where love is alive 

This week I am beginning a Sunday Morning sermon series that will run through Easter.  I’m calling it I’ve Seen Jesus. Each week it will feature a different person who encountered Jesus on His way to the cross, to the empty tomb, and beyond.

The idea of this theme came to me a few months ago when my wife and I were on a day trip where we spent several hours in the car.  As we rode, she was utilizing a music app on her smart phone to live stream praise and worship music over the automobile’s stereo system. It must have been a channel that featured “oldies but goodies” because most of the songs and anthems were from 20 to 30 years ago. The tunes jogged many of these classics back from the recesses of our memories. But in time we began to listen to hear a specific song:  a duet between Larnelle Harris and Sandi Patty named “I’ve Just Seen Jesus.”  As the hours passed, one by one different songs came through the streaming audio.  But, alas, there was no Larnelle and Sandi to be heard. We did get our hopes up one time when the song’s introduction was played. But it ended up being an instrumental only arrangement with no lyrics. So still we waited.  Sure, we could have pulled it up on Youtube or some other online service, but that would have spoiled the fun of the anticipation. Besides, as we waited, we got to hear some very inspiring worship music.

Finally, on the last leg of the trip and within about 30 minutes of home, the song began to play.  The melody flowed along with their two voices singing back in forth as in conversation before they merged into the harmony of the chorus.  As best we could, we sang along with Larnelle and Sandy.  Roughly six minutes after it began, we reached the dramatic finish that declares I’ve Just Seen Jesus and I’ll Never Be the Same Again! 

THAT my friend is the gospel!  Jesus changes lives and once we see Him and accept Him for who He is, our lives will never be the same again. Time and again people who came into the power and presence of the Lord walked away deeply and eternally impacted by His life.

Starting this Sunday we will join Jesus on his journey to Jerusalem. Along the way folks like Bartimaeus, Zacchaeus, and Mary Magdalene see Jesus and their lives are never the same again.  And, I pray that, through their stories, we too will see Jesus and forever be changed for the better.

I look forward to going with you on this pilgrimage together.

Jay

 

PASTOR P.S.- Remember to indicate on the Worship Registration Form that you plan to attend the Tastes of the Nations event on April 7. As I shared last week, what a unique opportunity when the nations come to our campus.  Your family needs to be a part of this unique evening.

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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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