Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Day 27 of Lent 2020

John 14:1

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

Ray 2020Today is day 27 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I pray that you are continuing to read the pan or can catch up with this reading plan. Sundays are off days during the reading plan and can be used for catchup. 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 – to focus on during our time together. This is a section of Scripture that many pastors use at funerals. Jesus – speaking to His disciples – right before His departure form them – 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!

During this time of unrest – this time of pandemic – we need to rely on our faith and our Lord more than ever before. Trusting in God doesn’t mean taking risks with our health or life! More on that later. Continue reading

March 27, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 25 of Lent 2020

Luke 22:24

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

Ray 2020Today is day 25 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. 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. I’m sorry today’s devotional is a little late. My computer was updating and it took longer than I expected.

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?).

(Side note: I heard that Prince Charles has the coronavirus. I’m praying for him and for the Queen. My wife and I have been watching “The Crown” and have gotten to appreciate the Queen. I pray for all who have the coronavirus and for the rest of us too.) Continue reading

March 25, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 24 of Lent 2020

John 13:34

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Ray 2020Today is day 24 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I hope we have all kept up with the reading plan. If not – please catch up by reading the days you might have missed. Lent is the 40 days leading up to the cross of Calvary. Stay current with the reading plan.

Today’s reading is again about the Last Supper. It has a lot in it. Make sure you read the whole reading below.  The verse I picked to reflect upon is near the end of the reading for the day – verse 34. Jesus said – A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. We are called to love others – one another – as Christ loved us. The example of His love was just foretold as He talked about His betrayal and death. Jesus’ love is even for those who would turn against Him – if they repent and return to Him. He even loved us – Scripture says – before we loved Him.

Something to think about today. How well do we love one another? How about the neighbor who plays their music late into the night – loudly (or early in the morning)? How about the undocumented or illegal person down the street? What about the person whose sexual preference doesn’t match yours? What about the person who votes for a candidate you can’t stand? What about the person who has hurt you or your family? What about the dictator of a country who seems bent on causing war? How about the person or government behind the coronavirus pandemic? What about the x-spouse who has caused you nothing but pain? Yes – we are to love even these. We are not called to ignore sin or pain. We are called to love one another – like Christ loves us! Continue reading

March 24, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 20 of Lent 2020

John 12:46

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

Ray 2020Today is day 20 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I hope you are keeping up with the reading plan – I’m keeping up – even with my surgery and my birthday thrown in there! Lent is the 40 days leading up to the cross. It is made more vital this year by our country’s dealing with the coronavirus. We might even be locked out of meeting in our Sanctuary for Easter this year. Keep everyone in your prayers.

Today’s reading has lots in it and I hope you take the time to read it all. The verse I picked to reflect upon is near the end of the reading for the day – verse 46. Jesus came into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me (Him) should stay in darkness. As Christ’s ambassadors – we are called to reflect that light into the darkness of the world. We are called to let our light so shine before men and women – boys and girls – that they will see Jesus in us – through us – and in spite of us. I hope we can think about that as we go through our day!

Where are we letting the light of Christ shine? How are we witnessing our faith? During these dark days – as we fight the coronavirus – there will be lots of opportunities to tell others about our hope! Continue reading

March 19, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 19 of Lent 2020

Matthew 25:31-33

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Ray 2020Today is Day 19 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I hope you are enjoying and keeping up with the 40 Day reading plan. I am appreciating them myself as we walk to the cross. They are a blessing to write and a blessing to re-read each day. Keep up and leave comments if you have any questions or thoughts.

Today’s reading is a very familiar one – the separation of the sheep and the goats at the end of time. “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. Every nation – every person – will be gathered – before the throne of God. God will divide them – like a shepherd divides sheep and goats. Here is a simple question – which are we? Are we disciples of Jesus Christ or not? Don’t pull punches and try to fool anyone. Sincerely answer the question! Do we truly follow Jesus – or are we merely playing the game? Continue reading

March 18, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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