Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Week After Easter

Psalm 119:147

I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.

Life ChangeEaster 2019 has come and gone. Lent was a powerful time this year for me. Holy Week was amazing. I loved the Seder meal and the Good Friday service. Easter Sunrise service is always special for me – I’ve only missed one in my adult life that I can remember. I loved sharing that time with my father when possible. I loved the hill behind Mt. Zion with the benches and three crosses and the sun rising over the hill – the pavilion at Mt. Oak (with the cross in the field) – and the prayer garden at First Church – just to name the last three churches I’ve served. Each holds many special memories.

On Easter morning I usually arise around 4 am. Sunrise this year was at 6:20 am so we started our service at 6 am. I know that some of our men and women – some of my friends – wake that early or earlier on a regular basis. One of my son-in-laws gets up that early most every day to go to work. It is not my usual time to rise though. As a matter of fact – there have been nights I haven’t gone to sleep until that time! My normal time to rise is 6:00 am or thereabouts. By that time we were starting worship on Easter morning. It was a powerful morning – we had a great time worshiping God. We invited other churches and the community to join us. The sun rising will remind us that the Son rose. Continue reading

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April 24, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Waking Early With Jesus!

Psalm 119:147

I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.

112015 Ray McDonaldEaster morning is less than two weeks away.  I usually rise earlier on Easter than most mornings.  This past year I rose up at 4:00 am.  I know that for some men and women – even some of my friends – waking up that early or earlier is a regular practice.  Some of my children often get up that early on a regular basis to head to work.

Getting up at 4 am is not my usual time to rise.  As a matter of fact – there have been nights I haven’t gone to sleep until that time!  My normal time to rise is between 5:45 and 6 am.  By that time on Easter we will already be at church and getting ready for our 6:30 am Sunrise service.  The sun will rise and we will celebrate the Son rising. Continue reading

March 15, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spend Time with God in the Morning

Psalm 119:147

I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.

profileEaster 2014 is coming soon.  I mean Lent is just around the corner – it is at the end of our Revival week – March 2-5 (Ash Wednesday is March 5).  I love Easter and look forward to it this year.  Easter Sunrise service is always special for me – I’ve only missed one in my adult life that I can remember.

On Easter morning I usually arise around 4 or 4:30 am.  Sunrise this year is according to one chart I saw will be at 6:22 am on April 20th.  That means we will need to begin our Sunrise Service at 6 am or earlier to begin in the dark – maybe 5:45 am.  I know that some of our men and women – some of my friends – wake that early or earlier on a regular basis.  One of my sons gets up that early most every day to go to work.  It is not my usual time to rise though.  As a matter of fact – there have been nights I haven’t gone to sleep until that time!  My normal time to rise is 6:00 am or thereabouts.  By that time we will be starting worship on Easter morning.  It will be a powerful morning – we will have a great time worshiping God and will be inviting other churches and the community to join us.  The sun rising will remind us that the Son rose. Continue reading

February 19, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Do You Start Your Day?

Psalm 119:147

I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.

RevRayEaster morning I usually rise earlier than most mornings.  This past year I rose up at 4:30 am.  I know that for some men and women – some of my friends even – waking up that early or earlier is a regular practice.  Two of my sons get up that early most every day to head to work.  It is not my usual time to rise though.  As a matter of fact – there have been nights I haven’t gone to sleep until that time!  My normal time to rise is around 6-6:30 am or so.  By that time we were starting worship on Easter morning last year.  It was a powerful morning – we had a great time worshiping God with the tribe from Judah Temple AME Zion Church.  The sun rose and we were celebrating the Son rising.

How do you start your mornings – whether you start it before dawn – at down or some time afterward?  The passage today says: I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word. Whatever time you rise – put your hope – your first thoughts – on God.  Read His Word – spend time in prayer – sit and listen for God to speak to your heart.  It will help start your day on the right note!  I know it works because it works for me – try it and let me know. Continue reading

June 11, 2013 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spending Time With God First Thing Each Morning!

Psalm 119:147

I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.

Easter morning I rose at 4:30 am.  I know that some of our men and women – some of my friends – wake that early or earlier on a regular basis.  Two of my sons gets up that early most every day.  It is not my usual time to rise though.  As a matter of fact – there have been nights I haven’t gone to sleep until that time!  My normal time to rise is 6:00 am or so.  By that time we were starting worship on Easter morning.  It was a powerful morning – we had a great time worshiping God with the tribe from Judah Temple AME Zion Church.  The sun rose and we were celebrating the Son rising.

Continue reading

April 13, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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