Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Devote Ourselves To Prayer

Colossians 4:2

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Sunday we began both worship services with prayer. The President of the United States (POTUS) called us to a time of prayer. That wasn’t the reason we prayed – but it was nice to hear our President call the nation to prayer. We need it.

We began the first service with a time of prayer for all impacted by hurricane Harvey. We prayed for peace around the world – naming the unrest in North Korea – and for the hearts and minds of world leaders – including our President. Later in the service – after hearing praise and prayer concerns we had a time of prayer for our relatives in need – for a college student heading back to Houston – for two members with medical issues and for others.

At our second service we began with a powerful prayer by one of our worship team and later – again after hearing praises and prayer concerns – we prayed for those impacted by Harvey and for world leaders – naming our President and the unrest in North Korea. We began our second prayer time by laying hands on a member who was present and in need of healing. Prayer is so powerful. Continue reading

September 4, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus’ Prayer For Unity

John 17:21

…that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

Annual Conference is coming next week – a week I would look forward to in years past – a time to see old friends that are scattered all over the conference. It was a time to renew friendships and share war stories. It was a time to worship and learn and to be challenged. Although there have always been ideologies and theologies that differ from my own – we always seemed to get along – somehow.

In recent years – the divide between us has grown it seems. On issues like human sexuality there doesn’t seem to be a place for us to coalesce. On one side of the discussion – some expressions of sexuality are considered sinful – such as same-sex relations. On the other side of the discussion – same-sex attraction and relations is seen as normal and acceptable. For over four decades this debate has raged – yet in the last few years it seems to have gotten more and more divisive.

Add to the discussion persons born one gender who wish to be seen – treated – and recognized as the other gender – even going so far as to alter their gender identity with surgery – and the divide increases. Continue reading

May 23, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Love Is Essential – It is Required

John 13:34

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

RayMcDLove is essential. Without love we will not represent Jesus well in a world that so needs Jesus. We are even told we will be forgiven as we forgive others – and forgiveness requires love.

Luke 11:4 – Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.  And lead us not into temptation.

Often in the Bible we are told that what we do will be done to us or that we must model the example of Jesus in all we do. Loving our enemies is hard – but at times loving those in our own church family appears to be hard as well. Satan loves division in the church and will try to pit members – sisters and brothers in Christ – against each other.

Jesus – teaching His disciples – His followers – about love – said these words in today’s passage: A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. Continue reading

October 5, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Peace of God

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgI woke up this morning with a chest cold – or – at the very least – some congestion in my chest that has me coughing a blue streak. I would appreciate prayers for my lungs to clear up ASAP. I have a funeral this afternoon and a full day before me. I’m trying to get some down time to help the recovery – but there is so much to do.

As I was doing my morning devotions I ran across this passage – Philippians 4:7 – And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  It made me stop and think.  It made me spend time in prayer for the church – the Body of Christ. Continue reading

July 8, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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