Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Church Needs Revival

Jonah 3:5

The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

I’m a firm believer that our church and the body of Christ universal needs a revival.Revival is something we need – and I’m not talking about a series of services. We used to have two revivals a year at our local church – and at every church I ever served – but fewer and fewer people attend so this year we have not had even one and no one has noticed or mentioned it. We need to be revived in the church today – to have a time of reflection and of reviving the soul. We need a time to be called back to a more faithful walk with Jesus. Many of us are simply going through the motions of our faith it seems to me.

I have been attending revivals since before I could walk. As a pastor – I held revivals at all of the churches I have been called to serve. Many churches and many pastor no longer hold revivals. As I mentioned above – we aren’t having even one this year and I haven’t heard an outcry for them. We don’t need a revival service or series of services – but we do need to refocus on Jesus and get fired up – because believe me – the end of time is fast approaching (and that is not meant to be prophetic – rather I’m simply reading the signs). Continue reading

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September 14, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Whoever Acknowledges Me

Matthew 10:32-33

32 Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

RayMcDSunday we begin a new sermon series at First United Methodist Church in Laurel – MD. The series is titled A Family Legacy. Services are at 8:15 & 11 am at 424 Main Street in Laurel – come and join us. Today’s passage is one that I will use in that first sermon titled Building a Legacy. That evening we begin a week of revival too – the first service is at First UMC followed by Monday at Community UMC (300 Brock Bridge Road) – Tuesday at Mt. Zion UMC (3592 Whiskey Bottom Road) – and Wednesday at St. Mark’s UMC (601 8th Street) – all in Laurel – MD. All revival services begin at 7 pm.

The importance of our legacy is that our children and other children are watching us. They are watching to see if what we believe is worth believing in and following. They are watching to see if what we say is also what we do. How sincere are we in our faith? Are we giving a good witness?

We spend loads of time – energy – and money – supporting our favorite teams. Do we spend as much time supporting Jesus? We place signs in our yards and stickers on our cars supporting our candidate of choice. When is the last time we made a public statement of support for Jesus? Continue reading

August 16, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Need Revival

Jonah 3:5

The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

112015 Ray McDonaldRevival is something our church and our nation needs. Revival is something we need. We usually have two revivals a year at our local church – one before Lent begins and one in the summer – usually in August. A revival is a time of reflection and of reviving the soul – calling us back to a more faithful walk with Jesus.

I have been attending revivals since before I could walk. As a pastor – I have held revivals at all of the churches I have been called to serve. Many churches and many pastor no longer hold revivals. The four United Methodist churches in Laurel are trying to hold a joint community revival this summer. Stay tuned for more details. It could be an exciting time in Laurel. Continue reading

April 27, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Set Our Eyes On Jesus!

Colossians 3:2

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

112015 Ray McDonaldWe’re in the thick of Holy Week. Last night was Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday. The choir did an excellent job with the cantata. Holy Communion was celebrated and all left a little closer to Jesus (at least we hope so). I hope we had our minds set on Jesus last night.

Today is Good Friday. As a young child I couldn’t figure out why it was called Good Friday if it was the day that Jesus died. Later I realized that it was called Good Friday because it was good for us that He died – to pay for our sins.

You don’t want to miss the Good Friday service tonight at First United Methodist Church of Laurel. We will be doing something we have never done before (at least no one I’ve talked to has seen it here). It is very important that you attend tonight. Change your plans to be here. Sunday morning will not have the same meaning without attending worship tonight. I promise you! Let’s set our minds on Jesus – and see what will happen. Continue reading

March 25, 2016 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Will Not Deny You

Matthew 26:35

Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.

profileLent starts on February 10th – Ash Wednesday.  That is the last night of our Pre-Lenten revival at First UMC.  We hope to see you at First UMC in Laurel soon.  The revival begins on Sunday – February 7th during our morning worship services at 8:15 & 11 am.  It continues each night – Monday through Wednesday at 7 pm.  Evening services will be in the Sanctuary this year.  We hope to see you there (more information at the bottom of this devotional thought).

Lent – according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is defined as – a period of 40 days before Easter during which many Christians do not eat certain foods or do certain pleasurable activities as a way of remembering the suffering of Jesus Christ.

Today’s passage is about Peter and the disciples saying they would not deny Christ.  They said they would actually die with Jesus if need be.  Here is today’s passage in partial context.  Matthew 26:30-39 – 30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’  32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”  33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”  35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same. 36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.”  37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”  39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Continue reading

February 5, 2016 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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