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Pastor's Blog
Wednesday, February 14 2024

This is coming to you later because God blessed me with ten hours sleep until after 6 this morning. PTL! (Made up for super bowl lack of sleep!) and then we lost electric for a bit and I had to dig a trail for Maggie in the yard. OK so now we will try to get this out before next power failure.

Bread Min and Donuts tomorrow 10-12 and Huddle tomorrow night with dinner at 6. Both are still on!

Good Morning Washed White as Snow, Resting on the Promises, Zealots and Friends of God! Say what? How appropriate that today's Our Daily Bread uses the passage speaking about our forgiveness and being washed white as snow. (See below) I've been thinking about the words we are choosing for the Become More in '24 Challenge. Sarah and I have only heard from one or two of you about your word(s). The word God led me to for this year besides my two from last year which I will keep working on as well (agape and Disciple-maker) is "earnest". What is God leading you to work on? Today would be a great day to pause, seek Him, reflect and receive His word for you! Share those words with Sarah and me so we can pray and encourage you. Seek some friends to process, pray with, encourage and be accountable to as well. Learning and growing with others is part of God's best for us! Thank God for those He has gathered around us to worship, grow and serve with!

My word "earnest" ties to zealous. Check out Dave Butts Blog below speaking into being a zealot. When I first came to rebirth and being-made-new-faith in 2001, my sisters kept pleading with me to not become one of those Jesus freaks. They are coming to accept me as I am now and my zealous pursuit of Jesus and wanting to earnestly become more like Him. They haven't changed and need our prayers for salvation and new life. because of my zeal and pursuit of Christlikeness I am always changing as I grow into that. You guys have witnessed some of that growth and change. We are all on a journey. Please consider making it an earnest journey, standing on the promises, resting in your new nature in Christ and working on growing to your fuller created potential with me. It's been awesome so far as I shed the old and put on the new more fully. Come and see!

I guess part of this journey is learning to not really care what others think about me and finding my worth in Christ. Do you struggle with that? Do you feel like you don't measure up to other's standards? Don't fit in? Do you struggle with trying to please God? Trying to work your way and earn His favor? Are you loosing hope that you will never measure up or are worthless? Check out Charles Stanley's devo below. LISTEN...We will never measure up to God's standard. Never can! We all fall short. That's why God sent His Son for us. PTL! Right? Stop trying to meet some standard or become someone you are not created to be. Just be you in Christ and allow God to use you as you are and grow you into your fuller potential. He loves you. Forgives you. Sent His Spirit to help you and He knows your potential and His plans for you and is working all things together to get you there. Know this will never reach that potential until yoi get to heaven. All he expects is that we keep pursuing Christ, keep growing into who we were created to be and keep working on doing more of what He created us to do. Now that can be a very hard thing for most of us! You know what I mean. What's this "let go and let God" thing? Our lives require much work at balance. We do have things we need to do on this earth that require earnest effort and work to survive and thrive. Yet God asks that we keep our focus on Him, be available and ready when He needs us to be His vessels of Good News, love, healing, hope, and help. Being citizens of two worlds is hard! That is exactly why we need God and to keep focused on Him and His ways, which are not like our ways. Be you and do what is required of you here as you work as if unto the Lord. But keep your eyes on Jesus and allow Him to live, love, use, and grow you as you are into your fuller potential. He has great plans for you and knows what you are facing. He loves you just as you are. He has and will forgive you! And He calls you from all the striving to His rest and healthy choices. This is a conversation that will require much more reasoning together with God and each other. Begin today with seeking Him and talk about it with some friends. Maybe even tomorrow night at dinner and huddle or tomorrow during donut day at Bread Ministry. Seek first the Kingdom of God and all things will be added to you. That's a promise. keep your focus right and be refreshed and ready. Stop striving in your own strength. Yoke yourself to Jesus' easy yoke. he came to set the captives free. That's us! PTL!

We are forgiven and washed white as snow! We have the Holy Spirit in us to help us and guide us to God's best. We are a friend if God--no longer slaves. Abide in Him and His love today. He's singing over you and speaking to your heart right now! Worship! Adore! And open your hearts and minds to what is His best for you and then earnestly seek that, zealots! Amen!

Are you a Jesus Freak? This oldy came to mind today as I seek to become more like jesus, leaving this world's ways behind as I long to become more like Jesus and doing all he created me to do. That is life and life abundant. What would Jesus do if He were me? That's what He wants. Allow Him to have all of you and live and love through you. He'll take care of the rest. Amen!

Dave's Blog:

Are You Zealous for God?

by Dave Butts

Dave Butts

When you hear the word “zealot” what do you think of? Fanatic? Weird? Overly religious? Maybe an extremely emotional person? I think that most people would say of zeal that it’s just not who they are. Many people have a tendency to identify being zealous as an overly emotional or extreme personality type and would distance themselves from being labeled a “zealot.”

The Bible, however, looks at zeal not so much as an emotion, but as an expression of faith. You become zealous because you have come to know God. It is the awesome character and nature of God that creates zeal within those who worship Him. The more you know the Lord, the more you become zealous for him.

From this perspective, zealousness is more about earnestness toward God, consecration, and undivided service. To be zealous is to focus all our attention on one thing…or rather, one person…the person of Jesus Christ. Perhaps most important for followers of Jesus, to be zealous is not an option but a command. Consider these scriptures which speak of a zealous life:

  • “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deut. 6:5).
  • “Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart” (Ps.119:2).
  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov.3:5).
  • “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer.29:13).
  • “Even now, declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning” (Joel 2:12).

The greatest example of zeal is the One who knows the Father the best, our Lord Jesus. The prophet Isaiah spoke of the zeal of Jesus in Is.59:17: “He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.”   In the gospels, John wrote: “His disciples remembered that it is written: ‘Zeal for your house will consume me”’ (Jn.2:17). Following in the steps of Jesus means becoming as zealous as He is.

Living the Christian life is not a casual attachment to religious activities. It is an all-out, loving desire to walk with Jesus day by day. With single-minded passion we draw near to Him and serve him with everything that is in us. Our prayer life moves from mundane requests to zealously seeing the purposes of God brought to earth by our cries of intercession. May it be said of us, as was said of our Lord, “Zeal for your house will consume us!”

Harvest Prayer Blog: (I love this prayer! Pray it earnestly)

February 13 - The Mystery of Prayer

A mystery! There’s no other way to describe prayer. Think of it! If you have come into a relationship with Jesus Christ, you have the privilege of communicating with the Divine. You can talk to God. And, if you listen, you can hear Him speak too.

Simply put, prayer is communication with God. Some have defined it as “being with God.” I can talk to God any time of the day or night. Anywhere—whether in my favorite chair, walking the dog, driving the car, taking a shower, mowing the lawn, or sitting by a quiet stream in the mountains. Al VanderGriend calls prayer the “talking part of the most important love relationship in my life.”

Somehow, for some reason, almighty God has not only decided that He wants to be in relationship with us and to communicate with us, but He also has provided the method to do it. Prayer. A. B. Simpson, founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, said it well a century ago: “The mystery of prayer! There is nothing like it in the natural universe . . . marvelous bond of prayer that can span the gulf between the Creator and the creature, the infinite God and the humblest and most illiterate child.”

 While we cannot fully explain it, the fact remains: Prayer is an awesome privilege! If you are starting out on your faith journey, do everything you can to grow in prayer. It will bring adventure, mystery, and a sense of the presence of God into your life. Prayer will prove to be the key to a vibrant relationship with God.

Father, how I long to grow in my understanding and practice of this mystery called prayer. Forgive me for continually forgetting that You are actively engaged in hearing and answering because You uniquely designed me to connect with You. May I be continually aware of Your presence moment by moment so that as You prompt my heart to seek You for what is on Your heart, I will be obedient to respond. May Your life be alive in me!

Charles Stanley:

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Jesus’ Blood

Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Isaiah 1:18

READ Isaiah 1:15–20


The color red doesn’t always naturally occur in the things we make. How do you put the vibrant color of an apple into a T-shirt or lipstick? In early times, the red pigment was made from clay or red rocks. In the 1400s, the Aztecs invented a way of using cochineal insects to make red dye. Today, those same tiny insects supply the world with red.

In the Bible, red denotes royalty, and it also signifies sin and shame. Further, it’s the color of blood. When soldiers “stripped [Jesus] and put a scarlet robe on him” (Matthew 27:28), these three symbolisms merged into one heartbreaking image of red: Jesus was ridiculed as would-be royalty, He was cloaked in shame, and He was robed in the color of the blood He would soon shed. But Isaiah’s words foretell the promise of this crimsoned Jesus to deliver us from the red that stains us: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (1:18).

One other thing about those cochineal insects used for red dye—they are actually milky white on the outside. Only when they are crushed do they release their red blood. That little fact echoes for us other words from Isaiah: “[Jesus] was crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5).

Jesus, who knew no sin, is here to save us who are red with sin. You see, in His crushing death, Jesus endured a whole lot of red so you could be white as snow.

By Kenneth Petersen


How do “sins . . . like scarlet” stain your life? How might Jesus restore you and make you clean again?

Dear God, thank You for Your Son, Jesus, and the saving grace of His shed blood.

Learn more about having a personal relationship with God.

Personal Relationship with God



In Isaiah 1:18, we read, “ ‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the Lord.” Other translations render it, “Come now, and let us reason together” (esv, kjv, rsv). This is amazing! The Creator of the universe, rather than shutting down the conversation, encourages it with the phrase “reason together.” Some translations render it “to discuss” or even “to argue it out.” My preference is “reason” because God is utterly reasonable in His expectations of us. We see His reasonableness affirmed in Paul’s letter to the Romans when he challenged them, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1 kjv). Because of all that God has done for us, it’s only reasonable that we would respond to Him with love and devotion.

Bill Crowder
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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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