Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Church Life

Luke 10:2

He told them, The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

Photo on 9-10-18 at 11.09 AMIn church life – there is a common statement that is very sad. It goes like this – 20% of the people do 80% of the work in the church. At times this might be because the 20% has a hard time sharing or delegating the work load. At times it might be a control issue on the part of the 20%. But most often it is because the 80% aren’t joining in the labors for Christ in the church. Are we part of the 20% or the 80%? If you are in one camp or the other – why?

Think about this for a moment. Are we only attending worship in our church and doing nothing or little else? Are we only taking what the church offers – youth ministry – children’s ministry – family ministry – worship – fellowship events – etc. – and not giving anything back? In essence are we takers without being givers as well?

There is another saying we might be familiar with – it goes like this – you get out of something what you put into it. I wonder what a church would look like if everyone associated with that church were to serve God in some capacity in the life of that church? What if everyone in the church considered themselves workers in the harvest fields Christ has for us? I mean – we can all help somewhere! Right? Continue reading

September 25, 2018 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Renew Our Strength

Isaiah 40:31

…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.

This is vacation season for many people. My social media feeds are filled with people heading to the mountains or to the beach or out of town to a vacation destination somewhere. Often people see vacation time as a time to renew their strength – to relax and not be controlled by the day-to-day work schedule. It often allows for more family time than a typical workweek as well. What do we do to relax? What do we do to renew our strength?

An interesting discussion might include these questions and more. What do we do to relax or t be rejuvenated? Time off from work is not always relaxing as many people say they need a vacation to recuperate from their vacation. What relaxes us? What renews our strength?

I’m relaxed when I play golf or cut my grass. These times also renew my strength to face the difficulties of the day. These are times away from the troubles and drama of the world. I also relax watching mindless TV (usually old shows with morals and values that match mine). What brings us renewed strength? Continue reading

August 1, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meeting Together to Worship God

Hebrews 10:24-25

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

RayMcDI found the cartoon I am using in this devotional thought on the Internet and thought it was cute and yet pointed as well. When I was younger our family life centered around church life. Now grant you my father was a pastor – but knowing mom and dad – even if they had other careers – our life would have centered around church life.

Between school and church – there wasn’t much time for anything else. Sunday was a full day of church – worship – Sunday School – family lunch – naps – youth group – and church again. Wednesday night was church again and throughout the week we were at the church one or two other nights for something. I played sports growing up but the coach knew that I couldn’t practice or play on a night I had church (he worked around it – and I was a starter in basketball and baseball).

Nowadays church is an afterthought for some families. It seems like – if there is nothing else to do I’ll go to church in some cases. Granted stores use to be closed – restaurants too. Community sports were not played on Sundays. Sunday was universally a day of worship and rest. The society just understood that things slowed on Sundays. Today some in the church are following the society’s view that Sunday is just another day. Continue reading

September 23, 2016 Posted by | Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When We Serve – We Serve The Lord!

1 Peter 4:11

If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.

Photo on 6-21-16 at 2.53 PMIn church life – there is always a discussion about paid persons and volunteers. I heard an SPRC chair recently say we’re all servants of God – some of us just do more serving and so some get paid for it – but we all serve our Lord (or something like that).

I know some volunteers who do more than some paid staff – but putting that aside – the real issue is how we view our service. Is our service different if we are paid verses being a volunteer? Should we serve differently when we are volunteers – since we are not being paid?

In church life – this debate often rages. I hear comments like – I’m only a volunteer or I’m not getting paid. For some – not getting paid means they can do it or not do it – since they are only a volunteer. Continue reading

June 24, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can Our Church Live Again?

Ezekiel 37:3

He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

Photo on 6-21-16 at 2.53 PMMost of us remember the hay day of our favorite sports team. I have friends who remind me of the Boston Celtics’ hay day – when they won 8 straight NBA championships from 1959-1966. In total they have 17 NBA championships. Or there are my friends who remind me of the New York Yankees’ hay day – when they won championship after championship – 27 World titles and 40 American League championships so far.

Most of us – as we live into our later years – can remember our hay day as well. Pictures surface of our wedding day – 30 – 40 – 50 plus years ago – and we remember. We were young – we were in shape – we had a lot going for us (we had hair and it wasn’t white).

Some of us – if not most of us – attend churches where some remember the hay day of that church. They remember the pastor who was at the church when it was in its hay day and often wonder why they can’t return to those golden years. I was a pastor of a church when it was in its hay day and I have pastored churches that had hay days in the past. In both cases – it had little to do with the pastor and much to do with the combination of variables. Continue reading

June 22, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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