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Pastor's Blog
Saturday, December 09 2023

Good Morning Receivers of Love, Wisdom, Healing, Hope, and Faith! Love came down at Christmas is an old carol yet so true. For God so loved not only the world, but you! He made a way that all who will come to Him can actually choose. Many reject. We chose Love. God gave us the faith to believe and receive His saving grace through coming to faith in Jesus and His finished work on the cross. Yesterday, we lit the "FAITH" Advent candle and I tried to discuss faith. I am never really sure what all I say and how far along the Holy Spirit allows me to move through the message when I wing it. What did you hear yesterday?

Faith is a free gift from God that humans have the opportunity to open. PTL! We chose to open it! As we open that gift and receive His love, forgiveness, healing, hope and help we are given another gift, the Holy Spirit, who brings more gifts, spiritual ones, and the gift of His help to lead us towards becoming more like Jesus and to grow into our fuller potential as we work on our faith journey. Our faith journey can be a wild ride, like a roller coaster of many ups, downs twists and turns, but of we stay on track, God will lead us to His best and our final destination. PTL! Check out our devos below and spend some time at Jesus' feet preparing for the day and weeks ahead. Listen, receive and then process with some others. What's God saying to you? What will you do about it? Who is praying for you and helping you to process and move forward towards that goal? Who are you inviting to join your journey or to experience faith for themselves?

Many of us chose words to work on this year as part of the Become Me in '23 Challenge. I've been praying for you all year and processing with you how that has been going. I've seen some great growth and strides towards growing in that chosen spiritual weakness. Faith was a word several chose and really all our words flow from and towards faith in Jesus and knowing He wants to help us become more like Him. Keep at it! As we move towards the New Year I am challenging you to seek God for the next word to work on or if you should keep working on the word you chose. Our focus next year is Become More in '24. It's about less of self and more of Jesus in our lives--dying to self and taking up cross to follow Jesus more better.It's about continuing to work on our faith journey's to become more like Jesus and doing more of the things He planned for us before we were created.

I'm attaching below the handout from yesterday that many of you left behind. We never got to the last part and I want to challenge you to process that for the rest of Dec. and talk to God about what He wants to work on with you next for your growth. Process with some others and to grow into the greater things He has for you. We do walk by faith and not by sight. Things are not always as they appear in the physical realm. We are believing that God is bringing revival and that comes to life as we allow Him to grow our faith and lead us to His purposes for us for such a time as this. We may be traveling through some dark valleys and trials right now, BUT GOD! He's allowed them and will walk with us through them to better things (ODB). We need to make time to be still in this busy time of year and prepare and listen and receive to know His peace and follow Him well (UR). We never retire from serving the Lord as we prepare for eternal life. We need to keep learning, growing and adapting to who we are and where we are today (TWFYT). God has placed us here for a reason and He has great plans for you today--everyday!

I think Charles Stanley's devo for today really sums up what God has been leading me to, as I try to lead you to what He is revealing as His desire for us individually and then as His body. He came to offer us a personal relationship that will help us to grow into our fullest potential, impact His Kingdom here and now and prepare us for what's next and what is eternal. He loves us so much! He is standing with open arms of love and saying come, weary one, and find rest. Put on my yoke and walk with Me to My best. Come! I am your Friend, Deliverer, Defender, Lord and Savior. Come! Let Me grow your faith as you see how much I love you and experience the great plans I have for you along the way. You are mine. I call you by name. I am with you always. I am working all things together for the good of those who believe. And if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move any mountain you are facing or climbing together. Let me grow you and your faith! I love you! Come! And I say AMEN! May we all have the faith or grow into it, of Mary the mother of Jesus who said, "Have you way with me Lord. I trust you! Come!"

Who is that man Jesus? How is He impacting your life? Who is being drawn to Him by your love and joy?Process these questions and the ones at the end of the handout below. I'm praying for you and God is cheering you on! Come and see and experience all He has for you!

FAITH Handout for Sun 12-3-23


Hebrews 11:1, Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.

Matthew 24:45, “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them.”

Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” 

Become Me in ’23 Challenge words people are working on:

Faith, Hope, Love, understanding, restoration, relationships, boldness, change, peace, time, energy, useful, courage, rest, valued, patience, pause, agape, stewardship, healthy rhythms, disciple maker

·       Faith is the basis for all these words as we work on growing our faith and working on journeying to becoming more like Jesus. These words are also used to help us do our custom made tasks better.

·       This is a word God may want me to work on for 2024________________________________

Becoming More in ’24…more of You and less of me, Lord!

Discipleship is the process of becoming who Jesus would be if he were me. I am who I am because I am allowing I AM [God] to be who He is in and through me.

In Luke 8:28 Jesus asked the disciples, “Where is your faith?” [O you of little faith] The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”

Matt 17:19-20, 19 Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?”

20 “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

Paul reminds us in 2 Cor 5:17, for we walk by faith, not by sight.

·       God said it. I believe it. That settles that!

o   Do you have faith the size of a mustard seed?

o   How is your faith showing up in your actions?


FAITH…how would you explain your faith to someone?

·       Faith starts with the most important question anyone can ask…who is that man Jesus?

o   And faith shows up in how He affects our lives!

Our faith is a gift from God, given to those who He knows will respond to His call to life in Christ

What does your life reflect that you are putting your faith in?

·       Who is that man? How is He impacting your life?

Since we walk by faith and not by sight, what might be limiting your faith walk?

Walk by FAITH

What things that seem impossible are you praying in faith to happen? 

What BIG GOD things would you like to see happen in your life or in and through our church?


Shadow and God’s Light

Blessed are those who . . . walk in the light of your presence, Lord. Psalm 89:15

READ Psalm 23


When Elaine was diagnosed with advanced cancer, she and her husband, Chuck, knew it wouldn’t be long until she’d be with Jesus. Both of them treasured the promise of Psalm 23 that God would be with them as they journeyed through the deepest and most difficult valley of their fifty-four years together. They took hope in the fact that Elaine was ready to meet Jesus, having placed her faith in Him decades before.

At his wife’s memorial service, Chuck shared that he was still traveling “through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4 nkjv). His wife’s life in heaven had already begun. But the “shadow of death” was still with him and with others who’d greatly loved Elaine.

As we travel through the valley of shadows, where can we find our source of light? The apostle John declares that “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). And in John 8:12, Jesus proclaimed: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

As believers in Jesus, we “walk in the light of [His] presence” (Psalm 89:15). Our God has promised to be with us and to be our source of light even when we travel through the darkest of shadows.

By Cindy Hess Kasper


What valley have you been walking through? Which of God’s promises provide light for your journey?

Loving God, thank You for Your promise to never leave me. I trust You to be my strength, my provision, and my joy throughout my life.

For further study, read The Promises of God.


Before David was king or warrior, he was a poet and shepherd to his father’s sheep (1 Samuel 16:11). In fact, God used David’s shepherding as the training ground to help prepare him for the challenges he’d face. For example, when his flock was attacked by a lion and a bear, he stood strong and defeated them (17:34-37). Those events, David felt, prepared him to face the giant Goliath in battle. The responsibilities of leadership and the care of the flock were also good preparation for caring for God’s flock, the people of Israel (Psalm 78:70-72). Like those in Jesus’ parable (Matthew 25:21, 23), David had been faithful in a few things and God made him ruler over many things. Likewise, his poetry helped to shape Israel’s worship as David is credited with at least seventy-three psalms in the book of Psalms.

Learn more about the book of Psalms.

Lecture - Our Daily Bread University

Bill Crowder

UR: Making Time for God

[Jesus] answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things.” - Luke 10:41 (NRSVUE)

I’ve been doing early morning devotions using The Upper Room for over 35 years. I am now retired, but I remember that when I was working there were mornings when my mind was preoccupied with work and family responsibilities. Sometimes I felt I had so much to do that I shortened my devotion time so I could move on to that day’s activities. In hindsight, I can see that I was putting other priorities ahead of spending time with the Lord.

We see several examples of this in the Bible. One story is in Luke 9:57-62, where two men said they would follow Jesus, but only after they had attended to other tasks. Another example is from today’s Bible reading. When Jesus arrived to visit Martha and Mary, Martha was too distracted and busy to spend time with the Lord. When she complained about Mary sitting and listening to Jesus, he gently rebuked her. Martha let little things get in the way of big things. I can relate because I have done the same.

As I now reflect back, I can see that the days when I was “too busy” were exactly the days I should have been spending more time in prayer, not less. Our goal is not to fit Jesus into a busy schedule; it’s to make him the focus of our life.


Heavenly Father, we know that sometimes we get too caught up in the daily activities of life. Help us always to focus on you. Amen.TWFYT:

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Charles Stanley:

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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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