Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Day 28 of Lent 2020

John 13:4-5

3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

Ray 2020Today is day 28 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. We’re coming to the end of the reading plan as we head toward the cross. I hope you have enjoyed reading the plan as much as I have enjoyed it. Tomorrow is an off day and you can catch up if you need to do so.

Today’s reading is like one from a past reading – it focuses on the last supper – the Passover Feast that Jesus and His disciples shared before His arrest. I pulled out three verses that speak volumes to me. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. I’ve always been impressed with the fact that all things were under Jesus’ power and yet He humbled Himself to wash His disciples’ feet. Wow – what a model for a servant’s heart Jesus gave us. We should all follow His example. Continue reading

March 28, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 27 of Lent 2020

John 14:1

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.

Ray 2020Today is day 27 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I pray that you are continuing to read the pan or can catch up with this reading plan. Sundays are off days during the reading plan and can be used for catchup. Lent is the 40 days leading up to the cross of Calvary. Walk with me as we draw near to God.

I picked the first verse today – of the reading – to focus on during our time together. This is a section of Scripture that many pastors use at funerals. Jesus – speaking to His disciples – right before His departure form them – says – Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. These are meant to be words of encouragement – and we should receive them as such. If we believe in God and trust in God – we should also believe in and trust the words of Jesus! Something to think about today!

During this time of unrest – this time of pandemic – we need to rely on our faith and our Lord more than ever before. Trusting in God doesn’t mean taking risks with our health or life! More on that later. Continue reading

March 27, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 26 of Lent 2020

Matthew 26:33

Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

Ray 2020Today is day 26 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I hope you are enjoying the readings like I am. Lent is the 40 days leading up to the cross of Calvary. As we walk with Jesus we hope to be drawn closer to Him. During this time of isolation as we try to flatten the curve of the coronavirus – building our faith – deepening our walk with Jesus – might be the best way to use our extra time at home.

Today’s reading reminds me that we can have good intents but not good results. We can intend to do the right thing and end up not doing the right thing. Peter intended to stay faithful – intended to be true – but we all know that he denied Jesus when Jesus was arrested. The other disciples intended the same – but they failed as well. The Good News is that Jesus is in the grace business and searches our hearts much more than our good or failed actions. Something to think about today!

We recently had a discussion online about faith. We admitted – we are not perfect – even as we walk by faith and strive to live our lives according to God’s design. We are so blessed that God is grace-filled. Forgiveness – if we confess and repent – is such a blessing! Continue reading

March 26, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 25 of Lent 2020

Luke 22:24

Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.

Ray 2020Today is day 25 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I hope everyone is keeping up with the reading plan. Lent is the 40 days leading up to the cross of Calvary. Walking this walk with each of you has been amazing. I’m sorry today’s devotional is a little late. My computer was updating and it took longer than I expected.

Today’s reading is on target – even for today. The disciples didn’t have their hearts in the right place – at all times. Do we? They wanted to know which of them was considered to be greatest. At times we get into disputes in the church – power struggles one might call them. We shouldn’t – we should all have our hearts set on serving the Lord. Yet at times we battle over who is in charge (Jesus is – right?).

(Side note: I heard that Prince Charles has the coronavirus. I’m praying for him and for the Queen. My wife and I have been watching “The Crown” and have gotten to appreciate the Queen. I pray for all who have the coronavirus and for the rest of us too.) Continue reading

March 25, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 23 of Lent 2020

1 Corinthians 11:26

For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Ray 2020Today is Day 23 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I pray that we have all kept up with the reading each day. If not – try to catch up! Yesterday was a catch up day. I appreciate this walk to the cross. It is not hard or long – and will give us a good insight into the walk that Jesus made for us.

It may be some time before we worship together. I’m thinking – whatever Sunday that will be – we will celebrate Holy Communion. As we remember the Last Supper that Jesus had with His disciples – we will remember our connection with Christ and with each other. It will be a special time before the Lord and we hope that all will attend that first Sunday back (whenever that will be). Plans are being made to make this a unique service. (By the way – we are also making plans to celebrate Easter on the second Sunday back.)

Today’s passage is about that last supper and reminds us to treat it with respect. For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. I can’t wait until we can share it together. I hope it is sooner rather than later. Continue reading

March 23, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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