Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Those With Us Are More Than Those Against Us

2 Kings 6:16

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

Rays HaircutHere we are – in the midst of a pandemic that threatens the entire world. Many haven’t been to work in nearly two months. Many states are rebelling against the closures. The medical professionals say we should open slowly in some areas and not at all – yet – in other areas. Some governors have opened their states – and some are holding off. The questions remain – if we stay closed much longer – will there be anything to come back to – Or – if we open too early – will we spike the pandemic again? What a terrible situation we are facing.

Here we are – in the midst of a pandemic that threatens our health and our livelihood. If we live through it – which most of us will – will we lose everything waiting to be safe? When is the threat of illness – even death – worth going back to work? We all take risks everyday traveling the roads and dealing with other ills. What a terrible situation we are facing.

Today’s passage is from a story in the Bible – where a man of God and his servant were surrounding on all sides by the enemy. Death seemed imminent. Let’s read the story to get a better idea what they were facing. Continue reading

April 27, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Those Who Are With Us Are More

2 Kings 6:16

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

img_0063-2I’ve been spending some time today and over the last year (or even 4 decades) – praying and thinking about the predicament the United Methodist Church finds itself in these days. More and more the minority of the denomination but the majority in the USA have been pulling our denomination away from traditional Scriptural truths. It seems like time and again the left or liberal portion of the Methodist Church has been succumbing to the standards of the world rather than the standards of God’s Word.

Over our history – others have pulled away from the main Methodist group because they believed the denomination was leaving the core Biblical truths. There are many Wesleyan denominations – branching off from the core Methodist Church. Here is a list of some of the Wesleyan/Methodist churches in the USA. There are other branches around the world. African Methodist Episcopal ChurchAfrican Methodist Episcopal Zion ChurchAllegheny Wesleyan Methodist Connection (Wesleyan Methodist Church)Association of Independent MethodistsBethel Methodist ChurchBible Methodist Connection of ChurchesChristian Methodist Episcopal ChurchChurch of the NazareneCongregational Methodist ChurchEvangelical Methodist Church of AmericaEvangelical Methodist ChurchEvangelical Wesleyan ChurchFirst Congregational Methodist ChurchFree Methodist Church, The – North AmericaFundamental Methodist ConferenceMethodist Protestant ChurchNational Association of Wesleyan EvangelicalsPrimitive Methodist ChurchSouthern Congregational Methodist ChurchSouthern Methodist ChurchUnited Methodist ChurchWesleyan Church.

As far as I can tell – almost all of these branches of the Wesleyan or Methodist theological strand are more conservative than the current UMC. At some point – each decided to disassociate with the Methodist core or main denomination. Continue reading

February 21, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Are We Facing?

2 Kings 6:16

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

IMG_0301What are we facing today? What challenges are before us? Some of my friends are starting new appointments today as pastors of United Methodist Churches. Two specifically start serving churches in Crofton and Annapolis. As they meet new people and Sunday preach and lead worship before a new congregation – I will be praying for them. May God richly bless them as they serve with all of their hearts a new people!

What are we facing today? What challenges are before us? Are our marriages having issues? Are the children facing tough times – are we facing tough times with the children? Is our job a trouble spot? Are relationships caving in around us? Is the news causing us pain? Do we have legal issues facing us?  Are we fighting a disease like our governor is facing?  Are we fighting an addiction?

What are we facing today? What challenges are before us? And my next question – what are we doing about these challenges? How are we facing them? Do we try to face them alone – on our own power and strength? Continue reading

July 1, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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