Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Let Your Light So Shine!

Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgHave you ever played flashlight tag? It has to be dark – it is like tag – only you have to tag people with the light shining from your flashlight. It was all the rage back in the 60’s – lol. We played it a lot when we went camping – with the family or with the Boy Scouts. We even played it in youth group outside the church at night! Flashlight tag gave way to – you guessed it – laser tag. They took the idea of flashlight tag – took it indoors – and used sophisticated laser flashlights. It was the same fun with a hi-tech approach.

If you had a stronger flashlight – you could shine it on folks long before they could get their weaker light on you! If it was also small and compact – you could maneuver easier around the tombstones (if you were playing in a cemetery for instance) or around the bushes in the churchyard. Dark clothes were also a plus because they were harder to see and didn’t light up – so to speak – when the light hit them! There were other nuances to the game – but you get the idea. Wearing glow in the dark clothes – whether playing flashlight tag or laser tag is not a good idea. Continue reading

August 26, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

True Worship Involves Kneeling Before God

Psalm 95:6

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;

RevRayTim Tebow has signed with the New England Patriots.  I saw him in uniform recently at their minicamp.  I will be conflicted this year rooting for Tim but not for the Patriots.  Next to the Steelers (big rival for my Ravens) – the Patriots are my least favorite team in the NFL.

tebowingTim is a great athlete – and a very strong Christian.  He made tebowing famous (see the picture).  During a game – whether he had made a good play or it was just a tense time in the game – he would kneel and pray.  Being a very public figure – this began to gain a lot of recognition.  It wasn’t always good attention.  Critics of Tim or of God/Christ came out of the wood work to take shots at him.

Today – as I attend a worship seminar – I would love for us to focus on worship.  Kneeling is often if not always related to worship.  People kneel before God – they kneel before a king – they kneel before a superior foe.  Daniel got in trouble for kneeling before God rather than before the statue of the king.  Kneeling represents submission – it represents humility – it represents awe and wonder. Continue reading

June 13, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tebowing!

1 Thessalonians 5:17

…pray continually;

One of the phenomenal things going viral these days is Tebowing.  As the picture shows – Denver Broncos Starting Quarterback Tim Tebow is kneeling and praying on the sidelines during a game.  Tim is very out with his faith.  At times – some of us are in the closet about our faith in our workplace or in public – thinking that our faith is private.  But – are we not called to spread our faith to all the ends of the earth?  What if God places us in positions – gives us platforms – in order that we might have the opportunity to glorify Him?  What if God wanted you to be the coach of that team in order that you might share your faith with the team – their parents – the crowd that watches your games?  What if God wanted you to be the head of a department at work in order to let His glory be seen?  What if God placed a Christian in a position of power and influence for His glory?

The story of Joseph comes to mind (Genesis 37f) – a slave that rose to a high position in a foreign land for God’s purposes.  There are many examples in the Bible of people God placed in high places of power or visibility and how God used them and how they tebowed.  We are where we are today – by the grace of God – to be used for God’s purposes – not ours.  Think about that!

Tim Tebow has a platform to share his faith.  He is a highly successful starting quarterback in the NFL with a first place team (the team was in last place when he became the starting quarterback).  Whether you agree with him or not – he believes that he has been given this position to share his faith – at every opportunity.  Interview after interview he has given God the glory for his success – and his teammates as well.  He has taken little if any praise for himself.  He is very humble.  When I see him tebowing as in this picture – I picture in my mind his prayer – Lord – help me to be courageous in the words I say – win or lose – for this time of witness for You.  I want to be that courageous is all I do for Jesus.

When and where do you choose to share your faith?  It isn’t optional folks – we are called to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth.  We are called to be His Ambassadors.  What platform has God given you?  Are you a parent?  Are you a teacher?  Do you own your own business?  Do you have a way to impact others?  Think about where God has placed you and fall on your knees more often and pray that God would give you the courage to witness for Him.

In the midst of closing his Epistle – Paul gives us some instructions.  One of the instructions is to pray continually.  We should always be Tebowing in our hearts – bowing before God in humility asking Him for play-by-play instructions.  Communication with God should be as natural to us as breathing.  It should not be something we are ashamed of but rather something we are proud to share with others.

Update: Two Scriptures that came to me to add to this post.  Romans 1:16 – I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.  Matthew 10:32 – Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.

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

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December 13, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Holy Spirit Will Give Us Words to Speak

Mark 13:11

Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.

In our nation – not many will be arrested for their faith.  Occasionally people may ridicule us for our faith – as I heard some doing this morning – ridiculing Tim Tebow for being the starting quarterback for the Florida Gators years ago and now a professional player – and yet stating that he is a virgin.  They couldn’t understand how a person could remain a virgin while being a star athlete – and at Florida of all schools!  Brings back memories of how A.C. Green was similarly ridiculed by teammates and the press for his stance in the same area of his faith.  He had people bringing women to his room at nights to get him to yield and yet he remained strong.  Strong Christians will take some ridicule from those who are not.  Jesus told us this before He left this world.

John 15:18 – If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.

In Biblical days – the believers were being persecuted by Rome and by the Jewish church.  Often many of them would be brought before the courts of Rome or the Sanhedrin of the church.  God’s promise for them was that the Holy Spirit would be with them and would give them words to speak.

Since in our nation most of us are not arrested for our faith and put on trial – what does a passage like this mean to us?  I’ve often seen this passage touch my life in this way.  Whenever my faith is challenged – wherever I am questioned about what I believe – when those around me laugh at me or put me down for what I try to live – I am reminded of this passage.  The Holy Spirit will be with me and will give me words to speak.

Have we been challenged lately for what we believe?  If not – it might just be that we are not living our faith outwardly – because if we were – we would face persecution!  But take heart – when taken to task for Jesus – the Holy Spirit will be with you – even to the very end!

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

P.S. – I will post another devotional thought tomorrow – Friday – August 25th – but will be on vacation starting Friday through September 3rd and will be trying to unplug as much as I can.  I will post another devotional thought on Tuesday – September 6th.

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August 25, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , | Leave a comment

Tim Tebow in Super Bowl Ad

Tim Tebow and his mom are featured in an upcoming ad during the Super Bowl – http://www.tangle.com/view_video?viewkey=7a502bd2059d5ccce1c9&utm_source=newsletter012810&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weeklytopvideos.

Focus on the Family has produced an ad with Tim Tebow and his mom talking about how she was advised by doctors to abort Tim when he was an unborn baby.  She didn’t and they are celebrating Tim’s life today. Tim is a celebrated All-American quarterback for the Florida Gators.

Focus on the Family paid over 2 million dollars for this 30 second ad (money from individual sponsors not the general support for FOF).  Some pro-choice groups are trying to get CBS to cancel the ad.  Should Focus on the Family be allowed to air their views on a controversial subject?

Your thoughts on this upcoming ad?

January 28, 2010 Posted by | Community, Faith Journey, From the Pastor | , , , , | 12 Comments

   

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