Ten Tips During This Crisis


Ten Tips to Make it Through This Crisis

We are all getting weary as the crisis and adrenalin that comes with a crisis, wears off and we find ourselves in a “new normal”. We are all experiencing the mess our world is in, and it’s not going to be over for a while. We are not in a sprint, but a marathon.

We are in lock-down and we are experiencing fear, anxiety, and stress in a way we have never experienced it before. We are in a hostile environment, as politics is getting nastier (like it could get worse than it was), homes are stressed, children are struggling with out to process their emotions, and people have lost their jobs and security.

We are all grieving. Grief is the emotion of deep sorrow because of loss.  We are all experiencing loss.  We have lost a lot. We have lost some of our freedoms, our schedules, our security. Our world is grieving the loss of lives, jobs, and peace.

The Lord wants us to move through this. I tend to be very practical.  Let me give you some ways to survive during this time.

Ten Strategies to get through this time.

  1. Limit news and screen time: So much information can overwhelm us with hopelessness and fear.  Too much time on your phone and social media, just cause you to think other’s thoughts and take on their fear and offenses.  Be free of screens to have your own thoughts.
  2. Do what the specialists are telling us to do. Wash your hands, social distance, and save lives, stay in.
  3. Lean into each other. Help each other out when one is down, fill in and show great love, grace, and empathy.
  4. Sleep well and eat well. Eight hours of sleep  is necissary. Lack of sleep is linked to  many  health issues and will cause emotional, spiritual, and physical troubles. If we eat the diet of Elf, we will be in trouble as carbs are linked to depression and lack of energy, emotional, spiritual, and physical.  Eat your Broccoli!
  5. Exercise. Get moving and you will get a new view and attitude.  You will feel better.
  6. Watch your speech. Being around family all the time, can make us  relax on how we communicate. Don’t lash out at people and say things you will regret.
  7. Apologize quickly and accept apologies quickly, then move on.
  8. Play worship music in your home. It will change the atmosphere of your home, and bring strength to your heart.
  9. Lean into Jesus. Read his word, pray and talk to him throughout your day.
  10. Don’t ration love. This isn’t a good time to withhold love. Let the love flow.

Some Verse to Strengthen you

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8, NLT)

These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” (James 1:15–17, NLT)

Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” (Colossians 4:6, NLT)

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” (Galatians 5:22–25, NLT)

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:9–15, NLT)

 

 

The Wonderful Consequence of Quarantine: The Transferring of Spiritual Leadership


As we are all in lock-down and not in social setting for worship, I sense a wonderful thing happening. I am not implying it did not exist before,  but it seems now it is existing, growing, and I am praying it becomes the new normal.

This would be the transfer of the spiritual leadership from pastors or clergy to the head of homes.  This is an incredible and fantastic consequence of not being able to worship together in a building.  With little to no access to the ministries and programs of the local church, the Christian homes are taking the helm of leading the family in their worship, discipleship, and spiritual growth.  This is incredibly biblical and an incredible need in our society.  It must continue.

We have become a very entitled people.  Our thinking and the culture has led us to believe that it is the responsibility of others to take care of us.  The government, the schools, the churches, the leaders, the pastors, the entities of community, are not really going to provide for us in every way.  Parents are stepping up.

Sure, we have some online encouragement, preaching, church services and teaching, but I realize most click on for a bit and click off, as our newly programmed time span is limited and we impulsively must click from thing to thing.  The spiritual leaders and pastors are doing our best to stay connected, to shepherd our people, to reach out and that won’t stop, but it is not enough, it has never been enough to truly ground our children into the ways and heart of Christ.

I rejoice for I see family leaders taking charge of the spiritual state of their homes. Not just homes with children, but couples without children, and us empty-nesters are increasing our worship, prayer, Scripture reading in the home.   Families are seeing the spiritual need at home and they are filling it.  They are taking responsibility to make sure their families do not just eat, and bath, but also worship and pray.  Singing together as a family is not awkward anymore.  Parents praying with children is the new normal.  Reading the Bible out loud, talking about life, and connecting in heart and soul is happening and well overdue for most homes of the American Christian Family.

Yes, the transfer of leadership from the pastor to the head of the home is a welcomed consequence of the Corona quarantine.  I pray it continues. I pray we will not return to expecting our leaders and pastors to spoon feed us the truths of Jesus, but our homes will be filled with His presence as moms and dads, set the stage, lead those times, and see their children experience God the best way possible, as a family.

There are no perfect parents, so don’t wait to be perfect to be the spiritual voice for your kids.  Precious parents, keep playing and singing together.  Tuck those kids in and pray. Turn on the worship music, dance and sing, hug and love your kids. study the Bible Quiz questions, The love of the Father is always transferred through the love of the parent (that is the blessing).  Let the joy of the Lord, run through your homes, through games, crafts, art, make-believe, laughter and giggles.

If you are a single-parent and no support of a spouse, please be reminded your Father is also present and will empower you.  You can do it.  Where we are in need He will give us strength. Parents, do you best, and take the spiritual leadership for your family.  Be the catalyst for a heart that wants to seek God and have his presence in your home and on the minds of your children.

What about us pastors?  Oh, we will keep doing our spiritual callings,  not in place of yours, but beside you. We will be here to teach you, resource you, encourage you, strengthen you, but you mom or dad, will be the spiritual leader of your home.  I see it happening and It fills me with joy. I love it!

What is happening is what the Lord commanded in Deuteronomy:

What about us past ““So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors.” (Deuteronomy 11:18–21, NLT)

We love you and are so proud of what our young families are doing for Christ.  Don’t stop doing these things, even when your local church begins having services and ministries again. Always take the spiritual responsiblity for your family. You will never, never regret the energy and time you invest into the souls of your children.  It’s more important than any sport, hobby, travel team, or activity your kids can join.

We love you all so much and we are proud of you parents!

Pastor Nate and Wendy Elarton

 

 

 

Personal Christmas Post


We are having a great Christmas with family here. Abby, Justin, Gabe, and Levi all home.  It was different this year not having the 3 Christmas Eve services in the evening, but we had our 3 weekend gatherings at Compelled, Abby and Justin arrived and we took Christmas Eve dinner over and had dinner with dad, who now lives in Temperance at Moongate apartments.  I sure love him being so close, but we all miss him in Morenci also.  We spent a couple hours with him on Christmas Eve.jim  Wendy made one of our favorites, “Alice Chicken” and we love it with mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts, rolls and salad. it was a feast.

Christmas morning was our family together. Priceless and special. We then load up and head to Hudson, to Wendy’s folks for another feast with our precious family, presents, and good time.  Lots of Dutch blitz, laughing, and overeating.  We love our time at Randy and Carol’s and enjoyed staying the night, and man did we sleep in.

Christmas this year seem nostalgic, and meaningful.  Every year I am alive, Christ become more alive to me, and His work I see more clearer in others, including my family, which I am fiercely devoted to.  My amazing wife Wendy, makes this time so special for our family.  Here hard work, thought, and detail attention, always stuns me with peace and happiness.  What a gal. We celebrate 31 years together January 3.  What a blessed guy I am!

I pray your Christmas was special and the presence of Jesus was close.

Selah,  Nate

An Open Letter to young dads on Father’s Day


There is no greater responsibility on the face of this earth, like being a father.  The power and influence on our children is astounding.  I have had so many failures at being a perfect dad, but I realized the Lord wants us to be great dads not perfect.  The example we live in front of our kids they will most likely embrace.  Our values will be their values, our faith their faith, our speech, their speech. It is a glorious but serious responsibility.  Don’t diminish that, or deny it. You play the most important role in your kids lives.  Your blessing, will be the fuel to carry them through life.  The lack of blessing, will be their burden.

May I offer you a few words of encouragement that  I have learned as I fathered my 3 kids these past 2 decades?

  • Be an example you want them to follow.  They will be like you. Your behavior matters, don’t think it doesn’t. More is caught than taught.
  • Talk with honor to your wife and they will treat their mom right, and their future wives.
  • Get control of your temper and your tongue.  It can wound deeply.
  • Make God a priority, and they will also. Skip God, and they will too.
  • Compliment them about everything. Constantly build them up. The world, friends at school, and the media will be tearing them down all the time. Your words will combat the demeaning messages they hear all the time.
  • Encourage them to try new things, never quit, and to never give up.
  • Pray to Jesus for more patience than you have ever had in your life.
  • Live with integrity.  Grow in the Lord so your character is seen.
  • When you are home, be home, not on your phone, etc.
  • Make family time and family vacations a priority.  The memories will never leave them, and they will do this healthy thing with their families.
  • Try and have meals with the whole family as much as you are able.
  • Talk to them. Ask questions. Don’t let them live in their rooms.
  • Be quick to admit mistakes, and ask forgiveness from them when necessary.  Let them know you blew it.  They love you and are quick to forgive.
  • Show your love to them, and always daily tell them you love them. It makes a difference. Make sure they never wonder if their daddy loves them.
  • Never run them down, call them names, tell them they are fat, stupid, worthless, lazy, etc.  It’s like sucking the life from a child, and can be worse than physical abuse. They will suffer and hear your voice saying this crap for years. Don’t do it.
  • If your dad did things that hurt you, don’t repeat that curse. Jesus breaks curses.
  • Make time.  Delay your hobbies at times, and desires, and pour into your kids. Don’t leave selfish with your time. Sacrifice financially for them.
  • Support their interests, be there as much as you can, for them.
  • Love their mom, and show them how to love and treat a lady. Yes, show them “in front of the kids” that you love their mom.
  • Don’t give them everything they want. Make them do chores.
  • Teach them to give to the Lord’s work and to missions.
  • Pray with them, even if it’s not profound, seems short, or awkward. Do it anyway.
  • Encourage them to read the Bible, go to church together. . Let them see you worship, pray, and seek God.
  • Listen, listen, and then just listen.

Being a dad is great!  A great challenge. A great reward. Greatly confusing at times. I have learned great dependence on the Lord, and great humility being a father.  It is the greatest blessing God has given me. I am not perfect.  Don’t give up dad.  Keep at it. Happy Father’s Day. Here’s a good video, that speaks a lot of truth.

11 Things I Learned at My Daughter’s Wedding


Thankful for our family!
Thankful for our family!

On October 3, 2014 my daughter married an amazing guy, Justin Isacson.   It was one of the most amazing days of my life.  The feelings I had, some unexperienced before, were amazing.  Here are a few things I learned.

1. I learned that I had not experienced all the depths of God’s love.  When I went down the hill to get Abigail and walk her down the aisle and the sun came out, after raining most all day,  I believe it was the closest to God I had ever felt. I can’t explain the rush of emotions at that moment.

2. I learned that my love for my family is much deeper than I comprehended.  We worked for weeks, months, on the wedding together. That day, was a proud day for me as a dad.  Pride in a great way and a godly way.

3. I learned my wife Wendy can coordinate an amazing wedding. Her talents, gifts, love, and patience were awesome. Her love for Abby came out in every detail. She is such a gift to me and I love her so much. The wedding was sure great and her work, and Abby’s made it happen. They are awesome.

4. I experienced life accomplishment.  I can’t explain it, but, to know my daughter and new son, love the Lord, and are making great choices.  It’s hard to explain, but it was euphoric to experience these feelings.

5. I learned our  greatest efforts in our life toward our children have the greatest payoff and is a parents greatest responsibility and calling.  Parenting our kids is a mission, not a hobby.  It’s all worth it.  Loving Christ and having a godly home, teaching your kids the ways of Christ, is so worth it.

6. I learned that family is so important and my love for them is so deep. Thankful to all Randy and Carol, Eric and Rachel did for us, and how we all worked, talked, and coordinated everything. They expressed their love for us in all their help.

7. I learned joy is so real, and we need to experience it more.  The reception was full of joy, eating, laughing, smiles, love, relationships, and rejoicing with dancing. You don’t need booze at a wedding reception. We experienced pure joy, happiness, and goodness. It was so holy, and the joy was sacred.

8.I learned living for God is worth it because our kids benefit the most.  I learned that Randy and Carol’s faith, passed down a legacy that my kids have benefited from, as I have, because of their love for God as they raised their children. Their lives emulate Christ and shines on their grandchildren.  Walking with Jesus is worth it, living for the world, and self, wrecks families and futures.  Live for God, and your children, grandchildren, and beyond will reap the blessing. Thank you Randy and Carol! Your fingerprints and legacy are on our lives, and the lives of all your grandchildren!

9. I re-learned how precious my kids are to us.  Abby blessed me beyond words. My boys continue to exceed my greatest expectations.  Praying for their future mates is worth it. God answered our prayers and will continue to I am confident. I love Justin so much and I am so excited that he is in our family.  He is a great guy, and God’s hand is on his life.

10. I learned that Gabe can sing. He did awesome. And Levi can dance and do the splits.  Watching them throughout the event blessed me and moved me.  We are a close family and will continue to be. Their love for their sister again, blessed me deeply.  It’s part of that feeling of life’s accomplishment feelings.  They are close and get along so well.

11. I learned I am blessed by friendships. What great friends we have. The feelings of seeing so many friends and I know we could not invite everyone, and some could not make it, but relationships and friendship go deep. Some of our friends worked so hard to help us. What a blessing.  I was blessed to know how much we are loved.  It was humbling and I know it’s because of Christ. Thank you all.

Abby called her wedding “The Best Day Ever”.  And it was!!  I learned so much and loved every minute of it!

My daughter Abigail and I.Levi, Abigail, and LeviMy beautiful Girls filled with joy!

I heard some stuff…


Sometimes I see Christ in people.  It is a blessing. I often hear about Christ and I celebrate His love and life in others.

  • I heard a lady in our church has made 71 dresses to take with her to Haiti, and still is making more.
  • I heard that a group of people care so much for those in the county jail, they want to help them make it when they get out.
  • I heard the praises of men, who are well aware, they would be hopeless without Christ.
  • I heard that some men, are camping with some boys this weekend to disciple them into being men of God.
  • I heard a godly Grandma give verbal praise to Christ and her daughter and grandaughter, for their lives.
  • I heard a guy gave a car away cheap to bless a young man’s life.
  • I heard the coo of a newborn and saw Christ in his carseat.
  • I heard laughter from tired moms, and joy from friendships.
  • I heard prayers for someone’s friend, who is fighting cancer.
  • I heard a prayer offered up in thanksgiving for the hope that only comes in Christ as they turn their heart to Him.
  • I heard an old friend, prayed beside the bedside of his friend, who is fighting for his life.
  • I heard a family dropped off some groceries to a family going through a tough time.
  • I heard a wife, express unconditional love for her husband.
  • I heard a friend encourage another to not give up.
  • I heard a former drug addict,encourage another, that he can live free forever.
  • I heard a speaker baptized his father, and forgave him for years of abuse.

I heard this with my ears, but listened with my heart.

I heard a lot of Jesus.  Are you listening too?

Christmas Series at Compelled Church


Christmas can be a great time. It can also be a tough time. The brokeness of relationships and past hurts rise to the surface with more obviousness at Christmas more than any other time of the year. Christmas can be a painful reminder that all is not right, that the past still haunts some families and that we are in deep need of God’s grace.
The whole Advent of Christ is about Grace and forgiveness. As we begin to talk about God healing hurts, forgiveness fro us and to others, and the blessings of relationships, I pray freedom and relational health on us all.

Compelled Christmas Teaching Series.
Compelled Christmas Teaching Series.

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