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St. Matthew's EC Church
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Pastor's Blog
Wednesday, March 13 2024
Week ahead:
Tue 10 am: Zoom Huddle. All welcome
Wed 10-12 Donuts and conversation day at the Bread Ministry; 6PM Dinner Huddle. All welcome to either or both
Thurs 6:30 PM: Support Team Zoom
Sat. 10-1 Clothing Closet
Sun Worship 10 AM
Good Morning Focused, Firm, Faithful, Followers of Jesus! He is the Way! We are followers of The Way! Even though His ways are not like ours, they are available and approachable as we still ourselves, knock, seek, listen receive, process and move towards following His ways better. Success in this Christian life comes as we focus on God and what He is doing, stand firm amidst the storms, remain faithful and persevere in faith as we follow Jesus to His custom made plans for us. He is faithful and true and His will will be done in, through and around us as we invite Him in, turn off the noise, listen and follow well. That comes one step of faith at a time. It's very helpful to have others to process with, pray with, plan with, and go with. It's actually God's plan for us. What's God saying to you today as you open your Bibles and process with others? What are you going to do about it? Stay focused--set your jaw like Jesus in determination to follow His way. he has some awesome plans for you today, this week, this year, and for the rest of your life! PTL! 
Start with the Harvest Prayer blog and then check out our devos below prayerfully as they teach us that storms will come and to stand firm and keep building on the solid Rock; Refocus on the Creator. Stop worrying! Turn off that noise and lift some praise. Enjoy life as you serve, love and go like Jesus! Yes, turn off the noise, cast anxiety, refocus, and ask God to bring you to and dreams and visions of His plans for you and us to enact. God commands us to fear not and stand firm and promises to be at work for you today. And the reminder comes through the Word for You Today about disciple making and teaching our kids, grandkids, spiritual children and flock in ways they can understand, learn, grow and go in confident faith. Teaching kids in this way is like pastoring and shepherding God's flock or your small group too. Teaching well isn't about force feeding, bully pulpits, and out-of-date methods. It's all about finding ways people can learn, embrace truth, internalize and grow according to their learning style. We are all unique creations of God with unique purposes, yet part of the same Body. Yesterday we discussed how to grow into the next things God has for you and our church: Become You (be who you are created to be in God's image and the new creation you are in Christ), Become more like Jesus (He lives in you and is leading you to become more like Him), Follow the Holy Spirit. (The Holy Spirit is our gift-giving, empowering gift to help us become who we are created to be, do what we are created to do, encourage others, learn, grow, and build God's Church), Do life with others (we are created, gathered and sent as co-laborers and we all have unique rolls), and all of that leads us to become a dynamic movement of God where He has placed us, as we are, for such a time as this! PTL! 
So what's God saying to you today? What will you do about it? Who will you process with? Pray into that and actively pursue God's next and best things for you and us! Pray for His dreams and visions to come and be processed well and for His will and ways to be done in, through and around you. Amen! I can't wait to celebrate al he will do in the year ahead as His ways and good and perfect will come alive in and through you and us! His best is yet to come and we are pursuing it earnestly! Come and see and rejoice with us! Enjoy this life in Christ we have been given! Amen! Be still and know that He is God!
Harvest Prayer:

March 11 - Entering Into the Presence

“My prayers seem like they hit the ceiling and bounce right back at me,” said one discouraged man. We all understand this. There’s nothing more disheartening than dis-connected prayer. It’s the reason many have given up on intercession. Full of fresh resolve, they jump into prayer but never find a real sense of God’s presence. It seems like they are talking into the air. A steady diet of such prayer will make them spiritually confused and before long, they’ll stop praying altogether. Such praying is explainable. We have not learned how to enter in.
Very much of so-called prayer, both public and private, is not unto God. In order that a prayer should be really unto God, there must be a definite and conscious approach to God when we pray. In very much of our prayer, there is really but little thought of God. Our mind is taken up with the thought of what we need and is not occupied with the thought of the mighty and loving Father of whom we are seeking these gifts.
If, then, we would pray aright, the first things that we should do is to see … that we really get into His very presence. Before a word of petition is offered, we should have the definite and vivid consciousness that we are talking to God and should believe that He is listening to our petition and is going to grant the thing that we ask of Him. This is only possible by the Holy Spirit’s power, so we should look to the Holy Spirit to really lead us into the presence of God and should not be hasty in words until he has actually brought us there.
When Jesus gave his most comprehensive training on prayer in Matthew 6:5-15, He spent more time instructing us about how to enter into prayer than He did giving us the model prayer. But we rarely focus on these essential, preparatory elements. We charge into prayer and quickly reel off a laundry list of things we want God to do. Failing to realize Who we’re approaching, we never really engage God’s presence consciously. Studying Matthew 6:5-10 gives us indispensable insight about how to enter. We must learn how to approach God rightly in prayer before we pray.
Lord Jesus, help me to pay attention to the instructions You gave to Your people through Your word! May I never pray to impress others, but instead, spend time with the Father in quiet, out of the way places as often as I can! Give me Your words, so that I don’t babble mindlessly. Help me to remember that my You know exactly what I need before I even ask You! May I keep Your name holy, may I continually ask for Your Kingdom to come soon, and may Your will alone be done on earth as it is in heaven!
---Adapted from Simply Prayer by Bill Elliff. This book is available at

Prayer Points

  • Praise God, the giver of all good gifts (Mt. 7:11).
  • Thank him for the greatest gift of all: his Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior (Lk. 22:19).
  • Confess any lack of thankfulness for all of God’s gifts to you.
  • Commit yourself to giving your time, talents, and resources for the gospel.
  • Ask God to grant you a heart of generosity (Lk. 6:38).
  • Pray by name for one unsaved friend or loved one. Ask God to open this person’s heart to receive the indescribable gift of salvation through faith alone (2 Cor. 9:15; Eph. 2:8-9).
Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend. 
UR: Strength in the Storm

Jesus said, “Everybody who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise builder who built a house on bedrock.” - Matthew 7:24 (CEB)

Where I live, we have had a very wet summer with some violent thunderstorms. The rain has been relentless, trees have been uprooted, and rivers are swollen and overflowing. During one storm water gushed under the back door of our home. This made me think of Jesus’ story about the two men who each built a house: one on the sand and one on the rock.

No doubt the sky was clear and bright when the first man built his house on the sand. He wasn’t contemplating any storms. The other man considered that storms must inevitably come to all of us, so he built his house on the rock. When the first storm came, the house on the sand collapsed, while the one on the rock withstood the weather.

If we keep spiritually strong by reading the Bible, praying, engaging in spiritual practices, and worshiping with fellow believers in Christ, we can recover from adverse circumstances more easily. When our lives are grounded and firmly set on the Rock and his teachings, we can weather the storms that come our way.

Dear Lord, help us faithfully to build our lives on you and what you are teaching us. Help us to be bold in our witness and to stand strong with you. Amen.

Remember the Creator

Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do. Ecclesiastes 9:7

READ Ecclesiastes 9:7–10

I recently read a novel about a woman who refuses to acknowledge she has terminal cancer. When Nicola’s exasperated friends force her to face the truth, the reason for her avoidance emerges. “I’ve wasted my life,” she tells them. Though born with talents and wealth, “I made nothing of my life. I was sloppy. I never stuck at anything.” The prospect of leaving the world now, feeling she’d achieved little, was too painful for Nicola to contemplate.

I was reading Ecclesiastes around the same time and found the contrast stark. Its Teacher won’t let us avoid the reality of the grave, “the realm of the dead, where you are going” (9:10). And while this is hard to face (v. 2), it can lead us to value every moment we have now (v. 4), intentionally enjoying our food and families (vv. 7–9), working purposefully (v. 10), taking adventures and risks (11:1, 6), and doing it all before the God we’ll one day answer to (v. 9; 12:13–14).

Nicola’s friends point out that her faithfulness and generosity to them proves her life hasn’t been a waste. But maybe the Teacher’s advice can save us all from such a crisis at the end of our lives: remember our Creator (12:1), follow His ways, and embrace every opportunity to live and love that today He provides.

By Sheridan Voysey


How will you take delight in today’s simple, God-honoring joys? What one good thing have you yet to do or attempt?

Loving God, thank You for today and the gifts it holds. I’ll enjoy its simple joys and embrace its opportunities as an act of worship to You.

Learn more about the book of Ecclesiastes.


The book of Ecclesiastes includes many sayings that compel readers to affirm that life “under the sun” is complex and “utterly meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 1:2-3). The writer reminds us that life on earth includes times of head-scratching, groaning, and pain. His realism is quite sobering, even jarring. Yet, his observations and life assessments also include heartwarming truth like what’s expressed in Ecclesiastes 9:7-10. In his book Something New Under the Sun, Ray Pritchard uses the chapter title “Have a Blast While You Last” for these verses. Indeed, life is to be embraced, treasured, and celebrated as a precious gift from an awesome Creator. The apostle Paul reminds us that God “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17). We must never forget that—along with our rich spiritual heritage in Jesus—our provisions from a good God include food and drink (Ecclesiastes 9:7), loving companionship (v. 9), and worthwhile labors (vv. 9-10).

Arthur Jackson
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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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