Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

21-Day Prayer/Fast – Day 1

Daniel 10:2-3

2 At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 3 I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.

01032015 RayToday is the day I mentioned on Christmas Eve and this past Sunday in worship.  It is the starting point for our 21-Day Prayer/Fast.  You can join me if you’d like – whether you are from FUMC or not.  The prayer/fast is for 21 days starting today and ending on January 25th.  You can do any kind of fast.  You can do a Daniel Fast (http://www.daniel-fast.com/) – or a partial fast (fasting from something like sweets – coffee – sodas – etc.) – or an extreme food fast – doing just water and broth.  You can do any type of fast (google “types of fasts” and see what comes up). Some will fast from technology – the TV – social media – etc.  What will be your fast?

During the fast I invite you to read the 21-Day Fast reading plan on http://www.youversion.com at https://www.youversion.com/reading-plans/35-21-day-fast with me.  You can keep up on this blog page too and leave comments – whatever you chose – and share what God is saying to you.  I also invite folks from FUMC to keep up with the video lessons on http://www.rightnowmedia.com (you need a logon link from me – send me your e-mail).

So how did the year 2014 treat you?  My 2014 saw some ups and some downs – how about your 2014? I can think of no better way to begin 2015 than on my knees seeking His face while I desire His grace.  Will you join me?  Seek God’s face for yourself – your family – and your church family! Continue reading

January 5, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Daniel’s Fast Day 20

I can see a light at the end of the fast!  Lol

Friday I plan to eat a whole Pizza and drink a six pack of Diet Pepsi!  NOT!

If I were to say look at this fast and say what the greatest thing was coming out of it – I would say – a healthier lifestyle with my eating.  I have seen so many improvements since I cut out snacks, sodas, meats, sugar, flour, etc.  Eating more vegetables and drinking mostly water has been very life changing.  I ask for you to pray with me to continue this healthier lifestyle starting Friday.  (I still might eat a few slices of pizza but without meat and on whole wheat dough – lol.

Spiritually (and I think my eating is a spiritual issue) my other takeaway from this fast has been the Lord pressing down on me about unity.  I want to spend more time with my staff and with some key leaders to make sure we are on the same page as we move the church forward.  I want to develop some friendships that will last beyond our working together in the ministry.  I want to find some like minded people and even some people who aren’t like minded but willing to be challenged in their thinking and willing to challenge me in mine.

My prayer as I come to the last days of the Daniel Fast is that I would increase my time with God daily and not take time off because the fast is over.  I want to be the best husband, father, pastor, and friend I can be for Jesus!

Pray for me please!

January 20, 2010 Posted by | Fast | | 4 Comments

Daniel’s Fast Day 19

Sunday we preached on Celebrating Jesus – how Christ is the light of the world – how we are too – as we let the light of Christ shine in us, through us, and in spite of us.  Today as I was reading I came across this passage once again.

John 1:1-5 – 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood  it.

Christ came to the world – the Word becoming flesh.  He is the light that shines in our lives – into the darkness of our lives – the sin.  It is only through our relationship with Him – through His shed blood – that this light can impact us and bring us out of the darkness.

John 14:6 – “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

I am working on Sunday’s message – Focus on Repentance – the first sermon in a series called Laser Focus.  It is this light – this Christ – that has come to bring us hope and repentance.

Thank you Lord for your love.

January 19, 2010 Posted by | Fast | | Leave a comment

Daniel’s Fast Day 18

The day has started out very slow. Spent most of the morning trying to create a new website for the church – no luck so far. Others are trying now – good luck brothers.

I stayed away from the men’s breakfast Saturday morning because I knew it would be hard to be around Carl’s good cooking and not eat it or look like I wanted to eat it – lol. This passage came to mind:

Matthew 6:16 – When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

I am going to work on my sermon some this afternoon and I will post more later.

I worked a lot today on a new website for the church – from WordPress.  It should be really nice.

I have done well today with the fast.  I still want a Diet Pepsi, but food is not being an issue.

God has given me a peace – day 18!  Thank you Jesus!

My prayer life is growing and I have had several people on my heart.  I love spending time with Jesus.

January 18, 2010 Posted by | Fast | | Leave a comment

Daniel’s Fast Day 17

Day 17 – only 4 more days.  I just finished my lunch – a bowl of beans and a salad – and surprisingly I feel like I had plenty.  I would love to top it off with a diet soda though – lol.

Worship today was awesome.  I really felt like God was present and was leading the whole service.  I pray the word I shared touched someone’s heart.  It certainly was from the Lord.  Those who were at 8:45 heard Babette’s testimony and know the power of God from that sharing.

This afternoon the following passage came to mind.

Luke 9:23-27 – 23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? 26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”

It followed right on the heals of today’s message about celebrating Jesus – about commending God to the next generation.  It really touched my heart – for sure.  I hope it touched yours.

I would love to hear from some of you who went through the fast last week.  What has or is the Lord telling you?

January 17, 2010 Posted by | Fast | | Leave a comment

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