Happy Monday, June 22, 2020 church!

June 22, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday on Father’s Day, we had a wonderful service worshipping our great God and thinking about how to be the fathers God would have us be.  The importance of a godly father in someone’s life cannot be overestimated.  The Bible teaches that a child is truly disadvantaged when Dad, for whatever reason, is not around.  In fact, fatherlessness is seen a one of life’s greatest misfortune by Almighty God.  It is such a great misfortune that children who are without fathers hold a special place in the heart of God.  We learned some characteristics of a godly father.  Godly fathers are faithful.  They seek first God’s Kingdom and make Jesus’ church a priority. Godly fathers are available.   They spend much time with their children.  Godly father are tough and tender teachers.  They know God has entrusted them with teaching their children the ways and Word of God.  They know they are not to be their children’s best buddy, but their dad who is tough when he need to be tough and lay down the law, but also tender when his children have been crushed emotionally and need dad to show them love.  Godly fathers are hopelessly in love with their wives, and their children find security in knowing their parents are committed to each other until death parts them.  Godly fathers are emotionally involved with their children.  And finally, Godly fathers are repentant.  They acknowledge and turn from their sins and receive God’s forgiveness provided through Jesus.  They willingly admit to their children and their spouse when they blow it.  They understand God will move heaven and earth to help the man who turns from his sin.  They see God’s grace and mercy override their mistakes.  They are fathers who pattern their lives after our perfect Heavenly Father.    

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!  Next Sunday morning, June 28, we will begin our worship service at a new time.  WE WILL BEGIN AT 9:00 AM IN THE PARKING LOT.  We hope this helps us be a little cooler.

I want to thank you for your faithfulness in giving to the Lord. We provide an offering box for you to deposit your offerings when we meet in the parking lot.  You can mail offering checks to the church address at the Milwaukee Street address below. Also, you can give your offerings online at the embclife.org website by clicking the “Give Online” tab on the homepage or you can click this link directly:  https://give.idonate.com/east-madison-baptist-church/give

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, June 15, 2020 church!

June 15, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! God again gave us a beautiful day to gather outdoors as His people and be the church. 

The message yesterday dealt with the Bible’s teaching that every person is made in the image of God and reflects the glory of God.  The message challenged each of us to turn from and stand against the evil of racism.  We can no longer act like racism is a problem that was solved in the 60’s.  We must continually repent of any racism that creeps up in our minds and hearts.  We should seek to stand against racism as it raises its ugly face in our nation’s institution.  Why? Because, first, it dishonors our Savior who died for people from every tribe and language and people and nation. Second, because we know every person is made in the image of God.  God sees that one human being is worth way more than all the stuff in the world.  Jesus said in Mark 8:36 “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”  One person, one man, woman, boy or girl is worth more than all the stuff and fame of the world. We should see each other in that way and understand that each person somehow reflects the image of God and should be treated with the utmost respect. Third, we should see every person as a person who needs to come to know the love and forgiveness of God.  We should see every person as a person for whom Christ died and who without Him will perish.  God graciously entrusts believers with caring for people who are all made in the image of God. Our Lord Jesus expects us to turn from and stand against racism.  God help us to do this today and every day.

We again apologize for the failure of the livestream yesterday.  Here is a link directly to yesterday’s recorded service:  https://youtu.be/caPuiWKdBPc

I want to thank you for your faithfulness in giving to the Lord during these difficult times.  We are receiving offerings in a few ways.  We provide an offering box for you to deposit your offerings when we meet in the parking lot.  You can mail offering checks to the church address at the Milwaukee Street address below. Also, you can give your offerings online at the embclife.org website by clicking the “Give Online” tab on the homepage or you can click this link directly:  https://give.idonate.com/east-madison-baptist-church/give

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, June 8, 2020 church!

June 8, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! It was wonderful to be worshipping physically with you yesterday!  Gathering and praising God together with you and being able to proclaim His word to you personally lifted my spirit immensely.  I hope those of you who joined us by Youtube.com on livestream or watched the service later were also blessed. (Here is a link to the EMBC YouTube channel where you can watch yesterday’s service or tune into to watch next week’s livestream: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3rJ-oFvSS-9W-iWf6Wcvnw).  In the message, we learned from Mark 12 and John 13 that Christianity is all about relationships.  God sent Jesus to earth and to the cross for us to mend our broken relationship with Him.  God did for us what we could not do for ourselves.  As we respond to the love of God, each of us seeks to love God back with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind.  We seek to love Him supremely above everything and everyone else.  Then as we love God supremely, we love our brothers and sisters in Christ as Jesus has loved us and live in community with them so the world will see us this and know that we are Jesus’ disciples.  Finally, because we love God supremely and live in community with each other, we are also filled with love for our neighbors. Who is our neighbor? Our neighbors are anyone whom God places in our paths whose need we can meet in Jesus’ name.  All around us are our neighbors who need to know the love of God and be drawn into these relationships. Following Jesus is all about our relationships: with God, each other and those whose needs we can meet in Jesus’ name.

We will continue meeting this Sunday, June 14, in our parking lot at 10:30 AM.  (I think yesterday went well except I need to remember to put sunscreen on the top of my head.)  We ask that you bring lawn chairs for the members of your family to sit.  We will continue to practice social distancing as we meet outside.  We will also provide virtual worship and provide a live feed to our services. In case of inclement weather, we will only live stream our services. If you have a fever and/or other symptoms of being ill or have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid 19, we ask that you stay home and worship with us virtually. Also, we support anyone who feels like you need to stay home to protect your health. Please pray for me and the church council as we continue to adapt to this changing crisis and work out details.

I want to thank you for your faithfulness in giving to the Lord during these difficult times.  We are receiving offerings in a few ways.  We provide an offering box for you to deposit your offerings when we meet in the parking lot.  You can mail offering checks to the church address at the Milwaukee Street address below. Also, you can give your offerings online at the embclife.org website by clicking the “Give Online” tab on the homepage or you can click this link directly:  https://give.idonate.com/east-madison-baptist-church/give

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, June 1, 2020 church!

June 1, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday, as we worshipped, we considered what happens when God says “No” to some of our prayers.  Paul experienced this in 2 Corinthians 12 when Paul asked God to remove the “thorn in his flesh.” God told Paul “No” to this request. Instead, God said to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” God told Paul that in Paul’s weakness, God power would be shown to be perfect, sufficient, and enough. There will be times when we will pray for something and God will not give us what we ask.  In these times, we often do not understand what God is doing.  God sometimes allows the continuance of struggles and difficulties for His glory, the furtherance of His kingdom, and for our good.  Will we trust God when he says “no” to changing the circumstances of our lives?  Will we trust God when that thing we pray for does not happen?  Do we believe that God will bring about greater things through His “no” to our prayers and to His continued allowance of struggles and difficulties?  Whatever we face, we know God promises His ever increasing and all-sufficient grace to help us when he says “no” to our prayers. Will we believe and trust Him even in this?

Our church will begin meeting physically, the Lord willing, starting this Sunday, June 7. On June 7, and probably for a while, the plan is to conduct outdoor services in our parking lot.  We will have people parking cars appropriately distanced from one another. We ask that you bring lawn chairs for the members of your family to sit in front of your vehicles.  We will continue to practice social distancing as we meet outside.  We will also provide virtual worship and begin to provide a live feed to our services. In case of inclement weather, we will only live stream our services. If you have a fever and/or other symptoms of being ill or have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid 19, we ask that you stay home and worship with us virtually. We realize some of you are concerned with meeting in this manner because of health issues. We support you if you feel like you need to stay home to protect your health. Some of you might not agree with how we are proceeding but know, as best we can, we are trying to do what we believe is God’s will and best for His people.  Please pray for me and the church council as we continue to adapt to this changing crisis and work out details.

Please remember to pray for our city and nation during these tense days.  Pray for justice and then peace to be better established.  Pray for the rage to decrease and forgiveness, love, and mercy to increase.

I want to thank you for your faithfulness in giving to the Lord during these difficult times.  We are receiving offerings in a couple of ways.  You can mail offering checks to the church address at the Milwaukee Street address below. Also, you can give your offerings online at the embclife.org website by clicking the “Give Online” tab on the homepage or you can click this link directly:  https://give.idonate.com/east-madison-baptist-church/give

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Tuesday, May 26, 2020 church!

May 26, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Tuesday to all! It was good to have Pete lead us in virtual worship yesterday. We appreciate you, Pete! I pray that the celebration of the Lord’s Supper reminded you that the Lord is near.   We looked at one of the most beloved passages of hope as we looked in John 3:16. Jesus is our hope and the hope of the world. God’s love for us provides hope when hope can be found nowhere else.  God loves us and proved His love for us by giving Jesus to die and then rise again for whoever will believe.  This offer is open to all.  This offer frees those who will believe from perishing. This offer to all who will believe provides us with the life of knowing the one true God and to love and live for Him.  Jesus came not to condemn but to rescue us from condemnation. This is the hope of all who will believe.

Our church will begin meeting physically starting June 7. On June 7, and probably for a while, the plan is to conduct outdoor services in our parking lot.  We will have people parking cars appropriately distanced from one another. We ask that you bring lawn chairs for the members of your family to sit in front of your vehicles.  We will continue to practice social distancing as we meet outside.  We will also provide virtual worship and begin to provide a live feed to our services. In case of inclement weather, we will only live stream our services. If you have a fever and/or other symptoms of being ill or have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid 19, we ask that you stay home and worship with us virtually. We realize some of you are concerned with meeting in this manner because of health issues. We support you if you feel like you need to stay home to protect your health. Some of you might not agree with how we are proceeding but know, as best we can, we are trying to do what we believe is God’s will and best for His people.  Please pray for me and the church council as we continue to adapt to this changing crisis and work out details.

I encourage you to take advantage of virtual meetings with other believers during this time.  We need each other! I continue to be grateful for the virtual meetings taking place with the ladies on Saturday morning and the prayer meeting on Sunday evening. 

I want to thank you for your faithfulness in giving to the Lord during these difficult times.  We are receiving offerings in a couple of ways.  You can mail offering checks to the church address at the Milwaukee Street address below. Also, you can give your offerings online at the embclife.org website by clicking the “Give Online” tab on the homepage or you can click this link directly:  https://give.idonate.com/east-madison-baptist-church/give

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, May 18, 2020 church!

May 18, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! The message from Ephesians 5 and 6 reminded us of the importance of family relationships.  As we love, submit, and surrender to God, we love, submit, and serve those closest to us.

I also especially loved the songs Pete picked out to use in worship yesterday.  Notice the words of one of them written by Matt Papa and Matt Boswell, “His Mercy is More.” 

What love could remember, no wrongs we have done
Omniscient all-knowing, He counts not their sum
Thrown into a sea, without bottom or shore
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more

(Chorus) Praise the Lord, His mercy is more
Stronger than darkness, new every morn
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more

What patience would wait, as we constantly roam
What Father so tender, is calling us home
He welcomes the weakest, the vilest, the poor
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more (Chorus)


What riches of kindness, He lavished on us
His blood was the payment, His life was the cost
We stood ‘neath a debt, we could never afford
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more (Chorus)

I am so glad that God’s “mercy is more!”

I know many of you want to know when we will begin meeting again physically as a congregation.  In Dane county, there is still a “safer at home” order in place until May 26. Even after this expires, we want to be led by God’s Holy Spirit in being deliberate and careful.  We want to protect God’s people individually, His church as a whole, and the witness to the gospel of East Madison Baptist in our community.   When we do begin to meet again, we will follow the recommendations of our state and local leaders. We will open slowly and responsibly. My friend Paul Berthiaume said it better than I could say it.  “We are not keeping our campus closed because our freedoms are being oppressed. Rather, through God’s grace and the freedom he has granted us, we are choosing to do the wise, safe and responsible thing, as best we can discern under the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Essentially, we are choosing to LIMIT OURSELVES for love’s sake.” In all that we do, we are seeking to love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, and love our neighbor as ourselves. 

In saying all this, the church council is meeting again this week to solidify a plan. At first, we will not go back to a full worship or activity schedule. We will either limit the number of people who can be in the building or possibly arrange outdoor services, to maintain social distancing guidelines.  We have ordered touchless disinfecting stations, but they will not be here until July.  We will continue to provide virtual worship services for those who may have compromised immune systems and need to be especially careful.  We are seeking to have something in place in early June, possibly the first Sunday. Pray for the church council as we begin to think about how we can wisely proceed in coming out of this time of social distancing. 

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, May 11, 2020 church!

May 11, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday in the message, we looked at the world’s best advice.  The world’s best advice was given by Jesus’ mother, Mary, in John 2.  Jesus was at the wedding feast honoring marriage and family. The first social act of God in Genesis was creation of the family when God presented Eve to Adam. The first miracle of Jesus in the gospels was a miracle honoring marriage.  At that feast, the couple ran out of wine.  This would have resulted in complete humiliation for this newly wedded couple unless something was done.  Mary wanted to stop this humiliation from happening, so she approached Jesus with the problem.  Then Mary gave the best advice ever given to those serving the guests at the wedding.  Mary told those who were serving to do whatever Jesus told them to do.  Jesus told the servants to fill the huge containers that were used for ceremonial washings with water.  Jesus then told them to take a draw of those containers to the master of the feast.  When these servants did what Jesus told them to do, they witnessed Jesus’ first miracle, the water becoming superb wine!  These servants witnessed that first miracle that protected a young couple’s marriage.  From this we learned that the best thing any of us can ever do is to do whatever Jesus tells us to do.  The best advice anyone can ever give another person is to do whatever Jesus tell them to do.  

I know this time of social distancing has been difficult for many of us.  It is difficult not to be able to meet as a congregation physically and only conduct worship virtually.  However, we will come out of this!  Pray for the church council as we begin to think about how we can wisely proceed in coming out of this time of social distancing.  We will have to change some of the things we have taken for granted in the past, at least for a while.  We will have to avoid handshakes, hugs, passing offering plates, and other things.  We will have to be more careful in other areas as well.  We need God’s wisdom so when the time comes to begin meeting together physically, we will have a plan in place.

I want to thank you for your faithfulness in giving to the Lord during these difficult times.  We are receiving offerings in a couple of ways.  You can mail offering checks to the church address at the Milwaukee Street address below. Also, you can give your offerings online at the embclife.org website by clicking the “Give Online” tab on the homepage.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Tuesday, May 5, 2020!

May 5, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Tuesday to all! As some of you know I was unable to send my regular email yesterday, so this is another attempt to send it out

I hope your times of worship have been helpful during our times of social distancing. I know the song Pete shared written by Ron Roberts reminded me God can and will, “Give us hope, give us strength, give us grace.” As we looked at 1 Samuel 17 and the event of David and Goliath, we learned all of us have times of discouragement in our lives.  We become discouraged because we underestimate our enemy the devil and overestimate ourselves.  We become discouraged because we forget we are children of God and belong to the Almighty God of the universe.  We become discouraged because we often seek to avoid difficulties and problems instead of dealing with them in a timely manner.  We can overcome discouragement when we realize that our faithfulness to serve God yesterday in small things enables us to deal with possibly bigger assignments today.  And ultimately, we overcome discouragement when we realize that the battle is the Lord’s and we will be victorious as we live for Him.  God empowers those who look to Him to be victorious even in the most difficult of circumstances.

Wonderful news! The city has approved our variance request to improve and update our sign!  It will not be long now!

We are reminded from Philippians 4:4 that we are to “rejoice in the Lord always.”  To do that we make a deliberate choice to always rejoice in Jesus Himself. We might not rejoice in our circumstances, but we rejoice in Jesus, who is greater than our circumstances.  Jesus is the true source of our joy and in Him we can always rejoice.

I encourage you to take advantage of virtual meetings with other believers during this time.  We need each other! I continue to be grateful for the virtual meetings taking place with the ladies on Saturday morning and the prayer meeting on Sunday evening. 

I want to thank you for your faithfulness in giving to the Lord during these difficult times.  We are receiving offerings in a couple of ways.  You can mail offering checks to the church address at the Milwaukee Street address below. Also, you can give your offerings online at the embclife.org website by clicking the “Give Online” tab on the homepage or you can click this link directly:  https://give.idonate.com/east-madison-baptist-church/give

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, April 27, 2020 church!

April 27, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday as we worshipped virtually together, we sang about how wonderful our Savior is and all He has done for us.  We then considered from 1 Corinthians 6 about the glorious change Jesus Christ makes in the life of anyone who will trust their life to Him.  We learned from this passage that God’s grace will not leave us where we are.  Jesus saves us from sin, not in sin and Jesus saves us to know and follow Him as Lord. More and more I am convinced that Jesus did not come to save us from hell, but He came to save us from sin.  Sin leads to death, and death and hell and are sin’s end results. The thing we need to be saved from is sin.  We learned also that God’s grace will cleanse you, free you, forgive you and make you forever a child of God.  God moves powerfully in the lives of those who believe and trust in Jesus.  Those who trust Jesus have been enslaved and found that Jesus could free them. Those who trust Jesus have been wracked with guilt and found that Jesus could forgive them. Those who trust Jesus have been broken by pain and discovered that Jesus could comfort them. Those who trust Jesus have been filled with hatred and found that Jesus could fill them with His love. Jesus Christ makes a glorious change in the lives of anyone who will trust their lives to Him.  I pray you have entrusted your life to Jesus or that you will entrust your life to Jesus today. 

I encourage you to take advantage of virtual meetings with other believers during this time.  We need each other! I continue to be grateful for the virtual meetings taking place with the ladies on Saturday morning and the prayer meeting on Sunday evening. 

You can mail offering checks to the church at the Milwaukee Street address below. Also, you can give your offerings online at the embclife.org website by clicking the “Give Online” tab on the homepage.  Or you can click this link directly:  https://give.idonate.com/east-madison-baptist-church/give.  I want to thank you for your faithfulness in giving during this time of social distancing.      

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.  We all need to pray and be prayed for, especially during these difficult days.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, April 20, 2020 church!

April 20, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all!  I pray yesterday was a wonderful day of worship for you and your families as we worshipped through music, the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, and the proclaiming of the Word of God.  I pray the virtual observance of the Lord’s Supper was meaningful to you as we remembered Jesus and all He has done and will do.  We remembered His great sacrifice so our sins could be justly forgiven. We remembered that He rose again, ascended to heaven, and is coming back.  Celebrating the Lord’s Supper is remembering Jesus totally-what He has done, what He is doing presently as He intercedes (prays) for us now, and what He will do in the future as He returns to rule and reign forever. 

Yesterday’s message from Matthew 28 reminded us that believers are always on mission with Jesus.  We follow Him as disciples and seek to call others from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation to join us as disciples who follow Jesus.  We are called to take the good news of Jesus to our communities and to the world.  As Jesus has authority over all the universe, Jesus gives us the authority and power to carry out this world-wide task. And Jesus will be with us always as we take His good news everywhere.

I continue to be grateful for the virtual meetings taking place with the ladies on Saturday morning and the prayer meeting on Sunday evening.  I know some wonderful fellowship, ministry, and sharing are happening in the ladies’ meetings.  The virtual prayer times on Sunday night have been wonderful!

I want to encourage you to be faithful in your worship of giving offerings to the Lord through His church during the time we can’t meet physically. The mission of the church is supported by the people of God.  The work of the Lord goes on around the world.  You can mail offering checks to the church address on Milwaukee Street. Also, you can give your offering online at the embclife.org website by clicking the “Give Online” tab on the homepage.  Or you can click this link directly:  https://give.idonate.com/east-madison-baptist-church/give  

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Praying you all stay safe.  Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church