Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

It’s All About Relationships

1 Peter 3:9

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

112015 Ray McDonaldIt’s all about relationships!  The older I get – the more years I have been in ministry (40 full years this summer) – the more life I live – the more I am convinced it is all about relationships.

It’s all about relationships!  Our relationship with Jesus is not about the dos and don’ts.  It is not about how often we attend worship.  It is not about what we give to the church.  It is not about how often we sin or how little we sin.  All of these are measurable things for sure and Christians will strive to lessen sin in their lives.  Christians will attend worship – as often as possible – to be in the fellowship of other believers and to praise God (and worship is not just done in the Sanctuary on Sundays).  Christians re called to tithe and give even more to the poor and the needy.

It’s all about relationships!  Our relationship with Jesus is just that – it is about our relationship.  Our prayer life is our lifeline – our communication with God.  Our devotional life is the foundation of our relationship with Jesus.  How much time we spend and the quality of that time is so important. Continue reading

April 13, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Send, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Teaching With Authority

Luke 4:32

They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority.

IMG_0301Our reading plan this week had us in Luke’s Gospel – as we began reading the entire New Testament in 40-days. I have enjoyed it so far and hope you do as well. Are you keeping up? We’re on day 3 of the 40-day plan. We’ll have Saturday and Sunday to catch up if we get behind.

I think it was in Tuesday’s reading that I found today’s passage. The people were so amazed that Jesus spoke/taught with such authority. Here is today’s passage in partial context. Luke 4:31–37 – 31 Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he taught the people. 32 They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority. 33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 34 “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” 35 “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him. 36 All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” 37 And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area. Continue reading

February 4, 2015 Posted by | Book Review, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The True Measure of a Person

Philippians 1:21

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

RevRayThe true measure of a person – what could it be?  At times we measure ourselves by numbers.  I hit 58 recently – and this summer my bride and I will celebrate 33 years of marriage the Lord willing (she is a saint).  My babies are 30 and soon to be 25 (two of them).  I’m told I should join the Biggest Losers (by former friends and family members who I just wrote out of my will).  This fall I will hit 37 years since my call into ministry.  I shot an 81 the other day for 18 holes and wasn’t satisfied with the way I struck the ball.  We had our 1st grandchild 4 months ago.  My car is now 12 years old (the one I bought to replace the one that died in the accident with the tractor-trailer) – my wife’s is 14 years old (I’m trying to convince her to get a newer one).  My father died this fall at the young age of 84.  My mom will hit 85 in April – the Lord willing.  My retirement investments still haven’t fully recovered from the market drop several years ago but I keep hoping they will rebound fully and even climb higher.  Numbers play a big part in our lives.

Numbers tell the tale – at times – of our lives.  What we make – what we have saved – how many children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren tells the tale of our family tree going forward.  Sports are filled with statistics and numbers play an important role for sure.  Some people measure their lives by numbers.  Some count how many cars and what they cost as a measure of their lives.  Some the cost of their homes and even for others their summer homes.  Some count the number of vacations they take and where they go.  Some consider the size of their church or the size of their business.

Continue reading

March 21, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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