Happy Monday, June 10, 2019 church!

June 10, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all!  It is wonderful to be part of the family of God at East Madison!  Yesterday we discovered this once again as we observed the Lord’s Supper and remembered that Jesus gave His body and shed His blood for us, so that our sins could be forgiven.  As we took communion together we were reminded that we are part of one another, joined together by Jesus and all He has done for us.  We celebrated the high school graduations of Emily, Kayt and Savannah as their church family.  We looked from Matthew 12 how we avoid rule-keeping religion.   Truly following Jesus frees us from rule-keeping religion and provides rest and peace. Rule-keeping religion focuses on others supposed failures instead of our personal need for forgiveness and rest. Rule keeping religion loses sight of the hurts and needs of people and emphasizes rules and rituals.  Rule-keeping religion cares more about defending itself than about helping those crushed by life. Rule-keeping religion ultimately crushes and destroys us and others.  Truly resting in Jesus and His forgiveness and seeking to love Him more and love others more helps us avoid rule-keeping religion.

Love being your pastor! 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, June 3, 2019 church!

June 3, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! It was wonderful to be together yesterday in worship of our Savior and in feasting together as the family of God.  We sang about our Redeemer’s great love and care for His people.  We thought about coming to Jesus at every stage of life. We asked if we would go to Jesus in the face of life’s doubts and injustices.  We considered if we would run to Jesus when most continue to reject Him.  We contemplated whether we will seek Jesus even when the intellectuals and elite of our day continue to mock those who seek Jesus.  We realized that Jesus invites us to continually come to Him.  Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  We can go to Jesus and should go to Jesus because Jesus, with open arms, bids the weary to come to Him!  All of us need to come to Jesus and live!

We will be recognizing our graduating high school seniors this coming Sunday, June 9 during our morning worship.  We have three young ladies we will recognize:  Kayt Smith, Emily Juhlin and Savannah Kopf. 

We will also have the Lord’s Supper this coming Sunday, June 9, during morning worship.

Love being your pastor! 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Tuesday, May 28, 2019 church!

May 28, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Tuesday to all! Today is a special day for me in that it is my Dad’s birthday.  I thank God for a father who sought to teach me to love Jesus and live for him.  My dad was a flawed man, but He knew a perfect Savior and trusted in Him.   I miss him still even after 15 years. 

Sunday we had a wonderful day of worship as we sang to our great God and Savior and thought about His love and mercy.  We want it to be said of us that the Lord is our passion!  We thought about our willingness to follow Jesus and be on mission with him.  We considered from 1 Corinthians 9 what it meant to be all things to all men and women that we might save some.   We asked ourselves if we are willing to make sacrifices, forgo rights, give up preferences, and discipline ourselves for the cause of the gospel?  What will we do so others might know our Savior who loves us and them enough to sacrifice His life on the cross for their salvation and forgiveness? How far are you and I willing to go in sharing our lives so others might come to know Christ? Will we be part of His church on mission with Jesus so that the “Lamb that was slain will receive the reward of His suffering?” These are questions with which we must continually evaluate ourselves so we remain on mission with Jesus. 

Remember we have a Pot Luck luncheon after worship this Sunday, June 2.  Bring enough food for your family and a little extra for any guests who are with us.

We will be recognizing our graduating high school seniors on Sunday, June 9. We will also have the Lord’s Supper on that morning.

Love being your pastor! 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, May 20, 2019 church!

May 20, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all!  Yesterday, we learned we are on a covert mission behind enemy lines as we carry out the Great Commission.  We are to continue to spread the good news that Jesus saves.  Jesus tells us that until the end comes, we are on mission with Him, waging war behind enemy lines.  We are not unaware of the dangers of the mission and know its reality.  We are constantly on guard against the internal enemy of fear of people and fear itself and know fear to be a liar!  We know there are distractors possibly even from those closest to us who want to keep us from being on mission with Jesus.  We also know others will be supporters and family to us who are on mission with Jesus.  Jesus’ presence in our lives provides courage and power to faithfully carry out His mission until He returns!  Stay on mission with Jesus.  The enemy is already defeated. Jesus has already secured victory!

Our next Pot Luck luncheon will be after worship on Sunday, June 2.

Love being your pastor! 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, May 13, 2019 church!

May 13, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all!  We worshipped God together as the East Madison family and sang of His continual greatness yesterday.  We looked at Matthew 9 and 10 and realized every believer is called to be on mission with Jesus.  We are called to spread the good news with a needy world of the forgiveness and salvation God has provided through Jesus.  We thought about how urgent this call is to us as we considered how many people around us are in great despair.  We looked at how the Lord equips us with His power and authority to be on mission with Him.  We also thought about how we need to seek to be strategic as we carry out the call of God to take the gospel to Madison and the world.  Finally, we realized the Lord informed us that many will reject the forgiveness and salvation offered to them.  Though this may temporarily discourages us, we must not stay there.  The rejection of some should push us on the share with  others who will receive the good news of Jesus.  Then, without any kind of prearrangement between Pete and I, God’s Spirit led the worship team to close us with a couple of songs that called us to continually offer our lives to God to use for His mission and His purposes.  May each of our lives truly be a continual offering to God! 

Our next Pot Luck luncheon will be after worship on Sunday, June 2.

Love being your pastor! 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, May 6, 2019 church!

May 6, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all!   We had a great day of worship yesterday as we took the Lord’s Supper together and remembered the sacrifice Jesus made for us to be justified before a holy God.  We remembered that by faith in this sacrifice we are united to Jesus and to one another.  We then from Matthew 9 considered whether we really believed God could help us in whatever circumstances we were facing, or if we just said we believed.  We learned that we could look to Jesus to work in any situation when others had failed us.  We learned that we can looked to Jesus to help as we understand who He truly is:  the one and only Savior and Messiah.  We learned that we can look to Jesus for those we love even if they can’t or will not look to Him themselves.  Your prayers for those who won’t or can’t look to Jesus make a difference! We learned that that we can look to Jesus for help in our impossible situations because Jesus cares for us.  Yesterday I closed the message with a story about my Dad.  My Dad was six years old when his mother died from breast cancer.  As a child the only thing he later remembered about his mom’s funeral was one of the songs that was sung, “God will Take Care of You.”  The testimony of my Dad’s life was that that God  had always taken care of him.   Many of us can also share that same testimony and proclaim that God will always take care of all who look to Him.

Our next Pot Luck luncheon will be after worship on Sunday, June 2.

Love being your pastor!    

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, April 29, 2019 church!

April 29, 2019 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all!  Yesterday we worshipped Almighty God and thought about how He uniquely made each of us.  God made us to follow Him, walk with Him, become more like Jesus continually in our character, and be on mission with Him. God placed us individually and collectively in a certain place and a certain time in history.  God did not place us in 1950 America but in 2019 America.  God did not place us in some small rural setting but in the crazy city of Madison, Wisconsin.  That was not an accident but a divine plan. He wants to use us here and now in specific ways to bear witness to Jesus.  We don’t have to be High Point Church, Door Creek Church or New Beginnings Church.  We can thank God for other believers and bodies of Christians and work alongside them to take the gospel to Madison and our world. However, we recognize God works through us in ways that are unique to His plan for us.  Yes, let us learn as much as we can from others who came before us and others who are our contemporaries.  But let us remember that learning from them does not mean being them.  God has made us His unique people and a unique church seeking to carry out His Great Commission to our world in 2019.  You and I, filled with God’s Holy Spirit, can be used as the individuals that we are.  East Madison, led by God’s Holy Spirit, can be the body of Christ where God placed us and obediently carry out the work of Christ He has given us.  Believers seek to allow God’s Holy Spirit to lead them specifically as they carry out the work God has called them to do.   

Jean Holmes’ memorial service will be this Saturday, May 4, at 11:00 AM at the East Madison building.  There will be a visitation time with the family from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM.  Also, we will be providing a meal for the family and those who attend immediately after the service.

We will observe the Lord’s Supper during worship next Sunday, May 5.

Love being your pastor!    

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

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