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Friday, December 01 2023

Thank God I'm Forgiven! And Thank God It's Friday! What are you thanking God about? (I'm thanking Him for all of you, your prayers, and our fellowship and friendship!)

Don't forget those gifts for The Kindness Project and non-perishables for our pantry.

We are collecting for Ever Lasting Life Ministries Sunday

Please sign up for our Christmas Eve Brunch and invite someone to join you (bulletin board in rear of sanctuary)

Pray for our Support Team meeting Thurs. as we review and hopefully approve the budget for next year. Pray for wisdom to follow God's vision for us while being the best stewards. Thank God for all his servants at St Matts!


Good Morning Empowered Disciple Makers--Servants of the Lord! Pronounce that out loud over you and our church. (The words we say and the things we think do matter!) Say this, "I am/ we are empowered disciple maker(s) serving the Lord and others with love and wisdom! God has created us, gifted us, empowered us and sent us to make disciples. Send me! Thank You!" That comes alive as we serve others through our God-given gifts and abilities empowered by the Holy Spirit and led by Jesus. He is bringing alive His great and greater plans as we respond to His invite to join Him on mission with very thankful and surrendered hearts. PTL for all our empowered, willing and responding servants of the Lord! Check out Our Daily Bread and Upper Room devos below as they tie to this and your part.

You need to know and celebrate that God is responding to our prayers and using us to grow His Kingdom and bless many. Keep praying and serving expectantly with thanksgiving! God is on the move!

Let's end with some prayer starters for today: "Praise God who is a refuge for the poor and needy (is. 25:4). Thank Him for caring about those in desperate circumstances. [Lift those you know who are desperate to Him by name]. Confess times when you have not shown compassion to the needy. Commit yourself to serving others in new and stretching ways. Ask God to provide those opportunities for you and for willing hands and feet. Thank God for being a shelter from the storm for your family (25:4). Pray that teens and young adults will seek that shelter rather than taking refuge in the world. Ask God to anoint the fellowship in your congregation with the Holy Spirit. Pray that any friction between members will be addressed and healed. Pray that new comers will find love and refuge in your congregation. Intercede for ministries which bring Christ's compassion to the poor and needy. Pray that their needs will be met as they bring hope to thousands. [Lift our bread and clothing ministries and the Kindness Project before God for provision, great stewardship, wisdom and vision from God]. Pray that one unsaved person you know will see and desire shelter which Jesus offers. Ask that God will use you to guide that person into eternal safety." Amen


God’s Heart for All

Come to me, all you who are weary. Matthew 11:28

READ Matthew 11:27–30


Nine-year-old Dan Gill arrived with his best friend Archie at their classmate’s birthday party. When the mother of the birthday boy saw Archie, however, she refused him entry. “There aren’t enough chairs,” she insisted. Dan offered to sit on the floor to make room for his friend, who was Black, but the mother said no. Dejected, Dan left their presents with her and returned home with Archie, the sting of his friend’s rejection searing his heart.

Now, decades later, Dan is a schoolteacher who keeps one empty chair in his classroom. When students ask why, he explains it’s his reminder to “always have room in the classroom for anyone.”

A heart for all people can be seen in Jesus’ welcoming life: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). This invitation may seem to contradict the “first to the Jew” scope of Jesus’ ministry (Romans 1:16). But the gift of salvation is for all people who place their faith in Jesus. “This is true for everyone who believes,” Paul wrote, “no matter who we are” (3:22 nlt).

We rejoice then at Christ’s invitation to all: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29). For all seeking His rest, His open heart awaits.

By Patricia Raybon


What was your situation when you accepted God’s gift of salvation? Who do you know whose heart Jesus is calling?

Dear Jesus, You called me when others didn’t. Thank You for offering me salvation and love.

For further study, read Keeping the Faith: The Cost of Following Christ.


Yokes were wooden frames “placed upon a person’s shoulders in order to make a load or burden easier to carry, by distributing its weight in equal proportions to opposite sides of the body” (William Hendriksen, Matthew). When Jesus speaks of His yoke in Matthew 11:29-30, it’s in contrast to the teaching of the religious leaders whose interpretations and applications were extraneous to the law and burdensome. Christ exposed such leaders saying, “They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them” (23:4; see also Acts 15:10). Being a believer in Jesus is about being in relationship with the One who gives true rest. He says, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).

Arthur Jackson

UR: Courage to Act

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. - 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)

My mother adjusted to her blindness so well that her sight-loss support group asked her to visit new members who needed help. Eventually, we wrote a pamphlet with information for those with low vision. The trouble was that no one wanted to publish it. An editor suggested that I write a blog instead because the information changes so fast.

No. I can’t do that, I thought. Forget it. How could those with low vision even find a blog? I repeated those negative words and believed them for two years. I did not have the courage to step out of my comfort zone.

When I read the words in 1 Peter, I wondered, Is this the way the devil works? Is the devil blocking me from serving God and helping those with vision problems?

Negative thoughts can determine our actions or, in my case, inaction. Instead of dwelling on negative thoughts, we can repeat God’s words of affirmation and love: “Peace be still.” “I am with you.” “I will help you.” “Come unto me.”

Six years and 64 blogs later, I’m glad I listened to these positive words. God’s promises can strengthen our faith and give us courage to act.


Guiding Father, help us to be attentive to your voice. Give us courage to act when we hear your call. Amen.

Posted by: AT 05:57 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, November 30 2023

Good Morning Partakers and Sharers of the Bread of Life--Bread from Heaven! In John, Jesus proclaimed, "I am the Bread of Heaven" and went on to explain that He brings life and sustains it. He talked about ingesting Him, feeding on Him and allowing Him to satisfy our heavenly hunger and fill us to overflowing to share this "mana" with other hungry seekers. He has been faithful to use us and our ministries to do so as we feast on His Word and bring it alive to others as we share bread and clothing! PTL!

Let us celebrate and worship for all God is doing in, through and around St. Matts' bread and clothing ministries and for those who serve our community and bless God and many as harvest workers through meeting many needs. Thank God for His provision of bread, cloths, food, funds, care givers and harvest workers. Thank God for using us and making His love, care, and help known to many in need around us! Thank God for drawing some to Him and our fellowship thru these ministries of His love and care! Thank God for the surplus of bread weekly that is used to bless the feeding ministry of another church in Macungie. (it's kinda like the 12 baskets of bread and fish left over after the feeding of the 5000 weekly as God supplies more than enough!) He is El Shaddai--our powerful, all-sufficient God! He is lovingly caring for the least of these through us and blessing us back as we bless. It is really cool to experience all the ways God uses this simple ministry as we do what we can with what He provides and as we offer ourselves to be used! Thank You Yahweh Jireh--our Sufficient Provider, El Shaddai!

Next Wed. Dec. 6th from 10-12 is our next Bread Ministry Donuts and Conversation Day. Please consider joining us! Pray ahead for what God wants to do, to come to life next week. Pray ahead for our Brunch Christmas Eve and for God to draw and connect many of these to Him through our loving service and fellowship! Pray expectantly for Him to grow this ministry and feed the growing harvest with Bread from Heaven!

Yvonne and Chris are joining our church and have come to us through a brief donut day encounter last month as they were searching for a church that loved well. We prayed for Chris a few Sundays ago for stomach surgery he was having. He made it through that ok but is having complications now with that and his feet and may need some toe removal. Yvonne came for some bread yesterday but really for some prayer and ministry. God used us to comfort, pray and bring some mana into her need. Please pray for a healing miracle for Christ, for God to meet their many financial needs (they have custody of their teen grand daughter) and for shalom to over come them. Chris has become weary of this health journey and wants to give up. Pray for spiritual, emotional. mental and physical healing.

Isabel joined us Sunday at brunch. We have been praying for her for what sounds like Gall stones and for lack of help and concern from docs. She has severe pain for over a month as she awaits a doc visit and answers. She has connected to a few of us as we continue to love on her and pray with her and comfort her. Thank God for using us! Pray for a quick resolution, favor for timely doc care, and that she would experience the overwhelming love of God. She sometimes show up on bread day, not for bread, but for loving mana an ministry.

These are but two of the many stories that happen weekly as we offer bread and Bread from Heaven to our neighbors in need. Keep praying for this ministry and for God to become very real to not yet saved neighbors as they see God at work through us and see and experience true Love, hope and help come to life. I am just overwhelmed weekly as the workers and I process and experience all God is doing. PTL! Come sit and experience it yourself next Wed. as we share some Bread and eat some donuts.

Check out our devotionals below as they tie to this. God threaded them together for a reason. Sit at His feet, process with an accountability or "faith friend" and ask God to continue to prosper His work through us and raise up some small groups and new ministries of love. He is at work! Praise Him, continue to pray and commit to joining Him as you do your part. Again remember that prayer is a vital part of all we do. Thank you to our prayer warriors! Keep at it! God is answering in mighty ways! PTL! Someone said, "The Church's greatest deficiency today is in power--not in programs, strategies, materials, or ideas. And power for ministry can be released only through prayer." How true. We know the all powerful one and are experiencing His power being released through your partnering with Him and our ministries in prayer, giving and serving! Thank you! Ask God how we might help some of our own who are going through some very hard and troubling times as well. Christmas may be very hard and dismal this year. Ask God to connect you to one of these and show you how to come along side and bless them. And thank God and ask Him what plans He has for you for such a time as this with a heart ready to follow. 

It is truly an honor to experience your hearts for God and His plans and willingness to do your part as we grow into His dynamic movement together. We may be small, but we are being used by the All-Powerful, All-Sufficient, Care Giver in mighty ways! Amen! Come and see! Great fruit and greater things are on their way. 

Thank you all! I love serving together and am so thankful that God has called us together for such a time as this to bring Good News, healing, hope, help and His love alive together. There is much more going on in the spiritual realm than meets the eyes as we continue to walk by faith and not by sight! PTL! His great plans for us are coming alive through our faithfulness to who and Whose we are and allowing Him to use us for our custom made purposes! Rejoice! Worship! Keep at it! Amen.

Charles Stanley

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Trusting God

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Psalm 20:7

READ Psalm 20


I needed two medications urgently. One was for my mom’s allergies and the other for my niece’s eczema. Their discomfort was worsening, but the medicines were no longer available in pharmacies. Desperate and helpless, I prayed repeatedly, Lord, please help them.

Weeks later, their conditions became manageable. God seemed to be saying: “There are times when I use medicines to heal. But medicines don’t have the final say; I do. Don’t place your trust in them, but in Me.”   

In Psalm 20, King David took comfort in God’s trustworthiness. The Israelites had a powerful army, but they knew that their biggest strength came from “the name of the Lord” (v. 7). They placed their trust in God’s name—in who He is, His unchanging character, and unfailing promises. They held on to the truth that He who is sovereign and powerful over all situations would hear their prayers and deliver them from their enemies (v. 6).  

While God may use the resources of this world to help us, ultimately, victory over our problems comes from Him. Whether He gives us a resolution or the grace to endure, we can trust that He’ll be to us all that He says He is. We don’t have to be overwhelmed by our troubles, but we can face them with His hope and peace.     

By Karen Huang


In your personal battles, where or in what do you place your trust? How might trusting in God’s name change the way you cope with these challenges?

Heavenly Father, give me the courage to trust in You. Help me to believe that You’re all that You promise to be.


A careful reading reveals that Psalms 20 and 21 are related. Psalm 20 is a prayer for the protection (vv. 1–2) and victory of the king, God’s anointed (vv. 6, 9). The prayer of the psalmist, “Lord, give victory to the king! Answer us when we call!” (v. 9) is shown to be answered in Psalm 21. There, in a more direct way, the writer talks to God about His dealings with the king (vv. 1–7) and his enemies (vv. 8–12). The idea of trusting in God (20:7) is reiterated in 21:7: “For the king trusts in the Lord; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken.” Psalm 20 closes with petition and Psalm 21 with praise: “Be exalted in your strength, Lord; we will sing and praise your might” (v. 13).

Arthur Jackson

UR: God's Great Care

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you — you of little faith! - Luke 12:28 (NIV)

About 10 years ago, there was a huge playground just beyond the walls of my house. The chattering of adults and the giggling of children always gave life to it. Now it is abandoned, but to me it is more beautiful than ever. Grasses have taken over the whole playground, painting it green. Giant trees continue to grow, and their yellow, pink, and red flowers glow against the blue sky and white clouds. Occasionally a gardener cuts and burns the grasses, allowing new grasses to sprout up even greener, moving with the morning breeze and sparkling in the sunlight that shines among the leaves of the trees. What a perfect picture of God’s creation!

Just as that playground was abandoned, we may at times feel forgotten by our friends, our family, or people around us. But we need not become discouraged. People abandoned the playground, but God redecorated it, making it more beautiful and peaceful. When we encounter situations that challenge us, we need not be anxious. The grasses are cut and burned, but they are always reborn with perfect beauty. If God wonderfully cares even for these small things, God will surely care for us. We can rest assured that God will care for us because we are God’s beloved children.


Dear Lord, thank you for never abandoning us. Encourage us with your love. When we are overwhelmed by life’s problems, remind us of your care. Amen.TWFYT:

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Posted by: AT 11:11 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, November 30 2023

Good Morning Hearing, Singing, Serving Body of Christ! Thank God for music, being able to hear His still small voice, mouths and hearts to praise, bodies willing and able to fulfill their part in God's Good News Deliver Co. and for Jesus' sacrificial, saving love! Rejoice! Tis the season to be busy, anxious, sad, mad, frenzied or it can be the season to relax, receive, rejoice, refresh and enjoy as you share love and do what you can with what you got! Even though God's love was expensive beyond measure and came to us through Jesus' blood, sharing His and our love can be shown at very little or no expense. PTL! Repent of the materialistic thinking and striving and just show love with your presence, help, encouragement and sharing what you got. Choose shalom, joy and love this season as you share Jesus and His love. Help us Lord!

Check out the UR below. What's your part in our Good News Delivery Co.? What has God gifted you to do and is providing for you to use? We all matter and we all have gifts, talents, abilities, encouragement, prayers and yes maybe even treasure to share. Live and love like Jesus this holiday season. You are blessed to be a blessing and then blessed back for blessing. How cool! Thank you all for being a blessing and doing what you can with what you got to bless God, others, and our fellowship! May God abundantly bless you with His peace and joy! Remember the reason for the season! And remember, Jesus offers rest to the weary!

Keep dreaming BIG! God has great plans for you as you continue to listen, follow, grow, and do what you can with what you've been blessed with! Shalom!

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UR: The Fifth String

God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. - 1 Corinthians 12:24-25 (NIV)

One Sunday I gave the children’s message during my church’s worship service. Since I enjoy playing the five-string banjo, I used it as an example of the church, the body of Christ. I showed the children that the banjo has five strings, but that the fifth string is much shorter than the others — just as they are shorter than the adults in our church. Also, the fifth string usually is not noted or fretted as often as the others, so it gets a little less attention — just as they, the children, may not get as much attention as the other members of the church.

But this doesn’t mean that they are any less important to the life of the church. I showed how that shorter, fifth string is tuned to the highest pitch of the five strings, which enables it to sound a bright, cheerful tone — without which any tune played would not be nearly as pleasing. I played a short tune without striking the fifth string and then the same tune using the fifth string. What a difference!

All members of the church are important in spreading the gospel message, as well as in the many other functions of being the church. The talents of all members, children included, should meld with others to spread the love and joy that Christ gives to everyone.


O God, keep us mindful that we are all vital to you and your work on earth. We pray and serve in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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