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Wendy Elarton

Thoughts and inspiration

15 years ago

            As I sit here today I am reflecting on 1996. It was a huge step of faith that year.  I was 28 years old, our daughter Abby was 19 months. I had already said “no way” once to church planting. I loved being a youth pastor’s wife, so much fun!  That idea was so foreign to me. In 1995 God started working on my heart and I began to say “have your way, Lord”.  Following & being obedient is very important.  It brings you to a deeper relationship with the Lord.  I have not been any better than anyone else just chose to listen to the calling in my heart.  In fact it makes you a mess and there is really no explaining the future. Just great peace moves in and you are always looking to see what God will do next because you have no control of what is next around the corner.  I remember one day in particular in our Livonia house I just sat staring out the window trying to imagine what God would do when we moved to Temperance. We knew no one other than a handful of people meeting with us on Tuesday nights when we would drive down to have a Bible Study. I was so comfortable in our newly remolded Livonia house. I loved our youth, youth leaders and in fact the whole church. They had loved us so sweetly and blessed us so much! We had a very nice Christian School with the church and our daughter would have fit in very nicely.

        Faith in my Savior was very easy until it was to bring it to a strange place, alone with just my small family.  I have to say though, I woke up every morning looking for what God was going to do and show us. The money end seemed to come just at the right time and just enough to make it that day or week.  Money can’t buy the awesome, beautiful place of trusting God deeper and being desperate to see Him move.  We may not be way ahead in the financial part of our life right now, but I would not return to 1996 and change our path.  I know God can be trusted! He is faithful. When He leads us to do things that are out of our comfort zone, we are secure and blessed! We can’t say to our Heavenly Father, “Have your way in my life” and not allow Him to speak and say “follow me this way”.  I often have to check my heart and remember what I have prayed or sang, and mean it!  My mind and heart have to be loyal to my Lord.  I have given Him my whole life not just part. Self wants to crawl off the altar so many times because it feels uncomfortable.  When I stay where God wants me, He always meets me way beyond what I expect.  I guess I understand a little about this from being a parent, when your children obey and submit, you desire to bless them and rejoice in them. Our Heavenly Father has all the knowledge and sees our future better then we can even imagine.  I see now He allows me to draw close to Him, that is a blessing and then He brings in more. If you sit and reflect on God’s blessings in your life, you will see they are great!   We choice daily to be obedient not just in a major path change but every time we say no to our flesh and listen to what God wants.  It is for our own good.  There is no regret and I know our Heavenly Father is rejoicing over us.  The enemy is defeated and our testimony to others is louder for Christ!!

                I pray today as you are seeking God’s Will for your life that as you walk in obedience, you are encouraged.  Christ is faithful and your small bit of faith, He will bless!  Look up and walk in His plan! I know He is rejoicing in you!!  So love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and your entire mind and might.  Show Him this by obedience and trust!!!

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Leviticus + offerings = blood

                     This week I have begun reading Leviticus. Chapters 1-16 are outlined as “The way of Access to God; Atonement.”  It wasn’t like experiencing the lines at Cedar Point with anticipation for a great experience. The lines had to be long and all senses were at work.  I am sure from a far off you could smell the animals being offered and hear the bellowing of the animals. My mind tries to place myself in that group of Israelites. Have you ever been to a meat market ? I remember as a little girl going into one with my grandma in Adrian and when you walked in the smell met you. I would try to cover my nose and I really couldn’t look at the raw meat, the man who would help us usually had  a blood stained apron on.  I was so relieved when it was time to go.  I can almost smell it now. Wow, it was bad!!  Could you imagine being in the nice hot desert sun and being last in the line?     In my Study Bible here the noun “offering” (Hebrew corban) is related to the verb that means “to draw near”.  They needed to do this to approach God and to  enjoy His fellowship and blessing.  Sin and darkness had to be dealt with, if anyone wanted to be close to God.  “The Lord called to Moses and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting”(Lev.1:1).   From the beginning of creation our God continued to make ways to bring humanity to Himself.  It was complicated because there was no other way to get around the fact that this is serious.  God created the human heart with a place for Him.  Just because this was a long time ago doesn’t mean that humans have become different in their souls.   The difference is our great freedom from guidelines and ceremonies.   Those poor Israelites had so many things they had to do to draw near to God.  The blood had to be exposed from animals.    This was not an easy task, the process was take the best, kill and drain the blood and place in a special place, then burn up.   Blood makes me uncomfortable could you imagine with all those people that had “fallen short”. What a visual bloody mess!   The lines of waiting and watching as daily blood had to be spilled out and collected to be offered to the Most HOLY GOD!!!!  They had to really think about what they had done and determine in their minds, ” I will never sin again”.   The experience was a sacrifice and painful in many ways. The worth was great to them though! They could be closer to God because He instructed Moses .   God has never stopped being active in drawing humans to Himself.  We have been blessed with the easiest and most affective way.  There are no lines, no smells, no disturbing sounds, no bloody dramatic scenes just simple closeness to the Almighty God.  He saw our great Need and made it simple.  May we not take for granted the Precious Blood of THE Lamb our Savior Jesus!!!!

Exodus reading today

                            So the dear Israelites have turned to worshipping a golden calf, Moses breaks the tablets with the ten commandments on it.  My question as I read this is what were they thinking, I feel Moses frustration as a leader.  All the punishment could have been avoided if Aaron would have been a better leader. I guess the pressure of the mass got to him. I read it and think what a mess but then we come to chapter 33 and 34.  Moses hears from the Lord in chpt 33: 2. “…. But I will not go with you because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.”   The people  realize the Presence of God would not be going with them , this really moved them.  Moses goes to the Tent of Meeting to plead with the Lord on the Israelites behalf.   Great picture here as Moses goes outside the camp  to pitch the tent, v.8 says “whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent”.   We forget what it must have been like because we don’t have to rely on one person to hear from God and stand in the gap for our sins.  I wonder if as Moses passed by the people they cried out “please speak for us, we are so sorry and we really need and want God’s Presence”.   

We need to recognize that God’s Presence is with us wherever we go.  We take for granted this grace that we live in, because of Jesus, we don’t have to beg for God to be with us.  He is with us all the time!  Now the enemy would love to lie to us and say He has left you because you are not perfect.  Well that was the way it was in the Old Testament but God has made a great way “Jesus”,  Moses was just a human and he led the best he could, but Jesus was both God/human and made the impossible possible.   I say all this to challenge us today enjoy having God’s Presence with you all day every day!!!!  Ex.33:15-16 “Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not  go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”  This moves my heart to the awareness of how close we have God to us!!  God has done all the work, we just need to be thankful and willing to remember He is here with us.  So if you are feeling alone today, you are not!!!  God is here, He is waiting to show you, may our head knowledge collide with our heart and spirit and recognize HIM!!!!  ” Thank-you Father for your Presence!!  Bring peace as we rest in knowing this deeper then ever today!”

Joseph’s Example

                          A dream, favor, Jealousy, human trade, slavery, separation, relief, unjust accusations, forgotten, Freedom, a place of honor, forgiveness, blessings and then death.

Joseph’s life reads kind of like a rollcoaster.  We can all relate with one or another part of his life.  At times we ask why God is allowing so much in my life to go bad or maybe the hopelessness seems to come in a flood of thoughts.  Peace comes as we pick up His Word and the Holy Spirit speaks through what He has already done in these famous Bible characters.

      I have enjoyed reading the life of Joseph again.  The story has always impacted my life from little till now.  He had some mean brothers who couldn’t handle their jealousy but God used every situation to bring Joseph’s journey to a height.   I want to remind you, my friend that our stories are not all written yet and God’s power to move even when humans mess up what we might think was His great plan.   Joseph had some pretty amazing dreams I wonder if he tried to recall those dreams sitting in that “nice” dark dirty prison cell.  I can almost hear him saying “but God you promised more than this?”   He had a great father and followed instructions without question.  If anyone had a blessing coming I am sure he believed he did.   He knew his destination of blessing was coming but how long did he have to wait? 

      He didn’t ask for the dreams but from the time he dreamed till when God brought it all to reality, He stayed faithful to the Lord.  Believing in the calling and trusting in the Lord!!   Again in 2011 I am challenged by Joseph’s example.  Believe in what God says and hold on to His promises!!!

Light/Star

Jesus said …”But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”(John 3:21)

Jesus was referring to himself.   I am thinking of the star that shown that night when He came to earth  and led the Wiseman to Him. He began right in the beginning at birth leading with light. We love stars and the sun, we get excited when it shines in these cold days. Do you get excited about the darkness? not me and kids never like the dark because they have to go to bed.  When we walk in the truth Jesus says we come into the light(Him). How exciting it must have been for the Wiseman that day when they made it to baby Jesus.  They made a trip or should we say a pilgrimage to the light.  We just need a pilgrimage to the light so  we can live by the truth and people will see His light.  I always laugh at this time of year and how stressed  everyone gets to get their ” list” completed. Don’t get me wrong I do too 🙂 It is these special times(like right now for me) spending in the truth that  bring me to see His light and feel it also! Then as I walk through my day, I pray that…”it may be seen plainly that what I have done has been done through God”.  The Wiseman could never have gotten to Bethlehem without the star. We will never get to where we need to be with out seeing His Light!!! Dear brothers and sisters may we pull in, go to, search out, and receive the truth. So we can see His Star today.  Then God will be glorified in our lives! Not something we want to say about ourselves but to humbly recognize that it “has been done through God”.    Dear Father, today we need your direction and you have given it through your Son!!! Thank-you!!!!

Past overwhelming thankfulness to the Present!!!!

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   The beginning of the ‘90s, rosy skies were

not part of my life.  They seemed very

dark and hopeless.  Every month seemed to be

more of a disappointment for me.  I began to

question God on why there was no blessing.  I had

faithfully served Him and He was not answering my

greatest request. Hannah in the Bible seemed to be

my only hope of encouragement.  Then a positive

test finally came and excitement filled our home.

We began to tell our good news.  We were going

to have a baby!   Just as soon as the news sunk in,

loss came and emptiness filled me again.  How could this happen?  Why was God being so mean to me?

I had pleased Him all my life with everything in me!  I never doubted Him until this ugly week of pain and suffering.  I began to question His compassion and all I knew of Him.  My heart was broken.  It became really  

hard to continue in the Ministry for Him.   I was not a good representation for Him and therefore I felt hypocritical.

            We began the road of infertility and what that meant.  I was a very private person about all of this and it was hard to answer people’s insistent questions.   The conversations always ended in “well you are still very young”.   It didn’t matter, my heart was broken and very confused about God.   That is not a good spot to be in when you are trying to lead young people to God.   Good news came again of a positive test, then to be dashed and my heart broken even more.   The road and process God was allowing me to go through is now what

I am thankful for!!!

            News from the doctors was “we can try some fertility drugs but don’t get your hopes up”.  Those pills were very pricey and made me have crazy mood swings but who wouldn’t try when you are desperately longing for a child.    After many months the drug worked and we found ourselves expecting Abigail Lea.

            I write all this to give THANKSGIVING to our Lord.  My heart is humbled as I look back at the way I was.

Of course I have been blessed, was it because of all my good deeds?   No!      Was it because I had a really good faith in God?  No!    God in His grace and mercy blessed me.   I have a responsibility now to be very

Thankful for my family and not forget what God has done in the past.   I just wanted to give my Lord praise again for what He has done for me, 3 times 🙂 

 

 
 
 

Job’s “friend”

   I am still reading in Job.  It is a very long book.  I am not complaining  just observing 🙂  Today I read more of Job’s “friend” Elihu, he really loved to share his opinion.  He shared some truths about God!  “How great is God-beyond our understanding”!  He could have stopped there and said” that is why we don’t understand why you are suffering so much Job period”.   This friend had a lot of head knowledge about God but didn’t have the experience of Grace.   He was convinced Job had not worked out his works to please God enough!  My heart is very thankful today for Grace, without Jesus coming we would be in the same boat. Without grace in my life I could see myself  trying to tell someone you haven’t pleased  God enough and so that is why you are suffering. I am looking forward to the end of this book because  I know how God showed His faithfulness and grace to Job.  May I always be a friend that encourages with hope for the best ending  because we have GRACE!!!!  No matter what suffering we are going through, we haven’t made God so mad.  He gave us GRACE to bring us close to Him, don’t make your suffering worse by not receiving God’s riches at Christ’s expense.

Composing Thanksgiving

This thought of Composing Thanksgiving popped into my mind the other early morning and hasn’t left, so I assume it is time to put on paper!  

When I was younger, I was very involved with music and so admired the way musicians composed music.  I tried and tried but never was able to put together a beautiful song or a piano piece with melodic melody.  I love singing and at times still sit down to worship the Lord alone on the piano.  My flute skills have gotten away from me and I haven’t touched a handbell for years.  when I was  a little girl  I remember sitting for long periods of time looking out the hallway window singing made up songs to Jesus. I am sure these songs didn’t have great tone quality and were never to be heard by anyone but Jesus!  I will, “sing and make melody in my heart to the Lord”(Ehp.5:19)

Thoughts on  composing thanksgiving has not left me, so I will try to give you an understanding of what we are challenged daily to do!  King David had an idea for this and through his writing we sing what he prayed and thought.  Psalm 95:2″Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song”.   God placed many examples for us  in His Word to read and hear from their hearts of thankfulness.  I looked up “how to compose music”.  Here are some simple steps.  1. Take lessons on an instrument,  2. Learn to listen to the music, 3. Learn the musical scale, 4. Listen to other composer’s music.

    A heart of thankfulness can’t be composed over night.  God puts us thru lessons so we learn that we can make thankfulness happen.  When we are going thru the hard times we can’t hear the composition being made because we are working on the situation.  It is when we step back and learn to listen to God’s Word and what He wants to show us through the dark, unfair and ugly things.  We learn things like ” I will never leave you nor forsake you” Heb.13:5 or ” I have plans to prosper you and not harm you”Jer.29:11.  Then we step into learning to not “lean not on our own understanding but in all our ways acknowledge Him” Prov. 3:5,6  After we begin to learn His promises and instruction, we can hear what others are saying as they too have composed a heart of thankfulness in the midst of hardship.  You know them, you are encouraged by them and they challenge you to not give up.  You see, our hearts need to be changed to really have a thankful heart, we can’t stay the same negative way and expect to compose thanksgiving!  It is something of process and work.  Make this November a beautiful month of Thanksgiving.  Take the steps of composing, accept the lessons(they are free ).  Learn to listen to what God is saying.   Learn faith doesn’t come in our own “understanding” and making everything work out.  Listen to  what those who have great faith are saying and be encouraged!!  Watch other benefit from your Composition of Thankfulness!!!!

Communication with God

I am so thankful for prayer,  please read my husbands’ blog today http://nateelarton.wordpress.com/ .   This morning my heart was set on talking to God, but every morning isn’t like that.  It is a continual practice and awareness we need.   We need this time so bad!  God has all the time in the world for us and listens better than anyone else!!!   I have been reading a small book called “God is listening” by Thomas Trask.  Let me end this blog with quoting him “Prayer is a privilege. Honor that privilege with the full realization that God is listening.”

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