where love is alive 

One of the conveniences of modern technology is the ability to know when an ordered item will be delivered to your home or office.  Often this information is presented at the point of ordering.  The supplier can let you know if the item will be there tomorrow, the next day, or possibly one day next week.  Get a “tracking number” and you can follow your package all the way across country until the location status becomes “out for delivery” or “delivery complete.”  Such information has probably made us more impatient.  Still, it is a pleasant convenience.

It is hard to imagine, but in earlier times things were ordered by mail, or perhaps by telephone, and the undefined wait for delivery began.  It took real patience to await the arrival of that item you ordered out of the “Sears and Roebuck” Catalog.

I remember as a young boy I got my first camera.  In due time, I used the entire roll of film snapping photos of my family, our dog, and my friends.  My parents helped me mail off that film to be processed.  This was LONG before the days of digital photography or even “in store, one-hour photo processing.”  Eventually, the printed photographs would be sent back to me in the mail.  As a kid I eagerly awaited the day I could see those first photographs.  Every day I came home from school I would ask my mother if they had arrived in the mail.  And every day the answer was “No, not today.”  Enough weeks came and went that I lost my eagerness.  When the envelope of prints from Kodak finally arrived, my emotion was more of “surprise” than fulfilled expectation.  (Plus, the collection of unfocused and out of frame photos taught me that I had much to learn about being a decent photographer.)

Isaiah 56 was written to a people who had been promised a bright salvation.  But at the time, life remained a struggle.  In the meanwhile, they were called to faithfully await delivery of this special hope:

This is what the Lord says:

Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.  Isaiah 56:1 NIV

Their expectation of the delivery of this righteousness was to motivate them to steadfastly “do what is right.”  The arrival of this salvation was “close” and would be coming “soon.”  (However, the Lord’s idea of “soon” and our idea of “soon” are often two very different things.)

While we enjoy the conveniences of quick, reliable, trackable deliveries, it is good to remember that in our walk of faith we trust God’s promises and His timeline for delivering them.  Are you awaiting an answer from the Lord?  Be patient.  Keep doing what is right.  His delivery will be with you “soon.”

-Dr. Jay

Pastor P.S. Our family is planning a tour of Scotland from May 22 to June 3, 2019.  Let me know if you would like information about joining this adventure.

 

 

 

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    1. Dear Pastor,
      My wife and I are moving to the Cleveland area sometime in May or first part of June.
      We have been praying fervently for God’s direction in locating us to His place of worship, fellowship, and service there. We will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary this August 5th. We met at Dallas Bible College and Connie joined me, along with other students, in an itenerate ministry to three rural churches in SW Arkansas. Therefore we are celebrating fifty-two (52) years of ministry together. She was the pianist.

      Our son, Mike Harrison, Jr, has a 36 acre spread about 15 minutes from North Cleveland Baptist, where our apartment is being constructed beginning this week. We are retirees: Connie in 2016, as a Director of a four physician (pediatric) Cook Children’s facility in Flower Mound, TX; and myself in 1996, as Dean of Students at the International Institute of ACE located in Lewisville, TX (after four heart attacks and two major strokes).

      God renewed my strength and I was able to speak again, preaching and teaching for over ten years in my wheelchair. But God had another change for us as He laid on my heart two new ministries (but they required me to walk – No problem for the Lord!) I called my dear pastor and we had he and his wife pray with us along with five other “faithful prayers”. Six months later, God delivered the answer – on the night of the worst pain I had ever experienced in my 47 years of back pain… there in our bedroom, in my hospital bed, at 3:00 AM, I finally fell off to sleep in total exhaustion. At 7:00 AM, I was awakened by the soft peck on the cheek of Connie’s “goodbye, I’m off to work” kiss. After a few seconds I realized something was different.

      “No back pain”, I gasped. Then, “Glory, I can walk”!
      I put my feet on the floor immediately. Stood straight up and walked without a wobble;
      Bent right over and touched the floor, “Glory, Hallelujah; let Your Name be praised”!
      When Connie came home for lunch – she was overcome with joy and thanksgiving!
      Our three married children and their families were rejoicing. They had been praying.
      But what happened on Sunday was so glorious. Pastor Osborne and I decided I would make a special announcement. The congregation had, for the most part, never seen me walk. I made my way to the auditorium early and transferred to a from row pew.
      When he said I had an announcement, instead of sending down a mike, I leaped up and ran up nine steps to the podium. There was silence throughout. Not a sound from either level. The following clapping, “amans”, “glories”, and “hallelujahs” are a testament to the faithfulness of God and His people honoring Him in worship and praise. Humbly and passionately I explained to our family in the faith the privilege God was affording us and that we had taken on two new assignments six months earlier with the full assurance this day would be a blessing for us all, but the glory all His. That was August 2006. I became active in our special missions group and became a Salvation Army shortly thereafter.

      Connie and I practice personal evangelism and are faithful in praying and Bible reading and study. We are interested in a church that is committed to disciple making and worship. We are interested in a church that’s doors are open to all. We are highly interested to an assembly where “reaching our” and “reaching in” are in balance with the Word. We are interested in a church where we can serve. Connie plays the keyboard, sings, teaches, and just loves folks. I first taught junior boys at age sixteen and have been teaching for 54 years. I first preached (Opelousas, LA) at age 18; therefore for almost 53 years. I came to know Christ as Savior at age, 11, at a VBS at First Baptist Church Moss Bluff (Near Lake Charles, LA). I Graduated, Dallas Bible College, 1971,(Biblical Studies). Connie came to know the Lord as Savior as a younger child at home. Both of us were baptized before the age of 12.

      Most of my “work”career was spent in management.
      I worked for over 10 years for Sherwin Williams Co. in Garland, TX (night shifts) in order: to finish Bible College; supplement income as pastor; free time during days to volunteer for Christian ministries at various churches.
      I worked 17 years for Accelerated Christian Education; IT Director and Dean of Students.
      Christian Ministry: Pastor, Youth Pastor, Music Leader, Men’s Ministry, Deacon, Project Leader, Sunday School Teacher, Evangelist, Church Planting, Church Recovery,
      Salvation Army Chaplin, Missions Team Leader… Church Janitors (together), Create and print Bulletin…

      We would love to hear from you. We need you to provide some things that you, as pastor of North Cleveland, consider dear to you in your own ministry, and from what I have shared, would you be willing to join Connie and me in asking God to direct our hearts to the people and field where He has for us join Him in His work?

      Matt. 28:19-20
      John 13:31-35

      Posted by Michael C Harrison Sr / Mike | March 5, 2017, 2:38 pm
    2. Thanks for writing. I hope you will come see us when you get to the Cleveland Area. I have a deep love for local church ministry and appreciate when Christians join together in ministry.
      Have a blessed Easter Season

      Jay McCluskey, Pastor

      Posted by jaym | April 6, 2017, 11:44 am
    3. Thanks Dr. Jay. I always need the reinforcement of knowing He will come in His time.

      Posted by Viviene Serridge | May 20, 2018, 6:50 am

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