Happy Monday, November 26, 2018 church!

November 26, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! It was great to be with all of you yesterday and worship our great God. We considered God’s greatness. We heard a wonderful new song from our worship team adapted from the Apostles Creed that helped us remember and understand the nature of the God who loves and saves us. Nate Ray preached a sermon from the life of Joseph, the husband of Mary and the step father of Jesus, reminding us that God’s dream for us is bigger than our dream for ourselves. Nate helped us see that in moments of conflict and confusion, God guides His children with words of clarity and direction. Nate helped us see that often our dreams for ourselves are idols that we look too to find life. He reminded us that we truly find our lives in Jesus so we need to make knowing Jesus our goal and not the fulfilment of our dreams. We deny ourselves and take up our cross and lose our lives to Jesus, and thus we find life. We follow Jesus and step out in faith to whatever and wherever God calls us. We don’t know the ending of where that might lead. But as we follow Jesus in faith, we do get to know the God who calls us to follow Him.

During the Christmas season, many people are more open to an invitation to worship and the truth of Jesus than at other times of the year. We are making special packets to give out to friends and neighbors inviting them to our Christmas Eve Service at 5:00 PM, December 24. These packets will contain an invitation to this service and a booklet by Lee Strobel called “The Case for Christmas.” These packets will be available beginning Sunday so plan on taking some to give out to people you know.

Ladies, remember you are invited to a Christmas Concert at the State Capitol next Sunday, December 2. The ladies will meet at the church building at 3:00 PM to attend the concert at 4:15 PM. Following the concert, the ladies will be going to Monty’s Blue Plate for supper. Here is a little more information about this concert.:

Capitol Annual Christmas Pageant! This pageant has been taking place in the capital every year for more than 75 years. Here is a description of it: It’s one of Madison’s best-kept (and no-cost) secrets – the Christmas Story sung through Christmas carols in 4-part harmony by local high-school choirs in the rotunda of the Madison Capitol building. (Emily Juhlin will be singing with these choirs as she is in the La Follette High School choir.) The lights are turned out and the Christmas Story is illuminated in live montages. Each performance lasts 45 minutes. There is limited seating but you can either stand or bring your own chair.

Enjoy God’s glorious presence and the awesome mystery of his birth being celebrated within our state capitol! It’s a wonderful way to quietly pause during the craziness of the season and enjoy the beauty of what Christmas is really about.

Remember to put on your calendar a Christmas tradition at East Madison, the Juhlin’s Annual Christmas open house. It is open to all on Friday night, December 14, from 7:00 to 10:00 PM. Directions to their house are available at the church building.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, November 19, 2018 church!

November 19, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! It was wonderful to worship with God’s family at East Madison yesterday! We thought about cultivating an attitude of thankfulness. God children are those who embrace the truth of God and seek to live our lives glorifying God and continually thanking Him. We seek to cultivate a continual attitude of thanksgiving. We can do this because God can take even the worst of circumstances and use it for His glory and turn it to good for His children. We cultivate this attitude of gratitude by remembering certain truths. First of all, God uniquely created each one of us to know, love and live for Him. Secondly, God provides us with everything we need to live. Thirdly, every single good thing in life, every blessing, is a gift of God’s love and mercy. And finally we cultivate this attitude of gratitude by remembering the great price paid for our salvation, the price of the very life of the Son of God. As Paul says in Romans 8, “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all-how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things,” We can truly live thankful lives for this great and good God.

Next Sunday morning, November 25, my son Nate will be preaching in our worship time. You may remember him from last year’s Christmas Eve service. I believe he has a special giftedness to communicate to this generation. I hope you can be here and maybe invite some younger friends to hear a younger voice proclaiming God’s truth.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, November 12, 2018 church!

November 12, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! Anatoliy Sapsay from Innovista Ukraine helped us remember that God was for us! God wants good for His people. God does not want us to blindly follow Him but to know and love Him. Anatoliy also reminded us that we are responsible for guarding our hearts. We guard our hearts, first of all, by not forgetting all God has done for us. Secondly, we guard our hearts against empty ideas and philosophies that lead us away from God. Paul reminds us of this same thing in Colossians 2:8: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” Then last night we celebrated Thanksgiving as God’s East Madison family. Are you still full from our Thanksgiving celebration? Yes, it was a such good day yesterday as we worshipped God our Savior and spent time with one another, reminding each other of God’s goodness.

Our youth are working on putting shoe boxes of gifts together for Operation Christmas Child. They will be packing those shoe boxes this Saturday, November 17. If you have any donations, please bring them by the church building before Saturday. If you have any questions, contact Megan.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, November 5, 2018 church!

November 5, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday as we finished looking into the book of Daniel, we saw that believers are involved in a cosmic spiritual battle against the forces of evil. It is not a physical battle using earthly weapons of war but a battle involving the spiritual weapons of prayer, God’s Word, testimonies of faith, love, courage, and perseverance. Prayer is an important part of this battle. As we pray, we join the angels of heaven as they battle the demons of hell. That is why sometimes praying is very difficult and we have to work at it. We learned that the spiritual battle we will endure is a prolonged and intense struggle. We must faithfully persevere until Jesus returns and does away with evil and sets all things right. Ultimately we learned that God’s people in God’s power will courageously persevere in the battle against evil until Jesus comes in ultimate triumph. Jesus will come in ultimate triumph because He has already defeated the great enemy of God and mankind! Don’t ever forget that!

Next Sunday, November 11, we will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper during our morning worship. Also, Anatoliy Sapsay will be sharing about his work in the Ukraine. Anatoliy Sapsay, Director of Innovista Ukraine. Anatoliy is a former manager of the International MBA programme at Kiev Business School and an army reservist. He has overseen growth of Innovista’s work in Ukraine despite the chaos of war, and leads the L’viv hub. Anatoliy worked with Grace Donaldson when she was serving in Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine. AND TO MAKE IT A SUPER SUNDAY, on Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, we will have our annual East Madison Thanksgiving Celebration at 6:00 PM. There is a sign-up sheet for the food items we need for this celebration on the table in the foyer.

Our youth are working on putting shoe boxes of gifts together for Operation Christmas Child. Please put donations in the back of the sanctuary to help them out. If you have any questions, contact Megan Tolhurst.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church