Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Our Attitude in Worship

Psalm 95:6-7

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.

Rays HaircutWell – the Governor of our state has said churches can open at 50% capacity. But our church is in a part of the state with the highest Covid-19 cases. It may be several weeks before we feel comfortable opening and even at that time many of our members will not feel comfortable attending. We will take it one week at a time.

As we face these days –  I felt the need to write a blog post about attitude. I believe we can have all the right programs in a church. We can have friendly faces on Sunday mornings. We can have just the right amount of staff and volunteers. We can have a great facility that is attractive – warm – and welcoming. But – I believe if our attitudes are not right – our attitudes will seep through all of the other areas of ministry and eventually they will be seen and will corrupt all that we try to do. We all need to constantly check our attitudes. I feel led by God to share some thoughts.

I was reviewing some old blog posts and I found one about worship and attitudes. Reading today’s passage – it made me think of all of the worship services I have attended and participated in over the years. I thought of all the worship committee meetings – emails – calls – and notes I received and sent over the years with comments about worship. I started thinking about the attitudes of some church leaders and members and myself at times. I started to wonder if we really grasp what worship is – really? Continue reading

May 15, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where Do You See Jesus 2

Romans 1:20

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Life ChangeFor the next few weeks – I’d like to ask our readers to share with me where they see Jesus this Advent-Christmas Season. Just write a paragraph or so describing some of the things that bring you joy this Christmas season in your relationship with Jesus and with First Church if this is your home church? I’m also asking where you see Jesus in your church family? Also – what draws you to First Church. You don’t have to tackle all of these – but say something about the joy you feel this Christmas.

The reason for this is to stir up some joy and excitement this Christmas Season (we all need some of that – right?). I will share your thoughts anonymously – but I am keeping your e-mails for sure (I need joy year round). I will try to post a comment a day so as many as possible – send your comments. The posts will go up around 9 am each day – just like our regular devotional thoughts. Continue reading

December 13, 2018 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where Do You See Jesus?

John 14:9

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

Life ChangeFor the next few weeks – I’d like to ask our readers to share with me where they see Jesus this Advent-Christmas Season. Just write a paragraph or so describing some of the things that bring you joy this Christmas season in your relationship with Jesus and with First Church if this is your home church? I’m also asking where you see Jesus in your church family? Also – what draws you to First Church. You don’t have to tackle all of these – but say something about the joy you feel this Christmas.

The reason for this is to stir up some joy and excitement this Christmas Season (we all need some of that – right?). I will share your thoughts anonymously – but I am keeping your e-mails for sure (I need joy year round). I will try to post a comment a day so as many as possible – send your comments. The posts will go up around 9 am each day – just like our regular devotional thoughts. Continue reading

December 12, 2018 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Send, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Joy of the Lord

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

RayMcDHappiness is circumstantially driven – while Joy is spiritually derived. This is one of my favorite sayings. I believe I created it some 35 plus years ago. When I did a Google search for these words – the first and only post that matches is this devotional thought I posted online last year. I’ve used that phrase for 3-4 decades.

The meaning of the phrase is that things or circumstances make us Happy – but Joy comes from our relationship with Jesus. Happiness is temporary – while Joy is lasting – even eternal. Continue reading

August 24, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Has A Plan For Each Of Us!

Philippians 1:6

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Thanks to all who responded to yesterday’s first devotional thought – since coming back from my staycation. I felt like something was missing from my daily walk with Jesus without writing them and I’m glad to be back. I’m also glad that they help some in their walk with Jesus.

There are so many thoughts running thru my head these days. Father’s Day has become hard for me – with the passing a number of years ago of my earthly father. Mother’s Day too with the passing of my mother. I have so many memories of my mom and dad. Days like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day bring them to the forefront. Tears ran down my cheeks often this weekend.

So – in the last few weeks – I have celebrated to life of a couple of 80+ individuals – a 90+ individual – and a 24 and 30-year-old. Life is not guaranteed – for any number of years. We never know when our life will end. What we do know is we have the here and now and need to use each moment to draw near to God and to serve Him. Continue reading

June 19, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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