Happy Monday, August 27, 2018 church!

August 27, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday hopefully found for you and your family some time of worship and encouragement after quite an eventful week last week here in Madison. As we began to work our way through the book of Daniel, we thought about wise living in a hostile culture. We learned that God enables his people to live for His glory even in the most hostile of circumstances. We learned to focus on living in the present and not in the past. We learned to not compromise those things essential to our identity in Christ. We learned to recognize that God provides people of good will that help us remain faithful to Him in difficult circumstances. And we learned to see the sovereign hand of God working among us for His glory and His purposes even when it seems like evil has triumphed. The church of Jesus, His people who have been born again into His Kingdom, are promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against us!

We will be beginning some new short-term small groups on Wednesday evening, September 19th. Both these studies will take place on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 with locations to be announced. The new women’s group will be a Bible study on prayer using the film the “War Room.” The men’s study is from the Conquer Series and entitled: The Battle Plan for Purity. It is a discipleship study for men on how to walk with God and triumph over the temptation of pornography. It is said that up to 63% of Christian men struggle with the temptation of internet pornography. This study provides understanding of and help in overcoming those temptations. Even if you might not struggle with the specific temptation of pornography, you will learn some principles about overcoming other kinds of temptation. I encourage every man that can to be part of this study.

We will also begin soon a new short-term DVD Bible Study on Sunday mornings at 9:30 AM for older youth and adults called “The Clash of Kingdoms.” In this DVD study facilitated by Damon and Megan Tolhurst you will “discover how Paul communicated the Good News of Christ to Philippi, a Roman colony that worshipped false gods. Can you live the message as Paul did while he encouraged the church in Philippi to consider itself a colony of heaven, not Rome? Consider your citizenship and the message you convey to the world as Ray Vander Laan takes you deeper into the culture of ancient Philippi.”

Continue to pray for the Juhlin’s in the passing of Annette mom’s, Bonnie Mullholland.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, August 20, 2018 church!

August 20, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! I hope your week has started well. It was wonderful to be with you all yesterday and worship our great God and Savior. I pray you sensed the Lord’s presence as you worshipped. There is no substitute for gathering with the family of God and worshipping together. No believer can grow as they should in their understanding and walk with God if they are not part of regular worship and fellowship with the people of God. Believers who do not get the opportunity to be with other believers will tell you how wonderful being with the family of God regularly truly is. Yesterday’s message focused on how salvation is far more than an individual experience. God’s saves you so you can be part of His family, part of the community of the people of God. As Americans we tend to individualize everything from Scripture. But God’s promises are meant for more than us as individuals. They are meant for His people in community. We looked at the tragedies that Joseph faced in Genesis and realized the things he faced were not just so he could have a high position in Egypt. They were for the rescuing and saving of all the people of God and for the bringing about of God’s redemptive purposes in the world. Sometimes things happen in your life and my life that do not make sense if we individualize those things. However, they work for the good of the family of God, “for those who love the Lord and have been called according to His purpose.”

We will be starting some new groups this fall. We will have two new short-term groups, one for men and one for women. More information will be coming probably this weekend and those groups will begin sometime in September.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, August 13, 2018 church!

August 13, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! It was wonderful to be with you yesterday in worship as we learned about gaining God’s perspective. God’s perspective enables us to have the joy of faith and not be bogged down in the scorn of unbelief. God’s perspective sees God’s provision and protection for those who follow him instead of focusing on the grievous pain of separation when God calls us away from those we love. God’s perspective focuses on the new beginnings in life and not the closing of old chapters of our lives. Gaining God’s perspective enables us to live life with an undefeatable confidence.

I want to remind you that we have wonderful Bible Studies at 9:30 AM for all ages every Sunday. We have a children, youth and adult Bible study weekly with teachers who worked hard to teach God’s Word. I would encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities to grow in your knowledge of God’s Word and to grow in knowing how to walk with and live for Jesus every day.

I wanted to thank you for the snacks you provided to Kennedy School for their community outreach to new families. Our partnership with them continues to grow. Things like this give us opportunities to get to know staff, parents and students. They will know that East Madison is a church who is concerned about our community. I am beginning to know many of the staff and count them friends. All this is happening because of your willingness to help. Pray for those staff and students at Kennedy that they would come to know or know more fully the love of Jesus.

Youth, this Friday, August 17 is the youth lock-in. It starts at 7:00 PM and runs through 10:00 AM the next day. Contact Damon or Megan Tolhurst or me if you need more information. You do need a signed permission slip for this and those are available at the church building.

We will be starting some new groups this fall. We will have two new short-term groups, one for men and one for women. More information will be coming soon.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, August 6, 2018 church!

August 6, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! Once again I am grateful to our gifted and creative worship team! The new original EMBC worship team song they sang yesterday, “Here,” was fantastic! Ron Roberts’ first line was so powerful and wonderful: “Here is where the weak and weary call upon the Strong and Mighty One for the gentleness of grace.” Wow! I pray that East Madison would be known as such! I am also very grateful for another group of volunteers who work with our children in Sunday School and worship. What you do is essential and I want to thank Deanna, Grace, and every volunteer that works in childcare.

I know the sermon yesterday could have been challenging to many. We all have choices in our lives that we deeply regret and wish that we could undo. We need to remember when we think about those choices Psalm 103:8-13: “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.” We can’t go back and undo our choices and God does not want us to live in guilt or grief over those things of which He has forgiven and dealt with by the blood of Jesus. However, we can seek to make future decisions by seeking to choose to obey God and value what is eternal. Make decisions by not living your life for small things! Make decisions by not using your family background as an excuse for wrong choices. Believers need to value in life what is truly valuable. Seek to make decisions in life with eternity in view.

Please remember to bring your snack foods to the church building on or before Sunday, August 12, to help Kennedy School meet-and-greet at the Kingston Onyx Park. Bring purchased snack foods (nothing homemade) like chips, cookies, trail mix, popcorn to the church. We will then get it to the Kennedy team for that community outreach.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church