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St. Matthew's EC Church
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Pastor's Blog
Monday, November 20 2023
Good Morning Thankful Children of God! Bow in worship. Lift hands in praise. Always be thankful! Amen! So what's on your gratitude list today? We do have so much to be thankful about! Tell God some of your thank yous today. And remember like when you tell someone why you love them, get specific with your thank yous as well. Why are you thankful? Why do you love God? There are countless reasons! And countless ways to worship our awesome God! Amen!
Below are some devotionals and thoughts that may spark some prayer, praise and thanksgiving as we prepare for a very busy week. Begin at Jesus' feet and allow Him to be your Lord this week. He has great plans for you that won't burn you out! Plans that will bring much joy too! Thanks God!
We are reading John 17 and 18 this week as we head toward the cross. Does it seem kinda weird to study the  death of Jesus during the Christmas season? Why did He come? To die for us! Sunday we begin Advent with all the longing minor chord songs crying out from the longing for the Messiah to come. When He came there was great celebration but as He grew He was rejected and allowed Himself crucified. BUT GOD! That was His plan all along to allow us forgiveness and eternal life, if we choose. Dying to self and asking Jesus to be the Lord of your life is a sacrifice of praise that will always be received by God! PTL! In John 17:4 Jesus said that He brought God glory by completing the work He was assigned. Are you glorifying God? Are you working on completing your assignments? Are you pointing people to Him by the way you live and worship? Living Thankfully daily is a choice that allows others to see the joy of trusting Jesus and following Him and His ways!
You may struggle with letting go of things and trusting God. Check out the Upper Room below and the reminder that we are able to look back at hard times and see Jesus carrying us, leading us, correcting us and preparing us. PTL! Don't be anxious about anything is a command. Phil. 4:6 reminds us that in whatever difficulty we are finding ourselves, God is there and awaiting partnering with us so, "by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." AMEN! Thanks Lord!!!
Our Daily Bread reminds of the priceless joy we can choose and know by trusting God. Living thankfully leads to joy and more joy and trust that overflows in a life of peace and productivity. We get to and want to, out of deep gratitude to God, love on God and others and others are attracted to God through our thankful, joyful lives lived well. It's a great circle of blessings! PTL! Allow His love and your joy to overflow into much thanksgiving! Light up this dark world with joy in the Lord!
God created us for His purposes. We are custom made and gifted to accomplish all He has for us. PTL! Charles Stanley discuss today Gal. 5:22-23 and the fruit of the Spirit as God's presence in us in action. Many of you can name the fruit. Are they coming alive in and through you? Maybe one of those fruit are a word to work on next year? Love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control are gifts the Holy Spirit brings to us as we produce good and lasting fruit that we are created to produce. God lives and loves through us as we grow in these and overflow these to others. Thank God for such marvelous gifts that start with sending His Son and then His Spirit and the free gift all can open, new life in Christ. Thank You Lord! Amen! 
What an awesome God we know and love! Have a joyful, thankful, peaceful, love filled day of worshipful living in Christ! Shalom!
UR: A Letter to God

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. - Philippians 4:6 (NRSVUE)

When I was a teenager my father died, my university admission was unsuccessful, and I barely had enough food to eat. I was overwhelmed and struggled to pray. So I wrote a letter to God, asking my heavenly Father to please take over. I read it a couple of times, tucked it into an envelope, and forgot about it. It seemed naïve and silly to me, and I wasn’t sure God would listen.

Years later, I found the letter, and I knew God had been aware of the sorrow in my heart all along. And as I looked back, I could see all the ways God had been present in my life.

Sometimes we feel so beaten down by our circumstances that we struggle to tell God how we feel. It doesn’t matter whether we write, mumble, or cry in God’s presence — God hears! All we need to do is give our burdens to God and leave them in God’s hands. When we worry continuously after handing our troubles over to God, we take back our burdens. It is important to trust God to handle our situation in God’s time and way.

Heavenly Father, hear the heart cry of those of us who are weary and in need of help and comfort. Amen. 

Priceless Results

A cheerful heart is good medicine. Proverbs 17:22

READ Proverbs 17:12–22

On every school day for three years, Colleen has been dressing up in a different costume or mask to greet her children as they exit the school bus each afternoon. It brightens the day of everyone on the bus—including the bus driver: “[She] bring[s] so much joy to the kids on my bus, it’s amazing. I love that.” Colleen’s children agree.

It all started when Colleen began fostering children. Knowing how difficult it was to be separated from parents and to attend a new school, she began greeting the kids in a costume. After three days of doing so, the kids didn’t want her to stop. So Colleen continued. It was an investment of time and money at thrift shops, but, as reporter Meredith TerHaar describes, it brought a “priceless result: happiness.”

One little verse amid a book of wise and witty advice, largely by King Solomon to his son, sums up the results of this mom’s antics: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). By bringing cheer to all her kids (biological, adopted, and foster), she hoped to prevent crushed spirits.

The source of true and lasting joy is God through the Holy Spirit (Luke 10:21; Galatians 5:22). The Spirit enables us to shine God’s light as we strive to bring joy to others, a joy that offers hope and strength to face trials.

By Alyson Kieda


When has someone done something to bring you joy? What was the result?

Dear Father, thank You for giving me joy. Help me to spread it to others.


While the sayings in the book of Proverbs aren’t always arranged in an easy-to-discern order, often themes unite sections of proverbs. Chapter 17 focuses on relationships. The writer warns against the damage caused by being vindictive (vv. 9, 13) or willfully stubborn (vv. 10–12), quarreling (vv. 14, 19), unjust behavior (v. 15), and misusing money (v. 16). Conversely, loyal and protective relationships are lifted up (vv. 17–18). Verses 20–22 focus on how our hearts can shape our lives and relationships. A corrupt or foolish heart brings trouble and suffering (vv. 20–21), while a “cheerful heart is good medicine” (v. 22). So perhaps verse 22 has in mind the joy and healing that healthy relationships can bring.

Monica La Rose
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Wagner's news:

In our last update, we had quite a few prayer requests. Here are a few updates.


We asked you to pray for Spiritual Emphasis Week (SEW). The speaker spoke from his heart and his own experiences from his time at RVA to where God currently has him serving. It was awesome to see how God used him to speak to so many of our students. God was and is moving on campus!

This morning we heard the testimonies of eight students making a public declaration of their faith in Christ. Several shared how God did a significant work in their lives during SEW. It is always a joy to hear our students sharing how God is working in their lives and watching them point others to Jesus. It was extra special as one of the students being baptized was in our dorm just two years ago. Thank you for your prayers!
Our Fabulous Five
We asked you to pray for our dorm boys and for dorm parents for terms 2 and 3. The boys are thriving and the 5 will become 6 starting in January. We are excited to share that a couple has volunteered to come to RVA for 7 months to cover our dorm. They already know some of our boys as they covered our dorm when we were in the States for Micah and Lynnsi’s wedding in May. Thank you, God for a great answer to prayer!
Admissions and AP Calculus
Missy was relieved to step out of the Admissions Office this past week as she completed the training for her replacements. The two people who will be working together are just the right ones for this time. There is also a really good coverage plan sorted out for the AP Calculus classes. We are thankful for God’s provision in all these areas…not just people who can fill-in, but people who will excel!
Baby Update
We have been praying earnestly for our grandson whose scheduled arrival is early December. He has been very relaxed and was not really interested in turning around to prepare for his upcoming entrance into the world. We are thankful that the doctor was able to get the baby turned in the right direction this past week and we look forward to his arrival soon.
A few remaining prayer requests
It is hard to believe that we will land in the States in just 10 days! We still have one BIG need. We are looking to purchase a mid-size, reliable vehicle, with good gas mileage, as we will be traveling many miles to visit with family, friends, churches and RVA alumni. Our son is currently using our car, which will cover our need, but then he will need a vehicle to get to work. He has decided that his dream vehicle is a Honda CRV (we’re not really sure why). All this is to say that we still need one more vehicle…either for us or for Micah. Please contact us if you have any good leads for us to explore. Above all, would you commit to PRAY with us for the right vehicle? We will need to find a vehicle by December 12.
Although our first month will be quite full with family time – new grandbaby and family Christmas, we are working on our schedule for the rest of our home assignment. Our schedule is wide open in January and February! It gets much fuller in the spring. Contact us directly in the next few weeks if you’d like us to come and share with your church or small group. We really enjoy sharing with smaller group gatherings, so feel free to ask about daytime or evening events during the week. We are excited to connect and share the exciting ways God is moving all over Africa. PRAY with us for opportunities to share what God is doing in Africa and around the world and why it is so important for us to be concerned about the unreached.
You are a blessing! Thank you for your prayers.
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


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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