Happy Easter Monday, April 13, 2020 church!

April 13, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Easter Monday to all!  We celebrated the resurrection of Jesus yesterday and the truth is we can celebrate our Risen Lord every day because Jesus is alive forevermore!  On Good Friday we remembered everything that needs to be done for us to be saved has been done.  Jesus has paid it all and we simply cling to and believe in what He has done for us. On Resurrection Sunday, we remembered the Savior who conquered death conquered it for all who believe.   Yes, there have been and are those who try to explain away the empty tomb since it occurred during the first century and since that time.  However, the only truly rational, reasonable and believable explanation for the empty tomb is the Jesus rose physically from the dead!  Jesus lives and we live in and through Him!

Next week, Sunday April 19, is our scheduled time to have the Lord’s Supper together.  Even though we cannot be together physically, I want us to celebrate the Lord’s Supper virtually together.  If you would like to participate, I encourage you to get some grape juice and crackers for those in your home who will participate.  I will send out a video leading us in taking the Lord’s Supper along with the video of next week’s sermon.  As always, those who take the supper should be believers because the supper is meaningless if you have not yet trusted Christ with your life.  Also, we should examine ourselves and confess and forsake any sin that God reveals to our minds and we should be careful to have a reverent understanding that we are remembering Jesus and all He has done for us as we take the Lord’s Supper. 

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Praying you all stay safe.  Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, April 6, 2020 church!

April 6, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

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Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all!  The online worship songs Pete sent allowed us to remember how great a friend we have in Jesus and how during trials, temptations and troubles, Jesus is our refuge!  Those songs reminded us that we always have hope because it is found in Christ alone who shines into our night.  The online message turned thoughts to the events of the crucifixion and the resurrection.  We looked from Matthew 27 how even the enemies of Jesus testified to the truth of who He is. All the things they said to mock Him while He was being crucified and dying in our place were statements proclaiming who Jesus truly is.  He is King of the Jews and King of kings.  He is the Son of God and the Savior of the world.  Jesus did not save Himself, as His enemies tempted Him to do while He was on the cross, so He might save any who will believe in Him. Even today when hostile forces speak against Jesus, they truly reinforce the truth of Jesus as King and Lord before whom all must one day bow. 

This week we used tools of technology to be together.  We are able to worship together as we view the sermons and worship music online.  The ladies met and prayed together Saturday morning through modern technology as Cheryl and Abby set up a virtual meeting.  They are planning another meeting for next Saturday morning. Also, we were able to pray together Sunday evening as David set up Sunday evening prayer online.  We are also planning to meet again this way next Sunday evening.  If you would like to be part of either one and you didn’t get connected, let me know and we will help you get connected.  I thank God for these tools we can use to stay connected and proclaim His truth during this time of social distancing.

Pete and I are planning to send you a short message and some songs to help us all worship on Good Friday.   

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Praying you all stay safe.  Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, March 30, 2020 church!

March 30, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! 

I hope the link to the online sermon worked for you.  I hope I learned from this first video how to better do future videos. The message continued our journey through Matthew.  Also, I wanted it to point our attention to the events of Easter-the trial, crucifixion, burial, resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus.  Yes, the events of that first Easter were real and historical, and we need to remember this, especially in difficult days like we are now experiencing.   We can remember the great acts of our God to provide forgiveness, salvation, peace and life to us.  Yesterday we thought about something familiar but essential:  Jesus willingly went to the cross to receive the punishment that all sinners deserved.  The innocent One died in the place of guilty sinners-you and me.  Because Jesus took our sin, His righteousness is counted to us whenever we turn from ourselves and our sin and receive and believe. The Jewish leaders did not force Jesus to the cross.  Pilate did not force Jesus to the cross.  The mob calling for Jesus’ crucifixion did not force Jesus to the cross.  Jesus willingly went to cross to do for us what we could not do for ourselves: provide a truly just way for our sins to be forgiven. Love for His Father and love for people sent Jesus to the cross.  

Yesterday’s car caravan to encourage Donald and Deanna and their family was great!  Even in this time of social distancing, we found a way to express the love of Christ.  I want to thank Lois for this wonderful suggestion and all of you who participated.  There were thirteen cars in our caravan. We drove by their house, honked, waved, and shouted out to them from our car windows words assuring them of the love and prayers of their brothers and sisters in Christ. We had fun, and it was a blessing to all who participated.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, March 23, 2020 church!

March 23, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all!  I pray all of you are doing well.  I miss you! I pray the Lord’s Day emails are helpful.  We think we have a way to video a message and send the link to you until we call all meet together.  Here is a link to a short video and prayer from me to you.  https://youtu.be/1hTU6PkRW00.

In Psalm 46:1-3 from God’s Word it reads, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, 3though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”  If I ever felt like the earth was giving way and the mountains were being moved into the heart of the sea, it has been now.  At these times, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble! We ABSOLUTELY can hang onto this truth! 

I encourage you to seek to call and use all kinds of available technology to stay in touch with each other.  If you think of someone and are wondering how they are doing, pick up the phone and call.  Social distancing does not mean we have to be isolated from one another.  In fact, it is essential for our spiritual and mental health to stay in touch. 

We soon should have a way for you to give your offerings online.  As soon as it is set up, we will let you know. Some of you are already mailing your offerings.  We want to be faithful in giving as an act of worship and so we can continue to support the work of the Lord around the world. 

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, March 16, 2020 church!

March 16, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all!  I pray all of you are doing well in this time of social distancing.  It was hard not being together yesterday, but it was the right thing to do.  We do not know how long we might have to cancel our worship services and meetings.  However, but we do know Jesus died and rose again, that God loves us and those we love, we love each other and that the Holy Spirit of God is with those who belong to Jesus. 

In Matthew 27, we see that Jesus has been arrested and the leaders of Israel had condemned Him to death.  When Judas realized this, he was filled with remorse and tried to return the money he had received for betraying Jesus. Because Judas refused to really understand who Jesus was and what His mission was all about, his faith was in a false messiah and not the true Messiah.  You see, only in the true Messiah, the Savior who died paying the penalty for our sins as our substitute and in the Jesus who rose again from the grave, is there true forgiveness.  Don’t find yourself in the time you need forgiveness not knowing who Jesus really is.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!


Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

East Madison Baptist Church Sunday, March 15, 2020 worship and all activities CANCELLED

March 13, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog, EMBC News, and Front Page Gallery.

Brothers and sisters,

The church council has made the difficult decision to cancel worship and all activities on Sunday, March 15, 2020. We will also monitor the situation and possibly cancel all activities for March 22.

All of us know about the coronavirus (COVID-1) global pandemic. One way to slow the speed of its advance is “social distancing” including avoidance of gathering in large groups. We do have families in our congregation who have members with compromised immune systems. Therefore, the counsel made the difficult decision to cancel.

Are we overreacting? Possibly. However, we did not make this decision out of fear, but out of prayerful consideration and careful research of what is best for our community and church family.

I know we will all miss worshipping together. I encourage you to worship individually or better yet as a family. Dads, share something from God’s Word with your family. You can do this! Worship is more than just hearing sermons but adoring our great God. In my private worship, I often go to this link https://sovereigngracemusic.org/music/videos/ and use those music videos as an aid to my worship. I also use worship music videos found on youtube.com.

Finally, Sunday, March 15 is a called day of prayer for the coronavirus global pandemic (See below). Please join with me in prayer for this on that day.

If you have questions or comments, feel free to contact me.

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church
4917 Milwaukee St.
Madison, Wisconsin 53714
Church Phone (608) 249-3779
Website: embclife.org

Day of Prayer for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Global Pandemic

Sunday, March 15, 2020

In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic, we are asking all Southern Baptists and our 47,500+ churches of the Southern Baptist Convention to commit to a dedicated time of prayer this Sunday, March 15, 2020, to seek the Lord in unity about these matters:

  1. Ask God, in His mercy, to stop this pandemic and save lives—not only in our communities but around the world, particularly in places that are unequipped medically to deal with the virus. (Isaiah 59:1-2)
  2. Pray for President Donald Trump and other government leaders—international, federal, state, and local—to have the wisdom to direct us in the best courses of action for prevention and care. (Romans 13:1–4)
  3. Scripture says—teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts. Pray that the Lord will give us wisdom in this moment of fear as the foundations of what we know are shaken, that others would realize how fragile life is and how real eternity is, and they would see their need to turn to God. (Psalm 90:12)
  4. Ask God to protect our missionaries and their families around the globe, using this global crisis to advance His Good News to the whole world. (Mark 16:15)

The Great Commission Council of the Southern Baptist Convention

Happy Monday, March 9, 2020 church!

March 9, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all!  Yesterday from Matthew 26 we considered God’s ultimate control of history.  When events looked chaotic and out of control when Jesus was betrayed and arrested, Jesus was in control!  Sometimes the events of our lives will not make sense from our perspective.  They will seem arbitrary and chaotic.  It will seem like God is not in control.  It will seem like the godless, immoral and unrighteous have the upper hand.  It will seem like we or someone we looked up to have failed God miserably.  But never forget, God is bringing about His redemptive purposes.  God ultimately is in control of history. God is bringing history to its ultimate climax of destroying evil completely.  God is working in and through all the events of history to ultimately bring about the eternal reign of His eternal Son, Jesus Christ, as King of kings and Lord of lords.  God always ultimately controls the course of history which will reestablish forever His eternal rule over His universe.

Because  we celebrated the Lord’s Supper just a couple of weeks ago and out of abundance of precaution, we will not have the Lord’s Supper this Sunday, March 15.  I know many in our community have been ill (Carla and I have been ill with the flu this week but are recovering) and we don’t want to spread disease. 

Thanks for your understanding.

The city has on their agenda on April 1, 2020 our application for a variance on our sign project.  Please be praying about this. LaCrosse Sign has told me that we should know their recommendations that night at the meeting. 

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, March 2, 2020 church!

March 2, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all!  Yesterday was such a good day as we worshiped yesterday morning and as we worshiped at the hymn sing last night.  If you missed the hymn sing, you missed a lot!  You missed a couple of hours of singing some very meaningful songs that God has used to touch our lives.  You also missed some wonderful testimonies of why those hymns were so meaningful.  I want to thank Pete Pokrandt for leading last night and Abby Longmore for playing.

Yesterday morning we also had a great day of worship.  We looked from Matthew 26 about Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane.  We learned some wonderful things about prayer.  We learned the prayer truly makes a difference.  Jesus prayed in Gethsemane and even though it did not change circumstances, prayer prepared Jesus to face the cross.  If Jesus, the very Son of God, had to pray, how much more should we understand our great need to pray. True prayer moves the hand of God.  Sometimes believers will see miraculous things happen because of prayer.  At other times when we pray, prayer enables us to be emotionally stable during life’s most difficult challenges.  Prayer also empowers us to fulfill God’s will in extreme circumstances. And when we pray, prayer truly enables us to meet and defeat life’s greatest temptations.  Prayer, as Michael Green wrote, is not magic seeking to control cosmic powers. Prayer seeks always to surrender to the will of God, knowing that God’s will is always good, pleasing and perfect.  “What a privilege to carry,” as the old hymn says, “everything to God in prayer.” 

Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 2:00 AM.  Remember to turn your watches and clocks that do not automatically adjust one hour forward before you go to bed on Saturday night.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, February 24, 2020 church!

February 24, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all!  Yesterday, the worship band led us in praising our great God and singing about the Lord Jesus as our Rock and our Redeemer, the One who continually protects and rescues us.  Then we looked in Matthew 26 about the first observance of the Lord’s Supper.  We learned that Jesus invites all who believe in Him to this memorial meal.  At this meal we remember the price paid for our salvation and we remember that Jesus will come again to bring to perfect completion the Kingdom of God.  We also learned that Jesus invites all who will fail Him to this supper.  Peter and the other apostles all fell away from the Lord on the night Jesus was betrayed.  Jesus knew they would fail him.  But even though Jesus knew this, He still invited them to this memorial meal.  Jesus knows we will fail him before we fail Him. But still He bids us to come to Him and His table.  We know Jesus prayed for Peter that His faith would not fail him even when he blew it.  Jesus prayed for Peter that after he had turned from this failure that Peter would strengthen other believers.  We realized that just as Jesus prayed for Peter, today Jesus is praying for us.  Hebrews 7:25 tells us this truth, “Therefore He (Jesus) is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.”  Jesus saves us completely, not because we will never fail, but because He continually prays, intercedes for every person who believes.  Thank You, Lord Jesus, for inviting us to your table knowing  all our weaknesses!  Thank You, Lord Jesus, for continually praying for us and completely saving us!

Next Sunday evening, March 1, at 6:00 PM we will have a hymn sing.  This is an informal time of sharing what the Lord has done for us and for singing some of the hymns that are most meaningful to us. Hope you will plan on being here.  You will be blessed!

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.  We all need our brothers and sisters  praying for us.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, February 17, 2020 church!

February 17, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all!  Yesterday was a good day of worship and fellowship as we thought about the hope we continually have in Jesus.  We looked at the importance of understanding correctly Jesus’s death on the cross.  We contrasted Mary’s anointing of Jesus with her most precious treasure of very expensive perfume and Judas’ betrayal of Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Each of them saw Jesus’ upcoming death in a different way.  Mary saw Jesus’ death through faith and Judas saw Jesus’ death through his own ambition and greed.  Do you understand Jesus’ death and what it truly means?  If you miss what Jesus’ death on the cross was all about, you miss Jesus.  Mahatma Gandhi said this about Jesus’ death: “I could accept Jesus as a martyr, an embodiment of sacrifice, and a divine teacher, but not as the most perfect man ever born. His death on the Cross was a great example to the world, but that there was anything like a mysterious or miraculous virtue in it my heart could not accept.”  Is that how you see Jesus’s death?  Or do you see His death as the only way anyone can be saved?  Are you hardened and unbelieving about His death as one of the world’s most meaningless events or the world’s greatest tragedy?  Are you disillusioned about His death and see Jesus only as a martyr or good example? Or do you see Jesus’ death as the death of the very Son of God sent to save you from your sin?  Will you believe and honor Jesus today, as the true and living Savior, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world?  Jesus’ death to each of us is either one of the most meaningful or the most meaningless events in history.

Sunday, March 1 at 6:00 PM, we will have a hymn sing.  This is an informal time of sharing what the Lord has done for us and for singing some of the hymn that are our favorites.  Hope you will plan on being here.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church