Mic drop statement 1800 years ago by Tertullian still applies


tertullianTertullian of Carthage was born around A.D. 155. He had a fine education. His parents were pagan but he converted toward the end of the 2nd century to the Christian faith.  He indicated that he was impressed by he attitudes and beliefs of Christianity. The courage and the determination of martyrs, their morality, and uncompromising belief in one God.  He  died an old man around A.D. 220.

Here we have one of his very profound sayings.  This grabbed my spirit when I saw it.  I am involved in a lot of funerals, death, hospice, etc. as a pastor.  I see the struggles of family when a loved one they adore and love passes. I also see the struggle when a loved one who has led a pretty selfish life passes. They want to grief, and feel bad they don’t.

This begs some questions for us  to contemplate.

  • As you think of your decisions, your life, your habits, are they self-centered?
  • How much do you sacrifice for family, your spouse, your kids?
  • Do you spend your time wisely?
  • Do you add value to others lives by encouraging?
  • How do you speak to your family?  Love, encouragement, fun, or are you letting anger, criticism, snottiness, be your normal communication?
  • Are you doing anything missional for Jesus?
  • Do you “die to self” and put others and the Lord first? Or is that uncommon?

God has so much for us, if we put Him first. Love others more.  Be selfish less.

Mark 8:34-38 34Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

 

 

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Happy Birthday Compelled Church! We are 22 years old. I Love Church Planting.


Twenty-two years ago April 8, 1996 Compelled Church was started.  It was Bedford Christian Community, then. We changed when we went multi-site.   We left as youth pastors at Northville Christian Assembly, and with hugs, tears, and holy excitement, we moved to Temperance. That church supported us, and and sent us off well under the leadership of Pastor “O” Buchan and that loving staff.  Hugh Duncan, was the greatest encourager ever!  Thank you Hugh for pouring into Wendy and I, encouraging us, and giving faithfully in so many ways.

What started as a God-given dream in our living room in Livonia with Mike and Pam Hardy, has become an amazing journey of fun and faith! Rick and Beth joined us a year later. What at team, and priceless friends!

A lot has happened in that 22 years.  Many people have came to the Lord, leaders raised up, people discipled, children and youth ministered to.  Wendy and I are humbled and blessed at what God has done, and the amazing people he sent to help throughout the years.  What a joy to be imbedded in this community, to raise our kids year, and to live in the same house since the day we arrived.

My wife Wendy has been right there. Ministering, raising our kids, giving, serving. She encouraged me when I was bi-vocational, when I struggled through a Master’s Degree and at every stage of church-planting challenge.  My children love the church, and God’s people because this church has been so amazing.  Thank you Wendy for your support, patient love, and pouring into this life’s work as much as I. Thank you Abby, Gabe, and Levi for bring us honor, and sharing your parents with so many people.

We have raised leaders, pastors, help start other churches, and have another Compelled Church Campus in Holland, Oh.  We have send over a million to missions, had 3 building programs, and have seen God lead, provide, protect, and guide us faithfully for 22 years.

The LOrd  was there through every challenge, disappointment, and victory.

Thank you to everyone who has encouraged, gave, sacrificed, and supported the work of the Lord here in Temperance and Toledo. You are heroes.

Happy Birthday Compelled Church!  It has been an amazing 22 years.  It has been a joy to lead Pastor this great Church. Whatever God has for the next 22 years for our lives, and the church, we will be faithful, we will be obedient, we will have tenacity!

Love you All

Pastor Nate and Wendy

Good Friday is Good


GoodFRidayAs I ponder this morning the deep goodness of God, I am reflecting on the love of God and I am moved.  It is Good Friday. We call it good. For us it shows the love that Father has for us. That Christ would die in our place. Take the judgement for our sin.  In no other way could the depth of God’s love be shown, then by the giving of Life.  In a world that is hostile, angry, confused, God’s love shines to humanity. In the death of Christ the human spirit, is moved by magnitude of love shown as Jesus lays down his life for us.  Please take a moment to reflect, meditate, pray through with thanksgiving these verses as I have done.  The truth will lead you to the goodness of God on this Good Friday

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3.16

“It is rare indeed for anyone to die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God proves His love forus in this: While we were still sinners, Christ diedfor us.  Therefore, since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from wrath through Him.” Romans 5.7-9

“But the LORD was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.” Isaiah 53.10

He has purchased by his love and blood our salvation.

Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Today is a day to be thankful, humbled, broken, and meek.

Six Things Compelled Church, That We Can Never Forget


(Cliff notes from the weekend message. The last week of our missions month.)

2 Corinthians 5.11-21 (NASB)

  1. We are Compelled (2 Corinthians 5.14)

God has called us to go beyond just having services, but to connected to Christ in all we do. God has called us to be Jesus to this earth, this township this city, this county.

  1. God Blesses the Church that Blesses the World.

-Our church health, growth, and community is blessed directly because we are a blessing to the world, and giving to missions and being a missional Church. We must live out John 3.16. If we quit blessing the world we will lose the blessing of God and his hand will be lifted from our local body.

  1. We are all Missionaries.

We are “ministers of reconciliation” (5.18).

The “Misseo Dei”  The mission of God is people!       I did go on a missions trip, but God reminded me that my life is a missions trip. This is my mission field.

You need to go, but don’t forget our life is a mission trip. To love God, love others, and serve the world in the context where he has put you.

  1. God is calling us to sacrifice.

We must know that short-term sacrifice bring long-term gain. The time to live without sacrifice is over.

-We must go, send and give.

-God does not overlook sacrifice. He will bless your life. He will bless your family.Sacrifice your comfort zone and invite, ask. Maybe your reputation? Maybe your fear!

  1. Time is running out

-We are in a “State of Emergency” on this earth. Things are bad. Jesus is coming back, and every day we get closer to our last day on this earth. Time is running out.

-Luke 19.10 Jesus came to seek and to save those who are lost.

  1. We are part of Something Bigger than ourselves.

It’s the Kingdom of God.  Our King is Jesus. He is the true reality.

Romans 1.16

We cannot forget these six things. Jesus is with us. We must keep being “Compelled by His love” and be missionaries and ministers in the places we work, where we shop, where we go to school, and to the families God put us in.

Back from German-speaking Europe


It was an amazing experience being in Europe with Paul and Mechthild Clark. We were in the German-speaking part. I taught at two, one-day  forums Paul hosts, to encourage and teach pastors. One was in Grandstadt,  Germany and one in  Schaffhausen, Switzerland. I also spoke at a pastors meeting in Innsbruck,  Austria on the following day with Paul and Mike. We had great fellowship on the 4 hour round trip drive. What an It was busy traveling, and speaking the first week that is for sure, but we loved it!

Wendy was able to share in Innsbruck, the foster-care ministry as they have similar challenges with foster-care in Europe also.  My translator was moved has he and his wife are foster-parents. His name was Marcel. He is a great guy and we became instant friends. I will miss him.

On Saturday the new Church Plant the Clark’s are pastoring in Bregenz, Austria hosted a ladies breakfast.  Mechthild worked hard and Wendy spoke. Saturday night was fun as we traveled to Salem, Germany for a community Outreach. I played bass and Mike Clark, played keys, and Paul led worship from the guitar. We talked about getting more gigs and hitting the road.  The community center was full, and the host Pastor, a Romanian, man David and his wife were so kind!

Wendy’s cousin, Pauline and Manfred, came to Grandstadt, on our first day of ministry. They took Wendy to lunch and then we were able to visit after the forum They were so kind to take us to the train station in Mannheim.  We rode a few hours then to Switzerland.

Sunday I taught on Philippians 1.6 at the Bregenz church and helped with worship. Paul was my translator.   We visited and enjoyed a great new body of Christ that the Lord is building there.  This is Paul’s 8th church plant.  He planted a church in Michigan before going to Germany and planting 7 more. Absolutely incredible.  He has always been one of my encouragers andd he calls often to see how I am doing. Before we came here, we took a team of students to Germany, and he encouraged me to church plant. I am thankful for priceless friends.

Wendy and I stayed a couple more days.  We were guests at Mike and Laura Clark’s for dinner. What an amazing family they are. We have known them for years and love what God has, and is, doing through their lives.  of course did some shopping, drank some great coffee and also saw a couple of castles. Our time together was well spent and needed after such a busy schedule of ministry.

On the way to the airport in Zurich, Switzerland, we stopped in the historic and beautiful St. Gallen.  We had lunch with Paul’s daughter and son-in-law, Stephenie, and Peter. We had not seen Stephanie in 20 years.  What a great couple. We were able to see the St. Abbey Cathedral and Library. I must be honest and say I will miss the coffee/expresso there. While I write this I am  drinking coffee from my drip-coffee maker, is a disappointed experience after the delicious coffee I have had the last few days. An epresso machine is in my future.

So What are our “take-aways” or  things I know the Lord show us from this trip?

  • We are called to reach the world, to help people find, know, and trust God with their lives.  Church cannot be just a bunch activity without purpose.
  • The people of God are wonderful, wherever you meet them. There is the bond of Christ and I sensed that, even when I could not speak the language.
  • The power of relationships can never be underextimated.
  • Compelled must continue to be missional, sending, praying, and going, at home, across the street and around the world.
  • Christian faith and growth are intentional.  One does not grow in Christ

    accidentally or just because you believe.  You must be intentional in your faith.

  • Some ancient traditions of faith, may not be pointless and dead, if they lead you to the life of Jesus and the fullness of God’s Spirit.
  • German-speaking Europe is not a 3rd world country. We did not pass out food, or do a medical clinic, that is greatly needed and a way to share Christ in other contexts.  We just poured into leaders.  We loved them, encouraged them, as the mission there is greatly needed and for many reasons, the work is harder than many places.
  • We must not forget Europe. Europe needs more churches, church planters, and people reaching out.
  • I was humbled to get to participate in the Ministry of the Clark’s. They are heroes to me.  Paul,  Mechthild, and Mike and Laura, continue to chip away at the darkness one life, and one family at a time.
  • Prayer must overcome the hardness of people’s hearts.  Whether in German-speaking Europe, Bedford, Toledo, or Holland, Ohio, people are softened through prayer and calling on God, the Holy Spirit to draw them to truth.

Approaching Trouble Differntly


The opening of John 9, has the disciples asking Jesus about a man born blind. They wondered who was at fault?  Who sinned and is responsible for his blindness, he or his parents?  Jesus said neither sinned “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life (John 9.3).”

Later, Jesus spit on the ground rubbed it in the man’s eye and told him to go and wash. When he did, he was healed of his blindness.  The work of God displayed in him was the healing of his blindness, thus showing that Jesus is the Messiah and God, the Father works through him.  The former blind man, testified the work of God, told the story to friends and the inquiring Pharisees. God was glorified and His goodness proclaimed.

Many times the “work of God” to be displayed in our lives is not just healing. He shows himself in how he changes and transforms us from the inside out. He shows himself by unconditional love, forgiving others, caring, compassion, and a life committed to glorifying God and not self, during the wonderful times of life, and through the lowest points also.

We go through tough times in life. Our reactions are different. We suffer, complain, post, mope, get depressed, and try to “play through”.  What if every good and bad thing in life we experience, we decide to display the glory and goodness of God?  We look to learn, remain grateful, and to deepen our character and commitment to God.

I believe our approach to challenges, tragedy, and struggle could be change our life and our person. We would become better people in Christ and not bitter people.  We would be encouragers and inspirations to others.  We would display the works of God, and how He is helping us through the ups and downs of this life.

When tragedy strikes, when disappointments mount, when hearts are broken, maybe no one is at fault.  It is an opportunity for you to “display the works of God.”  Take a moment and read John 9 and see if this is not a truth for then, but also for out lives now.

The opening of John 9, has the disciples asking Jesus about a man born blind. They wondered who was at fault?  Who sinned and is responsible for his blindness, he or his parents?  Jesus said neither sinned “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life (John 9.3).”

Later, Jesus spit on the ground rubbed it in the man’s eye and told him to go and wash. When he did, he was healed of his blindness.  The work of God displayed in him was the healing of his blindness, thus showing that Jesus is the Messiah and God, the Father works through him.  The former blind man, testified the work of God, told the story to friends and the inquiring Pharisees. God was glorified and His goodness proclaimed.

Many times the “work of God” to be displayed in our lives is not just healing. He shows himself in how he changes and transforms us from the inside out. He shows himself by unconditional love, forgiving others, caring, compassion, and a life committed to glorifying God and not self, during the wonderful times of life, and through the lowest points also.

We go through tough times in life. Our reactions are different. We suffer, complain, post, mope, get depressed, and try to “play through”.  What if every good and bad thing in life we experience, we decide to display the glory and goodness of God?  We look to learn, remain grateful, and to deepen our character and commitment to God.

I believe our approach to challenges, tragedy, and struggle could be change our life and our person. We would become better people in Christ and not bitter people.  We would be encouragers and inspirations to others.  We would display the works of God, and how He is helping us through the ups and downs of this life.

When tragedy strikes, when disappointments mount, when hearts are broken, maybe no one is at fault.  It is an opportunity for you to “display the works of God.”  Take a moment and read John 9 and see if this is not a truth for then, but also for out lives now.contemplationnn

Fear Lies to you


Fear always hold back God’s people.  Fear hold you back. Fear of failure, what people think of you, and fear of looking foolish.  Many people don’t take chances or live by faith out of fear.  Fear has stopped people from going back to school, starting that business, or asking out that potential spouse.

The enemy loves to work on us with fear.  I have seen some people be so consumed by fear they are paralyzed, and almost lose all desire and motivation to accomplish anything at all. Fear has stopped people from apologizing and asking other’s forgiveness, and they have missed out on relationships that could have been healed.  Some of dreams in their hearts, put there by God, but fear prevents many from pursuing their God-given dreams.

Fear stops us from obeying God.  We need greater faith in God to extinguish fear.  I am so glad that my brothers who told me about Christ did not let fear hold them back.  Because of their boldness and faith my life is changed by Christ forever.  I am glad Billy Graham did not let fear stop him from the dreams of being a preacher of the Gospel. His ministry has changed the lives of literally millions of people.

Are you falling victim to fear?  Let the faith of God rise up in you. Be consumed by boldness and do not fear.  Live without regrets, get out of your comfort-zone, and don’t let the lies of fear diminish what God wants to do in your life.

Remember this verse, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1.7)”.

Check out this music video  by Zach Williams, “Fear is a Liar”