Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

We Gotta Tell Somebody

Psalm 66:16

Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.

Tuesday morning and night – our two weekly Bible Studies – are amazing. Part of what makes these studies so powerful and Spirit led is the testimonies that some share. Last Tuesday night we heard how one of our men experienced the presence of God in a powerful way. This Tuesday morning three women shared experiences they had in life – how God was present and how God helped them thru some difficult times. These testimonies are powerful because they are 1) right in line with our study as we dig thru Acts and 2) they happened to people we know and love – which takes away much of our built-in doubt when we hear about the movement of God. We gotta tell somebody my friends – about the power and presence of God in our lives.

Telling others about our faith – about God’s action in our lives – is powerful and moving. If we merely quote the Bible or tell of God’s action in the past (stories from the Bible) – people can tune us out at times – because what we are sharing is past and no one is here to tell us it is true. But when we say – this happened to me – and the people know us and trust us – they are more apt to believe. We gotta tell somebody!

How has God touched your life? We begin each study with a time of testimony – praises if you will. We also take prayer concerns (concerns I lift during the live prayer time on Wednesday nights). We dig into the Word for the evening – and at times – more testimonies develop from the readings. We try to make the Word of God relevant – otherwise we are merely studying what happened in the past and not what is happening today – to us. Continue reading

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August 7, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Giving Our Testimony

Acts 4:10

It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.

June 2019When is the last time you spoke to someone about your faith – told someone about Jesus? When was the last time you shared your testimony with anyone? I’ve asked some folks to send me their testimonies. Some have done so – some have not. Our testimony is a tool we can use – if we will – to draw others to Jesus. We’ve been lookin at the Book of Acts of late on Tuesdays. The Apostles and disciples were telling people about Jesus – even at the risk of their life.

We talk a lot about giving our testimony – about sharing how Jesus has impacted our lives with others – at our church. We have a time in worship called Telling Our Story where people either give a testimony or we talk about a person’s witness/walk with Christ. This is an easy time to give testimony – because it is in the church family. It is harder to give your testimony outside the church. Are we sharing Jesus with others? We might even have a Tuesday set aside to share how God has touched our lives – and invite the whole congregation. Continue reading

August 2, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Conversion Story

Luke 19:9

Today salvation has come to this house

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgDo you remember your salvation story – your conversion story? If someone asked you to share with them or with a group of people – could you articulate how you came to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Could you articulate the BC and AD in your life?

I remember mine – it was at a revival when I was 12 years old – which would have made it the summer of 1967. My father was a pastor and had a guest preacher come and share a revival at our church. I don’t remember what he preached about – but it pierced my soul – or at least the Holy Spirit got my attention. I felt the urge to go forward after the sermon but didn’t at first – I was worried what others might think if the preacher’s kid went forward and admitted he wasn’t saved yet. Thankfully they had a second song and I came forward to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior. There is more to it than this – but this is the short version. Continue reading

July 28, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sharing Our Testimony

Acts 4:10

It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.

profileWhen is the last time you spoke to someone about your faith – told someone about Jesus? When was the last time you shared your testimony with anyone? I’ve asked some folks to send me their testimonies. Some have done so – some have not. Our testimony is a tool we can use – if we will – to draw others to Jesus.

We talk a lot about giving our testimony – about sharing how Jesus has impacted our lives with others – at our church. We have a time in worship called Telling Our Story where people either give a testimony or we talk about a person’s witness/walk with Christ. This is an easy time to give testimony – because it is in the church family. It is harder to give your testimony outside the church. Are we sharing Jesus with others? Continue reading

April 23, 2014 Posted by | Church, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sharing Our Testimonies with Others – Powerful

1 Peter 3:15

1 Peter 3:15 – But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

I had an experience Sunday that some pastors may have never experienced.  At our membership class I got to listen to nearly 20 new member candidates give their testimony.  It was a very moving experience.  To hear how God has touched their lives – in similar and in different ways.  Many seemed sincerely excited to be walking closer to God today than they have for some time in their lives.  All seemed to be excited to be walking their faith journey – connecting with other Christians at Mt. Oak.

I have always believed that the personal testimonies of the saints will touch the soul in a special place.  Peter writes: always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. Giving our testimony – sharing how Christ has changed our lives – how Christ gives us a hope beyond this world – moves people.  I was moved to tears a few times as I heard these testimonies last Sunday.  I will ask some of them to share their testimony with the whole congregation.  If some will – you too will be moved.

Have you shared your salvation testimony recently with anyone?  Telling folks about your life before Christ – how you came to receive Christ as your Lord and Savior – and how that has changed your life – can impact others in a powerful way.  We should all be prepared to tell somebody our story!

These testimonies are a great example of our vision coming to fruition.  We desire to reach the whole family for Christ.  Part of our mission statement – our strategy to fulfill the vision – is to bring people into environments where they can encounter Christ. These new folks have certainly come to Mt. Oak and have seen/encountered Jesus!  Thanks to all of our staff – leaders – and members who have made these new folks welcome at Mt. Oak.  You should hear their testimonies!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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April 5, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey | , | Leave a comment

   

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