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St. Matthew's EC Church
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Pastor's Blog
Monday, November 20 2023

Good Morning Glorifying God, Persevering Servants! It's worship day! Woo WHO! We get to gather, worship, pray, celebrate, learn, encourage and glorify God. We were created for His glory! We get to chose to bring Him glory as we hallow His name, persevere in faith and service to and for Him. What a wonderful life we have in Christ! or is it? 

Check out our devotionals below as we think about God's refining love and sometimes hard journey of faith we endure. Can you see past the hurts and hardships and trust and praise God? He has great plans for you, us and all believers! Plans to prosper and not harm. We are promised an abundant life in Christ, but how does that work out in pain and suffering? God loves you--deeply and eternally! He has great plans for you that sometimes require His tweaking you. We live in a fallen world and are promised hard times. We are called to persevere in faith and glorify God through it all. Pruning and dying to--humbling self-- are never very pleasant. BUT GOD! And for His glory! When we are weak then we are strong in Christ! PTL! 

Your will, Lord; your way! Have Your way with me and us! Thank You for loving us enough to correct in love, refine, prune and prepare us for Your best. Thank You for Your loving help and strength along the way! Thank You that we can know Your shalom in the storms and trials! Thank You for wanting the best for us and helping us to move towards it! Come! Have Your way with us and may we bring You glory and honor each step of the way! We love You and trust You! Help our unbelief and forgive our grumbling. No matter what we face, You are worthy of all glory, honor and praise! May Our lives be poured out for Your glory! We love you and desire Your best for us however You need to get us there! Come! You are our refuge and strength! We ask these things in Jesus' name and for His glory! Amen! Thank You!

This is the day the Lord has made and He made this Sabbath day just for us! PTL! Rejoice! Be refreshed and strengthened. And Come all you weary and heavy laden with hearts of worship and thanksgiving! What are you thankful for today? We will be digging down deep to offer deep thanksgiving and worship today! Come and celebrate our awesome God! Prepare your hearts for worship! Come, Just as you are to worship! He loves you and is waiting with open arms of love, healing and hope! Come! 

Here's a song to help prepare the way for today: Phillips Craig & Dean - Come, now is the time to worship (with lyrics)

Phillips Craig & Dean - Come, now is the time to worship (with lyrics)

Charles Stanley:

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Gathering Strength in God

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

READ 2 Corinthians 12:2–10


Grainger McKoy is an artist who studies and sculpts birds, capturing their grace, vulnerability, and power. One of his pieces is titled Recovery. It shows the single right wing of a pintail duck, stretched high in a vertical position. Below, a plaque describes the bird’s recovery stroke as “the moment of the bird’s greatest weakness in flight, yet also the moment when it gathers strength for the journey ahead.” Grainger includes this verse: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

The apostle Paul wrote these words to the church at Corinth. Enduring a season when he was overwhelmed with personal struggle, Paul begged God to remove what he described as “a thorn in my flesh” (v. 7). His affliction might have been a physical ailment or spiritual opposition. Like Jesus in the garden the night before His crucifixion (Luke 22:39–44), Paul repeatedly asked God to remove his suffering. The Holy Spirit responded by assuring him that He’d provide the strength needed. Paul learned, “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Oh, the thorns we experience in this life! Like a bird gathering its strength for the journey ahead, we can gather up God’s strength for what we’re facing. In His strength, we find our own.

By Elisa Morgan


Where are you experiencing weakness today? How can you—in that exact weakness—gather God’s strength for your journey?

Dear Father, help me gather my strength from Yours as I face what’s ahead in my life today.


Paul deliberately boasted about his many spectacular visions (2 Corinthians 12:1–7; see Acts 9:1–9; 16:6–10) to refute false teachers who said he wasn’t a genuine apostle because he didn’t have ecstatic spiritual experiences. Although such boasting was distasteful to him (2 Corinthians 12:1, 5), he believed it was necessary to deal with the misguided spirituality and pride of his opponents. He was given a “thorn in [his] flesh” (v. 7) so Christ’s power might be proclaimed (vv. 5–10). The word thorn was used for anything pointed, such as a stake, the pointed end of a fishhook, or a splinter. This implied that Paul had endured severe pain. We don’t know what the thorn was. Some think he had an eye affliction (see Galatians 4:15; 6:11) or a chronic ailment. But we know its intent: to keep him humble on account of his “surpassingly great revelations” (2 Corinthians 12:7).

K. T. Sim

UR: Parenting

God said, “I led [Ephraim] with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them.” - Hosea 11:4 (NRSVUE)

I recall how excited my husband and I were when our sons took their first faltering steps as we led them by the hand. I also recall messy mealtimes as we fed our infant sons, with food ending up on our sons’ bibs, on the floor, and on us. My husband and I enjoyed being fully involved in parenting.

In today’s reading from Hosea, God is fully involved in parenting the Israelites. I envision God as a loving parent teaching Israel to walk, lifting them up in an embrace, and bending down to feed them.

What a beautiful and powerful image of our Parent God. We are God’s children, and God continually nurtures us with grace and mercy just as a loving parent does. When we stumble, God is there to pick us up and guide us. God leads us with cords of kindness and bands of love, embraces us, and feeds us lovingly and patiently.

The role of a parent never stops, even after the children have become adults and left home. Like human parents, our Parent God keeps guiding and directing us no matter how old we get. Let us be grateful children!


Thank you, God, for parenting us always. Help us turn to you as our main source of love and care. Amen.TWFYT:

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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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