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St. Matthew's EC Church
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Pastor's Blog
Friday, May 24 2024

Thanks for praying for Karen and me! We had a healthy, fun day celebrating her birthday! Pray for us as we transition back to work today. Thanks! We appreciate and feel your prayers! He leads us beside streams of Living Water! Amen!

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Good Morning Attached to and Rooted in Christ Prayer Warriors! "Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends." (Emerson, Lake, and Palmer) Yes I'm on vacation; BUT GOD! He awoke me early, speaking to my heart about the words we say and the importance of agreeing with Him and pronouncing His truth and blessings over ourselves, others, situations and in powerful praying. So pronounce the truth of this salutation over yourself and our church and even your role in God's Good News Delivery Company: I am always attached to and sinking my roots deep into Christ, the True Vine, My Source of Life, Who is producing good fruit in me and through my powerful prayers and actions. Amen! Now believe it and live as if it's true! You are His masterpiece! You matter! You have great potential! You are a fruit producer in the way of Jesus! You are His, living for His glory! PTL! and AMEN!

Too often we get bound up in our, or our perceived, faults and inabilities. Stop it and turn off that noise! You are a very loved, known, forgiven, connected, masterpiece with many purposes to discover and accomplish. Pronounce and receive that today! Are you a sinner and unworthy? Sure; BUT GOD! What amazing love and grace we know! As we come to God with right hearts and sink our roots deep into Him through time in His Word and prayer, we grow in relationship, strength, ability and His power to do all He has for us. PTL! Abide! And prepare to flourish! Do we make mistakes? Every day! (well at least that's me) BUT GOD! He redeems. I had a boss tell me once, "There's no such thing as a stupid mistake, unless you make it a second time. Mistakes prove you are trying things." We are not God nor even close to perfect. We will mess up. That's ok. Get back at it. You are not disqualified.

Maybe you find yourself, caught by the bait of Satan, overflowing with bitterness directed to God, at others and maybe even your choices. Satan seeks to get you all bound up in bitterness. Can you remember the times you shook your fist at God in anger? It is often one of the stages of deep grief. Check out the Psalms, and their truthful assessments that turn to trust and praise and worship through all kinds of difficulties. Invite God into your pain. He knows, cares and promises to comfort and bring you strength to carry on. Eventually you start to crawl out of the dark pit and into your loving Saviors arms. He knows and is with you--always. Try to have that stored up in your brain and remember, no matter what, He is at work and will restore.

Yes God is speaking to me this morning and maybe to you as well. What are you hearing, learning, applying as you abide in Him? Process that with someone. And keep moving forward in Christ and towards your fullest potential and His greater things. Choose joy too! And His shalom will overwhelm and overflow from you. Amen! (I will probably not be blogging through the weekend. But don't be surprised if God has other plans or speaks to you in my time off. I am staying attached and praying for you and pronouncing God's favor and for will to be done through our Body. He's always busy. Are you always working from rest as you move from abiding to good and lasting fruit production? OK, time for a nap! Shalom!

Upper Room: Staying Rooted

Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” - John 15:5 (NIV)

One summer, I planted a young tomato plant and placed a cage around it for protection. But the following morning, I found that deer had eaten all its leaves. It stood like a skeleton in the cage.

I decided to continue watering and caring for the plant since its roots were still intact in the soil. After many weeks, new leaves began to sprout. Eventually, the plant produced many delicious tomatoes.

That plant’s transformation from stark and skeletal to lush and fruitful reminded me of the power of staying rooted in God’s word. Having strong roots and being nurtured helped the plant to grow and produce bountifully.

This is just what Jesus taught about in today’s scripture reading. When we remain connected to Jesus, we will bear much fruit. We can choose to nourish our roots in the soil of God’s word and stay connected to the branch of Christ. Doing so enables us to endure and flourish through devastating experiences.

Daily time spent reading scripture, praying, and in devotion and meditation helps us to maintain and nourish our roots. Even when life breaks us down, our ties to the Lord continue to nurture our growth.


Gracious God, help us to stay grounded in you even when the distractions of this world threaten to uproot us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Harvest Prayer Blogs:

May 23 - Abiding in Jesus

In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. (Hebrews 5:7)

Does God hear everyone's prayer? Surely, as an all-knowing God, He is capable of hearing everyone. But, apparently there are some prayers to which He gives lesser attention. Jesus, our ultimate example, was always heard by His Father, and the writer of Hebrews tells us why.

There are some conditions to prayer. One is desperation with the humility that is borne out of our recognition of need. But further, God hears and answers the prayers of those who are willing to humbly obey as He instructs. Why would He answer our prayers if He knows we have no intention of obeying Him?

Jesus was heard “because of his piety.” We do not, and cannot, be sinless like Christ. But there should be in us a heart’s disposition to follow Him as faithfully as we can by His grace.

For instance, let's say your son not only wants a car, but he needs a car for transportation and he asks you for this provision. But, he has repeatedly violated the use of your car each time it has been entrusted to him. And he openly tells you that if he gets a car, he will use it to speed, go places where he should not go, and do things you know are harmful to him. Would you answer his pleas for a car? To do so would be less than loving. Further, to wisely withhold the provision would potentially create a desire for the car that is so great it might lead him to humbly submit to your directives about its use.

Andrew Murray, in “The Ministry of Intercession: A Plea for More Prayer” said, “Why are there such numberless unanswered prayers? … Christ taught us that the answer depended upon certain conditions. He spoke of faith, of perseverance, of praying in His Name, of praying the will of God. But all of these conditions were summed up in the one central one: ‘If you abide in Me, ask whatsoever you will and it shall be done unto you.’  It became clear that the power to pray the effectual prayer of faith depended upon the life. It is only to a person given up living as entirely in Christ and for Christ as the branch in the vine and for the vine, that these promises can come true.” 

Father, how I long to come to You as one who is filled with humility, who longs to be obedient in all things, and who always intends to stay attached to the Vine! Yet, I am not always this person. Would You give me a deeper longing to be someone whose effectual prayer of faith is always marked by the deepest longing of my heart? I want to live in and for Jesus and to pray with a depth of persistence that can only come with the greatest desire for all that You are!

---Adapted from Prayer with No Intermission by Bill Elliff. This book is available at

Prayer Points

  • Praise God as the provider and sustainer of all things (Ps. 145:15-16).
  • Give thanks for the tenderness and the care that the Lord gives to the creatures that he has made (145:8-9).
  • Confess those times this past week when you have forgotten to look on other people or other parts of God’s world with the same love that is in God’s heart.
  • Commit yourself to treating others with the same compassion as God does.
  • Ask God to fill your heart with his care, concern, and tenderness.
  • Pray for families in which the parents are too busy to really listen and respond to their children’s needs. Ask God to help them set their priorities in line with his will for their families.
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.

The Word for You Today:

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Charles Stanley: Two days of causes for unanswered prayers and wrong thinking

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Our Daily Bread: Reminder that we can see and find God in His creation and through His Word. Redirect! Reconnect! Abide! Thrive! God is speaking and longing to connect to you--always!

Look to the Skies

The heavens declare the glory of God. Psalm 19:1

READ Psalm 19:1-9


Alex Smalley wants everyone to wake up earlier—or perhaps pause more at day’s end. Why? To gaze at sunrises and sunsets. Those fleeting moments are the most beautiful, awe-inspiring times of the day, according to Smalley, the lead researcher of a British study on awe-inducing weather effects. Even more than blue skies or glittering nightscapes, a stunning sunrise or sunset can improve mood, increase positive emotions, and decrease stress. Smalley says, “When you see something vast and overwhelming or something that produces this feeling of awe, your own problems can feel diminished and so you don’t worry so much about them.”

His findings on wonder echo those of the prophet Jeremiah: “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you” (Jeremiah 32:17).

King David also beheld God’s creation, declaring, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge” (Psalm 19:1-2). As for the sun, “It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth” (v. 6). God’s glorious creation reflects the all-powerful Creator. Why not take time today to look to the skies and marvel in Him!

By Patricia Raybon


Where is your favorite place to view a sunrise or sunset? When you behold the heavens, what do you discover about God?

In Your glorious heavens, Father, You show me the wonder of Your power.


Psalm 19:1-6 is David’s ode to God as Creator. In the verses that follow, however, his focus shifts to how he views the Scriptures (vv. 7-13). This abrupt shift has caused some scholars to question if these are two separate psalms. But God revealed Himself both in creation and in the Scriptures and both are powerful expressions of who He is. Theologians refer to these two ideas as general revelation (creation) and special revelation (Scripture). They describe how God makes Himself known—but the ultimate revelation of Himself is in Christ, the living Word. As Hebrews 1:1-2 says, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.” The author of Hebrews describes Jesus as “the exact representation of [God’s] being” (v. 3).

Bill Crowder
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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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