve in the shunt on Wednesday that can be programmed externally to maintain desired fluid levels and pressure.

Graham was expected to remain there until doctors are able to program the valve to properly regulate the pressure.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

No Attachments Please

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Real Cowboys Love God

"Real Cowboys Love God" is a motto you see on shirts and on the walls of Circle J Cowboy Church in Palatka, Florida. The church is a "church plant" by the Florida Baptist Convention and is drawing people who say they "don't feel comfortable in other churches". The Tuesday night services are held at the Palatka Horsemen's Club.

I had the honor of preaching at Circle J last night. The congregation of approximately 50 consisted of a variety of ages. Church Planter Carl Christiansen said the crowd would have been larger had it not been for the bad weather, which was rain, rain, rain.

The church's praise band featured singers, guitars and a mandolin. The band did a great job in leading the congregational music. Hymnals were passed-0ut as the song service got underway and Bibles were provided to those that didn't have one for the sermon.

The Lord really moved during the service (in spite of the preaching). We saw two people give their lives to Christ! Praise the Lord!

Brother Carl told us that a water trough is used for baptisms and is scheduled for March.

I want to thank Jon Fletcher, his wife Kristie, and their children Klara and Isaac for accompanying me to the service. Jon shot some great photos during the service and you can view them in this photo gallery.

If you live in the area and you're searching for a church, the cowboys and cowgirls at Circle J Cowboy Church would love to have you stop by and visit a spell on Tuesday nights. A supper is held at 6pm and the worship service begins at 7pm. The Horsemen's Club is located at 181 Horsemen Club Road in Palatka, Florida. For more information call Pastor Carl Christiansen at (386) 546-1943.

Cowboy Church Photo Gallery

Man finds image of biblical proportions

NOTE: Now this is interesting, you believe God has appeared to you in a piece of wood, but then, you want to sell it on eBay. Hmmmmm, maybe Moses should have tried to sell the "burning bush" on eBay too. He could have gotten rich and then hired an army of "soldiers of fortune" to return to Egypt to free God's people. Feel free to share your thoughts by clicking "comments" below.

In the Book of Revelations, Jesus promises to return as a “tree of life ... in the midst of the paradise of God.” A Bensalem Catholic said the Lord appeared to him in a slice of New Jersey pine.

Furniture maker Craig O'Connor said he was chopping down pine trees last year at a friend's house in Burlington County when he discovered the image.

A discoloration in the wood could be that of a man floating in a flowing gown. Tree rings seem to emanate from the figure's head and could be seen as angelic halos.

Read more of this story at the Bucks County Courier Times.

Valentine's Flowers?

Share the Gospel tractfully

NOTE: There's some good tips in this article. You can share your ideas on using tracts by clicking "comments" below.

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)--I was in Nashville recently, and at the end of a long day of meetings I stopped at a convenience store for a late-night snack. I stood in line, paid for my ice cream, and passed a Gospel tract to the clerk who politely smiled and stuffed it into a pocket. I smiled and left. As I was opening my car door, a man yelled my way. "Great," I thought, without turning around. "I'm exhausted and this guy's going to want money. God, please help me talk to this man." I turned around to face this young man who had a desperate look on his face.

"That booklet you gave," he said. "I need that."

Read more of this story on Baptist Press.

200 years after Lincoln's birth, his pilgrimage still fascinates enthusiasts

HODGENVILLE, Ky. (BP)--As Kentucky launches a two-year bicentennial celebration of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln enthusiasts are sharing their views on the president's spiritual journey -- a journey that, like the man, began in the commonwealth of Kentucky.

Born three miles south of Hodgenville on April 12, 1809, Lincoln was only 2 years old when the family moved about seven miles northeast to a farm along Knob Creek. It was here that the future president's parents, Thomas and Nancy, took the family to Little Mount Baptist Church.

It was a Separatist congregation whose main clergyman was an abolitionist, said Gary Talley, pastor of Magnolia (Ky.) Baptist Church and retired chief of operations at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site.

"There's always been a wide range of speculation about (Lincoln's) faith since he was not really affiliated with a particular church," said Talley, who worked at the birthplace nearly 30 years. "But I really think his life seemed to reflect someone God was able to use for a purpose."

Read more of this story on The Baptist Press.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New Photo Of Ralph, Jr.

I received an e-mail with a photo today from our Ghana Ministry Coordinator, Evangelist Raphael Adjei Kingbi. The photo is of his son, Raphael Nii Adjei Anang Kingbi. The photo was taken after a recent church service. You can read about the meaning of his name on this previous post. He was born on June 2, 2006 and you can hear his dad discussing his birth on our June 2006 and July 2006 editions of Walking With The Giant.

I often joke with Evangelist Ralph that I pray his son favors his wife Mavis (the pretty one) more than his dad (the ugly one). I'm glad Ralph has a good sense of humor. 8-)

If you would like to e-mail a note of encouragement to this family as they serve the Lord in their homeland of Ghana, West Africa, you may do so by clicking here.

You can read more blog posts concerning our Ghana Ministry by selecting Ghana Ministry or Ghana Team in the category list in the left-hand column of this site. You'll find photos, videos, media articles and more.

The JCEA continues to financially support the work of Evangelist Ralph on a monthly basis. If you would like to contribute to the Ghana Ministry or to the JCEA, just follow this link.

Saudi Arabia bans sale of red roses

NOTE: What do you think about this? Share your thoughts by clicking "comments" below. Ooops, I used "red" type! 8-(

The sale of red roses and red gifts has been banned by Saudi Arabia's religious police in the run-up to Valentine's Day, reports a local newspaper.

Officials from the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice warned flower and gift shops to remove all red items, including roses and wrapping paper, from their shelves.

"They visited us last night," an unidentified florist told the Saudi Gazette. "They gave us warnings and this morning we packed up all the red items."

In Riyadh, the ban came into force on Sunday and will remain until after February 14.

Read more of this story on Guardian.

50 Chickens Found Running Through Philadelphia High School

PHILADELPHIA — Monday mornings are hard enough. Imagine finding 50 chickens running loose in your high school.

Workers arriving about 5:30 a.m. to open Northeast High School in Philadelphia found dozens of hens and roosters wandering around the hallways. The birds were apparently brought to the school sometime over the weekend, said school district spokesman Fernando Gallard.

"We don't know where the chickens came from or who they belong to," Gallard said. "I'm pretty sure there is a very upset poultry farmer somewhere who wants them back."

The floors were covered with droppings and chicken feed. Most of the school's 3,600 students were sent home for the day because the school required extensive cleanup, he said.

A farmer was called to round up the birds and bring them to Fox Chase Farm, the district's agricultural school, Gallard said.

Police are checking surveillance tapes to see if they can determine the perpetrator of the fowl prank. The culprit will have to pay a hefty fine, said Gallard.

"It's not going to be chicken scratch," he said.

Source: FOX News

Tightened Security

Monday, February 11, 2008

Palatka Cowboy Church Tuesday

I'll be preaching at the Circle J Cowboy Church in Palatka, Florida on Tuesday, February 12. It is a unique setting, meeting at the Palatka Horsemen's Club. This is a new church plant by the Florida Baptist Convention. I'm really looking forward to this opportunity and I hope you will join me in prayer about this service and for the new church.

Circle J Cowboy Church is located at 181 Horsemen Club Road in Palatka, Florida. For more information call Pastor Carl Christiansen at (386) 546-1943.

(Click image to enlarge)

Agape Banquet Report

I had a very enjoyable time last night at an Agape Banquet in Jacksonville, Florida. River City Family Church went all-0ut for the event. The program was sponsored by the youth of the church. The food was outstanding and the musical program presented by the youth was a lot of fun. After my sermon, Pastor James Gipson (pictured with me) conducted The Lord's Supper.

If you have the opportunity to visit River City Family Church, they will make you feel very welcome. The church is located at 6800 W. 5th Street in Jacksonville, Florida.

Egypt Supreme Court Allows Return to Christianity

Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court ruled this past weekend that 12 Christian converts to Islam can “re-convert” back to Christianity.

The legal battle of the 12 Coptic Christians, which lasted over a year, concluded Saturday when Cairo’s highest civil court upheld the right of religious minorities.

“Our request was fully granted,” said Hossam Bahgat, director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, a Cairo-based group that filed the case in association with Human Rights Watch, according to the New York Times. “The defendants are going to receive their ID cards, as Christians.”

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Saturday, February 09, 2008

iPod Warriors: Tech Gadget Breaks Barriers for Troops

NOTE: This is one cool use for a popular gadget. Share your thoughts by clicking "comments" below.

ORLANDO, FL -- A small Florida company has turned one of the world's most popular high tech gadgets into a tool for American troops that can help save lives.

"They speak with their hands -- a lot," US Army Sergeant Darren Williams said, remembering the times he worked to communicate with the local people during his year as a soldier in Iraq.

"If you grab something, or if you say, 'Hold it.' Or, 'Pick it up. Pick it up.' You use that a lot, too," the Jacksonville-based Army recruiter said, waving his hands through a series of gestures.

For Williams, often the only way to reach around the language barrier he faced in Iraq was with his hands.

Read more of this story on First Coast News.

Wedding Vows

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Big Hole

Two rednecks are out hunting, and as they're walking along they come upon a huge hole in the ground. They approach it and are amazed by the size of it.

The first hunter says "Wow, that's some hole, I can't even see the bottom, I wonder how deep it is?" The second hunter says "I don't know, let's throw something down and listen and see how long it takes to hit bottom."

The first hunter says "There's this old transmission here, give me a hand and we'll throw it in and see". So they pick it up and carry it over, and count one, and two and three, and throw it in the hole.

They are standing there listening and looking over the edge and they hear a rustling in the brush behind them. As they turn around they see a goat come crashing through the brush, run up to the hole with no hesitation, and jump in head first.

While they are standing there looking at each other, looking in the hole, and trying to figure out what that was all about, an old farmer walks up. "Say there", says the farmer, "you fellers didn't happen to see my goat around here anywhere, did you?"

The first hunter says, "Funny you should ask, but we were just standing here a minute ago and a goat came running out of the bushes doin' about a hunert miles an hour and jumped head first into this hole here!"

And the old farmer said, "Why that's impossible, I had him chained to a transmission!"

Trump Hair

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Banquet Sunday Night

I will be the guest speaker during the Agape Banquet at River City Family Church in Jacksonville, Florida this Sunday, February 10, 2008. The banquet begins at 5pm. For more information call Pastor James Gipson at (904) 786-6800. The church is located at 6800 W. 5th Street in Jacksonville, Florida. Please be in prayer for this event.

For up-to-date information on my preaching schedule visit the schedule page of my ministry website. If you would like to receive schedule information via e-mail follow this link: Subscribe to James Croft Ministry Opportunities by Email.

The First Confession

A parish priest was being honored at a dinner on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his arrival in that parish. A leading local politician, who was a member of the congregation, was chosen to make the presentation and to give a little speech at the dinner, but he was delayed in traffic, so the priest decided to say his own few words while they waited.

"You will understand," he said, "the seal of the confessional can never be broken, however I got my first impressions of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I can only hint vaguely about this, but when I came here 25 years ago I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first chap who entered my confessional told me how he had stolen a television set, and when stopped by the police, had almost murdered the officer! Further, he told me he had embezzled money from his place of business and had an affair with his boss's wife. I was appalled! But as the days went on, I learned that my people were not all like that, and I had, indeed, come to a fine parish full of understanding and loving people."

Just as the priest finished his talk, the politician arrived full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make the presentation and give his talk.

"I'll never forget the first day our parish priest arrived in this parish," said the politician. "In fact, I had the honour of being the first one to go to him in confession."

Michigan student censored over candy canes

The full Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is being asked to review the case of a student who was censored for expressing a religious viewpoint as part of a school project.

In 2003, administrators at Handley School in Saginaw, Michigan, barred Joel Curry -- then a fifth-grader -- from selling candy cane ornaments to fellow students as part of a classroom project. Curry was told he could not participate until he removed an attached pamphlet explaining the religious symbolism of the candy cane.

Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund sued on Curry's behalf -- and in 2006, a federal judge ruled the school violated Curry's First Amendment rights. However, a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit disagreed with that ruling, saying religious speech by students is offensive and thus can be censored.

Read more of this story on OneNewsNow.

Bad Timing

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Guess The Spot

How well do you know landmarks? Take this quiz and see if you can name the landmark with an aerial view of the location.

I scored 60% and had 9 out of 16 correct. Share your score with us by clicking "comments" below.

Top NFL Draftee Endorses Christian Charity

WASHINGTON - A top NFL draftee went teary-eyed Tuesday when he told a crowded room that before he catches a single football as a professional athlete, he wanted to endorse the Christian charity that offers life-changing surgeries to the most needy and hopeless in Africa.

“I wanted this to be the first thing I did to begin my career as a professional athlete. I’m not even in the league yet, but I know how important it is to do the right things in the right way,” said Malcolm Kelly, who is expected to be in the top 10 picks for the 2008 NFL Draft.

“Mercy Ships is all about that. They deliver free, life-changing medical assistance to people in Africa and third world countries that need help the most,” the 21-year-old, 6’4” Christian athlete said.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Tossing And Turning

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Top Video Downloads: January 2008

Here are the 5 most downloaded videos from Walking With The Giant Videos for the month of January 2008:

  1. The Wilson Family Band
  2. Down In The Valley
  3. Peaceful Christmas Village
  4. Time Capsule
  5. (tie) A Very Scary Halloween Story and Bowling
Stats powered by Feedburner.

NOTE: These stats do not include views on YouTube, GodTube or GospelTube.

You can receive e-mail notifications when new videos are added:
Subscribe to Walking With The Giant Videos by Email

You may also contribute financially to this ministry to help with evangelism projects by following these links:
View top video downloads for December 2007.

Teachers boo pro-family pastor at MLK Day school assembly

A pastor known for overcoming racial discrimination to become an NFL star and pro-family advocate was booed during a recent Martin Luther King Day presentation.

You may know Ken Hutcherson's name from his pro football days or, more recently, his pro-family activism in defense of traditional marriage. But Hutcherson's daughter was introducing her father at her high school to talk about how he overcame racism thanks to the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"And then she says, 'But the most important thing is, this is my Dad.' I stood up to walk up to the microphone and there were some boos. They started booing."

Read more of this story on OneNewsNow.

Podcast Audience To Double In Next Two Years

NOTE: Stories like this is one reason the JCEA maintains the podcast "Walking With The Giant". The more people listen to podcasts, the more people with whom we can share Christ.

Podcasting News -- The US audience for podcasts will more than double in the next two years, growing from 6.5 million (active weekly downloaders) in 2007 to 14 million in 2009.

According to a new report by eMarketer

  • The total US podcast audience reached 18.5 million in 2007;
  • The total audience will increase by 251% to 65 million in 2012;
  • There are currently 6.5 million people that download one or more podcasts per week; and
  • In five years, there will be 25 million active podcast downloaders.

Fla. marriage amendment makes ballot

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (BP)--A constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage will be on the November ballot in Florida because supporters gathered 92,000 extra petitions, or signatures, in about two weeks after learning a computer glitch had dropped the previous tally below the 611,000 petition requirement.

John Stemberger, chairman of the Florida Coalition to Protect Marriage, was notified Feb. 1 by the director of the state Divisions of Elections that the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment was officially certified as Amendment 2 for the Nov. 4 general election ballot with a total of 649,346 valid signatures.

The marriage amendment was the only one of more than 50 active petition drives to qualify, according to the Associated Press.

Read more of this story on Baptist Press.

Top 12 Evangelical Christians in Sports

You can stay home on Sunday to watch football, skip Tuesday night prayer meeting for the baseball game of the week, and miss Saturday's church retreat in favor of a pro golf tournament--chances are, you'll still hear about Jesus. Evangelical athletes populate the major sports, and many of them enjoy the chance to be outspoken about their faith--thanking God for that winning field goal, late-inning homerun, or 18-foot putt.

We've scanned the sporting world to come up with a gallery of some of the most dominant athletes and coaches working today. Each of these men and women work hard, as their Bibles tell them, "to win the prize," both in their sports and in their faith.

  • Joe Gibbs - owner of champion NASCAR team, Joe Gibbs Racing, and until January 8, 2008, the head coach and team president of the Washington Redskins
  • Mariano Rivera – relief pitcher for the New York Yankees who helped the team win four World Series titles throughout his career
  • Derek Fisher – point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers
  • Shaun Alexander – running back for the Seattle Seahawks, 2005 NFL MVP
  • Allyson Felix – track and field sprinter, won three gold medals at the Outdoor World Championship in Japan in 2007
  • Hunter Smith – punter for the INDIANAPOLIS Colts
  • Jake Peavy – pitcher for the San Diego Padres
  • Tony Dungy – coach for the Indianapolis Colts
  • Curt Schilling – pitcher for the Boston Red Sox
  • Tim Tebow – quarterback for the Florida Gators at the University of Florida
  • Michael Waltrip – driver and owner of Michael Waltrip Racing
  • Zach Johnson – American golfer, won the 2007 Masters Tournament
Read more about each of these on Beliefnet.

New Baptist Covenant Articles

Here are a couple of articles from Baptist Press about the recent meeting of New Baptist Covenant Celebration in Atlanta, Georgia. I would love to read your comments on these articles. You can share your thoughts with us by clicking "comments" below.

Breakout sessions present differing views

Clinton urges respect with conservatives

Free Will