Happy Monday, June 4, 2018 church!

June 4, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! I hope you had a good day on Sunday and got to enjoy the day with your family. It was great to worship with you yesterday and think about how to remain victorious in the battles we face in the Christian life. We were reminded in 1 Peter 5 that Christians plan for victory when they have godly, servant-leaders who love what they do and lead like Jesus. They lead as servant leaders, not little generals. First, we plan for victory by always remaining humble before the Lord and others. We guard continually against the opposite of humility, pride, “because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Next, we plan for victory by understanding our enemy the devil and being aware of his schemes. We know that in Jesus’ power and strength and with arming ourselves in the spiritual armor of God we can be victorious over the devil and whatever temptations and fears come our way. Finally, we plan for victory by simply standing in the grace of God. In spite of all the evil raging around us, we know we are already victorious because Jesus has won the victory for us.

We have a special blessing next Sunday, June 10th as Dr. Chad Brand, retired professor from Southern Seminary will be bringing the message. Dr. Brand has retired and is living near us so we want to take advantage of his presence in Wisconsin. Also, David Juhlin will bring a special message on fatherhood on Fathers’ Day, June 17th. Don’t miss these special messages!

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Tuesday, May 29, 2018 church!

May 29, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy hot Tuesday to all! I hope most of you are in air conditioned spaces today. I also hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day as we remembered and thanked God for those who have died in the service of our country. My mind turns to my friend Brandon Buttry who died in Afghanistan in November of 2012.

Sunday was a wonderful day. It reminded me of how blessed I am to be your pastor! I am very thankful to God for leading me to East Madison. As we worshipped and looked into 1 Peter 4, we thought about choosing joy in the difficult times, knowing that God will work to bring good to us and glory to His name through whatever believers face. We know that one day we will have exuberant joy in the presence of the Lord when we will be able to see the good God has brought through all of our difficult times. Even now, the difficult times of suffering makes us keenly aware of God’s powerful presence. We also see that suffering burns away everything in us that does not look like Jesus. Peter reminds us as believers that we should never suffer for doing evil. However, if we suffer because of the name of Jesus we should not be ashamed but choose to thank God and rejoice even in the midst of that kind of suffering. Peter also reminds us that, if it is sometimes very difficult to serve the Lord, it is far more difficult ultimately not to believe in and know Jesus.

Sunday, June 3, 2018 is a special day as we recognize our only high school graduate this year, Kelsey Pokrandt, during our worship service. Kelsey, we are proud of you and know God has great things in store for you in the future!

Love being your pastor! Thank you for being such a loving and caring people!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, May 21, 2018 church!

May 21, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! I was overwhelmed with a sense of the sacrifice Christ Jesus made for us yesterday as we celebrated the Lord’s Supper. When the worship team led us by singing “The Precious Blood,” I was overwhelmed with the truth that my sin, Bob Ray’s sin, put Jesus on the cross.

Before the cross I kneel and see
The measure of my sin
How You became a curse for me
Though You were innocent
The magnitude of Your great love
Was shown in full degree
When righteous blood, the crimson spill
Rained down from Calvary

Oh, the precious blood
That flowed from Mercy’s side
Washed away my sin
When Christ my Savior died
Oh, the precious blood
Of Christ the crucified
It speaks for me before Your throne
Where I stand justified

And who am I that I should know
This treasure of such worth
My Savior’s pure atoning blood
Shed for the wrath I’d earned
For sin has stained my every deed
My every word and thought
What wondrous love that makes me one
Your priceless blood has bought

Oh, the precious blood
That flowed from Mercy’s side
Washed away my sin
When Christ my Savior died
Oh, the precious blood
Of Christ the crucified
It speaks for me before Your throne
Where I stand justified. (Words by Peter Gagnon)

© 2005 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP). Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Churches. All rights reserved.

Any sickening self-righteousness has no place in my life or the life of any believer. No one will stand before God expect through the blood and by the merit of Jesus Christ. But that also means that no sin or sins are more powerful than the sacrifice of Jesus. The very worst sinner we imagine can be forgiven and redeemed through Jesus Christ. Such is the great salvation God has provided for whoever will believe! Praise His name forever!

Ladies, planning on joining with the women of East Madison for a time of games, food and fellowship on Saturday, May 26, 12:00 PM, at EMBC building. Lunch is provided. Invite a friend! Please RSVP Carla so we can plan for food preparation and also if you need a ride

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, May 14, 2018 church!

May 14, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday was a blessing as we worshipped together and on Mother’s Day participated in Matilda Jane’s baby dedication. Grayson, Edie and we as a church family covenanted together to pray for and seek for Mattie to come to know, love and live for Jesus. We also thought about how to have hope in suffering. We saw how Scripture teaches that if God wills that we suffer because we belong to Jesus Christ, it will be a blessing for us and a witness to the greatness of the Savior we love and serve. We saw we are blessed in suffering when presented the opportunity to bear witness to the hope we continually have in Jesus. We are blessed in suffering because the One, the Lord Jesus, who suffered for us completely triumphed through His suffering over the forces of evil and death. We have hope in our suffering because we serve a Savior who completely conquered death!

We will be observing the Lord’s Supper this Sunday , May 20 during our morning worship time. After worship, we will have a pot luck luncheon. Bring enough food for your family and a little extra for any guests that we might have.

Ladies, planning on joining with the women of East Madison for a time of games, food and fellowship on Saturday, May 26 here at the East Madison building. You will receive more detail in some upcoming emails.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, May 7, 2018 church!

May 7, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! I pray your day is going well on this first Monday of May. It was wonderful to worship with you yesterday as we considered being vessels of God’s grace and love. Believers can by the power of the Holy Spirit treat others continually with humility, respect, grace and love. We can even do this for those who might treat us badly. We can be vessels of love in our families as we seek to help our spouses be all that God intended for them to be. We can even respond with love, grace and blessings to those who may mistreat us, just as Jesus responded to those who mistreated Him. The only way to overcome evil is not by returning evil for evil, but with Jesus’ way of forgiveness, love and grace.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, April 30, 2018 church!

April 30, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! It was exciting to worship with you yesterday and see all the children that were present! Children present among us is a sign of life! I want to thank Leslie for working with the little ones during worship and also Grace and all who helped her with children’s worship. Thank you for loving the children that Jesus loves!

We also had a good time upstairs as we worshipped our perfectly just God and thought about the freedom we truly have as believers to serve God and others. We are free to willingly submit to human institutions and even to those with authority over us in the workplace because we have true freedom in Jesus. We do not fear human rulers or institutions but only fear and reverence God. Our final allegiance is always to God alone because He alone is Lord and Savior. We know that sometimes as believers we will suffer for doing what is right and good. We might suffer because we belong to Jesus Christ. That kind of suffering is following the example of Jesus who never deserved any of the suffering that He went through. We can endure this kind of unjust suffering when we might have to endure it because we trust the perfect justice of Almighty God. It might seem like some get away with all kinds of horrific and evil deeds. But no one gets away with evil and wrong forever because of the just God of eternity. God’s justice is fulfilled in one of two ways. Either we accept the mercy and grace of God offered to all by Jesus’ payment for our sins because He suffered in our place as our substitute. Or we endure an eternity of forever being away from the goodness of God because we reject Jesus and such a graciously offered salvation. Thank You, O God, for the salvation provided to all who will believe that is found in Your Son Jesus!

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, April 23, 2018 church!

April 23, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers

Happy beautiful Monday to all! Yesterday, we worshipped Jesus Christ, the One “the builders rejected (who) has become the Cornerstone.” We build our lives on the One rejected by the world. The One rejected by the world is chosen and precious to God. Through Him, we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people that are God’s very own possession. We have been made objects of the mercy of God though at one time we had not received mercy! The very purpose of our lives, the lives of the ones now receiving mercy, is to proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness in to His marvelous light. And we know this for certain: everyone who builds his or her life upon Jesus Christ will never, ever be put to shame!

I want to thank those who work with children in Sunday School and those who volunteer for childcare during our worship service. We need you and we appreciate you! Lives invested in children for the Kingdom of God are truly invested in eternity.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, April 16, 2018 church!

April 16, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday was a crazy day for us! The bizarre winter weather seems to keep hanging on. Those of us who made it to the East Madison building had a good day of worship, even though we missed those of you who could not be here. However, we have hope because we know spring is coming! The message from 1 Peter 1 and 2 again was about the hope we have in Jesus. We always have hope in Jesus and we need to set our minds on the hope we have in Him. We have certain hope because of his grace toward those who believe. We have hope because of the ultimately valuable price of Jesus’ blood that purchased our redemption. We have hope because of His Word which generates our new births and provides us with nourishment to grow in that hope. We have certain hope as believers! We say along with Edward Mote,

“Our hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness…
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.”

Ladies, you are invited to a brunch this Saturday, April 21st at Daisy Cafe and Cupcakery and you can invite a friend! Carla will make a reservation for 11:00 AM. If you’re interested in carpooling, the ladies will meet at the church building at 10:30 AM. Please let Carla know if you plan to attend and whether you’ll be carpooling. If you’re driving, the address to Daisy’s is 2827 Atwood Avenue, Madison.

We will have a pot luck lunch following our worship service next Sunday, April 22. Bring food for your family and a little extra for any guests we might have.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, April 9, 2018 church!

April 9, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday was a great day to worship our great God. I am so thankful for our worship team! They do a wonderful job in leading us. It always amazes me how the songs and the messages fit together, though we normally don’t make any conscious effort to do that. We don’t choreograph our worship services. There might be a few times I want a certain passage to be read or a certain song to be sung, but most of the time Pete and I work independently on planning worship. He chooses the music to be sung and the Scriptures to be read before I preach. I work on preaching God’s Word. However, many times it seems like God does choreograph the services and I am amazed!

Yesterday we looked at surviving and thriving in difficult times. How do you go through very difficult times and encourage others going through very difficult times? We saw that focusing on our sure salvation in Jesus Christ helps believers cope with difficult times. We saw knowing that the sufferings of believers do indeed have purpose can also help strengthen believers during difficult times. We also realized that this great salvation in Jesus truly fulfills God’s entire Word and knowing this empowers us to deal with difficult times. The living hope found in Jesus Christ truly provides strength to face all the difficulties of life!

It was so wonderful to have Peggy back with us yesterday. Peggy wanted to me to thank all of you for your prayers for her while she was sick. She also wanted me to tell you that your prayers worked! We thank God for you Peggy, that you to continue to teach us about our powerful Savior!

We will be having the Lord’s Supper this Sunday during worship.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, April 2, 2018 church!

April 2, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! We celebrated the truth of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead yesterday. We celebrated that Jesus arose physically and bodily from the grave never to die again. And today, we celebrate it again! We serve a risen Savior! We have good news that is good news every single day! As Christians we follow Jesus by faith. However, it is not blind faith. There is historical and credible evidence of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. There is an empty tomb. There is the witness of the disciples and apostles who proclaimed this message even though it cost them everything to proclaim Jesus rose from the grave. For many of these early believers the cost was their life! These early witnesses died proclaiming Jesus lives! And today many of us can testify that Jesus lives. We know this not just because of objective evidence of history but because He has changed our lives! He has forgiven our sin and freed us from addictions and oppression. Jesus has given us meaning and purpose as we no longer live for ourselves but for Him who died and rose again! Yes, Jesus lives!

Still celebrating with you Jesus as the “resurrection and the life!” Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church