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Pastor's Blog
Wednesday, January 31 2024

Please see Sarah email below and add to that a prayer for Darlene Skinner who hasn't been well since Sunday.

Check out the harvest Prayer final month-long prayer for revival below. Messenger not working today so unable to include photos of some of today's devos.

Pastor Don has been under spiritual attack the past week with sleepless nights and weariness. He is also under some refining from God as he allows some refining and opportunities to work on His Words "agape" and "earnest". He is currently under the influence of Nyquil and recovering from an 11 hour sleep. He is a bit under the weather and could use a prayer covering and prayers for health and strength for a 12 hour day at the church with much ministry. Thanks! Pray for wisdom and for God to have full access as He leads our pastor.

Below are our devotionals for the day for you to use to draw close to God. What's He saying to you and what will you do about it? Below Sarah's email is Jesus' teaching on the Talents from Matt. 25 from the Message translation. How are you investing in God's Kingdom with what you've been given? That includes time, talent, treasure and gifts and abilities. Are you stewarding well while sowing lavishly as commanded. We need each other to process and sow and steward well. God has made us and brought us together to discern and to sow and steward well and in balance. Don't be afraid to trust the God of the impossible with what you've been given because sowing lavishly is stewarding the best when done for and with our Master. Check out the extra lesson on building the Kingdom in the UR today. Who might you process this all with? God has called our leadership to be a vision team for the church. We seek, process and try to follow well, even when out of our comfort zones because we know God's ways are best! But we also need to temper that with not running ahead or lagging behind. There is balance and shalom when following God well together with all our different leanings, abilities and gifts. Follow Shalom always! But expect to be stretched as we do that together. God has great plans for you and us together and for revival! He is showing us signs of things to come with the personal and corporate growth in faith and action and even in growing our numbers. PTL! Let us sow lavishly and sacrificially into all God is revealing and doing. Pray we see the closed and open doors and keep looking forward with anticipation to the new things God is and wants to do. Amen!

Sarah Email:

Good evening, Warriors.....

Here is a thought to ponder and take it as a challenge:

How about we make a commitment to start investing our time in using our spiritual gifts and 

working with the Lord each moment, instead of wasting our time.  Why? Why should we accept 

the challenge?  Because we don't want to come to the end of our lives and look back and have 

nothing but regret.  That can be one of the saddest things that can happen to a person.

So let's accept the challenge, and invest all of our time to living our lives, every moment, every thought,

every action we do, for the Lord, as He would have us.....making Him proud!!!

** ** **

I have a few updates to share:

Kay and Jim Handfest are asking for prayer for their daughter, Sarah. She is having her baby on February 3rd.

Sarah is 40 years old and they are asking for prayer for a safe delivery and that both mommy and baby will be fine

and healthy. 

** ** * *

Update on Larry Kunkle - he is scheduled for heart catheterization tomorrow (Wednesday) at Thomas Jefferson Hospital.

After this procedure he will be admitted for additional heart tests until Feb 7th. He will then be discharged and return to hospital 

on Feb 16th for oral surgery. The family is asking for prayers for steady hands for the surgeon, all to go well and for peace for Larry as

he goes through this.  The family is grateful for all our prayers.

** ** **

Let's continue to pray for our young people/children. There is a lot of peer pressure out there in our schools and playgrounds. Pray for God's protection over them. Pray that God will put the full armor of God on them from the start of the day and pray that they are reminded that they are NEVER alone!  Jesus is always with them.

** ** **

Tomorrow/today is Bread Ministry. Pray for those that are volunteering and those that come through the doors to get bread

   May the sense God's presences and His love.

Thank you all for your prayers....

  Have a good night/day!



Matt. 25:14-30 MSG Translation

14-18 “It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money.

19-21 “After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’

22-23 “The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’

24-25 “The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’

26-27 “The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.

28-30 “‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

Harvest Prayer:

January 31, 2024 - What Are the Next Steps in Your Revival Journey? A Message from OneCry Founder, Byron Paulus

“It is time to seek the Lord, until He comes . . .” Hosea 10:12

What a journey this has been! For me personally, it has been far more than simply learning about revival for 30 days . . . it has inspired me to seek God every day from now on until God sends widespread revival! That is what Hosea not only exhorted us WHAT to do but also instructed us HOW to do it. He lays out both the precursor and the potential of revival.


Sowing in righteousness – Am I sowing seeds of obedience to God’s Word?

Reaping steadfast love – Am I experiencing the love of God to its fullest?

Breaking up my fallow ground – Am I asking God to show me and break me over my sin?


Until He comes – Am I expecting God’s presence in revival?

Rains righteousness upon you – Am I excited about the fruit of revival?

What’s next? After an entire month of praying for revival what practical steps do I take to foster the scope and scale of revival that could fuel a nationwide or global spiritual awakening? Let me suggest three simple steps:

1. Inspire: Cast vision for revival to everyone you meet. Inspire others to seek the Lord personally and ask them to encourage others to do the same.

2. Resource: Share this resource and other revival resources with those who share in your heart for an outpouring of God’s Spirit in our day. Discover resources at and

3. Mobilize: Be a catalyst to mobilize church and community leaders. Ask God to raise up passionate Christian leaders who will unite as influencers for spiritual awakening.

I often get asked, “once I experience personal revival how do I continue in revival?” I reply by saying, “What it takes to have revival is what it takes to keep revival.” Applying that principle, perhaps you want to spend the next 30 days doing exactly what you have been doing . . . praying Hope-Filled Prayers for Revival and asking God to “Do It Again” in your heart.

Here is a prayer to pray that embraces the principles of revival in Psalm 74 and makes them our own. It was written by the late David Butts of Harvest Prayer:
Father, like ancient Israel, we too live in a day in which Your Name is mocked. Many times this happens because of the shortcomings and sins of those of us who are followers of Your holy Son, Jesus. Lord, we confess our sins and the way we have lived our lives as Christians apart from complete dependence upon You. We repent of this shameful self-sufficiency and throw ourselves upon Your mercy.
Gracious God, our lifestyle has often led unbelievers to insult and attack Your very nature and character. We ask You, Lord, to rise up and defend Yourself. Would You awaken Your people to the reality of Your presence in our midst and in so doing transform our lives into the character of Christ that You desire to see in us? May Your life lived out in Your Church begin to demonstrate to the world Your love, grace, mercy and overwhelming power on behalf of Your saints. Would You allow the kingdom principles that govern heaven to begin to be made manifest on earth? We ask You to revive Your people so that we may rejoice in You and demonstrate in our lives the awesome, transforming power of Jesus Christ in His Church. Amen.
Additional Resources For You:
Sign up for a 7-day Personal Revival Journey.
OneCry Monthly Prayer Guide
Personal Revival: An article by Dave Butts, Harvest Prayer


Fully Surrendered to Christ

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Mark 8:36

READ Mark 8:34–38


In 1920, John Sung, the sixth child of a Chinese pastor, received a scholarship to study at a university in the United States. He graduated with the highest honors, completed a master’s program, and earned a PhD. But while pursuing his studies, he had walked away from God. Then, one night in 1927, he surrendered his life to Christ and felt called to be a preacher.

Many high-paying opportunities awaited him back in China, but on the ship home, he was convicted by the Holy Spirit to lay aside his ambitions. As a symbol of his commitment, he threw all his awards into the sea, keeping only his PhD certificate to give to his parents out of respect for them.

John Sung understood what Jesus said about becoming His disciple: “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:36). As we deny ourselves and leave our old life behind to follow Christ and His leading (vv. 34–35), it may mean sacrificing personal desires and material gain that distract us from following Him.

For the next twelve years, John carried out his God-given mission wholeheartedly, preaching the gospel to thousands throughout China and Southeast Asia. How about us? We may not be called to be preachers or missionaries, but wherever God calls us to serve, by His Spirit working in us, may we fully surrender to Him.

By Jasmine Goh


What do you need to surrender in order to truly follow Jesus? What are some personal ambitions you may be holding on to?

Father, help me to set aside whatever hinders me from fully surrendering to You.


In his commentary on Mark, William Hendriksen calls Mark 8:34-38 a “brief but beautiful little paragraph.” How can words about following a “cross-carrying” Christ be described as “beautiful”? The brevity and simplicity of Jesus’ words, along with their clarity, contribute to their beauty. In Mark 8:31-32, Jesus spoke of His upcoming suffering, death, and resurrection (see also 9:30-32; 10:32-34). The invitation in 8:34 is to “whoever.” Verse 35 highlights that self-preservation is ultimately deceiving; self-surrender to Christ is lifesaving. In The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer helps us see that communion with Jesus in the manner presented in these verses is what the life in Christ is all about: “The cross is laid on every Christian. . . . Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

Arthur Jackson

UR: Inspired to write

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. - Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

When I arrived home from painting class, I checked my email. My mood plummeted when I found that my devotional submission had been rejected. I reviewed the list of possible reasons for the rejection that the publisher sent. Then I read my meditation several times, trying to discern why it wasn’t accepted.

For aspiring writers, rejections are discouraging. Sometimes rejected meditations cause me to doubt my God-given purpose. But still I labor at my craft. My heart’s desire is to glorify God through my writing and to share my faith experiences with others.

But writing is hard work. It requires discipline and commitment, as well as a teachable spirit. Rejections, though discouraging, are also a catalyst for continued learning and practice. So when discouragement threatens to derail my efforts, I recall today’s quoted verse and remember why I write: It’s an expression of my love for others and for God. Whether or not my meditations are published, God is pleased with my efforts. When God weaves within us a divine purpose, God also equips us to persevere. And so as my words flow across the page, I continue to answer God’s call on my life.


Heavenly Father, help us remain committed when we face rejection. Give us teachable spirits and the will to persevere in our response to your call. Amen.

Posted by: AT 08:22 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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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