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St. Matthew's EC Church
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Pastor's Blog
Tuesday, November 07 2023

Good Morning Seeking, Listening, Following Disciples and Apostles of Jesus! Disciples are learners, apprentices. Apostles are sent ones. We are learning to be like Jesus and sent to represent Him to the world just as we are, right where we are placed for such a time as this. I don't think we can fully wrap our heads around what that actually means or how that will look as we step out in faith and trust God to use us and grow us. Al used to talk about building the airplane while we're flying it. That can be quite unsettling! Right? Too often I am reminded of my inadequacies and failures along the way as the Holy Spirit pinches me or Satan tries to rattle my faith and get me questioning God or myself. God has us right where we need to be when we have to depend fully on Him and not our own understanding. When we get to the end of ourselves and we have no clue what to do, where He is leading us or what's next we start to see His faithfulness and Proverbs 3:5-6 coming to life as we release ourselves and our efforts and desires and seek God and His help and direction. That takes faith! Often it begins with mustard seed size faith as we give it all to God and pour ourselves out before Him.

Trying to lead and shepherd God's flock while building the airplane can get quite perplexing, unsettling, uncomfortable, and well, lonely sometimes feeling like you're the only one seeking, trusting and willing to do what He desires. It's hard to build the airplane when the blue prints are only revealed as you go. It's hard to know where to lead and how to invite others along on the journey when you don't know where you're being led or if anyone is willing to ride along. I saw this Calin and Hobbs comic today that really summarizes this: Inline image

All this comic needs is to have them in some kind of handmade airplane trying to get off the ground. Life in Christ and trying to learn to shepherd His flock like Him can often feel like this. The Tom Petty song just came to mind: "I'm freefalling"! And as I sit at God's feet and seek Him with all my heart, surrender my wants, hopes, dreams and desires to His Lordship, and trust Him to lead, direct and bring about His plans, you all come to mind. How unsettling to trust that God is really leading me and us. Satan prods and get's us questioning, "Did God really ssssay?" Is God really speaking to our leaders? Are they really following Him? Can I trust God and them enough to be all-in? What's my part? Am I willing to do it? Tomorrow evening our Pastoral Relations Commission meets to help Sarah and me discern if we are hearing and following God and leading His church well. Pray for them and us to hear God, discern together and recommit to following well. If you have any concerns about Sarah and me, if anything is bothering you or any encouragements please contact our PRC so they can be informed of the atmosphere of our fellowship and if some corrections are needed. Thanks! (Danny Reinsmtih, Kathy Canfield, Gail Lichtenwalner, Gina Fuhrman are our PRC. Thank you team for your service, faithfulness to God and willingness to help us be and do God's best!)

God has commanded us to humble ourselves before Him and examine our hearts to make sure we are right with Him. He knows us and still loves us and wants to help us move towards His best for us. The difference between us and the world is our willingness to humble ourselves, receive God's patient, correcting love, and take steps to repent (change our thinking and ways) and to move towards His best. Yesterday during our circle-up time we began to discuss what God is saying to us as we sometimes don't represent Him well in the world. I wish we would have had another hour to process together. Again, that is why it is so important to have some accountability partners and small huddles to grow together in Christ well. Who do you have to process with? What are you doing to make that happen? That is part of what God wants us to learn and work on with the reading the gospel of John challenge this fall. He's calling us to the next step. It will be uncomfortable for most of us. It may feel like jumping in the wagon with Calvin and Hobbs. Are you willing? Are you wanting to be all-in like Lazarus' sister Mary and pour yourself out before Jesus? Are you moving towards being like the virgin Mary and offering yourself to God to have His way with you even though you have no clue what that really means? Are you willing to trust God like Abraham and follow Him to unrevealed destinations or to listen to His voice when He asks you to sacrifice something so precious as your child? We really need to humble ourselves before God and examine our hearts with Him! And we need the help of others to process well! Really pray into that! Ask God to lead you to some intimate fellowship and accountability. Pray with me as I am seeking God for this to become alive at St. Matts in the new year and actually start some accountability huddles or small groups that seek and process together. People willing to be all-in and help each other move towards that.

God has great plans for you and us. Remember that when you feel like you are freefalling! God sees, knows, cares and will catch you before you crash and burn. He's in front of you leading the way and lighting the path. He's beside you encouraging you and whispering His loving directions into your heart. It doesn't matter if you are 12, 30, 60 or 90 years old. God has custom made you for His custom purposes for such a time as this. He is at work in and around you to lead you to His best and for the good of those who believe or will believe. We, our faith, and all we have are a gift from God, enabled and enacted as we come to Christ, willing to become more like Him as we strive towards our fullest potential in Him. When we offer all to Him with faith the size of a mustard seed, He is faithful to allow us to know His love and see His hand in everything and to lead us to it. He is faithful to direct our steps to His best and perfect plans. So are you willing to die to self, take up your cross and follow Jesus as commanded? Or do you think you have a better idea like Judas and Lucifer? Or maybe you are, and I think this is most of us, more like the disciples that are still learning and hesitatingly sort of willing to do what Jesus reveals, even when they don't get it and it often seem like He is asking them to jump in that wagon with Calvin and Hobbs?

Jesus gave His all for us. All He's asking is that we give Him all He's given us and trust Him to lead us to his best. He is faithful and trustworthy! Amen! So, I'd really love to hear what He is saying to you right now and what you think He may be asking you to do about that? I'd love to hear who He is stirring you to process with and how you are planning to make that happen. Text, email, call, or chat with Sarah or me about that! God DOES have great plans for you and us to discover together as we fly that plane and launch that wagon off the cliff! Rejoice! Get in that wagon! Keep plugging away with the Lord until your part is complete and He calls you home. He's preparing you for a great eternity! The best lies ahead for those who keep humbling themselves and inviting Jesus to be their Lord and joyfully trusting and following Him. Is that you? Is that our church?

Geez, maybe God just wrote Sunday's message? What is He saying to you? I'd love to hear and process with you! Check out these devos from today that thread through this and led me to share my heart today. Meditate on John 14 and 15 and answer and journal those three questions too: What's going on? What's God saying to me? What measurable response am I willing to do? Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life--life to the fullest--abundant life! He is the Vine and we are His branches that often need some pruning of our Vine Dresser. He has placed us in this Body for such a time as this and called us to encourage and help each other to His best. Come on! Jump in the wagon with me! Help me to build the plane as we follow our Shepherd together! We are on our way to becoming...! Becoming the people and church we were created to be! Becoming Kingdom expanders! Becoming Jesus to those around us! Becoming a dynamic movement of God! Becoming! PTL! How "becoming" are you to Him?

We are in for the ride of our lives that takes us to our eternal purposes! Amen! PTL! Jump in the wagon! Shalom Shalom! 

Charles Stanley:

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UR: The Spirit Intercedes

We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. - Romans 8:26 (NIV)

My faith journey is not always smooth sailing. I often face challenges that cause me to lose my close connection with Christ, sometimes even to the point that praying becomes difficult. Loss, guilt, grief, stress, and unanswered prayers can derail my prayer life.

An inconsistent prayer life weakens our relationship with Christ. In those moments, we may wonder, Where do I begin? How do I rekindle my relationship with Christ? Often we have so much to say, and yet it seems as though the right words are just not there! It can seem like we should wait to rebuild the connection at the right moment when we know the right words to say. But Romans 8 reminds us that the Spirit intercedes for us.

The Lord knows our hearts, so we don’t have to be discouraged by the obstacles we are currently experiencing. We don’t need to wait for the perfect moment to reestablish our relationship with Christ. All we need to do is ask the Spirit of God to intercede for us, either through silent prayer, or when we cry out to the Lord.


Dear Lord, you know our hearts. We have much to share, but words may fail us. We need your Spirit to intercede for us. Amen.


Persistent Pizza

Let us not become weary in doing good. Galatians 6:9

READ Galatians 6:2–10


At age twelve, Ibrahim arrived in Italy from West Africa, not knowing a word of Italian, struggling with a stutter, and forced to face anti-immigrant putdowns. None of that stopped the hardworking young man who, in his twenties, opened a pizza shop in Trento, Italy. His little business won over doubters to be listed as one of the top fifty pizzerias in the world.

His hope was then to help feed hungry children on Italian streets. So he launched a “pizza charity” by expanding a Neapolitan tradition—buy an extra coffee (caffè sospeso) or pizza (pizza sospesa) for those in need. He also urges immigrant children to look past prejudice and not give up.

Such persistence recalls Paul’s lessons to the Galatians on continually doing good to all. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). Paul continued, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (v. 10).

Ibrahim, an immigrant who faced prejudice and language barriers, created an opportunity to do good. Food became “a bridge” leading to tolerance and understanding. Inspired by such persistence, we too can look for opportunities to do good. God, then, gets the glory as He works through our steady trying.

By Patricia Raybon


How does your persistence glorify God? In your life, what deserves more godly persistence and loving charity from you?

When I consider giving up, dear God, inspire me to endure in You.


In Galatians 6:9, Paul counters the human tendency to quit with these words: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” The Greek word translated “become weary” (enkakeō) means “to be utterly spiritless, to be wearied out, exhausted.”

The word for “give up” (eklyō) can mean literally “to dissolve,” but here the idea is used figuratively to mean “weaken, relax, faint, exhaust.” In the Gospels, this word is used to describe what would happen to the multitude—“collapse”—if they were sent away without nourishment: “I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way” (Matthew 15:32; see Mark 8:3). Put positively, the message for believers of any era is to press on!

Arthur Jackson
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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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