Friday, August 25, 2006

If I could speak to today’s churches and ministers - WHAT WOULD I SAY?

Today’s devotion comes from the depths of my heart, and is spoken in love, sincerity, and humility! It has taken me a long time to get to the place where I can write this! It is written with ministers in mind, but is a word we all need to hear. I’m not in a popularity contest (obviously), but just wanting to obey my LORD JESUS CHRIST and help the church in these perilous times.
(II Tim 3:1).

Main text:
“Behold, how good and how pleasant [it is] for brethren to dwell together in unity!” - Psalm 133:1

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; THAT THEY ALL MAY BE ONE; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE THAT THOU HAST SENT ME. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; THAT THEY MAY BE ONE, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and THAT THE WORLD MAY KNOW THAT THOU HAST SENT ME, AND HAST LOVED THEM, AS THOU HAST LOVED ME. - John 17:20-23

For today's devotion, I’m going to use my little town as an example, but I believe what I am saying needs to go out to everyone who claims to be a born again Christian, and to every Pastor who claims to love God, love God’s Word, and love God’s people (sheep).

I pastor a church of approximately 30 attendees on a good Sunday, sometimes higher, sometimes lower. Taking the position of pastor at Community Fellowship in the little town of Kane, PA, ( changed my life--quite a change after living near Atlanta, GA, since 1993. It has cost me being away from my grown children and grandchildren. Is it worth it for 30 people? My answer to that is, if GOD SENDS YOU somewhere, it is worth it even if it is for ONE person.

NOTE: Many missionaries of the past saw few or no converts on the mission field, but they paved the way for future missionaries and the move of God in various parts of the world. Praise God for their obedience!

While I have a church of 30, I have a ministry to EVERYONE in town. Our little town has approximately 4,000 people and likely AT LEAST 3300 or more have not been born again (John 3:3) . Hopefully, there are 700 or so brothers or sisters in town (though honestly I have a hard time finding them ...Hmm) that I can UNITE with to change our area for Christ. Some of you might be thinking good luck on that!!!

I understand that thinking--Churches and people who call themselves Christians normally don’t unite. So is it any wonder we are not seeing true spiritual growth? A

Are you aware that most of what we call church growth around the country isn’t really “growth” at all? It’s just Christians moving from one church to another. It’s more like who has the “best show” in town. That’s a sad but true reality.

We AREN’T supposed to go to the “best show” in town! We are to go to where God WANTS us AND where the Bible is proclaimed and taught as the infallible Word of God.

I have, at times, almost wished I wasn’t the pastor of a church, just so people wouldn’t worry about me stealing their sheep (which hasn’t and won’t happen). Actually, they are God’s sheep. True churches don’t grow by stealing sheep anyway.

On the other hand, if you carry the name pastor/shepherd and are not feeding the sheep the Bible and don’t plan or try to, then I will RESCUE those sheep all day long. In my opinion, there are a lot of wolves in the pulpits today. Let’s pray that we can get to these sheep before they are devoured by wolves (Matt. 7:15) and hirelings (John 10:12-13). Also, see Jer. 23:1,2; Jer. 50:6 and Ezk. 34:2,3,10.

This doesn’t mean that just because of some doctrinal differences that the pastor is a wolf or hireling. I believe if the fundamental truths of the Bible are being taught and the sheep are not spiritually beaten, then that pastor is likely a shepherd, so encourage the sheep to stay there!

Praise God, in our little town, approximately 6-8 born again ministers get together weekly to pray and encourage one another. We also have had joint services outside in the park during the summer.

Yeah, I’m bragging a little on our town and the ministers.

But that’s not enough, we must EVERYWHERE, IN ALL CHURCHS AROUND THE WORLD, break down the walls even further and stop worrying about where the sheep go.


If we REALLY want to see a move of God, we will have to be Christ-like enough to not worry about carnal sheep stealing and JOIN HANDS AND HEARTS in the purposes of God. We have a world that is lost out there!

Let’s get free from that “religious show” or “country club” mentality and “they’re MY sheep” thinking. Pastors are under shepherds, UNDER THE GREAT SHEPHERD (John 10:14-16) . We’ve had the wrong mind-set long enough.

Let’s get back to the Bible and our purpose of CARING/FEEDING sheep and REACHING A LOST AND DYING WORLD with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

In His Love, Grace, and Mercy,
Jim (

Please pass this on to others by e-mail, websites, blogs, snail mail, photocopies, etc…

Thursday, August 10, 2006

God is Working in Our Lives

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way." - Psalm 37:23

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28

"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."
- Philippians 1:6

As we journey down the road of life, it has many twists and turns in it and also some mountaintop and valley experiences. In the midst of all this, we MUST see God's hand working throughout our lives.

Can we mess up God's plan for our lives? Sort of yes, and sort of no. We will do things that are NOT God's will; like sin, disobedience (which is sin), etc., that will get us off of God's track for our lives. But the moment we repent and seek Him, He works us back into His plan and will for our lives.

You may think - no, you don't understand, I messed up too bad for God to use me. No, that is not so!!! I have wrestled with that myself, but we need to remember that God is BIGGER than our mess-ups. And guess what? God KNEW you were going to mess up even BEFORE you messed up. He also KNEW when you would repent and had ALREADY laid out the path BEFOREHAND to get you back on track with His will for you -WOW!!!

Not only does God move in straightening out our mess-ups, but He also is moving in our everyday life as we walk with Him.

Over the years, I have had what I'll call "divine appointments" which simply means being at the right place at the right time because of following the LORD.

There are many times we don't even have a clue that God is directing our steps (we think we are), but then you look back and say ONLY GOD could have made that "divine appointment."

One example of this is in founding BibleFood Devotional 8 years ago in January 1998. I followed the LORD'S leading in starting BibleFood Devotional. At the time, it didn't seem like a big deal, just an act of obedience; literally, only sending the devotion out to a handful of people.

Out of that ONE act of obedience, I have had the following happen:

1. I have grown through reaching out to others.

2. I have made many real friends.

3. I have made many ministerial friends.

4. I met my wife in 1999. She was a member of BibleFood and had moved to the area where I lived (though we didn't know each other yet). She e-mailed me one day that she was looking for a church in the area. I recommended that she visit where I was attending. We became offline friends and in time, fell in love (no cyber dating for us). Let me state here that we were not looking to date each other; that happened in time, God's time! And what a blessing He gave me in Joyce (my wife).

5. Out of BibleFood Devotional was started another online ministry in January 2000 called "The Encourager," devotions specifically written for ministers, elders, others in church leadership positions. These devotionals get into more specific issues that face those in ministry. It is also viewed by many via the internet.

6. “GodWillHelpYou” was started in 2001 - This was inspired by Jim trying to minister and help co-workers at a job. Then he saw the need for this ministry over the internet. This ministry is an outreach to the lost, bound, backslidden, and hurting, as well as the unsaved.

7. I was inspired by how God used the internet with BibleFood to using it in the starting of Christian Pool Players Association in 2002. This was started to reach the lost and hurting in the “pool/billiards” environment through friendship evangelism and special events. This has grown to over 250 members throughout the USA and the world. Go to:

8. In 2005, I accepted the pastorate of “Community Fellowship Church” in Kane, PA. This came about through a member in Pennsylvania who receives BibleFood Devotional. I had mentioned I felt the LORD calling me to the pastorate (somewhere). She e-mailed me about a place in Kane, PA (where’s Kane, PA, was my first thought). Also, I thought that it’s got to be cold in Kane and I don’t like the cold (but I do like to obey God). Yes, I took the pastorate of a small church in the small town of Kane. By the way, due to the cold winters, Kane is known as the “Icebox of Pennsylvania.”

Church website is: and

9. Opportunities in 2006 have opened for me to minister overseas (short-term missions) in India, Africa, and Pakistan. This is something I have had on my heart for years!!!

There are other areas where God has done amazing things in my life and others just because of obeying Him in this ONE area.

The last thing (number 10) I would like to share on relating to BibleFood touches my heart deeply as it is so GOD! This will take a few lines to explain but I think it will be worth your reading.

10. Back in the spring of 2000 I was planning to register as it was available that winter and would be so much easier for you all to remember and/or find. Finally, later that spring when I was ready to register it, I found that it had been taken in March 2000, I just missed getting it!!!

I was upset about losing the name and checked to see who took it. I decided to e-mail the person who registered it. I explained to this person how I had been wanting it for a long time. We ended up becoming friends (real close friends). The website name became a non-issue, but our friendship became our main concern. Since that time, my wife and I met Bob and his wife Mary while on our vacation. Now we have known them for years, have been to their home a couple times on vacation, spoke at Bob’s church, and love and respect them both highly. I consider Bob my “BibleFood brother” and have been so blessed by his love for Christ and his knowledge of the Bible.

I decided, with my busy schedule and the many changes in my life time-wise, that it was time to ask Pastor Bob Jones to use his God-given gift in the Greek to bless the readers of BibleFood Devotional. He has written a number of devotions for us. Although we are separate ministries, we are also working together for the purpose of blessing the Body of Christ.

I did register BibleFood as (ORG)and Pastor Bob Jones is still (COM).
Isn't that AWESOME!!! :)

In closing, over the years since starting BibleFood Devotional, I want to say I have experienced many trials and lots of valley time; but through it all I know God is still God, He is still in control!!!

So whether things are looking bright or dark, remember God is ultimately in CONTROL!!! Let God be God and allow Him to move in your life!

Your prayers are ALWAYS welcome and appreciated.

In His Service,
Jim (jim@biblefood.ORG)

NOTE: A trip to India is planned in November 2006. (We need supporters – If so led please send support to GO Proclaim Ministries, Box 676, Kane, PA 16735 (Attention India).