Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Day 1 of Lent 2020

Matthew 21:9-11

9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest!” 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Ray 2020For those who are don’t keep up with the Christian Calendar – today marks the start of Lent. Lent is the 40 days prior to Easter. It is normally a time of denying oneself of something – depriving oneself of a pleasure or a desire – as a way of connecting with Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness after His baptism. It is also a walk toward the cross – traditionally ending with Holy Week and Easter.

Today’s passage is part of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday. We will remember Palm Sunday on April 5th this year. Stay tuned for more details about Lent in the days to come. I hope that you invite friends to read along with us and even attend some of our Community Lenten Services on Wednesday nights during Lent. Continue reading

February 26, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 32 of Lent 2018

John 16:8-11

8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

Today is day 32 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan on www.youversion.com. We’re coming to the end of the reading plan as we head toward the cross. I hope you have enjoyed the reading plan. I know I have enjoyed it.

The Holy Spirit – the Counselor – will convict us of our sin and convict others of their disbelief. I know when the Spirit is working on my heart – and I know we all do! We should be open to the Holy Spirit’s movement in our lives. The Holy Spirit is God with us today. Continue reading

March 17, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 31 of Lent 2018

John 13:4-5

3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

Today is day 31 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan on www.youversion.com. We’re coming to the end of the reading plan as we head toward the cross. I hope you have enjoyed reading the plan as much as I have enjoyed it.

Today’s reading is like one from a past reading – it focuses on the last supper – the Passover Feast that Jesus and His disciples shared before His arrest. I pulled out three verses that speak volumes to me. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. I’ve always been impressed with the fact that all things were under Jesus’ power and yet He humbled Himself to wash His disciples’ feet. Wow – what a model for a servant’s heart Jesus gave us. Continue reading

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

Day 30 of Lent 2018

John 14:1

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.

Today is day 30 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan on www.youversion.com. I pray that you are continuing to read the pan or can catch up with this reading plan. Lent is the 40 days leading up to the cross of Calvary. Walk with me as we draw near to God.

I picked the first verse today – of the reading. This is a section of Scripture that many pastors use at funerals. Jesus – speaking to His disciples – says – Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. These are meant to be words of encouragement – and we should receive them as such. If we believe in God and trust in God – we should also believe in and trust the words of Jesus! Something to think about today! Continue reading

March 15, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 28 of Lent 2018

Luke 22:24

Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.

Today is day 28 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan on www.youversion.com. I hope everyone is keeping up with the reading plan. Lent is the 40 days leading up to the cross of Calvary. Walking this walk with each of you has been amazing.

Today’s reading is on target – even for today. The disciples didn’t have their hearts in the right place – at all times. Do we? They wanted to know which of them was considered to be greatest. At times we get into disputes in the church – power struggles one might call them. We shouldn’t – we should all have our hearts set on serving the Lord. Yet at times we battle over who is in charge (Jesus is – right?). Continue reading

March 13, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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