Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wishes That Won't Last

A bus carrying only ugly people crashes into an oncoming truck, and everyone dies. As they stand at the Pearly Gates waiting to enter paradise and meet their maker, God decides to grant each person one wish because of the grief they have experienced.

They all line up, and God asks the first person what the wish is.

"I want to be gorgeous." God snaps his fingers, and it is done. The second one in line hears this and says, "I want to be gorgeous, too." God snaps his fingers again and the wish is granted.

This goes on for a while, with each one asking to be gorgeous. When God is halfway down the line, the last guy in the line starts laughing. When there are only ten people left, this guy is rolling on the floor, still laughing.

Finally, God reaches this last guy and asks him what his wish will be.

The guy calms down and says, "Make them all ugly again."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

First Post-Op Doctor Visit

I received a good report from Dr. Mark Petty, my hip surgeon, today.  The hip revision performed four weeks ago is healing very nicely and everything looks very stable.  In fact, Dr. Petty said it looks much better than it did following last year's surgery.  However, he did say I must remain on the 50% weight bearing status for two more weeks (January 6, 2010).  At that point I can add more weight while still using the walker for another week (January 13, 2010).  If this goes well I can begin moving to the cane for 3-4 weeks.  He will then determine if I must continue using the cane all the time or if I can lay it down.

Due to remaining on the walker and being unable to drive for another 3 weeks, my first revival meeting of 2010 has been rescheduled to February 21-24th.  This meeting will be in Bushnell, Florida at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.  I appreciate Pastor Phillip Howe's understanding and willingness to reschedule the event to allow more time for recovery.  I do have a couple of single-day events in late January that I hope will help me ease back into a full schedule.  A full revival meeting requires not only spiritual preparation, but mental, physical and emotional stamina too.

I very much appreciate your prayers during this time of recovery and hope you will continue to ask for God's perfect will in every area of my life and ministry.

NOTE: Read previous posts related to the hip surgery here.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Feeding Reindeer And Singing Jingle Bells

This is one of my favorite Christmas memories!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

JOY Box Deadline Tomorrow

The JCEA 2009 Christmas JOY Box Ministry submission deadline is tomorrow, December 17th.  You are invited to help bring Christmas JOY to residents of nursing homes by filling a shoebox sized container with a few needed and enjoyable items.  The JOY Boxes will be delivered to area nursing homes the week after Christmas.  Boxes may be dropped-off at the following locations:

If you would like to participate in this ministry, but are unable to prepare a shoebox by the deadline, you may invest financially by credit card or PayPal.  Donations will be used to prepare additional boxes.

Additional information about the JOY Box Ministry is available at these links:

You will experience true Christian JOY when you put Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last.  Share this JOY with others!

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

Becoming Whole

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. —Philippians 2:12-13
When a friend fell off her bike and suffered a severe brain injury, doctors weren’t sure she would survive. For several days she remained suspended between life and death.

The first good news came when she opened her eyes. Then she responded to simple voice commands. But with every small improvement, anxiety remained. How far would she progress?

After one difficult day of therapy, her husband was discouraged. But the very next morning he shared these welcome words: “Sandy’s back!” Physically, emotionally, psychologically, and mentally, Sandy was becoming the “self” who we knew and loved.

Sandy’s fall reminds me of what theologians refer to as “the fall” of mankind (Gen. 3). And her struggle to recover parallels our struggle to overcome the brokenness of sin (Rom. 7:18). If only her body healed, recovery would be incomplete. The same would be true if her brain worked but her body didn’t. Wholeness means that all parts work together for one purpose.

God is the one healing Sandy, but she has to work hard in therapy to improve. The same is true of us spiritually. After God saves us through Christ, we must “work out” our salvation (Phil. 2:12)—not to earn it but to bring our thoughts and actions into agreement with His purpose.  — Julie Ackerman Link

More like the Master I would ever be,
More of His meekness, more humility;
More zeal to labor, more courage to be true,
More consecration for work He bids me do. —Gabriel

To become whole, keep yielding to the Holy Spirit.

Late Water Bill

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Monday, December 14, 2009

One Outing, Multiple Blessings

I had my first "out-of-home" experience yesterday since returning home from the hospital two weeks ago.  I attended the morning worship service at my home church, First Baptist of Lake Butler.  It was great to participate in corporate worship again and to hear my pastor, Jason Johns, preach again.  I also saw the "JOY Tree" in the church lobby surrounded by JOY Boxes for nursing home residents.  This is a ministry initiated by James Croft Evangelistic Association two years ago.  The church has set a goal of 200 boxes!  Praise the Lord!!

After service one of my sisters, Melissa, and her daughter and I went to Lake City for lunch at Applebees.  I'm still unable to drive, so she was my chauffeur - don't tell her I said that.  Anyway, we saw a family from my church and a family from a church in Lake City, and we all spoke.  During the meal the waiter handed me an Applebees gift card and said "Santa Claus" wanted me to have it.  He would not divulge the name of the donor, only saying they said it was from Santa.  It was a $75 gift card, what a blessing!

I don't know if the gift was from one of the two families or not, but the Lord knows the donor and I have asked Him to bless them tremendously for this random act of Christian kindness.  It's so interesting how the Lord works, because Brother Jason's message was about letting others "see" your kindness.  Basically, we should not just let the world hear the message of Christmas, but let them see the message of Christmas.  You can hear his message here.  I had a similar experience three years ago and you can read about it in this post.

To top the day off, the youth group from First Baptist Church of Olustee came for a visit Sunday night and brought a couple of boxes of food they have been collecting.  We had a great time of fellowship and laughter.  I pray the Lord greatly blesses them for being such a blessing to me and my family.

It was wonderful day and felt good to finally get out of the house even though it was somewhat tiring.  I hope this is just the beginning of a full recovery that will allow me to soon continue doing what the Lord has called me to do.

Let's Say Thanks

Saddle Ridge Ranch VBS In 2010

Evangelist James Croft will be teaching during Vacation Bible School sponsored by Chapel Hill Baptist Church. The event will be held Monday-Friday, June 7-11, 2010 from 10am to 12pm.  Additional details, including location, will be posted soon.  The VBS will feature lessons and activities included in the Saddle Ridge Ranch Vacation Bible School. For more information call (850) 222-6900.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

FBCLB Youth Visit

I've had many great visits to my home since my release from the hospital following hip surgery.  I don't think I've ever had as many visitors at one time as I did this past Wednesday.  Twenty-four members of the youth department at my home church, First Baptist of Lake Butler, came to minister to me at my home.  We had a wonderful time of devotion, prayer, fellowship, and sharing.  It was a great blessing to me!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Monday, December 07, 2009

War . . . Then Peace

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:7

On December 7, 1941, a Japanese war plane piloted by Mitsuo Fuchida took off from the aircraft carrier Akagi. Fuchida led the surprise attack on the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Through the war years to follow, Fuchida continued to fly—often narrowly escaping death. At war’s end, he was disillusioned and bitter.

A few years later, he heard a story that piqued his spiritual curiosity: A Christian young woman whose parents had been killed by the Japanese during the war decided to minister to Japanese prisoners. Impressed, Fuchida began reading the Bible.

As he read Jesus’ words from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34), he understood how that woman could show kindness to her enemies. That day Fuchida gave his heart to Christ.

Becoming a lay preacher and evangelist to his fellow citizens, this former warrior demonstrated “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” (Phil. 4:7)—a peace enjoyed by those who have trusted Christ and who “let [their] requests be made known to God” (v.6).

Have you found this peace? No matter what you have gone through, God makes it available to you.  — Dennis Fisher

There is peace in midst of turmoil,
There is joy when eyes are dim,
There is perfect understanding
When we leave it all to Him. —Brown

True peace is not the absence of war; it is the presence of God. —Loveless

CSI: Palestine

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Truth About Christmas

The truth about Christmas is found in Luke 2:1-20 in the Holy Bible. Robin Croft shares this truth during a Christmas celebration with her family.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Big Diet Pill

The Best Of Gifts

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! —2 Corinthians 9:15

Having trouble selecting that perfect gift for someone? A friend shared with me a few suggestions:

The gift of listening. No interrupting, no planning your response. Just listening.
The gift of affection. Being generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, and pats on the back.
The gift of laughter. Sharing funny stories and jokes. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.”
The gift of a written note. Expressing in a brief, handwritten note your appreciation or affection.
The gift of a compliment. Sincerely saying, “You look great today” or “You are special” can bring a smile.

But as we begin this special month of celebration, why not pass on the best gift you’ve ever received? Share the fact that “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:23). Or share this verse from John 1:12, “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” Remind others that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

The best gift of all is Jesus Christ. “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15).  — Cindy Hess Kasper

The greatest Gift that has ever been given
Is Jesus Christ who was sent down from heaven.
This Gift can be yours if you will believe;
Trust Him as Savior, and new life receive. —Hess

The best gift was found in a manger.