Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Too Busy Serving


Moving Testimony

Three buddies die in a car crash, and they go to heaven.

There, they are all asked, "When you are in your casket and friends and family are mourning, what would you like to hear them say about you?"The first guy says, "I would like to hear them say that I was a great doctor of my time, and a great family man."

The second guy says, "I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and school teacher who made a huge difference in our children of tomorrow."

The last guy replies, "I would like to hear them say, 'Look! He's moving!'"

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Armed Or Unarmed?

Have you ever had one of those "chance" encounters that makes you praise the Lord for having you right where you needed to be?

Sunday afternoon, one of my cousins, Kevin Owen, and I were at a nursing home in Lake City visiting our 97 year-old great-aunt. After leaving her room I was approached by a young man that addressed me as "Brother James." He began to share with me about attending a 6 week soulwinning class that I lead for youth at Eastside Baptist Church in Lake City. To be completely honest, I remembered teaching the class, but sadly not his name. There were approximately 14-18 youth in the class. However, this story isn't about how "short" my memory has become, but about his sharp memory.

He said he remembered me telling the class that it was very important to use your "sword", the Bible, when witnessing to others. He went on to remind me that I urged them not to carry a big Bible with them, but a small "dagger" that could be concealed in their pocket or purse. The larger Bible could scare off their prospect before having the opportunity to share the Gospel with them. The small New Testament would still provide them with all the scripture needed to lead someone to Christ and could be quickly produced when needed.

He mentioned that I had purchased a small sharing New Testament for each member of the class. I remembered making the purchase, the store that I purchased them from and how excited some of the class members were when I passed them out toward the end of the series. It was at this point that my heart was blessed more than I am able to convey to you with my feeble writing skills. As he was recalling these events, he reached into his back pocket and produced the New Testament that I had presented to him. He told me that since that night he has carried that little "dagger" with him everywhere he went. WOW! I was blown away by this! I mean, some folks never leave home without their cell phone, but rarely do they take a Bible everywhere they go. By the way, did I mention that the soulwinning class he spoke of was held in February and March of 2000! That's been over 8 years ago!

I have no idea if anyone has been led to the Lord by this young man using his "dagger", but the numbers are not the important part of this story. What is important is his faithfulness to go into the world armed with the only weapon he will need, a small New Testament that can be concealed like a dagger and brought out at a moment's notice. A very wise retired pastor and evangelist once told me, during a "dry season" in my ministry, that God didn't call me to be successful, just to be faithful. And you know what? When we are faithful to do God's work and His Will, we ARE successful in His eyes.

I praise God that I had some small role in preparing a young man for faithfulness by arming him with a book that is "sharper than any two-edged sword." I'm even more thankful that the young man has been faithful to carry his "sword" over the years.

How prepared are you? Are you faithful to go into the world each day "armed" for any opportunity the Lord may place in your pathway? How well do you know your "weapon"? Read it, study it, don't leave home without it, and most of all, be prepared to use it!

This Call May Be Recorded

Monday, April 28, 2008

Run The Race

An elementary school "track and field day" is the inspiration and backdrop for this video called "Run The Race".

1 Corinthians 9:24 (NKJV): Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.

Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? For more information visit Do You Know?



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May God richly bless you for your prayerful and financial support!

Lottery Spam Filter

Sunday, April 27, 2008

IED 2008

Internet Evangelism Day graphic

...a resource focusing on Internet outreach

The growth of the Internet over the last 12 years has been incredible, and over one billion people now use the Web. There are many thousands of Christian websites, but the vast majority of these are written only for Christians. Very few are designed to reach out effectively to non-Christians. Yet the potential is vast.

So the Internet Evangelism Coalition (an umbrella group of outreach ministries) is offering churches and other groups a focus day program called ‘Internet Evangelism Day’. The website is at:

This is purely a ‘web evangelism awareness day’ and resource site – there is no fund-raising element. Many churches and other Christian groups have already used this exciting focus within church services and other meetings. The IE Day site offers downloadable materials for this purpose: 5-minute video testimonies of people who found God online, drama scripts, PowerPoint presentations, discussion questions, and many helpful links. “Our church just started a website and we think that this will give us an opportunity to take it to another level,” says a church in St Louis, Missouri.

The IE Day team hopes for a range of outcomes. High on their list is that churches will create effective websites which can reach out into the community, rather than just be an online noticeboard for members. “It’s an exciting challenge,” says IE Day Co-ordinator Tony Whittaker. “The potential of the Web is enormous.”

Other leaders share his enthusiasm. “The Internet is one of the most key tools that God has given us in the church today,” writes George Verwer, founder of Operation Mobilization.

“I am excited to see how God will reveal Himself in mighty ways through the uniqueness of cyberspace,” comments Dr. David Tucker of Trans World Radio.

IE Day is endorsed internationally by a wide range of organizations and denominations. For more news of Internet Evangelism Day, visit www.InternetEvangelismDay.com

NOTE: The May 2006 edition of the Walking With The Giant podcast featured an interview with Dr. Sterling Huston, Chairman of Internet Evangelism Coalition and Director of Special Ministries for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Fire Rainbow


This is a real photo of a phenomenon known as a Circumhorizontal Arc or a "Fire Rainbow". You can also read a brief description on Snopes.com.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Scanning World's Every Book, Including Oldest Bible

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — In a dimly lit back room on the second level of the University of Michigan library's book-shelving department, Courtney Mitchel helped a giant desktop machine digest a rare, centuries-old Bible.

Mitchel is among hundreds of librarians from Minnesota to England making digital versions of the most fragile of the books to be included in Google Inc.'s Book Search, a portal that will eventually lead users to all the estimated 50 million to 100 million books in the world.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

The Last Minute

A minister waited in line to have his car filled with gas just before a long holiday weekend. The attendant worked quickly, but there were many cars ahead of him in front of the service station.

Finally, the attendant motioned him toward a vacant pump."Reverend," said the young man, "Sorry about the delay. It seems as if everyone waits until the last minute to get ready for a long trip."

The minister chuckled, "I know what you mean. It's the same in my business."

Friday, April 25, 2008

Birmingham Mayor Suggests Prayer, Wearing Sacks to Curb Spate of Homicides

NOTE: Share your thoughts about this story by clicking "comments" below.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Struggling to confront a worsening homicide rate, the mayor of Birmingham asked pastors and citizens Friday to don burlap sacks and ashes Friday in an Old Testament-style sign of biblical repentance.

Mayor Larry Langford said his "sackcloth and ashes" rally at Boutwell Auditorium was inspired by the Book of Jonah, where residents of the ancient city of Ninevah wore rough fabric and ashes as a sign of turning away from sin.

A pastor who helped organize the rally said Langford purchased 2,000 burlap bags that will be handed out at the event.

"We believe things begin to dramatically change when the mayor, or leader, calls for prayer. I don't think there's ever been a city called to sackcloth and ashes," Green said.

Since he took office last year, Langford has held three prayer rallies as a way of addressing crime and violence. Bibles were handed out at one of the events.

"This city needs to humble itself," said Langford, a professing Christian.

Read more of this story on FOX News.

Podcasting in Plain English

This is a very good explanation about "podcasting". By the way, if you haven't done so already, check out our podcast called "Walking With The Giant".

'Basic Instinct' Director Paul Verhoeven: Jesus Was Son of Mary and Roman Rapist

NOTE: You know you're going to want to share your thoughts on this one, so just click "comments" below.

In his upcoming biography of Jesus, "Basic Instinct" director Paul Verhoeven will make the shocking claim that Christ probably was the son of Mary and a Roman soldier who raped her during the Jewish uprising in Galilee.

An Amsterdam publishing house said Wednesday it will publish the Dutch filmmaker's biography of Jesus, "Jesus of Nazareth: A Realistic Portrait," in September.

It will be translated into English in 2009, Marianna Sterk of the publishing house J.M. Meulenhoff said. Verhoeven hopes it will be a springboard for him to raise interest in making a film along the same lines, she said.

Read more of this story on FOX News.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day

In case you didn't know, today is Earth Day. This has sparked a bit of reminiscing on my part.

During my term on the Baker County Commission (1984-1988) I helped establish the first multi-county solid waste authority in the state of Florida. New River Solid Waste Association served Baker, Bradford and Union Counties. I began working for the association in March of 1989. During the next 17 years I helped permit a regional landfill, started recycling programs for the region and established a Certified Affiliate of Keep America Beautiful called Keep Tri-counties Beautiful. I often said I was a professional trash talker.

When I was called into the ministry in 1994, I told folks I was now a total environmentalist, my "day job" was to ensure that their environment on Earth is the best it could be and my ministry was to help ensure their environment in eternity would be the best it could be. These days the latter is now my full-time career.

I enjoyed my career in the "environmental business", because I always felt that it too was a ministry for me. I believed (and still do) that we should be good stewards of the planet God has entrusted us with, but we should never forget to worship the Creator. We can admire God's creation, but never worship the creation. Worship is reserved for God, and Him alone. Today's devotion in Our Daily Bread by RBC Ministries speaks of this as does a previous post on this site by Brian Mimbs called "Is The Sky Falling?"

I believe Jesus always gives us the example to follow and He was the first "recycler". After feeding a crowd of at least 5, 000, He asked them to take up the left-overs so that nothing was lost. You can read this in John 6:1-15.

Here's something else for you to consider. You and I, because of sin, were really "waste" (Isaiah 64:6). We were bound for the "landfill", or to be more precise, the "incinerator" (Rev. 20:15). We needed someone (Jesus) to "recycle" us (Romans 5:8). To "recycle" means to use again, so if we are "born again" (John 3:3) we are now "reusable" (2 Cor. 5:17). As a born-again believer we are now to be used by God (Rom. 12:1-2). We also have a new "eternal destination" (John 14:1-3).

Have you been recycled by Jesus? He's the ONLY way (John 14:6)!

If you would like to know more about God's "recycling plan" visit Do You Know? or view the video. You can also e-mail me and I'll try to answer your questions.

Thank you Lord for allowing us to take care of the planet you have given us. May we do better in caring for Your Creation and even more to honor You!

Ohio public school teacher ordered to remove Bible from classroom desk

A standoff may be in the works between a public school teacher in Ohio and his bosses, who ordered him to hide his personal Bible from students.

John Freshwater has taught science at Mount Vernon Middle School for 20 years and last year was named "Teacher of the Year." For the past 18 years, Freshwater has kept his personal Bible on his desk in order to provide strength and encouragement.

Administrators recently ordered Freshwater to remove the Bible, citing a violation of separation of church and state. But Freshwater's spokesman, Dave Daubenmire of Pass the Salt Ministries, says the First Amendment gives Freshwater the right to keep his Bible on his personal desk.

Read more of this story on One News Now.

Sticky Notes

Man sees Jesus on hospital ceiling

NEW YORK, April 20 (UPI) -- As Pope Benedict XVI spends time in New York, a local hospital is getting attention for a water mark on the ceiling some think looks like Jesus.

Junior Rodriguez, 31, a cab driver receiving care for anemia, said he noticed the quarter-sized face of Jesus when he looked up from his bed one day in St. John's Queens Hospital, the New York Post reported Sunday.

"I was freaking out. There was Jesus looking down on me. This room is blessed," Rodriguez said of his April 10 discovery.

Hospital employees reportedly quickly deemed Room 232 the "Jesus room."

Read more of this story on United Press International.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Return On Investment



You were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit. —1 Corinthians 6:20

Long before the US professional baseball season begins each spring, team owners and managers are busy negotiating trades and contracts. They'll pay large sums of money to get the athlete who will help them win the championship. When the season starts, all eyes are on the newly acquired talent to see if he was worth the cost. The ultimate measure of the player's success is whether his contribution to the team is a good return on the investment.

In 1 Corinthians 6:20, Paul reminds us that we too have been "bought at a price." The context paints a compelling picture of Christ's great sacrifice. He liberated us from the cruel slavemaster of sin by buying us with the high price of His own life.

Getting a grip on God's great and loving investment in us should motivate us to gladly consider making His sacrifice rich in dividends. How is that return on His investment measured? By living to bring glory to Him! Our eyes, hands, feet, thoughts, dreams, and desires have been purchased to reflect the wondrous glory of God's will and wisdom. In other words, we are no longer our own.

Paul concluded, "Therefore glorify God in your body" (v.20). Living to reflect His glory is the return on investment that makes the Owner of our lives look good! — Joe Stowell

Redemption's price our Savior paid
When all our sins on Him were laid;
He took our guilt, He bore our shame
That we may glorify His name. —D. De Haan

Our choice to bring glory to God yields a great return on Christ's investment.

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Young Samson

Friday, April 18, 2008

Evangelist Ralph To Lead Youth Service

Evangelist Raphael Adjei Kingbi will have a busy schedule of youth services over the next week. Evangelist Ralph serves as Ghana Ministry Coordinator for the James Croft Evangelistic Association in Teshie-Accra, Ghana, West Africa.

He will be leading a Junior High School Finalists Retreat tomorrow (Saturday). This is a half-day service that features a time of prayer for students preparing for their final examinations to move from junior high to senior high school. The service will be held at Paola Memorial Presbyterian Church in Teshie

Next Wednesday, April 23rd, he will be preaching during a youth revival at an Anglican Church. The following Friday night and Saturday morning, Evangelist Ralph will be speaking during an all-night youth retreat at the Methodist Church in Teshie.

I hope you will join me in praying for the ministry of Evangelist Ralph and for his family. His wife, Mavis, is expecting their second child, so much prayer is needed for this family. The two celebrated their 4th wedding anniversary yesterday (April 17th).

If you should feel led to financially support our Ghana Ministry, you can send a check or money order to:

James Croft Evangelistic Association
P.O. Box 56
Olustee, Florida 32072-0056

You can also make a contribution with your credit card or PayPal account by clicking here. In the "comments" section of the form, please make a note that it is for the Kingbi's. We send monthly support to the Kingbi family to enable Ralph more time for evangelism efforts in Ghana.

Evangelist Ralph also gives a ministry report each month on the "Walking with the Giant" Podcast.

Pictured above are Ralph, Mavis and their first child, Ralph, Jr. This photo was taken in mid 2006.

Nope

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Most Viewed On YouTube Channel

Below are our top 9 viewed videos from our YouTube Channel. The counts reflected were as of 12:15 PM on Thursday, April 17, 2008.

Bluegrass Gospel Medley
Added: 6 months ago
Views: 6,133
3'10" tall evangelist James Croft
Added: 1 year ago
Views: 1,973
A Very Scary Halloween Story
Added: 5 months ago
Views: 1,403
Do You Know?
Do You Know?
03:50
Added: 7 months ago
Views: 888
Happy Camper
Happy Camper
01:17
Added: 9 months ago
Views: 785
James Croft television news feature
Added: 1 year ago
Views: 771
A Great Heritage
Added: 8 months ago
Views: 712
Belinda Sings
Added: 7 months ago
Views: 663
Lake City Christmas Parade
Added: 4 months ago
Views: 435
See All 37 Videos

Web Diagnosis

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

FBCLB Tonight

I will be preaching at my home church, First Baptist Church of Lake Butler, tonight 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.

Please be in prayer for this service.

Florida Considers 'I Believe' License Plates


Florida residents may soon have the option to purchase license plates that display and represent their faith, thanks to a new measure currently under review in the Florida legislature.

Under the new legislation, residents will be able to purchase license plates engrained with the words “I Believe” alongside the image of a cross and stained glass church window.

Democratic Rep. Ed Bullard, one of the bill’s sponsors, was among those who showered praise for the measure, noting that it would give residents more freedom to choose from a variety of the current over 100 different license plate options available in the state of Florida.

“They may not be into the manatee, they may not be into Challenger,” Bullard said, speaking of the other license plate options available to state residents.

“That segment (Christians), which is a large segment of the population, can now get a tag that they like and can express their beliefs,” he said.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Defining Moment



You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good . . . to save many people alive. —Genesis 50:20

One year ago, people around the world were stunned by a shooting rampage that left 32 victims dead on the campus of Virginia Tech University. In the aftermath, the mother of one critically wounded student who survived said she did not want the ordeal to become the defining moment in her son's life. Instead, she hoped it could be "something positive, some great celebration of his life."

When the unthinkable happens, it may seem impossible to believe that anything can overcome the emotional scars. Yet, the life of Joseph offers a powerful illustration of God's transforming power (Gen. 37–50). The brothers who sold him into slavery were sure he would take revenge on them (50:15-17). But Joseph told them, "You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive" (v.20).

When we place our desire for revenge in God's hands, we become participants in the remarkable process described by Paul: "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Rom. 12:21).

The defining moments of our lives are not determined by the evil done to us, but by our response through the grace and power of God. — David C. McCasland

When rough the path from day to day,
When sorrows fill our eyes with tears,
Our choice to find our hope in Christ
Can lift our soul and calm our fears. —D. De Haan

Let danger drive you to Jesus.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bradford 4-H Strawberry Auction Tonight

I will be serving as auctioneer for the Bradford County 4-H Foundation's Strawberry Auction tonight at the Bradford County Fair in building #1. The fair will run through this Saturday at the fairgrounds on US301 north of Starke, Florida.

I was in 4-H for four years during my days at Baker County High School (Macclenny, Florida) and learned a lot about a lot of things including leadership, public speaking and raising quail. As an adult, I have served on the Baker County 4-H Advisory Committee since the mid 1980's; judged countless county, district and state events; and received several awards including: Florida 4-H Alumni of the Year (1995), Bradford County 4-H Supporter Award (2000) and induction into the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame (2002).

Brindle Has A Website

Evangelist Bobby Brindle, known as the "World's Smallest Evangelist", now has a ministry website.

You can hear an interview with him during the June 2006 episode of the Walking With The Giant podcast. This episode of the program has the highest number of downloads, 624, of any other episode as of March 2008.

I also have some photos of Bobby on my blog. They can be viewed here and here.

By the way, I am one-half inch taller than Bobby.

Podcast Audience Grows 40% In One Year

While mainstream coverage may not reflect it yet, podcasting is rapidly moving towards mainstream adoption.

According to a new e-Marketer report, a January 2008 Arbitron-Edison Media Research study found that podcast use is exploding:

  • The podcast audience has grown nearly 40% in the last year.
  • Podcasting reaches 18% of the US population, up from 13% a year ago.
  • Podcast adoption is accelerating. A year ago, we reported that the podcast audience had grown 18%, less than half of last years growth.
  • An estimated 23 million, or 9% of Americans have listened to a podcast in the past month.
Read more about this report on Podcasting News.

NOTE: The JCEA has a podcast ministry called Walking With The Giant".

Children Losing Respect For Parents

Monday, April 14, 2008

Lessons From Noah's Ark

  • Don't miss the boat.
  • Remember that we are all in the same boat.
  • Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.
  • Stay fit. When you're 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
  • Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
  • Build your future on high ground.
  • For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
  • Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
  • When you're stressed, float awhile.
  • Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

NIV Bible Tops List by Evangelical Leaders

NOTE: My personal preference is the New King James Version, but I reference others when I study. I only preach from the NKJV or the King James Version. Share your thoughts and preferences by clicking "comments" below.

The New International Version of the Bible is by far the most preferred translation of the Scripture, according to a new survey of U.S. evangelical leaders.

More than 65 percent of the participating leaders named the NIV as their preferred Bible in a survey conducted by the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) in light of the NIV’s 30th anniversary this year.

“New Bible translations face large competition to gain a foothold in churches and homes but once established they have long staying power,” commented Leith Anderson, president of the NAE, which claims to represent 30 million evangelicals. “And, the NIV has maintained popularity and influence since it was published in 1978.”

Read more about this survey on The Christian Post.

Dangerous Cursors

What Did He Say?


READ: Psalm 19:7-14

Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart. —Jeremiah 15:16

Because our son Steve spent most of his teen years connected to a cell phone, it was a bit of a shock for us when we couldn't talk with him for long periods of time after he joined the US Navy. First at boot camp and later while he trained as a hospital corpsman, we endured long periods of time without any communication. So it was a treat whenever we finally did hear from him.

After one of us would get his call, the first question from the other was always, "What did he say?" We hung on every word to hear how he was doing, what he was thinking, and what the Navy was planning for him.

It's natural to respond like this to the words of those who are important to us. We eagerly anticipate hearing from them.

Are we like that with the Word of God? Are we eager to communicate with Him—to look carefully into His Book to ask, "What did He say?" Unlike the infrequent calls from a son in the military, God's words of encouragement and guidance are always available to us. We just have to listen.

The prophet Jeremiah prayed, "Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart" (Jer. 15:16). Do you have that same longing to hear God speak to you through His Word? — Dave Branon

Thy Word is a lamp to my feet,
A light to my path alway
To guide and to save me from sin
And show me the heavenly way. —Anon.

We cannot know the heart of God unless we have a heart for God.


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Saturday, April 12, 2008

4-H Strawberry Auction Today

I will be serving as auctioneer for the Bradford County 4-H Foundation's Strawberry Auction today at the Bradford County Fair. The fair will run through next Saturday at the fairgrounds on US301 north of Starke, Florida.

I was in 4-H for four years during my days at Baker County High School (Macclenny, Florida) and learned a lot about a lot of things including leadership, public speaking and raising quail. As an adult, I have served on the Baker County 4-H Advisory Committee since the mid 1980's; judged countless county, district and state events; and received several awards including: Florida 4-H Alumni of the Year (1995), Bradford County 4-H Supporter Award (2000) and induction into the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame (2002).

Palm Bible Readers Comparison: Palm OS Utility

NOTE: I use a Palm TX PDA for many things including Bible reading and some study. If I'm not preaching I take my PDA to church and use that instead of a Bible in book-form. It is much easier for me to read and I can make notes with the scripture. I use the MyBible software mentioned in the article and have multiple Bible translations and reference books always with me, clipped to my belt.

One of the great things about PDA's is the ability to carry a huge library of books in electronic form. I must have a couple hundred books on mine, ranging from reference to how-to to light fiction. It is sweet to be able to carry 20-30 pounds worth of paper in a few ounces of electronics!

Many Palm users use this ability to carry one or more versions of the Bible with them- makes those cute, little, nearly impossible to read 'pocket-sized' Bibles obsolete! There are many options for 'e-Bibles', from iPod versions to MP3 spoken versions to e-texts that can be read by most text readers, to dedicated readers with special tools for the job. These last versions are what we will look at here.

'Special tools'? Few general-purpose text readers have the ability to quickly find a single sentence in a large book the way Bible verse-finder tools can. Most of the programs we will look at can find a verse in about three taps, or search for a single word or phrase. Many text readers allow book-marking, and some even allow note-taking, but few do it as well as dedicated Bible readers do- and the ability to highlight or make notes is a key element for serious students in any field. A big difference is that most Bible readers can do some form of split screen to allow you to compare two documents at the same time.

Read the rest of this review on The Gadgeteer.

'American Idol' Brings Jesus Back to Worship Song

Following a wave of comments by Christian viewers criticizing Wednesday night's "American Idol" performance that replaced "Jesus" with "shepherd" in their finale song, Idol contestants stepped back on stage Thursday, this time singing "Jesus."

On Thursday night's results show, Michael Johns was eliminated from the wildly popular singing competition, shocking millions of viewers as the contest was narrowed down to the top seven finalists. But more shocking to many viewers than the boot were performances of the contemporary worship song "Shout to the Lord," written by Darlene Zschech.

The eight finalists performed the worship song, singing all the original lyrics, including the word "Jesus." The night before, however, "Jesus" had been left out of the picture.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

In The Big Inning

Thursday, April 10, 2008

New Ministry Brochure

A brochure providing an overview of the ministries of James Croft Evangelistic Association is now available for pastors and other ministry leaders. The full-color pamphlet was produced by my good friend Jon Fletcher.

I will promptly send pastors and ministry leaders that are interested in this ministry one of the brochures after receipt of theit mailing address. If you would like to provide your pastor with a copy for consideration, please send me their name, church, mailing address and e-mail address if available.

A ministry DVD providing a more in depth look at the JCEA is also available upon request.

The Sin Of Texting

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Testimony Shared With Beulah Baptist Association

I had the honor of sharing my life's testimony last night during the Semi-Annual Meeting of the Beulah Baptist Association. The meeting was held at Pine Grove Baptist Church in Lake City, Florida and also featured a brief time for association business, some great music and fellowship. It was great to see some old friends and to meet new pastors, staff and members. I also set-up a display about the JCEA JOY Box Ministry that provided information and examples of items allowed in the boxes. My sister, Melissa Ring (pictured below) answered questions and shared the ministry with those that stopped by. The 2007 JOY Box video was also shown during my testimony time in the service. I really appreciate the association allowing us to share this ministry with member churches.


I must say, this was a first for me in that normally I preach a message in a church; however, Director of Missions James Roberts (pictured with me) asked me to share my testimony instead. I shared how the Lord has worked on me and through me over the years since being saved during a Vacation Bible School in Green Cove Springs, Florida. God has certainly been better to me than I deserve, but I guess all Christians could say that is so about our life. It really was difficult for me, during the time allotted, to adequately relay all the times that God has miraculously intervened in my life's situations. After it was over, many more came to mind and even more were brought to my attention by some of the attendees that have known me for years. The first and second churches that I have been apart of are members of Beulah Baptist Association, First Baptist of Olustee and Eastside Baptist in Lake City. My current home church, First Baptist of Lake Butler (member of the Santa Fe River Baptist Association), is the third church I've been blessed to be a part of, but I still feel close to the previous two.

I will be 50 years old next month (I know, I look much younger!) and I don't know how I would have made it though so many situations without the Lord's help. He certainly is closer than a brother and has never let me down.

Some of my friends are encouraging me to share some of these life experiences in a book and it is something that I and some others are taking up with our Lord. I certainly need all the prayer possible, so please join us in seeking the Lord's direction on this matter.

All My Favs

I was introduced to a new website today called AllMyFavs. Here's a description of the site:

"The screen will fill with the logos of most every store or info site that you will probably ever use. When you click on a logo it takes you directly to the store or site you have selected. It's a great time saver and you don't have to hunt and type addresses on the Internet."

You can share your thoughts about the site by clicking "comments" below.

Standing In Line For Tickets

Unchurched Prefer Cathedrals Over Contemporary Church Buildings

Unchurched Americans prefer churches that look more like a medieval cathedral over contemporary church buildings, a new study showed.

Although billions of dollars have been spent on church buildings and more contemporary designs, church attendance has declined, said Jim Couchenour, director of marketing and ministry services for Cogun Inc., a founding member of Cornerstone Knowledge Network. The network was thus prompted to ask, "As church builders what can we do to help church leaders be more intentional about reaching people who don’t go to church?"

In a study conducted by LifeWay Research for Cornerstone Knowledge Network, the unchurched preferred more traditional looking buildings by a nearly 2-to-1 ratio over any other option. Given 100 "preference points" to allocate among four photos of church exteriors, the unchurched used an average of 47.7 points on the most traditional and Gothic options.

The other three options were given only 18.5 to 15.9 points.

Read more about this study on The Christian Post.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Special Presentation Tonight

I will be the guest speaker tonight at the semi-annual meeting of the Beulah Baptist Association in Lake City, Florida. I will be sharing my testimony and information about the ministries of the James Croft Evangelistic Association. We will also have an exhibit providing information about the JOY Box Ministry. Please be in prayer for this opportunity.

Mozart Beyond the Grave

When Mozart passed away, he was buried in a churchyard. A couple days later, the town drunk was walking through the cemetery and heard some strange noise coming from the area where Mozart was buried.

Terrified, the drunk ran and got the priest to come and listen to it.The priest bent close to the grave and heard some faint, unrecognizable music coming from the grave. Frightened, the priest ran and got the town magistrate.

When the magistrate arrived, he bent his ear to the grave, listened for a moment, and said, "Ah, yes, that's Mozart's Ninth Symphony, being played backwards."

He listened a while longer, and said, "There's the Eighth Symphony, and it's backwards, too. Most puzzling."

So the magistrate kept listening; "There's the Seventh... the Sixth... the Fifth..."

Suddenly the realization of what was happening dawned on the magistrate; he stood up and announced to the crowd that had gathered in the cemetery, "My fellow citizens, there's nothing to worry about. It's just Mozart decomposing."

OnStar Advisor

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Blog Poll #26 Results

The Blog Poll #26 question was, "What is your primary source for news?" and the results are:

  • Television News (ABC, CBS, NBC, etc.) 3 (18%)
  • Talk Radio 5 (31%)
  • Newspapers 0 (0%)
  • Cable TV News (CNN, FOX, MSNBC, etc.) 4 (25%)
  • News Blogs or Other Internet Sources 2 (12%)
  • Church Bulletin 1 (6%)
  • I don't keep up with news. 1 (6%)
  • I don't need news. I am news. 0 (0%)
Total Votes: 16

Here are the results of Blog Poll #25.

Nest In The Greatness


READ: Genesis 2:1-15

The Lord God . . . put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. —Genesis 2:15

In his historical novel Chesapeake, James Michener tells the story of multiple generations living near a marsh. One character, Chris Pflaum, is introduced as a restless 13-year-old sitting in class waiting for summer break. But when the teacher reads a poem by Sidney Lanier, the boy's heart is stirred.

As the marsh-hen secretly builds on the watery sod,

Behold I will build me a nest on the greatness of God:

I will fly in the greatness of God as the marsh-hen flies

In the freedom that fills all the space 'twixt the marsh and the skies.

When Chris grew up, this poem motivated him to work tirelessly to preserve the precious wetlands and the wildlife he loved.

The poem's words stir the heart because they use nature as a springboard of praise to the Creator. But, unfortunately, our living planet can be neglected and exploited. God's mandate to Adam has been passed on to all believers. "The Lord God . . . put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it" (Gen. 2:15). The words tend and keep mean "to cultivate as servants."

We are to care for and guard God's creation as responsible stewards. — Dennis Fisher

The natural world that God has made
Must not be used at whim;
We serve as stewards of His earth,
Responsible to Him. —D. De Haan

To mistreat God's creation is to offend the Creator.


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Charlton Heston, Dead At 84

(CBS/AP) Charlton Heston, who won the 1959 best actor Oscar as the chariot-racing "Ben-Hur" and portrayed Moses, Michelangelo, El Cid and other heroic figures in movie epics of the '50s and '60s, has died. He was 84.

The actor died Saturday night at his home in Beverly Hills with his wife Lydia at his side, family spokesman Bill Powers said.

Powers declined to comment on the cause of death or provide any further details.

Read more of this story on ShowBuzz.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Payday Someday

This is a sermon entitled "Payday Someday" by Dr. R.G. Lee.

Good Exercise

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side.

With a 5-lb potato sack in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can.

Try to reach a full minute, and then relax. Each day you'll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.

After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb potato sacks. Then try 50-lb potato sacks and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato sack in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute. (I'm at this level.)

After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each sack.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Morgan Road Sunday

I will be preaching at Morgan Road Baptist Church this Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 11am and 6pm. Please be in prayer for this church as they begin the search for a pastor.

Morgan Road Baptist Church is located on CR233 near Starke, Florida.

I'm A Light Bulb

NOTE: This one of those "blond jokes" that I think is really funny. If you know any good CLEAN ones, share them with us by clicking "comments" below. Also, please don't take this as some type of attack on blonds... it's just a joke!

I urgently needed a few days off work, but I knew the Boss would not allow me to take leave.

I thought that maybe if I acted 'crazy' then he would tell me to take a few days off.

So, I hung upside-down on the ceiling and made funny noises. My co-worker (who's blond) asked me what I was doing. I told her that I was pretending to be a light bulb so that the boss might think I was 'crazy' and give me a few days off.

A few minutes later, the boss came into the office and asked, "What in the world are you doing?'

I told him I was a light bulb.

He said, 'You are clearly stressed out. Go home and recuperate for a couple of days.'

I jumped down and walked out of the office... When my co-worker (the blond) followed me, the boss asked her, '...And where do you think you're going?!'

She said, 'I'm going home too. I can't work in the dark!'

Weird Fear

Thursday, April 03, 2008

In The Driver's Seat


Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. —Matthew 5:16

I love the story of the stressed-out woman who was tailgating a man as they drove on a busy boulevard. When he slowed to a stop at a yellow light, the woman hit the horn, cussing and screaming in frustration and gesturing angrily. As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a police officer who ordered her to exit the car with her hands up. He took her to the police station and placed her in a holding cell.

An hour later, the officer returned and said, "I'm sorry, Ma'am. This has been a big mistake. When I pulled up behind you, I noticed your 'What Would Jesus Do?' license plate holder and your 'Follow Me to Sunday School' bumper sticker. I assumed the car was stolen!"

Satan doesn't care so much if you're a Christian as long as you don't act like one. If he can get you to live by his signals, he can damage and disarm you every time and dishonor the name of Christ in the process.

Instead, Jesus calls believers to be "salt" and to "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matt. 5:16).

With Jesus in the driver's seat of our lives, we can show off the love and glory of God. — Joe Stowell

Called to be salt and light in this world,
Called to preserve and to shine,
Called to reflect the glory of God—
Oh, what a calling is mine! —Fitzhugh

Don't let Satan manage the details of your life.


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Glass Is Half Full


Spanish Police Nab Burglar Playing Dead at Funeral Home

NOTE: This story is just too funny (or sad?) not to share. Share your thoughts by clicking "comments" below.

MADRID, Spain — A burglar who broke into a funeral home tried to fool police by playing dead, but two things gave him away.

First, he breathed. Plus, he wore grungy clothes rather than the Sunday best of those dressed for eternal rest.

Police and the Crespo Funeral Home said Wednesday they have no idea what the 23-year-old Spanish man was trying to steal in the break-in March 17 in Burjassot, a small town just outside Valencia.

Read more of this story on FOX News.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Top Video Downloads: March 2008

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

  1. Bowling
  2. Bluegrass Gospel Medley
  3. Down In The Valley
  4. A Very Scary Halloween Story
  5. (Tie) Peaceful Christmas Village, The Truth About Christmas, Time Capsule
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 February 2008.

Free Church Website Tool Released

The people behind Internet Evangelism Day can provide year-round resources about online outreach. The ministry explains many ways that Christians can share the good news, including through church websites. Churches often find it difficult to create a site that will engage with outsiders in their area, and find themselves asking, "How can our church website help us reach out into our community?"

A new online tool released by IE Day provides churches with a free 15-page evaluation report. Users assess their own website by answering 55 simple questions. Their customized report is immediately displayed online, ready to print or save. The report's recommendations are tailored with specific practical suggestions, based on the questions that were ticked. You can view the evaluation tool here.

A church site which has been prioritized for non-Christian visitors can be remarkably effective in reaching the community. "Week in, week out, more visitors turn up at our church on a Sunday because of the website, than anything else," writes one growing church in London.

The tool also provides the parable 'A Tale of Two Golf Clubs' (which is available to republish) to illustrate the principles of effective church websites.

Church leaders have welcomed this new resource. "This competent evaluation tool provides a valuable service to churches that will help them strengthen their effectiveness in outreach through the Internet," says Dr. Sterling Huston, director of North American Ministries for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Gary McClure of LifeWay Ministries agrees, saying, "This checklist is an invaluable tool to identify critical areas for improvement. Every church should study this regularly and act on it!"

Olympic Committee to China: Don't Block Internet

The International Olympic Committee told Beijing organizers Tuesday that the Internet must be open during the Games.

The message came from a high-ranking IOC official during the first of three days of meetings – the last official session before the August games – between the international Olympic body and the Chinese hosts.

"This morning we discussed and insisted again," said Kevan Gosper, vice chairman of the IOC coordinating commission, according to The Associated Press. "Our concern is that the press [should be] able to operate as it has at previous games."

China is known to block citizens’ access to foreign Web sites including news and blogs, especially those critical of the government.

Gosper warned that restricting access to the Internet during the Olympics “would reflect very poorly” on Beijing. He also reminded China that it is obligated under the “host city agreement” to provide Internet access to the 30,000 journalists expected to attend.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Pick-up Line For Christians?

The word says "Give drink to those who are thirsty, and feed the hungry.” How about dinner?

Student Sues Wisconsin School After Getting a Zero for Religious Drawing

MADISON, Wis. — A Tomah High School student has filed a federal lawsuit alleging his art teacher censored his drawing because it featured a cross and a biblical reference.

The lawsuit alleges other students were allowed to draw "demonic" images and asks a judge to declare a class policy prohibiting religion in art unconstitutional.

"We hear so much today about tolerance," said David Cortman, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal advocacy group representing the student. "But where is the tolerance for religious beliefs? The whole purpose of art is to reflect your own personal experience. To tell a student his religious beliefs can legally be censored sends the wrong message."
Read more of this story on FOX News.