Happy Christmas celebration week, 2019 church!

December 22, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Christmas week to all!  When we worshipped, we thought about the truth that salvation was in a person.  Salvation is found only in Jesus Christ.  Jesus is fully God who became fully man to do for us what we could not do for ourselves.  Those who saw Jesus saw salvation. Joseph, Mary and the shepherds saw salvation when they saw Jesus in the manger. Simeon saw and held salvation when he was led by the Holy Spirit to the temple when Jesus was being dedicated as a firstborn Israelite.  The wise men saw salvation when they came to the house in Bethlehem where the toddler Jesus and his family were living, and they fell and worshipped the toddler Jesus.  John the Baptist saw salvation when he saw coming toward him Jesus, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”  The thief on the cross saw salvation as he saw the One dying beside him who could remember him when Jesus came into His kingdom.  And we who have believed without seeing in Jesus will one day see face to face the Jesus whom we have trusted our lives to and the One who saved us and made us His children!   We yearn for that day!

Join the East Madison family for a wonderful time of worship on Christmas Eve at 5:00 PM on December 24. 

I want to remind you we will not have Sunday School on December 29.  Worship begins at 10:30 AM.

We are taking up the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions through the end of the month.

Merry Christmas! Remember Jesus is the reason for the season! Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, December 16, 2019, church!

December 16, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all!  As we continue to move toward the celebration of the birth of Christ, yesterday we thought about the beginning of Christmas.  Christmas did not begin in Bethlehem 2000 years ago.  It did not begin when God created the heavens and the earth.  Christmas began in the very heart of Almighty God before time began.  Before time began God planned for the redemption of those who believe.  We saw the eternal identity of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was God the Son who eternally has been.  From eternity Jesus is in communion with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.  Jesus was God the Son who was with God and was God and who created all things.  In Jesus is light and life.  And Jesus is God the Son who was made flesh and dwelt among us.  God did not tell us a way of salvation.  Jesus came to us and became fully human to be the Way of salvation.  Jesus is fully God and fully man.  And today, Jesus still comes to us.  Jesus comes to all who will receive Him.  Jesus lives in them by His Holy Spirit.  Jesus of Nazareth is the very God of eternity who alone can save us from sin. 

We will be having a Christmas Eve service at 5:00 PM on December 24. 

We are taking up the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions through the end of the month.

Remember to keep praying for each other as we all seek to deal with the struggles of life and follow the Lord more closely. 

Celebrate Jesus this Christ as the reason for the season! I want to include a link this week to a wonderful worship song.  May it encourage you, as it did me, as you watch it and realize Jesus is truly our Rock and our Redeemer.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpELMk4-3n8

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, December 2, 2019 church!

December 9, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all!  Yesterday, we celebrated the second Sunday of advent and thought about the topic of peace.  The worship team led us into songs about the coming of the Prince of Peace.  Dave G sang a wonderful song pointing us to praising the one who brings peace, the Christ-child.  We then looked from God’s Word in Matthew 2 about the first person who tried to steal Christmas from us, King Herod. King Herod tried to stop God’s plan of redemption at the very beginning but was unsuccessful.  We saw that whoever tries to destroy God’s redemptive purposes will fail and be destroyed.  We thought just as Herod tried to steal Christmas from us, there are Christmas stealers among us today who want to rob us of the joy of the season.  Christmas stealers try to turn our focus from persons to presents.  Christmas stealers try to get our focus on the rush of the season instead of helping us slow down to rest. As we slow down, we can contemplate the true meaning of Christmas, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.  Christmas stealers try to get our focus on the fantasy of Chris Cringle instead of the reality of Jesus Christ.  We must be careful not to be robbed of the joy of celebrating Christ’s birth by focusing on the wrong priorities.  

I am sure many of you ladies saw the painting that had been completed in the ladies’ restroom.  Brian Butterfield spent time every day last week finishing the stripping of the old paint, applying new waterproofing and paint to the ladies’ restroom, and putting it all back together.  It looks great!  Thank you, Brian, for all your hard work! We all appreciate you!

We unanimously approved an update to our sign yesterday.  It is so wonderful to have God’s people in harmony as we seek to move forward. I want to thank the sign team for all their hard work in determining what God would have us do and then recommending this update to the church.  The contract has been signed and sent to the sign company! 

Ladies, remember the Christmas outing this Saturday, December 14, to attend the Overture Center Carol Sing.  If you want to carpool with others, be at the church at 10:00 AM.  (I have heard that some chauffeurs will be provided that will drop you off at the Overture Center, so you won’t have to find parking!) After the event, the ladies will have Lunch at Monty’s Blue Plater Diner.

We will be having a Christmas Eve service at 5:00 PM on December 24. 

Celebrate Jesus this Christmas as the reason for the season! Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, December 2, 2019 church!

December 2, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all!  We had a fantastic day as we worshipped together as God’s East Madison family.  We looked at Matthew 22 and saw where the enemies of Jesus tried to trap Him but were unable to do so.  The enemy still seeks to trap God’s people with these same traps.  We saw we are to give to government what belongs to government, but our ultimate allegiance is to Jesus alone as Lord.  We also saw the life to come is not in conflict with this life.  This life prepares us for eternity with Jesus.  The next life provides perfect justice and sees every wrong of this life righted.  We then saw we are to love God supremely and, because we love God, we love our neighbor as ourselves.  We love God by helping our neighbor, not by hurting them.  No one can see our love for God but loving our neighbors and seeking to help them is a tangible result of our loving God.  We also saw Jesus as fully human and the promised descendant of David who would reign forever, but also as fully God, the eternal Son of God.  We saw through all these things, Jesus never fails but whoever seeks Jesus’ downfall will ultimately fail and be destroyed. 

Carla and I want to thank all of you for the wonderful gift to help us be able to see our children and grandchildren more often.  You surely surprised your pastor! Carla and I were touched deeply and truly overwhelmed with your thoughtfulness.  We were also overwhelmed as you gathered around us at the close of the service to pray for us! These generous acts mean the world to us!  God has so blessed us by allowing us to serve Him and you here at East Madison.

We have a called business meeting next Sunday, December 8, following our morning worship time.  The sign team will present a recommendation to you on a proposal to update our sign. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church