Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

One Thing I Ask

Psalm 27:4

One thing I ask from the Lord…

Ray 2018If you could ask for one thing of God – what would it be? World peace would be a popular request I believe. Some might ask for wealth – or health – or a loved one to return to life. Some might ask for a life partner or for children. What would you ask for if you could ask for one thing of God?

Let me ask another question. How’s your prayer life? Prayer is how we speak with God. How’s your prayer life?

When we pray – do you do the normal now I lay me down to sleep and thank you for this food along with some short prayers at church? Does that sum up your prayer life? I sure hope not. How do you approach God? How’s your prayer life? Would you like to improve your prayer life? Continue reading

September 13, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Questions, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Are Called to Pray for One Another

James 5:13-16

13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Ray 2018From time-to-time – I feel compelled (obligated – duty-bound) to call us to pray for our church – for our pastor – for our leaders – for one another – not only in our local church – but also – to pray for our denomination. According to Scripture: 1 Peter 5:8-98 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith. The devil is out there and wants nothing more than to devour the church – the people of God! Part of standing firm is to stay in prayer together. How’s your prayer life?

We should pray that the devil not be given even a foothold in our lives and in the church. Scripture says; Ephesians 4:25-2825 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Continue reading

September 12, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Asking For Prayers

Psalm 5:3

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.

Many times I ask this question to myself and to the congregation I serve as well as to those who read this blog post. I’ll continue to ask it – How’s our prayer life? I mean it! When do we spend time in prayer? How long do we spend in prayer? What do we mention in our prayers? Do we find ourselves running out of things to pray for or do we run out of time in our prayer times?

The Psalmist writes: In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.

If we don’t have a regular prayer time or devotion time – try what the Psalmist mentions and spend time in the morning – first thing. I know it is tough for some. If you are a single mom or dad and have children to get ready for school before you go to work – it might be tough finding even 5 minutes to sit before the Lord. If we rise at 4 or 5 am to go to work – turning over for that last 5 minutes – hitting snooze on our alarm can be the best few moments. But I believe if we make it a habit (not all habits are bad) to spend even just 5 minutes first thing in the morning before God we would shortly notice the difference in our day. Continue reading

April 25, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Repent And Turn To God

Acts 3:19

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,

112015 Ray McDonaldWorship yesterday was amazing at FUMCL. We spoke about prayer in the message and drawing closer to Christ through our prayer life. It is through our prayer life – our conversations with God – that we confess and repent of our sins. We must present to God where we have fallen short and repent from those sins.

Repentance is a combination of grieving our sins – turning away from our sins – and turning toward God. We’re conditioned as children – some of us – to say we are sorry when we do something wrong. Unfortunately for some – we’re not taught anything more than to say the words – I’m sorry. We can become conditioned to say I’m sorry – yet not actually feel sorrow (anyone with me on this?). I remember as a child being told to say I’m sorry – even when I wasn’t. Tell your brother you’re sorry or I’ll turn off the TV sounds like something I remember. It wasn’t that I was sorry when I said I’m sorry – it was so I could continue to watch TV.

True repentance is more than saying I’m sorry. True repentance is more than mere words. True repentance includes a change in our mindset – a change in our behavior – a change in our heart. Too many times people are only sorry when they get caught – sorry that they got caught – rather than sorry for what they did or said. Continue reading

April 25, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Making a Plan

Acts 20:24

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

112015 Ray McDonaldMuch is said at this time of the year about staying physically fit – making New Year’s resolutions.  Gym memberships are pushed – as are diets – and exercise equipment.  Many have made New Year’s resolutions concerning their physical shape.  But what about our spiritual shape?

Do we have an ideal weight for our physical body?  Are we taking steps to reach that ideal weight?  Are we exercising – dieting – working to draw closer to that ideal?

Are there things we would like to be able to do in the physical world?  Would we like to run a marathon?  Would we like to ride in a 100-mile bike ride?  Would we like to hike up a mountain?  If so – folks would usually work up to such an event. Continue reading

December 29, 2015 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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