where love is alive 

Some weeks back the radio show Car Talk featured this brainteaser:

I’m thinking of two inventions from long ago.

One of them has thousands of moving parts.

The other has one part and it doesn’t move.

They both do the same thing. What are they?

I had to wait a week to get the answer.  But I won’t keep you waiting.  What both these items do is measure time.  One is an hourglass with thousands of grains of sand and the other is a sundial which has no moving parts at all. Pretty clever!

One of the most reliable dynamics of our world is the passing of time.  Time stands still for no one.  Instead times moves along at its age old steady pace.  Isaac Watts hymn “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” includes a verse that begins: Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away.

Indeed, time rolls on at the same rate for all of us. No matter how rich, poor, powerful, weak, famous, or common you are, every day holds 24 hours. Time, in a sense, is the great equalizer. In our imagination we fantasize about the ability to manipulate time through things like time-travel.  We dream about what we might do differently if we could go back in time. But this primarily is the makeup of good science fiction.

The Bible speaks of redeeming the time (Ephesians 5:16).  It is an appeal that we make decisions that maximize the available time in our lives. One of our culture’s ways of trying to make the most of our time is through Daylight Savings Time that just ended last weekend. The intention is to line up as much of the daylight hours within the framework of our daytime schedule.

Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with the two Time Change Sundays of the year. In March when our clocks “spring forward” into Daylight Savings Time, we lose an hour of sleep. This, in turn, causes an unusually low Sunday morning church attendance (not good).  However, I love the daylight staying with us later into the evening. In November, on the other hand, I like the extra hour of sleep on Time Change Sunday when our clocks “fall back.” In fact, it is a great Sunday to promote high attendance because of the extra rest people get the night before. (Did anyone arrive an hour early to church last Sunday morning?) However, I do NOT like that darkness falls on us so early in the evening. Around 6:00 PM I find myself saying “It feels like midnight out here!”

The worship song “How Great Is Our God” includes a line describing the Lord this way: Age to age He stands, and time is in His Hands.  It is hard to imagine, but the Lord exists beyond the creation of time, in an eternity where He had no beginning. The Bible describes it this way in its opening verse: In the beginning God… (Genesis 1:1).  Unlike all the rest of creation, God has no birthday!  And a day is coming when, as another hymn says The trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more.  Until then, as the creator of time the Lord has sovereign control over time just as He has control over all the rest of creation. Therefore, the soundest thing I can do with my time is to humbly acknowledge God is Lord over it too and work to redeem the time in accordance to His will.                                                                                                                                                                                                      -Jay


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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
    4. Received your website with ease this morning and sermon on Hypocrisy. Thanks so much.

      Posted by Viviene Serridge | June 10, 2018, 9:07 am

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