Happy Monday, March 30, 2020 church!

March 30, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! 

I hope the link to the online sermon worked for you.  I hope I learned from this first video how to better do future videos. The message continued our journey through Matthew.  Also, I wanted it to point our attention to the events of Easter-the trial, crucifixion, burial, resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus.  Yes, the events of that first Easter were real and historical, and we need to remember this, especially in difficult days like we are now experiencing.   We can remember the great acts of our God to provide forgiveness, salvation, peace and life to us.  Yesterday we thought about something familiar but essential:  Jesus willingly went to the cross to receive the punishment that all sinners deserved.  The innocent One died in the place of guilty sinners-you and me.  Because Jesus took our sin, His righteousness is counted to us whenever we turn from ourselves and our sin and receive and believe. The Jewish leaders did not force Jesus to the cross.  Pilate did not force Jesus to the cross.  The mob calling for Jesus’ crucifixion did not force Jesus to the cross.  Jesus willingly went to cross to do for us what we could not do for ourselves: provide a truly just way for our sins to be forgiven. Love for His Father and love for people sent Jesus to the cross.  

Yesterday’s car caravan to encourage Donald and Deanna and their family was great!  Even in this time of social distancing, we found a way to express the love of Christ.  I want to thank Lois for this wonderful suggestion and all of you who participated.  There were thirteen cars in our caravan. We drove by their house, honked, waved, and shouted out to them from our car windows words assuring them of the love and prayers of their brothers and sisters in Christ. We had fun, and it was a blessing to all who participated.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, March 23, 2020 church!

March 23, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all!  I pray all of you are doing well.  I miss you! I pray the Lord’s Day emails are helpful.  We think we have a way to video a message and send the link to you until we call all meet together.  Here is a link to a short video and prayer from me to you.  https://youtu.be/1hTU6PkRW00.

In Psalm 46:1-3 from God’s Word it reads, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, 3though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”  If I ever felt like the earth was giving way and the mountains were being moved into the heart of the sea, it has been now.  At these times, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble! We ABSOLUTELY can hang onto this truth! 

I encourage you to seek to call and use all kinds of available technology to stay in touch with each other.  If you think of someone and are wondering how they are doing, pick up the phone and call.  Social distancing does not mean we have to be isolated from one another.  In fact, it is essential for our spiritual and mental health to stay in touch. 

We soon should have a way for you to give your offerings online.  As soon as it is set up, we will let you know. Some of you are already mailing your offerings.  We want to be faithful in giving as an act of worship and so we can continue to support the work of the Lord around the world. 

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, March 16, 2020 church!

March 16, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all!  I pray all of you are doing well in this time of social distancing.  It was hard not being together yesterday, but it was the right thing to do.  We do not know how long we might have to cancel our worship services and meetings.  However, but we do know Jesus died and rose again, that God loves us and those we love, we love each other and that the Holy Spirit of God is with those who belong to Jesus. 

In Matthew 27, we see that Jesus has been arrested and the leaders of Israel had condemned Him to death.  When Judas realized this, he was filled with remorse and tried to return the money he had received for betraying Jesus. Because Judas refused to really understand who Jesus was and what His mission was all about, his faith was in a false messiah and not the true Messiah.  You see, only in the true Messiah, the Savior who died paying the penalty for our sins as our substitute and in the Jesus who rose again from the grave, is there true forgiveness.  Don’t find yourself in the time you need forgiveness not knowing who Jesus really is.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!


Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

East Madison Baptist Church Sunday, March 15, 2020 worship and all activities CANCELLED

March 13, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog, EMBC News, and Front Page Gallery.

Brothers and sisters,

The church council has made the difficult decision to cancel worship and all activities on Sunday, March 15, 2020. We will also monitor the situation and possibly cancel all activities for March 22.

All of us know about the coronavirus (COVID-1) global pandemic. One way to slow the speed of its advance is “social distancing” including avoidance of gathering in large groups. We do have families in our congregation who have members with compromised immune systems. Therefore, the counsel made the difficult decision to cancel.

Are we overreacting? Possibly. However, we did not make this decision out of fear, but out of prayerful consideration and careful research of what is best for our community and church family.

I know we will all miss worshipping together. I encourage you to worship individually or better yet as a family. Dads, share something from God’s Word with your family. You can do this! Worship is more than just hearing sermons but adoring our great God. In my private worship, I often go to this link https://sovereigngracemusic.org/music/videos/ and use those music videos as an aid to my worship. I also use worship music videos found on youtube.com.

Finally, Sunday, March 15 is a called day of prayer for the coronavirus global pandemic (See below). Please join with me in prayer for this on that day.

If you have questions or comments, feel free to contact me.

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church
4917 Milwaukee St.
Madison, Wisconsin 53714
Church Phone (608) 249-3779
Website: embclife.org

Day of Prayer for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Global Pandemic

Sunday, March 15, 2020

In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic, we are asking all Southern Baptists and our 47,500+ churches of the Southern Baptist Convention to commit to a dedicated time of prayer this Sunday, March 15, 2020, to seek the Lord in unity about these matters:

  1. Ask God, in His mercy, to stop this pandemic and save lives—not only in our communities but around the world, particularly in places that are unequipped medically to deal with the virus. (Isaiah 59:1-2)
  2. Pray for President Donald Trump and other government leaders—international, federal, state, and local—to have the wisdom to direct us in the best courses of action for prevention and care. (Romans 13:1–4)
  3. Scripture says—teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts. Pray that the Lord will give us wisdom in this moment of fear as the foundations of what we know are shaken, that others would realize how fragile life is and how real eternity is, and they would see their need to turn to God. (Psalm 90:12)
  4. Ask God to protect our missionaries and their families around the globe, using this global crisis to advance His Good News to the whole world. (Mark 16:15)

The Great Commission Council of the Southern Baptist Convention

Happy Monday, March 9, 2020 church!

March 9, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all!  Yesterday from Matthew 26 we considered God’s ultimate control of history.  When events looked chaotic and out of control when Jesus was betrayed and arrested, Jesus was in control!  Sometimes the events of our lives will not make sense from our perspective.  They will seem arbitrary and chaotic.  It will seem like God is not in control.  It will seem like the godless, immoral and unrighteous have the upper hand.  It will seem like we or someone we looked up to have failed God miserably.  But never forget, God is bringing about His redemptive purposes.  God ultimately is in control of history. God is bringing history to its ultimate climax of destroying evil completely.  God is working in and through all the events of history to ultimately bring about the eternal reign of His eternal Son, Jesus Christ, as King of kings and Lord of lords.  God always ultimately controls the course of history which will reestablish forever His eternal rule over His universe.

Because  we celebrated the Lord’s Supper just a couple of weeks ago and out of abundance of precaution, we will not have the Lord’s Supper this Sunday, March 15.  I know many in our community have been ill (Carla and I have been ill with the flu this week but are recovering) and we don’t want to spread disease. 

Thanks for your understanding.

The city has on their agenda on April 1, 2020 our application for a variance on our sign project.  Please be praying about this. LaCrosse Sign has told me that we should know their recommendations that night at the meeting. 

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, March 2, 2020 church!

March 2, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all!  Yesterday was such a good day as we worshiped yesterday morning and as we worshiped at the hymn sing last night.  If you missed the hymn sing, you missed a lot!  You missed a couple of hours of singing some very meaningful songs that God has used to touch our lives.  You also missed some wonderful testimonies of why those hymns were so meaningful.  I want to thank Pete Pokrandt for leading last night and Abby Longmore for playing.

Yesterday morning we also had a great day of worship.  We looked from Matthew 26 about Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane.  We learned some wonderful things about prayer.  We learned the prayer truly makes a difference.  Jesus prayed in Gethsemane and even though it did not change circumstances, prayer prepared Jesus to face the cross.  If Jesus, the very Son of God, had to pray, how much more should we understand our great need to pray. True prayer moves the hand of God.  Sometimes believers will see miraculous things happen because of prayer.  At other times when we pray, prayer enables us to be emotionally stable during life’s most difficult challenges.  Prayer also empowers us to fulfill God’s will in extreme circumstances. And when we pray, prayer truly enables us to meet and defeat life’s greatest temptations.  Prayer, as Michael Green wrote, is not magic seeking to control cosmic powers. Prayer seeks always to surrender to the will of God, knowing that God’s will is always good, pleasing and perfect.  “What a privilege to carry,” as the old hymn says, “everything to God in prayer.” 

Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 2:00 AM.  Remember to turn your watches and clocks that do not automatically adjust one hour forward before you go to bed on Saturday night.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church