Happy Monday, July 24, 2017 church!

July 24, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! I hope your morning has gone well as we all enjoy this comfortable summer day. Being with the people of God yesterday and worshiping the eternal God of the universe who gave Himself for our redemption was wonderful. I am encouraged and strengthened when we fellowship and worship together. I want to thank our worship band for leading us to focus on the greatness of God. I know many of the band was gone but David, Annette, Barb and Ron did a great job leading us. I hope the message helped us all to see that we can trust our lives and all our treasures to God because we see that God gave His greatest treasure, His only Son dying in our place, for us! God asks us to do for Him what He has already done for us. Trust your life and all your treasures to Him today and every day.

Please be thinking and praying about being a part of the new small group beginning in the fall. This group will focus on following Jesus more closely and then being able help others grow in their faith. If you are interested in being a part of this more intensive small group, please let me know.

I also want to thank today those who work with our children in Sunday School and worship. Deanna faithfully teaches preschool children every week the love of Jesus and the truths of God’s Word. We then have people who step up to the plate and provide childcare weekly for those too young to be in Deanna’s class and too young (and possibly too wiggly) to be in worship. Also, we have those who provide the children a special children’s worship time twice a month. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” I want to thank all of you who help with our children in any way for you are truly investing in eternity when you care for children.

For those who are sick, on vacation or away for other reasons, remember you can always listen to the messages preached on Sunday on our website: embclife.org. The messages are usually posted a few days after they are preached.

You all are great! Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, July 17. 2017 church!

July 17, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Hope your day is going well. We had a wonderful day yesterday in worship, fellowship, and learning together. I hope the message from 1 Samuel 17 helped us deal with discouragement that comes to all of us by remembering this: God enables His children to be victorious even in the most difficult of circumstances. God has prepared us for whatever battles we face today and He will enable us to walk in victory with Him. Just as He gave David the strength and power to defeat Goliath, He will give us the strength and power to defeat whatever giants we find in our paths as we walk with Him.

We serve a giant-defeating God!

Youth, remember youth canoeing at Lake Wingra tomorrow, July 18 at 4:30 PM. If you did not pick up a waiver, they are available at the church building.

I want to again thank all who helped us conduct our 5 Day Club outreach to children. The word of God was shared and we pray it took deep root in the lives of the children who heard it. I want to thank Jody and Maria for helping host this event and all of you who prayed for this outreach.

We will be starting a new small group in the fall for those who desire to deepen their walk with God and help others also do this. If you are interested in being a part of this more intensive small group, please let me know.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, July 10, 2017 church!

July 10, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! We celebrated in worship that we serve the Lord Jesus Christ who died for us and rose physically from the grave never to die again. By Jesus taking His life up again He proved He alone is Lord who will reign forever and ever. We examined the evidence of the empty tomb; the evidence of the Old Testament Scripture that prophesied His dying and rising again to rule and reign forever; the evidence of skeptical people who had to be shown that Jesus was alive and the evidence of the continuing witness of the church who proclaim Jesus lives even when His children might face persecution and death as they proclaim that Jesus lives. We challenge skeptics to look at the evidence and see for yourself if the evidence points to the bodily resurrection of Jesus, because if it is true, Jesus is what life is all about. Yes, Jesus is alive! He is our life and we want others to know this life in Jesus and share in it.

Remember to be praying for 5-Day Club held for children ages 5 to 12, beginning this afternoon, Monday, July 10 and lasting through Friday, July 14. It will be held from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM daily through Friday. It is not too late to invite children and their parents, who are always free to attend with their children, to the 5-Day Club.

We will have a Pot Luck dinner this Sunday, July 16 after worship service.

Love serving our Risen Lord with God’s family at East Madison and I love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, July 3, 2017 church!

July 3, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! It great to worship with the family of God and adore the great King of the universe. He is worthy of all our praise! We looked at Jesus laying down His life for us by taking the judgment that we deserved. Jesus ushered in a new covenant with God and giving us access to God through His sacrificial death. We saw the witness of the centurions and those who stood with Jesus during the most dangerous event in His life. We also asked ourselves where were Jesus’ closest friends, His apostles, during this time. They believed the wrong things about Jesus and thought He would be a worldly, conquering King. They did not understand that He was sent to be a suffering and dying Messiah. They believed the wrong things about Jesus and had a crisis of faith. That helped us to see that we needed to continually seek to understand God as He really is instead making Him into something we want Him to be. We need to continually try to understand God’s Word as it really is instead of what we want it to be. If we see Jesus as He really is, we will see absolute true beauty.

Remember the 5-Day Club that will be held for children ages 5 to 12, Monday, July 10 through Friday, July 14 from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM daily. I encourage you to invite children this age to the club. Parents are always free to attend with their children to see what is happening. Please be praying for this outreach and all who will attend it.

Ladies, remember Ladies Night Out Summer Concert at Olbrich Park Botanical Gardens Tuesday, July 11 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Bring a friend!

Remember that our Pot Luck will be held Sunday, July 16 instead of July 9 because the Rehoboth Ethiopian special events weekend.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, June 26, 2017 church!

June 26, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! It was great to be back with the family of God at East Madison yesterday. I pray yesterday’s sermon helped all of us be more certain in our salvation that comes to those who see Jesus as King dying for our sins. There are those who mourn for Jesus’ death on the cross, who but do not understand its significance. There are those who refuse to believe and mockingly reject its message. And then there are those who receive salvation and forgiveness as they come to see the Savior-King dying for them and believe in Him. The thief on the cross believed and called on Jesus to remember him. Jesus’ message to him was “Today, you will be with Me in paradise.” The thief on the cross had a lifetime of sin forgiven the moment he believed in Jesus as King. The moment you believe in Jesus as your King and call on Him, a lifetime of your sin will be forgiven.

Remember to pray for Emily and Kelsey as they serve at Hands of Hope in Janesville this week. Also pray for Annette and Tricia as they help serve as sponsors alongside them.

Most of you know the church was burglarized last week. I have been visiting with reporters today about this and there might be some news on about the break-in on the local news on three local stations. I sent a quick text to ask some of you to pray for me when I talked with reporters. I also know many of you pray daily for me. Thank you for praying. Pray that God would use this event and any stories that are aired about it to the glory of His name.

5-Day Club will be held for children ages 5 to 12 Monday, July 10 through Friday, July 14 from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM daily. I encourage you to invite children this age to the club. Parents are always free to attend with their children to see what is happening. We have some printed invitation that will be available Sunday for you to give to children or families that might be interested. Please be praying for this outreach and all who will attend it.

I want to thank Jason Donaldson for preaching for me while I was away. Also, I want to thank many who stepped up when we were presented a possible way to minister to the community while I was gone. Even though this event did not happen, it was wonderful to know that you all were willing to do the work to make it happen while your pastor was away. Way to go East Madison!

We will be having the Lord’s Supper during our worship next Sunday, July 2.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

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