Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

2020 – A Year of Change

Psalm 46:10

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Life ChangeAs we enter the last 6 or so weeks of 2019 – I have been giving us warning that 2020 could be a year of major change for many of us. The United Methodist Church seems on the brink of a split – officially or otherwise. This change may impact many of us. If it is an official split or some other split – conferences – churches – and members will need to decide where they will worship moving forward. This could being as early as January 1 – 2020 – as the 2019 Special General Conference approved churches withdrawing from the denomination. It could happen as we move toward the 2020 General Conference in May – shortly thereafter – or as soon as any changes take place.

The 2020 Presidential Election in November could continue the current Presidential leader or elect a new President. The Congress could change hands or solidify one party in leadership. Will one party of the other hold the President’s office and both houses of the Congress or will there be divided leadership? Will we continue along the same lines of leadership or will there be a change? How will the economy react to this election? How will the election impact you and your family? Continue reading

November 13, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sitting Still Is Not Easy

Psalm 46:10

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God”

I’ve always had a hard time sitting still. Even though I love working on my computers – I’m thinking of getting one of those desk risers – so I can stand and move about while working. They say moving around is healthy – and suggest that desk workers get up every hour to move around for five minutes. I enjoy preaching from the podium instead of the pulpit from time top time so I can move around more. Not only am I able to move around – but it gets me closer to the people I am trying to reach with the Word of God.

I’ve always had a hard time sitting still. Typically – if I sit still for any length of time – I drift off to sleep. I traveled to Carnegie Hall in New York City once to listen to James Taylor in concert. My wife – daughter – son and I traveled toe New York City to site-see and to see JT. As I sat and listened to his mellow sound – I found myself drifting off. Granted – we were in the nose bleed section and it was dark and I often listen to his music to drift off to sleep at home – but I was in Carnegie Hall and it was JT live! Continue reading

August 7, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be Still, And Know That I Am God

Psalm 46:10

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

RayMcDI took a day off Monday and did some yard work. I must have needed the time alone with God and my thoughts. During one of my breaks I sat and was enjoying the quiet around me. I began to think of my dad (who died 4 years ago a week ago last Sunday) – remembering the many times we worked together in the yard at home and in the gardens we had. I began to cry (real men cry – right?) – I am an emotional person. It was a cleansing cry – I felt drained and relaxed afterward. I continued in my sorrow to feel the peace and quiet God offers even in troubled times.

I haven’t been deer hunting in several years – mainly because of my busy schedule and a lack of a location to hunt. But some of the best moments of my falls past were sitting in a deer stand long before morning broke – sitting in the still and quiet of the pre-dawn darkness – thinking and praying and spending time with God. In my mind I often thought of today’s passage – be still – and know that I am God. Whether the noise or quiet of the day are upon us – God can give us stillness and quiet. Continue reading

September 27, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be Still – And Know That God Is Present

Psalm 46:10

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

112015 Ray McDonaldHow’s your Prayer/Fast going? If you began on the first day of the Revival (2/7) – you’d be on day 17 of a 49 day Prayer/Fast. Any stories to share?

I remember – seems like a lifetime ago – we use to sing Be Still My Soul in worship – often. It was a favorite hymn it seemed.

Lyrics go like this – 1. Be still, my soul: The Lord is on your side; Bear patiently the cross cross of grief or pain. Leave to your God to order and provide; In every change God faithful will remain. Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly friend Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end. 2. Be still, my soul; your God will undertake To guide the future as he has the past. Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake; All now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul; the waves and wind still know His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below. 3. Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on When we shall be forever with the Lord, When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone, Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored. Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past, All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

It is an old hymn – written by Katharina von Schlegel – 1752 and transposed by Jane Borthwick – 1855. It is in our hymnals and we still sing it from time to time. Continue reading

February 23, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Waiting On God

Psalm 46:10

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

112015 Ray McDonaldAs we begin a New Year tomorrow – this could be a theme Scripture for us.  I like it.  We could start off the year with – be still, and know that I am God.  We are often so busy with life – so busy with what we think we need to do and be – that we fail to sit still at times and allow God to be God.  How often have we run ahead of God and found that our way was not God’s way?

In this passage God is saying – be still, and know that I am God and when we do this – waiting upon Me (God) and My timing – I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. I wonder why we can’t get this one right – at times?

Continue reading

December 31, 2015 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , | Leave a comment

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