Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

He Restored My Soul

Psalm 23:2-3

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

profileFirst – an apology for the last few day’s devotional thoughts coming out a little later than normal.  With revival happening my nights are late and I am beat when I arrive home and have had early morning activities that have had me out of the house by 6 am or so each morning and it has been several hours later that I have been able to touch a computer keyboard.

Speaking of revival – we had our last night of our Pre-Lenten Revival last night (you can hear the sermon here if you’d like to listen).  The hope is that revival never ends – we just return to our normal schedule – revived and more alive than before the revival.  The hope is that we will never be the same.

Starting with Sunday morning the revival was just what I needed.  My wife – who knows me so well – said this revival was just what I needed!  So I believe her.  If no one else was blessed by the revival – and I hope others were – I was blessed.

In the midst of one of the most well known Psalms we read – Psalm 23:2-32 He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.  3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  I want to focus for a few moments on He restores my soul.

Have you ever been in a dark and troubling time?  Have you ever faced difficult tasks and experiences?  Have you ever been drained and thought there was little hope for refreshment or rest?  Have you ever thought your world was tumbling around you?  Have you ever faced the most trying times of your life?  If so – did anything come along that helped?  Anything that restored you – restored even your soul?  The revival did that for me – it was more than I could have anticipated.  It was a life preserver thrown into stormy waters for me and I hope for you as well.

Have you ever wanted to go to the next level?  Have you ever wanted to know what was next in your spiritual life?  Have you ever wondered what God’s plan was for you?  Have you ever tired of the same-old-same-old and wanted to step out into something new?  If so – did anything come along that helped?  Anything that restored you – restored even your soul?  The revival did that for me – it was more than I could have anticipated.  It was a time of revitalization and many said they were inspired and refreshed at revival.  Souls were saved and others recommitted their lives to Jesus!  Praise His Holy Name.

When we were planning the revival – months ago – I had no idea how FUMCL would respond to having a revival. Revival doesn’t always carry with it a good image in everyone’s mind’s eye.  Some of us who were raised with revivals – if we had good experiences – have a good mind’s eye view.  But some have never experienced revival or have had bad experiences.  So the question in my mind was how would FUMCL respond to revival.

It has been a while since we had open mic testimonies.  God touched the hearts of many to share and we had powerful testimonies of how God has been at work in the lives of our folks and even some who visited with us.  They moved others and me – so much so that we will have testimony time during our Sunday morning worship services too.

The music every night – especially Tuesday night for me (which was your favorite night?) – was so powerful and drew us into the presence of God.  I saw people having a great time in worship as we sang and shouted to the Lord.  The Word was proclaimed each night and sharing communion and anointing people with ashes Wednesday night was powerful for me as well.

FUMCL is a medium sized church and we average about 210 on Sunday morning and so I thought if we could average a quarter of our Sunday morning attendance at revival – or 50 plus people – that this would be a success for our first revival in some time.  We also took up an offering for Imagine No Malaria and my expectations were not very high.  Well our average attendance for the evening services was 106 with a high of 120 one night.  Our offerings yielded over $1,100 for Imagine No Malaria.  Both numbers blew my mind.

To top it off – friends from Mt. Zion and Mt. Oak – two of my previous churches came to visit during the revival.  Seeing old friends among my new friends at FUMCL was moving for me.  The whole revival experience was moving – especially as Wayne brought me a copy of a revival FUMCL had many years ago with a picture of my father as the Evangelist.  I had started the revival reminding people I had my late father on my heart and that bulletin with my dad’s picture at the end just made the experience complete.

How about some testimonies on this blog or on Facebook about what the revival meant to you?  What about sharing some thoughts this Sunday at each service?  Was your soul restored?  I pray it was – I know mine was!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

You can listen to the sermons here – Sunday morningSunday nightTuesday nightWednesday night (Monday night we were snowed out)


March 6, 2014 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , ,

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