Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Spending More Time In Prayer

Psalm 61:1
“Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.”

RayMcD

‬Have any of our readers had a moment or even a longer time when we cried out to the Lord in prayer? Maybe it was a time of great pain or a time when we were making major changes in our life and felt frustrated or overwhelmed. I’ve experienced times in my life when I have cried out for God – thinking that God was no where to be found. I felt alone – I felt lost – I felt as if I were all alone.

A young person recently posted on their Facebook page seeking prayers. They asked for their Facebook friends to seek God in prayer for an unspoken prayer request. Have we ever spent a whole evening praying? We would call praying all night – praying through something – until we had an answer. What is the longest time frame we have spent in prayer for one item? How many days have we prayed for something before we’ve given up? Think about the things we have spent time praying over. Continue reading

July 26, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Knows All About Us

Psalm 139:3

You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

When I was growing up – I had certain chores – like most of us I assume. One of my chores was to cut the grass. We had just moved into the new parsonage at Seat Pleasant UMC on Addison Road in Seat Pleasant – MD. That church has since been renamed Gethsemane UMC.

The grass was just starting to take root and so it was very thin – sparse. There were rocks in the soil and my dad instructed me to cut the grass with the mower pointing away from the house. This meant I would push the mower up the hill in our side yard and pull it down the hill. It was harder – I thought – than pushing it down hill and pulling it up the hill – so I turned the lawn mower around and did as I thought – rather than as my father had told me. Continue reading

April 10, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Cheerful Heart

Proverbs 17:22

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.

We’re only two games into the new baseball season. Both the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles are 2-0 and leading their divisions (I know – small sample size). I watched the Orioles – both games. I must say they were both thrillers.

The opening day game went into extra innings. There was great pitching by starter Kevin Gausman and the bullpen did its normal great job. There was some highlight defense as well (an amazing play by Manny Machado – just the best 3rd baseman in the Major Leagues). There was just enough offense to go to extras. The Orioles won in the 11th inning on a 1-2 count with two outs when Mark Trumbo hit a homer to left. I gave out a shout of joy. I believe it was the Orioles first opening day walk off win. The Orioles have won seven straight opening day games. Continue reading

April 6, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Is The Rapture?

Matthew 24:36

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Have we read anything lately about the rapture. Do we even know what the rapture represents? I first posted this devotional thought on May 21st – 2011. According to fundamentalist Harold Camping – that was the day he predicted for the Rapture. The Rapture is a belief that the saints of Christ – true believers – will be raised before the end of time arrives. A key passage some use in their teaching about the Rapture is 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. Here’s what I believe – Christ will return – Christ will receive His church (true believers) – and the end times will unfold. I just wasn’t sold on Harold Camping’s prediction in 2011 nor of anyone’s ability to predict the date today of the rapture or the end of time. Nor what order things will occur.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 – According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Continue reading

April 4, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Do We Thirst For Each Day?

John 4:13-14

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

RayMcDI’m one of those people that just can’t seem to get enough to drink. As a youth I could put away several gallons of sweet tea a day – especially in the summer. I seem to have an unquenchable thirst. I need lots of fluids each day!

I don’t drink coffee – never have gained a taste for it. My current favorite drinks are diet Pepsi (which my wife is still trying to get me to drop) – diet Snapple half and half (tea & lemonade) – and Sparkling ICE (especially the Coconut Pineapple & Pink Grapefruit). I also use Kool-Aid water enhancer (Cherry is my favorite) because I need taste with my drinks. I like hot chocolate too. Straight water – although great for me – just doesn’t cut it. I need to taste something in my drink.

Bottom-line – I thirst and need lots of fluids each day. I would not do well in a region where there was little to drink. In today’s passage – I would have gone to the well several times a day to get enough water to quench my thirst. Continue reading

January 20, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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