Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Day 31 of Lent 2020

Matthew 6:16

When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

Ray 2020Today is day 31 of the 40 Days of our Lenten reading plan. Remember – Sundays are not counted in the 40 days. I hope you have stayed current with us. I veered off of the online plan and am finishing the plan myself. Today’s passage is about fasting.

Lent is typically a time to give something up – to stop a bad habit – to deny yourself – to dig deeper into your walk with Jesus. Fasting is one way to do this. Fasting is denying yourself of something. You can fast from food or a certain type of food. You can fast from technology (a youth pastor I worked with did this one Lent) – or you can fast from social media (right now that might be tough with the pandemic restrictions).

Not only are we to deny ourselves of something – we are to replace that item with more of Jesus. For instance – if we are fasting from something – when we feel tempted to eat it or do it – we should spend time praying or digging into God’s Word. Continue reading

April 1, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 34 of Lent 2018

Matthew 6:16

When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

Today is day 34 of the 40 Days of our Lenten reading plan. I hope you have stayed with us. I veered off of the online plan and am finishing the plan myself. Today’s passage is about fasting.

Lent is typically a time to give something up – to stop a bad habit – to deny yourself – to dig deeper into your walk with Jesus. Fasting is one way to do this. Fasting is denying yourself of something. You can fast from food or a certain type of food. You can fast from technology (a youth pastor I worked with did this one Lent) – or you can fast from social media. Not only are we to deny ourselves of something – we are to replace that item with more of Jesus. For instance – if you are fasting from something – when you feel tempted to eat it or do it – we should spend time praying or digging into God’s Word. Continue reading

March 19, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pre-21-Day Prayer/Fast Information

Matthew 6:16

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

The prayer/fast is coming soon.  On January 10th we will begin a 21-Day prayer/fast.  I hope you will join the fellowship at Mt. Oak and fast of something so you can spend more time in prayer and more time with God.

I will try to blog my journey through the 21 days and would love to hear your stories and what God is saying to you through the journey.  It would be interesting to hear what others are fasting from and how God is using that freed up time touch our lives and the lives of others.  I believe if we are sharing to encourage others we will not be sharing to receive a pat on the back – at least that is my heart – being transparent to encourage.  I will carry on as usual – no sad face on this guy!

Rather than fast from only one thing – I am in the process of picking several things in my life to fast from so that I can free up more time to spend with God.  I am already reducing my food intake for health reasons – limiting myself to 2,000 calories a day.  I have been under that count since December 23rd and have lost some weight already.  I am trying to reduce my weight to reduce my blood pressure.  Rather than go on a total food fast – which would put my body in starvation mode – my doctor recommended against this for health reasons – I am going to pick several things to fast from and invite you to join me by picking some things in your life too.

For instance – at the start of January I began to fast from Words with Friends – a game on Facebook.  I reflected on this before the start of the year and tried to put together how much time I spent on this game and I figured at least ½ an hour each day was spent connecting with friends in this game.  Although connecting with friends was good – if I use that time to connect more with God – I think He will show me better ways to stay connected with my friends.  A pastor friend of mine who knew I was fasting from WWF sent me an invitation to play a game yesterday – Carolyn thought it was a test!  I passed!

My wife is after me to give up my Diet Pepsi for the 21-day fast so that will be my second item.  Along with Diet Pepsi – I will give up all soda products and try to drink only juices – green tea and water for the 21-Day prayer/fast.  Although this item won’t give me more time – swapping one drink for another – Diet Pepsi is something that has chemicals in it that can be addictive and harmful when taken in the amounts I consume.  I know I will have withdrawal symptoms the first three days of the prayer/fast and the staff has asked me to stay away from the office those days – lol.

I’m searching for more items in my life that are barriers between me and God or more time with God.  If you can think of any for me – please share them.  If you can think of some for you – please do them and share your journey.

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

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January 3, 2012 Posted by | Fast, From the Pastor | , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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