Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

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

Gifting Of The Church Part IV

Ephesians 4:11-16

11 It was he (Christ) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

RayMcDThis is the fourth part of this series – I think there will be five parts. Today we will follow up of Friday’s article on verse 14. That verse gave us one result of the gifting of the church. Today we will look at a second, verse 15.

When God gifts us we are to use that gifting to uplift and serve the Body of Christ. Verse 14 told us last week that the results of using the gifting properly are; we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. The gifting of the church then is to give the people of God a foundation and secure hold on truth.

Instead of being tossed around we – the church – should be standing strong in the face of all attacks. The gifting of the church is supposed to enable us to stand strong. A young adult I know has Stay Strong on his e-mails and text messages. The gifting of the church enables us to stay strong. Continue reading

March 6, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If My People

2 Chronicles 7:14

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

RayMcDI spent part of yesterday listening to the confirmation hearings for Senator Jeff Sessions. He is the President-elect’s candidate to be our next Attorney General. He fielded questions from all over the room. There were protestors inside and outside of the room and building where the hearings were taking place. I even saw on Facebook some of my colleagues who were protesting at the hearings.

You could tell by the questions which persons were for Senator Sessions and which were not. The hearings will be long and at times boring. The political scene in America is very adversarial these days. Maybe it has always been that way. I recently watched a historical piece on TV – it was during the days when the person running for the President of the United States that got the most votes made President and the next highest total became the Vice President. It was soon changed because it became evident that the parties couldn’t work well together. Continue reading

January 11, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Peace That Transcends All Understanding

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

RayMcDIf you are from my church or follow me on Facebook – you know that I fell Sunday morning. I was getting out of the shower and my foot – hitting the wet tile – came out from underneath me. I went down in a heap and for a moment thought I had really hurt myself. I fell on the same shoulder I fell on playing basketball a couple of weeks ago (my left shoulder). I have had a hard time lifting my arm all day and will go see the doctor for x-rays on Monday if it doesn’t improve. I must admit – I was scared and yet after a brief prayer – I felt a peace about me. My wife was not there – but God was there and peace came over me.

The elections happened just shy of a week ago and I must be honest with our readers – whichever way the outcome – I would have had unrest. I supported neither candidate – thinking both major candidates (and all others) to be flawed. I have a peace about the election though – because whoever is President – Jesus is still King! The elections didn’t catch God by surprise – God was prepared for our free-will choice. Continue reading

November 14, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Word Is A Light For Our Path

Psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

RayMcDOK – yesterday was a day when some really expressed themselves on Facebook (and I imagine it will continue). I thought about closing my account several times during the election process. I came even closer on Wednesday as people complained about the election results. It wasn’t that they were complaining but how they were complaining. Some – even clergy colleagues – were super upset with those who elected the other candidate from their choice. I haven’t heard such name calling in some time (at least not since the pre-election process from both candidates).

We could write for days about the shortcomings of both main candidates. But the time for this is past (if there ever was a time). The time now is to come together and support the candidate(s) elected (I’m not happy – for instance – with several persons elected in Maryland and in the country) – IMHO.

My prayer yesterday and today and moving forward is that God will show us the path to take. As Christians and as Americans we need a path forward. We need a plan if we agree and if we disagree with the path we are currently on as a nation. We need a path to walk where we can be faithful to God and country (if and when possible). Continue reading

November 10, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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