Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Maranatha! Come Lord, Come!

Luke 2:9

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

Life ChangeDo you have any idea why we celebrate Advent – or don’t? Advent is more than the period of time that begins with the fourth Sunday before Christmas and runs through Christmas Eve. It is more than merely a time of awaiting the coming of the baby Jesus in the manger. In the fourth century when they began to celebrate Advent – it was also a time of remembering and waiting on the Lord’s return.

Have you ever heard the term Maranatha? It is an Aramaic term that literally means – Come Lord, Come – and was often used to invite our Lord’s return. I have used it for years on this blog page and in my e-mails (at times). Continue reading

December 4, 2018 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Attitude: It Can Hinder Us

Hebrews 12:1a

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.

RayMcDAll week I have written about attitude. One of my favorite sayings – which I have used a couple of times this week – is this – Christianity boils down to attitude. I often add to that saying – the position and condition of one’s heart.

On Monday I wrote – Attitude: In General. In this post we wrote about Christ being after the heart. If God has our heart – our actions will follow. We wrote about how important a good and godly attitude can be – in general. We listed several Scriptures dealing with the heart – the attitude.

On Tuesday I wrote – Attitude: In Worship. In this post we wrote about the need to focus on God in worship – because worship is not for us or about us. Let me repeat that – worship is not for us. Too often we want worship to suit us rather than to be designed to draw others to Christ. For those of us in Christ – we should do all we can in worship to draw others to Christ. Continue reading

January 6, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Call to Prayer

1 Timothy 2:8

Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.

IMG_0301As I mentioned on May 1st in my blog post titled – May: A Call to Prayer – our congregation and blog post readers have been called to prayer during the month of May. I have encouraged our congregation to spend five minutes a day (minimum) – and five minutes during every meeting of the church family – praying for discernment for the church.

When I first arrived at FUMC – I was told stories of why we stayed on Main Street rather than building on land in the suburbs – land we had purchased. I have been given some short responses with very little detail. A plan – if it was once well known – has been forgotten. A reason for staying in the heart of Historic Laurel – God’s reason – God’s plan – is what we are seeking.

In our call to pray – let’s all pray for our local church. For those of us attending First United Methodist Church in Laurel – we are called to pray for our focus – our purpose – our direction – the reason God has for us being on the corner of 5th and Main Streets. We will be forming a strategic planning team and targeting what God reveals to us in our month of prayer and beyond. Continue reading

May 4, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Appearance During the Fast

Matthew 6:16

When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

Pic of Ray 11302014I have recently challenged the congregation I serve – First United Methodist Church of Laurel – to a 21-Day Prayer/Fast. Here is the information that was sent them by the office. If you would like to join us – please respond to me and we will welcome you for sure!

Info sent to the congregation this week:

January 5 – January 25 our pastor has called us to a time of prayer and fasting as we seek God’s will for our lives, our families, and our church. The following materials are being recommended for all to read/view during the prayer/fast. Continue reading

December 31, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Vision | , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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