Making Room is Making Sacred Time


Making-RoomAs we started the series “Making Space” this weekend, we have begun a journey of the spiritual disciplines.  I shared on the spiritual disciplines, and the need for us to take focused time each day for prayer, worship, solitude, meditation, study, and wonderful fellowship with the Father.

“Giving God time is creating sacred space in our lives in which God can act.”

Some have asked me what I do.  I will give you today’s sacred time for me.

Monday is our Sabbath. After a full weekend with 3 services, preaching, talking, laughing, and serving, on Mondays I can be worn out spiritually. The Sabbath is not just a rest from work, but a rest from work in the Lord.  I need refilled and refreshed more than ever.  After the focused time with Father, I’ll take a walk with Wendy, maybe carve today, be with my dad, get some errands done, and I always try to have the mowing done so I don’t have to do that on Monday.

I awoke this morning, and am just finishing up some of my time. I came down the stairs, and as every morning Wendy was already in deep fellowship with the Lord.  I got my coffee (yes I have to have that) and went outside to our patio.   I will also take some sacred time and “make room” before the end of the day.  This morning I started with silence, coffee, and solitude.  I did some thinking. I heard the birds, the traffic, the silence, and then the Lord. I prayed the Lord’s Prayer, read and Prayed, though and about my “Daily Office”. I sat in silence, sipping my coffee, allowing my thoughts to be on God. I thanked him for the weekend, the provision of a new Family Life Pastor.  I said my confession of faith. I journaled a few simple thoughts and read Romans 1-5. I  I often paused my reading to reflect, to think, and to listen to the voice of my Father. I  journaled some prayers, prayed blessing upon my family, my kids, my week, our church.  I asked God to help me be a blessing. I prayed in my prayer language for a few minutes (tongues).

During my morning I always read more than the Bible.  I always have 4 or 5 books going at once, like my carving projects.  I am reading “Celebration of Discipline” again by Richard Foster. Finished the chapter on meditation.

It’s not complicated. It’s simple.  It’s the time priority that trips us up.  It’s not doing, it’s being with the Lord.  If we really take time, God will act deeply on our behalf, changing us, molding us, and spiritual shaping us.

The important point is taking time and making time.  We can always sleep a little longer, stay on our phones in the morning, turn the TV on right away to get our news “fix” or rush right on to all our tasks.  I am guilty of all of these things and have learned years ago that these will not add the value to myself, like time with the Living God.  During that time with Him, I find encouragement. I hear His voice about decisions. I ask Him about appointments during the day and often receive supernatural insight.  I reset in His fellowship and receive refreshing by His Spirit.  This time will help me keep my mind and thoughts on Christ during the day.  And if I do another short “Daily Office” during the day that will help even more.

My prayer and desire from Jesus and that we will make time to let Jesus by the power of His Spirit do His will in our lives, hearts, and souls.  From that will come change, from the inside out.                                         Praying for us all, Pastor Nate Elarton

Take some time to comment some of your thoughts about this.  thanks

Some Scripture that encourage

“My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation (Psalm 62.1).

“Deep calls to deep (Psalm 42.7).

“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there (Mark 1.35).

“Be still and know that I am God (Psalms 42.10).”

Learn the Discipline of Celebrating


Learn to Celebrate, 

Life is too intense. We are too intense.  We are too much in a hurry and too stressed out.  I have met too many people that are so unhappy, so ungrateful, so worried and burdened.  We need to celebrate more.  We have lost the spiritual discipline of celebration and of joy.  There is a spiritual discipline we need of celebrating.  Celebrations brings joy. Celebrations give us permission to laugh, to joke, to love.   Even the serious church-planting, tell-it-like-it-is apostle Paul tells us “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” (Philippians 4.4)  Twice we are told to celebrate, as celebration invokes joy.  We all need more of that. This world needs more joy.

Reject moody, depression and celebrate.  Celebrate the little things. I was celebrating when I saw the sun and it got up to 50.  I grabbed my bike and rode around Temperance, celebrating the conclusion of a long winter.  I celebrate when I hear of God’s work in lives and the revelation of His love to others.  I celebrated with my kids when they call me with a bit of good news, a completed class, an honor bestowed, a goal attained.  I celebrate when we dedicate a baby and a family to the Lord at Compelled.   Wendy and I will celebrate in a few week as our son marries. When we praise we celebrate God’s goodness.  I am convinced this world is trying to snuff out the celebrations that keep our joy.joy

Isn’t praising the Lord and thanking Jesus really a celebration. At most churches it looks more like a sad vigil of some kind, it should be a celebration of joy as our hearts are filled with gratitude and love for all Christ is done and doing.

God’s people will celebrate the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday in just a few weeks. A reminder that He is alive, He is working, and He loves us!  Please get to your church to celebrate this history and live-changing truth.

Do you “celebrate” enough?  Are you too stressed out? Too intense?  Too rushed? Too angry?  Too moody?  Do you just stand there during worship and praise times.  it may be time to really  be baptized in the joy and gratitude of Christ.

Plan a celebration.   A walk, a run, a coffee with a friend, and mini-party with Christ to thank Him.  Allow your heart, mind, life, and home to be filled with joy, and a celebration and grateful heart is catalyst.

This world is full of a lot of sadness.  We will encounter many unhappy times, but we must not cease celebrating.  We all need  learn to celebrate better and to rejoice!

Nate Elarton

Lectio Divina with our Compelled Staff


Lectio Divina (Divine Reading) is an ancient practice of biblical prayer and meditation. It is a contemplative discipline to help us be led by the Holy Spirit in prayer and hear the ways and will of God through Scripture.  Our staff did this as a group this morning.  Man, the Lord had them prayer some powerful prayers from Psalm 131.

Here’s how we did it

  1. Each of us  read the verses out loud.
  2. Think deeply of the words and the intention of God, in these Scriptures
  3. Dwell upon the truths.
  4. Pray out the themes in the verses.
  5. Pray out as you are led by the Holy Spirit

 

Psalm 131 (NASB95

A Song of Ascents, of David.)

1O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me.

2Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me.

3O Israel, hope in the Lord From this time forth and forever.

 

Try it personally, with family, or Church staff using different portions of Scripture. This is a great way to spend a devotional time, “daily office”, and to connect with the heart and Spirit of Christ.

Let the Spirit pray through you.  Let him teach you. Let Jesus be your mentor.

P. Nate

lectio

 

 

Grace and Peace


As I began reading Ephesians again today these two words stand out.  It was a common greeting and the Apostle Paul says it to the church in Ephesus in the first part of his letter to them(we call Ephesians in the Bible).

We all love grace.  Grace is the gift from others.  A gift to forgive. A gift to overlook an offense, the gift to be tolerant of a short-coming. Without grace relationships are doomed.  Without grace to each other, we have the potential to become cynical, spiteful, aggressively-opinionated, and even hateful.

The idea of peace, is what is experienced as we become givers or recipients of grace.  Have you ever been forgiven?  Have you ever let go of anger toward someone?  I bet you experienced some peace.  The population is seeking grace and peace. When grace is not lived, received, or experienced we have a propensity to seek peace in behaviors that can hurt and destroy us, and heap the opposite of peace, on those closest to us.  Counselors call this “self-medicating.”  This brings short bits of shallow peace that is really an illusion.  We need real peace, and it only comes through real grace.

The grace of God, our Father is this:  He sent Jesus to pay for our offenses, only because of His great love for us.  Grace spiritually is like all grace.  It is a gift.  God’s love is a gift, as well as God’s life, his free salvation, and His presence.  To have this gift you just receive by faith, saying yes to Jesus and the love of the Father, and no to everything in this world that leads us from that.

When we experience Grace from Heaven, we can then experience peace with God.  It is then part of us to grant much grace to others, thus perpetuating peace on earth, and good will to men.  Only in Christ, is true grace and peace able to be experienced and attained.

Grace and Peace to you and to others this day.

Are you “Self-Aware” of the Need for Change?


There is a leadership principle called “Self-awareness.”  This means you a have conscious knowledge of one’s own character, communication, presentation,  feelings, motives, and desires.  Seems simple? It is not.  Many do not possess this quality.   They don’t realize how they are perceived, they way they communicate, or character flaws. If you are a supervisor, or business owner of employees, that have no self-awareness.  They just don’t seem to know when they offend others, speak caustic, act inappropriately, or continue to present themselves in an unprofessional and bizzarre manner.

As we grow in faith, the desire and goal of the believer in Christ it to change and be more like Christ.  For that to happen, one must need “self-awareness” to know where their lives, character, communication, or relationships are not Christ-like.  This is where we need God’s help.  Sure, we all know some obvious things where we need change, more sleep, less weight, and the like.  But the Lord wants to change us deeper in our hearts that don’t just affect our behavior, but our character and who we are.

This is where we cooperate with the Holy Spirit. He is God, lives in us, and shows us in many creative ways that changes in our hearts are needed.  Deep change happens when “self-awareness” meets the person of the Holy Spirit, and his nudgings and leadings show us where we need to be more like Christ, more loving, patient, kind, joyful..etc.

These verses at the beginning of Romans, show that deep change comes and the Lord renews how we think, therefore how we act, how we talk, what we value, and what we worship.  “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12.1-2

Where could you use some change and transforming?  Are you self-aware of areas in your life you need God’s help to change.  This starts in the heart, in faith, in giving our lives over to the Lord, and cooperating with him for changes that will reflect Christ.change1

You Can’t Listen if you are Talking


aloneThis weekend we I will be teaching on listening prayer.  For years we have taught and heard that praying is talking to God.  But it is also listening to the Lord.  When we are commanded to seek the Lord, it is to find him and to commune with God.  Some Scriptures

  • Jeremiah 33:3 (NASB95) ‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.
  • 1 Chronicles 22.19a “Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God…”
  • Deuteronomy 4:29 “But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul
  • Proverbs 8:17 (NASB95) “I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.”

To listen to the Lord you need to be alone and  set apart time. Put away the phone and distractions and make time to listen.  There are so many distractions that rob  us of our love relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Pray and speak Scripture, worship, thank him out loud, and then just be silent. That is the key and man is that hard sometimes.

Be ready for God to speak to you.  Believe that He will. He will speak through that inner voice in our spirit-man, through impressions, emotions, or just His presence will speak so much without words.

When he speaks he reveals things about Himself to you, His purposes, and His ways. It will be deeply personal, and your prayer time will be more exciting than just “saying prayers,” and talking all the time.

What does my time of prayer look like?

My prayer life now includes Praying in the Spirit (tongues), praying Scripture, and reading Scripture out loud. I take time for intercession, as I pray for others, my family, church needs, my children . I keep a journal and jot down thought, prayers, impression and i try to sit in silence.  I also use

I believe through this journey the last several years of Spiritual Transformation, since first reading “Celebration of Discipline” and rereading it a few time, I have a closer relationship with my Father and I hear His voice so much better.

Looking forward to seeing more of us grow in Listening prayer. So remember, you can’t listen if you are talking!

When you don’t feel like putting any effort into your relationship with Christ


contemplation-1Many people are in this spot.  We know we should, but we don’t.  Does it matter?  Does it change anything?  Can I help maybe get us out of the slump of being apathetic about your life and soul?  I want to communicate these principles without more  guilt, but positive truths. Please know how much Jesus loves you. His presence is with you and in you and his life-transforming power, and special friendship is available to you, no matter what you think, what your past is, or what you are currently up to in life. He loves you. Here are some principles.

  1. Define what grows you closer to Christ.  There are many creative ways then just “read your Bible and pray.”   Investigate contemplative spirituality, journaling, solitude.  Maybe a new book to help guide you?  Can I suggest reading “Celebration of Discipline”  “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” and reat it with the devotional book.  Maybe a fresh Bible Study guide, exciting new podcast, read a classic from an anointed author that has gone to heaven.
  2. Make your relationship real.  Don’t relegate your relationship with Christ to that few moments a week when you read and pray. He is in you. He is everywhere.  Even during the mundane things of life, have an awareness that Jesus is with you.  Talk to Him, Listen with a cup of coffee.  Take a walk and talk to the Lord. Engage Him as you enjoy a hobby or work.
  3. Be honest about distractions.  Do you get up and grab your phone, or device and immediately start scrolling through posts?  Do you always have to have a TV on?  Does your news blare all the time?  Our senses become consumed and distracted away from Christ too much. Maybe we just have too many social media accounts?  Maybe we need to repent that we will put hours into social media and not much time into seeking the Lord.  We are too distracted. Apple set out to do this to a culture, and it has been done.  We can’t put our devices down. We are an addicted and enslaved society and our hearts, souls, and families are beginning to show the suffering this is bringing.
  4. Get some encouragement to grow.  You might not have it at home, from your parents or your spouse, but relationships are the way to do it.  Get in a small group, join a class, follow a spiritual leader’s blog.  I love silence, but also love worship music. I love to preach, but also need the encouragement from other preachers.  Get some encouragement to grow.  You may have relationships that do the opposite of encouraging to be close to Christ.  Have the courage to be honest about those.
  5. Ask Jesus for a hunger for Him.  Begin to read the Psalms, and the Gospels.  Confess you are not putting much effort and ask the Lord to assist you. He will.
  6. It’s hard to pursue the Lord, if you know you are violating the Lord’s ways.  You might need to get rid of a sin you have allowed, and be honest with repentance, confession, and receive the freedom of forgiveness. Sin is so deceiving.
  7. Realize growing in Christ is enjoyable, fun, secure, moving, touching, energizing, filling, and purposeful.  It is not a chore.  Listening, talking, and pursing Christ is not a root canal.  It is a vacation. It is a way of life. It bring purpose, clarity, aligns our heart, and sets our priorities for a Christ-honoring life.
  8. This life of loving Christ and seeking Him will bring wonderful changes on the inside.  Want to stop getting angry?  Don’t focus on your behavior, allow Christ to take it out of you. Need to forgive someone?  Don’t fake it, allow the love of Christ to truly change your heart.  Are you discontent and ungrateful?  Grow in your thankfulness.  You see, Jesus changes our hearts and souls, which change behavior. We try to change behavior without letting Jesus, and being honest, about the brokenness in our hearts that contribute to our behavior.
  9. As you begin to ignite your relationship, begin to grow, your desires will change.  This will change your life.  We begin to pull away from the things of this world, and only Jesus matters. He is enough. The revelation and authentic belief will transform you as a person, parent, spouse, and  child of God.
  10. Just do it.  Start today.  Don’t let dishes, devices, laundry, sleep, netflix, or people stop you from your destiny, to know and love the Lord, to allow him to be your Abba, closest friend, and only hope for contentment and inner peace.

Knowing Christ, glorifying and enjoying Him, is our primary purpose.

— Pastor Nate Elarton

Encouraging Scriptures about our Relationship with Christ

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:31-32

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

He is My Confidence


When you struggle with fear, situations, and the feelings of insignificance, Jesus is our confidence.  We can rest in Him.  Trust in His Word, and the presence of His Spirit to guide us through every situation.

Love this song my Iron Bell Music  “My Confidence”. Enjoy and listen to the words closely.

Is it a holy night?


We have been singing and listening to this Christmas song “O Holy Night” for 159 years since it was written in 1847 by Placide Cappeau.

I love the words, “Long lay the world in sin and error pining.”  Meaning we were getting worse and worse and our error was continuing to degenerating us until.  Until Christ arrived to save us, “Til He appeared and the soul felt it’s worth.”  The gift of salvation has amazing and priceless value. Jesus, and know Him personally, is so  worthy.

We have designated worth to so many things in our culture that are not really all that worthy.  And trash compared to knowing God.  Our newest phones, our vehicles, our social media fake personality, ourselves, and our happiness.  We have given worth, and they have consumed our lives. Is this stuff really that worthy? Do they deepen our character? Make us more like Christ?  Do they help us be emotionally healthy so we have meaningful relationships?  The answer is no of course.

Does your soul know the worth of Christ?  Do you treasure Him and His ways beyond anything else?  Sin and error will “pine” in our lives without Christ.  It will just get worse.  Only Christ should get our lives. Only he is worthy.

I pray that we know and reflect the worth of Christ this Christmas and every day.  That we would treasure him far above anything else in this life we have the blessing of enjoying.  May your soul know His worth, this Christmas Eve.  If you do, it is a Holy, sacred, and special night.

Merry Christmas

Nate

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