Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Our Gethsemane Moments

Matthew 26:39

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

IMG_0301We make decisions everyday! Some are very basic – like do we get up when the alarm goes off or do we hit the snooze button? We might debate with ourselves whether to get up a little early to do some exercise or spend more time doing our devotions?

We make decisions everyday! I know some young people who are making decisions right now about what school to attend when they graduate High School. Some visit different schools to see if it feels right for them. Some will make the decision according to their major or at times – according to their financial situation. Some will make the decision to stay close to home – some will want to get as far away from home as possible.

We make decisions everyday! Some decisions are related to work and some are related to family. Some are personal – some are professional. Even deciding what to have for lunch is a decision. Continue reading

April 17, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gethsemane Moments

Matthew 26:39

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

IMG_0301OK – it is the second day of Lent. How goes it? Have you had a Gethsemane moment yet? At the revival this week – and throughout the last few months – we have occasionally challenged the church to consider where their Gethsemane moments might occur – times when we say – not as I will – but as You will.

The traditional purpose of Lent is to prepare us as we walk toward the Cross of Calvary. Followers of Christ traditionally spend (more) time in prayer – in paying penance – repenting of our sins – almsgiving (like giving to the poor) – and in self-denial. Traditionally folks will give up something for Lent (I noticed that some gave us social media for Lent). Along with giving something up – they often add something to their faith walk as well. Continue reading

February 19, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Plan/Will Of God!

Psalm 33:11

But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

profileAre you the type of person who makes lists – a person who has a to-do list? Does your data phone have a lists app such as GTasks – which is Google Tasks and connects with the tasks on your Google account – your Gmail e-mail account?  If you make a task in your e-mail account – it can follow you on your data device through such apps.  For some of us that might be a little too much!  For some of us that isn’t even enough.

How organized are you?  Is your office desk neat and orderly?  Or do you simply know where everything is in your mess?  Does everything have a place in your garage?  My wife teases me all the time because my garage is not neat.  Nancy Lane and my father-in-law keep the ideal garage according to my wife – so neat and everything has a place and is in that place. Do you draw lines around your tools hanging on the wall so you know what tool goes where? Continue reading

March 27, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your Will, Not Mine!

Matthew 26:39

39Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Jesus is the greatest example of self denial.  At Gethsemane, I firmly believe that Jesus didn’t want to face the crucifixion.  He was asking the Father for another way – but He yielded His will to the Father’s will.

Think for a moment as you read this of the places in your life where you have followed Christ’s example – yielding your will to God’s will.  One such place for me was responding to the call to ministry.  I wanted to do anything but go into the ministry.  I did not go to college to be a pastor – rather I was working toward becoming a CPA.  I was entering my senior year of college – preparing for my career as a CPA when God called again (He had called numerous times before) and this time I yielded.  Did you think of any times in your life when you yielded to God’s will in your life?  If so, share some of them on this post.

There have been numerous times I have not yielded to God’s will – at least not immediately.  What about you?  Are there times in your life where you have followed your will, rather than God’s.  Without confessing what they were – I can tell you that each time I follow my will – rather than God’s – things don’t turn out very well.  Like Jesus – I can come up with alternative plans or at least ask if there are any – but unlike Christ – I have not always denied self.  What about you?

Just imagine what God could do with a church filled with disciples who would seek first God’s will instead of their own?  I imagine nothing could stand between us and accomplishing all that God has for a church like that – you think?

Pray with me that as individuals and collectively as the church we will deny ourselves and follow God’s will in our lives.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

April 9, 2010 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , | 1 Comment

   

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