Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Christmas Praises 23

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

christmas-praises-23During 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.

Christmas has always been a family Christ centered holiday for me. It’s a time when we gather with family, including some family members that we may only see once a year. Our church family at FUMCL has always been an important part of Christmas and became even more important when we lost a parent and dealt with that grief during the Christmas season 5 years ago. Then 2 months later, we lost our final parent/grandparent unexpectedly. FUMCL is an extended family for all 4 of us. We have been at First Church since our oldest was very young. Prior to that we attended the church that I grew up in but came to First Church when we were looking for something MORE for our young family. First Church became that MORE that we were looking for. The Christmas season would not be the same without spending time with our extended blood family as well as our First Church family!

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 23, 2016 Posted by | Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, Outreach, Personal | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Easy Evangelism

Matthew 9:37–38

37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

RayMcDAt First United Methodist Church of Laurel – MD – we talk a lot about evangelism. Evangelism is not a dirty word folks! In the Great Commission – we are called to go and make disciples. Matthew 28:19–20 – 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Making disciples is spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ – and that is evangelism.

Evangelism is – according to one definition I found online – the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness. A Scripture that defines evangelism – that gives us an example of telling the story of the Gospel – can be found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 – Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.  3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas,  and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. Continue reading

December 23, 2016 Posted by | Bring, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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