Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Let’s Encourage One Another!

Ephesians 3:16

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

In several places in the Bible we are urged to pray for and encourage one another. Encouragement is essential in this day and age I believe. I think we don’t do enough encouraging and supporting one another – even in church life. How can we be more encouraging? How can we help to lift one another up? The world is beating many of us down and in the Body of Christ – we are called to encourage one another.

I recently joined a group of men from the church I attend in a small group – supporting each other as we try to get into better shape. It has been a blessing to me already – one week in. To hear and read how these men support one another and lift each other up in prayer is in itself encouraging. I hope the others feel the same way.

Today – I’m simply calling us to encourage one another. I’m trying to do it more myself and I challenge others to do it as well. Today I will share a few encouraging passages that might help us encourage others. Take the time to read them and see what God might say to your heart. Continue reading

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July 26, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 24 of Lent 2018

John 13:5

After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

Today is Day 24 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan on www.youversion.com. I pray that you have been keeping up with the reading – I know I have been and it has been a blessing. If you haven’t been keeping up – try to catch up! I appreciate this walk to the cross and I think you would as well.

I love this passage. It reminds me that our Lord was humble and that as followers of Christ we are to be humble as well. We should never feel that anything is beneath us. We should walk in the steps of our Lord and be willing to serve others – no matter what our position in the Body of Christ. I love this reminder and I hope you do as well. Continue reading

March 9, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus Came To Seek And Save The Lost

Luke 19:10

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

One Christmas – when our oldest daughter was just a young toddler – we were shopping in a store in the old Parole Shopping Center in Annapolis. It was a nice family time – my wife – my daughter – and I – shopping together for Christmas. For a split moment Carolyn and I thought the other one was watching Shelly and she got out from under our eye. We panicked. We starting telling people to lock the doors – no one was to leave – we were scurrying around – frantically looking for our little redheaded child. It was the biggest scare we ever experienced. Nothing in all the world was more important at that moment than finding our lost daughter.

As we were frantically looking around – over the loudspeaker at the store came our relief. Would the parents of a precious little redheaded girl come to a certain sales station? There was our precious Shelly – sitting on the counter – talking to all who would listen – telling them her parents were lost (LOL). We never had a more horrific moment or such a moment of joy – so closely wrapped into the same event. Continue reading

December 20, 2017 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being Connected

John 15:5

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

A month or two ago (time blurs together) our church was struck by lightning. We suffered a number of electrical issues. One that seems to be lingering is an Internet issue. We shortly got the main system up and running so that the office could operate – but – the lingering issue seems to be all of the runs around the building. Things are connected – and finding all of the affected connections has been a task. We have replaced a number of connectors and boasters but still have some issues. Everything is connected to the core and if each run of wire or each Wi-Fi connector or boaster is not synced or working – people in parts of the building will not have access to the Internet.

Is there a patriarch or matriarch in your family that holds everything together? My mom and dad were the Lynch pins for our family. Mom and dad drew the family together for most of the holidays. We all wanted to be around mom and dad. It seems like – with them now residing in heaven with Jesus – each of our families are scattered – doing their own thing. We still try to get together – but it isn’t the same without mom and dad. When an arsonist burned down our family home in West Virginia – an era ended for our family. Continue reading

November 6, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Prayer For Our Local Congregation

Ephesians 3:16-19

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

I’ve been spending time praying for our local congregation of late. I pray for the Body of Christ – universal – but I’m praying specifically for our local congregation. I’ve been seeking God’s face specifically for our congregation. I know we have a mission statement and many awesome ministries – but I’m asking God to make His desires clear to our church leadership and membership. My heart is for nothing but the best for our local congregation. I pray that is the heart of our whole membership.

Paul writes his heart’s desire for the church in Ephesus in his Epistle – Ephesians 3:16-19 – I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Continue reading

October 20, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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