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Sunday, February 25 2024
Good Morning Listening, Hearing, Receiving Followers of the Living Word! Is that you? Are we as a Church doing these? This salutation is sort of a synopsis of our devotionals for today. What's God saying to you right now as you sit, open His Word, meditate, receive and follow Jesus, the Living Word?
God loves you and created you to learn and grow. He wants to help you with that and to go love like Jesus. That all begins as we spend time in our Instruction Manuel for Life--the Bible and with our Living Word--Jesus. His thoughts and ways are not like ours. He is always there with us even redeeming and using the hard times to teach and grow us. PTL! God doesn't waste anything we experience. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all, including you and He knows what is needed for you to experience His best and live out the life you are created for. Seek Him. Open His Living Word. Apply it to your life. And continue to work on growing into your fullest potential in Christ. He does have great plans for you and us together. Rejoice! We are more than hearers. We are doers of His Word! And overcomers in Christ! Amen!
Here's some prayer starters as we prepare to gather to worship, learn and fellowship together: Praise God for caring intimately about you. Thank God for choosing you to help fulfill His plans. Confess any self-centeredness or preoccupation with your desires and needs rather than those of God and others. Commit yourself to walking under the Spirit's control, trusting Him with the circumstances of life (Ps. 31:15). Ask for more sensitivity to the needs of others. Ask God to meet the needs of family and friends who are experiencing financial, physical, or emotional crisis. Pray for the prosperity of your congregation. Pray especially for those on fixed incomes that they will have sufficient means to live. Ask God's blessings on the leaders of your church as they manage the resources God provides. Ask God to open the hearts of those you encounter this week who are far from Him. Pray for them to be drawn to God's love through you. Ask that His Truth would set them free. Ask for wisdom, courage, and His Words to share with others. Amen  Pray for Sarah as she brings God's Word today.
See you soon! Shalom shalom!
Charles Stanley:
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UR: It's the Beginning

“My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” - Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)

“Why do you think the path ends here?” the tour guide asked while we wandered the carefully curated grounds surrounding the castle. My nine-year-old son volunteered, “Maybe it isn’t the end; maybe it’s the beginning.” We all smiled at this insightful perspective.

Several years earlier this same son had struggled to keep up with handwriting in kindergarten, and that seemed like an ominous start to his education. After much prayer we took him out of public school and began teaching him at home. The end of my son’s public education was the beginning of many great years of our learning together, including that castle tour with our homeschool friends.

Life is full of roadblocks, and we can become discouraged thinking we have reached the end. Isaiah reminds us that God’s ways are different than ours. God’s perspective on our situation is much different than our limited view.

My son’s observation on the path that day reminds me to trust God’s perspective no matter the circumstances and have hope that what seems like an ending might also be a beginning.

Dear God, help us trust that you know our needs. Turn us from despair, and help us to walk in faith. Amen.

Not Luck, but Christ

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17

READ Colossians 1:15–20

Discover magazine suggests that there are around 700 quintillion (7 followed by 20 zeros) planets in the universe, but only one like Earth. Astrophysicist Erik Zackrisson said that one of the requirements for a planet to sustain life is to orbit in the “Goldilocks” zone, where the temperature is just right, and water can exist. Out of 700 quintillion planets, Earth seems to be one planet where conditions are just right. Zackrisson concluded that Earth somehow had been dealt a “fairly lucky hand.”

Paul assured the Colossian believers that the universe existed, not because of Lady Luck, but because of the work of Jesus. The apostle presents Christ as the creator of the world: “For in him all things were created” (Colossians 1:16). Not only was Jesus the powerful creator of the world, but Paul says that “in him all things hold together” (v. 17)—a world that’s not too hot and not too cold, but one that’s just right for human existence. What Jesus created, He’s sustaining with His perfect wisdom and unceasing power.

As we participate in and enjoy the beauty of creation, let’s choose not to point to the random activity of Lady Luck, but to the purposeful, sovereign, powerful and loving One who possesses “all [God’s] fullness” (v. 19).

By Marvin Williams


What does it mean for you to know that Jesus is in control of the natural world and your personal world? How will you show your dependence on Him today?


In Colossians 1:15-20 (perhaps an ancient Christian hymn), the supremacy of Jesus, the beloved Son of God (v. 13), comes into focus. Included in the credits that speak of Christ’s incomparable excellence is the term “firstborn” (vv. 15, 18). This word isn’t a reference to birth order—as if Christ was the first in a line of created beings. Rather, it speaks of Him—“the image of the invisible God” (v. 15)—as the head (source) of and ruler over all things (vv. 16-19). Paul isn’t the only witness to this amazing truth. John notes, “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3). And the writer of Hebrews also corroborates this: “In these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe” (1:2).

Arthur Jackson
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Joe Toy News:
February 2024
“Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”

Dear Friends,

        On Mardi Gras Sunday, a few of us skipped worship to hold street church at Bourbon and Canal Streets in New Orleans.  As Richard McDermott led in singing it was a surprise to see a few people mouth the words as they walked up the streets. One young woman came up to Richard and sang 10,000 Reasons with him and a few minutes later a man asked if he could sing Amazing Grace with him.  The Lord was at work speaking to people’s hearts.  


One man stop by the store window and listened intently as Ken Hisle began to converse with him.  Ken approached me and said, “Brother, this man wants to get saved.” I walked over with Ken to hear this young man call out to Christ for salvation.  Unbeknownst to us, a  woman was watching this encounter and after prayer came up to the young man and said, “Can I hug you? Welcome to the family.”  It was an amazing thing to be a part of and watch the Lord at work building his family. A lot of people ask us, “Why do you go to Mardi Gras?” Well, I guess we go to see the power of God on display in the midst of much worldly filth, as He saves another soul. Yes, Jesus still saves! 

     The intensity of the spiritual battle in the French Quarter is evident on the first day you hit the streets. Our usual ministry location is at Bourbon and Canal St as this is one of the main entrance points into the abyss of Bourbon Street. At this spot is a collection of homeless people looking for help and some young men peddling their illegal substances.  As we begin to preach, pass out gospel tracts and engage people in conversations there is some intense blow back of profanity and threats, but we stand our ground and in due time things subside for a time. 

One afternoon a homeless man in anger stole one of the men’s hats, which is one of the hazards of the work. I saw him that night walk by our evening outreach location and said, “Hey, that’s my friend's hat. I saw you steal it today. You are a thief!”  Like a little child, he took it off his head and handed it to me. As he pondered the encounter, he took his almost empty beer can and tossed it at me giving me a slight beer baptism.         


At the Jones Franklin abortion mill, a misguided woman drove her friend to the facility to murder her child.  There are many people who do this, thinking that they are helping their friend. This young lady listened to the gospel and then approached me for conversation.  It was a joy to explain the gospel to her and place literature in her hand.  

She also allowed me to pray for her and then thanked me.  She was not ready to be saved yet, but we will trust the Lord to do his work.  At this same clinic two weeks earlier, we were able to persuade a young couple to save their baby and get them to the pregnancy center right next door. Some people would say that you are just at the right place at the right time, but we know God is doing this.

  A few nights later, a drunk young man grabbed our gospel sign and took off down a side street.  I slowly tracked him from a distance to see him hand our sign to his girl friend.  She proudly held her new treasure up high for all to see it.  I walked past them and then came up from behind and took hold of our sign and said, “I will take our property back.”  They were quietly surprised that I found them even though I had only walked one block. It really was no big deal, just some young drunk people having a little stupid fun, but it was nice to have the sign back for the rest of the outreach. Is it worth all the harassment each day and night?  I believe so.

Late one night, I was approached by a man in his mid-twenties. As usually happens, he wanted to debate me on the unreasonableness of my faith, because there is no God.  As our conversation proceeded he revealed that he had been a youth leader in his past and left the church.  He boasted that he did not need God to be moral and sought to impress me by all his charitable works.  At this point, I asked him, “What sin did you choose and then throw Jesus away?”  He looked me in the eye and then turned around and walked away.  It might not be the case with this young man, but I have learned through the years that a number of young people walk away from the things of God when they engage with others sexually before marriage. 

      Through our six days on the streets, our team of twenty-five men passed out 42,000 gospel tracts, saw eight people profess faith in Christ and had countless gospel conversations. We trust the Lord that our labors are not in vain. His gospel is indeed the power of God unto salvation.

        If the Lord allows, I will be headed to Miami for our Spring Break outreach with OAC evangelists and Liberty University students from March 7 to16.  Keep this outreach in your prayers.  God Bless and thanks for all your support and prayers.

Our mailing address is:
57 N Chaucer Way
Kittrell, NC  27544
Facebook:  OAMPhilly
Website:    OAMPhilly

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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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