Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Salt and Light

Matthew 5:13

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

I’m not much of a cook (believe me). I can cook a few things. Mostly I use the microwave for my stuff. With my limited knowledge of cooking – I do know that a little salt is all you need to add flavor to a stew or soup or most any dish. A pinch here and there will do the trick (except with French fries). A little salt helps most things (although I only use it on certain foods.

I know salt has gotten a bad reputation when used too often. It has been linked to high blood pressure for some. I remember they use to give us salt pills in the summer during Football practice in High School to replace the salt we lost working out in the heat – so some salt it needed for sure (although I think that practice has stopped). Continue reading

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May 15, 2018 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let Your Light So Shine For Jesus

Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

All of my life – growing up – I was told that my actions reflected on my earthly father and mother. My dad was the pastor of my home church and as I grew into my teens – people knew him and if I did something good or something not so good – it would reflect upon him (and mom).

I remember a time in my early twenties when my friends wanted to go downtown Annapolis – drinking. I went along with them (I didn’t and don’t drink). I remember wrestling with the idea of my witness to my friends (that I could have a good time without drinking) and the witness of someone seeing me coming out of a bar (I was raised in the old Methodist belief that drinking was something to be avoided – we called it abstinence). Continue reading

July 24, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let Our Light So Shine For Jesus

Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

RayMcDThe new sermon series that begins on Sunday is on A Family Legacy. Services are at 8:15 & 11 am at 424 Main Street in Laurel at First United Methodist Church. All are welcome and come as you are! Today’s passage is one that speaks to letting our light shine – as we develop our legacy.

Everywhere I turn – every devotional I do these days – brings me back to our upcoming sermon series on legacy. Today’s passage tells us about letting our light shine – letting our witness shine – so that those who see us will see Jesus and come to glorify our God. We are to let others see the Christ within us.

It is so important that our children – the next generation – and others – see that our faith is sincere. If they do not see Christ in us – if they only see a façade of faith – they will not be drawn toward God. Continue reading

August 17, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let Our Light Shine Before Others

Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

112015 Ray McDonaldAs a pastor’s son – a PK (pastor’s kid) – I always had to be on guard around people. Some were looking for ways to get the pastor’s kid to make mistakes so they could run it in the pastor’s face (or so it seemed). I remember once – in a bowling league – someone treated our team to a round of sodas (we all have marks in a certain frame). I was keeping score and so they brought my soda to me at the scorer’s table. As I raised the cup to my mouth – something didn’t smell right so I put it back down. Later the person who bought the drinks asked me why I wasn’t drinking mine – which made me weary. Later – on a food run – I noticed a small empty vodka bottle near where this person sat. I believe this person was trying to get the PK to drink (I was under age at the time). We must all be no guard – it seems – at all times. Our witness can be damaged in a twinkle of an eye.

I remembering when I was a young adult – going into a bar/restaurant in downtown Annapolis with some of my friends. They went in for a drink – I went in to be with my friends. I hung with them – trying to show them one didn’t need to drink to have a good time. A few times I had to drive them home. I tried to let my light shine – so that Christ could be seen (not always of course – I had my issues). Continue reading

May 3, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Vision and Mission at Mt. Oak – Bringing Folks In

Our Vision and Mission at Mt. Oak

The Problem: Families are under attack.

The Solution: Reaching the whole family for Christ

The Process: Bring in, Build up, Send out

The Win: A changed life or family for Christ

Over the next few weeks (January 9 – 16 – 23) we will preach messages that are centered on the vision and mission of our church.  Last Sunday we preached about bringing people into environments where they can encounter Christ.  This coming week we will center our thoughts on the second part of the process – namely building people up in their knowledge and understanding of Christ.  To see a listing of future sermons and Scriptures – and to listen to past sermons – click this link http://wwww.mtoak.org/media/mo-sermons.

Today we want to look at the first part of the process – namely bringing people into environments where they can encounter Christ.  The sermon Sunday was centered on this subject.  We talked about being the salt of the earththe light of the world.

Matthew 5:13-16 – 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Bringing people into environments where they can encounter Christ is more than merely inviting someone to church.  It is about our witness (the light) that we show others each day and our intentional efforts (the salt) to flavor their lives with Christ.  In worship – we took the time during the sermon to introduce ourselves to others and then we introduced those we met (a few did this).  It opened our eyes to the need to be constantly reaching out to others.  Even some long-term attendees met each other last Sunday – as well as some new folks.  It was a great moment and something we will find a way to continue.

How can you be the salt and light of Christ?  How can your church help you to be the salt and light of Christ?   We thought of some ways in the message and encouraged you to write some ways in your sermon notes.  How about sharing some ideas with us on this blog?

A number of comments have been posted to our E-News under the Encouragement Corner this week. Check them out when the January 13th E-News is posted – http://wwww.mtoak.org/media/e-news.

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

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January 12, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Theology, Vision | , , , | Leave a comment

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