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Pastor's Blog
Saturday, June 22 2024

Sarah Prayer update and Harvest Prayer Blogs below

Good Morning Friend of God Who Is A Friend through You! Who's your buddy? Remember swimming or hiking with a buddy to help in time of need? That's how we are to swim through this life: buddied up and being a buddy. Who's your buddy? And we need to remember that Jesus is always our Buddy too. Thank God He's a friend of sinners like you and me and walks through our journey with us, ready to help in times of trouble and to keep us company along the way! We have a mission to co-labor with Him and each other and that is to go befriend some lost and lonely people and introduce them to our Buddy and help them to learn to walk with Him. Check out Our Daily Bread Below that speaks into this. Sometimes we choose to walk on our own or get all busy--too busy--doing our own thing. The Upper Room reminds us to unclutter and slow down on the busyness and choose what matters most, sitting at Jesus' feet and moving at His pace, yoked to Him. Have you ever heard Jesus say, "Martha, Martha" Well, your name. I have heard Donald, Donald. When we hear that, it's time to stop and still ourselves and choose the best by sitting at His feet a spell, and yoking to Him. Amen!

Too often we overcomplicate this life in Christ. He said He is gentle and His yoke is easy. We too often think He is a harsh taskmaster and get busy about all kinds of things that are not His best for us nor His easy yoke. Be still, know and go with Him at His pace. Yesterday I had plans to slow down and just sit at His feet all day and listen, receive and write His message for Sunday. BUT GOD! Yes, sometimes when we focus on Him, He will start walking when we think He is wanting us to be still. I found out Bobby Gunther Walsh was injured Sat. at the races. No one really knew. It seemed like just an minor thing. Anyway, God said, go see Him. So I switched my plans and walked with Jesus to comfort and pray with my friend who just got out of surgery a half hour before I arrived. Today may be a day of sitting and writing, but that is in God's hands. Seek first the Kingdom of God! Be still and know. Listen and follow. Move with Him and choose His best. His yoke is easy and custom made for you and flows from Who you are created to be and God's plans for you. And usually His plans for you include others.

 Tomorrow evening some of us from the Wed. Adult Huddle will be meeting and processing God's plans and Jesus' easy yoke for us for the rest of the summer to connect to neighbors and connect them to Him. Please pray for us to see and hear His plans and to plan well. We recently received a demographic analysis of our area from the denomination. One of the biggest needs flows from the effects of the pandemic--lack of relationships and connections. Some of the biggest hindrances to religion is the lack of an invite, not knowing church people and believing that the church is irrelevant to their lives. Think about the ideas God is giving you right now to connect to a neighbor and connect them to us and God. We are a very loving, accepting, joyful people that love God and others well. What might God be leading us and you to try? Who is He bringing to mind. Let us process this together! His easy yoke is just being you, connected to people and allowing Him to love through you. Who can't do that? Well, those too busy doing their own thing, Martha. Choose well, my friends and go live and love more like Jesus today--everyday! He does have great plans for you that will satisfy and at the same time glorify Him. That's His easy yoke custom fitted to you for such a time as this. Amen

ODB:

Friend to the Lonely

God sets the lonely in families. Psalm 68:6

READ Psalm 68:3-6, 19

audio playLISTEN ONLINE

Holly Cooke didn’t have one single friend when she moved to London for a job. Her weekends felt miserable. The city itself tops the list for feeling blue—with 55 percent of Londoners saying they’re lonely, according to a global survey, compared to just 10 percent of residents in neighborly Lisbon, Portugal.

For connection, Holly defied her fears and formed a social media group called The London Lonely Girls Club—and some thirty-five thousand have joined. Small-group meetups every few weeks offer park picnics, art lessons, jewelry workshops, dinners, and even outdoor exercise sessions with puppies.

The challenge of loneliness isn’t new, nor is the Healer of our feelings of isolation. Our eternal God, wrote David, “sets the lonely in families; he leads out the prisoners with singing” (Psalm 68:6). Asking God to point our way to Christlike friends is a holy privilege and, thus, a request we can freely take to Him. “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling” (v. 5), added David. “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens” (v. 19).

What a friend we have in Jesus! He grants us forever friends, starting with the glorious presence of Himself every moment. As Holly says, “Friend time is good for the soul.”

By Patricia Raybon

REFLECT & PRAY

What do you enjoy about friendship with Jesus? What does He teach you about being a forever friend to others?

When my heart feels lonely, dear Jesus, please point me to a good friend—starting with You.

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT

Psalm 68 begins with words similar to Numbers 10:35: “Rise up, Lord ! May your enemies be scattered; may your foes flee before you.” Moses prayed this “whenever the ark set out” as the Israelites journeyed through the wilderness toward the promised land. Because of this, scholars say David wrote this psalm as he moved the ark from Kiriath Jearim to Jerusalem (1 Samuel 7:2; 2 Samuel 6). The Israelites probably sang it as a victory song in their subsequent battles against their enemies. The psalmist affirms that God fights on behalf of His people (Psalm 68:1-3; see Exodus 14:14; Deuteronomy 1:30). He celebrates God’s presence, power, protection, provision, and providential care for Israel, recalling how He led them safely through the wilderness into their inheritance. To show how much He cares for them, David highlights His compassion and care for the helpless—orphans, widows, the oppressed—people whom society ignores (Psalm 68:5-6).

K. T. Sim

UR: Decluttering Our Lives

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed — or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” - Luke 10:41-42 (NIV)

I enjoy watching TV programs where the hosts are invited into people’s homes to help them clean. The houses are overflowing with items, causing stress to the families living there. If the family commits to getting rid of half their belongings, the show’s team will clean their house, provide new storage solutions, and reorganize each room. It is satisfying to see the joy on the family members’ faces when they return to see their “new” home. And when the team visits again a few weeks later, the families are still reaping the benefits of the experience.

I wonder if we are like this spiritually. Are our lives cluttered by many things that hinder our time spent with God? Perhaps we need to cut down on the time we spend on work, leisure activities, social media, and socializing and dedicate more time prioritizing our relationship with God through prayer, Bible reading, and meditation. Let’s commit to spending more time with God and see what a difference it makes. I think the benefits will be out of this world.

TODAY'S PRAYER

Loving Father, help us to take every opportunity to be near to you so that we may grow closer to you and your peace that passes all understanding. Amen.

Harvest Blogs

June 18 - Only You

In a very real way, we need to look at intercession with passion, with a sense that our prayers could make the difference between “winning and losing.” Too often, when we are asked to pray for something, we come at it with a lackluster, ho-hum attitude: My prayers won’t matter in this situation; surely others are praying too. Or we believe that God is going to do His will in this situation regardless of whether or not we pray, so we are not burdened to pray. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Prayer leader, Steve Hawthorne, states, “What does it really matter if I say words into the air?” Or “If God knows what He’s going to do, why doesn’t He just do it?” But if God truly presides as Judge, with His court ever in session (Genesis 18:20-23; Psalm 65:1-4; Hebrews 4:14-16, 7:25-8:2), our words of intercession are not just sound waves hitting the ceiling. Our expressions of prayer reverberate throughout God’s court, not just for Him to hear, but for all the angelic hosts before whom this awesome drama is being played out.

Scripture also clearly indicates that intercession is important to God. How do we know this? Because both the Holy Spirit and Jesus are involved. Romans 8 tells us that “the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. . . . The Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will” (verses 26-27); and “Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (verse 34). Hebrews reminds us that “[Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

We need to attack every situation we feel a tug to pray about as if we were the only one praying! You might be the only person who ever prays for your unbelieving neighbor’s salvation. No praying grandmother. No Christian wife praying for her husband. No believer at work. Only you.

Holy Lord, help me to obey quickly when You put someone or some situation on my heart! When Your Spirit urges me to pray, I ask for the awareness and passion to intercede! Help me to grow in this practice so that You can use me for Your purposes in the lives of others.

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

Prayer Points

  • Praise God as the one to whom you have given your entire life.
  • Thank him for desiring to be Lord of everything that you have and are, and for asking nothing less.
  • Confess those parts of your life that you still hold back from God’s complete authority.
  • Commit yourself to laying these areas before God throughout the day, looking for his help in surrendering them completely.
  • Ask God to help you be completely devoted to him and his will (Col. 3:17).
  • Ask that your church’s worship be made uplifting not only by music and preaching but also by the sacrificial lives of members who have served Christ during the week (Rom. 12:1).
Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Sarah update:

Good evening Church family,

Hope you have been staying cool throughout today and coming days will be another test of trying to stay cool. Remember to paste yourself and not to overheat, keep yourself hydrated.

I wanted to share a few of our prayer needs from Sunday, with you:

We went to pray for Barb Schware, she will be having some dental procedures done on Thursday

Bill Miller, who is a friend of Darlene Geiger’s husband, has been diagnosed with cancer

We want to remember Chris and Yvonne Muik’s three daughters as they are all dealing with health issues

We also want to pray for Parker, who is Tabby Lichtenwalner‘s nephew, and he will be having hip replacement. Eventually down the road he will have to have his other hip replaced, but keep this young little boy in your thoughts and prayers, and for his parents as they Are there to support and bring him through this.

Justine, who is a coworker of Lisa Wenner, they will be doing a procedure sometime this week to try to turn the baby so he is no longer breached. So please pray that the procedure is a success and she will be able to have the baby naturally.

Also want to pray for JOSIE‘s two daughters who are beginning new ventures. They are starting new businesses, one daughter is in Allentown and the other daughter is in Florida so please keep them both in your prayers asking for wisdom and guidance for both.

Pastor Don has asked for prayer for Bobby Gunther Walsh, he is currently in the hospital with a broken leg. And he has a long road of recovery and rehab ahead of him so may we pray for patience for him and for healing and strengthening.

I believe that is all the request at the moment. If there is a request that you have that you would like to share with our warriors, please send me an email or text me and I will definitely make sure that it gets out to our warriors.

Stay cool, and refreshed throughout the remainder of this week. God bless you.


Blessings and peace,

Sarah

Posted by: AT 11:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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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