The Fall, has our society Falling. My personal thoughts and prayer on this National Day of Prayer


What are we falling from?  Freedom and relationships, common sense and hope?  The fall (Genesis 3), that allowed sin and death, disease and sickness, into the human race, has us all living differently and I am feeling those effects,  as are all of you.

I am convinced that we were not meant to have online relationships and friendships through screens.  I know that children were not designed to be taught by screens. People were not meant to work from home all the time.  We were not created to be void of people, beyond our family.  We were never made to only experience God in isolation and not have community.

My heart drops when I hear of  talk already of schools and sports being canceled for next year. No football, no concerts, no art fairs, no festivals, no conferences, no camping, no crowds and it goes on and on.   It seems premature to cancel so much.  These  things are more about relationships than events. They are more about friendships, than pastimes.  Some say the church will never meet again.  That our society will embrace a new normal of no crowds, for any reason, at all.   This is from one virus, and there are billions in our environment.  I am saddened and speechless, sometimes worried and depressed.

The financial impact we have yet to totally feel.  As states lose billions a day, this will trickle down to cuts in our schools, to services that are needed, to everything.  Businesses are so suffering, thus families are also.  Our financial system is more volatile than we every thought.  We are falling into fear. Fear of out neighbor, fear of each other, fear of getting sick, and fear of our future.

Our Society is beginning to fall. Fall from contentment as isolation is not satisfying relationally.  Oh sure, my life and hope is in Christ, but I need people!  I need to experience Christ in others, not just myself.  We are falling from the truth that we need each other. We need to see each other, and not through a computer screen, and a electronic microphone.  We need to break bread together, laugh together, travel together, and look at each other, and to feel our spirits, not just see each other 2D on a screen. It’s not enough for how we were created by God.

I don’t want  to — never have a meal with friends again, to never shake hands again, to never eat out again, to never go to a wrestling match again, to never hold  a baby again, to never have a packed service again.   I can’t stand the idea that these things are history. I am not going to believe this. I can’t right now.

Self-proclaimed church gurus falsey predict that church buildings are not necessary anymore and maybe not even the church community.  They say that you can worship Jesus in your homes only  and that culture will move on from the local church. I strongly disagree and fear some would fall for this.  We need each other and to grow you do need more than your family at some point.  What about those whose family do not know the Lord? Those children and youth would suffer greatly.  If that were true, I would not be here today.  We need the local church period.  We need the wisdom of church pastors, elders, godly leaders, and gathering together.  That is clear throughout Scripture in both the Old and New Testaments. Gathering together was normal, often, and beneficial

My prayer today is for a cure, and for an end to all of this negative and “rush to judgment” speculation.  My prayer is that we can persevere and find new ways to connect. My prayer is for some strength to continue to believe that we are not falling from some of the most basic relational and community needs that are being overlooked.

“Help us Merciful Father. We call to you in humility and faith. On behalf of your people, would you heal our land?  Grant us faith and strength during this trial. Give us wisdom and common sense.  Bring an end to this free fall of life as we know it.  Turn our hearts toward you until deliverance comes I pray.  Move this mountain in Jesus’ name.”

Pastor Nate Elarton

You Don’t Have to Wait for Heaven to Be With God


Many of us (preachers) declare that we need Jesus to go to Heaven. There is something that I want to stress that God has been reminding me. God intends to be with us now. We don’t have to wait until Heaven.

Jesus proclaimed that the Kingdom of God is now. That His presence and coming to earth, was Heaven and Earth coming together. Too many of us think God is in Heaven, and someday If we are good and love Jesus, we get to go there to be with God. That is incorrect. God is with us now. He has come to be with in this life. Our eternal life started the moment we put our faith in HIm. He is here! He is with us and His presence, the Holy Spirit, lives within the believer.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, NASB95)

He came and “tabernacled” with us. He set up his tent here on earth. The whole Bible narrative is about God coming to be with us. How can God live and be with us, as selfish and ungodly mankind can be? The truth of forgiveness and reconciliation with God through the blood of Jesus that He shed on the cross is more than just getting us ready for Heaven, this is so the God of Heaven can live and dwell in our midst now.

Paul, the apostle says it like this, “But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13, NASB95) As many traditions celebrate Lent, the 40 days before Easter, to reflect on the death, sufferings, and path of Christ to the Cross and of course the resurrection, we must not forget why.

Jesus came to cleanse us from sin, so God can live in us. We become His “tabernacle” or “tent”. We are made so clean by his forgiveness and cleansing, that He lives in us. God is with us now. He is here. We don’t have to wait until Heaven.

May we all live with this revelation. Enjoy the presence of God now. He ways are with us. He lives within all those who love, believe, and serve him. We don’t have to wait to be with God. God in His love, as came to us. Pastor Nate

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.

Our Compelled Community fills me with Gratefulness


I love our church. I love the heart of our people.  I love how we pursue the Lord and people.  I loved the Toledo Campus going door to door, and hosting a fall festival. I love our Children’s ministry and leaders,  and the annual chili cookout. So glad the Lord led Pastor Matt and Mandie to Compelled. I love Pastor Rick’s heart as we gathered for worship team training and he encouraged us. I love Pastor Dusty getting our students reaching out. I love filling shoeboxes for the Lord and operation Christmas Child.  I love that we are truly “Compelled by love.” I’m am grateful to be part of our Compelled Community.

At Compelled this weekend we stressed our Family Value of Relationships.  “People grow better in relationship than they do in isolation.” We had people stand and publicly  give testimony and thank those who encouraged them in the faith and brought them to Jesus.  This was moving, encouraging, and filled us with faith.  I loved it.  We heard powerful stories of people reaching out in friendship and love for Christ and lives were changed and of course eternities.

We must be those people that are the encourager now.  As we have received, now let’s give.  Make a difference in someone’s life.  Start a small group.  Call someone you have been missing. Write out a prayer for a struggling friend and mail it.  Send a text, buy a coffee, open your home and your heart and see what God will do.

Keep being missional Compelled Church!  We are making a difference.

(NOTE:  All the gatherings were awesome but the 11 am worship was amazing.  The place was packed and so many people were pursuing the heart of God.  It was so powerful.)

Stop being so unhappy and discontented


Why are so many people not content?  Unhappiness, anger, depression, and hopelessness seems to be much more prevalent than contentment.  Contentment is a state of peaceful happiness.  Few have it.  There are so many things that take peace and happiness away from us.  Most of these things are external or circumstantial, but some are rooted in attitude and world view.

  • Materialism steals contentment.
  • Sin Steals contentment.
  • Conflict resulting in bitterness and unforgiveness steals contentment
  • Neglected our spirit, and inner health steals contentment
  • bad eating habits, sleep habits, steals contentment.
  • Negative, complaining, and overall views of pessimism will steal peace for sure.
  • too much netflix and TV can steal contentment.

We get unhappy at our circumstances. Maybe life has not turned out the way you had thought, or someone is making rotten decisions in their life that is affecting yours?  Contentment can be evasive in a world of conflict, a life of hectiness, and a heart divided.

Many are discontent as the media continues to bombard us with ads telling us and reminding us we do not have the coolest and newest things, and we fall prey to feeling that we are not significant because we don’t own the new whatever and discontentment grips our heart.

True contentment, inner peace and happiness, comes when we our faith and hope is not in the external things, and circumstances we cannot control, but in an all-loving and unchanging God. He purchased a chance for us to experience His life and peace, through the life, death, and resurrection of His son Jesus Christ.  A life with Christ, is a life of contentment.

In a life full of people and circumstances we cannot control, we need contentment. In a life of stress, busyness, raising kids, paying bills, driving here and there, we need contentment. With hearts that  have been wounded, pasts that haunt us, consequences from past mistakes, remind us, we do need inner peace, happiness, and a sense that there is more to life than all of this.  We need contentment. We need faith to know, that no matter what, we are part of the plan God has for our lives. We need the peace and contentment from resting the hands and love of our Father in Heaven. Choose Christ’s presence, power, and peace in your life, and stop allow unhappiness to rule your heart and mind. With God’s help that is truly possible.

May I leave you with some ancient words from the 1 century found in the Scriptures.

“But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.” (1 Timothy 6.6)

New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (1 Ti 6:6). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

A Very Dark Saturday


As we understand from the Scriptures, the week of the Passion of Christ, Jesus died on the cross for us on Friday, that we now traditionally call Good Friday. We also know that on the third day he rose from the dead. Resurrection Sunday or Easter Sunday, now traditionally called.  But what about that in-between day?  Saturday. What a dark day that must have been.

The disciples had scattered, denied, wept, and may have lost hope.  over three years that had been with Jesus.  He was not just the promised Messiah to them, he was their friend, their close friend and now he was gone.  In Matthew we see on Saturday that Pilate sent guard to secure the tomb as they recall that Jesus said “After three days I will rise.” I smile a little that even they believed this was a possibility.  But on Saturday, the second day, he was not there.   Psalms 16, tells us that on Saturday Christ went to the place of the dead. I believe Christ was busy on that dark day. descending to the place of death to free and liberate, and smash the gates of hell, the gates of death. the tombs of hopelessness (See 1 Peter 3.18-20, Psalm 16.10; Acts 2.31; 1 Peter 4.5).

What a dark day for the followers and believers of Christ.  They must have felt so hopeless, confused, abandoned.  But even though they could not see or know what Jesus was up to, he was working on their behalf. In their darkness they may have had trouble remembering the truths that Jesus taught. That he would rise, that this was the plan of the Father, that he must die, and he would sit in glory. The darkness of their present state, diluted all they knew to be true.  The present “facts” of the moment, upstaged the “faith” of what was really going on.

Life can seem very dark at times and Jesus can seem far away.  We can wonder why things are not going very well. We don’t see the Lord working. Your present situations envelope you in a reality of hopelessness that is not real.  You encounter shattered dream, broken relationships, disappointments, difficult times and this dark present chases away the truths we know to be true.

That Saturday the disciples did not know what Christ was doing but He was working on their behalf. They could not see with their eyes, but He was going to keep His promises.  On that quiet and painful Sabbath, Jesus was preparing to shock and shake all of humanity, all of history, and change all of eternity.  They just had to get through that dark Saturday.

May I encourage you. Should you be living through a “dark Saturday.”  Remember, Christ is working on your behalf even though you do not see Him doing what you thought He should be.  His presence escapes you as you become enveloped in what seems to be suffocating sadness, and overwhelming loneliness, or unending hopelessness, but He is working, and even though you don’t know the future or His plans, you can know they are going to be best as your life is in His hands.

On the dark Saturday, don’t decide much, just wait, as His work in your life is going to spring forth,and remember,  waiting is part following, and trust is part of believing.  The dark Saturday will past and the Sunday will come.  Just do not give up because you can’t see what he is  up to.  Trust what he has said.  Trust in His Words, trust in His sovereignty, and trust your life with Him. The dark Saturday will not last forever, it’s fleeing even now as you read. Faith, trust, hope, and belief in a Father who has the best for you, and is working, even though you feel like He is not because you can’t see him.  -Peace, Pastor Nate

God’s Words for Faith and Hope

Psalms 34.17, 18  The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help.
He rescues them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

Psalm 42.5  Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and 6 my God!

Psalm 66.17-20  For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke.  If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen!
He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.

Psalm 146.5 But joyful are those who have the God of Israel* as their helper,
whose hope is in the LORD their God.

 

20 Reasons Wendy and I Enjoy a Great Marraige, Happy Valentine’s Day


Many may wonder or ask why Wendy and I have a great marriage. We do, not a perfect one, as no one is perfect, but a great one.   I am a blessed man to be married to Wendy. I have known Wendy for 30 years and married for 26. We met in  a Christian Bookstore and the Lord orchestrated it all, so our relationship would glorify him and bless us.  Here are some quick reasons why our marriage is great, vibrant, growing, and full of love.

  1. We don’t just love each other!  We like each other.
  2. We have learned to live for the other, not for ourselves.  It is hard sometimes, but we strive for unselfishness.  We serve each other.
  3. We know that “love covers a multitude of sins”, and we don’t freak out at each other for every little thing.
  4. We don’t control each other.  So common and so unhealthy.
  5. We live out to each other “Do unto others as you would have other do unto you.”
  6. We protect our marriage from outside things that would want to tear our marriage apart. We practice relational, emotional, and sexual integrity and purity. We do not flirt or overly communicate with others of the opposite sex.
  7. We don’t share our marriage with others, or talk to others about things only Wendy and I should discuss.
  8. We are honest.
  9. I lead my family spiritually and don’t push it off on Wendy.  Guys, this is the key.
  10. I father my children and support her.
  11. We get away, and communicate.  Not as much as we would like but more often than most couples.  Make time for each other.
  12. We take on issues and circumstances as a united front and don’t attack each other.
  13. We laugh together and joke with each other.
  14. We don’t live separate lives with separate friends, and separate interests, with separate checkbooks, separate churches, or separate values.
  15. We pray for each other, encourage each other, and grow in love on purpose.
  16. We do not say the “D” word, ever (divorce).
  17. We value each other and respect each other, so we do not communicate with anger, name calling, disrespect, personal attacks or hate.
  18. We do not go to clubs or bars, we do not drink, or take part in the sensuality of society. WE do not flirt with the world’s idea of fun and leisure.
  19. We love Jesus with all of our heart, and our children.
  20. We never gave up, learned these skills, and moved forward with hope and faith.

I hope that encourages you. I pray your marriage will grow through all the seasons of life.

NOTE:  If you are a pastor or ministry leader reading this, we have done marriage seminars and would be glad to talk to you about scheduling one. Contact Wendy @ welarton@compelledchurch.tv

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