Saturday, February 28, 2009

I Carry A Badge

A DEA officer stops at a ranch in Montana , and talks with an old rancher. He tells the rancher, 'I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs.'

The old rancher says, 'Okay, but do not go in that field over there' as he points out the location.

The DEA officer verbally explodes saying, 'Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me.' Reaching into his rear pants pocket, he removes his badge and proudly displays it to the farmer. 'See this badge? This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish...on any land. No questions asked or answers given. Have I made myself clear? Do you understand?'

The old rancher nods politely, apologizes, and goes about his chores. A short time later, the old rancher hears loud screams and sees the DEA officer running for his life chased close behind by the rancher's prize bull. With every step the bull is gaining ground on the officer, and it seems likely that he'll get "horned" before he reaches safety. The officer is clearly terrified. The old rancher throws down his tools, runs to the fence and yells at the top of his lungs.....

'Your badge! Show him your badge!'

Friday, February 27, 2009

Volunteers rehab evangelist’s home

Coming together to help a brother in need, several local churches joined forces recently to make repairs and improvements on the home of Olustee resident and evangelist James Croft.

Around 50 men from Raiford Road Church, First Baptist Church of Lake Butler (Mr. Croft’s home church), New Oak Grove Baptist Church, First Baptist of Cuyler and Cedar Creek Church worked over a period of five days.

They cleared overgrown trees from the property, painted and repaired a utility building, pressure-washed and painted the home, repaired the front and rear porch, installed a shower, and sealed an unused chimney among various other repairs on the 1920s-era home.

Read more of this story on the Baker County Press.

View a video about the project: Working On A Building.

Read a related post: Churches Lend Helping Hands

Thursday, February 26, 2009

One Saved During Clayland Revival

Revival services ended at Clayland Baptist Church last night. All services were well attended and a young man was saved on Sunday night. However, the "success" of a revival meeting is not determined by what takes place during the services, but by what happens in the weeks and months following the final service. I am looking forward to hearing about the Lord doing great things at Clayland Baptist in the coming weeks.

Photo on left: "More bars in more places"? No, it's just a photo of me with Clayland Baptist Music Director Loren Kewanimptewa and Pastor Bill Lawhon.

The revival meeting kicked-off on Saturday with a church ministry and mission fair. James Croft Evangelistic Association displayed information about our Ghana, West Africa mission work and the Christmas JOY Box Ministry. I was joined at the fair by Ghana team member Sonja St. John and her daughters Sarah and Alexx. Ghana construction team member Ken Crenshaw was also present to assist with the display.

There is a sweet Spirit at Clayland Baptist Church and I'm sure the members would welcome you with open arms should you decide to visit. For more information or directions call Pastor Bill Lawhon at (386) 776-2638. The church is located at 11409 193rd Road near Live Oak, Florida.

Pictured with the JCEA Ghana Ministry exhibit is (back) Sonja St. John, Sarah St. John; (front) Alexx St. John, James Croft. Present but not pictured is Ken Crenshaw.

Working On A Building

Around 50 men from Raiford Road Church in Macclenny, First Baptist Church of Lake Butler (my home church), New Oak Grove Baptist Church in Alachua, First Baptist Church of Cuyler and Cedar Creek Church in Sanderson (all in Florida) worked to repair and remodel my home in Olustee over a 5 day period. Jon Fletcher has produced a video of the project featuring "before" and "after" photos.

Read a related story in the Baker County Press.

Read a related post: Churches Lend Helping Hands

Working on a Building from Jon Fletcher on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Preaching At Chapel Hill In March

I will be preaching at Chapel Hill Baptist Church's "Pack-The-Pews Sunday" on March 29, 2009 at 10 a.m. They will be combining their morning worship services and having dinner on the grounds afterward. Looking forward to a great service...and a "packed" house! Chapel Hill meets at 224 Chapel Drive in Tallahassee, Florida. For more information or directions call (850) 222-6900.

Friday, February 20, 2009

One Saved During Huntsville Meeting

A young lady invited Jesus Christ into her heart during the Sunday night revival service at Huntsville Baptist Church. Several others publicly rededicated their lives to the Lord during the meeting which ended Wednesday night. It was a great week of services, in spite of the preaching. 8-)

If you live in the Lake City, Florida area, Pastor Jim Steele and members of Huntsville Baptist Church would welcome you to worship with them. The church is located at 5720 NW Lake Jeffery Road in Lake City, Florida. For more information or directions call at (386) 752-2089.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Brandy Branch Baptist In April

I will be preaching in supply for my friend Rusty Bryan, pastor of Brandy Branch Baptist Church in April. I'm scheduled for Sunday, April 26, 2009 at 10am and 6pm. The church is located at 1906 Brandy Branch Church Place in Bryceville, Florida. For more information call (904) 266-4314.

Friday, February 13, 2009

First Revival Meeting Of 2009 Begins Sunday

I will be preaching my first revival services of 2009 beginning this Sunday morning at Huntsville Baptist Church. The services will get underway at 10:45am and 6pm on Sunday, February 15, 2009 and continue Monday - Wednesday at 6:30pm nightly. Huntsville Baptist Church is located at 5720 NW Lake Jeffery Road in Lake City, Florida. For more information call Pastor Jim Steele at (386) 752-2089.

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.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Two Sermons Available Online

As reported in an earlier post, this past Sunday was my first time back preaching since my hip surgery in November. Both sermons, morning and evening, are available for download or to listen online on the Raiford Road Church website and through their sermon RSS feed. I have also included links to each sermon below.

Click the sermon title for the audio file and the Scripture reference to read the Bible passage.

  • "Living In Exile" - Jeremiah 29:10-14 (morning service), We all experience trials, illnesses, emotional distresses, and more that can make us feel hopeless. It is often during those times that God can "show up and show out". He has a plan for our life. I share my personal testimony about feeling hopeless during three major storms in my life over the past few months.
  • "Love" - 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13 (evening service), We use the word "love" many ways, but do we really know what true love is all about? This message may lead us to reconsider how we treat those that we claim we love. This subject is not just for Valentine's Day, but for every day.
I pray these messages will be used by the Lord to speak to your heart.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Amazing Billiard Shot

The audio is in French, but you'll enjoy this amazing billiard shot utilizing dominoes.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Churches Lend Helping Hands

A few weeks ago I received a visit from Raiford Road Church Senior Pastor Johnny Raulerson and Missions Pastor Gene Graves following my return home from hip surgery. They expressed a desire to offer help with some home projects that, to be honest, I could not afford or was physically unable to do. I must admit, I was reluctant because I felt there are much greater needs than mine. I was told this would be a joint effort between my home church, First Baptist of Lake Butler, and Raiford Road Church in Macclenny, Florida.

Well, to make a long story short (no pun intended), work began at my home in Olustee yesterday when men from both churches and New Oak Grove Baptist near Alachua removed several trees from the premises. WOW! It was awesome to watch them work so quickly and efficiently, like a team that had been training for a big game. All I could do was watch with my heart filled with gratitude, praising God for His servants, and still thinking "I don't deserve this."

The "home improvement" will continue later this month with the house being painted and given a new roof. Praise the Lord!

Photojournalist Jon Fletcher was on-hand taking pictures and picking up limbs too, Raiford Road is his home church. A few of his photos can be viewed in this "Home Improvement Day 1" photo gallery.

I want to express my deepest heart-felt gratitude to the men that worked yesterday, to those that will be working, and to all of the churches that will be involved. May God richly bless you with health, safety and in ways you never dreamed possible, so that all glory will be given to the name of Jesus!

Preaching In Lake Butler In March

I will be preaching at my home church, First Baptist of Lake Butler on Sunday, March 15, 2009 at 6pm. The church is located at 195 East Main Street in Lake Butler, Florida. For more information call Pastor Jason Johns at (386) 496-3704.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Preaching Again Was Good

Yesterday was 10 weeks and 5 days since I underwent hip replacement (hip revision) surgery. It was also the first day to begin the transition from using a walker to a cane, thus allowing more weight to be placed on the repaired hip and leg. Most importantly, it was the first time for me to return to the pulpit and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Boy, was I excited and boy, was I nervous!

In offering me the ministry opportunity, Pastor Johnny Raulerson of Raiford Road Church in Macclenny, Florida said it would provide a "tune-up" for my first revival engagement to begin next Sunday. He was right. I preached services at 8:15am, 11am and 6:30pm.

I had prayed and prepared two messages for the day. As the first service got underway it became clear to me that I was about to preach the wrong message. All of the music went perfectly with the sermon I had prepared for that evening. I prayed and prayed during the song service and realized I had to reorder my plans to the plan God was laying before me. I'm glad that I did, because the Lord gave me a wonderful liberty to preach and then He worked mightily during the Time of Decision!

Physically I felt very good during both of the morning services. I attended a birthday celebration at 2pm in at a Lake City nursing home for a great-aunt and then it was back to Macclenny for the night service. I was rather tired by the time I approached the pulpit to begin the sermon that was originally scheduled for that morning. I think God used the message, but I was very tired by the end of the service. My muscles in my hip really ached. It really was a test of my stamina and a good "tune-up". I can tell that I'm still not 100%, but I'll be there soon!

My good friend and photojournalist, Jon Fletcher, attends Raiford Road Church with his family and was present for the services. He took several photos from the morning service and you can view them in this photo gallery.

I really enjoyed my time ministering and fellowshipping with everyone at Raiford Road Church. This church has held a special place in my heart since I entered the ministry. I'll share some exciting news with you in the days to come about a joint venture between this church, my home chuch - First Baptist of Lake Butler, and some others.

Yesterday was certainly a great day! It felt great to be back doing what the Lord called me to do - Preach the Word!

Oh, one more exciting thing happened this past weekend, on Saturday, I drove my car for the first time since my surgery. Look-out world, here I come!!! 8-)

Clayland Revival Begins February 22nd

Click image to enlarge

James Croft's Preaching Schedule

Friday, February 06, 2009

Return To Pulpit On Sunday

I'll be returning to the pulpit this Sunday, February 8th for the first time since my hip replacement surgery. I will be preaching in supply for Pastor John Raulerson at Raiford Road Church at 8:15am, 11am and 6:30pm. I must confess that I am excited and nervous too. My last preaching engagement was on November 17th and it feels like that was ages ago. Please be in prayer for me as I prepare spiritually and physically for these services.

The church is located at 9201 SR121 South in Macclenny, Florida. For more information call the church at (904) 259-6015.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Revival Services Scheduled in Hague, Florida

Revival services have been scheduled at Hague Baptist Church in April. I will be preaching Monday-Friday, April 27 - May 1, 2009 at 7:30pm nightly. The church is located at 6725 NW 126th. Ave. near Gainesville, Florida. For more information call Pastor Sam Brown at (386) 454-1384.

Revival Preparation Service In Olustee

I will be preaching a special service on revival preparation on Sunday, March 15, 2009 at First Baptist Church of Olustee. The service will begin at 11am. First Baptist Church is located at 23311 Lakeside Lane in Olustee, Florida. For more information call Pastor Mike Williams at (386) 752-1614.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Noah, Noah

Q: The ark's top-story windows opened to the sky for light and air. How did Noah get light to the dark recesses of the ark?
A: He used floodlights.

Q: Who was the wealthiest male financier in the Bible?
A: Noah. He was floating his stock while everybody else was in liquidation.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Sardis Baptist In June

I will be preaching at Sardis Baptist Church on Sunday,June 14, 2009 at 6pm. The service will serve as a "kick-off" for Camp Sunrise Children's Camp beginning the next day. Sardis Baptist Church is located on State Road 121 in Worthington Springs, Florida. For more information call Pastor Paul O'Steen or Minister of Youth Tim Rose at (386) 496-3685.