Skip to main content
St. Matthew's EC Church
email usour facebook page
contact us
Pastor's Blog
Saturday, May 18 2024

Please pray for Chris and Yvonne Muik! Chris is having surgery this morning on his infected foot. Yvonne is still recovering from her accident and trying to push through to keep the house running. PTL they were able to replace their car. Pray for the surgeon and staff, healing an shalom for both.

Pray for moms and those grieving, as well, this Mother's Day weekend. This weekend can be a joy and a deep dark place for many. Let us celebrate and come beside and love like Christ.

Prepare your hearts and pray for our worship service tomorrow.


Good Morning Patient, Praying, Seeking, Listening and Loving Servants of the Lord! God is in control and we are not God nor in control. His ways are not our ways. PTL! Right? I have a sign above my desk that says "All things are possible for God." (and the are!) Below it is a cross to remind me to die to self, take up cross daily and follow Jesus as I grow in trust and obedience to be more like Him and to allow Him to lead. (Help me Lord!) Too often I forget that and ignore my prayer to take every thought, type, choice and action captive before the Lord. As an out loud thinker I often have to say, type, write and reread and rethink things to know what I'm thinking and to process. That can be difficult for others. (Ask Karen!) These blogs are my journal notes for the day and often are unedited and pastor Don raw and processing. I share them as a reminder and example of how to journal and listen and process with God. Sometimes, I should edit and process with a few close friends before sharing! Maybe the last few days could be a good example as I wear my heart on my sleeve and share passionately with God and you what I am hearing and thinking.

 Sometimes I do something I pray I never will do and that is use this platform (and my sermons) as a  bully pulpit. I may have offended some of you and if so, please forgive me! Sometimes I presume on you and/or God and think I know best and need to remind of that. Forgive me! You all know how passionate I am about following God, growing His Kingdom and making disciples. Sometimes I can run ahead of God when I need to be still, listen, process and know that He is God. I've been on a lifelong journey towards trusting Him and often have to ask Him to forgive my unbelief and help me to stop and trust. As I do, He is faithful to help and affirm or redirect my choices. PTL! Case in point is the $10,000. donation offer for AC. To me that is affirmation that God is hearing our prayers, answering, and we are on the right track. But then here comes that wacky pastor wanting to coerce everyone to jump on board instead of trusting God to direct and lead to His best. Forgive me for allowing that to happen and flow through these blogs as a bullying of sorts. I have been repenting of that politically and need to do so more with allowing God to be the Lord of all and bring His plans to life His way and in His timing. So, help me and us Lord to be still, know you and grow in faith as we listen and process with others and make your plans. Lead us to be a disciple making hub and to grow your Kingdom as we learn to live sacrificially and love lavishly like Jesus. Amen! OK, enough of that. God has a plan for you and us. Let us seek and follow Him together!

Now there's one other issue (well probably many!) that I need you to pray for and cover for me. I always pray that I will not become a crotchety old man yet find myself being one a lot lately. Forgive me! I think it really started to kick in during my heart issue and hospital stay. It could be heart or med related? Something is off in me right now. Part of why I had stopped my meds was because of that. I am back on them all before my cardioversion next Friday. I really do believe much of it is drug induced depression and, well, crotchetiness.   I am finding myself fixated on things, grumpy, selfish and unable to redirect myself. Hopefully next week will correct the heart issue and I can get off all the meds. Please pray for me and for me to remember to die to self, take up cross daily (hourly) and follow Jesus and to catch myself quicker and redirect sooner. Pray for me to be more like Jesus and doing more of His will, His way. Thanks! All things are possible for God! Amen!

So here are the rest of my journal notes for today. Pretty cool how God spoke to my heart! Thanks Lord! Is He speaking to yours? Is there some correcting or something you need to take before Him? Is there someone or a group of close trusted friends that have permission to speak truth over you, pray and hold accountable? That is crucial in our walk towards Christlikeness! Pray for us to get some small groups up and running and to find some for you to partner and flourish with. That is part of God's best plans. Thank you to my accountability partners who have permission t speak truth in love and help me to get back on track!

Check out Charles Stanley's devo! This just spoke to my heart today and helped me to redirect, listen and pray better. Now to put it into action! Am I, are we, allowing God control? He will lead us if we allow. Come! Lead me Lord! Be my Lord! I release all to you! Forgive my unbelief and running ahead or lagging behind. Come! Have all of me! Amen. Our Daily Bread reminds us to stay the course. Let us not grow weary and let us seek and follow well! The Upper Room reminds us to be grounded in God's Word and to allow it to direct our steps and choices. Help me Lord to be in Your Word and follow what You are teaching better and more quickly! Thank You for Your Living Word that speaks to our hearts, informs our choices and is a light to our path! Amen. The Word for You Today, at least for me, is a reminder of the importance of small groups and encouraging and blessings those who help and bless us. Thank you to all of you who pray for and encourage me! Thank you for all of you who are seeking and following God and stepping into your roles that He created you for!. Thank God for the small groups He is raising up! Amen!

So there you have it! Love God! Love people! Go make disciples! As we follow and grow to be more like Jesus! May we always have patience with each other, encourage and pray for each other, and commit to co-labor together as we yoke to Jesus and grow at following Him and His best ways better. More of Him and less of me! One of my constant prayers is to become and lead us to be followers of the Way. Jesus is the Way! May we follow well! Amen! Shalom shalom! Perfect peace to you and yours and our fellowship. Amen


Inline image


Staying the Course in Christ

All you need to say is simply “Yes” or “No”; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. Matthew 5:37

READ 1 Samuel 28:3-10


As Gandalf the Grey confronted Saruman the White, it became clear that the latter had turned from what he was supposed to be doing—helping to protect Middle-earth from the power of the evil being Sauron. What’s more, Saruman had allied with Sauron! In this scene from the film The Fellowship of the Ring, based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic work, the two former friends then engage in an epic good-versus-evil battle. If only Saruman had stayed the course and done what he knew was right!

King Saul also had trouble staying the course. In one account, he rightly “expelled the mediums and spiritists from [Israel]” (1 Samuel 28:3). Good move, for God had declared that dabbling in the occult was “detestable” (Deuteronomy 18:9-12). But when God didn’t answer the king’s plea—due to his prior failures—for how to deal with a massive Philistine army, Saul caved: “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her” (1 Samuel 28:7). Talk about a complete reversal! Saul failed once more as he went against his own decree—what he knew was right.

A millennium later, Jesus said to His disciples, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37). In other words, if we’ve committed ourselves to obeying Christ, it’s vital that we keep our oaths and be truthful. Let’s stay the course in doing those things as God helps us.

By Tom Felten


What helps you keep your oaths? Why is it vital that you stay the course in being truthful?

Dear Jesus, please help me stay the course in following Your ways.


First Samuel 28:6 says, “[Saul] inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him.” The reason for God’s silence, as the prophet Samuel told him, is that “the Lord has departed from you and become your enemy” (v. 16). This was “because you did not obey the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites” (v. 18). The Amalekites were descendants of Esau (though they were distinct from his descendants the Edomites). They had a history of attacking Israel, including those who lagged behind during the exodus—in other words, Israel’s weakest citizens. God instructed Israel to annihilate Amalek (Deuteronomy 25:17-19), but Israel didn’t complete the task. Later, Haman, a descendant of Agag (probably King Agag the Amalekite, see 1 Samuel 15), would seek to commit genocide against God’s people, the Jews (Esther 3:5-14).

Tim Gustafson

UR: Following Instructions:

We’re praying this so that you can live lives that are worthy of the Lord and pleasing to him in every way: by producing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. - Colossians 1:10 (CEB)

When we removed a 20-foot cedar tree from our yard, it left a cracked and discolored concrete retaining wall exposed.

Fresh paint and two trellises for climbing plants helped cover part of it. At first the vines we planted were spindly and weak, but we followed the planting instructions and with proper care and watering the vines started to grow. Over time, as we continued to follow the instructions, the foliage became full and lush with brilliant flowers.

When we first give our lives to the Lord, we may start out much like spindly vines — needing tending and cultivation to grow toward God. We begin to grow by spending time in scripture, then a number of changes begin to unfold. In time our lives become fuller, and the changes become evident for all to see. But as I learned by tending the flowering vines, we need to continue watering and cultivating our faith to keep growing in the knowledge of God and to become more like Jesus. We will never outgrow the wisdom found in scripture that leads us to abundant life with God.


Father God, thank you for providing us with everything we need to live an abundant life. Help us to remain rooted in your word and to grow in faith. Amen.TWFYT:

Inline image


May 11 - Living with No Partiality 

And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.” . . . So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” (Acts 10:28, 34, 35) 

No partiality? Is that even possible for a human in these opinionated and self-focused days? It seems that everywhere we go and everything we read is beckoning us to choose sides and make judgments. The dangerous pride that lurks in the hidden places of each heart tells us that our rights, our thoughts and our culture are king. Jesus has given us a better way. He has opened doors, through his death on the cross, that will free us from the prisons of isolation we have made for ourselves. When he fills our hearts, he also enables us to see his beautiful and varied creation with new lenses of love and acceptance. What a witness we, believers in Jesus, would be to the world if we allowed him to overtake our hearts and minds with his love! Prejudice of every kind is not only sin, it is a poison that will wreck our lives and cause devastation to our communities. The impartial and welcoming love of Jesus is a healing ointment that soothes pain and corrects generational wrongs. Let’s repent. Let’s turn from our wicked ways. Let’s allow Jesus to heal and unite in the way that only he can. 

Loving Father, we love you, and because we love you we want to love the people you love. Forgive us for every way we have shown partiality and harbored prejudice. We know that our sinful pride has separated us and for that, we repent. We ask you to give us your eyes to see those around us. Free us from our dangerously sinful pride. Release us from bitterness toward those who have judged and mistreated us. We want to love as you love. We desire to love without preference and with your generous heart. Help us to take up the cause of those who have no one to defend them. Teach us to fight oppression and seek justice with integrity and humility. Use us to bring reconciliation and healing in our communities. Would you give us fresh ideas as to how we can love? We know the work of restoration is hard and long. Would you empower us to stand for freedom and justice for all and to not grow weary when the battle takes longer than we’d hoped? We know you have called us to live in unity with our brothers and sisters. We believe that you have made us to bring many into your family. Teach us the way of love, Lord Jesus. We honor you and thank you for loving through us. It is in your loving and transformative name we pray and live. 

--Adapted from Praying God’s Word Over Your City: 40 Days of Prayer for A Transformed Community by Trey and Mary Anne Kent. This book is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points

  • Praise the Lamb of God, who was beaten and crucified for the sins of the world.
  • Thank him for taking your place, your punishment, your sins on himself.
  • Confess the sins that have been on your conscience this past week, knowing that God will deal gently with you (Heb. 4:14-16).
  • Commit yourself to living for Christ, not for the empty way of life that his blood redeemed you from (1 Pet. 1:18-19).
  • Ask Jesus to help you understand the depth of the love that sent him to the cross for you.
  • Intercede for specific missionaries that you know, asking God to protect them from evil, provide for all their financial needs, and encourage them by giving a good response to their message.
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.

Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2024 is a free devotional published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries. Subscribe here.
Posted by: AT 03:04 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