(Sarah update below and Nov financial statement)
Good Morning Bold and Courageous Followers of Jesus! AMEN! Our devotionals tie to this today talking about the faith of Abraham and Joshua, both called to follow God in faith into the unknown. Walking by faith and not by sight seems to be a theme this week! Step by step our mustard seed size faith keeps growing as we follow Jesus step by step. We have a promised land we are heading toward and we are building treasure in heaven as we trust, obey and follow well. PTL! Be bold and courageous my friends!
We finish up our reading of the Gospel of John this week (20 and 21). Where are you seeing faith discussed and grown in these readings? How about Doubting Thomas? Is that you sometimes? How about Peter being restored. Imagine what that did for His faith journey! We see that reflected in Acts as he became a bold and courageous apostle on mission with God. Isn't that our life story? We were one way and now another and growing in faith and being used by God, just as we are. Then growing into the greater things He has for us. PTL! That is our mission in life and God is using you and us! This week we have the opportunity to bless and thank our servants. Today Bread, clothing and pantry workers and tomorrow all our other volunteers and servants. Thank God for all the workers and how He is using them to touch, bless and draw some of our neighbors. Pray for His continued provision and for our growing faith to seek, trust and follow Him well into the unknown like Abraham and Joshua. He does have great plans for us and good fruit is budding! PTL! (I am told we have had 8 different people from the Bread Ministry try us out. Several want to join. PTL! Who are you inviting to join us and bringing along? Pray for us to find some new connection points in '24 where we can serve neighbors and connect them to God. Thank Him for what He is already doing and what He plans to do as we follow in faith!)
See our devos below. Sit at God's feet for a spell. Listen, receive, reload, and go live and love like Jesus today! He does have something special for you and for someone you will encounter! Share that Good News as you live it! And ask God to unite you with a couple of close friends to process and grow with. As we will be seeking God for More in '24, part of getting to that "more" will require us processing, praying, and helping each other in small groups or huddles. Ask God to raise them up and to send you to some to join with.
Today at 10-11 on Zoom is our last huddle until Jan. All are welcome. This huddle has actually become a church plant of sorts as we have attendees from FL, Myerstown and our area that are unable to attend but have become a big part of our church. Pray for how God may want to grow this new church in the new year. Thanks! Groups like this may become a growing ministry for us.
God is on the move! He's calling you to trust and step out in faith to follow Him to unknown blessings and opportunities today and always. Seek, listen, receive, trust and obey--for there really is no other way! have a blessed day of being a blessing! And may you be filled with the joy of the Lord each step of faith along the way! Shalom!
Nov finances: As you can see we are running at above a $25,000. deficit for the year. Please consider your year end giving to bolster our general fund. All our other funds are good right now and we will let you know if there is a need. Yes we walk by faith and God will keep providing as we trust, obey and follow Him in faith. Maybe God is calling you to tithe? Even if not, He loves a joyful giver as we give back from what we've been blessed with! All we have is a gift from God!
St Matthew’s Financial Update
The figures for the “General Fund” include all revenue and all expenses for the month. This includes all revenue from offerings, rent, and other income. The expenses reported above are actual expenses for the month. The totals reported for Missions and the Rebuilding Fund are also included in the “General Fund” figures.
Sarah Prayer Update:
Good evening, church family,
Here we are on the eve of the first day of the week. Hope your Monday has been going well.
Just a few reminders of those that need our prayer support and encouragement:
Friend of Lisa Wenner's - Andy's husband, Jack is in his 70's and is suffering from dizziness, and a nasty sinus infection. Prayers for healing.
Extended family member of Barb Schware's - Jackie is going through some marital problems - divorce
She has an 8 yr old daughter and things have the potential to become messy. Prayers for Jackie, her daughter and family that is there to support her.
Ron Boyer - 41 year old - having testing done at Hershey Medical Center, testing currently for a heart transplant. Pray for a donor and his medical team.
Harry Waterman will be having a catherization procedure on Tuesday. Prays that it goes well and in the very near future he will have a valve replacement. Praying for God's peace and comfort to surround him.
Caleb, His mom, Dani and grandmother Kathy Canfield, have all been dealing with a horrible cold since
Thanksgiving. Please pray for baby Caleb to be able to fight off this cold and for Dani and Kathy to feel themselves soon so are able to keep up with helping Caleb......He is our miracle baby.
UPDATE as of TODAY: Caleb was to the doctor today and his lungs sound good, but his ear is beginning to start with an infection. He is on an antibiotic. Dani is also on medication to help with healing. Kathy is asking for prayer to get this sickness out of their home!
Ruth - the friend of Josie's that we were praying for housing for recently passed away. She had strong faith in
God so she has finally moved into her forever home!
Praises that were shared....let's continue to praise God for what He is doing:
Darlene Geiger has been ill recently and she is praising our Awesome God for healing and recovery.
Harry Waterman is praising the Lord for healing on his shoulder. It's feeling better and the pain has
Sally Williams is thanking God for her mom and the energy she has. She is 103 years old and went out to eat
with the 'gang' where she lives.
Pastor Don and Karen's daughter, Lauren, has been able to find housing that is closer to her place of employment. She will be transitioning in January. Please keep Lauren's parents in your prayers as they make this transition with her.
Praising God for providing a vehicle for Pastor Don
Yay God - our church family is able to support the ministry of Everlasting Life. And for this Christmas holiday, we have collected $400 to send to them to help with the Christmas dinner. Please pray for the take out dinner in your prayers: the volunteers, those that will be coming to receive a meal. They expect to pass our over 400 cooked meals.
The Kindness Project - we are continuing to collect items for the project. The Kindness Project helps Foster families settle in children that may come to their homes without any supplies/clothing.
Items that have been suggested to collect are: Twin bed sheet sets, New games for kids, Hygiene items, Gift cards for local stores.
Thank you to all of you who have already brought items in for this project and have placed them on the back table.
Food Pantry - over the past several weeks we have been able to assist several families who were in need of food. So our pantry supplies is growing thin. If you are able to assist with helping with this need, and can purchase a few cans of non-perishable food items to help with the pantry, please place them in the tote at the back of the sanctuary.
Wednesday, December 5th - in our Fellowship Hall, 10:00 - 12:00pm - it's time for Coffee, Donuts, and conversation! Why not plan to join.....it's a great opportunity to chat with some that just want to chat with
someone. This time is a great time for us to share Jesus Love to those He brings into the Fellowship Hall.
I believe I have covered everything....
Let me just remind you that as we are in the Advent season, we, as His children are waiting with anticipation of Christ's return at the Second coming. As we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, we are honoring the sacrifice He made for us. As we gather around the manger, that is only part of our Advent season, We also need to
journey to the foot of the cross. May we all be intentional this year to take time during Advent to prepare our hearts. Remember that God laid aside His glory to become human because of His great love for you, and He WILL return one day to restore glory to His people.
Have a great rest of your week......keep an eye out for opportunities to share Jesus with others.
UR: Stepping Out In Faith
Abram trusted the Lord, and the Lord recognized Abram’s high moral character. - Genesis 15:6 (CEB)
Abram was a man in a seemingly impossible situation. He had been commissioned by God to leave his father’s house and journey to an unknown destination. The commission came with a promise: God would bless him and his descendants immensely.
As wonderful as this promise was, it must have seemed just as impossible as the commission. Abram was advanced in years and his wife was barren. But despite the odds, Abram decided to believe the Lord. Abram took a leap of faith, trusting the word of an unseen God who made a never-ending covenant with him.
This is the kind of faith that pleases God. Faith requires that we do what God calls us to do, trusting that God knows our abilities better than we do. And God will back us with power and resources we otherwise wouldn’t have so that we can step out in faith to obey God’s call.
Faithful God, thank you for calling us to follow and serve you. Help us to rely on you as we step out in faith. Amen.ODB:
Years ago, our family visited Four Corners, the only place in the United States where four states meet at one location. My husband stood in the section marked Arizona. Our oldest son, A.J., hopped into Utah. Our youngest son, Xavier, held my hand as we stepped into Colorado. When I scooted into New Mexico, Xavier said, “Mom, I can’t believe you left me in Colorado!” We were together and apart as our laughter was heard in four different states. Now that our grown sons have left home, I have a deeper appreciation of God’s promise to be near all His people wherever they go.
After Moses died, God called Joshua into leadership and guaranteed His presence as He expanded the Israelite’s territory (Joshua 1:1–4). God said, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you” (v. 5). Knowing that Joshua would struggle with doubt and fear as the new leader of His people, God built a foundation of hope on these words: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (v. 9).
No matter where God leads us or our loved ones, even through difficult times, His most comforting commitment assures us that He’s always present.
By Xochitl Dixon
REFLECT & PRAY
How has God recently comforted you with His constant presence? How does His commitment to be present help when you’re far from loved ones?
Ever-present God, thank You for comforting me with the promise of Your constant presence.
Joshua, a leader from the tribe of Ephraim, was one of the twelve spies Moses sent to survey the land of Canaan. Moses changed his name from Hoshea, meaning “salvation,” to Joshua, meaning “Jehovah is salvation” (Numbers 13:8, 16). He’d been Moses’ aide since his youth (Exodus 24:13; 33:11; Numbers 11:28; Joshua 1:1). God commended Joshua as one who followed Him wholeheartedly. And Joshua and Caleb were the only two persons who were twenty years old or more when they left Egypt who were permitted to enter the promised land (Numbers 32:11-12). Even Moses wasn’t allowed to enter (Deuteronomy 3:23-29).
K. T. Sim