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-19) 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

Happy Monday, February 10 2020 church!

February 10, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all!  Yesterday we worshipped and shared in the memorial supper Jesus gave us to remember Him.  We think of all Jesus has done and is doing for us and especially the purchase of our forgiveness through His sacrificial death on the cross and His resurrection.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 reminds us that we were bought from sin and death and hell with the high price of the blood of Jesus. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV) “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”   The Lord’s Supper reminds us of that great price of our salvation.

We also thought yesterday about the truth taught to us from Matthew 25 and many other places in the Bible that we will be judged by God.  Every human being will stand before God and give an account of His life.  We looked at the criteria by which we will be judged.  The only criteria by which we will be judged is how we respond to Jesus Christ.  We saw how you respond to believers and support them as they seek to live for Jesus shows how you respond to Jesus.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”  Jesus supremely and emphatically identifies with those who believe in Him and belong to Him or who will possibly believe in Him and belong to Him through the witness of His children.  Jesus supremely and emphatically identifies with those who join Him in His mission of taking His gospel to every ethnic and people group around the world and extending His Kingdom to the ends of the earth. How you respond to believers and support them as they seek to live for Jesus shows how you respond to Jesus.  How you respond to Jesus determines your eternal destiny on judgement day.

We will have a potluck luncheon after our worship gathering this Sunday, February 16.  Bring enough food for you family and a little extra for our guests. 

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

Happy Monday, February 3, 2020 church!

February 3, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday our worship reminded us of the greatness of God and the greatness of the salvation He has provided for all who will believe.  We looked at two parables in Matthew 25 and thought about living prepared lives, always ready for Jesus to come back. We learned from the parable of the ten bridesmaids that each person must individually prepare to meet Jesus and can’t borrow from the preparation of others.  The time to prepare is today and should never be put off!  We learned from the parable of the talents that truly prepared people love Jesus and use whatever they have been entrusted with to serve Him and advance His Kingdom.  Prepared people have a right view of God that see His love for them and desire to love Him with all they have, instead of a warped view of God that does not understand His love and justice.  Prepared people seek to live their lives serving Jesus and others, instead of living it for their personal agendas and themselves.  Loving Jesus and seeking to glorify Him with our life reveals we are truly prepared to meet Him face to face. 

We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper this Sunday, February 9 during our morning worship.

We will have a potluck luncheon after worship on Sunday, February 16.  Bring enough food on that day for your family and a little extra for our guests. 

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, January 27, 2020 church!

January 27, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters, 

Happy Monday to all!  Yesterday as we worshipped, we gloried in our Redeemer and all He has done for us.  We thought from Matthew 24 about continually preparing for Jesus’ return. You can only be ready for Jesus to come by getting ready in this life.  You can trust Him today and then faithfully serve Him now, showing that you are prepared for life with God forever.  We need to be prepared for His return even in the normal routines of life now.  We need to be prepared for Jesus’s coming even if it seems Jesus has delayed His coming or even if it seems death might be far away.  Yesterday and last week were grim reminders that no one knows when his or her life will end.   Readiness for Jesus’ return and readiness for death requires active faithful service to Him even though we cannot know when He will return.  Live life always ready to meet God, either at the return of Christ or at the day of our death.

Patti Holmes memorial service will be at East Madison Baptist Church this Saturday, February 1, at 11:00 AM.  The family will be here to meet with friends between 10:00  and 11:00 AM.  Our church family will provide a meal for the Holmes family after the service.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church