Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

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

Getting Excited In Worship

Psalm 134:2

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.

IMG_0301As of this morning – the MLB website has my Baltimore Orioles in 1st place in their division. Yesterday the two teams ahead of them lost while my Birds won both ends of a double-header from the Indians – shutting them out in both games (sorry Justin M.). Although only percentage points in front (they have one less loss and one less win) – they are indeed in 1st place.

Because of a few church duties – I missed watching the first game – but caught parts of it on my cell and on the radio driving around Laurel – Columbia – Dayton – and home to Harwood. I watched the second game – every pitch! I witnessed maybe the best catch of the year by Travis Snider (es.pn/1HpflRf ) and homers by Chris Davis – Travis Snider – and Chris Parmelee. Manny Machado had tied Davis for the team lead in homers in game one of the double-header – so of course Davis had to one up him in the nightcap.  Both starting pitchers played well – Ubaldo Jimenez was dominate again and Chris Tillman rebounded from a rocky start to pitch well as well.

Even though one of my granddaughters was asleep in the same room – I let out a yell or two during the game. Fans were cheering wildly during the 4-0 and 8-0 wins yesterday – as they have been during the most recent surge by the O’s that has seen them win 18 out of 23 games – to move into 1st place. Fans – short for fanatics – never seem reluctant to show their excitement for the O’s or Ravens or their favorite team.

Continue reading

June 29, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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