Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Christmas Praises 1

Psalm 28:7

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.


During the month of December I have asked some members and friends of our church to write a paragraph or so describing some of the things that bring them joy this Christmas season in their relationship with Jesus and First Church? They were asked where they see Jesus in their church family? They were asked what draws them to First Church. The reason for this is to stir up some joy and excitement this Christmas Season. I told them I would share their thoughts anonymously – but I am keeping their e-mails for sure. I will try to post a comment a day for December so obviously I need 31 comments. The posts will go up around noon each day.

Rev. Ray, I know Jesus is happy for me that I found First Church.  I feel him there with me every Sunday the same way I feel him at home or out and about in my daily life.  I believe Jesus is always present at church because I feel him in the people in the music and in your prayers and sermons.  The reason I know Jesus is happy for me is because years ago I turned away from organized religion because I didn’t feel a connection to the people, the pastor, or the service.  You might say I didn’t feel connected to the Lord in church which made me very sad.  I never lost my faith in the Lord despite the fact that I have lived for over 25 years with a tortured mind and body.  It is my faith in Jesus and my love for my family that has kept me alive all these years.  It is not unusual for thoughts of suicide to cross my mind.  However, I have always had the strength to reject these thoughts because of my faith and great love for the Lord and my family.

This Christmas I will celebrate Jesus with renewed faith in the Lords house and an extremely grateful heart for having found First Church.  First Church brings me great joy and a sense of renewal each time I attend.  What a gift.  It is like Christmas every Sunday.  It is as if Joy and Peace are my reward for attending and I am so grateful.  My husband and I are always deeply moved by the Service at First Church.  What a blessing.  God bless you Reverend Ray for the ability to touch the hearts and minds of the First Church family of which I am so thankful to be a part of.

I praise the Lord for the testimony. I hope that it brings those who read it great joy. Merry Christmas to one and all.


December 1, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Outreach | , , , ,

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