Skip to main content
St. Matthew's EC Church
email usour facebook page
contact us
Pastor's Blog
Saturday, April 13 2024

Good Morning Patient, Forgiving, Loving, Co-Laborers! Maybe I should have listened better to the still small voice that said to skip writing a blog yesterday. I was tired, not feeling well, running late, frustrated, fixated on things that can't change and angry. Some felt yesterday's blog was a "spanking" or used as a bully pulpit. Please forgive me! I was stating facts but also some things that most of you have no knowledge of yet. I may have been running ahead of God as well and pushing my agendas instead of allowing Him to lead us--lead me. There may also be some Holy Spirit pinching for some of us too. Anyway, please forgive me and let us continue to work together and spur each other on to the good works God created us to do. Let us seek Him and listen, plan and plan to follow Him well together. He does have great plans for you and us together. That's where some of my frustration comes as I can see and taste some of what lies ahead and want it NOW! Some of the pushing is my old nature rearing its ugly head as I used to be running ahead of God all the time. Immature apostles tend to do that. Lord help me die to self, stay yoked to and moving with You! Help us all to stay connected to you and each other and following well. Forgive me for forcing things or trying to get my way. Help us all to die to self, take up cross daily and follow Jesus to our custom made purposes each day and all for your glory alone. Thank You! Amen!

Since I have been at the church, geez--is it around 10 years already?, during the summer Family Ministries went to a park for the summer beginning after Memorial Day until after the kids returned to school. There were no other indoor activities except Sunday worship until recently when we added the Clothing Closet and Bread Ministries. It has become increasingly hard to reach and connect to families and over the past few years have had lots of severe weather and vacations and sports to work around making it hard to have a consistent schedule with so few families. We will try some things again this summer but need to meet and plan and assess schedules. Think about this fact: trying to reach kids, we are trying to reach 3-6 generations of families that have been away and disconnected from church. Church and even Christians are irrelevant to them. The people God is connecting us to recently are those in the 40-60 age bracket that still have a remembrance of when everyone went to church and/or went to church regularly themselves in the past. ("Train a child in the way they should go"...they have a foundation to come back to). We have to be creative in reaching the next generations. But PTL! He is sending some of those we have been praying for from the 30-60 age bracket! How can we continue to connect to them and them to God? Two Peas in a Pod meals have been different days/evenings and usually shut down for the summer. That will be the case again this year. The past several years we have added a Wed. evening dinner huddle that has attracted 20+ typically to eat, fellowship, watch the Chosen or a video series and have discussions. (Half of these are not from our church yet) That group has always taken off for the summer. Last year we tried to meet once a month at a different community park to picnic and fellowship but ran into those severe weather conditions too often having to postpone or cancel. We may try that again this year? We have to pray, plan and asses yet over the next few weeks. We no longer do things like VBS because we don't have the people to run one well nor the kids to make it worthwhile. (When I led VBS at Trinity Boyertown we had 100 workers to reach 120 kids who were mostly from the church or grandkids of members) VBS ends up becoming like a Sunday school for our kids and maybe a few other church kids from the area but not an outreach. If someone would be interested in leading some kind of Bible study or ministry in the building during the summer, talk to us and gather a team to plan something. (Note: Mon evenings the building is rented to a Narcotics Anonymous group and the fellowship hall will not be available. However Room 102 and Al's old office are available and air conditioned).

We have seen God's hand of blessing upon us as we minister to neighbors with bread and clothing and have been connecting to some new members that are connecting to God and serving already. PTL! How can we find some new connection points this summer? Talk to us about some ideas we have or come up with your own. What do you normally do or where do you often go that you connect to others and how can we come alongside and encourage and spur on? OR it could be that God is saying take a healthy break for the summer like you have in the past. Sometimes it's good to take a healthy break. My concern and frustration arises about loosing momentum of what is working right now. But our servants are busy and tired and rest is a healthy rhythm from God. God does have really good plans for us that we need to pray into, discern, process and plan, even if that includes some rest for a season. So let us keep doing that and seek and follow well to God's best for us. 

Here's the thing that we have to remember, we can have all kinds of good and better ideas, but we need to just focus on God's best. And He provides where He guides and that includes workers and funds. One of the things that gets me all bound up and frustrated is seeing all these cool ideas and feeling the pressure that I have to plan, lead and do them. BUT GOD! He said, I will provide where I am guiding and that includes workers, funds, and fair weather. Donald, I don't expect you to do it all. (Now I have to convince myself to let go of my expectations for His) Do what you can with what I've given, Donald. Do only what I have created, gifted and am sending you to do. We need to seek, discern and plan together to follow God to His best for you and us. That's the plan. What's God saying to you? Talk to us! Let us pray and plan together what God has prepared for us! Amen!

Yesterday, we had two opportunities for some awesome ministry and serving! :) Bread and donut day was amazing with over 60 being served and many hanging out discussing and praying. We even gave the leftover little Jesus' from Easter to those coming and reminded them that Jesus loves you. The people received them with joy and thanksgiving. As about a dozen or so of us were sitting around near the end, Chuck "miraculously" found the current Our Daily Bread sitting near by. He started reading that because Harry, who was praying for boldness as his word to work on last year to share boldly, encouraged him to start reading it and listening to God. Near the end of March, Chuck picked up the new April copy and said to me, "I peaked at April 1st. Wait until you read that! It's talking about St Matts". Yesterday, he read that to the group. WOW!!!! It touched so many of us, including Patrick that God is working on and we are praying for. Then we discussed it again last evening at huddle and assessed how God is speaking to us and the plans He has for us for small groups and to continue our Acts 2:42 type of ministries. Your call to ministry does not and probably will not be some big thing--just little steps of faith and obedience along the way to becoming more like Jesus. God uses that to bring His love, Word, and plans alive! Amen! The Bible verse used was Hebrews 10:19-25. I think it's appropriate to end with that today as we meditate and pray into God's summer plans for us. I will have our other devos including that one below. Let us continue to pray into meeting together, encouraging and spurring each other on and following God well to His plans for us to go and make disciples of Jesus together! Shalom!

Acts 2:42 (the foundation of our ministries that are flourishing right now as God sends and uses us) 42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.

and Hebrews 10:19-25: A call to persevere! 

19 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. 21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, 22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. [This part is speaking into the new way where we are all priests unto the Lord and Jesus is our intercessor taking our prayers to God. It's a call to bold praying and to persevere in earnest praying, seeking, processing and following!]

23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. [This is the part that touched Chuck and us. God is at work in and through this new follower! PTL! Let us reason and process together for ways to motivate and spur on and encourage one another. Day light is burning! God has great plans for you and us! Amen! ]

The April 1st ODB speaks into the encouragement and growth that comes by worshiping and fellowshipping together. They ask, "Who needs your support and God's reassurance?" Pray into that and invite someone to join us whenever we gather and bring them along or meet them at one of our activities. Every recent new member was invited by one of us to come and see and check out what God is doing through us and experience His love. They have! PTL! Yes, God is at work! Let us continue to spur each other on! The closing prayer that day was: "Loving God, please help me not to give up meeting together with other believers, but to experience together Your peace and love." And I say Amen to that! May we all know God shalom and love and continue to encourage and work out our faith together earnestly. May we become more in '24! More like Jesus (less of me) and doing more of the things we are created to do--living and loving more like Jesus! Amen!

Upper Room: Small Gifts (we are all gifted according to how we are created to do good works and we find many small gifts from God along the way that lead to His using us. Amen!

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. - James 1:17 (NIV)

When I retired four years ago, I was given a small, round, handsewn cushion. I kept it on a chair, mainly for ornamental reasons. However, recently the cushion has become useful for me every day.

For the past two months I’ve been recovering from spinal decompression surgery. Sleep has been difficult due to the uncomfortable surgical wound in my lower back. When I was urged by my physiotherapist to place a pillow or cushion between my knees while sleeping, I suddenly remembered the gift of the small cushion and began using it as prescribed. Imagine my delight to find that the cushion helped me sleep virtually pain-free!

Our loving God gives us gifts each day — gifts we often don’t even recognize, let alone use. But the Bible is filled with accounts of our caring God providing gifts to so many people — the best example being the gift of God’s Son, Jesus Christ! The gift of a small cushion has reawakened my discovery of the big and small gifts God gives us each and every day.


Loving God, thank you for the gift of Jesus Christ and the many gifts you provide each day. Amen.TWFYT: May we choose to be doers of His Word! May we be like Chuck yesterday and incarnate (bring to life) God's Living Word to others! Amen!

Inline image

Charles Stanley: We can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us! Amen! What's your "All things" today? Let us choose to earnestly bring His Word and love alive!

Inline image

Prayer Starters from Alvin VanDergrind: We talked about John 3:16 and First John 3:16 last cool for God to include that in our prayer time today! May we choose to die to self, take up cross daily and follow Jesus, at His pace, to His best, as we yoke to Him and learn to live and love more like Him! Amen!

Inline image

Posted by: AT 03:02 pm   |  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

email usour facebook page