Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Holy Week – Let’s Focus on Jesus

Colossians 3:2

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Life ChangeYesterday – Palm Sunday – we began Holy Week. This is the week before Jesus’ crucifixion. Thursday will be Holy or Maundy Thursday. We will remember the Lord’s Supper this year with a Seder Meal. It will be a powerful experience and we hope all who signed up to attend will indeed be able to attend.

Friday – this week – is Good Friday. As a young child I couldn’t figure out why it was called Good Friday if it was the day that Jesus died. Later I realized that it was called Good Friday because it was good for us that He died – to pay for our sins. We will have a service at 7 pm in the Sanctuary as we continue our walk to the cross with John’s Gospel account. It is very important that we all attend the Good Friday service. Change your plans to be here – if you weren’t planning to attend. Sunday – Easter morning – will not have the same meaning without attending worship on Good Friday. I promise you! Let’s set our minds on Jesus – and see what will happen. Continue reading

April 15, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Set Our Minds On Jesus!

Colossians 3:2

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

112015 Ray McDonaldThe other day I wrote about my earlier days of playing basketball. A question often arises when teaching people to shoot a basketball. The question – where do you aim when shooting a basketball? Some say the front of the rim – some say the back of the rim – while still others say the middle of the basket (try to swish the ball each time without touching the rim). A survey was done and of those who responded – 46% said back of the rim – 34% said front of the rim – and 20% said center of the basket. Personally I aim for the basket – the center – and hope for the best!

One of my favorite sayings of all time goes like this – aim at nothing and you’re bound to hit it! In most of life – jobs – hobbies – relationships – we need to be aiming at something. When a couple has been dating for a while – one might ask the other – where do you see our relationship heading? Clue – you better have a good answer or the relationship might be headed out the door! Saying I don’t know – can’t we just enjoy things the way they are going now – normally is not a good answer. Setting our aim is very important. Continue reading

March 31, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , | Leave a comment

Set Our Eyes On Jesus!

Colossians 3:2

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

112015 Ray McDonaldWe’re in the thick of Holy Week. Last night was Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday. The choir did an excellent job with the cantata. Holy Communion was celebrated and all left a little closer to Jesus (at least we hope so). I hope we had our minds set on Jesus last night.

Today is Good Friday. As a young child I couldn’t figure out why it was called Good Friday if it was the day that Jesus died. Later I realized that it was called Good Friday because it was good for us that He died – to pay for our sins.

You don’t want to miss the Good Friday service tonight at First United Methodist Church of Laurel. We will be doing something we have never done before (at least no one I’ve talked to has seen it here). It is very important that you attend tonight. Change your plans to be here. Sunday morning will not have the same meaning without attending worship tonight. I promise you! Let’s set our minds on Jesus – and see what will happen. Continue reading

March 25, 2016 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Setting Our Minds on Eternal Things

Colossians 3:2

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

IMG_0301With the unrest in Baltimore this week – we are reminded that things are not always as we plan them to be.  Things don’t go the way we dream them to go – often sudden changes in our environment brings about radical changes in our day-to-day living.  This week I wrote about us being bought and paid for by Christ on the Cross of Calvary.  In that post we talked about being a living sacrifice for Jesus – living for Him with our lives. We should learn much about our quarreling and getting involved in foolish and stupid conversations – whether arguments over theology or worldly things.

Today we will take a look at setting our minds on the things of God rather than the things of the world.  One morning this past week I woke and was stressing over several earthly things – like we might all do from time to time.  I was stressing over our bills – over our income – over my work – over my wife’s work – over family things – over personal things – over the unrest in Baltimore and around the nation – and the list could continue.  I awoke early and couldn’t go back to sleep because of the troubles of the world – earthly things – that had my mind all wrapped up and captured.

I did my morning devotions and kept digging into the Word throughout the day and this passage came to mind.  Colossians 3:2 – Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Continue reading

April 30, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Setting Your Mind on the Right Path

Colossians 3:2

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Last week we wrote about belonging to God – being bought and paid for by Christ on the Cross of Calvary.  We also recently wrote about quarreling and getting involved in foolish and stupid conversations – whether arguments over theology or worldly things.

Today we will take a look at setting our minds on the things of God rather than the things of the world.  Last week – one morning I woke and was stressing over several earthly things – like we might all do from time to time.  I was stressing over our bills – over our income – over my work – over family things – over personal things – the list could continue.  I awoke early and couldn’t go back to sleep because of the troubles of the world – earthly things – that had my mind all wrapped up and captured.

I did my morning devotions and kept digging into the Word throughout the day and this passage came to mind.  Colossians 3:2 – Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

As I prayed on this verse – one of my favorite passages came to mind – I imagine some of you who know me have already figured out which one I am referring to for sure!  Romans 12:2 – Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.

That morning my mind certainly needed to be renewed.  I needed to refocus on the eternal – on the things that ultimately matter more than others.  I had allowed the earthly things to capture my mind – ever been there?  As I continued to dig into the word this verse came to mind – 1 John 2:15-17 – 15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world — the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does — comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

If – like me – you can be overwhelmed at times by the things of the world – I hope these and other Scriptures help to snap you out of it!  They helped me – and after reading and re-reading them and spending some time in prayer – my countenance and spirit were lifted!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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September 7, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , | Leave a comment

   

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