Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Serving Jesus

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.”

There is a sad statement that is common knowledge in the church world! 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 workload. 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 – etc. – and not giving anything back? In essence are we a taker without being a giver as well? Continue reading

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Harvest Is Plentiful

John 4:35

I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.

It is harvest time or soon to be for many crops. I live in a rural area and farmer’s markets dot the roads selling local corn and an assortment of vegetables. Local sweet corn is one of the things I love the most. I really enjoy this time of the year.

Farmers are beginning to harvest their crops in the next few weeks – even into September. Wheat – barely – beans – field corn – and more will be harvested. Living in a rural area – I drive past fields all the time that produce the crops that keep our markets full and help our farmers make a living. I also watch throughout the year as the farmers work the fields and prepare for the next crop. It is an almost endless job.

Farmers often begin to prepare for the next harvest even as they harvest the current crop. Farmers prepare the soil – fertilize the fields – cultivate the fields – plant the fields – tend to the fields – and only after much work and much prayer (and God’s grace with the weather) – the harvest time comes. Right now we have had so much August rain in our area that some crops that would normally be ready to harvest still have too much moister in them. Some crops may waste in the fields because of the excessive rain at this time of the year. Continue reading

August 23, 2017 Posted by | Daily Devotion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prepare The Way For Christ

Matthew 3:3

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ ”

Many of us if not all of us have prepared for something important. Maybe it was a job interview. Maybe it was the season of time when we were preparing for college or marriage or a career. We have made plans and prepared for something in life that was important. Olympic athletes prepare a lifetime for their moment in the spotlight as they compete for their countries.

I remember when God laid on my heart the calling to be a pastor. In the denomination where I have served for 41 years – I needed a four-year college undergrad degree and a three-year Masters degree – all at accredited schools. I eventually also earned a Doctor of Ministry degree to further my education. Along with the educational requirements – which continue in the form of continuing education credits – I had to undergo examination after examination it seemed as I was first ordained a Deacon in the United Methodist Church and later ordained an Elder.

Some people my age are planning for or already into retirement. It takes planning and prep work for sure. Questions abound. Can we afford to retire? What will we do in retirement? Where will we live (some cannot afford to live where they lived while they were working and some want to downsize so they can spend more time doing other things)? It takes much prep work to retire. It actually takes a lot of prep work while we are working to make sure we can retire well. Continue reading

April 26, 2017 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meeting Together to Worship God

Hebrews 10:24-25

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

RayMcDI found the cartoon I am using in this devotional thought on the Internet and thought it was cute and yet pointed as well. When I was younger our family life centered around church life. Now grant you my father was a pastor – but knowing mom and dad – even if they had other careers – our life would have centered around church life.

Between school and church – there wasn’t much time for anything else. Sunday was a full day of church – worship – Sunday School – family lunch – naps – youth group – and church again. Wednesday night was church again and throughout the week we were at the church one or two other nights for something. I played sports growing up but the coach knew that I couldn’t practice or play on a night I had church (he worked around it – and I was a starter in basketball and baseball).

Nowadays church is an afterthought for some families. It seems like – if there is nothing else to do I’ll go to church in some cases. Granted stores use to be closed – restaurants too. Community sports were not played on Sundays. Sunday was universally a day of worship and rest. The society just understood that things slowed on Sundays. Today some in the church are following the society’s view that Sunday is just another day. Continue reading

September 23, 2016 Posted by | Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

   

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