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Friday, June 14 2024

Brian and Missy Wagner update below

Today at 4:30 meet with HVAC tech to answer any technical questions. We did approve installing AC. Now just to get all the technical questions answered before moving forward.

Sunday Worship and Church picnic at Emmaus Community Park at 10:30 start time

Mom and Terry have been sick but made it back to FL. safely and are healing. Thanks for prayers.

Last evening Family Ministries had their annual end of year feast. We began making summer plans for at least once a month.

Adult Huddle will be brain storming shortly what we are to do for the summer until the Fellowship Hall is air conditioned. Ask God for the plans He has for us moving forward and let's plan some things!

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Good Morning Victorious Overcomers! Is that you? Does your life reflect the gratitude for deliverance from death, Hell, sickness, addiction, grief, or whatever else God has delivered you from? We were one way and now another and the reason is Jesus! PTL! Who needs to hear those stories? How does your delivered, victorious life glorify God? Have you ever prayed any of these? Forgive me! Change me! Deliver me! Mold me! Help me repent! Prepare me! Send me! Heal me! Then what happened? As you reflect back on your life and then your life in Christ what has changed? What are you thankful about? How is God being glorified? Sometimes we have to choose to live victoriously as an overcomer and take some steps of faith before we see deliverance, provision, and God at work. And then sometimes we don't even realize how far we've come until we look back. Fact is, God is always with us, always hears us, and is always working things together for the good of those who believe. AMEN! By God's love and grace we are victorious overcomers! PTL!

I felt like God just wanted to remind us of these truths today. we are and can be victorious overcomers and know God's peace. Amen! Today's devotionals are kinda all over the place, yet there is a thread. Check them out below. What's God saying to you and leading you to do about it today? Living in victory, being thankful, being anchored in God and filled with His Word and being a blessing to others is part of our life in Christ. May He continue to mold, shape, lead and use us for His glory! Amen! Let us always celebrate all God has, is and will do and keep sharing those stories with others! Allow Jesus to be the Lord of and speak calm to your storms. He is our deliverer! Amen!

CS:

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ODB:

Give Thanks to God

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Luke 24:30

READ Luke 24:28–35

audio playLISTEN ONLINE

My friend hurried from her stressful job at the hospital, wondering what she would prepare for dinner before her husband returned from his equally demanding job. She had made chicken on Sunday and served leftovers on Monday. Then, they had yet another round of chicken—this time baked—on Tuesday. She found two pieces of fish in the freezer, but she knew the fillets weren’t her husband’s favorite. Not finding anything else she could prepare in just a few minutes, she decided the fish would have to do.

As she placed the dish on the table, she said somewhat apologetically to her husband who had just arrived home: “I know this isn’t your favorite.” Her husband looked up and said, “Honey, I’m just happy we have food on the table.”

His attitude reminds me of the importance of being grateful and thankful for our daily provisions from God—whatever they are. Giving thanks for our daily bread, or meals, models Jesus’ example. When He ate with two disciples after His resurrection, Christ “took bread, gave thanks, [and] broke it” (Luke 24:30). He thanked His Father as He had earlier when He’d fed the five thousand with five “loaves and two small fish” (John 6:9). When we give thanks for our daily meals and for other provisions, our gratitude reflects Jesus’ ways and honors our heavenly Father. Let’s give thanks to God today.

By Katara Patton

REFLECT & PRAY

How often do you show your thanks to Jesus? How does it honor Him to do so?

God of all, thank You for my daily bread and all the other needs You meet for me.

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT

Luke 24:31 says, “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him.” Why didn’t these believers in Jesus know who He was when He first joined them on their journey (vv. 15-16)? The situation calls to mind Mary Magdalene’s visit to the empty tomb earlier that same day (John 20:15). Similarly, when the disciples went fishing all night, they didn’t initially recognize Christ (21:1-4). In those two cases, we might readily explain their inability. Mary’s vision may have been clouded by tears, and the distance and early-morning light might have kept the disciples from recognizing Jesus at Galilee. But on the road to Emmaus, those explanations aren’t plausible. The key may be in Luke 24:16, which says, “They were kept from recognizing him.” Jesus may have purposely prevented them from recognizing Him so that the process of instructing them (vv. 17-27) would yield a more powerful effect.

Tim Gustafson

UR: My Anchor

Father of orphans and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. - Psalm 68:5 (NRSVUE)

After the death of my husband, I struggled to adjust to my new title of “widow.” Who am I? Where will I go from here? How long will my grief last? Though my grief still comes on unexpectedly sometimes, I’ve found that Jesus is helping me through these dark times as I cling to God’s word every day.

Daily scripture reading before and after my husband’s illness and passing has been my anchor; Jesus has not let me down. The morning after my husband died, I tried to keep a semblance of my old routine; so I sat down to read my Bible. I read Psalm 31:24: “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord.” I knew that God would give me courage for the day. Then two days later, I read Isaiah 26:7: “The way of the righteous is level; you [Lord] clear a path for the righteous” (CEB). This promise was just what I needed.

I didn’t know the road ahead of me, but God did. I pray that others who are experiencing grief will turn toward Jesus, our Comforter and Shepherd in every season of life.

TODAY'S PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for comforting us when we grieve. Help us to seek you through scripture and prayer each day. Amen.TWFYT:

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Harvest Blogs:

June 6 - Let Jesus Speak to Your Storm

That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:35-41)

I certainly understand the fear of the disciples. At the heart of it is the fear of dying. These were experienced fishermen who knew they were in danger of losing their lives in this storm. That caused them to wake Jesus and ask the man they knew cared more than anyone they’d ever met, if he cared whether they were perishing. Fear often pushes us into irrational words and actions.
What storm are you facing today? Is it a serious illness for you or someone you love? Are you facing serious debt or financial crisis? Maybe the storm has to do with your children or grandchildren and issues that seem to have no easy answers. The list could go on, couldn’t it? Unfortunately, like the disciples on the Sea of Galilee, these storms often cause us to react in ways that don’t solve the problem, but often make it even worse. What we really want is for Jesus to speak to the storm and calm it.

The trouble is, that doesn’t always remove the fear. At least it didn’t for the disciples. That’s why Jesus asked the second question: Have you still no faith? They had, with their own eyes, watched Jesus stop the wind and calm the waves. It was an astonishing miracle. But still they had fear. I think that we need to pay close attention to this incident, but often, we have so allowed fear to take root in our lives, that even a miracle from the Lord will not cause the fear to subside. It’s at times like this we must allow God to remind us that He is Lord over the wind and the waves.

God of the wind and the waves, You are able to calm any storm that might come into my life. You are able to keep me from falling, to bring peace to my heart, and to still my fear. And yet, still I doubt You. Forgive me for my unbelief. Stir up great faith in my heart to believe that You are all that You say You are! You are the Great I Am! You are the Almighty! You are the Creator of the Universe who is able to overcome all things that stir up anxiety, doubt, fear, uncertainty or anything else that might creep into my heart. Please Lord Jesus, help me to daily embrace Your shalom, Your peace.

--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 prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
 

Prayer Points

  • Praise your faithful God! Give thanks for God’s faithfulness to you even when you are unfaithful to him (2 Tim. 2:11-13).
  • Spend a few minutes asking God to help you think through your life and confessing any unfaithfulness he brings to your attention.
  • Commit yourself as God’s image-bearer to reflecting his faithfulness in your own.
  • Pray that Christians will be faithful to use individual and corporate outreach opportunities. Ask for the vision to see opportunities and the loving determination to follow through.
Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Wagner's:

Greetings Friends,

As a follow-up to our last email…our ministry update, here is a quick personal update. Here’s what you will find in this message:

  • Home assignment – Rest, Reconnect and Recharge
  • One more R - Regroup
  • The heart of the matter – health update
Home Assignment
You may remember from our January update that we shared three key objectives during home assignment – Rest, Reconnect and Recharge. We have traveled a LOT! That has given us lots of opportunities to reconnect…with our big kids & grandson, supporters, friends, extended family and RVA alumni. We have also had several great chances to recharge, renewing our call for ministry at RVA and with AIM. As our date to return to Kenya is rapidly approaching, we are planning to take time to rest…to take a vacation in July so we can return to RVA with energy and excitement. PRAY that will be able to fully disconnect and rest.
One more “R” – Regroup
It seems that every home assignment we have a large task that really needs to be addressed and can only be done so while in the States...something that had to sit for several years and now we must plow through over the course of several months. This time that task has been cleaning through things stored here in the States…specifically, things that have come our way while we were overseas. This is mostly sorting through Missy’s parents’ belongings that we received when they downsized from their house to an apartment and then to a memory care room. While it has been a time-consuming process, it has led to many great conversations and opportunities to bless others. We just have a few more things to sort out…an old cedar chest from the early 1950s and quite a few homemade textiles (quilts, small blankets, embroidery and more). If you have any expertise or interest in these things, we would love to know. PRAY for the time needed to finish a few major projects.
The Heart of the Matter
Please continue to PRAY for full healing for Brian after his heart procedure. As we previously shared, the repair went well. We can also confirm that the primary concern was fully alleviated by the procedure. There is still a secondary concern (that started the whole search for the source of heart issues) that will hopefully be addressed as the heart resets and adjusts to its new structure. PRAY for one final follow-up appointment early July and a clear way forward for continued care and follow-up once we return to Kenya. 
What’s Next – Discipleship

In our next update, we will tell some of what we have been sharing with churches about the importance of discipleship along with some specific resources that may help you and your church grow vision for missions.
Thank you so much for your prayers! You are appreciated.
 
In His Service,
 
Brian & Missy
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St. Matthew's EC Church

5th & Ridge Streets
P.O. Box 433
Emmaus, PA 18049
Telephone 610.965.5570
Email: stmattsecemmaus@gmail.com

ABOUT US

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 http://www.eccenter.com/

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