Saturday, October 31, 2009

JOY Box Exhibit At Association Meeting


JOY Box information was distributed this week during the annual meeting of the Beulah Baptist Association in Lake City, Florida.  Volunteers Melissa Ring and Jeanna Crenshaw provided meeting attendees with information about the seasonal ministry of James Croft Evangelistic Association.  The exhibit also displayed examples of items that may be included in the shoe boxes for nursing home residents.

Pumpkin Carving Game


Here's a cool pumpkin carving game and you get to listen to Bobby "Boris" Pickett singing Monster Mash while you play.

FBC Lake Butler In November


I will be preaching in supply for my Pastor Jason Johns Sunday morning, November 22nd, at First Baptist Church of Lake Butler. The services will begin at 9:30am and 11am. The church is located at 195 East Main Street in Lake Butler, Florida. For more information or directions call the church at (386) 496-3704.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Scary Story

This incredibly funny story was recorded in 2007.  I should be in stand-up comedy, don't you think?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Meeting Ends Tonight At Lighthouse


Revival services will close tonight at Lighthouse Baptist Church at 7pm.  This meeting began Sunday morning and has been well attended.  Mark Shaw, Minister of Music at Countryside Baptist Church, led the congregational singing and provided special music for three nights.  The service this evening will feature the music of Dr. Royal Colbert.  The final service begins at 7pm.  Lighthouse Baptist is located at 2611 NW 68th Ave. in Gainesville, Florida  32653.  For directions or more info call Pastor Mike Killian at (352) 372-6090.

NOTE: View more photos by Bill Whidden in our Lighthouse Baptist gallery.

Monday, October 26, 2009

2009 JOY Box Update


VIDEO
The JCEA JOY Box Ministry got underway last week as Jon Fletcher and I spent 4 hours shooting video and photos for our promotional video.  I'll post the video on this site as soon as it is available.  This overview of how the program works will also be available to participating churches, businesses and organizations for download or by requesting a DVD version

PROMO TOOLS

A promotion kit for JOY Box program coordinators has been prepared.  This kit includes brochure, poster, box submission form and video (if needed).  These items may be downloaded from the Promo Tools page of our website.  If you would like to coordinate this program for your church, business or organization send us an e-mail or call (386) 867-3199.

EXHIBIT
Tomorrow night volunteers will set-up a JOY Box exhibit for the Beulah Baptist Association's annual meeting and ministry fair in Lake City, Florida.


DROP-OFF LOCATIONS
Currently, three drop-off locations for JOY Boxes have been established in Baker and Columbia Counties:
Additional locations will be established in other counties as participation warrants.


FUTURE UPDATES
JOY Box updates will be available on this site, by clicking the JOY Box category in the left column, or on our ministry website.

SHARE JOY
Please share this information with others.  The more participants we have... the more JOY we share with nursing home residents!

“JOY to the world, the Lord is come...”

Failing Memory



Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way. —Psalm 119:37
 
A New York Times article linked the increase of computer storage with the decrease of data in the human mind. Our electronic aids now remember phone numbers, driving directions, and other information we used to learn by repeated use. In schools, memorization and oral recitation are disappearing from the curriculum. We have become, according to the Times, “products of a culture that does not enforce the development of memory skills.”

Yet never have we as followers of Christ been in greater need of hiding God’s Word in our hearts (Ps. 119:9-11). Scripture memory is more than a helpful mental exercise. The goal is to saturate our minds with God’s truth so that our lives will conform to His ways. The psalmist wrote: “Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end. . . . Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way” (Ps. 119:33,37).

Why not begin committing Scripture to memory? Daily consistency and review are keys to success. And just like physical exercise, this spiritual discipline is enhanced when done with a small group or with a friend.

Let’s not forget to remember and follow the life-giving wisdom of God’s Word.  — David C. McCasland
God’s Word will change your life
If you will do your part
To read, to study, and obey,
And hide it in your heart. —Sper

Let the Bible fill your mind, rule your heart, and guide your life.
 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Legalism


The Back Pew

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The World's Deepest Bin

I find this to be VERY cool, but after all, I worked in the solid waste & recycling industry for 17.5 years with New River Solid Waste Association before entering evangelism on a full-time basis.  Yes, I was a professional "trash talker"!

The Evangelizing Barber

There was a barber who paid close attention at his parish whenever the topic of evangelization was discussed. He thought he should be doing more to share his faith with his customers.

The next morning the barber told the Lord in prayer, “Today I’m going to witness to the first customer who walks through my door.”

A man came in as he opened his shop and said, “I need a shave.”

The barber said, “Yes sir! Just have a seat and I’ll be right with you.”

The barber went in the back and prayed a quick prayer saying, “Lord, the first customer just came in and I’m going to witness to him. Give me the wisdom to know just the right thing to say. Amen.”

Then the barber came out with his straight razor in one hand and a Bible in the other and told his customer, “I have a question for you: Are you ready to meet your Maker?”

Friday, October 23, 2009

Lighthouse Baptist Meeting Begins Sunday In Gainesville


I will be preaching revival services at Lighthouse Baptist Church on Sunday, October 25, 2009 at 10:45am and 6pm.  The services will continue Monday-Wednesday, October 26-28, 2009 at 7pm nightly.  The church is located at 2611 NW 68th Ave. in Gainesville, Florida  32653.  For more info call Pastor Mike Killian at (352) 372-6090.

Please be in prayer for these services.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Share 'JOY' This Christmas


Christmas can be an all-consuming time of year for many people.  Dilligently trying to find the perfect gift for those on your list, special church programs, family gatherings, office and community events can make you wonder how to fit it all into the schedule.  Unfortunately, there are some in our community that are unable to participate in such activities because they now are residents of a nursing home.  These folks may receive a visit from a church or civic group, maybe some of the family will stop by with a gift, but many will be alone during this joyous time of year.  The James Croft Evangelistic Association desires to stand in the gap with nursing home residents during the Christmas season with the JOY Box Ministry.

JOY Boxes are shoebox sized packages prepared for nursing home residents.  The boxes, preferably plastic so they can be used for other purposes by the resident, include items such as shampoo, body wash, socks, hand lotion, baseball cap, magnifying glass, large print activity book, stationary, ink pen, comb or brush, lap blanket, or even a small portable radio/CD player.  Baked goods, hard candy, food, and sharp objects should not be included in the box.  JCEA will include a Gospel tract in each box.  These may not sound like great gift items to you and I, but residents appreciate that you have chosen it for them and it hasn't been "issued" by their facility.  We must also keep in mind each resident has a limited amount of storage space in their room.

JOY Boxes will be delivered to nursing homes just before Christmas or during the week following.  Depending on schedule considerations a program of music and a Christmas message will be used to distribute the boxes.

The JCEA website at jamescroft.org contains all of the information about this ministry including box content suggestions, a printable form to be included with each box, JOY news updates and more.  It is requested, not mandatory, that you include a $2 donation with each box to cover program expenses.  If you are unable to prepare a box, but would like to contribute financially toward this ministry visit our website for details.

Drop-off locations will be listed on the website and the deadline is Thursday, December 17, 2009.

Posters, brochures and a promotional video are also available online or upon request by calling 386.752.1563 or e-mail evangelist@jamescroft.org.

Share true Christian JOY this Christmas by putting Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last.

“JOY to the world, the Lord is come...”

Praying for Coffee Cake

An overweight business associate of mine decided it was time to shed some excess pounds. He took his new diet seriously, even changing his driving route to avoid his favorite bakery. One morning, however, he arrived at work carrying a gigantic coffee cake. We all scolded him, but his smile remained cherubic.

"This is a very special coffee cake,” he explained. “I accidentally drove by the bakery this morning, and there in the window was a host of goodies. I felt this was no accident, so I prayed, ‘Lord, if you want me to have one of those delicious coffee cakes, let me have a parking place directly in front of the bakery. And sure enough,” he continued, “the eighth time around the block, there it was!”

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Surgery Scheduled November 24th

As many of you know, I underwent a hip revision surgery in November of 2008 (see related posts).  Unfortunately, the problem of a "slipping" rod in my femur has returned, and with it, pain that makes walking difficult.  The problem appears to stem from a lack of bone grafting at the top of the rod in my femur.

My surgeon, Dr. Mark Petty, will perform another procedure on Tuesday, November 24th in hopes of correcting the problem.  If the option being considered works, I should be well on the road to recovery by the first of the year.  However, the doctor will make the decision during the surgery to try this option or proceed with another major reconstruction as was required last year.  If the latter occurs, the recovery will take several months.

I will most certainly appreciate your prayers in the weeks leading up to the surgery, the day of the operation, and during the recovery period.  I ask you to pray for our Lord's perfect will to be done.  Please ask for wisdom, clarity in thinking and discernment for Dr. Petty and all involved in the pre-op, surgery, hospitalization, and physical therapy.  Pray for me to have physical and emotional strength through the entire process.  I also ask you to pray for my finances during this time and the added burden of the medical expenses.  I have health insurance, but as you know, there are always co-pays, deductibles and uncovered expenses.  Pray for this ministry as I hope to have preaching opportunities up until surgery time and will initiate our JOY Box Ministry which will continue with the assistance of volunteers.

This surgery will be one year to the day from the last one, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  I told someone recently that the Thanksgiving lunch at North Florida Regional Hospital in Gainesville was so good... I made reservations again for this year.  8-)

I know God is in total control, but I must confess to being anxious, fearful, and a little "down" (no pun intended) at the thought of another major surgery.   It has been a long and very tough year in many areas of my life since the middle of last November, but I know God's grace is, and will once again be, sufficient.

Additional information will be posted on this blog and on Facebook as it becomes available.

Jesus Messiah - Chris Tomlin

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Futures


Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Am Second - Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford



Share your thoughts about this video by clicking "comments" below.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

On Shoulders Of Giants


 
As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. —Joshua 1:5
 
Giants hold a special place in our lore—both historical and literary. From the real giant Goliath to the fictional giant of Jack and the Beanstalk fame, we are fascinated by these larger-than-life characters.

Sometimes we use the word giant to honor ordinary-size people who have done extraordinary things. One example is the 17th-century physicist Sir Isaac Newton. A committed Christian, he credited his success to other “giants” who had gone before. “If I have seen a little further,” he said, “it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Indeed, Newton became a giant on whose shoulders later scientists stood—even as they used his observations in the conquest of space flight.

When God commanded Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, Joshua certainly had a giant’s shoulders to stand on. He had watched Moses’ leadership for 40 years, and now he would put what he had learned into action.

Joshua had another advantage—his walk with God sustained his life’s mission. Therefore, he had both Moses’ example and God’s promised presence as he led Israel.

Looking for help as you face the future? Look for a giant to follow. And never underestimate the importance of your walk with God.  — Dennis Fisher

There is a destiny that makes us brothers:
None goes his way alone;
All that we send into the lives of others
Comes back into our own. —Markham

A good example is someone who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.
 

Plank Removal


Friday, October 16, 2009

The Defeat Of Death



Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. —1 Corinthians 15:57

Christian faith ought to make a difference in how we live from day to day. But the final test of our trust in the gospel is how we react in the face of death. When we attend a memorial service for a departed friend who loved the Lord Jesus, we gather to honor a believer whose stalwart trust has richly blessed the lives of those who knew him. The words spoken are more an expression of praise to God than a tribute to an admired fellow pilgrim. The service is a God-glorifying testimony to our Savior’s victory over death and the grave (1 Cor. 15:54-57).

How different from the funeral service of Charles Bradlaugh, a belligerent British atheist. Writer Arthur Porritt recalls: “No prayer was said at the grave. Indeed, not a single word was uttered. The remains, placed in a light coffin, were lowered into the earth in a quite unceremonious fashion as if carrion were being hustled out of sight. . . . I came away heart-frozen. It only then dawned on me that loss of faith in the continuity of human personality after death gives death an appalling victory.”

Christians, however, believe in a face-to-face fellowship with our Lord after death and the eventual resurrection of our bodies (1 Cor. 15:42-55; 1 Thess. 4:15-18). Does your faith rejoice in victory over death?  — Vernon C. Grounds


From earth’s wide bounds and ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl stream in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost— Alleluia! Alleluia! —How


Because Christ is alive, we too shall live.


"The Cross" Digital Tract




Thursday, October 15, 2009

Welcome To Our Church

Share your thoughts about this video by clicking "comments" below.


Welcome to our Church from Life Quest Church on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Illusion With A Message

We can frequently learn important lessons about life and communication from optical illusions. Here’s one. Which square is darker, A or B?




Now click here to find the truth.

Our perception of almost anything depends on our background, culture, preconceptions, and life story. This is equally true of us as Christians attempting to communicate something, or for a not-yet Christian as they hear, or don’t hear, an inadequate or uncontextualized version of the good news.

Note how the truth is only discernible when you build a ‘bridge’ from square A to square B. This reflects the importance of the bridge strategy, a biblical, strategic, approach. Popular culture is one God-given bridge starter. Felt needs are another.

Another thought: the person we may have unconsciously categorized as ‘them’ (ie. unlike ‘us’), turns out to be ‘us’ too, the same ’shade of gray’, just in a slightly different place.

Source: Digital Evangelism Issues

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Why Use The Internet And Mobile Technology For Ministry?

I once had a very nice lady in a church tell me, "I can't believe you would put your videos on YouTube!"  A lot of well-intentioned Christians might ask the same type of questions about the use of technology for ministry.  Jesus said in Luke 19:10, "for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  The truth is many that need Jesus will not enter the church, but they will log-on to YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and many other similar sites.  They will also access this info multiple times a day with laptops, netbooks, mobile phones, and some will even still use a desktop computer!  Many may never listen to a preacher, but will watch a video with a Christian truth.  Many will never darken the doors of a church, but will listen to a Christian podcast or sermon on their iPod when no one is around.

The church has a Biblical origin and is still a viable ministry in reaching the lost (1 Cor. 1:21), encouraging the down-trodden, assisting the needy, and being a bold witness in the community.  Technology now allows the church and individual Christians the methods to reach and teach the world for Christ as commanded in the Great Commission, Matt. 28:18-20.

The video below provides some staggering facts about the use of mobile technology in our world.  This illuminates the need for God's people to be about His business using the methods that have the potential of reaching the most people.

By the way, don't think this is an excuse not to attend church.  God expects us to attend the local church (Heb. 10:25),  after all, Jesus set the example (Luke 4:16).



The James Croft Evangelistic Association extensively uses the internet and technology for evangelism and distribution of information.  Many of these methods are linked in the left column of this site.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Church Humor

Church sign: “Jesus Saves!”
Safeway sign across the street: “Safeway saves you more!”

Bulletin Announcement: Due to the pastor's illness, Wednesday's healing services will be discontinued until further notice.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Fire Alarm


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Red Barn Sing Saturday



I will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the annual Red Barn Gospel Sing this Saturday, October 10, 2009.  Featured musicians include The Anchors (Wildwood, FL), Dave & Sherrie (Sanderson, FL), Barbara Croft (Olustee, FL), Gail Moore (Olustee, FL), Bobbi Croft (Virginia Beach, VA), Southern Crossing (Jacksonville, FL), and Eddie Croft (Sanderson, FL).  The covered-dish meal begins at 4:30pm and the music at 6pm.  The Red Barn is located on Willie Griffis Road off CR127 north of Sanderson, Florida.  For more info call (904) 275-2372 or (904) 275-2079.

Read a story about the Red Barn Gospel Sing at The Baker County Press.

NOTE: 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.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Check Out GIANT Web Plans


I use the internet extensively for ministry, research and keeping up with friends. I have now started a business that can help others promote their business, ministry, organization, hobby, or give them a way to keep family and friends informed. The business is called GIANT Web Plans. GWP offers affordable web hosting, domain registrations, merchant accounts, web marketing tools, and all the "bells and whistles" you need for your web site. If you know absolutely nothing about building a website, don't worry, our professionals can help you with that too!

I hope you'll check out GIANT Web Plans should you need web services of any kind.

Athens Baptist This Sunday



I will be preaching on Evangelistic Sunday at Athens Baptist Church October 11, 2009. The services will begin at 11am and 6pm.  The church is located at 9090 SW CR240, south of Lake City, Florida in the community of Columbia City.  For more information call Pastor Walter Bowman at (386) 719-3844.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Goats For Jesus



Whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? —1 John 3:17

When Dave and Joy Mueller felt God prompting them to move to Sudan as missionaries, all they knew was that they would be helping to build a hospital in that war-ravaged land. How could they know that goats would be in their future?

As Joy began working with the women, she discovered that many were widows because of the devastating civil war and had no way to earn a living. So Joy had an idea. If she could provide just one pregnant goat to a woman, that person would have milk and a source of income. To keep the program going, the woman would give the newborn kid back to Joy—but all other products from the goat would be used to support the woman’s family. The baby goat would eventually go to another family. The gift of goats given in Jesus’ name would change the life of numerous Sudanese women—and open the door for Joy to explain the gospel.

What is your equivalent to goats? What can you give a neighbor, a friend, or even someone you don’t know? Is it a ride? An offer to do yardwork? A gift of material resources?

As believers in Christ, we have the responsibility to care for the needs of others (1 John 3:17). Our acts of love reveal that Jesus resides in our hearts, and giving to those in need may help us tell others about Him.  — Dave Branon

O Lord, my heart is filled with love
For others who have urgent needs
So help me share in every way
What I can give through words and deeds. —Hess

God gives us all we need, so let’s give to others in their need.

Worshipping In "Vein"?


Friday, October 02, 2009

Cedar Creek Service Sunday Morning

I will be preaching a pastor appreciation service at Cedar Creek Church this Sunday, October 4, 2009.  The celebration for Pastor Wayne Williams will begin at 11am.  The church is located at 14742 County Road 124, north of Sanderson, Florida.

Thursday, October 01, 2009