Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Day 40 of Lent 2020

Romans 6:3

Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

Ray 2020Today is day 40 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I hope you have stayed with us during this journey as we have carried on with our reading plan this Lenten Season. Tomorrow is Easter. But today is silent Saturday. It is the full day that Jesus was in the grave (partial day on Friday and partial day on Sunday). How will you spend your day? Will it be just another day or will you spend some time thinking about Jesus and His Disciples – so many years ago?

Lent is typically a time to give something up – to stop a bad habit – to deny self – to dig deeper into our walk with Jesus. How have you been doing? Today we continue to look at a passage that will lead us to the cross and later to the resurrection. Let us focus on Jesus this week – more than usual. For those of us who have received Jesus as Lord and Savior – we have been baptized into Christ and into His suffering – into His death. We share with Him and He shares with us.

Spend some time today – praying and meditating on the story of Christ. Today is the day He was in the tomb before being raised in the morning (tomorrow). Our Lenten season has been different this year. Our Easter will be different. But – the Tomb was still empty and the Lord still reigns. Continue reading

April 11, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 39 of Lent 2020

Isaiah 49:1

Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.

Ray 2020Today is day 39 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I hope you have stayed with us – this is the final week – the final two days. It is Holy Week – Easter is this Sunday. Today’s passage is another about the Servant of the Lord. This could be about Isaiah – it could be about Jesus – it might even be about us. Read it and let me know what you think.

Lent is typically a time to give something up – to stop a bad habit – to deny self – to dig deeper into our walk with Jesus. Today we begin to look at some passages that will lead us to the cross and to the resurrection. Let us focus on Jesus this week – more than usual. Let us identify with the walk and the sacrifice Jesus made for each of us. Jesus came to earth – voluntarily – to walk to the cross. Can we imagine how we would face our last week on earth? How we would face out death – when we had the power to avoid it?

Am I the only one having a hard time remembering what day it is during this pandemic? I have to remind myself each day. It seems like a groundhog day repeat. What we do know – without a doubt – is that each and every day – Jesus is the King and wants to be our Lord! Continue reading

April 10, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 37 of Lent 2020

Matthew 7:7

They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.

Ray 2020Today is day 37 of the 40 Days of Lent – our Lenten reading plan (since Sundays don’t count in Lent – there are 47 days total in Lent). I hope you have stayed with us – leave some comments below – if you would. Today’s passage is about some who worship in vain – instead of focusing on God – they focus on the art of worship. Folks had moved away from the commands of God and focused on other things. When we worship the building or the ornaments or something other than God – we are worshiping things rather than God.

Lent is typically a time to give something up – to stop a bad habit – to deny self – to dig deeper into our walk with Jesus. Today we want to read about Jesus’ instructions about worship. If Jesus were here today – would our form of worship meet His standards? Are we focused on Him and His commands or are we focused on things like the style of worship or even the location of worship?

During this pandemic – we have learned to be community without physical contact. We have been able to worship without a building. A good question – how is our worship these days? Continue reading

April 8, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 36 of Lent 2020

Matthew 11:21

Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

Ray 2020Today is day 36 of the 40 Days of Lent – our Lenten reading plan (Since Sundays don’t count in Lent – we will have 47 days total I think). I hope you have stayed with us – leave some comments below. Today’s passage is again about the call to repent. It comes from part of Jesus’ teaching about unrepentant towns from Matthew’s Gospel.

Lent is typically a time to give something up – to stop a bad habit – to deny self – to dig deeper into our walk with Jesus. Today we want to read about Jesus’ teaching on repentance and how whole towns even are called to repent. If Jesus were here today – He might call whole states or countries to repent (we certainly have plenty to repent of in our collective histories).

Maybe – during this pandemic time – God will get our attention to turn from sin and turn to Him. I believe the new norm – when this pandemic is over – will be different than we had beforehand. Continue reading

April 7, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 35 of Lent 2020

John 17:17

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

Ray 2020Today is day 35 of the 40 Days of our Lenten reading plan (looks like the plan will have 47 days because the Sundays didn’t count). I hope you have stayed with us. Today’s passage is about the truth. It comes from part of Jesus’ prayer for His Disciples in John’s Gospel.

Lent is typically a time to give something up – to stop a bad habit – to deny self – to dig deeper into our walk with Jesus. Today we want to read about Jesus’ heart for His Disciples and for the truth.

Jesus’ love for His disciples – for all of humanity – is why He came to earth. He loved us so much – He gave His life for us – for all of humanity. If we receive Him as our Lord and Savior – we will live eternally with Him. Continue reading

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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