Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Christ Is The True Light!

2 Samuel 22:29

You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light.

Ray 2019It is getting dark – earlier and earlier it seems. I feel like it is 9 pm at 5 pm – and I hope that isn’t just age. It must be somewhat age related because I want to go to bed earlier and earlier too (although I still stay up late from time-to-time). At times it is hard to fall asleep. My wife has candles in the front windows – and we shut the blinds so the candles shining into the darkness of the bedroom at night won’t keep us awake. But – the glow keeps me awake at times.

I was watching TV the other day – and I almost purchased some outside flood lights that were being advertised. They are self-contained. They have cells that charge the battery. They are stronger than most other lights. They have a motion sensor. I would love to have a couple. I’m a sucker at times for infomercials. I mean – darkness can be like day with these.

Speaking of infomercials – have you seen the tactical light advertised? It has a broader than normal beam. It can be run over by a Humvee and still work. It can be frozen in a block of ice and still shine. I purchased two – one for me and one for the wife. You never know when you might need light in the darkness of the night. Continue reading

December 12, 2019 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Light In The Darkness

Psalm 119:105

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

Life ChangeHave you ever been in the dark? Have you ever tried to walk thru your living room or another room in the dark? Do your toes scream to turn on the lights? Have you ever tried to climb the steps from the basement with the lights out because the switch was not in the right condition (you know: the switch is up when the lights are off and you have to change it – LOL)? OK – that last one was just me – I guess.

Next week is Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for in your life? Are you in a relationship with someone? If so – are you thankful for that relationship? Have you ever been without a meaningful relationship in your life? Have you ever been in the dark in a relationship? Wondering if he or she liked you? Wondering if this was the one – your life partner? Have you been burned several times and you’re tired of walking in the darkness? Have you sought a way to throw a little light on your relationships? Maybe even trying to figure out a relationship?

Have you ever wondered about life in general? Have you ever experienced dark moments when you felt depressed? Have you searched for the meaning of life only to come up empty? I imagine a lot of people struggle with understanding life – especially when it doesn’t seem to go as we planned. Continue reading

November 19, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holy Spirit – Enlighten Your Church

Psalm 119:105

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

Have you ever been in the dark? Have you ever tried to walk thru your living room or another room in the dark? Do your toes scream to turn on the lights? Have you ever tried to climb the steps from the basement with the lights out because the switch was not in the right condition (you know: the switch is up when the lights are off – LOL)? OK – that last one was just me I guess.

Last week was Valentine’s Day. Have you ever been in the dark in a relationship? Wondering if he or she liked you? Wondering if this was the one – your life partner? Have you been burned several times and you’re tired of walking in the darkness? Have you sought a way to throw a little light on your relationships?

Have you ever wondered about life in general? Have you ever experienced dark moments when you felt depressed? Have you searched for the meaning of life only to come up empty? I imagine a lot of people struggle with understanding life – especially when it doesn’t seem to go as we planned. Continue reading

February 19, 2019 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Marriage, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, 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

Let Jesus Light The Way

Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMHave we ever walked in the darkness? I am one of those people who must have the light switches going in the correct direction (up in on – down is off). With that said – you know I have stumbled through a dark room so I wouldn’t get the light switches in the wrong position. Crazy – right?

Have we ever walked in the darkness? I’m so thankful my cell phone has a flashlight on it. I use it often (see above paragraph) while walking in darkness – inside and outside. I only have one switch in part of my basement and when the light is off and it is dark outside – I need the flashlight in order to walk through till I get to the switch (which is always up for on and down for off). Having a light to shine in the darkness is important for sure.

Have we ever walked in the darkness? Have we ever felt like we were lost – without focus – without a purpose? We can feel that way as an individual or a family or a church or even a country. Yesterday in worship at First UMC in Laurel I spoke a little about broken hearts. When we break up with a significant other – dating or in marriage – we often feel lost – walking in the darkness. Listen to the sermon for some suggestions on how to mend a broken heart (http://fumcl.org/sermons) (because it was VBS Sunday the sermon may not get uploaded until the middle of the week). Continue reading

July 25, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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