Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Halloween – Celebrate or Not?

Revelation 21:8

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

fullsizeoutput_ffeThe secular holiday called Halloween is coming. Even this week there are Trunk or Treat events going on. The church is trying to allow for creative juices to flow and fun to be had (along with candy) without succumbing to the world’s understanding of this holiday. I would like to debate the holiday called Halloween.

I understand All-Hallows Eve and its history – Ireland – Scotland – Wales – and other traditions. We will remember All-Saints Day in two Sundays by remembering those who had passed since last November.

I understand that most people simply see Halloween as a holiday to dress up and collect candy – so what is the fuss one might ask. Because we don’t understand the true nature of something – do we simply make own plans? Continue reading

October 26, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Questions, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

One Thing I Ask

Psalm 27:4

One thing I ask from the Lord…

Ray 2018If you could ask for one thing of God – what would it be? World peace would be a popular request I believe. Some might ask for wealth – or health – or a loved one to return to life. Some might ask for a life partner or for children. What would you ask for if you could ask for one thing of God?

Let me ask another question. How’s your prayer life? Prayer is how we speak with God. How’s your prayer life?

When we pray – do you do the normal now I lay me down to sleep and thank you for this food along with some short prayers at church? Does that sum up your prayer life? I sure hope not. How do you approach God? How’s your prayer life? Would you like to improve your prayer life? Continue reading

September 13, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Questions, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Bride of Christ

Revelation 19:7

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

IMG_0301As a pastor I have performed my share of weddings – not as many as some pastors – because I normally require that the couple be part of the church I am serving or have a family relationship. I also require counseling – four to six sessions – and that normally has folks from outside the church running for a pastor without that requirement.

When I counsel couples – young or older – whatever the living arrangements might be – I encourage them both to take steps to prepare for their wedding day. Preparation usually includes planning the wedding together – each taking a part and responsibility. Preparation usually includes talking about things like finances – families – their future – their careers – their family plans. Preparation also talks about being sexually pure (even if they haven’t up to that point) from the start of our counseling until the wedding night. I include many things in their prep time – as they prepare for the wedding. Continue reading

May 5, 2015 Posted by | Church, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Questions, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

6 Ways to Improve Your Marriages – Men

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

IMG_0301After Easter I plan to preach a sermon series on marriage.  I found this old post of mine – about an article I found online.  I thought it would be a good place to begin the conversation about marriage.  It is targeted at men for sure but was useful the first time I used it and I bet it will be this time too.

I found an article online, by Paul Peterson, that listed six ideas for husbands to improve their marriage.  I thought they were pretty good so I will list them and then see if our readers can come up with additional things a husband can do.  We will run a similar post for women soon so keep those ideas in your head.

Here is the list I found:

#1 Date your wife every week.

Just do it. Turn off the TV, say “no” to your buddies, find a babysitter and date that lady! Date her just like you did BEFORE you married her! Continue reading

March 31, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Questions, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Prayer Life

Matthew 17:20-21

Nothing will be impossible for you. But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.

Pic of Ray 11302014I would like to start a discussion about our prayer life. As I mentioned on Christmas Eve I am calling the church to a 21-day time of prayer and fasting. I believe that for a person or for a church to be healthy they need a solid view of prayer and a solid prayer life. Do you agree?

So, to start the discussion, I want to ask some questions. I would love some responses.  Feel free to e-mail me directly if you’d like at RevRay@fumcl.org or simply respond to this post. Continue reading

December 29, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Questions, Sermons, Theology | , , , , | Leave a comment

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