Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Lent Officially Begins Today

Luke 14:33

So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

112015 Ray McDonaldToday is the 1st official day of Lent for 2016.  According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary – Lent is defined this way – 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.  The 40 days does not count Sundays.  Of course – this year we began our Prayer/Fast on Sunday – February 7th – the first day of our Pre-Lenten Revival.  That would be 49 days – counting the Sundays.

On Friday past – I wrote a devotional blog titled – I Will Not Deny You.  So here’s the question – Have we decided on something to give up during Lent so that we can remember the suffering of Christ?

Once we’ve decided what to give up – and I suggest it ought to be something we really like or something we would have a hard time giving up – we ought to think of something to add or to do for Christ during Lent as well.  So how about some ideas on what to give up and some ideas about what to add or do for Christ during Lent?  I’m still searching for some things myself.  I decided that Social Media was too valuable to my ministry to give up – so I will try hard to only use it for ministry. Continue reading

February 10, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deny Self and Draw Near to God

Luke 9:23

 Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

112015 Ray McDonaldDenying self is not easy. Taking away things you enjoy – for a variety of reasons – is not easy. I enjoy a good Diet Pepsi or ten – I love the carbonation and the taste. But I might be addicted so I need to deny myself! Some studies have also shown that they are not good for the body!  It will not be easy – but my last Diet Pepsi was Saturday at noon.

Denying self is not easy. Taking away things you enjoy – for a variety of reasons – is not easy. I’m cutting out desserts and as much sugar and flour as possible. I’m sure it will be hard at first – but in time – I will not miss it at all! And it will be better for my body for sure.

Denying self is not easy. Taking away things you enjoy – for a variety of reasons – is not easy. I like technology and I enjoy social media and some online games (like solitaire). But they can become time consuming and they can take valuable time from each and every day – time I could use to be more productive and to spend with God.  In a previous prayer/fast – I stopped playing Farmville – and have never played it again.

I plan to use the time I gain from cutting things out of my day to spend more time with Jesus! Here are some devotional materials for our 49-day Prayer/Fast. Continue reading

February 8, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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