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St. Matthew's EC Church
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Pastor's Blog
Tuesday, January 09 2024

Two prayer updates: Sarah's friend, Tara, that we have been praying for stepped into the arms of Jesus, fully healed and restored, yesterday afternoon. Pray for Sarah and Tara's family for peace, comfort and strength for the journey. Jim Handfest as been diagnosed with COVID even though he is showing no symptoms. He has been transferred to Phoebe for rehab and is in isolation in a small room. Pray for peace for he and Kay and for a speedy recover. Pray for wisdom for Kay as she oversees his care.

Dec. Financial Statement below.

Good Morning Restored, Visionary, Followers of Jesus! Living and loving like Jesus, just as you are. Seek Him for direction and guidance with willing hearts, hands and feet. Repenting and being restored and renewing your thinking as you seek Him and ask Him to examine your heart and ways is part of the process of becoming more like Jesus. We are making great progress but there is always more work to do on ourselves and for God's Kingdom to grow until we are called home to our next assignments. PTL for being with us, restoring us, speaking to our hearts, directing our steps and helping us all along the way! Rejoice!

"Restore" seems to be the theme since Sunday when Kathy shared her testimony. Check out today's Our Daily Bread below. The Jeremiah passages talks all about God's restorative love. His love is beyond measure yet very personal, always alive and active, cleansing, purifying, correcting, directing and overflowing from us. Who needs some love? Restoration? Salvation? Help? Pray into donut day tomorrow as that has been some of what God uses us to do as we bring the Bread of Life alive. Pray for courage to overflow God's love to someone He brings to mind today. Praise God for His love and keep building those gratitude lists. ODB reminds us that "Jesus is the ultimate expression of God's restorative love, giving peace and rest to those who turn to Him." Know Christ and His love and allow His love to come to life in and through you! We are reminded that many reject or turn from His love. But His love relentlessly pursues those who will respond, like me after I walked away from God. Ask Him to open your eyes to those He is pursuing and wisdom and courage to be His vessel. Or maybe you are being pursued. Stop running. Humble yourself and receive His restorative, forgiving love. What joy awaits you! PTL!

Tonight, Lord willing and electric stays on, is our vision team Zoom meeting. Please continue to pray into this. God has great plans for us to discern, receive and sow into as we steward well all His blessings and provisions. Thank you! And thank you to the vision team (our leadership teams) and your willingness to seek God, listen, prepare for tonight and willingness to help us continue on His path for us! It seems like the rest of our devotionals flow from our church being restored and led on its way to revival and speaks to our hearts about Jesus and His way. Charles Stanley reminds us Jesus is the key. And He is--always!!! Col. 3:11 reminds us that in this life Christ is all that matters and He lives in us and wants to love through us and grow His Kingdom. Seeking to discern how well we are doing with that is part of tonight's meeting and where He is leading us to from where we are with that. He has a good plan for each of us and us as His Body with many little purposes we get to join Him in daily and along the way. May we keep discerning where He is at work and where and how He has created and prepared us to join Him.

The Upper Room reminds us that God is our guide. Is He your guide? Is He guiding our church and what we are sowing into? That's some of what we will assess tonight. I know He is faithful to guide His willing servants and St. Matts has many willing servants choosing to do what they can with what God's providing. Thank you! They remind us, "It becomes crucial to allow God to guide us through the twisting and turning passageways of life so that we can find the path that will lead to joy that only God can offer." Yes we seek to choose joy always as we trust in God to lead us. We have experienced how He brings joy to those who ask and trust Him. PTL for we see that and experience that often coming alive through us at St. Matts. Thinking about that triggered the thought of all the joy-bringers that are engaging with many desperate, hurting people God is sending to us. And we see joy overflowing to many. PTL! It also triggered a reminder of the prophesy of Rosa who said that we should rename our church JOY Church. Would that bother you if we got rid of the antiquated saint name that many people reject and take on the name JOY that many are seeking and being drawn to? Pray about that. Every time we say our church name it would be pronouncing Joy over us and our ministries. We are really good at being people with overflowing love and joy that is drawing many to God! Thank Him for that! And remember, others experience joy and joy grows in us as we choose J-O-Y living: Jesus first, then Others, then Yourself. It's agape love of Jesus coming alive!

We are God's family on mission to reach, save and disciple His sent ones. (with much love and joy!). The Word for Your Today reminds us of some of the difficulties of growth: blending families, loving the unlovable and grafting them into our blended family. St. Matts, like this nation is a melting pot. We are already a mixture of many different people and God is drawing many more to our fellowship. Let us prepare ahead and plow the fields with prayer that love and joy would always be at the forefront of our DNA as we learn to live more and love more like Jesus, who welcomes all who will come into His family. May we become a House of Prayer for the Nations. That has been one of my and some of your prayers. For that to happen, all kinds from all tribes become part of our family. We are preparing to receive some new members and pray for many more to come. PTL! May we always be a welcoming, loving, inclusive Body of Christ overflowing with love and joy! Amen! TWFYT reminds us to prepare ourselves for more different types to join our family, listen to understand others needs and what ministers to them. and pray, pray, pray! Ask God to give you His plan for loving well as we meet needs and disciple many. 

God has a plan that is coming alive before our eyes! PTL! Let us pray to, prepare to and plan to follow God as we live well in Christ and love, like Jesus, all who He is sending and grow His Kingdom exponentially. Pray for love and joy overflowing to continue to be what we are known for! And pray to be adaptive and inclusive as we travel with Jesus because we are building the airplane while flying it and some of His plans have not been revealed yet. We will also be encountering many fresh out of the world new believers that God has just begun working on. That involves the patient love God has shown us as He continues to restore and change hearts and grow us all to His best and His plans. Oh yes God is speaking! PTL! What's He saying to you and what will you do about it as you continue your journey to become more like Jesus, and doing more of the things He has for you, His way. Man, I'm excited! God is on the move! Rejoice! Choose joy! Love well! May we be known as JOY Church where Love and Grace abound and Jesus is alive! Amen!


Love Beyond Counting

I have loved you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3

READ Jeremiah 31:1–6


“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Those words from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese are among the best-known poetry in the English language. She wrote them to Robert Browning before they were married, and he was so moved that he encouraged her to publish her entire collection of poems. But because the language of the sonnets was very tender, out of a desire for personal privacy Barrett published them as if they were translations from a Portuguese writer.

Sometimes we can feel awkward when we openly express affection for others. But the Bible, by contrast, doesn’t hold back on its presentation of God’s love. Jeremiah recounted God’s affection for His people with these tender words: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3). Even though His people had turned from Him, God promised to restore them and personally draw them near. “I will come to give rest to Israel,” He told them (v. 2).

Jesus is the ultimate expression of God’s restorative love, giving peace and rest to any who turn to Him.  From the manger to the cross to the empty tomb, He’s the personification of God’s desire to call a wayward world to Himself. Read the Bible cover to cover and you’ll “count the ways” of God’s love over and over; but eternal as they are, you’ll never come to their end.

By James Banks


What are some of the ways God has loved you? How can you return His love today?

Thank You for loving me so fully and personally, Jesus! Help me to love You with my life today.


For the first twenty-nine chapters of the book of Jeremiah, the prophet warned the people of Judah of God’s punishment—the destruction of Jerusalem and their seventy-year exile to Babylon—due to their chronic unfaithfulness (see 1:14-16; 5:15-19; 6:22-23; 25:9-11). But then Jeremiah speaks words of comfort, encouragement, hope, and restoration. He prophesied of God’s people coming back to the promised land and to God (chs. 30-31). God promised: “The days are coming . . . when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess” (30:3). He would bring them back from exile (vv. 8-17), restore their land (vv. 18-24), and restore the people to Himself (31:1-6). “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people” (v. 1).

K. T. Sim

Charles Stanley:

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UR: God Is Our Guide

You teach me the way of life. In your presence is total celebration. - Psalm 16:11 (CEB)

I remember one time when my children were young, we walked a maze. We followed the walled path; but when we neared what we thought was the exit, there was another wall. We had to back up and look for another way out. It was a bit difficult to reach the end, but with perseverance we reached the goal.

Life is like a maze. Many times, we ask God why certain things happen to us. We try to grasp difficult situations but are unable to understand them. We hurry here and there looking for the right path. Obstacles stop us in our tracks, and we don’t understand why we must backtrack or even face those obstacles in the first place. It becomes crucial to allow God to guide us through the twisting and turning passageways of life so that we can find the path that will lead to the fullness of joy that only God can offer.


Almighty God, show us the path that leads to the fullness of joy in you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.


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Year-end Financial Statement:

St Matthew’s Financial Update












General Fund  






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.






Rebuilding Fund






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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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