Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Bow Down In Worship Before God

Psalm 95:6-7

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice,

As I was reading some of my old blogs – I ran into some on worship that I thought I would rework and present. I used one yesterday titled – Let’s Check Our Attitude About Worship Today. Reading today’s passage – once again – it made me think of all of the worship services I have attended and participated in over the years. I thought of all the worship committee meetings – e-mails – calls – and notes sent me over the years with comments about worship. I started to wonder if we really grasp the concept of worship.

Far too often some folks think worship is about them. We want our favorite songs – or at least music we like – or the pastor to be dressed a certain way – or the service to be a certain length – or the sermon to reach us – feed us – each week. Some will say things like I’m not being fed in worship or I’m not getting anything out of the service. I’m sure there are many other thoughts that run through folks’ minds. What are some that you have thought or heard?

This may be a new thought to some but worship isn’t about us – at least not primarily. Worship is about God – coming before God to give God glory – honor – and praise. Today’s passage says – Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. When was the last time we came to church with the mindset that we were there to worship God? I mean to really bow down before God and give God our total heart – mind – and soul? Continue reading

March 23, 2017 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lord of the Harvest

Luke 10:2

He told them, The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

In church life – there is a common statement that is very sad. It goes like this – 20% of the people do 80% of the work in the church. At times this might be because the 20% has a hard time sharing or delegating the work load. At times it might be a control issue on the part of the 20%. But most often it is because the 80% aren’t joining in the labors for Christ in the church. Are we part of the 20% or the 80%?

Think about this for a moment. Are we only attending worship in our church and doing nothing else? Are we only taking what the church offers – youth ministry – children’s ministry – family ministry – worship – fellowship events – etc. and not giving anything back? In essence are we takers without being a givers as well?

There is another saying we might be familiar with – it goes like this – you get out of something what you put into it. I wonder what a church would look like if everyone associated with that church were to serve God in some capacity in the life of that church? What if everyone in the church considered themselves workers in the harvest fields Christ has for us? I mean – we can all help somewhere! Right? Continue reading

March 14, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Attitude: In Worship

Psalm 95:6-7

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice,

RayMcDAs we begin a New Year – I felt the need to do a series of blog posts about attitude. I believe we can have all the right programs in a church. We can have friendly faces on Sunday mornings. We can have just the right amount of staff and volunteers. We can have a great facility that is attractive – warm – and welcoming. But I believe if our attitudes are not right – our attitudes will seep through all of the other areas of ministry and eventually they will be seen and will corrupt all that we try to do. We all need to constantly check our attitudes. I’m not sure how long this series will go – but I felt led of God to share it.

I was reviewing some old blog posts and I found one about worship and attitudes. Reading today’s passage – once again – it made me think of all of the worship services I have attended and participated in over the years. I thought of all the worship committee meetings – e-mails – calls – and notes I received and sent over the years with comments about worship. I started thinking about the attitudes of some church leaders and members. I started to wonder if we really grasp what worship is – really? Continue reading

January 3, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Preparing For Worship!

Psalm 100:4

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

RayMcDSo – how do we prepare for worship? Often today’s passage comes to mind when I prepare for worship. Like most everyone – I imagine – Sunday mornings do not always arrive with everything in order – every circumstance perfect. I mean – personal issues – family issues – issues at work – issues with others – all don’t magically go away because it is time to worship God – on Sundays or at other times either. Some issues take a lot of time and some take mutual desire and hard work. But when I enter into worship – I strive to put them all aside and enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Putting our minds in a place where we can worship is so important.

For me – and again I would imagine for many – coming into the presence of God in personal or corporate worship is bigger than what is happening in my life at the moment. We talked about that some on Sunday when we talked about horizontal and vertical vision. You can listen to the sermon here – http://fumcl.org/sermons/?sermon_id=181. Continue reading

November 22, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Place Of Worship

Matthew 18:20

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.

RayMcDDo we remember the childhood hand song about church? The children’s rhyme went like this – Here’s the church, and here’s the steeple, Open the door and see all the people. With our hands we interlocked our fingers and put our pointer fingers up to signify the steeple. Our thumbs made up the doors and when we opened the doors (move out thumbs) – we could see all the other fingers and we wiggled them to show all the people.

In this simple rhyme we might think that church is a building and has a steeple (and many did in the days of this nursery rhyme). But we know (at least I hope we do) that the church is the people – not the building. We often say we are going to church (a location) to worship God – when we actually might be more accurate saying – we are going to join with the church and worship God. The people are the church. Continue reading

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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