Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Bringing People Together

Colossians 3:11

Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Yesterday was MLK Day. Martin Luther King Jr. tried to bring people together. I saw a picture of MLK and Billy Graham on Franklin Graham’s Facebook page and Franklin said they were good friends and both tried to bring about good. Here is what Franklin wrote.

My father Billy Graham was friends with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday is honored today. They knew each other well. They traveled together some, and at least one time even stayed in the same room together! Dr. King’s daughter, Bernice King, said, “I think both Dr. Graham and my father were trying to make the world a better place…They were different obviously in their style and their approach, but I think their heart and their goal was the same.” When my father was holding an evangelistic Crusade in Chattanooga, TN, in 1953, he arrived and ropes had been put up to segregate the people. He was appalled. He told the head usher to take down the ropes, but he wouldn’t—so my father took down the ropes himself. He told the ushers who threatened to put them back up, “Either these ropes stay down or you can go on and have the revival without me.” I appreciate the strong stand he took. #MLKDay Continue reading

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January 16, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Working Together

1 Corinthians 1:10

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.

Think out loud with me for a moment. Write down your thoughts on this blog post/devotional thought. Read what I suggest and ponder with me what it might look like to work together.

I counted 6 UM churches within the community known as Laurel’s surrounding area. Maybe there are even more if we stretch the boundaries a little.

I was listening to a podcast again recently and two things hit home with me. The first was a saying attributed to a popular pastor. The way to reach the people no one is reaching, is to do what no one else is doing. The second thing that hit me was another pastor saying that someone would come up with an idea that would radically shake up the church – and it will revolutionize the way we do church. Believe me he wasn’t speaking about style of worship or how we dress or anything as simple as that. Continue reading

November 30, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus’ Prayer For Unity

John 17:21

…that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

Annual Conference is coming next week – a week I would look forward to in years past – a time to see old friends that are scattered all over the conference. It was a time to renew friendships and share war stories. It was a time to worship and learn and to be challenged. Although there have always been ideologies and theologies that differ from my own – we always seemed to get along – somehow.

In recent years – the divide between us has grown it seems. On issues like human sexuality there doesn’t seem to be a place for us to coalesce. On one side of the discussion – some expressions of sexuality are considered sinful – such as same-sex relations. On the other side of the discussion – same-sex attraction and relations is seen as normal and acceptable. For over four decades this debate has raged – yet in the last few years it seems to have gotten more and more divisive.

Add to the discussion persons born one gender who wish to be seen – treated – and recognized as the other gender – even going so far as to alter their gender identity with surgery – and the divide increases. Continue reading

May 23, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

From November 5, 2008

Colossians 3:13-14

13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

RayMcDI am trying to wrap my brain around all of the unrest at the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President. I know when we talk politics in America – we can get down right nasty toward one another – even it seems – in the church. I know that neither candidate this time around were ideal candidates – IMHO. I know that both had major issues with their morals and ethics. Many said they had to vote for the lesser of two evils – not a good place to be in as we elect the President of the United States.

On November 5, 2008 – I write the below blog post. It was a tough time in our nation as we elected the first president of color. There was unrest after that election as well – although I don’t remember the protests and riots that we are seeing this year. I pray the protests settle and soon we will begin – especially as the church – praying for president-elect Donald Trump. I know he comes with loads of baggage and many are having a lot of pain and anguish at his election. I pray he does a good job. Remember – I supported neither candidate. Here is what I wrote in 2008. Continue reading

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy New Year – 2015

Matthew 18:2-4

2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgWe are entering a New Year in approximately 8 hours as I type this devotional thought.  Some will stay up to see the old year leave and the new year arrive.  Some will have friends over to enjoy the change of years.  Some have headed to New York City and other places to join larger groups of people to celebrate the coming of a New Year.  Some will go to sleep as if nothing will be different or change.  Change is the key word.  The hope that a New Year will be better than the year just completed.  Facebook is filled with people hoping for a better 2015.  That we can get a fresh start and make changes in our lives.  If we change nothing and still expect a different result – well – you know what they say about that saying.

Have you ever read and wondered what Jesus meant by these words from Matthew’s gospel?  When Jesus says – I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  What is it about a little child that is so significant? Continue reading

January 1, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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