Monday, January 31, 2011

Valentine Banquet At New Oak Grove Baptist

I will be the guest speaker at a Valentine Banquet for senior adults at New Oak Grove Baptist Church in February.  The event begins at 6pm on Saturday, February 12, 2011.  The church is located at 18100 NW 262nd Ave. in Alachua, Florida.  For more information call Pastor Terry Elixson (386) 462-3390.

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

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Morriston Baptist in February

I will be preaching in supply for Pastor Keith Stewart at Morriston Baptist Church on Sunday, February 27, 2011.  The services will begin at 8:30am and 11am.  The church is located at 20291 SE 33rd Street in Morriston, Florida.  For more information call the church at (352) 528-4080.

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

Friday, January 28, 2011

Reading For Literacy Week

I participated in Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! activities this week by reading to 5th grade students at Keller Intermediate School in Macclenny, Florida yesterday.  The book teachers chose for me to read was "You Are Special" by Max Lucado.  After completing the book I had a great question & answer time with the students.  The students asked a wide range of questions about the theme of the book, my life experiences as a little person, and even about my careers and ministry.  The students engaged in a great discussion about how we should treat others, how we want others to treat us, and not being a "bully".  One of the four classes involved even wanted me to perform "stand-up comedy" for them after learning that I had "attempted" that career and performed at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.  We had a blast!

I hope the Lucado book and our discussions helped the children realize that we are all special in God's eyes in spite of our physical, mental, and personality differences.  It reminds me of Psalm 139:14:

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
         Marvelous are Your works,
         And that my soul knows very well

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Speaking At RMC Lake Butler

I am scheduled to speak at Reception and Medical Center in Lake Butler, Florida on Tuesday morning, February 1, 2011.  This will be a special service honoring Black History Month.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Reading At Keller Intermediate School

I will be reading to 5th grade students at Keller Intermediate School in Macclenny, Florida on Thursday, January 27, 2011.  This activity is in recognition of Literacy Week.

Hmmm, I wonder if I'm smarter than a 5th grader??

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

5 Reasons NOT To Utilize Evangelists

Here are 5 reasons NOT to utilize evangelists in your church:

  1. You do not believe your church needs spiritual encouragement.
  2. You are satisfied with the overall growth of your church.
  3. All of your church members are passionate in their personal evangelism.
  4. You are convinced that evangelists are not biblical.
  5. You fear the influx of new souls into the Kingdom and your local church.
For more information about the ministries of the James Croft Evangelistic Association visit our website.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lake Butler Wednesday

I will be preaching in supply for Pastor Jason Johns at First Baptist Church of Lake Butler, Wednesday evening, January 26, 2011.  The service will begin at 6:30pm.  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.

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

Nature Abhors A Vacuum



 
Be filled with all the fullness of God. —Ephesians 3:19
 
According to the ancient philosopher Aristotle, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” Aristotle based his conclusion on the observation that nature requires every space to be filled with something, even if that something is colorless, odorless air.

The same principle is at work in our spiritual lives. When the Holy Spirit begins to convict us of sin, the idea of starting a self-improvement plan immediately comes to mind. We put forth our best effort to defeat our worst habits. But every attempt to get rid of unclean thoughts, attitudes, and desires is destined to fail because getting rid of one creates a vacuum in our souls. As soon as we empty ourselves of one vice, others move in to take its place, and we end up just as bad or worse than when we started.

Thinking about vacuums helps us to understand the importance of what Paul was saying to the Ephesians when he prayed that Christ would dwell in their hearts through faith and that they would “know the love of Christ . . . that [they] may be filled with all the fullness of God” (3:19).

The only permanent solution to the problem of sin in our lives is to replace it with the love of Jesus, which fills the vacuum. The more we are filled with His love, the less room there is for any evil thing.

Father, thank You for Your Spirit
Fill us with His love and power;
Change us into Christ’s own image
Day by day and hour by hour. —Anon.

We don’t need to put our house in order before Jesus comes in; He puts it in order after we let Him in.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Right to Life is Self-Evident

Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) delivers an impassioned floor speech on protecting the rights of the unborn. (January 19, 2011)

Hide and Seek

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Light and Sound

Light travels faster than sound... which is why most people appear brilliant until you hear them.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lake Butler First Baptist Sunday

I will be preaching in supply for Pastor Jason Johns at First Baptist Church of Lake Butler, Sunday morning, January 23, 2010.  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.

NOTE: For up-to-date information on my preaching schedule visit the schedule page of the JCEA 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, January 20, 2011

Two Revival Meetings Scheduled

I will be leading revival services in Lake City, Florida and Spartanburg, South Carolina in February and March of this year.

On Sunday, February 20th, Homecoming Service will serve as a kick-off for services at Huntsville Baptist Church in Lake City.  The service will begin at 10:45am.  Three more services will follow Monday-Wednesday, February 21-23 at 6:30pm.  The church is located at 5720 NW Lake Jeffery Road near Lake City, Florida.  For more information call Pastor Jim Steele at (386) 752-2089.

I will be preaching my first revival meeting in Spartanburg, South Carolina March 6-9th.  The services will be held at Cudd Memorial Baptist Church with services beginning Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 11am and 6pm, and continuing Monday-Wednesday, March 7-9, 2011 at 6:30pm.  The church is located at 1301 Boiling Springs Road in Spartanburg.  For more information call Pastor Danny Garrett at (864) 542-0908.

Please be in prayer for these upcoming services.

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

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Home School Group on Friday

I will be speaking on environmental stewardship to home school students from Raiford Road Church on Friday at 10:45am.  I once served as Assistant Director for Recycling & Education with New River Solid Waste Association, a multi-county solid waste authority.  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.  Friday's presentation will be followed by the clean-up of a public park in Macclenny, Florida.

NOTE: For up-to-date information on my preaching schedule visit the schedule page of the JCEA 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, January 17, 2011

JCEA Mission

The James Croft Evangelistic Association (JCEA) led by 3'10" tall evangelist James Croft of Olustee, Florida is working to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world.  This ministry utilizes various means to win lost souls, to stir revival fires in believers, to educate Christians on Biblical and social issues, and to be an encouragement to all.  These methods include James' preaching ministry, foreign and local missions, and use of the internet utilizing podcasting and videos.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Freedom At Alcatraz


 
I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains. —Philemon 1:10
 
A tour of the federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay left me with some unforgettable images. As our tour boat pulled into the dock, I could see why this now-closed maximum-security federal prison was once known as “The Rock.”

Later, inside the legendary Big House, I stared at shafts of light coming through heavily barred windows. Then I saw row after row of cagelike cells that housed well-known inmates such as Al Capone and Robert Stroud, the “Birdman of Alcatraz.”

But another image made a deeper impression. Stepping into an empty cell, I saw the name “Jesus” scrawled on a wall. In another, a Bible lay on a shelf. Together they quietly spoke of the greatest of all freedoms.

Paul knew such liberty while waiting to be executed. Regarding himself as a “prisoner of Christ,” he used his incarceration to help other inmates discover what it means to be an eternally forgiven, dearly loved member of God’s family (Philem. 1:10).

Barred windows and doors represent one kind of confinement. Physical paralysis, inescapable poverty, and prolonged unemployment are others. Perhaps you endure another. None are to be desired—yet who would trade “imprisonment” with Christ for life “on the outside” without Him?

My heart and soul imprisoned lay,
Not knowing Christ the Lord;
But since the day He set me free,
We live in one accord. —Hess

To be under Christ’s control is to have true freedom.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Graham, FL Sunday Morning

I will be preaching at Praise Christian Assembly in Graham this Sunday morning, January 16, 2011.  The morning worship service begins at 10:30am.  Praise Christian Assembly is located on County Road 18 east of Graham, Florida.  Please be in prayer for this church as they search for a pastor.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why Use An Evangelist?

The Biblical office of evangelist is often one of the most overlooked and underutilized resources that God has presented in and through the local church to reach the world for Christ.  Why use evangelists?

  • Evangelists are called by God to specifically reach the lost.
  • Evangelists are able to communicate a direct Biblical message with a passion and zeal.
  • Evangelists cooperate with the ongoing work of local churches to reach their communities for Christ.
  • Evangelists encourage Christians in their daily zeal for soulwinning and discipleship.
  • Evangelists help churches culminate their long-term evangelistic efforts in harvesting the fields "white unto harvest".
  • Evangelists affirm the work of the local church pastor and the vision God has for his ministry through the local church.
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
Ephesians 4:11-12 (NKJV)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wellborn Baptist Thursday

I will be speaking during a men's ministry meeting on Thursday, January 13, 2011 at Wellborn Baptist Church.  The meeting will begin at 6pm.  Wellborn Baptist Church is located on US Highway 90 in Wellborn, Florida.  For more info call the church at (386) 963-2231.

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

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

JOY Shared At Wells Nursing Home

The residents of W. Frank Wells Nursing Home in Macclenny, Florida were treated to a JOY Box Distribution Party on Sunday, January 9th.  Volunteers from the James Croft Evangelistic Association presented a hymn sing-a-long and some special music followed by a message on the true "joy" of Christmas.  Shoebox gifts donated to the ministry were shared with each of the 40 residents as volunteers spent time with each one, sharing, listening and praying.

The boxes contained a variety of gifts including shampoo, body wash, lotions, puzzle books, small gifts, lap blankets and more.  Each time a box was shared the volunteers received a wonderful smile in return.  One of the teenage volunteers said she heard one comment several times, "you mean I get the whole box?"  She would respond, "yes, it's all yours."

The remaining JOY Boxes will be distributed to nursing homes in Macclenny and Lake City over the next two weeks.  Unfortunately, the number of boxes received this year is much lower than last year, but volunteers have made every effort to stretch the resources to the max.

Additional photos from the event are available in this online photo gallery.  Due to HIPAA regulations we are unable to show the faces of the residents, but trust us, those photos were filled with smiles!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Eye That Never Sleeps



Read: Psalm 121
In my distress I cried to the Lord, and He heard me. —Psalm 120:1
Detective Allan Pinkerton became famous in the mid-1800s by solving a series of train robberies and foiling a plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln as he traveled to his first inauguration. As one of the first agencies of its kind in the US, the Pinkerton National Detective Agency gained even more prominence because of its logo of a wide-open eye with the caption, “We Never Sleep.”

There is no better feeling than knowing you are protected and secure. You feel peaceful when the doors are locked and all is quiet as you drift off to sleep at night. You feel safe. But many lie awake in their beds with fearful thoughts of the present or dread of the future. Some are afraid of commotion outside or of a spouse who has been violent. Some cannot rest because of worry over a rebellious child. Others are anxiously listening to make sure a seriously ill child is still breathing.

These are the times when our loving God encourages us to cry out to Him, to the One who will neither “slumber nor sleep” (Ps. 121:4). Psalm 34:15 reminds us that “the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.”

Pinkerton may have been the original “private eye,” but the One who really has the eye that never sleeps is listening to the cries of “the righteous” (Ps. 34:17).

Before you sleep, just gently lay
Every troubled thought away;
Drop your burden and your care
In the quiet arms of prayer. —Anon.

We can sleep in peace when we remember that God is awake.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Saturday, January 08, 2011

The Decomposition of Our Spiritual Life


Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. Romans 8:8

Thoughts for Today:

Many people mistakenly believe that living for the flesh is the same as willfully sinning. In reality, it can simply mean to give high priority to the cravings of the material world. In Matthew 6:31-32, Jesus said, "So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them." For us that might be: "Where do you want to go for lunch?" or "What new toy should we buy?" or "Where will we go on vacation this year?" Let's be honest, we all think about those kinds of things -- however, the real question is: What priority do they represent in our lives?

Truly, if my body controls my thoughts, then I am fleshly minded and cannot please God. In the Garden of Eden, Adam gave in to his fleshly desires and ate of the forbidden fruit. He allowed his body to pervert and dominate his spirit which severed his direct communion with God's Spirit. As a result death entered the world. We do the same thing when we allow our fleshly desires to take precedent over our spirit. If you want to experience the decay and decomposition of your spiritual life, all you need to do is live for your flesh -- allow your worldly priorities to get out of order with God's.

Questions to Ponder:

Is your spiritual life producing fruit or is it in the process of decay? What are your priorities? Are they God's or your own? What's important to you? Do your priorities need to be reordered?

Friday, January 07, 2011

Wells Nursing Home Sunday

The James Croft Evangelistic Association will hold a Distribution Party at JOY BoxW Frank Wells Nursing Home on Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 2pm.  The party will include music, fellowship, a message from God's Word, and the distribution of JOY Boxes to residents.  W Frank Wells Nursing Home is located at 210 N 2nd Street in Macclenny, Florida.  Please be in prayer for the party and the residents.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Men's Meeting Added To Schedule

I have been asked to speak during a men's ministry meeting on Thursday, January 13, 2011 at Wellborn Baptist Church.  The meeting will begin at 6pm.  Wellborn Baptist Church is located on US Highway 90 in Wellborn, Florida.  For more info call the church at (386) 963-2231.

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

Is Your Message Online?


Have you been considering creating a website for your church, business, organization or for personal use? Have you been considering registering a domain name for your new site or maybe an additional domain name for an existing site? Do you have an existing website and domain name, but you're wondering if you're paying too much? Well, if you answered "yes" to any of these questions, I invite you to check-out my online business called Giant Web Plans.

You'll find very competitive prices for various levels of hosting plans and website enhancement tools, as well as domain registrations and transfers. If you're not exactly sure what you need, a knowledgeable representative is just a phone call away 24 hours a day. Giant Web Plans also offers around-the-clock tech support to help you with any questions that may arise.

Please visit Giant Web Plans if you're considering a presence on the World Wide Web or just looking to enhance the one you have. If you're not in need of these services at this time, but know of someone that is, I would appreciate you passing this information along.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Can We Help Your Church?

James fields calls from pastors, youth ministers, and lay leaders of ministries to gauge how best he can help meet the overall goals of local churches.  Here are some thoughts to help you:
  • James believes his primary mission is to evangelize through the context of local New Testament churches.
  • Financially, he is supported by the generosity of churches and individuals.  His Association board encourages churches to provide for his transportation costs, housing, as well as love offerings during the time of ministry with you.
  • Length of engagements is not an issue.  James speaks in week-long meetings, as well as one-day services.  He is also available for church banquets, retreats, youth revivals, and children’s camps.
  • In multi-day meetings, James makes himself available for ministry in community settings, by addressing civic groups, nursing homes, and schools, should you desire this.
  • James does preach in supply as his calendar allows.
For more information about the ministries of the James Croft Evangelistic Association visit our website.

Monday, January 03, 2011

LAST CALL: JOY Box Donations

Alexx St. John prepares shoebox gifts.
Our collection time for JOY Boxes and donations for this year's event will be concluding tomorrow, Tuesday, January 4, 2011.  However, there is still time to participate; in fact, if you are preparing boxes and need a couple of extra days, give us a call (386.867.3199) and we'll accommodate you.  Financial donations are still welcome by following the appropriate links below.  We'll prepare as many boxes as possible from your donation.

As of this writing we have received 100 JOY Boxes for nursing home residents in Macclenny and Lake City, Florida.  This number is down considerably from last year's 314, but I know the Lord will still bless each recipient and each donor.  Distribution of JOY Boxes will begin this weekend.

For more information about the JOY Box ministry visit these links:
 JOY Box Donation
Click this button to make a donation to the JCEA Christmas JOY Box Ministry.  Donations will be used to cover expenses in providing shoe box gifts to nursing home residents. 


 To make a contribution by check or money order follow this link.

 The James Croft Evangelistic Association is registered with the IRS as a 501(C)(3) corporation and all donations to the JCEA are tax deductible.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Eat Fast, Pay Less



 
My soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You. —Psalm 63:1
 
A hotel in Singapore introduced an express buffet—eat all you can in 30 minutes and pay just half the price! After that experience, one diner reported: “I lost my decorum, stuffing my mouth with yet more food. I lost my civility, . . . and I lost my appetite for the rest of the day, so severe was my heartburn.”

Sometimes I think in our devotional reading we treat God’s Word like an express buffet. We wolf it down as fast as we can and wonder why we haven’t learned very much. Like physical food, spiritual food needs chewing! For those of us who have been Christians for a long time, we may have a tendency to speed-read through the passages we’ve read many times before. But in doing so, we miss what God is meaning to show us. One sure sign of this is when we learn nothing new from that passage.

David’s desire was right when he wrote in Psalm 119:15, “I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.” That’s the way to treat God’s Word—to take time to mull it over.

Let’s not come to the Bible as if we were going to an express buffet. Only by meditating on God’s Word will we get the most value for our spiritual well-being.

Spending time in meditation,
Hiding Scripture in our heart,
Works in us a transformation
So from sin we can depart. —Sper

Reading the Bible without reflecting is like eating without chewing.
 

Saturday, January 01, 2011