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

Happy Monday, January 11, 2021 church!

January 11, 2021 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! It was great to worship with all of you yesterday both virtually and physically. We began our journey through the gospel of John by looking at the amazing prologue to this gospel found in John 1:1-18. We looked at the identity of Jesus, the eternal and one and only Son of God. We saw the unity and the community of the Godhead from eternity to eternity. Jesus, the Word, was with God and was God. Jesus, God the Son, became flesh, a complete human and experienced life as a man. Bruce Milne wrote, “There is no parallel anywhere else in the world’s religions to the sympathetic presence of God in Christ Jesus sharing our human struggle with us.” Jesus as both God and man has made God the Father known. Jesus is life and light. Jesus, as the perfect sinless man, came to take our punishment for our sins so we might be saved. Believers are simply to be witnesses of Jesus as life and light and point others away from ourselves to Jesus. Once others see who Jesus claims to be, they must either accept His claims as life, light, Savior and Lord or reject His claim as a lunatic. No one can be neutral about Jesus. Every person must decide. Though we could spend many hours exploring just this prologue, the truth of this prologue aligns with the purpose of this gospel that John stated in John 20: The eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ, became a human being to dwell among us and provide salvation to those who will believe in Him.

We will be starting an adult midweek zoom Bible study in the next few weeks. Be watching for detail about how you can participate.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, January 4, 2021 church!

January 4, 2021 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all and Happy New Year! As we worshipped with songs and Scripture, we focused on the Jesus’ mercy, might, and grace. We thought about what it means to be a part of Jesus’ church. The church of Jesus is indestructible. The church of Jesus will stand when every nation has been brought to ruin, and when all the other powers of the world have fallen into oblivion. Jesus’ church has been given a Great Commission to take the gospel to the ends of the earth and Great Commandments to love the Lord supremely and then our neighbors as ourselves. The Holy Spirit empowers the church to carry out the Great Commission and Great Commandments. We have an all-powerful Lord who will bring us to total victory.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor,

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Christmas Eve 2020 Virtual Service

December 23, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

We are not having an in-person Christmas Eve service this year. Instead, we had various members of the East Madison Baptist Church community video record songs, scripture readings, greetings, etc, and assembled them into a prerecorded streaming worship service.

You can find the service beginning at 12:00 midnight Thursday December 24 (between Wednesday and Thursday) at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uz3FYC_yEVk

We would love to have you join us as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Monday, December 21, 2020 church!

December 21, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! As we worshipped together, we considered the advent theme of love and remembered the Lord Jesus’ great love for us as we celebrated the Lord’s Supper. We looked at responses people make to Jesus from the story of the Wise Men in Matthew 2. Jesus can be met in three ways. Jesus is sometimes met with secret or open hostility, as Herod met Jesus. At other times, Jesus is meet with apathy and indifference, as the religious scholars met Jesus. However, the way to respond to Jesus is to respond to Him like the Wise Men. Fall before Jesus and worship Him as King and Lord. Give your life to Him, worshipping, adoring, and praising Him and then spend the rest of your life following Him wherever He leads. I pray this is how you and I will respond to Him today.

This year, we will send a YouTube link for worship on Christmas Eve. You will hear Christmas carols, Scripture readings, special music, a harpist, a short message, and Christmas greetings from church family.  We want to thank Pete Pokrandt for coordinating the videoing of all who participated and Jessica Pokrandt Bull, who edited it and put it all together. 

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Wishing all of you a very “Merry Christmas!”

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, December 14, 2020 church!

December 14, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! It was great to worship with all of you as we thought about the advent themes of joy and hope. We rejoiced in the truth that the Lord has come, and earth truly can receive her King. We considered from Isaiah 9 about how every human being needs hope and how hope is necessary, especially in the darkest of time. Hope is the expectation and confident assurance that things will get better. Jesus provides the ultimate hope in that we know things will get better and stay better through Him. Do you need hope today? Do you need to regain a desire for something good in the future, and a biblical hope that is a confident expectation of that? Jesus is that hope for you if you are looking for hope in life. Jesus is the Hope of the world. Is Jesus the Hope of your life? He can be and He wants to be if you will simply turn from yourself and believe, trust Him with your life. Is there some seeming hopeless situation or problem that you see no answer to or solution for? Jesus wants to give you hope specifically in that situation. He wants you to know He can work in any situation and bring good out of bad if you will trust in Him. You can trust Him today no matter what you are going through. Jesus is God’s just and forever King who rules the world in righteousness and gives hope to all who look to Him. No matter how dark it gets, in Jesus there is hope. Hold on to the hope of Jesus! 

We will observe the Lord’s Supper during morning worship on December 20. 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.

During December we take up the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. This offering is unique from other mission offerings in that 100% of gifts provide for missionaries all over the world. It is a valuable part of Southern Baptists’ 175-year history of reaching the nations with the gospel and vital to reaching the vision of a multitude from every language, people, tribe and nation knowing and worshiping our Lord Jesus Christ.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, December 7, 2020 church!

December 7, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday we sang some wonderful Christmas carols that focused on the peace Jesus brings to those who know Him.  We considered from Luke 1 and the event of the angel announcing to Mary her part in the birth of the Savior how great our Savior is. We looked at the inherent greatness of Jesus, in that He is great in and of Himself whether people accept His greatness or reject it. We considered the greatness of the Lord Jesus Christ in that Jesus has the greatest name, the name before which every knee will bow. We thought about the Lord Jesus’ greatness in that He is the one and only Son of God from forever to forever and has an eternal relationship with God the Father. We also considered Jesus has the greatest throne and heritage and Jesus fulfills all the promises the Word of God made about the Messiah. We thought about the greatness of Jesus’ miraculous conception with God as His Father and the human Mary as His mother. As we thought about these things, we realized we are not to reduce Christmas to merely presents and family and food. We are not to reduce Christmas to the to the birth of a child, or the birth of someone who made a huge impact on the world. We are to celebrate and remember this Christmas and every Christmas is about the Great One of the universe, the very Son of God Himself, becoming Emmanuel, God with us, to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. Jesus came to save us from our sin! The story of Christmas forever remains the story of the greatness of the only One providing salvation to the world, Jesus Christ, Immanuel, God with us.

During December we take up the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. This offering is unique from other mission offerings in that 100% of gifts provide for missionaries all over the world. It is a valuable part of Southern Baptists’ 175-year history of reaching the nations with the gospel and vital to reaching the vision of a multitude from every language, people, tribe and nation knowing and worshiping our Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 7:9).

Here is a link to a wonderful new song that looks at the events surrounding Jesus’ birth and reminds us of this: “Do Not Fear.”  https://youtu.be/8YC7drPwWf4.  I pray it encourages you as it did me.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, November 30, 2020 church!

November 30, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent as we prepare to celebrate Christmas. We worshipped by singing songs of hope. Hope is knowing that all God has promised will be given. We finished up the book of Hebrews by looking at the gift of leaders from Hebrews 13. All of us have been greatly impacted by God-given leaders. There are men and women who have motivated and helped us to know, love and follow Jesus. They are not extraordinary men or women. They are simply men and women who surrendered to God and through whom God worked. We learned that everyone of us can be that kind of influential leader to someone or some ones. We all want God’s help to follow this kind of God-given leadership. We all need to submit to and pray for God-given leadership. We know that every believer and their leaders share the burdens and blessings of serving God together. We are also aware that God will provide everything we need to do His will and bring glory to His name. God-given faithful leaders help us to know God more intimately and live for the glory of God.

During the Christmas season we take up the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. You ask, “What is the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering?” The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is an annual offering collected by believers around the world to support international missions. The offering was officially named in 1918 by Woman’s Missionary Union in honor of the missionary to China who urged churches to start it and give sacrificially. This offering is unique from other mission offerings in that 100% of gifts provide for missionaries all over the world. It is a valuable part of Southern Baptists’ 175-year history of reaching the nations with the gospel and vital to reaching the vision of a multitude from every language, people, tribe and nation knowing and worshiping our Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 7:9). There are prayer guides and special Lottie Moon offering envelopes at the church building. Also, here is a link to the daily prayer guides for international missions that you can use to pray this week: LMCO Week of Prayer for International Missions – International Mission Board (imb.org)

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, November 23, 2020 and Happy Thanksgiving church!

November 23, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

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Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! As we worshipped yesterday, we focused on how great God is and how great is His redeeming love for us. We considered from 1 Thessalonians 5 and Ephesians 5 how to live a life of true thankfulness, especially in this crazy year of 2020. We need to seek to be truly thankful at this time of year and all the time and not just go through the motions of being thankful without real gratitude. Thankfulness does not mean we deny our pain or minimize the bad stuff we are going through. It does not mean that we do not recognize evil as evil. But in the realities of life, we can give thinks even as we grieve and mourn and weep. This happens at the funeral of every believer that we know and love. We grieve because of the separation we will have to endure, but not as those with no hope. We know there is resurrection in Jesus. We know it is better to be away from the body and present with the Lord. So even during sorrow and pain we can give thanks. We are not denying the difficulties but knowing God works even during our pain. We weep and give thanks at the same time because in everything, everything, everything, God is working for our ultimate good and His glory. There can be weeping, grieving, struggling and thankfulness all at the same time. In Jesus we can truly give thanks in everything because God is using the good and the bad to make His people more and more and more like Jesus. God is working in everything to bring glory to His name. Believers filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit remain thankful knowing God is working out everything for His glory and our ultimate good.

If you miss our Sunday services and would like to watch them or perhaps share them with someone you know, you can find video of the services at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3rJ-oFvSS-9W-iWf6Wcvnw.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, November 16, 2020 church!

November 16, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday as we met virtually and physically, we worshipped Jesus, our Rock and our Redeemer. We thought from Hebrews 13 about how to live out our faith because Jesus has changed us. What a difference Jesus makes in our lives when we believe! Jesus is our life. Jesus has changed our hearts and caused us to want to live for Him. Because of what Jesus has done, we are to keep loving each other as members together of the family of God. We also are to keep loving even people we do not know well by using our homes as tools to welcome others. We are to keep loving others by reaching out to those in prisons and otherwise confined. We are to love those closest to us by protecting our marriages and by seeking contentment by refusing to love money. We are to seek to completely identify with Jesus, whether He is popular or rejected in our culture, because Jesus provides us with an eternal city and makes us His own to live for Him and live for eternal values. We gladly accept the mockery that belongs to those who follow Jesus. Believers seek to totally identify with Jesus and live for His glory.

Please join me in praying for an end to this plague of Covid 19. Pray for those who are sick from this virus and those families who have lost loved ones. Pray for God to use this so people would understand how brief life can be and how salvation, forgiveness and eternal life are only found in Jesus. Pray for God’s people to shine forth Jesus in this dark time we are in today. Pray for the leaders of our city, state, and nation to work together to do things that will help in these times of crisis.

If you miss our Sunday services and would like to watch them or perhaps share them with someone you know, you can find video of the services at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3rJ-oFvSS-9W-iWf6Wcvnw.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church