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Pastor's Blog
Wednesday, April 24 2024

Shalom Shalom! Complete peace to you my friends! I overslept today after a NyQuil induced sleep coma overnight. I didn't awake until 6:30 which was a half hour after I was scheduled to host our weekly pastors huddle. BUT GOD! God brought shalom to me and to the huddle participants as all chose to rest in the Lord a bit longer this morning. Honoring God's healthy rhythm of working from rest is at play here too. Too often we get all tangled up in busyness and our agendas and can even run way ahead of God and His best for us. resting in the Lord. Casting (and letting there) all our anxiety to the Lord is critical as well in the quest for perfect peace in the Lord. All our devos (below) tie to this today. Consider where you are with God bringing His best and shalom to you. Come to Jesus all you who are weary and find His promised  rest for your souls!

Even thinking about this summer and God's challenge for us to get out of the building can cause all kinds of stress and self-imposed thinking of all the extra work involved. STOP! Drop the anxiety in God's lap and receive His shalom. He is our Lord and Shepherd and He has great plans that will not be a heavy burden. There may be a bit of healthy stress as some of us step out of comfort zones but God is with you and in this and He is bringing redeeming love and His shalom to the chaos. He specializes in that! And He will use us, just as we are, where He placed us to bring some peace and joy, love, hope and help to others. There may be some healthy stretching of faith for you too. be aware of that and receive it with joy and thanksgiving! Breathe out the junk. Breathe in a fresh breathe of shalom and trust God to work through you wherever He leads. This is going to be a great summer with lots of fun as we just go about normal routines with some others loving like Jesus as we go! Rejoice! Begin making some plans with some friends for fun things to go, hang out and bless others! Jesus is the Prince of Peace and He lives in you! Know Him and His shalom more in '24! I'm praying for you!

Now I am about two hours behind in my planned day, BUT GOD! He has better plans that are allowing me to move from rest, healing and joy to follow Him to His plans for today! Shopping for supplies, Bread Ministry at 10, visitations, janitorial, cooking, and dinner Huddle at 6 are all in His hands and will come into place as He leads me and I follow His shalom! Come King of the Universe and lead me to your best as I choose to follow Your shalom today! Be the Lord of me and this day. Thanks! Amen! God has great peace-filled plans for you today as well! repent, believe the Good News and follow Him well! Amen!

Shalom Shalom!

Harvest Prayer Blog:

April 17 - You May Have Peace

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, ESV)

Jesus makes two very serious promises that believers of all generations must comprehend if they are to live in accordance with the words of Jesus. First of all, Jesus promises that in him we may have peace.

Secondly, he promises us that in the world you will have tribulation. Talk about contrasting promises!

Peace and tribulation don’t go together at all in our ordinary way of looking at situations. But Jesus knows how things fit together far better than any of us and we must heed his words.

Looking at the first promise causes us to see that Jesus lived what he promised. In his short 33 years in the flesh on earth, he was surrounded by turmoil and controversy that typically take away peace. Yet, he lived his years here modeling peace. He often was the only one who seemed to be under self-control in any situation. Especially during his arrest and trial, the Prince of Peace demonstrated what it meant to live out peace in the midst of chaos.

The promise of Jesus is that this kind of peace is what we can have. It is because that peace is in him and when believers choose to live in him, his peace becomes possible for us. If you are a Christian and not experiencing his peace, then I want to point out to you the exactness with which Jesus gives this promise. Jesus said, “in me you may have peace.” You have to desire this peace, ask for it in prayer, and commit to live it out.

The second, contrasting promise is what we are much more aware of in our lives. In this world, you will have tribulation. This is not an end-time remark about the Great Tribulation. It is a clear declaration of how we can all expect to face difficulties and tough times as we go through life. These tribulations so often steal peace from us and leave us upset and worried. Those who believe that the Christian life somehow makes everything nice and easy are just not listening carefully to the words of Jesus. The tribulation Jesus speaks of is for all of us.

Fortunately, Jesus gives us a third promise that brings great hope to all of us: “But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Yes, we live in a world that is filled with tribulation. But Jesus firmly declared and then modeled on the cross and in the resurrection that he has indeed overcome the world. Peace is possible in the midst of tribulation because of the presence of the overcoming Christ in our lives. That gives us hope and even great joy, no matter what is happening in our lives.

Regardless of the tribulations we face, the King of Kings is the overcomer. We can walk in peace in a life of stress and difficulty because that peace is in the heart of our Overcoming God. Yes, tribulation is in this world. Yes, we can have peace. And yes, Jesus has overcome the world, which opens the door for his peace to mark our lives.

Today, commit to asking Jesus for his shalom (peace). Depend on his overcoming the world to provide the peace you need to also overcome whatever tribulation comes your way.

Thank you, Lord, for being our overcoming God! You knew better than any of us how difficult this world would be and how desperately we would need your peace. So you promised that we can have that peace if we would desire it and ask you for it. You overcame the dark powers of this world and provided your peace for us. Thank you, Lord! Pour your peace into me now that I might demonstrate your overcoming power to those around me.

--Adapted from Prayer, Peace and the Presence of God (A 30-Day Journey to Experience the Shalom of Jesus) by David Butts. 


Choices Matter

There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12

READ Proverbs 14:8-12


Pastor Damian’s schedule included hospital visits to two people nearing death who’d chosen two different life paths. In one hospital was a woman beloved by her family. Her selfless public service had endeared her to many. Other believers in Jesus had gathered around her, and worship, prayer, and hope filled the room. In another hospital, the relative of a member of Pastor Damian’s church was also dying. His hardened heart had led to a hard life, and his disheveled family lived in the wake of his poor decisions and misdeeds. The differences in the two atmospheres reflected the contrasts in how each had lived.

Those who fail to consider where they’re headed in life often find themselves stuck in uncomfortable, undesirable, and lonely places. Proverbs 14:12 notes that “there is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” Young or old, sick or well, wealthy or impoverished—it’s not too late to reexamine our path. Where will it lead? Does it honor God? Does it help or disrupt others? Is it the best path for a believer in Jesus?

Choices do matter. And the God of heaven will help us make the best choices as we turn to Him through His Son, Jesus, who said, “Come to me, . . . and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

By Arthur Jackson


What about your path of life needs reexamination or correction? What’s keeping you from asking for God’s help and courage to make corrections?

Dear Jesus, You’re the source of life. Please give me the courage and strength to surrender my life to You and do what honors You.

For further study, read Taking Sin Seriously.


The book of Proverbs often concerns itself with three primary categories of people: fools, the wicked, and the wise. In today’s reading, we find all three. Fools become easy prey for the wicked. The wise, however, can see through deception and make prudent choices in difficult situations. The reason? It starts with fearing God and heeding His instructions: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7) and “the beginning of wisdom” (9:10). Here in Proverbs 14, a series of contrasts occurs between the wise (the prudent) and the foolish (the simple): “Whoever fears the Lord walks uprightly, but those who despise him are devious in their ways” (v. 2). In verse 8, “the prudent . . . give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.” Verse 11 contrasts the wicked with the wise: “The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but . . . the upright will flourish.”

Tim Gustafson


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UR: Anchored

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. - Hebrews 6:19 (NIV)

My husband, Mike, and I were visiting a nearby town for our routine eye examinations. As we looked at the array of new frames, Mike suddenly fainted, hitting his head on the floor. Although he came around fairly quickly, he was clearly shaken and had a huge bump on his head. We called an ambulance and made our way to the hospital.

As we waited in a crowded corridor, I found myself wondering where God was. Why had this happened? What damage had been done? If only I could feel God’s peace instead of feeling stressed.

Then something came to mind from the devotional I had read that morning. To be honest, I couldn’t remember many details; but I knew it was something about anchors: how St. Paul was tossed around in a ship at sea and how God holds us secure in the storms of life. How appropriate!

I felt that God was saying to me, “I am holding you. You are anchored.” I kept repeating this to myself through the time of anxious waiting at the hospital. I didn’t feel a warm glow of peace, but I knew that we were in God’s hands. We were anchored.

Mike was and is okay. I give thanks for God’s faithfulness and for God’s word that still speaks to us today.


Thank you, faithful God, that when the storms of life shake our security, you hold us and never let us go. Amen.

Charles Stanley:

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Harvest Prayer prayer starters: (I covet your prayers and so does your leadership team! Thanks for praying for us!)

Prayer Points

  • Pray that your pastor will present God’s message courageously, whether it is accepted or not (Ezek. 2:3-7).
  • Ask God to help all your church’s leaders to consistently follow God’s Word themselves (2:8).
  • Pray that the children have hearts open to God’s Word from their earliest years.
  • Ask God to help them the children to keep their ways pure by living according to his Word (Ps. 119:9).
Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend. 
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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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