Happy Monday, March 22, 2021 church!

March 22, 2021 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday we worshipped our Almighty Creator who is the very breathe of life. We learned from John 6 how Jesus is the very bread of life. We learned that we are not to be searching simply for the food and sustenance for this life, but for the food that gives eternal life. We learned that Jesus is the very source of eternal life. Jesus’ flesh was broken, and His blood was shed so we could receive Him as the only sacrifice acceptable before Holy God to provide forgiveness for our sins. Jesus provides ultimate satisfaction by giving true and eternal life to those who receive Him.

We are planning a Good Friday service on Friday evening, April 2 at 6:30 PM. We will be gathering physically and virtually. Details will follow in next week’s email.

We will be baptizing on Easter Sunday, April 4. If you are interested in being baptized, contact me, and let us talk about what baptism is and who should be baptized. 

We will have our annual business meeting on Sunday April 11 right after out morning worship. We will provide a zoom link for all who want to join us virtually on that day so we can receive your feedback.  

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, March 15, 2021 church!

March 15, 2021 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday through the message from John 6 and the songs we worshipped through, we considered the surpassing greatness of our God. In John 6, we see the apostles of Jesus in two humanly impossible situations. Through these, Jesus wanted to show them how great He is and who He is. Jesus also wants them to learn to follow Him whatever He might lead them to do. We learned that there are temptations in both our weaknesses and in our successes. Sometimes in our weaknesses, we are so focused on us and our limitations and our lack of resources that we forget that whatever God calls us to do, He will enable, empower, and resource us to do. God works through our weaknesses to show His mighty power! Sometimes when God has used us and we see great successes, we can forget that it is God who has worked and allowed us to be a part of what He has done. We can gain an inflated opinion of ourselves in those successes. So, the question always is whenever some great need or opportunity presents itself to us, “Does God want to meet that need or opportunity through me or us?” This question is the only one that matters. No matter how great our weaknesses or limited our resources may be, if God wants to use us to meet certain needs, He will provide the provisions and manpower that we need to accomplish what He wants to accomplish. God will show through weak people like us how great and powerful He is. God works in impossible situations to show His children His mighty power that enables them to do whatever He leads them to do.

We will be baptizing on Easter Sunday, April 4. If you are interested in being baptized, contact me, and let us talk about what baptism is and who should be baptized. 

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, March 8, 2021 church!

March 8, 2021 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! From John 5 yesterday we discovered Jesus invites us to scrutinize His claims. The religious leaders of Jesus day wrote Jesus off and did really examine Jesus’ claims. They rejected the witnesses of John the Baptist, the witness of the works of Jesus, and the witness of God the Father through the Scripture. They refused to check out His claims. Why? Because they cared more about impressing their fellow man than seeking the truth of God! Do not do what they did. Examine the evidence for His historical life and for His resurrection from the dead never to die again. Seek the affirmation of God and not men and women. Look at the lives of those who have truly followed Jesus and those who even died because they believed in Jesus. Jesus invites you to examine Him, to check Him out and see if He and others can back up His claims. Following Jesus is not a “blind leap of faith.” Faith is involved but it is not blind faith based on no evidence. Following Jesus is based on reliable, historical, reasonable, and verifiable evidence and truth. If you have not checked Jesus out to verify His claims, check Him out today. Trustworthy witnesses verify Jesus as the only Lord and Savior of the world.

Do not forget to spring forward an hour next Saturday night, March 13 before you go to sleep.  Daylight savings time is beginning.

We will be baptizing on Easter Sunday, April 4. If you are interested in being baptized, contact me, and let us talk about what baptism is and who should be baptized. 

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, March 1, 2021 church!

March 1, 2021 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday as we celebrated communion together, we focused on Jesus, who He is and all He has done to rescue us from our condemnation and to make us part of His eternal community. We considered the price paid so we could be saved. We considered who Jesus is and claimed to be from John 5. Jesus is one with God the Father. Jesus is the unique and only eternal Son of God. Jesus is the judge of the whole world. Jesus is the One who will one day call out of the grave the dead bodies of all who have died physically and raise them to eternal life or eternal condemnation. You cannot be neutral about Jesus. You cannot just think He was some great moral teacher because moral teachers do not make the kind of claims about themselves that Jesus made. You have to decide who you believe Jesus to be. Jesus was either a lunatic, a liar or Savior and Lord who has the right to rule our lives. What have you decided about Jesus?

We will be baptizing on Easter Sunday, April 4. If you are interested in being baptized, contact me, and let us talk about what baptism is and who should be baptized. 

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, February 22, 2021 church!

February 22, 2021 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! We worshipped yesterday and sought to “behold our God, seated on His throne.” We endeavored to see Him in all His majesty and adore and love Him. We then saw from John 4 a man who had a desperate need in his life. His young son was critically ill and at the very point of death. He went to Jesus and placed this desperate need before Jesus. We saw that even though this was a man of power and influence, no position of power, wealth or influence frees anyone from the tragedies of life. We learned in the life of this man and in our lives, Jesus will challenge us to truly trust Him when we cannot see Him visibly working. We also learned that Jesus often challenges us to reveal He desires more for us than our earthly well-being. From this passage from God’s perfect Word in John 4, we see this timeless truth for those going through crises in every age: God seeks to use the crises of our lives to cause us to know, love, and more fully trust in Him.   

I want to recognize today the faithful team of people who count the offerings, record the gifts of those who give to Lord through East Madison, and who make sure the bills get paid. They have also taken on extra responsibilities during this season of Covid because others who were helping to serve in these areas had to take extra health precautions and could not help during this time. Also, like Pete whom I mentioned last week, they serve the Lord and His church in more ways than just this ministry that I am mentioning. Thank you, David, Annette, Jim, and Tricia for all your work behind the scenes taking care of these things. I want to tell all of you for myself and all of your East Madison family how much we appreciate you. 

We will observe the Lord’s Supper during morning worship this Sunday, February 28. If you are worshipping virtually, you will need a cracker and some juice for each person in your home who is participating. Also, if you would like to stop by the building and pick up the pre-packaged elements during office hours, let me know and I can put them out for you. This would also give me an excuse to see some of you!

We invite you to join us for an adult virtual Bible study on the book of James on Wednesday evenings. We will be studying James 4 and 5 this week. Please email me if you would like to join this study so I can send you the Zoom link.

Below is information and prayer requests for some missionaries we support.  Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, February 15, 2021 church!

February 15, 2021 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday we looked from John 4 at the encounter Jesus had with the Samaritan woman whom He met by a well. This woman was like many. She was missing peace, purpose, and satisfaction in life. Her personal life was in shambles, having been married more than five times. When Jesus met her, she had given up on marriage and was just living with some guy. Her standing in the community was as an outcast, to the point where she only came to public places when no one else was around. Her religious life was confused in seeking truth in a cult that did not provide satisfactory answers to the deepest questions of life. She seemed to be bitter, confused, alone and abused when she had an encounter with the One who could provide her with something that could continually quench her thirst for satisfaction. Jesus sought this woman and was looking for her even as she was not seeking God and His truth. She was looking for satisfaction and purpose in life in all the wrong places. Jesus met her and offered her the “living water” of Himself, His continual presence for those who will believe that alone can satisfy. We saw in this passage that Christ Jesus provides ultimate satisfaction and eternal life by His continual presence in the lives of those who will believe.

There are many people who serve the Lord at East Madison that help us fulfill our calling as Jesus’ church. I want to take a little space in the Monday emails starting today to thank some of those people. I was talking to my brother yesterday about my role in planning worship. I told him I do not have to plan much besides the sermons because Pete Pokrandt puts in the hard work of putting our services together. Pete seeks to keep our worship time God-centered. He puts in much time every week prayerfully picking out appropriate songs and Scripture readings for each service. I am often amazed how God’s Holy Spirit guides Pete in his planning. The songs, Scripture readings, and messages seem to fit together like a hand fits in a glove. I wanted to tell you Pete, for myself and for all of us, how much we appreciate you.

We invite you to join us for an adult virtual Bible study on the book of James on Wednesday evenings. We will be studying James 3 and 4 this week. Please email me if you would like to join this study so I can send you the Zoom link.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, February 8, 2021 church!

February 8, 2021 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday as we worshipped, we focused on our glorious Savior and the glorious salvation He has provided for us. We learned from the last part of John 3 that we are to make Jesus famous. We are to magnify Him and point to Him. We are to make much of Him and continually make less of ourselves. Jesus is to be the center of attention. We are the friends of the bridegroom, waiting for the groom to come and take His bride the church to be with Him forever. Who do you want people to see through your life? Whom to you want them to remember after you are gone? When they remember you, will they think of you or will they think of you pointing to Jesus? Let us make sure we are pointing to Jesus. Jesus’ followers must always point to Jesus alone as the only One who gives eternal lifeMay it be said of us that we sought to always point to Jesus. Jesus must forever increase, and we must continually decrease.

We invite you to join us for an adult virtual Bible study on the book of James on Wednesday evenings. We will be studying James 3 this week. Please email me if you would like to join this study so I can send you the Zoom link.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, February 1, 2021 church!

February 1, 2021 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! It was great to worship with all of you virtually and physically yesterday. From John 3 we learned the great need of every person was a new birth that would awaken us to true spiritual life. Because all of us are dead in sin, we need more than counseling, advice, coaching, and reforming. We need to be born from above and made alive. How does that birth from above happen? It happens as we look to Jesus, the One lifted up on the cross. We see as we look at Jesus lifted up that your sin and my sin put Jesus on the cross to die in our place. We only need to look to Jesus, and we are saved! We see that anyone can look to Him and be saved. However, if you refuse to look to Jesus and refuse to believe in Him, you will stay forever in your condemnation. Jesus came to rescue us from the condemnation we are in right now. It is not as though we will be condemned someday. We are condemned now without Jesus and Jesus came to rescue us from our condemnation. Will we love our sin and remain in darkness and condemnation? Or will we look to Jesus and walk in His light and be saved?

We invite you to join us for an adult virtual Bible study on the book of James on Wednesday evenings. God was working last week as we studied the first part of James 2. It was wonderful to learn from God’s Word together! We will be studying the last part of James 2 and possibly some of James 3 this week. Please email me if you would like to join this study so I can send you the Zoom link.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, January 25, 2021 church!

January 25, 2021 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! We had a wonderful time of worship both virtually and physically yesterday morning. We shared in the Lord’s Supper and remembered Jesus and His precious blood providing for our salvation. In John 2 we saw how God is building our faith in Him. We saw in the miracle of turning water to wine that God works in quiet ways according to His timetable to reveal His glory to those who are paying attention.  We saw in the first cleansing of the temple that God works often in loud ways to show religious hypocrites His holiness. Jesus was then asked for a sign that gave Him the authority to cleanse the temple. Jesus’ reply revealed that God was getting ready to work through the resurrection of Jesus to reorder all worship around Jesus alone. We also saw how Jesus works and entrust Himself to those whom He knows truly embrace following Him.  We learned that we must truly embrace Jesus as revealed in the Bible and be careful about having a concept of Him that revolves around ourselves. John 2 reminds us that God works continually in our lives to help us trust Him more fully and walk with Him more closely.

We invite you to join us for an adult virtual Bible study on the book of James on Wednesday evenings. We will be studying James 2 this week. Please email me if you would like to join this study so I can send you the Zoom link.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, January 18, 2021, church!

January 18, 2021 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! It was wonderful yesterday to worship our great God and know that we will forever worship with all the saints of every age our “holy, holy, holy God.” Yesterday, we saw in John 1:19-51 how God the Son came and live among us. We saw how the Holy One of the universe shared in the struggles of men, women, boys and girls as Jesus walked among us. We learned that those who believe in Jesus need to continually point others to Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Our mission as believers is to point people to Jesus. We point to Jesus because we are growing in our understanding of who Jesus is, “God with us,” who came to save us from our sin. We also know who we are as those He has saved from sin and who want others to know this forgiveness and salvation. We start by pointing those closest to us to Jesus. This is how the gospel is spread. Someone who knows Jesus invites someone who needs to know Him to check him out. Someone introduced us to Jesus. It may have been family. It may have been a friend. It may have been a Sunday School teacher or pastor or coach. Someone told us about Jesus or brought us to where we could hear of Jesus. Our mission is to continually point others to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

We will be starting an adult virtual Bible study on the book of James this Wednesday evening, January 20, 2021 at 6:30 PM. Please email me if you would like to join this study so I can send you the Zoom link.

We will observe the Lord’s Supper during morning worship this Sunday, January 24. If you are worshipping virtually, you will need a cracker and some juice for each person in your home who is participating. Also, if you would like to stop by the building and pick up the pre-packaged elements during office hours, let me know and I can put them out for you.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church