Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Heaven or Hell – It Is Our Choice!

Revelation 21:1

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

img_0063-2When’s the last funeral you attended? For me – I seem to attend a funeral or more most every week. Some I attend – some I help celebrate the life lived and lost. I recently celebrated the life of a longtime friend who died way too soon. I also have celebrated the lives of much younger persons – spouses and children. Most services are mixed with different emotions. The friend lived a good life – a life of faith – a life with family – a life filled with community and church involvement. She was a wonderful lady and has gone on to her reward with Jesus – yet – sadness was there too because we don’t have her around to talk with – until we meet again.

The others had their stories as well. One was a school teacher – another was a home engineer – still another worked for NSA. Each funeral or memorial service has some sadness and at times – some celebration. Like my mom’s service a few years ago – after she battled with dementia for 6 plus years – it was a blessing for her to transition to be with Jesus – yet it was still hard.

It has been over seven years since my father died – and I still miss him and tear up from time to time thinking about him. He was a man of great faith and a family man all the way. He served others his whole life. Because of dad’s passing – I can better understand the grief of others. My mom’s passing has helped me as well. She too lived well and had a deep faith. Both services were times of mixed emotions. Continue reading

January 13, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Memorial Service for Unborn Babies

Psalm 34:18-19 (ESV)

18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.  19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

IMG_0301The following was taken off of another person’s blog page back in 2007 (with permission) in response to a memorial service we held at a church I was serving.  I have held this type of service several times in different churches and I am contemplating holding at my present church – First United Methodist Church of Laurel.

We held a memorial service complete with Scriptures – songs – testimonies – and a time of prayer and contemplation.  We encouraged folks who came to write letters to their lost children.  Some had not processed their grief and this was a powerful way to do so.  Some weren’t sure there were folks who could understand their pain until we gathered them together.  We provided a small box for the letters and we buried it in the churchyard.  Some years we planted special plants over the spot so that families had a place to return to grieve if they needed it.  Here is what this one person wrote on their blog page. Continue reading

August 10, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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