Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Protection And Care

Psalm 121:7-8

The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

I remember when our oldest was just a toddler. Her mother and I were shopping with her and we were having a great time. My wife was looking at the women’s clothing and I was looking in the men’s section. We each thought the other had our daughter. When we realized no one had her – we panicked. We were frantic and ran all over looking for our precious little one. We had security looking and barring the doors and all we could think of was our little girl being lost and taken by someone. She was outside our protection and care – for the moment – and we were scared-to-death!

Soon we heard over the loudspeaker – would the parents of a precious little redheaded girl come to the clothing counter. We were so relieved and there she was – sitting on the counter – holding court – never realizing the trauma her parents had just experienced. We praised God – thanked God for delivering our daughter back to us – and thanked the salespersons for their care. Needless to say – that never happened again – with her or her twin sisters who came along five years later. Continue reading

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July 4, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Devote Ourselves To Prayer

Colossians 4:2

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Sunday we began both worship services with prayer. The President of the United States (POTUS) called us to a time of prayer. That wasn’t the reason we prayed – but it was nice to hear our President call the nation to prayer. We need it.

We began the first service with a time of prayer for all impacted by hurricane Harvey. We prayed for peace around the world – naming the unrest in North Korea – and for the hearts and minds of world leaders – including our President. Later in the service – after hearing praise and prayer concerns we had a time of prayer for our relatives in need – for a college student heading back to Houston – for two members with medical issues and for others.

At our second service we began with a powerful prayer by one of our worship team and later – again after hearing praises and prayer concerns – we prayed for those impacted by Harvey and for world leaders – naming our President and the unrest in North Korea. We began our second prayer time by laying hands on a member who was present and in need of healing. Prayer is so powerful. Continue reading

September 4, 2017 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

Sound Doctrine and Truth

2 Timothy 4:3

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

In this day and age – sound doctrine and truth are under attack – always has been – always will be. The Bible is under attack – and the attacks are not all coming from outside the church. There are whole denominations – pastors – and laity – calling themselves followers of Christ – who are putting aside sound doctrine and truth. There are those who want to redefine sin – creation – and human design. Some want to re-write the Bible or delete parts that don’t sit well with them.

This is not a battle between conservatives and liberals. It is not orthodox folks verses progressive folks. It is Biblical doctrines and truths verses heresy IMHO. God’s Word is not something we can pick and choose – something we can decide to like or dislike with our feeble minds. The Bible is the Word of God – no other definition is needed. The Bible is the sacred text inspired by God and guarded by the Holy Spirit. Continue reading

August 21, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Confess – Repent – Be Forgiven – Enjoy Grace

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

God’s grace is amazing as the song – Amazing Grace – records (isn’t that one of our favorite older hymns?). One of the best promises in the Bible – IMHO (in my humble opinion) – is this one about the forgiveness of sins. We are all sinners in need of God’s grace and forgiveness. Today’s passage speaks of God’s desire to forgive. 1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. We are called to confess our sins and repent. If we do we are told we will be forgiven and if we are forgiven we will receive grace.

Most of us have experienced deals before – like if you do something – I will do something. As children I remember getting notes passed in school – with if you like me – I will like you. As adults we learn that if we work at a certain job and do a good job – the boss will pay us a certain paycheck. I’m sure we can all come up with if you I will life experiences. We have one in today’s passage when we’re told if we confess our sins – He will forgive our sins.

In my personal study time I have been focusing on my sin and God’s forgiveness. I’m studying confession and repentance. I will also look at what forgiveness looks like – being healed and made whole. Continue reading

July 28, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If My People

2 Chronicles 7:14

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

RayMcDI spent part of yesterday listening to the confirmation hearings for Senator Jeff Sessions. He is the President-elect’s candidate to be our next Attorney General. He fielded questions from all over the room. There were protestors inside and outside of the room and building where the hearings were taking place. I even saw on Facebook some of my colleagues who were protesting at the hearings.

You could tell by the questions which persons were for Senator Sessions and which were not. The hearings will be long and at times boring. The political scene in America is very adversarial these days. Maybe it has always been that way. I recently watched a historical piece on TV – it was during the days when the person running for the President of the United States that got the most votes made President and the next highest total became the Vice President. It was soon changed because it became evident that the parties couldn’t work well together. Continue reading

January 11, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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