Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Maranatha! Come Lord – Come!

Luke 2:9

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

Life ChangeAs Advent comes to a close in the next few days – for yet another year – do we have a better grasp on its meaning? Advent is more than the period of time that begins with the fourth Sunday before Christmas and runs through Christmas Eve. It is more than merely a time of awaiting the coming of the baby Jesus in the manger. It is more than buying gifts and preparing for Christmas parties.

In the fourth century – when they began to celebrate Advent – it was also a time of remembering and waiting on the Lord’s return. The coming or return of the Messiah. Not just the babe in the manger – but the return of Christ – the ruling King.

Have you ever heard the term Maranatha? If you attend First Church (or any of the churches I have been blessed to serve in 40 plus years of ministry) you have heard it used numerous times in sermons and prayers. It is an Aramaic term that literally means – Come Lord – Come – and was often used to invite our Lord’s return. Continue reading

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December 21, 2018 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Advent – What Is It All About?

Luke 2:9

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

112015 Ray McDonaldDo we have any idea why we celebrate Advent – or don’t celebrate it?  Advent is more than the period of time that begins with the fourth Sunday before Christmas and runs through Christmas Eve.  It is more than merely a time of awaiting the coming of the baby Jesus in the manger.

In the fourth century when they began to celebrate Advent – it was also a time of remembering and waiting on the Lord’s return. Have any of us ever heard the term/word – Maranatha?  It is an Aramaic term that literally means – Come Lord, Come – and was often used to invite our Lord’s return.  I have been using it a lot these days – with all of the unrest – the shootings – the terrorists – the bombings.  I have cried out many times for the Lord to come – to return for His people – to save us from ourselves.

Continue reading

December 4, 2015 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Mulligan for Sin

Ephesians 1:7

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

IMG_0301Can any reader remember doing anything we were sorry for later? I really asked that question! Can any of us remember anything that we wish we hadn’t done? Anything we wish we could take back? Anything that we knew was a mistake the minute we did it or said it?

In golf – when someone hits a bad shot – mostly on tee-shots – they might ask their playing partners for a mulligan – some might just say they are taking a mulligan – a do over. In life – there are few places where do overs are allowed. Most often we have to sleep in the bed we’ve madedeal with the cards that we selected.

I’m sure that Russell Wilson would like a mulligan on that last throw in the Super Bowl. I would also imagine that Pete Carroll would like a mulligan on the play call – just saying! I know some Seahawk fans wish they could call for a mulligan for sure. Continue reading

February 6, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Do You Say Jesus Is?

Matthew 16:15

 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

profileWhere you given a nickname when you were younger? Did you have a name that people had a hard time spelling or pronouncing?

I was named after my father – the first-born son. Instead of having two people in the same house answering to the same name – my parents gave me a nickname. In the hospital – according to the story I’ve heard – the nurse came in and heard my parents talking about nicknames. Because I was born with red hair – she suggested they call me Rusty – and so my nickname was born!

I also have one of those names that can be spelled and pronounced so many ways – Ramon (the right spelling) – RaymonRaymond – and Ramond. When people see the correct spelling of my name they often pronounce it Ra – Moan. Continue reading

April 17, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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