Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Day 20 of Lent 2020

John 12:46

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

Ray 2020Today is day 20 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I hope you are keeping up with the reading plan – I’m keeping up – even with my surgery and my birthday thrown in there! Lent is the 40 days leading up to the cross. It is made more vital this year by our country’s dealing with the coronavirus. We might even be locked out of meeting in our Sanctuary for Easter this year. Keep everyone in your prayers.

Today’s reading has lots in it and I hope you take the time to read it all. The verse I picked to reflect upon is near the end of the reading for the day – verse 46. Jesus came into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me (Him) should stay in darkness. As Christ’s ambassadors – we are called to reflect that light into the darkness of the world. We are called to let our light so shine before men and women – boys and girls – that they will see Jesus in us – through us – and in spite of us. I hope we can think about that as we go through our day!

Where are we letting the light of Christ shine? How are we witnessing our faith? During these dark days – as we fight the coronavirus – there will be lots of opportunities to tell others about our hope! Continue reading

March 19, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Turning Our Back on God

2 Timothy 4:4

They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

Life ChangeMy how the times – they are a changing. I’m old enough to remember not locking our doors and leaving the keys in the car in the driveway. You can’t do that today. At least not in most communities. Do you live in an area where you feel safe doing this?

It seems like our society is going from bad to worse – and that shouldn’t surprise us. We live in a godless society – where even some of the religious groups aren’t sure about their view of God and moral absolutes. We are becoming a lost people.

In 2011 – the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords – an Arizona Congresswoman – as well as 14 others with 6 being killed – focused us on the darkness of our world and society. That was 8 years ago. It doesn’t seem that long. How many mass shootings have happened in those 8 years?

Comments were flying in 2011 about expecting this type behavior in other countries – but not in America. Fingers were pointed to the left and to the right – politically. Few people in the news hit the nail on the head. Behavior like this is a sign of a society that has turned their back on God. We are running as fast as we can it seems away from God. Continue reading

March 18, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ambassadors Have a Tough Job

John 14:9

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.

Photo on 9-10-18 at 11.09 AMAmbassadors have a tough job. They must represent someone else. Ambassadors are called to represent someone or some idea. The job might be easier if you agree with the one you represent or the idea you represent – but – it is still a tough position. Can you think of any position you have held or hold where you represent someone else?

Ambassadors have a tough job. They must represent someone else. In most cases – employees are ambassadors or representatives for their employers. When I worked for McDonald’s – I was asked to dress and behave a certain way while on the job. While on the job – I had to follow the prescribed behavior and dress as directed by the ones I represents – McDonald’s. Away from work – I had more freedom to be myself – but while I represented McDonald’s – I needed to follow their rules.

Ambassadors have a tough job. They must represent someone else. A current battle going on right now is between NFL players and NFL owners. Some players are protesting various things by kneeling during the national anthem. Owners have expressed that the players need to dress and behave as they direct while on the field representing them. Although there is also an off-the-field expectation – while these players are in the employment of the team owners – especially on game days – the players should follow the owner’s directives. They can express their opinions on their own time. Continue reading

September 27, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seeing Clearly Is Important

Hebrews 1:3

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

Seeing clearly is important. I’m understanding – that the older we get – the more light we need to see. For instance – I used to be able to see things in the dark – now I need some – maybe even a lot of light – in order to see. Like my iPad gets the brightness turned up to max when I preach without my glasses – it really helps. Light helps us see things.

Seeing clearly is important. My wife did some remodeling of our home and one of the things she did was had us install new LED lights throughout the house. With less wattage used – the brightness has improved – and we can see better. We had to return some bulbs because the same wattage was too much in some rooms. Speaking of seeing clearly – two new mirrors and better lighting in the master bathroom shows way too many wrinkles on my face – just saying! I was wondering why we had a picture of my father in the bathroom when looking into the mirror. Continue reading

July 2, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Follow God’s Example

Ephesians 5:1-2

1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Yesterday in the sermon I asked the question – Do we really know Jesus? I reminded us that to really know Jesus is to reflect Jesus to a lost world. People should be able to see Jesus in us and through us. Our lives should reflect Jesus. We are called to be His ambassadors.

Reflecting Jesus is not easy – but it is what we are called to do. We tend to find it easier to represent our school or our state or our favorite team – than represent Jesus. We are less bashful to represent our favorite candidate for president (except maybe last election) than we are to represent Jesus. Continue reading

July 17, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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