Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

His Love Endures Forever

Psalm 106:1

Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

RayMcDFor some of us – 2016 was a good year. For some of us it wasn’t. My Facebook has been filled with people hoping 2017 will not be anything like 2016. Some folks on Facebook are hoping for more of the same in 2017. It is a mixed bag for sure. Some can’t wait for 2017 while some dread what is to come.

A significant number of celebrates have passed during 2016. People like Carrie Fisher – Debbie Reynolds – David Bowie – Prince – Florence Henderson – Zsa Zsa Gabor – Pat Harrington – Alan Young – Mohamed Ali – Nancy Reagan – Patty Duke – Arnold Palmer – George Michaels – Ron Gloss – John Glenn – Alan Thicke – and many – too many others.

Uncertainty always faces us moving forward. We often know where we have been – but where we are headed is often a mystery. Of course we can make plans – but we never seem to know just what is on the other side of the next turn. Not many – this time last year – would have predicted Donald Trump winning the 2016 Presidential elections. Moving forward – some tread his presidency and some look forward to it. Still – there is uncertainty. The market is exploding with the news while some are crying about what his win means to them. Continue reading

December 29, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Know Jesus – Know Peace

John 6:47

I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life.

RayMcDChristmas is past and we are moving toward a new year. Have you heard this one? What ends as the New Year arrives? Answer – the year just past. What will we leave in 2016 and what will arrive in 2017? Some good questions for sure. The year past saw some famous people pass – it saw some of my favorite teams underachieve – it saw some long time members and supporters of our Lord and church pass or move away. We filled a few staff positions in 2016 with persons that bring a fresh attitude to the office – a breath of fresh air according to some. What are some of the best and worst moments in your past year as it closes in the next few days?

This coming year – actually in January of this year – my fifth granddaughter is due. In January we will receive 20 some folks into membership in our church. We will also welcome one or maybe two new staff members in January. New beginnings are associated with a new year and the first sermon series in 2017 is titled Making Everything New. Continue reading

December 27, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Time Is Coming

2 Timothy 4:3

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine.

RayMcDHave you ever been warned about something that was pending – something that was going to happen in the future? I had a teacher who would often say – mark my word – and then tell us something that was going to happen – like – mark my word – this will be on the next test. It wasn’t always so – but it did make us study more.

Maybe as a parent you have said something like this or your parents did – mark my word – if you do that again you will get punished. Maybe it was like this – if you don’t stop fighting – if you make me get out of my chair – if you don’t get up now – if you don’t eat all your food – than “whatever” was going to happen. This too didn’t always happen (for some of us) but it probably – for a few times – change our behavior.

Paul gives us warning in today’s passage – 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.
Continue reading

August 26, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy New Year – 2016

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

112015 Ray McDonaldHappy New Year! I hope that your day – your New Year – gets off to a great start. Steve Furtick tweeted – The way your day starts doesn’t have to be the way your day finishes. We can always make improvements as the day goes along.  We can always make improvements as the year unfolds.

This morning will find me on the golf course with some friends. For years we would play our first round of a New Year on January 1st. As we got older – the cold kept us in some years. Fortunately it looks like mid to upper 40’s and sunshine this year so we are going to try it again!

I took some lessons at the end of 2015 and have re-gripped my putter – so I’m excited to see if these changes will produce a better round of golf. I played a practice round – 9 holes – shortly after the lessons and did well. Continue reading

January 1, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A New Year Is Soon To Arrive

Matthew 18:2-4

2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

112015 Ray McDonaldWe are entering a New Year in a few days.  Some will stay up to see the old year leave and the new year arrive.  Some will have friends over to enjoy the change of years.  Some will head to New York City or other places to join larger groups of people to celebrate the coming of a New Year.  Some will go to sleep as if nothing will be different or change.  Change is the key word.  The hope that a New Year will be better than the year just completed.  Facebook is filled with people hoping for a better 2016.  That we can get a fresh start and make changes in our lives.  If we change nothing and still expect a different result – well – you know what they say about that saying.

Have we ever read and wondered what Jesus meant by these words from Matthew’s gospel?  When Jesus says – I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  What is it about a little child that is so significant? Continue reading

December 28, 2015 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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