Brothers and sisters,
Happy Monday to all! Yesterday, as we worshipped, we considered what happens when God says “No” to some of our prayers. Paul experienced this in 2 Corinthians 12 when Paul asked God to remove the “thorn in his flesh.” God told Paul “No” to this request. Instead, God said to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” God told Paul that in Paul’s weakness, God power would be shown to be perfect, sufficient, and enough. There will be times when we will pray for something and God will not give us what we ask. In these times, we often do not understand what God is doing. God sometimes allows the continuance of struggles and difficulties for His glory, the furtherance of His kingdom, and for our good. Will we trust God when he says “no” to changing the circumstances of our lives? Will we trust God when that thing we pray for does not happen? Do we believe that God will bring about greater things through His “no” to our prayers and to His continued allowance of struggles and difficulties? Whatever we face, we know God promises His ever increasing and all-sufficient grace to help us when he says “no” to our prayers. Will we believe and trust Him even in this?
Our church will begin meeting physically, the Lord willing, starting this Sunday, June 7. On June 7, and probably for a while, the plan is to conduct outdoor services in our parking lot. We will have people parking cars appropriately distanced from one another. We ask that you bring lawn chairs for the members of your family to sit in front of your vehicles. We will continue to practice social distancing as we meet outside. We will also provide virtual worship and begin to provide a live feed to our services. In case of inclement weather, we will only live stream our services. If you have a fever and/or other symptoms of being ill or have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid 19, we ask that you stay home and worship with us virtually. We realize some of you are concerned with meeting in this manner because of health issues. We support you if you feel like you need to stay home to protect your health. Some of you might not agree with how we are proceeding but know, as best we can, we are trying to do what we believe is God’s will and best for His people. Please pray for me and the church council as we continue to adapt to this changing crisis and work out details.
Please remember to pray for our city and nation during these tense days. Pray for justice and then peace to be better established. Pray for the rage to decrease and forgiveness, love, and mercy to increase.
I want to thank you for your faithfulness in giving to the Lord during these difficult times. We are receiving offerings in a couple of ways. You can mail offering checks to the church address at the Milwaukee Street address below. Also, you can give your offerings online at the embclife.org website by clicking the “Give Online” tab on the homepage or you can click this link directly: https://give.idonate.com/east-madison-baptist-church/give
Remember to keep praying continually for each other.
Love being your pastor!
Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church