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Pastor's Blog
Friday, May 24 2024
Thank God I'm Forgiven! PTL! What are you thankful about for your salvation and growth to Christlikeness? Praise the Lord! Worship and choose to live your life as a thank offering--a sacrifice of praise poured out in gratitude. Amen! Help me/us to live like that Lord and always be filled with much gratitude, thanksgiving, praise and joy in our salvation! Amen!
Sun 10 am Worship with Children's Church (last one for the summer) 10am and on Zoom too.
Wed. 10-12 Bread Ministry
Sun. June 2nd 10 am Worship (there will be some activities for the kiddos in the upstairs nursery. Pray for our Children's Church workers to recharge during our summer break and for God to raise up some new teachers and helpers for the fall.) This service will also include new member installation and a vote on the Fellowship Hall air conditioning motion.
Happy Friday Friends! May the joy of the Lord fill you to overflowing today!
I had no intention of blogging today, BUT GOD! It's been a great week of work, rest, renewal, deliverance from sickness and weariness, and worship! PTL! God has really been speaking to my heart this week and affirming much of what He has been leading me to as I pray to lead you with His heart and mind to His perfect plans for you and us (and me too)! God does really have great plans for you and us! Do you know what they are? Are you being pinched to respond? Is there someone you are, not only processing with, but planning and beginning to do what God is reveling? I can testify of the soul satisfaction and excitement that comes as we are being used by God, just as He planned for us long ago! Do you have any stories to share about that?
God threaded our devos through all He has been revealing to me, even for the past few years, as I try to lead you and our church to revival and to becoming a dynamic movement of God. Check out the devos below. What's God saying to you? Are you hearing echoes of what God has been saying to us and leading us to? (TWFYT) Where may you be resisting and how can we help each other to overcome obstacles to God's plans and best? Don't be afraid or shrink back in fear! God is with you and has plans just for you! PTL! Are you feeling like He's punishing you? (UR) Some feel like that every time something goes wrong and some never think about it. God will correct but ALWAYS in love! Seek Him and His Kingdom first and all things will fall into place as He leads and even redeems the years the locust has stolen. Amen! Romans 12:12 (ODB) is one of my life verses, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer." We can choose joy, patiently endure and remain faithful in prayer. Work at that and it will grow to be part of your nature and natural response to difficulties, corrections, and God's leading. PTL!
All of this ties to our Bishop's challenge to us to keep working at becoming a dynamic movement of God that God created us, our churches and denomination to be. I've been following the National Conference (Kathy will update us in a couple pf weeks). God is moving and He is leading us to His new things for us and towards growing as that dynamic movement. PTL! They had video issues so I included a link to his episcopal address below in print. It is awesome and filled with much affirmation for how God has been leading, or wanting to lead us, and for His plans for us over the next few months and years! It reminds how far we have to go yet in that process too. Please prayerfully read it over this weekend and next week. We will be discussing it June 2nd. (No quizzes but you will be asked to share your thoughts and assess our progress and hindrances). The Bishop reminds us that we have two choices before us: Surrender to God and allow Him to lead us to His plans for us and His Kingdom, or say "No thanks! I am okay with just finishing out my days." We are challenged to seek God, process together, make His plans that are custom made for us, go make disciples as we pioneer into His future. It's sowing lavishly and continuing to water and fertilize each step of the way. It's moving from stagnation, through addition to multiplying disciple making disciples. It will take trying all kinds of new things and investing in reaching others and making disciples. That is really what Jesus began and it has continued through the apostles, early church and so many others through the years. God has a custom part for each of us. PTL! What joy as we step into our anointing and celebrate all that God is and will do. Let us commit to pray earnestly into this and for God's heart and mind to be all about Him and His business! Amen!
When I return from vacation we will be gathering some small groups to pray, process, plan and to begin pioneering into the future God has planned for us. Pray about your involvement. Ask God to give us dreams and visions of His plans and the heart and willingness to follow Him well as we die to self, take up cross daily and follow Jesus. We can change the world. That usually happens one soul at a time. Who is God preparing for you? Let us agree and commit to earnestly working at becoming the dynamic movement of God that He created us to be! May we earnestly work at living, loving, teaching, leading and making disciples more like Jesus! As we do, His will will be done and His Kingdom will come alive all around us! Amen! I am so excited! I know we are moving towards our potential and God is sending in the harvest and provision, including harvest working pioneers (Y-O-U!). Amen!
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UR: Patience and Perseverance

Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; persevere in prayer. - Romans 12:12 (NRSVUE)

After completing my secondary-level education, I was unable to meet the requirement for college courses. After being at home for a year, a distant cousin told me I could find work in the city where many companies offered good pay; some would even pay for further study or professional training. My cousin said he could provide food and housing. With high hopes I went to the city with what little money I had.

After two months, however, I was still searching for a job. The house where we stayed had no proper light or water. It was crowded, and sometimes we had no food to eat.

Some days I felt bitter, angry, or filled with self-pity. Other days, I would tell myself to be patient and keep looking for opportunities. I prayed that God would make a way. Eventually I accepted my struggles and determined to be patient, though it was not easy.

Finally, after one year and six months I joined a construction company as a day worker, then as a driver, and then as a section supervisor with some study privileges. This experience taught me how to live out today’s scripture: “Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; persevere in prayer.”

Lord Jesus, grant us patience in our struggles, and help us to remember your faithfulness to us. Amen.

Correction with a Kiss

God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. Hebrews 12:10

READ Hebrews 12:4-11

In his parable The Wise Woman, George MacDonald tells the story of two girls, whose selfishness brings misery to all, including themselves, until a wise woman puts them through a series of tests to help them become “lovely” again.

After the girls fail each test and suffer shame and isolation, one of them, Rosamond, finally realizes she can’t change herself. “Couldn’t you help me?” she asks the wise woman. “Perhaps I could,” the woman replied, “now that you ask me.” And with the divine help symbolized by the wise woman, Rosamond begins to change. She then asks if the woman would forgive all the trouble she’s caused. “If I had not forgiven you,” the woman says, “I would never have taken the trouble to punish you.”

There are times when God disciplines us. It’s important to understand why. His correction isn’t driven by retribution but by a fatherly concern for our welfare (Hebrews 12:6). He also desires that we may “share in his holiness,” enjoying a harvest of “righteousness and peace” (vv. 10-11). Selfishness brings misery, but holiness makes us whole, joyful, and “lovely” like Him.

Rosamond asks the wise woman how she can love a selfish girl like her. Stooping to kiss her, the woman replies, “I saw what you were going to be.” God’s correction too comes with love and a desire to make us who we’re meant to be.

By Sheridan Voysey


How have you understood God’s discipline in the past? How might He have disciplined you recently in order to make you more lovely?

Father God, thank You for Your correction, as painful as it can be. You bring it for my good.


The writer of Hebrews quotes Proverbs 3:11-12 in the explanation of God’s loving discipline (Hebrews 12:5-6). Proverbs 3 is well known for verses 5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

When we’re going through difficult experiences, it can be easy to think that we don’t deserve them, and that God has stepped into our lives just to discipline us. But the context of Proverbs 3 paints a picture of walking alongside our heavenly Father. Sometimes, like wandering children, we stray from God’s side, especially when we trust in our own understanding. His discipline brings us back—not just to correct behavior but to a close relationship with Him. Our kind Father loves us and wants us on the right path. After all, that’s where He is too.

Jed Ostoich
Harvest Blogs:

May 24 - Solomon’s Peace

“You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (2 Chronicles 1:8-10)

Of all the things he could have asked for, Solomon chose something that pleased God. And God said to Solomon,

“Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, riches or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, riches and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.” (verses 11-12)

Solomon became the richest, most powerful, most successful king in Israel’s history. He was world renowned for his wisdom. An interesting side note to this prayer: though God didn’t mention this, Solomon was also the only king in Israel’s history who enjoyed peace throughout his reign. How’s that for blessing!

Lord, may every prayer I pray be one that pleases You and brings You glory! Help me to seek after the things You desire to bless me with and to grow me in. I want to always pray “Your will be done” rather than my own, even though this is so difficult sometimes. Help me to hear clearly from Your Holy Spirit so that I am able to pray what You want to accomplish in and through my life.

--Adapted from The Power of Personal Prayer (Learning to Pray with Faith and Purpose) by Jonathan Graf. This book is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points

  • Praise God as the Rock, your stronghold and fortress (Ps. 144:1-2).
  • Thank him for being a solid foundation on which to stand spiritually, so that nothing can shake you (Mt. 7:24-25).
  • Confess those times in your life when you have stepped off the rock solid foundation of God’s Word and relied on your own understanding.
  • Commit yourself to building your life on Christ’s teachings. Ask God to help you plant your feet firmly in his Word each day.
  • Pray for the devotional times of the families that you know, that regular times of prayer and Bible reading will help bond family members to each other and to God.
  • Pray that your single friends may find a group of spiritual brothers and sisters to do this with as well.
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.
Bishop's Episcopal Address: Click link and prayerfully engage with this. It is God's plans for us!
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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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