Happy Monday, June 5, 2017 church!

June 5, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday! Yesterday was a good day of worship and fellowship. We had a great time in worship as we praised the One who made us and bought us with His blood. As we worship week by week, we weekly offer ourselves to Him to believe in and live for Him alone. We learned a little bit more of how to win the battles against evil and the evil one. We must be men and women who prayerfully depend on God’s power, strength and courage in our struggle to stand for Him and against evil. As we depend on His Spirit and His Word, we will be people of courage and truth. As we depend upon the Holy Spirit, we can always be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. We can stand strong!

We also had a good time last night at Hiestand Park. Thanks for all who made the time of fellowship and outreach possible.

We want to congratulate Daniel Smith on his graduation from Monona Grove High School yesterday. Way to go Daniel! We are proud of you! We are looking forward to the great future God has for you.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, May 22, 2017 church!

May 22, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday it was great to be with the family of God. It was wonderful to worship and be together. We missed many of you who were away and look forward to seeing you soon. We saw yesterday in Luke 22 how God was setting the stage for our redemption. Evil was fully unleashed in the plot to crucify Jesus. However, God’s plan before the foundation of the world was to take the everything evil had to unleash against Him and totally defeat evil and death through the cross and resurrection of Jesus. God has completely defeated evil so our victory is not something to come in the future. We live in that victory today because we have a Savior who died for us and rose from the grave to never die again. Walk today in that victory that is yours already in Christ Jesus!

Ladies, remember to put this Thursday night, May 25th on your calendar. On this night the ladies will meet at Olive Garden at 6:30 PM. Ladies are invited to come enjoy sweet fellowship and dinner. Bring a friend! Please let Carla know you are coming so she can make reservations for the group.

We want to let our young people know that this Sunday, May 28, we will be joining other youth across Madison in the worship time on Sunday morning at Bratfest. Youth will meet at the church at 7:45 AM to be at Bratfest in time for the worship service which will start at 8:30 AM. It is supposed to end at 9:45 AM and we will come back for our worship gathering here at East Madison.

We will be having the Lord’s Supper next Sunday, May 28, during our morning worship gathering.

On Sunday evening, June 4, we will have a time of fellowship and outreach and Hiestand Park on Milwaukee Street near our property. We will start at 5:30 PM so plan on coming and invite a friend.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, May 15, 2017 church!

May 15, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! Our college students are in the middle of semester tests, finals, and graduations. Some are home from college and some are finishing finals and will be home soon. Congratulations to those who have or will graduate and/or receive degrees. Congratulations also to those who will graduate from high school soon. Way to go East Madison students!

We had a good day yesterday as we gathered. I hope the message was helpful as we seek to live by faith in the face of life’s uncertainties and catastrophes. We live not focusing on signs but seeking to be faithful to Jesus, seeking the expansion of His Kingdom and carrying out His mission until He returns. We know that throughout history there will be wars, tragedies and catastrophes. Those things are a part of living in this fallen world. We should not live in fear but in faith because of the certainty that God is in control and Jesus’ word will be fulfilled. His promise will not fail even if heaven and earth pass away! Jesus will return physically and bodily to earth!

We want to let out youth know that on Sunday, May 28, we will be joining other youth across Madison in the worship time on Sunday morning at Bratfest. Youth will meet at the church at 7:45 AM to be there in time for the worship service which will start at 8:30 AM. It is supposed to end at 9:45 AM and we will come back for our worship gather here at East Madison.

Ladies, remember to put Thursday night, May 25th on your calendar. On this night the ladies will meet at Oliver Garden at 6:30 PM. Ladies are invited to come enjoy sweet fellowship and dinner and to bring a friend!

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, May 8, 2017 church!

May 8, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! We had a fantastic day yesterday as we worshiped and learned together. I hope the message helped us all to see true beauty from the eyes of Jesus. Beauty from God’s perspective is seen in living a sacrificial lifestyle for His glory and to help others. Our love for God enables us to give sacrificially of our money, time and selves for His Kingdom as we serve others. Real beauty is not in outward adornment but in inward character. Don’t be fooled by superficial beauty but learn to see truly beautiful things from Jesus’ perspective. Also, last night at the hymn sing was wonderful! I was surprised even at my own emotions as we sang some of the wonderful hymns of the faith and heard some of your stories of how you came to faith in Jesus. I think most of us came away with a desire to do this again sometime soon. And besides all that happened at East Madison, I got in a good bicycle ride! Yes, it was a great day!

I want to thank all those who came and helped us on our work day last Saturday. If we are honest, most of us don’t look forward to those kinds of events. We come because we think we should. But as we get there and work side by side, it is invigorating! We visit with each other and our relationships deepen. (I think this is one of the most important things that happen as we work side by side.) Then we see some things cleaned up and improved and we are glad we came and participated. Thank you, Brian, for organizing this event.

Remember ladies to put Thursday night, May 25th on your calendar to go to eat and fellowship together.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, May 1, 2017 church!

May 1, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday, May 1st to all! It is May and I am wearing a sweatshirt! We know that Spring will break through sometime soon. I just hope we have more than a few days of Spring before the heat of summer arrives.

What a great day we had yesterday in worship and fellowship! I especially loved singing and being reminded that Christ will hold me fast!

“When I fear my faith will fail,
Christ will hold me fast;
When the tempter would prevail,
He will hold me fast.
I could never keep my hold
Through life’s fearful path
For my love is often cold
He must hold me fast

He will hold me fast
He will hold me fast
For my Savior loves me so
He will hold me fast

Those He saves are His delight
Christ will hold me fast
Precious in His holy sight
He will hold me fast
He’ll not let my soul be lost
His promises shall last
Bought by Him at such a cost
He will hold me fast

He will hold me fast
He will hold me fast
For my Savior loves me so
He will hold me fast

For my life He bled and died
Christ will hold me fast
Justice has been satisfied
He will hold me fast
Raised with Him to endless life
He will hold me fast
Till our faith is turned to sight
When he comes at last

He will hold me fast
He will hold me fast
For my Savior loves me so
He will hold me fast.

[Original Words vv 1-2 by Ada Habershon, New Words and Music by Matt Merker©2013 Getty Music Publishing (BMI) / Matt Merker Music (BMI) (admin by MusicServices.org)]

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for holding us fast!

Remember that we will have a work day this Saturday. May 6, at the EMBC building beginning at 8:30 AM. Hope you can help for at least part of the time as we work together to make the facilities useful and inviting.

Next Sunday night, May 7th, at 6:30 PM we will have a hymn sing and testimony night. I want to encourage you to pray about sharing the story of how you were saved. Someone will hear your story and will connect with you. Paul often shared his testimony because He knew it was a powerful weapon in spreading the gospel and encouraging believers. In fact Revelation 12:11 reminds us. “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” We want to keep these testimonies to ten minutes or less so you won’t be able to share every detail. Thank about your story and prepare to bless others by sharing it.

Brothers and sisters, I love you and love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, April 24, 2017 church!

April 24, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! We have a beautiful day and I hope your Monday is going as well as our weather. Our celebration of the Lord’s Supper yesterday and our worship reminded us of the greatness of God. His great love and great power have provided for our salvation and life. I hope the message yesterday from Luke 20 helped us all begin to pray to be people of courage in the face of corruption. Jesus courageously opposed the evil and corrupt religious leaders of His day. We too, at times, must stand against corruption as we proclaim God’s truth. May we be people who are strong and courageous as we live for the glory of God.

We will have a pot luck dinner this Sunday, April 30th, after morning worship. At this Pot Luck, we will have a quick discussion of the upcoming Hymn Sing and Testimony Night that will take place on Sunday night, May 7. I hope at the Hymn Sing on May 7th many of you will share the story of how you came to Jesus. Begin planning about how to share your story in less than 10 minutes. I believe that hearing each other’s faith stories will be a major witness and encouragement to all who attend the hymn sing. I am really looking forward to these two events!

We will have a church work day at the East Madison building on Saturday morning, May 6th.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, April 17, 2017 church!

April 17, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday! Remember Jesus is risen indeed! Our Resurrection Sunday celebration was wonderful yesterday. Our Savior paid the penalty for our sins and rose from the grave that we might believe and know Him. Believing in Jesus may have been something of a quiet and growing understanding in your life. Or faith may have come when we were at our very lowest and Jesus spoke our names and changed our sorrow to joy. Or it may have been a dramatic conversion from skeptic to believer as we understood that Jesus has risen and He truly was alive! What matters is that each of us as individuals have believed in Jesus as Savior and continually submit to His rule in our lives.

We will be observing the Lord’s Supper next Sunday during our morning worship service.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, April 10, 2017 church!

April 10, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! I hope everyone got to enjoy the beautiful weather we had this weekend. We had a great day yesterday worshipping together! Thank you worship band for your leadership. We take you guys and gals for granted. We are blessed to have you! I hope the message was helpful as we learned how to better handle rejection. Jesus knew rejection when Jerusalem’s leaders chose their own fame, power and stuff over Him. They missed their opportunity to know real life by not embracing Jesus as King and Messiah. Jesus did not respond with rage at their rejection but with tears and love. We should respond with tears and love for those rejecting us or rejecting the gospel. We should remain focused on God’s love and God’s purposes for us when rejected. Don’t respond with depression and despondency. You cannot control how other people react to you. However as believers we can by God’s power keep moving ahead by loving others and focusing on Jesus.

I also want to say a special “Thank You” to our deacons, Brian Butterfield and Jason Donaldson. They do so many things to serve East Madison that most people don’t even know about. I appreciate these men so much for their service to the Lord and His church. Also, adults, if you are not a part of Jason’s weekly Bible Study at 9:30 AM on Sunday morning, you are missing out!

This is the a special week as we look forward to celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. Remember tomorrow night, April 11, at 7:00 PM we have a presentation from “Jews for Jesus” called “Christ in the Passover.” You don’t want to miss this! Then on Friday night, April 14, at 7:00 PM we will have a joint Good Friday service with Sovereign Joy here at East Madison. I hope you are planning to be part of these special events that will help us focus on the importance of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Also, remember that we are having an Easter brunch on Easter morning as we celebrate Jesus’s resurrection. This will take the place of that morning’s Bible studies before our worship gathering. There is a sign-up sheet on the table in the foyer for a list of items we need for the brunch.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, April 3, 2017 church!

April 3, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! We are in the season of remembering Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. We remember the price Jesus willingly paid to forgive our sins. He was “like a sheep led to slaughter,” but we know He willingly went there to pay the price of our redemption. Though it looked like evil men were in control of events, they were not. God was orchestrating all the events to bring about our redemption. Jesus died and rose again! He was stronger than the grave, sin, and hell itself. Yesterday we looked at how Jesus was making a statement that He was Israel’s and the world’s Savior and Messiah when he entered Jerusalem on a peaceful donkey. The time for subtlety was over! Jesus’ action boldly told who He was and His disciples rejoiced in this. We learned for us that there is a time for caution and a time for bold action. There are times in our lives when we have to boldly proclaim in Jesus that “salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven whereby we must be saved” in spite of opposition all around us. May God grant to each of us the boldness and power we need in those times.

Again, remember the two special events happening next week. We will have a presentation from “Jews for Jesus” called “Christ in the Passover” on Tuesday night, April 11, at 7:00 PM. On Friday night April 14, we will have a joint Good Friday service with Sovereign Joy here at East Madison also at 7:00 PM. I hope you are planning to be part of these special events that will help us focus on the importance of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Also, remember that we are having an Easter brunch on Easter morning as we celebrate Jesus’s resurrection. This will take the place of that morning’s Bible studies before our worship gathering. There is a sign-up sheet on the table in the foyer for a list of items we need for the brunch.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, March 27, 2017 Church!

March 27, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! I hope your Monday is going well. We had a wonderful day of study, worship, and family fellowship yesterday. We learned to be anticipating our Lord’s coming by working hard now at what He has called us to do. We are to be on mission with Jesus as He seeks and saves the lost. He has entrusted to us the valuable treasure of His gospel which we are to share and not hide. There are hurting and ruined people around us whom our Lord is seeking and we can be faithful servants through whom He works to help them. My prayer is that all of us would pray that we as individuals and we as Jesus’ church at East Madison could be those vessels.

I think our family meeting helped us to see how God might want to work through us to expand His Kingdom. I hope you will be looking forward to the events we will plan and which are soon coming because of it.

I wanted to remind you again of the two special event on the week preceding Easter. We will have a presentation from “Jews for Jesus” called, “Christ in the Passover” on Tuesday night, April 11, at 7:00 PM. On Friday night April 14, we will have a joint Good Friday service with Sovereign Joy here at East Madison also at 7:00 PM. I hope you are planning to be part of these special events that will help us focus on the importance of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church