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

We’re Called To Be Like Jesus

Ephesians 5:1

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children

Life ChangeI remember growing up – always wanting to do what my father was doing. I remember going hunting with him when all I could carry was a toy rifle. We would sit for hours waiting for the squirrels to come out. I remember my first time out with my .410 shotgun and seeing the squirrel through the woods and waiting for it to arrive at the nut tree we were watching. I tried to do what my father would have done – as he watched me imitate him.

When I was growing up – I remember playing first base – pitcher – and third base (not at the same time – lol) and I remember trying to imitate Boog Powell – Jim Palmer and Brooks Robinson – three of my favorite players. On our home at the time there was a brick chimney and I used to bounce balls off of it and try to make great plays fielding the ball like they often did. I could always make up a game in my mind.

As disciples of Jesus – we are called to imitate Him! (not our parents or ball players or anyone else. Now there’s a novel idea – be imitators of Christ! Today’s passage speaks to us about imitating Jesus – Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved childrenHere is today’s passage in partial context – Ephesians 5:1-7 – 1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person — such a man is an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them. Not only are we called to model or imitate Christ in love – but also to stay away from other things that would not imitate Christ. Continue reading

April 11, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, 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

Love

1 John 4:7

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgDo you love someone? Do you have someone or a group of some ones that you love? If you’re like many people – you have several people that you love. If we were to begin to name them – and remember we don’t all love the same people or even have these people in our lives – we might begin with our parents. I didn’t write a devotional thought yesterday because I was in mourning for my late father (9/18/12). It was his birthday (he would have been 86) and I wasn’t feeling very chipper for sure. I did what had to be done and not much more yesterday. I can say I dealt with it better than I did last year so maybe there is progress!

If we kept going with our list we might mention our children – our spouse – our siblings – some very special friends – and for some the list would go on and on. For some – the list would be much smaller – and for some there might only be one or two or even none on their list. Continue reading

July 30, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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