Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Let’s Try Loving One Another

John 16:33

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

I wish I had words or a solution for the hatred in the world. I wish there was a person or political party who had the answers or a solution. I wish our country could come together and dismiss the hatred – the racism – the evil – in our country and world today. But I can’t and no one else can – I fear.

Should we have stricter gun laws? Maybe so – but evil people will find a way to perform their evil. Should we make it harder for unstable people to get weapons – absolutely – but who gets to determine who is unstable or mentally ill? Some are very easy to tell – some are well hidden. Should we outlaw assault weapons outside of the military and law enforcement? Maybe that would help – but where would such a law start and end? There are no easy answers and as a former youth pastor friend of mine said – People are more the problem than any gun!

I believe the answer is found in telling more people about Jesus – and letting others see Jesus in us. I believe – if we were more excited and convinced of our faith – we would impact more people for Jesus. Continue reading

August 5, 2019 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Therefore Keep Watch

Matthew 25:13

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

RayMcDTherefore keep watch. Fifteen years ago we were dealing with the aftermath of 911. Radical Islamic terrorists – part of al-Qaeda – hit American soil by crashing hijacked passenger airliners into the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon and without the brave actions of some Americans – they would probably have hit the White House as well. It took us all by surprise. We are still reeling from the impact. Our world has never been the same.

Therefore keep watch. Our world has never been the same after several surprises. Here are but a few of them. I’m including only a few of the events that have happened in my lifetime.

Therefore keep watch. Fourteen years ago – in October 2002 – the Beltway Shooter terrorized our area as ten people were killed and several others were critically wounded. Some people were afraid to go out of their homes until the capture of the Beltway Shooter – who terrorized the DC area.

Continue reading

September 13, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Day After

Revelation 5:12

In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”

RayMcDOne Sunday not too long ago we mentioned in a sermon that Christians sometimes take Jesus for granted.  It seems to be human nature that if things are going well – at work – in our marriages – at church – in life – we tend to take Jesus for granted. Most Christians spend more time on their knees when crisis is at their doorstep than when life is good. When life is not going well – we tend to turn to Jesus more often and with more ease.

Attendance in most churches the Sunday after 911 was an indication (September 16, 2001) of what I just wrote.  I was pastoring a church at the time with an average attendance of about 300 give or take a few on any given Sunday. But the Sunday after 911 there were well over 400 in attendance. It seems that crisis brings us to Jesus. Attendance figures during World War II saw this same truth played out.  The Sunday after 911 week (September 23) – when life was still in an upheaval – but out of crisis mode – attendance was back to normal. It is the same thing with Easter it seems – attendance almost doubles for one week and then we are back to normal – and at times less than normal – because folks who do not attend every week all came on Easter. Attendance this past Sunday (September 11, 2016) was slightly above normal as we came to remember. Continue reading

September 12, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Whom Shall We Fear?

Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?

RevRayI sure hope that today’s devotional thought will uplift us and not bring us down!  Remembering the past can bring us down but thinking about the present and the future can lift our spirits.

If you are up on the news and have been alive for the last decade plus – see if you can pick out these dates.

Do you remember what happened on April 15, 2013?  I bet most of our readers do.

Do you remember what happened on December 14, 2012?  Just over a year ago.

Do you remember what happened on April 16, 2007?  Just 6 years ago.

Do you remember what happened in October 2002?

Do you remember what happened on September 11, 2001?

Do you remember what happened on April 20, 1999?

How many do you think you have remembered?  Try to remember without looking at the rest of this post.  Here goes… Continue reading

April 22, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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