Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Day 11 of Lent 2020

Matthew 4:1

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.

Ray 2020Today is day 11 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I hope you are enjoying the reading plan as it walks us through some of the events in Jesus’ life as He walked to the cross. Lent is the 40 days leading up to the cross. My prayer is that God will draw us into a deeper relationship with Him during this Lenten season.

Here’s today’s reading – it is about Jesus’ temptations. We’ve taught and preached about temptations. Join us on Tuesdays at 10:30 am and 7:00 pm for our Bible Studies and on Sunday mornings for our worship services at 8:30 am and 11:00 am at First Church at 424 Main Street – in Laurel, Maryland. There is always room for one more and we would love to share with you. We also have education time (commonly called Sunday School) at 9:45 am on Sundays for the whole family. We have 5 adult classes during this time. Continue reading

March 9, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where Are We Weak? Let’s Seek God’s Help!

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.

fullsizeoutput_ffeYesterday I began my month-long prayer/fast. Am I alone or has someone joined me? I want company!!

Two things so far in my fast department. First – I am fasting from negativity on social media. During a heated mid-term election’s last week – this is not easy. Even after the election – it will not be easy. I’m sure all of my preferred candidates will not get elected – and someone will post something negative. Second – I am fasting from any food not on my health plan. Being on a health journey is not easy to begin with – but holding fast to the plan is even harder. I’m trying to coach and encourage others – so I MUST walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Yes – I have lost 37 pounds in less than 4 months – but how much healthier might I be if I had walked the walk 100%? We’ll see what November brings. Pray for me please! Continue reading

November 2, 2018 Posted by | Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Working Together

1 Corinthians 1:10

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.

Think out loud with me for a moment. Write down your thoughts on this blog post/devotional thought. Read what I suggest and ponder with me what it might look like to work together.

I counted 6 UM churches within the community known as Laurel’s surrounding area. Maybe there are even more if we stretch the boundaries a little.

I was listening to a podcast again recently and two things hit home with me. The first was a saying attributed to a popular pastor. The way to reach the people no one is reaching, is to do what no one else is doing. The second thing that hit me was another pastor saying that someone would come up with an idea that would radically shake up the church – and it will revolutionize the way we do church. Believe me he wasn’t speaking about style of worship or how we dress or anything as simple as that. Continue reading

November 30, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Need Revival

Jonah 3:5

The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

112015 Ray McDonaldRevival is something our church and our nation needs. Revival is something we need. We usually have two revivals a year at our local church – one before Lent begins and one in the summer – usually in August. A revival is a time of reflection and of reviving the soul – calling us back to a more faithful walk with Jesus.

I have been attending revivals since before I could walk. As a pastor – I have held revivals at all of the churches I have been called to serve. Many churches and many pastor no longer hold revivals. The four United Methodist churches in Laurel are trying to hold a joint community revival this summer. Stay tuned for more details. It could be an exciting time in Laurel. Continue reading

April 27, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will We Be An Evangelist for Christ at Christmas?

Matthew 9:37-38

37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

112015 Ray McDonaldThe problem – as we have stated time and time again – is that families are under attack.  If we believe that this is indeed the issue – and that the solution is to reach the whole family for Christ – we need to be prepared when opportunities arise to do just that.  Christmas is such a time to reach the whole family.

We have a growing community around us in Laurel and if we believe they are typical – then their families are under attack by Satan and we believe Jesus is the answer.

Some easy invites are coming soon my friends.  On December 20th we will have a Blue Christmas Service for those who have lost loved ones and for whom Christmas may not be the most joyous of times.  The service is in our chapel at 6:30 pm. Continue reading

December 2, 2015 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology, Worship | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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