Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Seeking God’s Will

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

112015 Ray McDonaldThis coming Sunday – at First UMC in Laurel – we will try to determine How We Can Discern God’s Will in An Ever-Changing World.  During our spiritual journey – our spiritual walk – have we ever wondered what God’s will is for our lives?  I mean – how many times have we sought out God’s will for our life?  Passages like Romans 12:2 speak about seeking God’s will for our lives.

Romans 12:2 – Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.

The more we form our lives around the things of God (rather than the things of the world) – the more clearly we will be able to see God’s will for our lives.  Sunday we will look at one possible way – maybe the only Biblical way – to seek God’s will for our lives. Continue reading

January 7, 2016 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding Our Self

Matthew 16:25

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

IMG_0301I remember when I was much younger – during the 60’s – a time when young people would leave home – and travel across the county – to find themselves. Some ended up living in communes – some went to massive outdoor concerts – some experimented with drugs – and free (no commitment) relationships – some did all of the above and more. Each generation seems to search for their niche in life – for their identity – finding themselves.  The world is ever changing – some – like the greatest generation as they are called – grew up during wartime and grew up quickly with great responsibilities. Some have so much given to them – it seems – that some feel entitled to life and it’s blessings – with little responsibility.

Have you found yourself (were you even looking)? Do you know your purpose in life? Do you know God’s plan for you and your life? I was talking to a young man the other day. He was so confused. He seemed lost. He had tried on several occasions to take his own life. He had experienced such pain in his life – he couldn’t see what reason there was to continue to live. He had given up on God and on ever finding meaning in his life. Continue reading

August 21, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Mind of Christ

1 Corinthians 2:16

But we have the mind of Christ.

IMG_0301Soon I will be a grandparent – again. My third and fourth grandchildren are on the way. Any day now – my youngest child will give birth to her second child. Beautiful women surround me – from my wife to my daughters to my granddaughters. I say this – not to brag about the beautiful women that surround me – but to reveal that I have had a lifetime of trying to figure out the mind of the opposite sex. I’m here to testify that this is just not possible!

It may just be me – or the women in my family – but trying to figure out how they think is not an easy task. Maybe it is my feeble mind – maybe they are just trying to keep me guessing. Whatever the reason – I have two more women coming into my life this year. They all have me wrapped around their fingers for sure – especially my granddaughters. Continue reading

February 23, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

21-Day Prayer/Fast – Day 9

Romans 12:1-2

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.  2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

01032015 RayDay 9 is upon us dear readers – the time is flying by.  During our prayer/fast we have written and discussed presenting ourselves to God and making ourselves a sacrifice for Jesus.  We have asked questions – like what are we willing to do to please God?  What are we willing to sacrifice for God?

Today’s passage in the 21-Day Fast devotional reading plan can be found here.  The reading is the 12th chapter of Romans – which starts with the two verses above.  These are two of my favorite verses in the Bible (the list is long but these are on it).  They speak about offering God ourselves – our bodies – and even our souls!  All that we have and all that we are – for sure.  Are we willing to give God our all?

Share some of your thoughts in the comments section – bless others with your questions or responses and see what God will do with us.  Seek His face and desire His grace and offer your all to Jesus!

Continue reading

January 13, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Plan/Will Of God!

Psalm 33:11

But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

profileAre you the type of person who makes lists – a person who has a to-do list? Does your data phone have a lists app such as GTasks – which is Google Tasks and connects with the tasks on your Google account – your Gmail e-mail account?  If you make a task in your e-mail account – it can follow you on your data device through such apps.  For some of us that might be a little too much!  For some of us that isn’t even enough.

How organized are you?  Is your office desk neat and orderly?  Or do you simply know where everything is in your mess?  Does everything have a place in your garage?  My wife teases me all the time because my garage is not neat.  Nancy Lane and my father-in-law keep the ideal garage according to my wife – so neat and everything has a place and is in that place. Do you draw lines around your tools hanging on the wall so you know what tool goes where? Continue reading

March 27, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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