Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Let Jesus Shine In Us – Thru Us – and In Spite of Us

Matthew 5:14

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

June 2019The month of October is the beginning of darker days. Only a few months away from the heat and long days of July we are currently experiencing. Darkness is fun at times – and at times it is not. I remember growing up and living next door to a cemetery. Now that could be scary – at least for those not use to it. When friends came over or cousins visited – we would play hide and seek. I would always hide in the cemetery – over in the darkest corners where the house light didn’t shine. Whenever someone got close to where I was hiding – I would make sounds that would scare them away. The darkness and the unknown would always win the day. But darkness is not always something to be desired as we will see.

Darkness – in today’s scripture – represents the absence of Jesus. Jesus is instructing His followers and He tells them that they are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. As believers – as disciples of Jesus – we are to allow His light to shine in us – thru us – and in spite of us.

I remember – again as a child – traveling to my mother’s home town – Moorefield WV.  As we would come over the mountains – with very little light other than our headlights – we would crest the last mountain top and move down toward the valley. As we descended the mountain – we would see the lights of Moorefield. We knew we were there – for mom – it was her childhood home. I remember when the chicken plant started running all night and when they got their first fast food store – a McDonald’s. As the town started to get more and more active over the years – the lights were stronger as we crested that last mountain.

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July 18, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Letting Our Light So Shine

Matthew 5:14

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

Photo on 10-9-18 at 2.15 PMThe month of October is the beginning of darker days. Darkness is fun at times – and at times it is not. I remember growing up and living next door to a cemetery. Now that could be scary – at least for those not use to it. When friends came over or cousins visited – we would play hide and seek. I would always hide in the cemetery – over in the darkest corners where the house light didn’t shine. Whenever someone got close to where I was hiding – I would make sounds that would scare them away. The darkness and the unknown would always win the day. But darkness is not always something to be desired as we will see.

Darkness – in today’s scripture – represents the absence of Jesus. Jesus is instructing His followers and He tells them that they are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. As believers – as disciples of Jesus – we are to allow His light to shine in us – thru us – and in spite of us.

I remember – again as a child – traveling to my mother’s home town – Moorefield – WV.  As we would come over the mountains – with very little light other than our headlights – we would crest the last mountain top and move down toward the valley. As we descended the mountain – we would see the lights of Moorefield. We knew we were there – for mom – it was her childhood home. I remember when the chicken plant started running all night and when they got their first fast food store – a McDonald’s. As the town started to get more and more active over the years – the lights were stronger as we crested that last mountain.

Continue reading

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let Your Light So Shine

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.

Photo on 9-10-18 at 11.09 AMI remember as a child – camping as a family. I remember the dark nights and how my father’s lantern on the picnic table would shine and lead us home when we were out and about. Dad kept the globe on the lamp clean and the wick new and it burnt bright. He kept a good supply of fuel in the lamp and in storage. The light would shine in the darkness – and the darkness could not overcome it.

I remember one of my siblings – my brother I believe – needed a night-light early in his life. A little light plugged into a wall outlet – that gave off a dim light. Even in the darkness of the night in the bedroom – this little light was enough to give peace to him as he woke in the night. Continue reading

September 18, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let Your Light So Shine!

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.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgHave you ever played flashlight tag? It has to be dark – it is like tag – only you have to tag people with the light shining from your flashlight. It was all the rage back in the 60’s – lol. We played it a lot when we went camping – with the family or with the Boy Scouts. We even played it in youth group outside the church at night! Flashlight tag gave way to – you guessed it – laser tag. They took the idea of flashlight tag – took it indoors – and used sophisticated laser flashlights. It was the same fun with a hi-tech approach.

If you had a stronger flashlight – you could shine it on folks long before they could get their weaker light on you! If it was also small and compact – you could maneuver easier around the tombstones (if you were playing in a cemetery for instance) or around the bushes in the churchyard. Dark clothes were also a plus because they were harder to see and didn’t light up – so to speak – when the light hit them! There were other nuances to the game – but you get the idea. Wearing glow in the dark clothes – whether playing flashlight tag or laser tag is not a good idea. Continue reading

August 26, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Are the Light of the World!

Matthew 5:14

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

RayBlogDarkness is fun at times – and at times it is not.  I remember growing up and living next door to a cemetery.  When friends came over or cousins visited – we would play hide and seek.  I would always hide in the cemetery – over in the darkest corners where the house light didn’t shine.  Whenever someone got close to where I was hiding – I would make sounds that would scare them away.  The darkness and the unknown would always win the day.  But darkness is not always something to be desired as we will see.

Darkness in today’s scripture represents the absence of Jesus.  Jesus is instructing His followers and He tells them that they are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  As believers – as disciples of Jesus – we are to allow His light to shine in us – through us – and in spite of us.  I remember – again as a child – traveling to my mother’s home town – Moorefield – WV.  As we would come over the mountains – with very little light other than our headlights – we would crest the last mountain top and down toward the valley we would see the lights of Moorefield – we knew we were there!  I remember when the chicken plant starting running all night and when they got their first fast food store – a McDonald’s.  As the town started to get more and more active over the years – the lights were stronger as we crested the mountain.

Continue reading

February 25, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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