Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Holy Ground

Exodus 3:5

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

Think for a moment about the places in your life that you consider holy ground. Maybe it is the halls of your high school. Maybe it is the place where you met your spouse. For pastors it might be that first appointment or that appointment where everything seemed to jell in your ministry. What place do you consider holy ground?

Think for a moment about the places in your life that you consider holy ground. For some of us it might be our yard or our gardens. For some it might be our homes. For some it might be that first date or the birth of your first child. What place do you consider holy ground?

Think for a moment about the places in your life that you consider holy ground. Maybe it was the place you met someone famous? Maybe it was the place in time you go back to for your happy place (I still listen to music from the 60’s and 70’s more often than other music). Continue reading

May 17, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Great Cloud Of Witnesses

Hebrews 12:1

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,”

RayMcDRecently there was a discussion surrounding how many people witnessed President Obama’s Inauguration and how many witnessed President Trump’s Inauguration. Pictures taken at different times in the process were used by one side to earn points for their argument. The other side made their points and neither side seemed to care about facts – simply making their points.

It seems that more means better – and so each side tries to make their event the biggest ever. On October 4 – 1997 – I was part of an event sponsored by Promise Keepers called Stand in the Gap. I remember being there that day. I have never been in the midst of so many godly men. Early reports from Promise Keepers was over 1 million men were there. I heard and read some reports that estimated over 3 million men – not just in the mall area but in the surrounding areas too. I remember the liberal media under reporting the number of men who came out to that event saying in some reports that a few hundred thousand people came out. Again – the sides differ in their reports – numbers apparently count to some. Continue reading

January 27, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

21-Day Prayer/Fast – Day 16

Psalm 27:4

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.

01032015 RayDuring our 21-Day Prayer/Fast – I hope we have spent more time seeking God rather than merely seeking what God can do for us.  We probably all know what it feels like to find out that someone was our friend or at least presented themselves to be our friend simply to find out they were merely out for something.  My prayer is that we have been seeking His face more than merely desiring His grace.  Even though we often say – seeking His face while desiring His grace – my prayer is that we are seeking God’s face first and foremost during our 21-Day Prayer/Fast.  Being in God’s presence is what our heart should desire.

The Psalmist begins today’s reading by describing the power and awesomeness of God – Psalm 27:1-3 – 1 The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?  2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.  3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.  What comes next is what I feel we should be striving for during the prayer fast.  Psalm 27:4 – One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. Continue reading

January 20, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are We Drifting Away?

Galatians 1:6

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgCan you remember when you first received Jesus into your heart? If it was anything like my first time – I was on fire – ready to convert the world. I wanted to tell everyone about Jesus – my friends – my classmates – the youth group – most anyone who I could get to listen – and some who didn’t want to listen. As time went on I started a series of ups and downs in my spiritual life. I’d backslide – start to lose my zeal – my excitement – only to hit another mountaintop experience that would fire me up again.

Since my first mountaintop experience – I’ve had many ups and downs in my spiritual journey. One of the mountaintop experiences I remember vividly was in October 1997 I believe – it was the Stand in the Gap gathering of men sponsored by Promise Keepers. I was there – among the men who some numbered at over a million – while others estimated the crowd at over 3 million strong (some only counted the center section of men and not all of the side sections and the Washington Monument crowd).  Check out the video. Continue reading

September 25, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Full of His Glory

Isaiah 6:3

And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.

profileAs a child I remember going camping with the family.  We often went to Skyline Drive.  While driving to the campgrounds we often would pull over at some of the overlooks – where we could get a glimpse of the beautiful mountains – God’s creation.  Being from West Virginia – I can remember many mountain top experiences as we’ve traveled the roads.  The glory of God is seen in nature – for me – more than anywhere else I think!

I remember another mountain top experience.  It was the day of my salvation in the summer of 1967.  My father held and revival and I felt so moved that I came forward to receive Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.  I remember another time during 1968 when we held a 24 hour month long prayer vigil at our church.  I remember taking a half hour every day for a month.  It was a moving experience and I often felt the presence of God as I sat in the church’s chapel and prayed and read Scripture – I was 13.  There were other times in my life I have experienced the fullness of God’s glory – how about you? Continue reading

September 19, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Family, From the Pastor, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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