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St. Matthew's EC Church
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Pastor's Blog
Friday, November 24 2023
Thanks God I'm Forgiven! Proclaim that with much thanksgiving!
We received sad news that Sarah's mom passed yesterday. Family was praying with her as the angels ushered her to Jesus' arms. Although they are mourning, they also are celebrating her delivery from pain and suffering and know they will see her again. Mom was longing and praying for this homecoming. Please Keep Sarah and her family in your prayers. Pray for wisdom as well for Sarah to choose well as she is scheduled to and wants to preach Sunday. (I'm ready to go if needed) Sarah's new address is Sarah Boyer 3072 High Hill Rd. Slatington, PA 18080 if you'd like to send a card.
Tomorrow at 10 we decorate the church for Christmas. We can use your help, even if for half an hour or so.
Sunday, we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent and have our after worship brunch. Bring someone along! We will also be celebrating Althea Perry's 94th birthday with cupcakes during brunch. (Note: Advent is not a tradition observed by all EC churches and is not part of our EC tradition, although many churches do observe this Catholic and Lutheran tradition in preparation for Jesus' birth. So we have freedom to observe it if we desire and how we desire. Advent is traditionally the four weeks before Christmas. This year that means Christmas Eve we would light the 4th and Christmas candle. We decided to start a week early so that we have four weeks to prepare for the lighting of the Christmas Candle on Christmas Eve.)  Sarah is planning to preach on our John 17 and 18 readings this Sunday. It will be helpful to prepare by reading them and remember we are trying to answer these three questions as we read through John: What's going on in this passage? What is God saying to me? What measurable action will I take in response?
Good Morning Forgiven and Thankful Worshipers!
Sarah, we love you and know God is with you and has received your mom into His arms and healing love. Our deepest sympathies go out to you and your family. We are praying for you all! Shalom!
My grandmother passed on Thanksgiving day many years ago. Yes it was hard to celebrate her homecoming those first few years but what a better day than Thanksgiving to be reminded how thankful we were for our time together, her full healing in heaven, and for knowing we would see her again someday. Many of you are struggling through some hard holidays. May you know we are praying for you and God is with you. Open your heart and arms and receive His healing love and strength for the journey. God really does love you and is with you always. lean on Him and His promises! And reach out to a brother or sister in Christ to journey with you through your difficulty. We are family and we are here for each other.
There is much rumbling through my mind this morning and God sure has been speaking! Although our devotionals are a mixed bag today, He has been speaking through each one as I still myself at His feet, worship, listen and receive. I've been asking what He wants to share with you and I'm getting several different ideas. I think it best for you to engage with God yourself today as I'm sure He has a word or three for you as well. I do like ODB (below) with their thinking that He is worthy of all praise! Amen! Answer their questions as you offer yourself to God and receive His love. Maybe lift your hands in praise and tell Him how much you love Him. Then open your hands and receive His love, words, corrections, strength and wisdom. Then reach out and ask Him to help you bring that to life today to others.
See you tomorrow and/or Sunday! Have a blessed day and share some love today with much joy and thanksgiving! Be still and know how much you are loved and cared for! Amen! Here's a vocal blessing to end your time with God...The Blessing: The Blessing | Kari Jobe | Elevation Worship [LYRICS]

Worthy of All Praise

I love you, Lord, my strength. Psalm 18:1

READ Psalm 18:1–6

Many consider Ferrante and Teicher to be the greatest piano duet team of all time. Their collaborative presentations were so precise that their style was described as four hands but only one mind. Hearing their music, one can begin to grasp the amount of effort required to perfect their craft.

But there’s more. They loved what they did. In fact, even after they had retired in 1989, Ferrante and Teicher would occasionally show up at a local piano store just to play an impromptu concert. They simply loved making music.

David also loved making music—but he teamed up with God to give his song a higher purpose. His psalms affirm his struggle-filled life and his desire to live in deep dependence upon God. Yet, in the midst of his personal failures and imperfections, his praise expressed a kind of spiritual “perfect pitch,” acknowledging the greatness and goodness of God even in the darkest of times. The heart behind David’s praise is simply stated in Psalm 18:1, which reads, “I love you, Lord, my strength.”

David continued, “I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise” (v. 3) and turned to Him “in my distress” (v. 6). Regardless of our situation, may we likewise lift our hearts to praise and worship our God. He’s worthy of all praise!

By Bill Crowder


In what ways do you share your love for God with Him and with others? What might be standing in the way of your worship?

Heavenly Father, You’ve put a new song in my mouth. Please help my worship to express Your true goodness and greatness.

For further study, read Understanding the Bible: The Poetic Books.


Second Samuel 22 is nearly identical to Psalm 18, and the previous chapter (2 Samuel 21) provides some historical background for the psalm and the danger David faced. He’d gone into battle with his men when a mighty warrior challenged him (21:15–16). The text reads, “Ishbi-Benob, one of the descendants of Rapha, whose bronze spearhead weighed three hundred shekels [about 7.5 lb. or 3.4 kg] and who was armed with a new sword, said he would kill David” (v. 16). David’s warrior Abishai intervened and killed the Philistine. David’s men then insisted that he never again go into battle with them “so that the lamp of Israel will not be extinguished” (v. 17). But who were the descendants of Rapha? They were exceptionally large warriors (vv. 18–22) whose size easily intimidated their opponents given the nature of the hand-to-hand warfare of the day.

Tim Gustafson
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St. Matthew's EC Church

5th & Ridge Streets
P.O. Box 433
Emmaus, PA 18049
Telephone 610.965.5570


We are learning to live and love like Jesus. 

We are working on becoming who we were created to be and doing our custom made purposes well. 

We are part of the Evangelical Congregational Church

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