Church Blog

Happy Monday December 20, 2021, church and Merry Christmas!

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! As we worshiped on the fourth Sunday of advent, the focus of worship was God’s great love for the world, the love that sent His Son Jesus for us. Then we considered from Luke 2 that God is active all around us. He is moving and working. We saw that God can move the world to see His purposes accomplished. We saw God moves the humble to provide miraculous witness to His salvation. The old man Simeon, when he saw and held Jesus, said he had seen God’s salvation! Salvation is not a religion, philosophy, or creed. Salvation is a person. Salvation is Jesus. Jesus is salvation. We are not saved by believing a religion. We are saved by believing in Jesus, by receiving and embracing Him. We saw we also need, like Simeon, to “take Jesus in our arms,” to receive Jesus, take Him into our lives. Finally, we understood that God moves His people who long for His activity to praise Him as they see Him working. Do we have eyes to see Him? Are we looking for and expecting Him to move? God is working and He is moving all around us!

There will be no Bible Study on December 26 or January 2.  We will only have morning worship on those days.

We are taking up the Lottie Moon Offering for International Missions during December. 100% of this offering goes to missionaries on the field taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. When you give to the Lottie Moon offering, make your checks out to East Madison Baptist church, and use the Lottie Moon envelopes.

Our Christmas Eve service will be on Friday, December 24 at 5:00 PM.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Have a wonderful week and a Merry Christmas!

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, December 13, 2021, church!

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! As we worshiped on the third Sunday of advent, we focused on the joy we have because the Lord has come. From Matthew one, we thought about how to make choices and decisions that will glorify God. We are going to have to make many choices in life. If we seek God and want to do His will, we can make good choices, even though sometimes they may be hard choices. We need to determine as best we can to do what is right, what is God’s will, in every circumstance. We need to be careful not to make hasty decision but be open to the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit. We need to be open to God revealing His purposes in those circumstances in the course of action He wants you to take. And when we know God’s will, we need to seek to obey God quickly. Determine to do what God would have you do, what is right, in every circumstance. God’s will for all is good, pleasing, and perfect.

We took some donuts to the staff at Kennedy School Friday as a token of our appreciation to them for their work. We sent this note alone with the donuts:

Kennedy Staff. We know the pressures are great on all who work with children, especially this year. We want you to know with this small token of appreciation how grateful we are for all you do. We pray God‘s richest blessings on all of you during this holiday season. Your friends at East Madison Baptist Church, Bob Ray, Pastor

We are taking up the Lottie Moon Offering for International Missions during December. 100% of this offering goes to missionaries on the field taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. When you give to the Lottie Moon offering, make your checks out to East Madison Baptist church, and use the Lottie Moon envelopes.

Our Christmas Eve service will be on Friday, December 24 at 5:00 PM.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Have a wonderful week!

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, December 6, 2021, church!

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday as we observed the second Sunday of Advent, we considered the hope we have because of Jesus. We remembered the hope we have as we celebrated the Lord’s Supper remembering our sins are forgiven and we are justified in Jesus. We found in Luke 1 the truth that if we are remembered, it ought to be from our connection to Christ Jesus. Through Mary’s eyes we saw the inherent greatness of Jesus, even while He was in her womb. We considered the uniqueness of Jesus’ birth. Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, fully God and fully man. We saw the power of the first witnesses to Jesus in Elizabeth and her unborn baby, John. John jumped in praise even within Elizabeth’s womb! Elizabeth testified that Jesus was Lord even while Jesus was in Mary’s womb! Finally, we saw the beautiful song of praise Mary sang to the greatness of our God, how God brings down the rich and powerful and exalts the humble. We know Mary of Nazareth because of her great Son. May others know us today, and in the future only and because of our connection to our great and only Savior. May we continually point to how great Jesus is!

We are taking up the Lottie Moon Offering for International Missions during December. 100% of this offering goes to missionaries on the field taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. When you give to the Lottie Moon offering, make your checks out to East Madison Baptist Church and use the Lottie Moon envelopes.

Our Christmas Eve service will be on Friday, December 24 at 5:00 PM.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Have a wonderful week!

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, November 29, 2021, church!

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday as we observed the first Sunday of Advent, we worshipped by singing songs helping us to prepare our hearts for remembering Christ’s first coming and birth. Those songs reminded us of Jesus as Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. From Matthew 1, we learned from the family tree of Jesus that God always keeps every promise He makes. None of them will fail! In Christ’s first coming, God fulfilled his promise to Abraham to bless the world and to David that his descendant would reign forever. In Christ, God is fulfilling His promise that all the nations will worship him. In Christ, God fulfills His promise of grace and forgiveness working in all kinds of people. And in Christ, God will fulfill His future promise to us that Jesus will come again bodily and physically, and every eye will see Him. Jesus will completely destroy evil and rule and reign forever. 2 Corinthians 2:20 reminds us that “all the promises of God find their Yes in Christ Jesus.”  God’s grace and forgiveness are offered through Jesus. God promises you, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” If you have not turned from your sin and received this gift of God, ask Jesus to save you. This promise is one that can be yours today.

We will observe the Lord’s Supper during our morning worship service next Sunday, December 5 at 10:30 AM.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, November 22, 2021, and Happy Thanksgiving week church!

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! As we worshipped yesterday, we focused on thankfulness and our need to be thankful. From John 19, we considered Jesus willingly going to the cross for us and dying in our place. The King of kings became the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. We thought about how the true and living God of the universe is completely unique in that He entered into our suffering and suffered in our place. He understands suffering, even our suffering, from experience. We are not promised we will not suffer. Suffering is real and is a part of life. However, God the Son Himself has suffered for us and entered into our suffering. God will be with us as we face suffering in this fallen world. Jesus dying on the cross and entering our suffering to completely provide forgiveness and salvation for all who believe should receive our deepest gratitude.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Have a wonderful week!

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, November 15, 2021, church!

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday as we worshipped, we thought about the greatness of God’s love for us. We sang the song “What Love My God” written by Jonny Robinson, Rich Thompson, and Michael Farren. Notice how powerful these words are:

     What love my God could hold You to the tree
     To bear that overwhelming debt for me
     The Son of heaven leaves the Father’s side
     The Healer bleeds the Life was made to die

     What love my God, so gracious and extreme
     Was strong enough to come and fight for me
     To go through hell and down into the grave
     And raise me up to see You face to face
     You raise me up to see You face to face

Then, in John 18 and 19 we looked at the record of the most famous trial in history, the trial of Jesus before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate. Though Pilate was the one seemingly controlling the verdict that would be given, the truth is that the One on trial was actually in charge of all that was happening. The sovereign Ruler of the universe was, through this the greatest injustice in the history of the world, bringing about the triumph of love, justice, and righteousness. What Jesus’ enemies saw as His being cursed, His greatest humiliation and defeat, was actually the triumph of God! Christ Jesus Himself became a curse for us to free us from the curse of sin. On that day as Jesus, the King of the Universe, was being tried and crucified, Jesus was providing a just salvation for all who would look to the Him and receive what He was doing for them. From this passage of Scripture, we see Jesus, the King of the universe, becoming the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Have a wonderful week!

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, November 1, 2021, church!

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday as we celebrated the Lord’s Supper, we thought about how Jesus saves us from our sin, our deadness, and our condemnation. Outside of Jesus we are not going to be condemned, but are already condemned and need to be rescued. We needed a Rescuer, a Redeemer, to save us. Jesus is the one who rescues us from sin and its eternal consequences. Jesus going to the cross to die in our place and rising from the dead made a way for us to be rescued. Taking the Lord’ Supper together helps us to regularly remember this.

We then considered from John 18 how we can handle the crises all of us will face in life. We contrasted the way Jesus handle the crisis of His arrest with how Peter handled the crisis of Jesus’ arrest. We can do what Peter did and react emotionally in our own strength. But that only leads to cowardice and failure. Or we can do what Jesus did. We can trust God whatever comes knowing He is directing our steps. We need to learn from the old spiritual we sometimes still sing, “I am weak but Thou art strong, Jesus keep me from all wrong.”  We need to pray, “Lord, I can’t do this on my own. I am weak. I need your Holy Spirit to empower me to live for your glory. I need your Holy Spirit to help me to trust you when an unexpected crisis comes, and I want to react instead of waiting on you to lead me. Help me walk close with You that my life may bring glory to Your name.” Believers can weather any crisis when we remember God knows a crisis is coming and we trust Him to calmly lead us through whatever we face.

I want to thank everyone who donated to and participated in the “Trunk or Treat” outreach on Saturday. It was a tremendous success, and it was a lot of fun! We had a number of children and families come from the neighborhood and from outside the neighborhood. Also, we learned from this first “Trunk or Treat” how to improve on future events. I want to give a special thanks to Grace Donaldson who coordinated the event.

Do not forget to turn your clocks back an hour before you go to be on Saturday evening as Daylight Savings Time ends.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, October 25, 2021 church!

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday we worshiped and gave our Savior praise. We learned as we praised Him that His mercy is more. Matt Papa and Matt Boswell wrote, and we sang: His mercy is more, His mercy is more. Stronger than darkness, new every morn, our sins they are many, His mercy is more. Then, from John 17, we got to listen to the prayer of our Savior on the night before He was crucified. We also realized Jesus’ prayers for us are not just something that happened “way-back-when” either. Hebrews 7:25 tells us Jesus is praying for us even now. “Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because He always lives to intercede for them.”  We also can pray to God the Father for the things that Jesus prayed for us. Believers can pray like Jesus for the Father to be glorified. Believers can pray like Jesus for God’s protection for ourselves as we carry out Jesus’ mission. Believers can pray like Jesus for themselves to be completely set apart for God’s purposes. Believers can pray, like Jesus, for us to be truly unified with all who name the name of Jesus. And we can live with thankfulness knowing Jesus wants us to be with Him and see Him in all His glory. Believers seek to pray like Jesus.

We apologize for not being able to livestream yesterday’s service. Pete worked on it yesterday afternoon and believes he has solved the problems and it will be ready to go next week. Here is a link to the recording of yesterday’s service: https://youtu.be/mhLEd8vrFvE

We will be reaching out to our neighbors this Saturday, October 30 at 3:00-4:00 PM with a “Trunk or Treat” event. Invite children you know in your neighborhood to come to this event. If you have candy and treats for the event, you can bring them by the church building. For more information and to sign-up to help, contact Grace Donaldson at goodgracious73@gmail.com.

We will be observing the Lord’s Supper next Sunday morning, October 31, 2021, during our morning worship gathering.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, October 18, 2021, church!

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! It was wonderful to be able to still worship outside together on a beautiful fall day yesterday. As we look at John 16:16-33, we saw how Jesus transforms the sorrows and tragedies of the lives of those who believe into triumphs. We learned how the greatest injustice anyone ever faced in history was the crucifixion of Jesus. However now that injustice has been transformed by God into the very thing that provides for our justification, forgiveness, and redemption. We should always remember Jesus transforms sorrow into never ending joy. Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection transforms every need we have by unleashing the resources of heaven to meet those needs. Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection even transforms our failures into peace and victory. If God can take this greatest injustice and transform it in triumph, He can take my and your greatest sorrows, tragedies, and yes, even failures and transform them into triumph. Jesus Christ transforms the tragedies of life into triumphs.

A few weeks ago during our Sunday morning worship gathering, we prayed for Theresa’s brother who was in the hospital with complications from Covid.  Theresa informed me that her brother died last week.  The funeral was last weekend. Please keep Theresa and her family in your prayers during this heartbreaking time.

We have restarted weekly Bible Study on Sunday mornings at 9:30 AM. I want to encourage each of you to be part of one of these small group Bible studies if possible. There is a new class for adults and teenagers that gives a general overview of God’s Word and gives overviews of specific books of the Bible. David Juhlin will be teaching this class. Also, Jason Donaldson’s class for adults and teenagers continues in depth teaching looking at the book of Daniel. There are also classes for grade school children and preschool.

We will be reaching out to our neighbors on October 30 at 3:00 PM with a “Trunk or Treat” event. We will ask people to dress in costume and hand out candy and treats to the children of our neighborhood. We will need a lot of cars, people, and treats to pull this off, so we ask all of you to be involved. You can start now by bringing your candy and treats to the church building in preparation for this even. For more information and to sign-up to help, contact Grace.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, October 11, 2021, church!

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! It was great to worship with you yesterday as we praised the matchless name of Jesus and offered our lives as offerings to Him. It was also wonderful to hear a couple of reports from you of how God was working in your lives. In the message from John 16 we considered the wonderful advantage we have in Jesus providing for every believer His Holy Spirit. Even though we long to see Jesus face-to-face, until He comes we have the presence of His Holy Spirit always with us who believe. Yes, it is to our advantage and the advantage of all the people of God throughout the world that Jesus was crucified, buried, risen, ascended to heaven, and glorified. Now Jesus is at the right hand of the Father interceding, praying, for us. Jesus sent us His Holy Spirit after He was glorified to be ever-present with us who believe as we take the good news of Jesus to others. As we share the good news of Jesus, God’s Spirit also works in the hearts of unbelievers to show them their need for a Savior. God’s Spirit also guides God’s people to increasing understanding of God’s truth. God’s indwelling Spirit glorifies God and guides God’s people into increasing intimacy with God.

We will restart Sunday morning Bible studies for all age groups next Sunday morning, October 17, at 9:30 AM. I want to encourage each of you to be part of one of these small group Bible studies. There will be a new class for adults that gives a general overview of God’s Word and gives overviews of specific books of the Bible. David Juhlin will be teaching this class. Also, Jason Donaldson’s class will continue in depth teaching on one book of the Bible at a time. There will also be classes for grade school children and preschool.

We will be reaching out to our neighbors on October 30 at 3:00 PM with a “Trunk or Treat” event. We will ask people to dress in costume and hand out candy and treats to the children of our neighborhood. We will need lots of cars, people, and treats to pull this off, so we ask all of you to be involved. You can start now by bringing your candy and treats to the church building in preparation for this even. For more information and to sign-up to help, contact Grace.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church