Happy Monday, June 6, church!

June 6, 2016 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

I pray your day is going well. We had a wonderful day of worship and fellowship yesterday. Remembering the high price paid for our forgiveness as we took the Lord’s Supper together, celebrating the graduations of Grace, Myra and Nathan, and adoring our great God was a great way to start a week!

I hope the message was encouraging. Risking all we are and have for Jesus is a risk worth taking! We are called to be people of courage and not people who play life safe. We are called to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Jesus. We are called to lose our lives to Him and thus find real, eternal and abundant life. This doesn’t have to done in spectacular ways, but done daily in small ways as we follow Jesus.

Remember to be praying for the opportunity we have as the Let’s Eat Out food truck come to our property beginning a week from tomorrow, June 14. They will be here from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM on Tuesday evenings for eight weeks. I shared with a lady in our neighborhood this morning and also with a girl who cut my hair last week who grew up in our neighborhood about the Let’s Eat Out food trucks. Both responded positively when I shared this with them. Bring a blanket and some lawn chairs, buy some food and eat, and meet some of those who will be here. Ask God to give you opportunities to bring glory to Him and share His love through this.

Have a great week!

Love being your pastor,

Bob

Happy Tuesday church!

May 31, 2016 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

I hope everyone had a pleasant Memorial Day yesterday as we remembered the sacrifice of those who have died in defending our country and securing our political freedom.

As we begin a new week, remember that the way of Jesus is the way of grace and forgiveness. No one deserves forgiveness. But Jesus bought it for us with His blood and we are forgiven in and through Him. Following Him is a life of joy as I tried to emphasize in Sunday’s message.

As I thought about my sermon Sunday, a phrase came to my mind that I heard in my younger days. Did I “overcook my grits?” In emphasizing joy, did I make it seem like there would never be times of distress and despair and, yes, even depression in the Christian life? If that seemed to be the case as you listened, I want to correct the idea that the Christian life never has those kind of times.

In Scripture, in Christian experience and even in my own life, there are times of despair and depression. Sometimes they are extremely intense and dark. The Psalmist asked himself the question, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?” There are very difficult and despairing times in all of our lives. It is not healthy to deny the pain of those times. It is not wrong to go through such times. If this is such a time of your life when you just can’t seem to find joy, I hope you will remember a couple things. First of all, God is present to help you. Even though you may feel like He is far away, He is not. He is close to His children even when they might not sense His presence. He is your “refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble.” Don’t give into the despair but remember He cares and He loves you. When the Psalmist asked himself, “Why are you so downcast, O my soul?”, he answers his own question by saying, “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” Despair won’t last forever. God wants to bring you through it. Secondly, remember to reach out to your brothers and sisters so you don’t have to face the despair alone. Maybe they have gone through something similar and can share with you how God helped them. Maybe they can just weep with you and pray with you. Don’t let the enemy of your soul isolate you. God’s Holy Spirit and His people are there to help.

I am not seeking to give simplistic answers to what may be a very difficult struggle you are dealing with today. This is not an exhaustive list of things you might need to do if this is you, but just a couple of ideas. I am sure that none of us needs to face despair alone.

Have a great week!

Love being your pastor,
Bob

Happy Monday church!

May 23, 2016 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! It was a beautiful day yesterday as we worshipped together and learned better how to love Jesus and support each other in following Him. I pray that you were encouraged by the message that Jesus loves and calls the unworthy, the unhealthy, the unable and the unpopular to find life in Him. Those who think they have it all together don’t need much help. But those of us who know we are a mess and need a Savior understand that we are the ones Jesus came to save, support and help.

As I was thinking about the four friends who brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus to forgive and heal, I had an idea that might appeal to some of you. Maybe you have a person or some people on your heart that especially need a touch from the Lord. Maybe they seem particularly far from Him and in ways seem unreachable. If you have such a person on your heart, why don’t you enlist three other friends to covenant with you to take this person to Jesus? Ask them to pray with you for this person. Ask them to seek creative ways to somehow put this person or these people at the feet of Jesus. Maybe the four of you together praying and seeking God for this person or persons will be the team that God uses to introduce them to the One who can forgive and help them. Don’t carry the burden alone. Find three others to carry it with you. Paul told the Galatians: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ,” (Galatians 6:2, NIV).

Have a great week!

Love being your pastor,
Pastor Bob

Happy Monday, May 16, church

May 16, 2016 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all of you! It was a wonderful day yesterday as we worshipped and studied together. It is always good just be around you people! I hope those who needed words of affirmation and encouragement found them as we learned that in Jesus we are loved and accepted. Knowing we are accepted and affirmed in Jesus helps us when we are rejected by people who ought to affirm and encourage us but who don’t. Knowing we are accepted and affirmed in Jesus gives us the courage to live out the purposes God has for each of us whatever He might lead us to do and wherever He might lead us to go.

The summer holds adventure for many of us. As the East Madison family we will be seeing people on our property on Tuesday evening beginning June 14 as the “Let’s Eat Out” food trucks are here from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm. Some of you will have graduations to celebrate. Others will have summer trips to look forward to this summer. I have heard some even have weddings that they are planning. Some of you have all of the above! I am excited to see how God works in each of our lives this summer!

Praying each of you has a great week.

Love being your pastor,

Pastor Bob

Pastor’s Monday email for May 9

May 9, 2016 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday afternoon to the church dispersed! We gather to worship on Sunday and we are the church gathered. But we are as much the church when we are dispersed throughout Madison on Monday morning. As the church dispersed we are the presence of Jesus, who lives in everyone who believes, to those who surround us. Never forget God wants to work through you this day wherever you might be and whoever you might be with.

We had a great day as we studied God’s Word in Bible Study at 9:30 AM and as we gathered to worship Jesus by singing His praises and listening to His Word proclaimed at 10:30 AM. I hope you are part of both of these Sunday morning events. We missed those who could not be with us yesterday and we pray you are doing well. The sermon dealt with the passage in Luke 4 about Jesus and how he overcame temptation. I hope you learned things that will help you whenever you are tempted to believe the devil’s lies about the shortcuts he offers us. When Jesus saves us, He gives us His Spirit and His Word and we can overcome temptations that come our way. But the thing that I am most grateful for as I think about this is that Jesus overcame temptation! He was in all ways tempted like every one of us, but completely resisted temptation and was without sin. He overcome every temptation! Because He overcame every temptation, Jesus died as the perfect sacrifice for our sins and can completely save those of us who have fallen to temptations who will come to God through Him! You and I do not and will not overcome every temptation, but because Jesus did, we are forgiven, we are saved! I say, “Thank you Lord for saving a wretch like me!”

I am grateful for those who serve us weekly. We have Bible Study leaders and small group leaders who prepare and work hard to help us learn God’s truth and become more like Jesus. We have people who work continually with our children and youth to show them the love of Jesus and lead them to follow Him. We have ushers who weekly welcome people, help people who need their help during our services, and lead us in the giving of our offerings to God. We have a praise team who work hard and weekly give of themselves to help us adore our great God. We have people who help us to be on mission with God in Madison and around the world. I want to say to all of you who serve, “Thank you!” I love serving the Lord with you! God calling me to be your pastor is a great privilege and I pray that I will never take it for granted.

Have a great week brothers and sisters,

Pastor Bob

Happy May Monday church!

May 2, 2016 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,
Happy Monday to all! I pray you are starting your week well.

As we worshipped yesterday and shared the Lord’s Supper, we remembered the great price paid for our salvation. Our salvation was bought at a high price, a price sufficient to save all who will believe. No other sacrifice is needed for anyone to find forgiveness, salvation and life. Nor will any other sacrifice be offered. Anyone who will turn from themselves and turn to Jesus as Lord and Leader of their life will be forgiven and given eternal life. There is no sin any of us have committed that cannot be forgiven because Jesus’ sacrifice is greater than our sin! Jesus has paid the penalty for your sins, my sins and the sins of the whole world. In Him there is complete forgiveness. However, if you will not believe in Jesus, where will you go to be forgiven? You cannot undo your sin. You might wish you could go back and change what you did, but that is impossible. Outside of him there is no place true forgiveness can be found. As the old hymn says:

“What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
(Robert Lowry)

We have in Jesus been given such a great forgiveness and salvation! Let us live in the assurance of that salvation this week.

We have a wonderful opportunity to meet our neighbors this summer. Beginning Tuesday, June 14, the “Let’s Eat Out” food carts will be setting up on our property and selling food and providing events for our neighborhood. They will be on our property every Tuesday evening for eight weeks. They will be here from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM. I hope you might plan on being here as many Tuesdays as you can this summer to meet those who come to eat. It will be tempting to get your food and eat only with people you know. I want to encourage you to seek to meet someone new every time you come and build new friendships. We want our community to know East Madison is here for them and cares about them. Maybe God will use these Tuesdays to introduce us to a person or persons whom He will touch. I am very excited about this opportunity!

Love being your pastor,
Pastor Bob

Good Monday Morning church!

April 25, 2016 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,
This beautiful weather today makes it a wonderful way to start a week! I hope everyone will be able to enjoy it.

We had a great day worshipping as God’s children together yesterday. I pray the message from Luke 2 was an encouragement to you. I want all of you to know that God cares about families and he cares specifically about you and your family. I realize sometimes when we hear about how families are supposed to work, we can get fixated on how we have blown it as a husband, wife, parent or child. When you are feeling accused because of past failure, remember that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus! We can’t undo the sins and mistakes we have made. However, we can move on and know the Lord forgives. He removes our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. As Corrie Ten Boom said, “He casts our sins in the deepest part of the sea and puts a sign out that says, “No fishing!” Also remember God can work in spite of our failures. He can restore and rebuild! Our focus should never be on the past but the future. God will help us to do better as we turn to Him now and in the future. God restores, rebuilds and makes new. God answers our prayers and he can move in the lives of those we pray for even if they seems far away from Him.

Have a great week.

Pastor Bob

Hello from your pastor

April 18, 2016 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,
Hope your week has started well. Yesterday was a wonderful day of worship and friendship. Being together to honor Jesus, the One who loves us and saves us from ourselves and our sin, truly helps us to live as we should live. There is truly something special about gathering together to worship Jesus. We remember that we together serve the God of the universe who is always at work around us if we have eyes to see it. We remember that there is nothing that God is not able to accomplish! There is no promise He is unable to keep!

As many of you know we cooperate with the Southern Wisconsin Baptist Association. Southern Wisconsin Baptist Association, led by Mark Millman, seeks to help churches reach those who needs Jesus and seeks to help churches start churches that will reach others with the gospel. If you want to know what other believers in our area are doing to reach their communities, you can take a look the their website. Their website address is https://www.wisconsinbaptist.org/. Also, there is a place on the website to sign up for the monthly newsletter that will keep you informed of opportunities to serve and to pray.

I am so grateful that we serve One who is greater than us. In my weakness, He is strong. He is greater than my times of doubt and depression. He is able to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine!” Remember, He loves you and is able to help you this day!

Love being your pastor! Have a great week!

Pastor Bob

The Most Influential Person in Your Life

June 16, 2013 | Categories: Church Blog.

Who influences you the most? Paul David Tripp says that you are. “No one is more influential in your life than you are because no one talks to you more than you do. You’re in an unending conversation with yourself. You’re talking to yourself all the time; interpreting, organizing, and analyzing what’s going on inside you and around you…You are constantly involved in an internal conversation that greatly influences the things you decide, say, and do. What do you regularly tell yourself about yourself, God, and your circumstances? Do your words to you  encourage faith, hope, and courage or do they stimulate doubt, discouragement, and fear? Do you remind yourself that God is near, or do you reason within yourself–given your circumstances–that he must be different?…Here’s the question: how faith-driven and Christ-centered is the conversation that you have with you everyday.”

More of How to Feast on the Word

June 13, 2013 | Categories: Church Blog. Tags: faith, fight, and Scripture.

Here’s another way to feast upon the word of God, and fight the fight for faith.

Memorize the word. Why memorize when we have easy access to a copy of the Bible? Jesus’ example in Matthew 4:1-11 offers the best answer. When Satan drew near to tempt him, what did Jesus do? He fought back by recalling from memory specific verses to combat the devil in this fight for faith. Just look at how many times we read the words, “it is written.” Like Jesus in the wilderness, and just like Adam and Eve in the Garden, we also hear some form of the serpent’s question, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’ (Gen. 3:1)?” So we’d better be able to recall what God has said–from memory, because the temptations are the toughest when we don’t have a copy of the Bible around.

For instance, what will you do when you’re on your way to work and temptations arise to doubt God? You’ve finished your devotions, said “goodbye” to your family, and are driving in your car. Then the enemy comes near to whisper into your ears, “Does God really have your best interests at heart? How could he let something like this happen to you?” You pull an arrow out of your quiver that reads,

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

And you let it fly.

But then he comes back with, “Are you sure that God loves you? Why should he? Didn’t you fail him this morning?” And so you grab another titanium arrow that reads,

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1Jn. 4:10).

And still another one that reads,

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.8:38-39).

And you keep firing away, arrow after arrow–withstanding the attacks of the enemy. As you do so, they leave an aroma of God’s faithfulness, of his worthiness, of his goodness that penetrates your very soul. The Holy Spirit takes those verses, and calms your soul. He builds you up, or convicts you of unbelief. He encourages you to endure and to carry on.

When you do this, you’re fighting the fight for faith. You’re waging war against unbelief. And through it all, you are feeding your soul with the word of God.