Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Family Is So Important

1 Corinthians 12:26

If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

img_0063-2I’ve been spending some time lately reading (mostly online and on my iPad) and listening to some as well. I’ve read the following: The Bible – some books (like Nick Vujicic’s Unstoppable) – some sports news (as we are in the midst of the basketball season – the Super Bowl is upon us – and Spring training is just around the corner) – and the Facebook entries of some of my friends. One thing I’ve noticed in many of these venues is the importance of family – connections – and teamwork. One of my Facebook friends puts pictures and posts up – almost hourly it seems – thanking God for their children – their spouse – and where they work. I believe that our family and close friends impact our lives – for the better or for the worst.

I mourn with everyone today at the loss of Kobe Bryant – his 13 year old daughter – and the 6 other persons (as of the writing of this devotional – not yet identified) lost in a helicopter wreck Sunday morning. The sudden – tragic accident – serves to remind us how fragile life is and how precious our moments together should be.

Family and other connections are so very important to our health and well-being. One only needs to read the stories of some who have gone astray to realize that many of them had a giant fail in their family connections. Nick Vujicic – born without arms or legs – praises his parents for showing him unconditional love and attention. He credits this support for much of his ability to struggle through the challenges of life he faced and become a motivational speaker and evangelist. Continue reading

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

Is Everyone Welcome?

1 Corinthians 12:26

If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Ray 2018At a Bible Study – not too long ago – the discussion on a Psalm went to community and small group connections. We talked about how important our connections as sisters and brothers in faith really are to our spiritual walk. Body ministry is very significant and not to be taken lightly. The church is a place for folks to connect and support one another. We should rejoice with those who rejoice and suffer with those who suffer.

Have you ever heard the phrase – the church is a hospital for sinners? In that statement – the church is trying to say that we are more than a building. The church is the people of God gathered – and we are a safe place for sinners. Why – because the Lord we serve offers forgiveness for sin and we ARE all sinners. I love the old bumper sticker I saw many years ago – it read: Not Perfect Just Forgiven.

Jesus told His disciples He came to live and die – to offer forgiveness to all who sought it. Luke 24:45-48 – 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. Continue reading

September 14, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is The Body – The Church – Connected?

1 Corinthians 12:26

If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

IMG_0301At a recent Bible Study – the discussion on a Psalm went to community and small group connections.  We talked about how important or connection as sisters and brothers in faith really is to our spiritual walk.  Body ministry is very significant and not to be taken lightly.  The church is a place for folks to connect and support one another.

Have you ever heard the phrase – the church is a hospital for sinners?  In that statement – the church is trying to say that we are more than a building.  The church is the people of God gathered – and we are a safe place for sinners.  Why – because the Lord we serve offers forgiveness for sin and we ARE all sinners.  I love the old bumper sticker I saw many years ago – It read: Not Perfect Just Forgiven.

Jesus told His disciples He came to live and die – to offer forgiveness to all who sought it.  Luke 24:45-48 – 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. Continue reading

August 5, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family and Friends – We All Need Them

1 Corinthians 12:26

If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

IMG_0301I’ve been spending some time lately reading several things like – the Bible – some books (like Nick Vujicic’s Unstoppable) – some sports news as we enter the new baseball season (Go O’s and Nat’s) – and the Facebook entries of some of my friends. One thing I’ve noticed in many of these venues is the importance of family – connections – and teamwork. One of my Facebook friends puts pictures and posts up – almost hourly it seems – thanking God for their children – their spouse and where they work. I believe that our family and close friends impact our lives – for the better or for the worst.

Family and other connections are so very important to our health and our well-being. One only needs to read the stories of some who have gone astray to realize that many of them had a giant fail in their family connections. Nick Vujicic – born without arms or legs – praises his parents for showing him unconditional love and attention. He credits this support for much of his ability to struggle through the challenges of life he faced and become a motivational speaker and evangelist. Continue reading

April 16, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Is the Christian Response to the Zimmerman Verdict?

Luke 6:31

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

RevRayWhat is the Christian response to the Zimmerman verdict that came out on Saturday evening?  Trayvon Martin’s life was cut short and a verdict came out Saturday night of not guilty to murder/manslaughter for George Zimmerman (the jury was asked to consider both charges).  I haven’t followed the case close enough nor do I know enough about the laws in Florida to give an intelligent opinion about the court’s decision.  I do know that a young man’s life has ended and under any circumstance that is a tragedy.  Life is short enough at 75-100 – it is way too short at 17!

I began each worship service yesterday – at our culturally and ethnically diverse congregation – by calling the congregants to prayer.  Before we went into a time of silent prayer to begin our time of worship I urged them – no mater what side of the case they sided – to prayerfully consider their Christian witness in the days – weeks and months to come.  I encouraged them to pray for racism to end in our communities – in all forms and to work towards this goal.  I encouraged them to work towards justice in all circumstances.  I reminded them that the way they respond on social media and in person will have an impact on their witness for Christ.  We prayed for the Martin family – once again – and for the Zimmerman family as well.  We prayed for our nation’s leaders and for our court system.  We prayed for our nation and for each other.  In the midst of our worship service we held another time of prayer as well and another challenge was given as we ended our time of worship. Continue reading

July 15, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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