Pastor's Corner

December 2016

December 18th, 2016

Ephesians 2: 12-13: "that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ."

The Apostle Paul is telling the Corinthians not to take God’s gift for granted. How do we diminish the greatest gift that has ever been given, God gave His Son?

How quickly it is that we forget what Jesus has done for us, how quickly many who at one time were on fire for the Lord, that flame is only a flicker. How we need to remember that Jesus died in our place, He suffered for us as us.

This might seem a little strange Christmas message but it is not! Many will face the Holidays with despair and depression. I have been told by some that they hate Christmas for it congers up bad memories. Some tell me they would rather celebrate December 26 rather than the 25.

Let this be the year when all that changes, and it starts by not just putting Jesus Christ back into Christmas but making Christmas all about Him. When you do this, you then can savor the greatest gift that anyone, anywhere has ever received. God gave His only Begotten Son for you. And I believe He would have offered Jesus if you had been the only person on this earth.

Some would say yea but I have no one to spend time with during the Holidays! God has promised you and me that He would never leave me or forsake me, He is always with me. Many don’t recognize His presence because they don’t practice His presence on a daily basis, no prayer life and no Bible study what so ever. So when He comes to them, they don’t recognize His presence. Also if those in this church knew you were going to be alone, they would probably invite you to come join them in their gatherings.

The verses that I mentioned at first, tell me that you and I can treat the presence of the Lord with a lack of respect. Those who are saying they are not loved, refuse to see what God has done for them. Christ on the cross was the ultimate sacrifice for you and me. How in the world can we say we are not loved after gazing on the Crucified Body of our Lord?

Those who say they are alone, are basically saying “I know God told me He would always be there, but I don’t believe Him or His word or He is not enough.

It is my prayer that during this Christmas Season, we don’t take our Father in Heaven nor His word for granted, and let us remember what He has done for us. Paul wrote, but now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

- Pastor Lee and Crickett Cruse, wishing you and your family a Jesus Christmas.


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December 11th, 2016

Luke 2:10: "Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people."

I love this time of year for there is something special about Christmas! I think more than anything else it brings out the kid in me. For some just the mention of Christmas causes all kinds of anxiety. But if you take out all the hustle and bustle and the worry as to trying to find a gift for cousin Pearl, that you know when you leave she is going to talk about you and what a cheapskate you are. So you know you will have to buy something that is expensive that you really can’t afford.

So let me take some of the anxiety off of you, just go to Kroger and buy a bag of lemons for a couple of dollars and give them to Pearl. She will get the message that she is nothing more than an old sour puss.

When the angels announced the greatest message that has ever been announced they did not say “for behold I bring you bad tidings of great anxiety which shall be to all people”. No they said “For behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people”. What a declaration, and notice that it is for all people. That is tremendous because the Pharisees and other religious leaders had determined that only certain people could worship the Lord. Those that were excluded included the Shepherds for they were considered unclean and unfit people.

The greatest announcement that was ever heard God chose to give it to Shepherds first, that those who were a far off would be able to come. In fact Jesus tells us to come boldly to the throne of grace.

Joy was this announcement, and you have to look into the face of a Child as he or she is mesmerized with lights and presents and Santa Clause. So if you and I have an assignment this Christmas it is to not lose our joy. To become like a little child and to not lose the mystic of life, to look at life with eyes of amazement and see the wonder of life. After all your Father in Heaven owns everything so what do you need?

Go back to the days when your parents had to hide all of your gifts, but you discovered they were not very good hiders. That electric train your parents bought you that you found one month before Christmas that you had already set it up under the bed and had it running. Then on Christmas morning you had to act like you were really surprised. Or go back to when your brother got all this stuff for Christmas and I mean really good stuff. But came in looked at all of it and then went and got out the vacuum cleaner box and played with it all day.

I remember my dad telling me that as a boy at Christmas he put up his stocking and on Christmas morning he got a piece of fruit, an orange and was so excited. I had a hard time trying to comprehend that.

But that is just it, this time of year is not about expensive presents, but Joy, because it is our Lords Birthday, just joy. So I hope that this year that you will not allow the season to take away the reason for the joy. That is our Lord Jesus Christ.

- Pastor Lee and Crickett Cruse, wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas.


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December 4th, 2016

Proverbs 14:12: "There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death."

The Election is over and yet I still feel a great deal of concern for this country. I am concerned not for the political direction of the U.S. but for its spiritual and moral direction.

There is a quote by Os. Guniess, the great apologist, “The problem with modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of His own life but that it bothers him less and less”. We are a lackadaisical people who live our life just come what may. As a society we don’t live life on purpose because for many they don’t know their purpose because they don’t know the God of purpose.

So I must be truthful that I have great concerns for this country. Atheism is growing and it flourishes in an environment where Christians are luke-warm.

I read the story of a Russian General, His name was General Kirshin and he was the Chief Historian of the Center for Geopolitical Strategy in Moscow. His life was so empty and he was looking for something that could feel the void in his life when he found Christ.

He committed on his country of Russia, and with tears running down his cheeks he said “It is very difficult to change after seventy years of believing a lie in this country”. “Russia has set a course in history that was based on a lie”. What a tragic story of how an entire culture can be shaped by the impact of a single ideology with lie after lie perpetuated for decades. Ironically the chief newspaper Pravda, in reality was the vehicle of falsehood, and yet their name means truth.

Are we heading down the same road and we have to wait for something tragic to happen before we get a wakeup call?

You say, "Lee what can I do?" I believe it is time for the church to be hot, not cold or especially lukewarm. You and I need to have a vital faith, we need to study that we are workmen that need not be ashamed that when someone asks us for the hope that we have in us, that we will be able to answer them. We need to quit being ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and begin to speak boldly about our faith rather than worrying about being politically correct.

If we don’t then I am afraid of the alternative, that we head down a path or a way that as Proverbs 14:12 tells us, it leads to death.

Let us set our eyes on Him that we come to a place that we just don’t talk about Him or that we know a lot about Him but that we know Him. That we have an intimate relationship with Him and He is our source and our life. And let us as a Church finds ways that we can become relative to Winchester and Clark County. Ways we can use to lead others to the cause of Christ.

- Pastor Lee Cruse, the Pastor whom Jesus loves.


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