Thanksgiving “aroma”


I am thinking and rolling around in my heart and soul the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 2.14. I have of late, been reading Scripture differently. Instead of reading to get in several chapters, I am reading to notice, messages from the Holy writings that I gloss over, and given little attention to. I am intentionally looking for lessons and messages I normally do not see. Taking this extra time and slowing down my reading has revealed incredible gems of revelation. I want to share one today.

I am reading Scripture slowly, carefully, rereading, pausing, and thinking. Selah

This thanksgiving morning I was stopped in while reading 2 Corinthians. This verse caused me to pause.

” But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us reveals the fragrance of the knowledge of Him in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2.14

There is nothing much stronger to trigger emotions than smell. Think of all the smells that give you an emotional or mental response. A smell calms your heart, triggers a memory, maybe even brings anxiety or worry. I think that’s why we love the smell of a baby, burning leaves, baking cookies, as they trigger powerful positive memories. On a holiday, we inhale the baking of a turkey, the smell of pumpkin pie and these aromas remind us of family, friends, and faith. Comfort food are mostly comforting because of smell, even more than taste at times.

As I thought about this verse I am thankful this day of Thanksgiving for Christ leading us in triumph and victory. So many things in life can go wrong, but wihtout serving Christ, we can make decisions that make life even harder and more hurtful for us and those around us.

Christ’s triumph included his victory over sin, death, bondage of people, spiritual blindness, and emptiness. We are lead by him into forgiveness, freedom, enlightenment and purpose with the Holy Spirit God in our hearts.

Because of our new standing and life in Christ we have become and are knowing Jesus more and more. I hope you are, every day. That knowledge of knowing him mentally but also relationally gives an aroma. Not just a smell but a “sweet aroma”. in “every place”.

What place are you in today? I don’t mean geographically, although this Scripture does imply that also, but what place are you in? Are you with family, lonely because of Covid restrictions? I know many people are grieving loss, missing loved ones, confused, worried, happy, discouraged, rejoicing, and disappointed. Whatever place we are in today, we have and know the might Victor that is leading us, and knowing Jesus is manifested in us by this “sweet aroma”. Smells can’t be hidden, and they do not change whether we are alone, or in a group.

Please know that even if you are alone today, or your Thanksgiving is not what it used to be, you still have that sweet aroma. You still are being led. You still know Christ. You are His. The wonderful fragrance of Christ is not just from us, but for us, for you today.

In a moment I will go to my carving shop. The familiar smell of peace will greet me. The fragrance of the wood I carve, the incense I burn, the 100 year-old garage, will always be the same, regardless of what “place” I find myself.

Christ is the same (Hebrews 13.8). Whatever “place” you are in today, inhale the sweet aroma that is manifesting through you, as that aroma is a reminder that He is present with us in every “place”. May your “place” today be blessed with the thankfulness of the sweet aroma of the peace and presence of the Lord.

Selah

Pastor Nate

NOTE: “Selah” in the Scriptures (74 times) is a Hebrew note that may mean “forever” or a notation to pause and consider what was just written.

Don’t Move Away


This is going to be a gut-honest post from my heart as a pastor and a spiritual leader.

With Covid really mixing things up, bringing confusion, inconsistent policies, and fear, things in the church have changed. I never thought when we canceled services for a couple weeks it would be 14 weeks and re-opening would be so difficult, with so many opinions.

I realize many are staying away as they have compromised immune systems, and or have been sick or are in a high-risk age bracket. I totally understand, support, and encourage you to only come back to church when you are ready and have peace and confidence. Please make choices to keep you safe and healthy.

My worry is those that are moving around and going on with life, but have not reengaged with their church community. Covid has had a lot of people moving away from their community of faith. New habits are formed, new ones are made, and 14 weeks can do that. If you have moved away from attending, but are moving around and doing life as normal, then it’s time to come back to worshipping Christ with your faith family.

Can I encourage you to stay engaged with your faith and your church. If you are not staying home than I would encourage you to get back into the habits and disciplines of worship with your family on the weekend. If you are staying home and being careful, then please continue to engage on our online services, live facebooks, and even an online small group.

I don’t want any of us to leave our faith, convictions, and love for Jesus because of this Pandemic. Don’t move away from the things of God, move toward them.

Love you all Pastor Nate

Pastor Billy Worland prophetic message addressing Covid, Christians, and the Church


This message was given by Pastor Billy Worland. Pastor Billy and his wife Karen, pastor Linton Assembly of God in Linton, IN.  He is one of the most successful youth pastors I know and also an incredible pastor with a heart that hears from God and he is not afraid to share it. Billy and Karen and their family have been friends of ours for over 25 years.

This message was given after he was quarantined with his family for 2 weeks.  His message starts around the 38:00 minute mark.

I listened to this while working out this morning. I was greatly moved, and I recognized it as being a word for the us all not just Linton Assembly of God.  Listen, pray, share, and listen again.  This is the best message I have heard addressing the church and Christians response to Covid.  Pastor Nate Elarton

That was my Last Weekend on the Bench


I remember going out for basketball in the 6th grade.  I sat on the bench until the last 2 minutes.  I hated sitting on the bench watching the taller dudes have all the fun. ( Fun fact:  I fouled out once in that 2 minutes.)  My coach told me I would never play much basketball and wrestling was probably my sport and he accepted me quitting the team. I hadn’t said anything about quitting so  I got the point.  He was right.

The last 14 weekends haven’t been awesome.  I feel like I have been “benched”. I never thought it would last this long, but anyhow, this last weekend was it.  I really never want to hear “unprecedented”  “the new normal” “we are in this together”   etc. LOL.  I praise God it’s over. I am a preacher and I want to preach and teach God’s Word to faces and families!

I sure got tired of the introverts saying “I really enjoyed this Covid stay-at-home.”  When I read those posts on Facebook from other pastors I just rolled my eyes.  I am just not like that. I am not an introvert.  It was unenjoyable to not be around my Compelled Family and people.  Recording on Friday and preaching to an empty room was OK, but I did not feel like a pastor regardless how many people watched online.  I am thankful we could do it and that everyone helped get it done, but it’s no permanent replacement.  I miss the corporate worship, prayer, smiles, children, families, friends, community and the faith when we all gather together.  I love Compelled. I am thankful for that and we will continue to have our service online, on facebook and on Youtube for those of you not ready to return or that are high-risk.

I am very very very glad this is over.

This next weekend,  We will be back together 3 services a weekend at Bedford and also  the 11 am Sunday at Holland.

Here is a link to our guidelines. Father’s Day Re-Opening at Compelled.  

If you are ready to come back, we are ready for you. If you are not quite ready, no problem.  If you want to wear a mask, please do. If you don’t want to wear a mask then don’t.  We have approached our opening with wisdom and not recklessness of course, but we also want adults to be able to make their own decisions and I know we are all going to be courteous and thoughtful to the comfort level of others.

This happy pastor will be at Compelled this weekend.

Pastor Nate Elarton

Another Abnormal Weekend


We enter another weekend that is so abnormal for me.  We have had 3 services at Compelled for over a decade.  Saturday and Sunday don’t seem the same.  Routine, schedules, rhythms are all off.  As our country and the world pivots out of control as it seems, we sure are beginning to  identify with thisas it’s affecting all of our worlds.

It’s no longer something in another country, or that people we don’t know are dealing with. It’s all pretty real now.  We all know someone with Corona. We all know someone out of a job. We all know someone in quarentine. We all know someone who is going to work daily to help the rest of mankind survive. It’s all pretty real now.  The jokes of a few weeks ago have stopped, the whining about being in lock-down have ceased and we are left without many answers of when our lives will be “normal” again.  It some ways they won’t be.

There are heart-stopping reports of other consequences happening connected to the stay at home orders.  Of course the Liquor stores are open, and so famlies are at risk, and domestic violence stories are sadly emerging.  Lonliness, and depression are the silent foes, and if alcohol is involved that won’t make that easier.  People are struggling. Those who live alone, are not enjoying this “stay at home”.

What can we do?  Not much really?  How can we help?  Follow the directives of our health-care professionals so we don’t spread anything we don’t know we have.  We are powerless to make this go away right now.  There is not much really we can do, so…..

We look to the Lord for calm in this chaos, peace in the fear, security in the turmoil, and faith in place of doubt.

My verse for this week continues to be in Psalm 46. I have been thinking, studying, praying and preaching on  this one.  Here is the pinnacle  of the Psalm.

Psalm 46.10

“Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

“Be still” means to stop striving, and to surrender and “know”, He is God.  The whole Psalm is food for the soul.

Have you done this?  Take some time, get alone, open your heart to God, and just stop. Invite Him to show you He is God, and allow his supernatural presence to bring peace, and then you will “know”. Not just in your head, but in your soul.

Yes, it’s another abnormal weekend and God is among us this weekend, like He was last and will be next.  The Lord is going to get us through this.   Keep being Psalm 46.10 people.

Pastor Nate Elarton

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