Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

God Sees All Things

Psalm 139:2

You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.

I remember playing hide-and-seek as a child. It was fun – hiding from your friends and hoping they couldn’t find you. When we played at my home growing up (the parsonage at Mt. Zion) – we had a cemetery next door and it was always fun to hide there because my cousins and friends wouldn’t come looking in the cemetery. If they did brave the walk through the cemetery – it was easy to get them to run out by making noises like a ghost. I usually won the game because they wouldn’t stay in the cemetery long enough to find me!

I remember playing capture the flag as a youth at Seat Pleasant UMC (now Gethsemane UMC). We would hide in the dark and try to get behind enemy lines. We would crawl along the outskirts of the field and even into the woods – to stay hidden. We would spring up and run for our side of the field with their flag. Continue reading

July 14, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let Your Light So Shine!

Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgHave you ever played flashlight tag? It has to be dark – it is like tag – only you have to tag people with the light shining from your flashlight. It was all the rage back in the 60’s – lol. We played it a lot when we went camping – with the family or with the Boy Scouts. We even played it in youth group outside the church at night! Flashlight tag gave way to – you guessed it – laser tag. They took the idea of flashlight tag – took it indoors – and used sophisticated laser flashlights. It was the same fun with a hi-tech approach.

If you had a stronger flashlight – you could shine it on folks long before they could get their weaker light on you! If it was also small and compact – you could maneuver easier around the tombstones (if you were playing in a cemetery for instance) or around the bushes in the churchyard. Dark clothes were also a plus because they were harder to see and didn’t light up – so to speak – when the light hit them! There were other nuances to the game – but you get the idea. Wearing glow in the dark clothes – whether playing flashlight tag or laser tag is not a good idea. Continue reading

August 26, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Is Always There!

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgGrowing up – it seemed like whenever Lois Lane screamed or was in trouble – Superman was there. I remember reading comics as a child – and watching Superman on TV too – and Superman was always there – or so it seemed

Growing up – it seemed like Mom or Dad were always there – or Grandmother. As a little one – I never had a fear of being alone – someone was always looking out for me. Even playing in the woods or in the yard or in the cemetery (pastor’s kids play in the cemetery) – they were always there! Continue reading

July 15, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal | , , , , | 1 Comment

Have You Ever Felt Alone?

Matthew 18:20

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.

profileHave you ever felt alone? I know a number of people who can feel alone in a crowded room. I also know people who feel like they are alone – even though they have a great support team around them. I also know people who feel alone because decisions and life circumstances have left them alone. Each of these situations and others can be a scary situation.

Have you ever felt alone? I remember playing hide-and-seek in a cemetery next door to the parsonage as a child and feeling like I wasn’t alone in the dark in the cemetery. Now that is a scary feeling.

Have you ever felt alone? Have you gone through a tough season in your life – or maybe you’re going through it now – and feel all-alone? Continue reading

May 7, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Place Your Trust in Jesus!

Psalm 56:3

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

profileDo any of your children (or you) have trouble in the dark?  Do you use – or do your children use – a nightlight?  I remember when I first got married – my new wife couldn’t go to sleep with the closet door open.  Maybe she had some childhood dreams or visions of things in her closet in the dark coming to life and scaring her.  Does the dark scare you?

I’ve written about this before – but it fits here too.  When I was younger – a child – we lived next to a cemetery.  At night we played hide-and-seek and I would often hide in the cemetery and almost always won because my friends or relatives wouldn’t come into the cemetery at night.  And if they did – I would make noises and sounds that scared them away.  I used their fear of the darkness and the unknown to help me win the game!  They would often try to get rules established about not hiding in the cemetery but I would never go along with it! Continue reading

February 12, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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