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St. Matthew's EC Church
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Pastor's Blog
Friday, May 10 2024
Larry Paul news letter below. They're coming to visit!
Brunch tomorrow after worship. All welcome as we celebrate everyone's birthday. Who ya bringin'?
Jumping in the ocean of God's grace for today! 
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Good Morning Encouraged Encouragers, Peace Bingers, Joy Incarnating, Overcomers! We are blessed to be a blessing and get blessed back when we are one. PTL! We are encouraged and sent to encourage and build up believers. Amen! We are sent peacemakers as we bring shalom to the chaos and dwell in peace. We are filled with joy and can choose to impart that joy to all those around us. We are overcomers who team up with the co-laborers God has united us with to bring Christ and His ways alive to all around us and as such are world changers. PTL! Use us well, Lord! Check out how our devos below thread through this and commit to living and loving more like Jesus as we partner together to be salt, light and world changers! We are His Body sent to bring Christ alive, make disciples of Jesus, encourage each other and change the world! WOW! We get to do this and can chose to do so just as we are! PTL! Go! be the Light! Turn off the noise and dwell in shalom that overflows all around you! God is ALWAYS with you and ALWAYS working all things together according to His will. Choose joy and persevere! Amen! See you tomorrow!
Charles Stanley: 
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Pull the Weeds of Worry

[They hear] the word, but the worries of this life . . . choke the word. Matthew 13:22

READ Matthew 13:3-8, 18-23

After burying a few seeds in a planter in my backyard, I waited to see the results. Reading that the seeds would sprout within ten to fourteen days, I checked often as I watered the soil. Soon I saw a few green leaves pushing their way out of the soil. But my bubble burst quickly when my husband told me those were weeds. He encouraged me to pull them quickly so that they wouldn’t choke the plants I was trying to grow.

Jesus also told of the importance of dealing with intruders that can impede our spiritual growth. He explained a portion of His parable this way: when a sower cast his seeds, some “fell among thorns . . . and choked the plants” (Matthew 13:7). Thorns, or weeds, will do just that to plants—stop their growth (v. 22). And worry will surely stunt our spiritual growth. Reading Scripture and praying are great ways to grow our faith, but I’ve found I need to watch out for the thorns of worry. They’ll “choke” the good word that has been planted in me, making me focus on what could go wrong. 

The fruit of the Spirit, found in Scripture, includes such things as love, joy, peace (Galatians 5:22). But in order for us to bear that fruit, in God’s strength we need to pull any weeds of doubt or worry that may distract us and cause us to focus on anything other than Him.

By Katara Patton


How is God helping you grow the seeds He’s planted within you? How can you pull the weeds of worry?

Dear heavenly Father, please remind me to pull weeds often, discarding worry and deceitful thoughts so I may grow and bear fruit in You.


Matthew 13 contains eight parables: the parables of the sower (vv. 1-23), the seeds (vv. 24-30, 36-43), the mustard seed (vv. 31-32), the yeast (vv. 33-35), the hidden treasure (v. 44), the pearls (vv. 45-46), the net (vv. 47-50), and the house owner (vv. 51-52). They’re known as “kingdom” parables because they usually begin with the characteristic phrase, “The kingdom of heaven is like . . . ” (vv. 24, 31, 33, 44, 45, 47, 52). Though the first parable is called the parable of the sower, its focus isn’t on the sower but on the soil upon which the seed falls.

Unlock more wisdom from the parables of Jesus.

K. T. Sim
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UR: Persevering Love

Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength is spent. - Psalm 71:9 (NRSVUE)

“The elevator is broken again,” my 93-year-old mother stated for the fourth time during our phone conversation. I contacted her assisted-living facility and learned that the elevator was not broken. The sad truth is that, due to the onset of dementia, she sometimes forgets how to use it.

Over the past two years, I’ve learned firsthand that having a family member whose memory, perception, and reasoning are failing is extremely challenging. Several months ago, after working all day and helping my mother for a few hours in the evening, I felt completely exhausted and tearfully cried out to God, “I can’t keep doing this!” God answered by offering vivid memories of how brilliant, creative, funny, independent, and loving my mother had been. This softened my attitude about caring for her. Instead of seeing it only as an exhausting responsibility, I saw the blessing in being able to provide my mother with the same love and support she had selflessly given to me throughout my life.

As her dementia progresses, there continue to be times when caring for my mother is demanding, discouraging, and depressing. With God’s support, though, I can pause to take a deep breath, whisper a prayer of thanks for having grown up with her as my mother, and persevere in love.

Thank you, God, for the love and support we too often take for granted. Help us to persevere in loving those who need our care. Amen.
Harvest Prayer Blogs:

April 27 - Live at Peace with Everyone

If it is possible, as far as depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)

Christians are the followers, the disciples, of the Prince of Peace. The peace of Christ has been offered to us and should mark our lives. So, it is not surprising that we hear the Apostle Paul challenge us to live at peace with everyone. That should be the standard operating procedure for every follower of Jesus.

Those who are contentious and continually at strife with others are not following our God of all peace. I love how practical this command is. The clear instruction that cannot and should not be avoided is that we, as followers of Jesus, should live at peace with everyone. But Paul realizes that it takes two to make that happen. One person by himself or herself can long for peace and work toward peace, but it takes the second person to agree to peace. So we are told, “as far as depends on you,” live at peace.

We cannot force someone to be at peace with us. There will be those who have decided to be our enemy, regardless of our desire for peace. We are not responsible for their determination to withhold peace from our relationship. We just live with the firm commitment to be at peace with everyone who will accept that peace.

God of Peace, help me to live out this command in intentional, kind ways. I desire to be a person of peace, and to seek the best possible outcomes with all relationships in my life. Give me strength to do everything I can to live as a peace-filled person even when others don’t reciprocate. Please pour out Your reassurance when others disagree or won’t make any attempt to live at peace with me. Let me shine Your light into dark places and refuse to take responsibility for things I can’t do anything about. Give me the grace to pray for those who hate me or refuse to reconcile with me. Create space in my heart for Your peace that passes understanding.

--Adapted from Prayer, Peace and the Presence of God (A 30-Day Journey to Experience the Shalom of Jesus) by David Butts. This book is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points

  • Praise the Lord Almighty, who allows city dwellers around the world to seek him (Zech. 8:20ff).
  • Thank God for letting you find him.
  • Confess times you have become indifferent and inattentive to his presence.
  • Commit yourself to ongoing communion with him throughout the day.
  • Ask God to regularly fill you with the joy of his salvation (Ps. 51:7-12).
  • Pray that God will move the hearts of national leaders throughout the world to provide open doors for the spread of God’s salvation.
  • Ask that the kingdom of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ (Rev. 11:15) very soon!
Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend. This book is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Larry Paul News:

April 2024

Hello to all of our family, friends, and partners,

It's hard to believe it's already April, this year is just racing by.   It will soon be the end of the school year and we have a surprise to share: We'll be coming to the USA for June and July!  We'll be visiting different colleges and universities in PA and VA to help Richard decide where to enroll next year.  It's hard to believe we'll soon be the parents of a college student!  We'll be staying with Larry's Mom in PA but making a trip to VA Beach while visiting potential VA colleges and Universities.  We look forward to seeing everyone at St Matthew's EC Church, Riegles Bible Fellowship, and VBCC during our quick trip to the USA.

The boys continue to do well at Faith Academy.  They are active in sports and are also keeping up with their schoolwork.  The Faith Academy boys basketball team won their local conference championship as well as the ACSC basketball tournament in Indonesia. They both did well and contributed to the teams' success. Brayden, a freshman, was voted most improved player by the captains and coaches!  A bit ironic since Richard won the same award last year during his first year on the team.  Richard was also on Faith Academy's Track and Field team. He did really well, setting a school record in the 400m hurdles and was part of the team that set a school record in the 4X100m relay.  The boys track team won the 2024 ACSC Track and Field meet in the Philippines.  It was the first time Faith Academy hosted the meet (held at Brent International School, a school we compete against in all sports since Faith Academy does not have a track) and the first time a Faith Academy team won the ACSC track meet!.  Richard won medals in every event he entered: 110m hurdles, 400m hurdles, High Jump, 4x100m relay, and 4X400m relay, and he was also voted to the 2024 all ACSC track and field team!  So this school year, Richard was part of the Faith Academy teams that won the championship in ACSC boys Volleyball, Basketball, and Track and Field!  In the middle of their sports seasons, they also both performed in Faith Academy's March choir and orchestra concert. 

Larry and his team completed the concrete deck replacement around the swimming pool, roofing and gutter work on multiple campus buildings, and a handicap ramp near the high school office. They're now organizing the upcoming summer work (Over 120 separate jobs!) to prepare the campus for the start of the new school year in August.  Due to Philippine environmental law, Faith Academy shut down their deep wells which provided untreated water to irrigate the soccer fields, fill the fire water system, and to fill the swimming pool as needed (water loss due to evaporation and flushing the pool filters).  Since the wells were turned off, the campus water bill from the city almost doubled!  The facilities department is looking into more ways to save water, including possibly building an on campus treatment system to turn waste water into water suitable for the well water's previous use.  Since Larry won't be on campus during the summer, he's trying to address the details of each job. 

Enol is enjoying her time volunteering a few days a week at Faith Academy's Elementary division.  She's reconnecting with old friends and making new friends while helping the teachers with their classes.  


  • Richard and Brayden doing well at Faith Academy, both with schoolwork and athletics.
  • Enol can volunteer at Faith Academy
  • God's provision for our needs and our good health
Prayer Requests
  • Larry to continue to handle the additional responsibilities at Faith Academy
  • Enol's sister Zeny, complete recovery from stroke, and her financial needs
Thank you again for your continued prayers and support of our ministry at Faith Academy in the Philippines.

Larry, Enol, Richard, and Brayden
Some of Larry's completed projects.
Richard and Brayden performed at different concerts in March.
Just waiting to hang the 2024 Track and Field Banner!

Financial Partnership

Mail a check to:


PO Box 628200

Orlando, FL 32862-8200

Include a separate note stating it’s in preference for the Wycliffe ministry of Larry & Lucena Paul, account #219478.

Online partnership:

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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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