Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

We Gotta Tell Somebody

Psalm 66:16

Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.

Tuesday morning and night – our two weekly Bible Studies – are amazing. Part of what makes these studies so powerful and Spirit led is the testimonies that some share. Last Tuesday night we heard how one of our men experienced the presence of God in a powerful way. This Tuesday morning three women shared experiences they had in life – how God was present and how God helped them thru some difficult times. These testimonies are powerful because they are 1) right in line with our study as we dig thru Acts and 2) they happened to people we know and love – which takes away much of our built-in doubt when we hear about the movement of God. We gotta tell somebody my friends – about the power and presence of God in our lives.

Telling others about our faith – about God’s action in our lives – is powerful and moving. If we merely quote the Bible or tell of God’s action in the past (stories from the Bible) – people can tune us out at times – because what we are sharing is past and no one is here to tell us it is true. But when we say – this happened to me – and the people know us and trust us – they are more apt to believe. We gotta tell somebody!

How has God touched your life? We begin each study with a time of testimony – praises if you will. We also take prayer concerns (concerns I lift during the live prayer time on Wednesday nights). We dig into the Word for the evening – and at times – more testimonies develop from the readings. We try to make the Word of God relevant – otherwise we are merely studying what happened in the past and not what is happening today – to us. Continue reading

August 7, 2019 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

We Should Be Encouragers

1 Thessalonians 4:17-18

17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Therefore encourage one another. What is it that would encourage us dear readers? When we’re trying to lose weight or put it on – doesn’t it encourage us when people notice and say something? When we are trying to change our shape – exercising more or watching what we eat – it is nice when people notice. Try to notice others and not be so narcissistic – focused on self so much.

Therefore encourage one another. What is it that would encourage us dear readers? Yesterday I played in a golf tournament. I had one of my worst rounds in a long time. I think I was pressing – trying too hard just 12 weeks after rotator cuff surgery. My arm actually started to hurt near the end of the round. I was playing with a couple of friends and wanted to do well. Yet – it wasn’t about me playing well – it was about my friends and our guest having a good time. I began to take my focus off of my golf game and spent most of the day encouraging my partners. I told them how well they were playing (even if that was a stretch at times) and praised their good shots (like the awesome approach shot by one player followed by another player hitting an amazing and hard putt for an eagle). My task for the day was to make sure they had a good time and felt encouraged doing it.

Continue reading

May 25, 2018 Posted by | Build | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Will Understand Us!

Romans 8:26

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

I have two granddaughters who are two years of age. They are beginning to talk up a storm. It is so cute. At times they are very articulate. At times I need their mother to interpret for me. At times – we both throw up our hands and wonder what they just said! Both are second born – and so this second born middle child connects with them. I love when they jump up into Pop’s lap to snuggle or watch their favorite shows on TV.

We are becoming an increasingly diverse community and country. I’ve entered some establishments and have a hard time understanding the cashier or salesperson because of their accent or dialect. I often call tech support from various companies and often I am connected with someone from another nation – where that tech center is located. It is hard at times for me to understand. Continue reading

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

God Calls Us By Name

Romans 9:28

God doesn’t count us; he calls us by name. Arithmetic is not his focus. The Message

profileToday’s devotional thought is an observation based on nearly 40 years of ministry.  I hope it makes sense to our readers.  It is based on Scripture but has some personal opinion/experience in it.

Jenna Ryan – after giving her testimony at a recent revival – reminded the congregation that in the end it is about relationships.  As we give and hear testimonies – we are telling and hearing parts of our story and the stories of others.  The more we tell and hear our story and the stories of others – the more we are known and get to know others.  By the way – happy 22nd birthday Jenna!  May this year be the best yet in your spiritual growth and as you and Shaun marry! Continue reading

March 13, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being One – Unified in Christ – Part 1

John 17:21a

…that all of them may be one,

RevRayI heard a sermon Sunday that really touched my heart.  I bet you can’t guess who was preaching the sermon.  OK – if you know me I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count!  It was a very fitting message for the start of Holy Week.  It spoke to me about the main purpose of the church.  I will probably develop a sermon series from this one message.

Teamwork is very important when tackling any task.  The Orioles are a good example of what teamwork can do.  They had some talented players and a great manager – but the sum of their team is greater than the sum of their parts alone.  Working together they turned around in one season from a 69-93 record to a 93-69 record.  Most everyone believes it was because of their chemistry – their teamwork.

Continue reading

March 26, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Prayer | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: