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

Happy Monday, March 20, 2017 church!

March 20, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday and happy first day of spring to all! We have a beautiful day today and we can rejoice in the Lord! Of course, even if it was a lousy day, we can still rejoice in the Lord!

We had a wonderful day yesterday as we shared in the Lord’s Supper and worshipped together. We had a lot of guests and we thank God for them. I hope each of you got to meet some of our guests. (It was pretty hard to meet them all!) When guests come, each of us need to go out of our way to welcome them. I want to thank you all for doing your best to welcome our guests. I also hope the message was helpful to you as we learned that just a Jesus walked toward difficulties and faced them, so we need to walk toward difficult challenges in our lives and not away from them. God can and will help us face those difficult things and use them in our lives for our good and His glory.

This Sunday, March 26 there is a pot luck luncheon and family meeting for all at East Madison. We will hear David Juhlin’s report on his recent mission trip. We will talk about some ideas we want to do this summer and ideas of things that will enable us to better disciple and reach people with the message of Jesus. God might have given you a brilliant idea of something East Madison needs to do! Please be praying for this family meeting and stay to be a part of it.

Also, we are looking forward to celebrating Jesus’ resurrection soon. We will have 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

Happy Monday, March 13, 2017 church!

March 13, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Hope this snowy Monday has gone well for all of you. It was wonderful to worship together and to witness Emily confessing her faith in Jesus through believers’ baptism. Even though the water was a little cold, seeing this baptism warmed hearts. Emily’s faith in Jesus was not something new, but something she possessed for a while. However, she wanted to take the step of believers’ baptism, the step that is recognized across the world as identifying you as a follower of Jesus. If some of you have never taken that step in your faith journey, consider it seriously. It is a confession of your faith in Jesus and an identifying that you have died to your old life without Christ and you possess new life in Him. Those who truly have believed in Jesus and seek to follow Him as Lord need to be baptized as a confession of their faith.

I hope yesterday’s message helped us to see that Jesus is worth following whatever it might cost us. There is nothing in our lives that should keep us for following Jesus. We can’t receive Him if we are holding on to something else. Let go of anything in your lives that hinders you from loving, following, and living for Jesus.

Ladies, plan to join the fun and fellowship at “Fired Up Pottery” Saturday, March 18 at 12:30. There’s something for everyone’s budget. Most people spend between $18 to $39 a person, but they do have pottery starting at $5. Even if you don’t want to spend any money, come for the fellowship. The address is: 4112 Monona Dr., Madison, WI 53716.

We will be having the Lord’s Supper this Sunday during the morning worship gathering at 10:30 AM. Every believer in Jesus, in humility because of our unworthiness, should take this supper. Taking the supper calls for a willingness to confess any known sin, but it does not call for morbid introspection. Don’t fear taking the supper because you have a vague fear that you might have some unknown sin in your life. Don’t let the devil’s accusation of past confessed sin keep you from taking the supper. If you ask God to reveal sin you need to confess, confess it if something comes to your mind, and join us in taking the Lord’s Supper. If nothing comes to your mind, move on and join us in taking the supper. None of us are worthy, but we can take the supper because Jesus’ blood alone has made us worthy. The supper reminds us of Jesus’ perfect sacrifice for our sin. Taking the supper reminds us that we are all a part of His body and we need each other.

Sunday, March 26 there is a pot luck luncheon and family meeting for all at East Madison. We will hear David Juhlin’s report on his recent mission trip. We will talk about some ideas we want to do this summer and ideas of things that will enable us to better disciple and reach people with the message of Jesus. God might have given you a brilliant idea of something East Madison needs to do! I hope you will be praying for this family meeting and stay to be a part of it.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, March 6, 2017 church!

March 6, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday the message from Luke 18 encouraged us to pray, pray, pray. We learned that we need to keep praying and trusting God even when it seems like nothing is happening and there is great delay in our prayers being answered. God will answer the cries of His children for justice. He will hear and answer those who approach Him in humility and love when the time is right. We want God to be on our schedule, but we must learn to be on His schedule and trust Him when He delays answering us. Even though it does not seem like it, those delays are for our good to make us more like Jesus. As the hymn says,

“Have faith in God,
He’s on His throne.
Have faith in God,
He watches o’er His own.
He will not fail,
He must prevail.
Have Faith in God,
Have faith in God!
(B.B. McKinney)

We want congratulate Bart and Lauren Schlueter on the birth of their daughter, Ava Clare Schlueter, who was born today at 12:53 PM. AND, we want to congratulate Donald and Deanna Smith on the birth of their grandson! Congratulations also to mom and dad, Jay and Cassie! We thank Almighty God for these children and pray for God’s blessings on these two families. We love babies at East Madison!

I want to remind you that this Sunday, March 12, is the beginning of Daylight Savings Time. Turn your clocks forward (Spring forward!) before you go to bed on Saturday night or you will be late for worship on Sunday. (I don’t know why they call it “Daylight Savings Time.” It does not seem like we save any time but just simply re-appropriate it!)

Ladies, remember that there is a Ladies fellowship time on Saturday, March 18. Details will be shared next Sunday and next week in this email.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, February 27, 2017, church!

February 27, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! Pray your week has started well. It was wonderful to worship with you yesterday. It was glorious as we sang together “Be Unto Your Name.”

We are a moment, You are forever
Lord of the Ages, God before time
We are a vapor, You are eternal
Love everlasting, reigning on high

Holy, holy, Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain
Highest praises, honor and glory
Be unto Your name, be unto Your name

We are the broken, You are the healer
Jesus, Redeemer, Mighty to save
You are the love song we’ll sing forever
Bowing before You, blessing Your name

Holy, holy, Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain
Highest praises, honor and glory
Be unto Your name, be unto Your name

Be unto Your name…
(Written by Robin Mark, from “Revival in Belfast.”)

We know we are part of His present Kingdom on the earth as His children and His church. We are part of its advancement to the ends of the earth. We know one day we will experience the fullness of the Kingdom when our King Jesus returns personally and bodily for every eye to see and for every knee to bow before and confess that He alone is Lord. With the saints of all ages we pray, “Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!”

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, February 20, 2017, church!

February 20, 2017 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! It was great to be with you yesterday as we worshipped together and then shared a meal. We learned that as believers we experience freedom as we walk in forgiveness. Forgiveness is something that God will empower every believer to do. Forgiveness is a requirement for the believer and not an option. Forgiveness is an expectation and not anything extraordinary for followers of Jesus. We also learned that forgiveness is an act of obedience and not an emotion. As we obey God by choosing to forgive, we believe that God will help our emotions follow our obedience. Finally we learned that forgiveness is offered in faith and not capitulation. We do not forgive because what was done to us is okay. We forgive on the same basis that we are forgiven. Jesus, by the shedding of His blood, has paid for the sin of the one who wronged us just as that blood pays the penalty for our sins. Don’t place yourself in the prison of unforgiveness but live in the freedom of forgiveness.

Please keep David Juhlin, Hoyt Lovelace and the other members of their team in prayer as they are on their mission trip. We also thank God for Kelsey Pokrandt’s successful arthroscopic knee surgery this morning. Pete has emailed us an told us that it sounds like the procedure went very well. As of the writing of this email, she is in recovery.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church