Happy Monday, April 22, 2019 church!

April 22, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all!  I pray your day is going well and you are living in the light of the resurrection of Jesus.  It was wonderful yesterday to focus on Christ Jesus’ complete victory over death.  We celebrated it as we worshiped together and thought about the question, “Will we believe that Jesus conquered death never to die again?”  We believe there is evidence that rationally verifies Jesus came out of that grave.  But you have to decide something about that evidence.  Many times people do not want to believe in the resurrection of Jesus because if they believe, they cannot continue to live life for themselves.  Belief in Jesus resurrection requires submitting to Jesus as Lord, Master, Boss and Ruler of your life.  It means losing your personal agenda and surrendering to God’s agenda and God’s mission.  It also means seeking to continually  surrender to God’s will and God’s agenda as you continually confess Jesus as Lord.  So the question we asked yesterday is a question we ask ourselves every single day, “Will we believe that Jesus conquered death never to die again?”

We are exploring the possibility of conducting some “Five Day Clubs” for children this summer at homes.  The clubs will last five days and be 1½ hours long each day.   Those hosting them would have to have a background check done by Child Evangelism Fellowship.  If you think you might have children in your neighborhood that you could invite to one of these clubs and would like to host a club, please contact me.    

Love being your pastor!    

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, April 15, 2019 church!

April 15, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all!  To quote Mr. Rogers, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood!”  We had a wonderful day of worship yesterday.  We thought about the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and then His crucifixion.  Through the lens of the old spiritual “Were You There?’, we considered what it might be like to have witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus.  We saw the Savior proclaimed King and Messiah even by those who refused to believe.  We contemplated the Savior fulfilling prophetic Scripture through those soldiers who carried out this act of execution. We witnessed the Savior from the cross caring for those He loved and thought about how He cares even for each of us today. We considered how the Savior finished all that was necessary for our forgiveness and redemption. There is no sin greater than Jesus’ sacrifice, no sin that cannot be forgiven.  But also we saw that no sin is so small that it does not need Jesus’ sacrifice for it to be forgiven.  We saw and still see in Jesus the Savior providing for us complete forgiveness for our sins. 

We will be having a joint Good Friday service on April 19th at the East Madison building at 7:00 PM in conjunction with Sovereign Joy Church.  Join us as we contemplate why  Good Friday is truly Good Friday.

Join us this Easter Sunday morning, April 21st, as we remember we serve a risen Savior!  Our Savior is living and active and working among us today.  The tomb could not hold Him and the grave could not keep Him!  He has conquered death forever!  We will begin our celebration of His resurrection at our  annual Easter Breakfast at 9:30 AM.  We will then worship Him together at 10.:30 AM and celebrate His victory over death that gives those who believe complete victory over death!

We are exploring the possibility of conducting some “Five Day Clubs” for children this summer at homes.  The clubs will last five days and be 1½ hours long each day.   Those hosting them would have to have a background check done by Child Evangelism Fellowship.  If you think you might have children in your neighborhood that you could invite to one of these clubs and would like to host a club, please contact me.    

Love being your pastor! 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, April 8, 2019 church!

April 8, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy beautiful Monday to all!  I hope you will have some time today to enjoy this beautiful weather we are having. 

Yesterday, we focused on the greatness of God as we worshiped from Psalm 145.  We looked at how we should speak of His greatness to the next generation and proclaim His mighty deeds.  Then we looked in John 18 and 19 on how God’s purposes will be accomplished and His plans will prevail.  History is not moving in cycles.  History had a beginning when God created the heavens and the earth. History will have an end when Jesus returns to destroy evil and reign forever.  We saw through looking at Pilate’s role in Jesus’ crucifixion how we can either partner with God in bringing about His purposes and agenda or we can be pawns of God in bringing about His purposes and agenda.  Pilate did not believe in the true God or cooperate with Almighty God.  However, God will even work through pawns like Pilate to accomplish His redemptive purposes for the world.  No human ruler or government and no individual will thwart the purposes of God!  God will ultimately bring about the complete destruction of evil and the redemption of God’s people and God’s creation!  And I say “Hallelujah” to that truth!

We will have a Business Meeting following morning worship next Sunday, April 14.   

We will be having a Good Friday service on April 19th at the East Madison building at 7:00 PM in conjunction with Sovereign Joy Church.  Also remember that we will have our annual Easter Breakfast on Easter Sunday, April 21 at 9:30 AM.   There is a sign-up sheet for the needed food items for the Easter Breakfast in the foyer.

Love being your pastor! 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, April 1, 2019 church!

April 1, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all.  Even though we have joy always in the Lord, this Monday is not as happy for us as most.  Our beloved sister Peggy Blum went to be with Jesus on Saturday.    We will miss her tremendously.  We will all be short of a hug on Sunday.  However, we know she is happier than she has ever been, living now in the presence of Jesus, the One who gave His life so she might live with Him forever.  She loved Jesus and she is in His presence.  Even as I reminded her of her love for Jesus and His love for her last Thursday evening, she reminded me that no one could love her like Jesus loves her. No one can love any of us like Jesus loves us. Peggy lived and continues to live in His love.  We grieve here but rejoice that she is with Him forever.    We will celebrate her life here at the East Madison building at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, April 3. 

Yesterday, we thought about Jesus’ Last Supper and our continuing celebration of that when we share in the Lord’s Supper.  The Supper symbolizes Jesus giving of His body and shedding His blood so we could be justly forgiven.  We are part of the new covenant that the shed blood of Jesus inaugurated. Every time we take the Supper, we are reminded that we are in Jesus and He is in us.  Each of us is a part of His body and, because of that, we who believe in Jesus are a part of one  another.  Faith in Jesus makes us part of His body and united to one another.

Remember that we will be having a Good Friday service on April 19th at the East Madison building at 7:00 PM in conjunction with Sovereign Joy Church.  Also remember that we will have our annual Easter Breakfast on Easter Sunday, April 21 at 9:30 AM.   There is a sign-up sheet for the needed food items for the Easter Breakfast in the foyer.

Love being your pastor! 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, March 18, 2019 church!

March 18, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all!  I hope your week has started well.  It is truly nice to see the sun and feel spring arriving.  Yesterday we had a good day of worship.  It was good to have some better weather so we could see some of our wonderful senior saints, who have not been able to be with us because the inclement weather of the last month.  East Madison is blest by these wonderful senior saints!  As we worshipped yesterday, we saw that we should follow Jesus right now without reservation.  We looked at how we should be continually in awe of Him. We examined His power over nature, His power over the forces of evil, and His ability to forgive sin.  No one else has this power and ability except Jesus Christ. Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man, has the right to ask us to follow him now no matter what hardships we might face or whatever cost we may have to pay. Don’t be an emotional follower of Jesus who is caught up in the moment without realizing there will be very difficult times in following Jesus.  Don’t be like the man who thought He could follow Jesus later when it was more convenient and treated Jesus more like a consultant than King! King Jesus bids us to follow Him now without reservation because He is Lord of heaven and earth.

This weeks, “The Call to Courageous Manhood” men’s small group study will again meet Wednesday, March 20th,  at 6:30 PM at David and Annette Juhlin’s home.   

We will have the Lord’s Supper, Sunday March 31st, during our morning worship service.

Love being your pastor! 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, March 11, 2019 church!

March 11, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! It was good to gather yesterday and worship.  Yesterday we thought how the powerful acts of Jesus in Matthew 8 back up His message to us from “The Sermon on the Mount.”  Jesus’ claims to be the criteria by which we will be judged and the very one whom will we stand before in judgment were backed up by His life and powerful miracles.  We saw that no one is beyond the touch of Jesus and no one is beyond the power of Jesus’ Word, so we should not think any person beyond His help.  We also saw that everyone who believes can join Jesus in His mission of extending His Kingdom.   Jesus’ powerful acts reveal He alone is the Savior and Lord whom all should embrace.    

I want to thank all those who teach our Bible studies at every level, from children to adults.  Deanna, Damon, Megan and Jason work hard to teach the Bible to those who attend those studies.  I would encourage you, if you do not attend one of our Bible study classes that happen every Sunday morning at 9:30 AM, to join us. I also want to thank Grace Donaldson for her hard work in providing children’s worship twice a month.   These faithful people serve us quietly and faithfully.  I am grateful to each of you.

This weeks, “The Call to Courageous Manhood” men’s small group study will meet Wednesday, March 13 at 6:30 PM at the church building.  We will meet upstairs in the youth Sunday School room because Emily Juhlin has a concert and David will need to leave a little early.  Join us for this study.  

Love being your pastor! 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, March 4, 2019 church!

March 4, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all!  As we finished the sermon series on “The Sermon on the Mount,” we saw in the conclusion that the Sermon on the Mount  is all about Jesus!  It is not just a sermon on ethical living, but a sermon that asks the question, “Will you believe in and trust your life to the One who preached this sermon, Jesus Christ?”  Jesus, who preached this sermon is the narrow gate we must enter the Kingdom of Heaven through.  We must not be misled by people who preach there are many ways to God.  We must not be misled by those who preach a Jesus other than the one revealed in the Bible.  Also, Jesus is the One who must know us and the One we must know.  Many profess faith in Jesus but do not know Him and whom He does not know.  On Judgment Day, Jesus will publicly profess to some of those who preached great sermons and did supposedly miraculous things in His name that He never knew them!  They did not live for His glory.  They did not truly believe and follow Jesus.  The served in Jesus’ name simply for what was in it for themselves and Jesus never knew them and they never knew Him.  We also saw that Jesus’ words must not simply be heard, but we must put them into practice.  It is not enough to read the Bible and listen to sermons and attend worship service.  When we hear the word of God, we must act upon it by building our lives upon it! If we put into practice Jesus’ words, we will survive whatever storms of life come our way.  If we simply just hear them and not do  them, our lives will be destroyed by the storms of life that come to all.  Our eternal destinies rest on what we believe about and do with Jesus Christ.   The Sermon on the Mount, and in fact, all of the Bible is about Jesus!

I want to challenge our men to be a part of the men’s short-termed small group study, “The Call to Courageous Manhood” that starts this Wednesday evening, March 6th.  I think this study will help us to be better men of God-better husbands, fathers, sons, and grandfathers.  I am excited about this study.   It will led by David Juhlin and held at David and Annette Juhlin’s home and start at 6:30 PM.  You can contact David or me with any questions about the men’s group.  

Remember to move your clocks an hour forward this Saturday before you go to bed as we begin Daylight Savings Time.  (I don’t think we actually save any daylight but simply rearrange our schedules to make it seem like we have more daylight!)

Love being your pastor! 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, February 25, 2019 church!

February 25, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all!  As we celebrated the Lord’s Supper yesterday, we were reminded of the high price paid for us to be saved.  It was the very blood and life of the Son of God that purchased our salvation!  Thank you, Pete and the worship team, for picking such appropriate songs that helped us to focus on this truth.  As we examined Matthew 7:1-12, we thought about seeing others properly.   We learned that we are not to look at others with a harshly critical attitude.  We learned that we are not to look at others with an irresponsible naivete. We are to seek to treat others the way we would want to be treated.  We also looked at the truth that this can only be done as we continually ask and  seek God’s help.  The promise to ask and we will be given, seek and we will find, knock and the door would be open to us was given to us toward the end of the Sermon on the Mount.     Jesus is not talking to us about asking for things.  Jesus is telling us to continually pray for God’s help and power to live out the Sermon on the Mount, to live as His holy people.  Our prayers are not to be focused on things, but on living a life that continually glorifies God!

We will have a Pot Luck luncheon this Sunday, March 3rd, after worship.   Bring enough to feed your family and a little extra for our guests.

We will begin a men’s short-termed small group study called, “The Call to Courageous Manhood” on Wednesday, March 6th.  It will led by David Juhlin and held at David and Annette Juhlin’s home.  You can contact David or me with any questions about the men’s group.  

Love being your pastor! 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, February 18, 2019 church!

February 18, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all!  It was great to be together yesterday to worship on a snowy Sunday.   We know many of you could not be here because of the weather and all of us understand that.  We don’t want anyone to take unnecessary chances on the roads when the driving might be unsafe.  However, we want you to know we missed you!  Those who could be here considered the things we should value and give our energies toward from Matthew 6.  We should make sure that we serve God alone and never bow to the idol of money and things.  Then, because we serve God alone, we need to give our energies and resources to seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness.  We need to be careful that we are not robbed of our energies by anxious worry about the future.  Our energies need to be directed toward loving God, walking with and serving Him and His children,  and serving others in Jesus’ name.  Don’t value what is not of eternal value.  Don’t be robbed of effectiveness in living today by anxious concern about tomorrow. Value eternal treasures by seeking above all else the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

We will observe the Lord’s Supper during our morning worship next Sunday, February 24th.  Our next Pot Luck luncheon will be after worship on March 3rd.

We will begin a men’s short-termed small group study called, “The Call to Courageous Manhood” on Wednesday, March 6th.  It will led by David Juhlin and held at David and Annette Juhlin’s home.  You can contact David or me with any questions about the men’s group.  

I wanted to include this announcement Carla made yesterday during worship about the previously planned women’s small group study: 

“After doing some follow-up on the author of the book, I have some concerns about her beliefs. Therefore, we will not do this study. I’m conflicted as to what to do now. If you have some suggestions, please let me know. I apologize for the late notice.”

Remember to continually pray for each other. 

Love being your pastor! 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, February 11, 2019 church!

February 11, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all!  Yesterday we worshipped and thought about how to live out our faith, especially in the spiritual disciplines we practice.  Jesus taught in Matthew 6 that we are to practice spiritual disciplines.  Believers depend on the Holy Spirit, who lives in us, to help us practice them in the right way.  We are to give, pray, fast and every other spiritual discipline we do to the glory of God and not to impress people.  We are to do these things so we will walk closer with God.  If we do these things to impress people, God is not impressed. We are to love Him and live for His glory.   We are to always be careful to live for the glory of God and not the praise of people.

We will begin on Wednesday, March 6 two new small groups.  The new ladies group is a study called, “Discerning the Voice of God.”  This group will be led by Carla and held at our home.  Carla will be sending out an email with more information.  Contact her with any questions.  The men’s group will be a study called, “The Call to Courageous Manhood.”  It will be led by David Juhlin and held at David and Annette Juhlin’s home.  You can contact David or me with any questions about the men’s group.  

Love being your pastor! 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church