Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Would Jesus Weep at Our Grave?

John 11:25

Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amAs a pastor – I am often called upon many times in the course of a year to celebrate the life of folks from our church and from our community. As I have recently mentioned – it has been nearly 7 years since we celebrated my father’s life. I have also celebrated the life of my mother and my father-in-law. Some day I will help the family celebrate my mother-in-laws life – unless they celebrate mine beforehand.

Someone once said – in this world you can be certain of two things – death and taxes. Some attribute this to Benjamin Franklin. It is a true statement. We weren’t created to die – we were created to live eternally. Yet – because of sin – we are born to die.

Folks – even folks who only know me on the day of the celebration of their loved one’s life – say I hold a nice service – a comforting service – a service that brings them into the presence of God. Recently a man said – I’m not a religious man – but you said some things that touched me today. Another women told me – you made celebrating my father’s life doable. I thought I would be too broken to get through the service. God has gifted me with the ability to connect with people and to help people to be at ease and to remember the good as they celebrate the life of a loved one. Continue reading

September 2, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Praying for Our Enemies and Others

1 Thessalonians 1:2

We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.

Life ChangeSo – in our prayer life – whom do we mention? The typical night-time prayer for a child is – God bless mommy and daddy – God bless my brother and sister – and maybe the child might add – God bless my grandma and granddad and my doggy too. We might add prayers for someone sick – for world peace – for that new job we are starting Monday – and other items on our plate. We might even praise God for simply being God. But what about praying for our enemies or for those whom we disagree with – even on important issues – including politics and theology?

My family has four continuous generations of Methodist/United Methodist pastors. We are heaped in Wesleyan theology and practice. Over the last four plus decades (a time that has encompassed my entire time as an ordained minister) – the divide between the left and the right leaning positions in the church has grown. We have debated the Bible and the Book of Discipline (the two rule books of the church). General Conference after General Conference has dealt with numerous issues where the two extremes have differed. Even as we prepare for yet another battle at the 2020 General Conference – the two sides are opposed to one another and at different places in theology and practice. The future of the unity in the UMC is at stake. We are facing schism and more. Some are outwardly definite to the Bible’s teaching and to the instructions of the Book of Discipline – General Conference rulings – and the Judicial Council of the church. Continue reading

June 11, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus is The Resurrection and The Life

John 11:25

Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die

82015 RayAs a pastor – I am often called upon many times in the course of a year to celebrate the life of folks from our church and from our community. As I have recently mentioned – it has been 3 plus years since we celebrated my father’s life. I have three aging parents still dealing with various ailments and will celebrate their lives some day – unless they celebrate mine beforehand.

Someone once said – in this world you can be certain of two things – death and taxes. Some attribute this to Benjamin Franklin. It is a true statement. We weren’t created to die – we were created to live eternally. Yet – because of sin – we are born to die.

Folks – even folks who only know me on the day of the celebration of their loved one’s life – say I hold a nice service – a comforting service – a service that brings them into the presence of God. Recently a man said – I’m not a religious man – but you said some things that touched me today. God has gifted me with the ability to connect with people and to help people to be at ease and to remember the good as they celebrate the life of a loved one. Continue reading

October 19, 2015 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Should Live By Faith

2 Corinthians 5:7

We live by faith, not by sight.

RevRayHave you ever heard this statement?  Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see.  I believe that is a quote from Benjamin Franklin – if not it should be.  If we are to believe none of what we hear – and only half of what we see – I suggest we believe all of what our faith tells us!  All of what the Word of God says!

Here’s a question for us to ponder today.  The scripture says we live or walk by faith, not by sight but how many of us can say we do?  Too often we walk by what we can see or can prove rather than trusting in God and God’s word.  Oh we wouldn’t say we don’t trust God but many of us walk pretty close to what is safe rather than what takes faith.  It takes faith to believe in what we cannot see my friends. Continue reading

June 27, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: