Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

I Like You – Do You Like Me?

1 John 4:19

We love because he first loved us.

June 2019I remember – when I was a teen – playing the dating game. I dated women from the time I was 16 until I got married at 25 – that’s 9 years. I had two long-term relationships in that time frame and a few short-term ones. As some teens (and young adults) in the dating game – I was insecure at times. Like many men and women in the dating game (not thinking of dating as a game but that seems to be the best word to use) – being insecure about our feelings – I often held out expressing my feelings till the person I was dating expressed their feelings. Remember – when we were in elementary school and they passed the little notes that said – I like you – do you like me? Or was my school the only one that did that note passing thing?

Telling someone you like them or even going the next step and telling someone you love them is a big move. You’re always wondering if they will like you or love you back. I’ve even heard the dreaded – let’s be friends’ line more than once – have you? Continue reading

June 18, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Loved Us First!

1 John 4:19

 We love because he first loved us.

Life ChangeSunday’s message was about the love God has for us. We talked about our first love. We talked about the memories we have from our first love. We also talked about our forever love with our significant other.

We talked about smells and songs and places that reminded us of our first love. We also talked about the same with our forever loves. I remember mentioning that I had loads more memories of my forever love – 38 years and counting. I’m not dumb!

We also talked about the times we have hurt our love and our love has hurt us. We talked about forgiveness and holding grudges. We talked about how we needed – this Christmas – to make amends with those we were at odds with and two persons came up to me after worship and told me they were planning to do so this week! Praise the Lord! Continue reading

December 17, 2018 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Love You – Do You Love Me?

1 John 4:19

We love because he first loved us.

Dear readers – did you pass notes as a child in school? I remember passing notes in elementary school? When a little girl sent a note – it might say – I like you – do you like me? We also asked crazy questions of our classmates. I was in Miss Bailey’s classroom (I had a crush on her) at John H. Bayne Elementary School  – we were out in a trailer (temporary classroom) – because the school was expanding so fast. I remember when they came into our classroom and asked who would go to the new class (our class was overloaded) – I said yes.

I remember going steady with a young lady in 6th grade. The couples – at least many of them – would parade around the playground holding hands during recess. I wouldn’t do it – because recess for me was a time to play kickball or softball or some kind of ball. I remember getting a note from my steady telling me – if I really loved her (I never used those words) I would give up recess and walk with her. Needless to say – the relationship didn’t last very long. Continue reading

July 7, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forgive As Christ Forgives

Colossians 3:13

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgHow many times have we prayed the Lord’s Prayer – the Our Father – as some call it? In that prayer – using the ecumenical and traditional versions found in the United Methodist Hymnal – we say – Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us – or – And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. I always wrestled with those words.

The reason I wrestled with those words – was because it was not part of my makeup – my natural – normal – makeup – to be a mercy person – a person that easily forgave. I imagine I’m alone here – but confession is good for the soul – so there it is!

If someone harmed me – and I have been harmed a great deal in my life – not as much as some I’m sure – but enough to have experienced harm. I have been bullied – I have been assaulted – I have experienced ridicule for my noises (Tourette Syndrome) and – made fun of for my faith. Please don’t hear that I haven’t done my share of sin here – I am no saint on my own but only by the grace of God. What I am trying to express is that it has been hard for me to forgive in the past – and for legitimate reason – I feel. Continue reading

November 24, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do We Love Jesus?

1 John 4:19

We love because he first loved us.

profileLoving first is usually hard.  Can you remember the days when you passed notes in school? (Didn’t you do this?)  On the note we might have written something like – I like you – do you like me?  It was hard to send that note because – what if they didn’t like you and then they had this note that said you liked them to show everyone.  I mean how embarrassing would that be?

Most of us want to be liked – want to be appreciated – want to be accepted – want to be loved.  So when God showed His love for us – first – it was amazing.  John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Continue reading

September 6, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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