Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Is It Called Spring Cleaning If We Do It In The Winter?

Romans 8:39

Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Life ChangeIs it called spring cleaning if you do it in the winter? Carolyn and I cleaned an attic recently. Is that spring cleaning? It made sense to do it while the weather was mild – and the attic wasn’t very hot or very cold. We threw out a lot of things. The attic we cleaned (we have three) – hadn’t been used for anything but a hide-a-way for our kids when they were young and storage of tax papers and old computers. Like my dad – I couldn’t bring myself to throw away anything that I might need some day. Well – after 15-20 years in the attic – I agreed I would never need those items again.

Is it called spring cleaning if you do it in the winter? I recently worked on my desk and home office. My son-in-law was showing the family pictures of his new home office (in his new home) – and I liked it – so I began to straighten my work space too. I haven’t finished – but the start of the project looks good. I threw away a lot of things that have cluttered my office for years and will do more. I’m getting rid of a lot of things. I’m going to purchase an inexpensive scanner (maybe) – so that I can scan a lot of papers that I may or may not ever need again. Better to have two electronic copies that take up very little space than drawers and cabinets full of papers I will never go through. And on a digital format – I might even be able to access them quicker than trying to find them if I do need them. I might find that some of the clutter I have hung onto over the year is actually keeping me from being more efficient in my work. My wife suggested a smaller more open space desk and office. A cleaner look that might keep me more focused on my task at hand. A thought to consider for sure. Continue reading

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January 17, 2019 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What – Me Worry?

Matthew 6:27

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Life ChangeWhat – Me Worry? I wish I could say that and feel good about saying it. I tend to worry at times – do you? People worry about loads of things.

People worry about their finances. They often don’t do much about it – but they do worry. For instance – currently some in our area are experiencing the government shutdown. Since 1980 there have been shutdowns in 1980 – 1981 – 1984 – 1986 – 1990 – 1995-96 – 2013 – and the current shutdown. If I were a federal employee – I think I would plan to have an emergency fund saved up for a shutdown – because they will happen. I believe for all of these shutdowns – the impacted employees received their back pay.

People worry about their finances. I’m a big believer in budgets. We’ve had one in our marriage from the start. After 38 plus years of marriage we still have a budget. I’m a firm believer in the following statement. Aim at nothing – and you are bound to hit it! If we don’t budget or have a plan for our finances – we should not complain when we face financial difficulties. Even putting a small amount away each month will add up to a safety net for future unplanned expenses. Continue reading

January 10, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Repay Evil for Evil

1 Peter 3:9

Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.

Life ChangeHatred and evil are running rampant in our nation these days. Satan is having a hay day it seems. The deep divide in our nation is getting wider and deeper.

We have seen a battle of late over our southern border. The President of the United States (the POTUS) laid out his plan to protect and secure our southern border last night. No sooner had he shared his plan – leaders of the opposing political party got on the airways to rebut what he had just said. There was a disconnect – it seemed to me. Their response didn’t really address the situation at the border. It merely said the POTUS had it wrong. It seems like we have gotten to the place where policies are right or wrong – depending on the person or political party expressing them. These same politicians from the left were toting exactly what the POTUS expressed a few short years ago when they were in power. This is not healthy for our nation and in my opinion is simply hatred. It is not in the best interest of our nation for the two main parties to simply oppose one another – instead of working together to compromise and work for our nation’s best interest.

Instead of simply standing still and throwing mud at each other – giving evil for evil so to speak – they should get together and solve the government shutdown and border security issue (something many on both sides voted for in the past).

One truth that I have always heard through the years is this – hurting people hurt others. If healing is to occur – we need for people to break the chain of hurting each other. In marriage counseling – I often run into couples who are in a vicious cycle of tit for tat (equivalent retaliation) – he/she did this or said this and so I must say or do this back! Trying to give as much as we get is not healthy! The Old Testament’s tooth for tooth justice is not good for trying to heal relationships. The New Testament call to turn the other cheek is what will allow for the space for healing. Continue reading

January 9, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Needs and Wants – Do We Know the Difference?

Philippians 4:19

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

We often write – teach – and preach – about our needs compared to our wants. Most of us live in the world of our wants (I know you have heard that from me before). Most of us have all we need and most if not all of what we want. Of course – there are those among us – either through choices they have made or choices and circumstances beyond their control – who live lives of need.

Take a test with me. Think for a moment – what would you do with $1,000? With $10,000? With $100,000? With $1,000,000? Does your answer include needs and/or wants? Are there bills that need to be paid for needs or are there things you’d like to buy that aren’t needs but rather wants? How much of that money would be spent on your needs verses your wants?

Most – I imagine – would talk about a new car – paying off the mortgage – buying a beach house – retiring early – or some other want. Few – I think – would talk about buying groceries for the family or paying medical bills or helping others have their needs met. What would you do with some extra money? If you inherited a sum of money – how would it change your life? Many who come into large sums of money have ended in ruin – because they failed to understand the different between needs and wants. Many pro athletes and movie/TV stars fall into this trap when they suddenly come into a large amount of money. I was moved by the young athletes that immediate help their family with their new found wealth rather than purchasing everything they lay their eyes on. Continue reading

January 4, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Working As Unto The Lord!

Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

Life ChangeOK – most everyone is back to work today. January 2nd and a Wednesday – and the work force in America – except the portion of the government shutdown because the President and Congress can’t agree – is back to work. Even if you are retired – you’re probably back to your normal routine today. Our office will open at 9 am after being shut down since December 20th. Of course – a number of the staff at church – including me – has worked since the 20th – but not at the office. I only put in about 60 hours Christmas week – so it was a light load.

So – think for a moment about the new year and your work. Are you a teacher? Do you work in an office? Do you work for the government? Are you in law enforcement or the military? Are you in sales? Are you in the medical field? Do you work for a non-profit? Wherever you work – do you work as unto the Lord or do you work for a paycheck (and only do what is required)? Continue reading

January 2, 2019 Posted by | Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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