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Pastor's Blog
Friday, May 10 2024

Sarah Prayer update below

Good Morning Living Sacrifices! You know sometimes I so hate that Romans 12:1-2 passage. But often I need the reminder to die to self, take up cross daily and follow Jesus as a living sacrifice and sacrifice of praise. I often want to crawl off the altar and live for me. Forgive me Lord! Help me to be a living sacrifice and my life to be a sweet aroma as a sacrifice of praise! Thanks! Amen! Maybe you find yourself in that same position sometimes. Meditate on Romans 12. It contains one of my life verses and a how to do this. Rom 12:12, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer." (That's a command!) Now there's a great starting point of things to work on that could keep you busy all year as we work on growing more into the person you are created to be and doing more of what you are created to do. More in '24! Help us Lord!

Thinking of the Become More in '24 Challenge that flowed from our Become Me in '23 one, I wonder if you guys are embracing and trying to keep at it? I haven't heard of any words any of you are working on for this year as we work at dying to self and becoming all we can be in Christ. Is that something any of you are doing? It is God's will and best for us. You are a custom made masterpiece made new, empowered and gifted in Christ to go do the things God planned for you long ago for such a time as this. (Eph. 2:10). How's that going? Start with worship, praise and prayer that flows into the doing part. More of Him and less of you in '24. Earnestness as a living sacrifice is what God desires and what will lead us to our fuller potential, His greater things for us, and a great future in heaven. Amen!

Check out the devos below that flow through this thinking and led me to it as I invited God to write the blog today. Charles Stanley uses a word one of you chose for last year, "Useful". That person has been very useful to God and our fellowship! What are you working on and making headway at achieving? is there a new word to work on? Our Daily Bread speaks about the gifts God has given us. Why? To build His Church, encourage each other, and bless others. The gifts you've been given line up with how you are made and the plans God has for you. How cool! Ask Him to help you use them well as we plan to step out of the building this summer and go connect to others, lead them to Him and grow His Church. The Upper Room reminds us to keep trusting as we go. God is for us, with us and working all things together for those who love Him or will love Him. Trust and obey today! The Word for You Today reminds us about releasing our guilt, repenting and receiving God's pardon and peace. Don't sweat what you could of and should've done. Start fresh. receive and follow His peace as you get back on track at growing more like Christ and doing what He made you to do. He loves you and has great plans for you and us! Know and follow His peace and bring it to those He is sending your way. That's all He asks! trust, obey and go live and love like Jesus. Now that is true worship and being a living sacrifice! Amen! He has great plans for you, us and others out of the building this summer! What's he leading you to lead or be a part of as we go love and make disciples like Jesus. Shalom!


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God-Given Gifts

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. Romans 12:6

READ Romans 12:4-8


Decades ago, I went to a college retreat where everyone was talking about a personality test. “I’m an ISTJ!” one said. “I’m an ENFP,” another chirped. I was mystified. “I’m an ABCXYZ,” I joked.  

Since then, I’ve learned a lot about that test (the Myers-Briggs) and others such as the DiSC assessment. I find them fascinating because they can help us understand ourselves and others in helpful, revealing ways—shedding light on our preferences, strengths, and weaknesses. Provided we don’t overuse them, they can be a useful tool God uses to help us grow.

Scripture doesn’t offer us personality tests. But it does affirm each person’s uniqueness in God’s eyes (see Psalm 139:14-16; Jeremiah 1:5), and it shows us how God equips all of us with a unique personality and unique gifts to serve others in His kingdom. In Romans 12:6, Paul begins to unpack this idea, when he says, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.”

Those gifts, Paul explains, are not for us alone but for the purpose of serving God’s people, Christ’s body (v. 5). They’re an expression of His grace and goodness, working in and through all of us. They invite each of us to be a unique vessel in God’s service.

By Adam R. Holz


What gifts has God given you to serve others? If you’re not sure what your gifts are, who might help you get a better sense of those God-given gifts?

Father, thank You for the gifts You’ve given me. Please help me to embrace the ways You’ve equipped me to love and serve others in Your kingdom.

Find out how you can understand yourself and others.


Romans 12 marks a turning point in Paul’s letter. Previously, the apostle had been explaining the work of God in salvation, describing Jesus as the second Adam who came to redeem what had been lost through our first parents’ disobedience in Eden (5:12-20). Now he turns his attention to the way this salvation is to be lived out by those bought by Christ’s sacrifice. It starts with the redeemed becoming a “living sacrifice” (12:1), whose focus is on being useful to God in the lives of others. This is followed by a list of spiritual gifts to equip God’s children in service to others (vv. 3-8). Another list of spiritual gifts appears in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, and a list of leadership roles (gifts to the church) is found in Ephesians 4:11. Through these provisions, the Spirit enables us to fulfill our function in our spiritual service.

Bill Crowder

UR: Father Knows Best

Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord. - Psalm 40:4 (NIV)

One winter in Texas we experienced a huge ice storm that no one was prepared for. During the storm my family stayed home with no electricity or water. We were getting restless at home, so I asked my dad if I could go to a friend’s house because they had power and water. But my dad said no because of the ice on the roads. I looked outside and didn’t see any ice. I was sure I would be fine. It turns out that ice was indeed covering the roads, and when I went outside to check, I slipped and fell on my rear end.

I should have trusted my dad because he obviously knew better than I did. The same is true with our relationship with God. God knows what’s best for us in every situation. Even when we think we know what’s best, we need to trust that God knows better and will take care of us.


Dear God, thank you for your faithfulness and for being with us in every moment of our lives. Help us to keep our focus on your will for us and to trust in you alone. Amen.


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Harvest prayer Blogs:

May 7 - Be at Peace with Him

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. (2 Peter 3:14)

There is much confusion regarding the Second Coming of Jesus. Some have never heard good teaching about this important topic. Many have never seriously considered the Second Coming of Jesus and have collected in their minds a wild assortment of beliefs and ideas that may or may not match the teachings of Scripture. What will help us all are these simple instructions from Peter on how we should live in anticipation of Jesus’ return.

First of all, Peter makes the assumption that Christians are looking forward to the coming of Jesus. For many, I’m afraid, this is an incorrect assumption. We too often find ourselves firmly at home in this world, and not at all looking forward to Christ’s return. I’m convinced that one of the most important yet ignored biblical doctrines is that of the imminent return of Jesus. The early Christians modeled for us the power of living a life that looks eagerly for the return of Jesus, while at the same time passionately living out the life of Jesus in everyday acts of love and service. Are you looking forward to the return of Jesus?

With the Second Coming as a desire of our lives, Peter then tells us that we should be found spotless, blameless, and at peace with him when he returns. I love that Peter doesn’t get caught up in controversies regarding timing and events but focuses on the lifestyle that ushers in Christ’s return.

Being spotless, blameless and at peace does not speak of perfection but of relationship. An intimate, right relationship with Jesus now will lead to looking forward to the face-to-face relationship of the Second Coming in the future.

The finished work of Christ upon the cross allows us to be without spot, without blame, and at peace with God. We cannot have these things apart from Jesus. But we must note that Peter commands us to make every effort to be found with these characteristics in our lives. We accept Christ and all that he is and offers, and then through his Spirit, we bring these attributes to fullness in our lives. Looking forward to his coming causes us to make every effort to be found practicing in our lives what it means to be spotless, blameless, and at peace with God.

To train yourself to look forward to the Second Coming, each morning as you wake ask the Lord, “Is it today that you return?” Put the last prayer in Scripture on your lips each day: “Come Lord Jesus.”

Lord Jesus, I long for your return. Forgive me for getting too comfortable here in this world and forgetting the truth of your soon return. Show me how to live in a way that not only prepares me for your return, but also points others to you. I want to be spotless, blameless, and at peace with you when you appear in Glory.

--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

  • Glorify God as the beginning and end of all things, the Alpha and the Omega.
  • Give thanks for his love for you—a love that has kept you in mind since the beginning of the world and will continue to hold you when this world has passed away.
  • Confess those times when you have seen yourself and your needs as the beginning and end of your existence.
  • Commit yourself to giving God the highest place in your life and heart.
  • Ask God to reveal his glory to you so that you cannot help but praise him with your whole heart.
  • Pray that worship services all over the world will glorify the name and power of Jesus rather than promote lesser things.
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.

Sarah Update:

Good afternoon, everyone,

As promised, here are those that were mentioned in worship, yesterday that are in need of our prayer support:

Hal Scanlin - he is dealing with some health issues. He is at home, and taking it one day at a time. Also keep Lenore and their family in your prayers as their children make time after work to pop in and check on their parents.

Karen's mom (Pastor Don's wife Karen) is waiting test results. Prayers that the results will help her medical team now how to proceed with her care.

Darlene Skinner - is home and progressing. Continue to pray for her safety and strength building through therapy. Also keep her family in your prayers as they juggle their schedules to help with her care.

Harry Waterman - has gout and arthritis in his right foot. The doctor has given him some medication to help with the pain

Linda, Gary Bastan's relative had eye surgery today. Let's continue to pray for her recovery and vision restored.

The Canfield family is dealing with bronchitis.  Praying all will get through and over it soon and be back to a healthy bunch.

We prayed for the missing hiker yesterday during worship, and later last evening we received the news they had found the hiker's body. May we continue to pray for the hiker's family during this difficult time.

Josie is asking for prayer for her friend Helen (from Florida) who has been recently diagnosed with cancer.

Josie is also asking for prayer for another friend Darla, who has been living with chronic pain for the past 17 years.

Lisa Wenner has asked for prayer for a friend of hers, Shannon, who tried to take her own life. She is married and has two small children. Yesterday she was in a coma, but as of the update Lisa received this morning, Shannon has come out of the coma, and is currently being taken care of by therapists. Let's pray for this young family and for Shannon during this difficult time. May God put Christians in her pathway of healing.

Chris and Yvonne Muik and family - may God's peace surround them and may they sense His amazing arms of love around them.

Thank you everyone for praying for these folks.....and for continuing to pray for one another. 

if you are not doing anything on Wednesday, 10 - 12pm why not stop in at the church for a donut and a beverage......

Okay everyone, have a great later!



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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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