Thursday, June 16, 2016

New Blog

In this new season of life I have created created a new blog.  My new personal blog is now live at nreaton.blogspot.com.  



Monday, April 4, 2016

New Seasons

It has been a long time since I posted, but I wanted to share an update that I shared with our church yesterday regarding our next chapter in life.



The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. - Proverbs 16:9

I read this verse 8 years ago as I stood before you as a congregation at EK Baker gym and shared my heart.  I shared that day that God had made it clear to myself, as well as Belinda, that God had called me into ministry, and specifically youth ministry at Clearwater Baptist Church.  What an incredible 8 years it has been!

I have been blessed as well as amazed time and time again by our students.  I have had the privilege of seeing a group of students who love God with an unrestrained love and earnestly loving others from the center of God’s heart.  We have seen students saved as a result of realizing that salvation is not praying a prayer, but surrendering their life to Jesus Christ.  I have had the amazing privilege of having students return to the student ministry later to serve and pour into this generation.  We have seen students not leave the church by abandoning their faith because of their growing love for Jesus and the reality that you can’t abandon something that you never had to begin with.  We have used the name Opposite Way Ministries because we believe God has called us as Christians to live differently than how the world leads us to believe, pointing the world to Jesus.  We have done ministry differently which has allowed us to see fruit as we operated under Galatians 1:10 – “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.”

Over the past 2-3 years Belinda and I have been seeking God’s direction in our lives and He has been at work in our hearts.  As a family we have spent much time focused on one my favorite Scripture passages in Exodus 14 where Moses parts the Red Sea and the Israelites cross over on dry land.  The moment before the waters are parted is a time where the Israelites had to wait and depend on God’s deliverance, and allow God to refine them.  Then when the right moment occurred, God instructed the Israelites to move forward into the water and Moses stretched out his hand and parted the sea.  A very similar moment occurs in Joshua 3.  What I see in both passages is that God did not part the waters until they stepped in.  After much prayer, discussion, and tears, we now know that God is calling Belinda and myself to step in the water.  God has spoken clearly to us that our time at Clearwater Baptist Church is complete and it is time for the next chapter.  My last day at Clearwater will be Sunday April 24.  We are going to have an amazing time that weekend at our Disciple Now.  I look forward to seeing what God is going to do in our students.

We have no immediate plans, but are stepping out in faith and trust our Lord Jesus Christ who holds our future in His hands.  We are so thankful that God brought us to Clearwater 15 years ago, and allowed me to serve on staff for the last 8 years.  We love Clearwater dearly and consider you family.  You hold a special place in our hearts and we will continue to love and pray for you in the future.  We pray that you have bright days ahead.  If you would like to hear more of my heart and what God has spoken to us, then my sermon to the students will be on the church website in the next few days.  Thank you for what you mean to me.  I love you greatly Clearwater.



Nathan Eaton
April 3, 2016

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Back to the Future- Part 3

This week at Wednesday Night Worship was part 3 of the "Back to the Future" series.  We opened the night with the student band leading us in a worship set of "With Us" (Hillsong), "Need You Now" (Plumb), and "Cornerstone" (Hillsong).  I began the message by talking about how in the 2nd Back to the Future movie Doc told Marty to not do anything while they were in the future. Marty didn't listen and bought the Sport's Almanac, which Biff ended up stealing, taking back to this younger self in the past, and causing a major change in history.  The point to see here that is Marty's actions not only impacted himself, but everyone else as well.  The same is true for us (except without the time travel).  Our sinful choices will not only impact us, but others as well.

We looked at Joshua 7 where Achan disobeyed God's instruction and kept for himself some of the gold and silver.  Because of Achan's sin, the Israelite army was defeated at Ai, a battle that they should have easily won.  After Joshua mourns, God tells him that because of sin they have all suffered these consequences.  Joshua discovers that it is Achan who has disobeyed God.  The result is that they end up stoning Achan along with his family and then burning them.  This all seems harsh, but the reality is that sin leads to death.

Achan may have thought that his disobedience would only impact him but he was wrong.  Our disobedience against God will always have an impact on others.  Achan's sins impacted 2 groups of people:
1) His family- They may or may not have been co-conspirators. Either way, Achan's sins led to their death.
2) The Israelite Soldiers and they Families- 36 soldiers died in the battle of Ai leaving behind family members.  They should have won this battle no problems.  However, because of Achan's sins, these soldiers died leaving their families behind to grieve their loss.

Even if you try to conceal your sin, which Achan did, it will have an impact on others.  It will impact your family, friends, church, etc.  It's always easy when looking at this passage to think about other people whose poor choices have had a negative impact on you.  However, we must look in the mirror at ourselves.  What sin choices are we making that is  having a negative impact on you.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Back to the Future- Part 2

This week at WNW was the second message of the "Back to the Future" series.  We opened with a worship set that included "This Is Amazing Grace" (Phil Wickham), "Sinking Deep" (Hillsong Young & Free), and "Touch the Sky" (Hillsong United).  I shared that while last week we focused on our past, this week we were focusing on our future.  It is easy for us to think that the decisions we make only impact us in the present.  The reality is that all of our decisions, good or bad, sinful or God honoring, will impact us and have consequences on our future.  I made reference to Romans 6:1-2 that lets us know that when we are saved that we cannot continue to live our lives in sin and live the way we want to.  We then read Galatians 6:6-10.  Paul tells us that we will reap what we sow.  If we live a life that is sinful and goes against God's desires then it will bring us corruption and destruction in our lives.  However if we make godly choices then we will reap the benefits.  We do not follow God in order to receive blessings, but we follow Him because of His love for us.  I challenged the students to think beyond the present and think about the future.  The decisions we make today will impact us later on.  We closed with a time of prayer asking God to reveal to us the path that we are on.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Back to the Future- Part 1


Last week at Wednesday Night Worship we began a new series called "Back to the Future."  The Wednesday was October 21, 2015 which is the date that Marty McFly and Doc Brown go to the future in the famous movie.  We opened with a worship set that included "You Are The Fire" (Dustin Smith), "Mighty Warrior" (Elevation Worship), and "Oceans" (Hillsong United).

I opened the message by explaining a little bit about the Back to the Future movies and how they have always intrigued me.  Everything that happened in the past impacted their future.  The same is true for us.  In the movie they had to go back in time and "fix" things in order to have a better future.  We all have moments, decisions, actions in our lives that we regret.  We cannot go back in time to change our past actions.  So what do we do?  We looked at 1 John 1:9 about forgiveness. I talked about true confession of sins and how God is faithful to forgive us.  When we have been forgiven we have a responsibility.  First of all we must forgive others who have hurt us.  In addition, we should forgive ourselves in order to move forward.  If God is faithful to forgive our sins, this include forgiving the guilt of our sins.  Sometimes it can be hard to let go of our past, but is necessary in order to move forward.  We then closed with a time of reflection with the song "Once and For All" (Lauren Daigle).

Monday, October 5, 2015

What Now?- Part 3

This past week at WNW was week 3 of the "What Now?" series.  We opened with a worship set that included "The Way" (Brett Younker), "Always" (Kristian Stanfill), and "Set A Fire" (Will Reagan).  I opened the message sharing a story about a season of life where I wasn't quite sure what to do as I found myself somewhat lost.  Some things in life had turned out quite differently than I expected and it was really hard.  We all face these seasons of life at some point where things change and different than before.  We find ourselves in a similar season as a church as our senior pastor recently resigned.  So what do we do now? We certainly don't fall back, concede, or give up in any way.  We rejoice in what God is doing in the life of our church.  But we must ask ourselves what our responsibility is in going forward.

We looked at Acts 1:15-26 continuing from the passage we read the week before.  In this mom Peter is telling them that they must replace Judas who had betrayed Jesus and died.  There was a lot to cover in this passage from prophecy to what it meant that they drew lots.  However, the main point we focused on was in verse 24 "they prayed."  They prayed that God would let them know who was to replace Judas.  To be honest, this change at Clearwater has little effect on our students, but it does not take away their responsibility.  We must pray for our church, for our leadership, for each other, and for our pastor that God reveal in the right time.  So that is exactly what we did.  We closed by spending a few minutes praying for these matters.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

What Now?- Part 2

This week was part 2 of our "What Now?" series.  We began with a worship set that included "Need You Now" (Plumb), "How Can It Be" (Lauren Daigle), and "Touch The Sky" (Hillsong United).  I began the message talking about what do you do when you have experienced a great season of life?  What do you do then?  As a student ministry we have experienced a great time of spiritual growth among our students.  We have seen them grow closer together in a way we have prayed for.  So what do we do now?  The answer isn't the next big program because that accomplishes nothing.

We looked at Acts 1:9-14 to think about what do we do now as a youth ministry:
1) Stop Looking to the Past
While we must celebrate yesterday's victories, we cannot allow them to cloud our vision of the future.  The disciples had experienced an incredible season of life as they had spent time with Jesus and witnessed His death and resurrection.  They witnessed His ascension into heaven and two men asked why they are still looking into the sky.  They couldn't just stand there looking in the sky but had to move on into what lies ahead.

2) We Must Be United Together
Verse 14 tells us that they were constantly united together in prayer.  They had developed a habit of praying together.  They were together with the common purpose of pursuing Christ.  This meant they had to lay aside their differences in order to be united.

We closed with a time of prayer where I challenged the students to search their hearts to see where they needed to be obedient in this.  After a time of prayer we closed with a song of reflection "Set A Fire" (United Pursuit).

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What Now? - Part 1


This week we kicked off our Wednesday Night Worship services for the Fall.  We began a new series called "What Now?" with the tagline "What to do when you don't know what to do."  We opened the night with a worship set including "This is Living" (Hillsong Young and Free), "Our God" (Chris Tomlin), and "Sinking Deep" (Hillsong Young and Free). 

I began the message talking about the new series and how we all face seasons where we don't know what to do.  With it being a new church year, we have many new faces in the student ministry who are in a new setting.  I explained that everything we do as a ministry is based out of the following three objectives:


As we all experience new settings and new seasons of life, it is easy for us to try to manipulate situations, circumstances, even people to try to gain the comfort that we think we deserve.  So what do we do in these moments?  We read Psalm 46:8-11 and looking at these thoughts:
1) Stop Trying To Be God
We often have a Messiah complex and try to fix everything.  We have to stop trying to be God and trust Him instead.
2) Stop Trying To Make Others Be God
At first we think we don't do this.  When we think that someone is supposed to do something for us to make us happy or comfortable then we raise them to the level of God whether or not we realize it or mean to.  A good indicator that we are trying to make others be God is if we are constantly disappointed in them and blame them for our problems.

When we are in a new setting/season of life we must trust God to be God.  We can rest in the fact that the God that verse 10 says "I will be exalted in all the earth" is the very same God that verse 11 says that He is with us.