where love is alive 

It was some years ago when I heard about a group of folks who traditionally gathered for a holiday gathering on December 23rd.  Throughout my life, two days before Christmas might be called Christmas Eve Eve.  That is, the eve of Christmas Eve.  However, this collection of people called December 23rd CHRISTMAS ADAM.  It was so named because in the Bible Adam came before Eve!  I thought that this designation was rather clever.  Therefore, I began routinely to refer to December 23rd as Christmas Adam!

This year, December 23rd falls on a Sunday.  With all our other special pre-Christmas Eve worship times complete, our staff saw this day as a great opportunity for some Church-wide fellowship and fun.  Therefore, on Sunday, December 23rd, starting in the Activity Building at 5:30 p.m., we will celebrate CHRISTMAS ADAM.

There will be inflatable bounce houses set up and family games (as opposed to reindeer games) conducted by gamemaster, Darryl Canida.  Whitley Harris is facilitating a first ever “Cookie Crawl” to determine the best tasting Christmas Cookie in the church (all entries are welcome).  And Holly Cox will furnish Hot Chocolate for all in attendance.  Finally, we will enjoy a showing of the animated Christmas movie, “The Star.”  While there is no charge for anything, we will give opportunities for people to donate to one of our favorite ministries:  Operation Christmas Child.

This time is designated to be a delightful evening both for individual families and for the entire church family.  Bring a blanket to spread out for movie watching or you may wish to bring your own lawn chairs.  It will be a delightful and special night together.  Invite your friends and family to join us for this special evening.

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In the spirit of the season, remember to make a gift to international missions through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.  At our November business meeting, our church approved the Mission Committee’s recommendation that this year’s Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goal be set at $25,000.00.  While this is an ambitious objective, it is within our reach.  We can exceed $25,000.00 if each family makes a generous and sacrificial gift.  Again this year, I challenge you to distinguish your largest Christmas gift of the year to go to Jesus through the Lottie Moon offering this season.

I look forward to joining you in God’s house this Sunday!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            -Jay

 

 

 

This is the final edition of The Evangel for 2018. Therefore, I want to take this opportunity to thank the North Cleveland Baptist Church family for the privilege of ministering together throughout the past year. Appreciation also goes out to you for the Christmas Cards, hugs, affirmations, and many kind acts wishing my family a joy-filled holiday season. Each of these gracious expressions is a touch of God’s love and a reminder of how fortunate I am to serve such an exceptional congregation.  I pray that the celebration of the birth of Jesus is a warm and meaningful time for and your loved ones.

I will remember 2018 for many noteworthy things: impressive participation in missions, record Vacation Bible School and Trunk or Treat Events, our highest ever Operation Christmas Child box distribution, and solid budget and mission giving.

In these closing days before Christmas arrives, many people will still be looking for some final gift for a special person. But does your Christmas list include the most special person in your life: JESUS? Imagine attending a birthday celebration and everyone receiving gifts EXCEPT the one having the birthday. That sounds odd…even awkward…certainly not appropriate. Yet, this is what occurs when Christians give Christmas gifts to others but leave out Jesus.

One of the best ways I know to give a gift to Jesus during the holidays is by contributing generously to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. Currently, we have received a bit less than half of our 2018 Lottie Moon Offering goal of $25,000.00.  Remember, these gifts enable thousands of missionaries, including our own Chris and Lori Heil family in Brazil, to serve the Lord all over the world. Over my years, I have met hundreds of missionaries in person. Without exception I find each person’s story and work inspiring. I remain proud that my gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering enable these people to minister. Do you want to be inspired?  Go to the Lottie Moon page of the International Mission Board website and look around (www.imb.org/lottie-moon-christmas-offering).

Please join us for our closing Christmas Events:

  • Sunday morning worship, featuring a monologue sermon (8:30/11:00 AM)
  • Sunday Evening’s Christmas Adam fellowship (5:30 PM)
  • Christmas Eve Candlelight and Communion Service (6:00 PM)

Looking ahead to 2019….

Worship – Every Sunday Morning

Bible Study – Sunday mornings, Tuesday mornings, or Wednesday nights

Growth – A new Young Adult Sunday School Class starts January 6th

Discipleship – Sunday night classes for all ages in January and February

Fellowship – Hockey Night with Dr. Jay on January 18th

 

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    Discussion

    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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