There is more than one way to be Lost


We are a culture that is becoming lost in many ways. It is so easy to forget the things that truly bring joy and happiness in life and we elevate so many things that do not and can actually take value from us. As I speak this weekend on the parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15), I had a thought that many are lost spiritually, but even believers can be lost if we are not careful. We can miss the best God has for us, and the experiences and people in our lives, that may bring great value can be overlooked or dismissed.

What are people lost in?

  • The priority of money
  • The pursuit of stuff, and purchasing.
  • Selfish pleasure
  • Phones and tablets
  • Streaming binges
  • Gaming
  • Sin
  • The past
  • Fantasy
  • Pity
  • A failure
  • Living fake to please others
  • Entitlement
  • Politics
  • Apathy

The list could go on and on. I am thankful that no matter what degree we are lost, or how we are lost Jesus said in Luke 19:10 that he came “to seek and to save that which was lost.”I recently got lost on the side of a mountain in North Carolina. I was enjoying the walk down to a beautiful pond and on the walk up I was lost. I didn’t know it. It all looked the same. I was walking up, there were trees and leaves and rocks and it all looked ok to me. It was only after a while that I felt I should have been back at the cabin I realized I might be lost. I pulled out my GPS, had service, and realized I somehow went slanted up the mountain and was going up the opposite side. My point is, I did not know I was lost.

Many don’t realize they are lost. Life is happening, eating, sleeping, going to work, interacting, but there is so much that could be going so much better in our hearts and souls, but we don’t even realize it.

When one is lost, it usually involves and crazy amount of time and energy being invested. Our day, evening, thoughts, energy and our conversations surround much of what we are lost in. Our choices are influenced, and the direction of our heart and even our life can be altered into a direction that is not from the Lord and not His plan for your life and time.

Some questions to help determine if you are lost. Use these like I used my GPS

  • What do you do mostly when you are not working?
  • What dreams have you shelved and what replaced them.
  • What do you treasure? What do you pursue?
  • Is your direction in life leading you closer to Jesus or farther away?
  • At your funeral, what would the top 5 closest people say about you and what you liked in life?
  • Would the way you live now, cause you regret in 10 years?
  • Are you missing out on the things in life that really really matter? Faith, Family, Friendships.

for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21, NASB95)

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13, NASB95)

Experiencing the Unexperienced with Christ


We are undeniably people of habit. We are comfortable with repetition. We find security in the predictable. What if God directs us to places unknown? What if we are to experience the unexperienced? Will we discover our security is in frequently attended mind-sets, attitudes, and beliefs? Will we realize happily that our security is in God?

It is the hardest to trust in seasons of unknowing, so we often try and make them into a familiar situation previously experienced to attempt to deny we are on a new path in our journey. We will soon realize that this is impossible and we must throw our whole life into the trusting arms of God. His love for us will take us places where we will journey toward our wholeness in Christ which is our ultimate destination, isn’t it? New seasons are required. They cannot be optional, they must not be avoided.

Contemplative questions

  • Is God dealing with you about a “new” area of life He is leading you?
  • What is Christ teaching you in this unexperienced season?
  • Do you know, all things are to make us whole in Christ and like Christ?
  • Is surrender to God’s plan part of your thinking?
  • Must you have control always?
  • Spend some time in Lectio Divina for the following verses. (Click here on how to do Lection Divina)

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:1–5, NASB95)

Pastor Abby’s Three Prayers from Mother’s Day Weekend Message


Our daughter, Abby Isacson spoke this weekend. Here message is here if you want to watch it.

“I believe, help my unbelief.” She closed the message with three prayers. Some of you have requested them. Here they are:

Here are three prayers of trust from a sometimes untrusting human: 

  • God, when I have trouble trusting you, may I remember your character. You are a God who has proven yourself to be consistent throughout generations and that has not changed. 
  • God, When I have trouble trusting in you, could you help me to search for your presence and to not search too long because you remind me that you are present. You are here right now and in every moment of my day, of every hour. You are with me when I am with my family and with my friends. You are present in my place of work and in my home. You are an involved God and sometimes your presence is quiet, but let that draw me in. 
  • God, when I say I can’t trust you, because sometimes I really am unable to trust you in my humanness, help me to be like the father in Mark 9 and say; “I believe, help my unbelief.” Help me to know that you want all of me and that includes my doubts and fears. That includes my emotions and numbness. You are just as present in the darkness as you are in the light.

by Pastor Abby Isacson

A happy moment for this dad, introducing my daughter Pastor Abigail Isacson

Equip Leadership Podcast, Coaching Isn’t just for Sports


I have loved bein part of these leadership podcasts with some amazing leader.

Thanks to Gateway Assembly of God in Imlay City and Pastor Jeff Krist and Dave Krist, Dr. Bradley Trask, Founding pastor, Michigan Assistant Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, Michigan District and National Executive Presbyter, Founding Pastor or Rock Church, Anchor Bay, Angelo Fleece.

These men love Jesus and His church so much. I am thankful for their lives and friendship. I hope these podcast help pastors and leaders.

Pastor Nate Elarton

The more Truth… the more Free!


“The only way not to be overwhelmed by the continual and convincing lies of the Devil is to become an expert in Truth.” Dick Brogden

This is an amazing quote as it is true. As the world becomes more gray, and pluralism is the norm of the day, we will become increasingly challenged when we declare that the Bible is absolute Truth. So many believers become lied to, and embrace lies and deceptions because they do not know Truth. They are listening to so many voices. The voice of media, culture, pluralism, the voices of politics, agenda of other groups, in place of spending, knowing, and being transformed by the Word and words of God.

Jesus says in John, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8.32). Jesus is the Truth. Jesus is the Word (John 1). We cannot continue to neglect learning, knowing, and experiencing the Word of God, and expect our faith and commitment to absolute Truth to stay strong in a society and culture that believes all truth is subjective and they are all correct.

Remember, the more Truth you know the freer you will be. This is why we are taking intensional time and effort to get Compelled Church into the Word of God. We want followers of Christ to know how to study the Bible but also to love the Bible. Then truth will be loved, and we live what we love. And our love for Jesus Christ deepens.

Read and know the Bible and you will know the Lord, you will now Truth and your faith will grow and sustain you. You will not be deceived by the philosophies of this world/culture/media/society.

Pastor Nate Elarton

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.

Our Lives for God’s Glory


My wife Wendy, reads daily. One of her devotionals is by an amazing missionary and teacher, Dick Brogden. His devotion is “365 days of Living and Dying with Jesus; Live Dead; Joy.”

She shared one of the devotions from last month that she said she continues to think, pray, and meditate on. It was powerful. Let me share the last paragraph:

“God revives us for His own sake. He heals that He might be glorified. He supplies that He might be worshiped. He forgives that He might be exalted. He delivers that He might be adored. He meets us that we might magnify Him. He acts to bring honor to His divine self, not to exalt man or woman. Let us stop approaching God for answers on behalf our ourselves. Let us learn to approach Him for the defense of His honor, for the glory of His name. Let us seek answered pray for His sake.” (Dick Brogden from his book Live Dead, Joy, page.255, reading for August 12).

We can become so distracted and so easily tripped up. Jesus has to remain at the center. The glory of everything must go to God. Our lives, our talk, our focus, our posting, our giving, our prayers, our families, and our lives.

Be encouraged today to center. Center your life on Christ again. Don’t let the political climate, the pandemic, and all the opinions of everyone and our own move us from wanting all glory to go to our God. I have to remind myself of this and what my wife shared with me is another great reminder. May our lives give God Glory.

Pastor Nate Elarton

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