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Thoughts, Encouragement and News from Pastor

How Life Changed After Almost Dying

by Pastor Huck Kusner on 03/10/17

By Pastor Huck Kusner

 

QUESTION:  How has your life changed since you almost died on the operating table two years ago?

 

ANSWER:  Nobody, including the surgeon, imagined I would be the second person in Arizona history who would react negatively to the chemical “protamine.”  Thus far we have no knowledge of anyone surviving a protamine reaction in our country.  It is given to patients to reverse the affect of medication that prevents clotting during heart surgeries.  A reaction, however, causes the blood to turn into a wet cotton-like substance causing heart failure and damage to vital organs due to oxygen deprivation.

 

My heart was completely disconnected for six hours, then reconnected and electrocuted to restart.  God had to be in charge.  It is nearly impossible to describe what it’s like to enter a hospital to get better, only to wake up on death’s doorstep, feeling sure you will die with your next breath.

 

After the usual two hour surgery was extend to fourteen, blowing up to over 320 lbs from my normal 165, receiving fourteen units of blood because I was injected with protamine twice, everyone was called into the grief room of the hospital and informed that it was likely I would not live through the night.

 

I was told that friends, family and church members filed in two at a time to say goodbye, although I have no recollection of any of it.  How I appreciate my church family at Calvary of BCC, and other congregations, who prayed.  While praying in the grief room Michele Evans told everyone she kept sensing a small voice inside saying, “Restart; Pastor Huck is going to restart.”  Margaret Opsal encouraged people to pray with faith despite being told I would most likely die.

 

By God’s grace I lived.  Don and Freda McLay nursed me back to health and today I can run seven miles, perform P90X workouts without any problem, and with no meds.  What feels indescribably awkward is when well –meaning people say, “God’s not finished with you,” or “God has a reason.”  Those words stall my brain and make me think that in the natural, I really don’t belong on this earth anymore.

 

This experience has made me feel like my life ended, but I was allowed to start up again, but I never really left, because I didn’t really die, but I was supposed to.  There; I told you it was hard to explain.  I didn’t just turn a page in life, or even begin a new chapter.  This is more like Volume Two.

 

Jesus Christ has always mattered, but today my relationship is ramped up with additional intensity.  I have an increased clarity about what’s important, and what’s a waste of time.  I love the people of Calvary BCC, my bride, my kids, and what I do as a pastor.  There’s a very clear recognition that God has filled my life with purpose having eternal value.  What more could I want?

 

If you have ever read the Book of Job, then you know how God blessed him doubly in chapter forty-two.  I am living in Job chapter forty-two.  

 

When I consider that Jesus Christ allowed Himself to be crucified in my place for my sins, the only logical thing to do is give all this life all to Him.  He is what matters, and to Him we will all be accountable.

 

I have served Him by leading mission teams in many countries including war torn South Sudan, and most recently Mae Sariaing, Thailand, but I love my church in BCC.  My restart causes me to encourage you all the more to consider Jesus, and decide to learn more about Him as well as yourself, at Calvary. 

 

THE CALVARY CODE

by Pastor Huck Kusner on 10/24/16

Helping people experience God's plan for their lives through a daily, progressive, sustained relationship with Jesus Christ.


*  It's About Making Jesus Famous.  It's Not About Us.
* The Invitation Starts Now, Not at the End of a Sermon.
* We Bow Before We Battle.  Prayer is as Important as Prep and Delivery.
*  Just Because God can Do the Super, doesn't Mean We Don't Do the Natural.
* We will risk the Ocean and Launch into Deep Waters of Faith.
*  We Tremble Before God's Living Word.
*  We are an Uprising of Honor.  We Promote and inspire respect, virtue and valor.
*  We Lead to Empower Tomorrow's Leaders.
*  We Recognize that it's Not for Everyone.
*  If We're Here, We are All In.  We are Contributors to a Brotherhood of Trust.

Focus Word:  ENGAGE.
We actively ENGAGE in prayer to the Lord.
We actively ENGAGE those with whom we serve.
We actively ENGAGE those to whom we serve.

Blessed as They Come

by Pastor Huck Kusner on 06/15/16

Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

Over a six day period, Calvary Black Canyon City executed, used, and/or gave out: 1452 crafts, 450 pounds of ice, 200 hotdogs, 150 prizes, 63 Bible lessons, 57 helpers, almost 35 pounds of snacks, 31 pounds of candy, and 10 pizzas; and all for their 2-hour per day Vacation Bible School.  The theme for this year’s VBS was “We Believe”, which included lessons entitled:  We Believe in One God and We Believe in One Savior.  Each day’s theme was reinforced as the children rotated in teams through four centers, including Games, Snacks, Crafts, and Teaching. 

 

Vacation Bible School began each day with a live worship set.  The children learned four songs throughout the week and performed them on Sunday’s Parent Presentation Day.  All of them sang loudly with smiles on their faces, and making the appropriate dance moves.  It was one of the best children’s performances we have seen at Calvary BCC.

 

Many of the daily helpers were high school students, who actively participated with enthusiasm wherever they were asked to work.  The last rotation of the day included a time for the teens to enjoy snacks and refreshments, as well as a time of teaching aimed specifically at the needs they face in today’s culture. 

Let's Stay Clean

by Pastor Huck Kusner on 05/14/15

In the middle of the Passover meal Jesus poured water into a basin, wrapped a towel around Himself, and began to wash the apostle’s feet. 

 

Every believer is cleansed from sin the moment they express faith in Jesus. Yet we tend to pick up sin like the dust of the day as we walk through a dirty world. Jesus said, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean” (John 13:10). The word bathed refers to the whole body, but the word for wash means partially.

 

In Exodus we are told what was done for Aaron in order to set him apart for service. God instructed Moses saying, “You shall bring Aaron and his sons to the doorway of the tent of meeting and wash them with water” (Exo 29:4). Blood from the sacrificed animals was then placed on their right ears, thumbs and toes. They were now set apart to listen to, walk and work in only a godly way.

 

This is the same mandate for every Christian today. Our sins have been washed away by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and we are now expected to live a godly life. Talk is cheap; but a walk happens.

 

God then spoke again to Moses saying, “You shall also make a laver of bronze for washing, and you shall put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it. Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and feet from it when they enter the tent of meeting” (Exo 30:17-20). Although they were completely bathed and consecrated on the day of ordination, they would now wash partially for participation in godly service.

 

Our world is filled with foul sights and sounds. People in general accept the spiritual pollution all around us. I believe the message of John 13 is deeper than literally washing feet with water. I believe our Lord is showing us who are already saved from our sins, the importance of a clean walk as we live on this earth.

 

Our minds are to be washed daily by reading the Bible. (See Eph 5:26). Confession removes the dust of the day between us and God, as well as people we sin against. Confession restores intimacy so we can serve God effectively. Both keep us clean from the dirt that can cling. (See John 14:13).

 

Finally, Jesus wiped their feet showing He finished what He had begun. Paul spoke of finishing the course and ministry he received from Jesus well. May we also finish well. Since it won’t be long till we say so-long, let’s stay clean.  

Distinguishing Joy From Happiness

by Pastor Huck Kusner on 01/05/15

Have you ever wondered the if there is a difference between joy and happiness? 

In searching through dictionaries and concordances, I discovered key definitive words that separate the two. I found the word lucky to be associated with the word happy, and a state of delight associated with joy. Since the Bible tells us, “the steps of a good man are set up by the Lord,” luck has nothing to do with a believer. (See Psalm 37:23.)

 Obviously, there is nothing wrong being happy, but happiness is based on a happening. We celebrate happy birthdays or happy new years. In contrast to unbelievers, Christians are continually standing in the favor of God (See Romans 5:1-2). Thus, joy is a state of contentment and the assurance that all is well despite immediate circumstances.

 David declared, “How blessed, or happy, is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers” (Psalm 1:1). The ungodly are unsettled in terms of godly rule over their lives. Sinners remain determined to practice their trade. Scoffers set their mouth against Jesus Christ. Moses chose rather to suffer with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Therefore, happiness for a sinner is seasonal, and seasons eventually change. (See Hebrews 11:25.)

 The prophet Zephaniah declared that the Lord rejoices with shouts of joy over those who are His. (See Zephaniah 3:17). Nehemiah cheered the people on when he shouted, “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).  When Christians are, so to speak, going through the fire, we fix our hope on the unseen. We remember that God is rejoicing over the fact that we belong to Him, and this hope gets us through tough times. (See John 16:33.)

 Joy is powerful. When the apostles were flogged for talking about Jesus Christ, they left the prison rejoicing. (See Acts 5:40-41.) The same promises of resurrection that the apostles had are for us today as well, and it all begins with just a little faith in Jesus Christ.

 Jesus said that great things could be accomplished with faith the size of a tiny mustard seed. Mustard controls the flavor of whatever it’s placed on. A little faith in Jesus Christ can control the flavor of whatever situation you may be going through right now. May the joy of the Lord Jesus Christ, get you through it.

 John 16:33  "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." 

Agape,

Pastor Huck

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This article first appeared in January/February 2017 issue of Calvary Corner News.