Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Focus on God – Live Out Our Faith

2 Corinthians 4:18

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Life ChangeI love this passage. It so speaks to focusing on the eternal rather than the temporal. Focusing on the things of God and the promises of God rather than on what we can see with our eyes – understand with our minds – or hold in our hands. Unfortunately – many of us often focus on what we can see rather than what has been promised.

An example of this is Abraham and Sarah. They were promised by God that they would have many descendants – but late in life they couldn’t see the promise fulfilled so they took things into their own hands. Sarah gave Abraham her maidservant Hagar to bear him children because she was barren (Genesis 16). Of course God wasn’t late in fulfilling His promise – God gave Abraham and Sarah a child – Isaac – and he did become the father of a great nation – the Hebrews. Hagar’s son did as well. His name was Ishmael – and he became the father of Muslims. Continue reading

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March 25, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What I Might Share With Graduates

John 3:3

In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

I’m reading on my Facebook feed about a lot of young people graduating from High School and College. It has been 45 years since I graduated from High School. I haven’t heard of any reunions – but maybe for our 50th in five years. If I had a chance to speak with graduates – I might say something like today’s devotional thought.

As I thought about those days gone by – which seem so long ago and yet so recent too – I am reminded of my days in school – in the educational process. The early to mid 70’s were amazing years in my life. I was in High School – graduating in the spring of 1973 from Annapolis High School. I was in college before my senior year was over (attending classes in the summer) – attending AACC or as we said A2C2 (for those who don’t read math – that is A squared C squared). I graduated from AACC in 1975 and began to attend the University of Maryland. It seems so long ago and yet so recent.

During this time in my life I had one girl friend of one year and one girl friend for two years – names have been left out to save their reputations (I’m still friends with one today – a FB friend even – I have no idea where the other might be in life). I mention this because many of us go through relationships that come and go – that at the time we thought would be forever. I thought both of these young women might be the one I would spend the rest of my life with for sure – yet neither turned out to be my life partner. Life is so unsettled at times – we live – we learn – we hurt – we have happiness. I had friends during this time in my life that I thought would be life-time friends. One died way too young and others – mostly – have gone on with their lives and our lives have crossed ever so infrequently. It was during these days that I began using the following phrase – happiness is circumstantially driven, while joy is spiritually derived. My days were filled with circumstances that brought happiness and sadness – sometimes in the same event. What seemed so concrete and secure during this time in my life seems to be just a vague memory today. Continue reading

May 23, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are We Walking By Faith?

2 Corinthians 5:7

For we live by faith, not by sight.

What is it we believe in without seeing it first? What is it we believe in without holding it in our own hands? Not much I would say. We often if not almost always need things proven to us or shown to us.

Have any of us ever taken part in the team building exercise where a person is blindfolded and asked to fall backwards and trust that someone from the team will catch them? I’ve experienced this exercise a number of times. You fall backwards without seeing who might or might not be there – trusting that someone will be. It is an amazing experience. Continue reading

September 26, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Walking By Faith

2 Corinthians 5:7

For we live by faith, not by sight. NIV11

RayMcDWhen I was a younger pastor – many moons ago – I would listen on Sunday mornings to a preacher early before our worship service. His name was Frederick K.C. Price – pastor and founder of Ever Increasing Faith Ministries. Fred Price was a powerful speaker who stuck with the Word of God. He always had a good word for me. He still might be a dynamic speaker at 85 – I haven’t heard him lately.

Fred’s key verse was today’s verse – in the King James Version – 2 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV 1900) – (For we walk by faith, not by sight:). Too many people today – and in every age I imagine – need to be shown something to believe in.

I believe I am a better learner when I could see something rather than merely being told something (they call that a visual learner I believe). We have a whole state – Missouri I think – that has as their state motto – the Show Me State. Some people are better audio learners – hearing it helps more than showing it. Continue reading

February 22, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trust in the Lord

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

profileSome things are hard to understand in life.  I just experienced my 40th High School reunion last weekend and some of us have aged – lol.  Hard to understand how it has been 40 years since we walked the halls of High School together.  Talking with some of my classmates – life has taken some turns for the good and for the not so good.  Some of our classmates didn’t make it to this 40th reunion – already having their journey on earth ended.  Some things are hard to understand – even when we spend a lot of time trying to understand.

In 35 plus years of ministry I have had to help a number of people understand that our understanding is not all that and that we should rely on a higher power for sure.  When a child is born with a special need – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  When a person has taken their life – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  When a marriage fails – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  When a child dies unexpectedly in a crib at night or from a disease – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  When a young mother or father succumbs to a disease – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  When called in the middle of the night because a young person was just lost in a car accident – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  And I could go on and on.  When I have or someone else has yielded to the same temptation – again – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  Life has some difficult moments and being in ministry – I have experienced much of it with folks and with my own family. Continue reading

August 14, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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