Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Where Do We Struggle?

Romans 7:18

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amWhere do we struggle the most in our lives? Have we ever felt one way and yet ended up going another way? Silly question – right? We are all human and most know the right thing to do but have succumbed to the wrong way. We often know the right way – and yet yield to the wrong way. We fight temptations and evil – but at times we fail in our struggle. I know I have more times than I wish to remember. And I keep trying to find a way to be faithful to what I know to be right.

Where do we struggle the most in our lives? For some – it is with what we put into our bodies. That could mean drugs – or alcohol – or it could mean overeating. Anything we do to excess and can be harmful to us. We know certain things are wrong and harmful – yet some of us continue to abuse our bodies with what we put into them. We try diets – we try to be sober – we try to walk the steps – but – at times – we succumb to what is harmful for us. Again – I have a mirror up as I type this devotional – seeing myself – and reflecting! Continue reading

September 17, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Take Refuge In The Lord!

Psalm 57:1

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.

Have any of us had rough days – troubled days? (LOL) I know – silly question. Most all of us have had hard days – some of us have had hard weeks – months – years and maybe even lifetimes. I’m thinking this morning of those who have been impacted by the recent hurricanes that hit the US – the Caribbean Islands – and other places. Puerto Rico for instance – a US territory – has been totally devastated.

I’m also thinking of the troubles that come from relationships and from life in general. Today I’m thinking of friends who have had or are experiencing broken marriages. I’m thinking about a colleague who lost a child through a drug overdose. I’m thinking about the folks I know who have lost loved ones through automobile accidents. I’m thinking of those who have faced life and death situations. I’m thinking of those in Vegas and their families. Continue reading

October 4, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where Is It We Struggle The Most?

Romans 7:18

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMHave you ever felt one way and yet ended up going another way? Silly question I guess – since we are all human and most know the right thing to do but have succumbed to the wrong way. We often know the right way – and yet yield to the wrong way. We fight temptations and evil – but at times we fail in our struggle.

Where is it that we struggle the most? For some it is what we put into our bodies. That could mean drugs and it could mean overeating – both are harmful to us – and we know it – yet some of us continue to abuse our bodies with what we put into them. We try diets – we try to be sober – we try to walk the steps – but – at times – we succumb to what is harmful for us.

Where is it that we struggle the most? For some it is their behavior. Some of us have trouble with interpersonal relationships. Some have tempers – some use foul language – some have faithfulness issues – some are gossips – and more. We probably know we should do better – and may even desire to do better – but the flesh is weak it seems. Continue reading

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Troubles Will Come Our Way

Psalm 71:20

Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMTrouble – we all have trouble in our lives – at least from time to time. Troubles will come our way. Some folks come to my office with trouble in their marriage. We try to pray together and talk through the troubles. We try to identify the trouble and root out the issues. At times – marriages are healed.

Trouble – we all have trouble in our lives – at least from time to time. Troubles will come our way. Some folks come to my office with financial troubles. Some have lost their jobs – or cannot seem to find a job. Some have troubles keeping up with the bills in their lives. We pray together – we talk together – we try to help people back on their feet.

Trouble – we all have trouble in our lives – at least from time to time. Troubles will come our way. Some folks come into my office with troubles with their children. Not the typical parent/child troubles that most all of us have faced – but troubles with drugs – alcohol – crime – abuse. We pray together and we talk together and together we try to help these folks through their troubles. Continue reading

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

Things Thought Impossible

1 Samuel 17:37

“The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgHave you had any giant issues to tackle in your life? I know folks who battle addictions to drugs – alcohol – food – and more. I know folks who are in trouble relationships. I know folks with medical issues that are either life threatening or serious enough that they require surgery or medical treatment. I know folks that have been in abusive relationships. I know folks that have mental and emotional concerns. I know folks who couldn’t balance life without medication. I know folks who have thought about or attempted suicide (and some who succeeded).

Do you have any giants in your life?  Are there issues that seem too large to tackle or even face?  Are there situations that seem overwhelming?  The sad thing is that we could all say yes to most of these questions.  Life – for most of us – is not easy and without pitfalls.  We battle many giants throughout our lives.  We need hope in our lives that can help us through! Continue reading

September 16, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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