Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Christmas Is Coming – Where Is Our Heart?

Luke 12:34

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Christmas is fast approaching. The remembrance of Christ’s birth is fast approaching. We will begin singing Christmas this coming Sunday to help prepare us for the season. I know the stores have been advertising Christmas since July 4th is seems – but now – it is merely 20 days away.

So – what is on your list for Christmas this year? Would you like a new iPad Pro – even if you have a workable iPad or other pad? How about the latest video game? We use to get loads of clothes for Christmas – at times we got them early so we could wear them before Christmas – like a winter coat if it got really cold early in the fall. I remember marking things in the Sears Christmas catalog for my parents when it came out. What new tech item is out we might want? What new item for our Christmas decorations do we want or have we gotten already? Christmas is only a short time away. Continue reading

December 5, 2017 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Songs

Psalm 100:1–2 (KJV)

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.  Serve the Lord with gladness: Come before his presence with singing.

RayMcDAre you enjoying some Christmas music some Christmas songs this year? I’m listening to Pandora Radio as I type – a channel called Pentatonix (Holiday). I also listen to Frank Sinatra (Holiday). On my XM radio in the car I listen to Channel 18 (Holiday Traditions) and Channel 58 (Country Christmas). On the regular radio I listen to FM 97.1 because they are playing Christmas music 24 x 7.

With Christmas coming – I was curious – are you listening to any favorite channels? If so – how about sharing them with our readers. What are your favorite Christmas Carols? Name your top five if you would. It might be interesting to read what others appreciate.

Not in any particular order – but I would name these hymns as my favorite.
—- Noel
—- O Holy Night
—- Away in a Manger
—- Silent Night
—- O Little Town of Bethlehem Continue reading

December 15, 2016 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Advent and Christmas Intertwinned

Isaiah 7:14

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 

RayMcDI was reviewing some of my past posts for Advent and I came across one discussing Advent and Christmas. I had been reading some on Facebook and came across a post in a United Methodist Clergy group that implied the liturgical calendar should be followed during Advent. They suggested that Christmas shouldn’t begin until December 24th. The poster in that group was complaining about United Methodist Churches that sing Christmas hymns in early December. Oh my! Will Jesus even bless such blasphemy?

At the church I serve and most of them for sure that I have served over the years – we usually sing traditional Advent and Christmas hymns throughout the month of December. A human designed liturgical calendar doesn’t control how we celebrate the birth of Christ anymore than it controls when we preach on the Resurrection (should that only be on Easter?). Continue reading

December 1, 2016 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Christmas During Advent

Isaiah 7:14

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 

Pic of Ray 11302014I was reading some posts on Facebook last night and someone – posting on a group for United Methodist Clergy – implied that the liturgical calendar should be followed during advent and Christmas shouldn’t begin until December 24th. The poster was complaining about a United Methodist Church that was already singing Christmas hymns in early December. Oh my!

At First United Methodist Church in Laurel – we have been singing traditional Advent and Christmas hymns since the first Sunday of December. A human designed liturgical calendar doesn’t control how we celebrate the birth of Christ anymore than it controls when we preach on the Resurrection (should that only be on Easter?). Continue reading

December 15, 2014 Posted by | Advent Thought, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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