Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Are There Any Absolutes These Days?

Psalm 11:3

…while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

Life ChangeOne of my favorite all-time shows is the Andy Griffith show. I grew up watching Andy, Opie, Barney and Aunt Bea. Times were good and even the unchurched were fairly moral people and they had good values in Mayberry. The setting for this show was the late 50’s and early 60’s – just a few states south of us. I’m not suggesting we could ever return to these times – nor should we strive to for sure – but it was a time when absolutes were accepted – even among the unchurched.

I wish that the troubles Opie had would be the troubles our youth would get into today. Unfortunately – our youth – and our society as a whole – are far beyond the sins of Mayberry (and Mayberry wasn’t perfect for sure). Our communities used to resemble Mayberry’s morals and values. I can remember growing up near here. As a matter of fact – I can remember watching Mayberry as a child – and thinking my world was like this show. How did we get to the place we are today? How have we become so corrupt and sinful as a society (watch the news to see my point)? It seems that there are some in our society today that are trying to call sin – acceptable. They are trying to change established truths. I know – much about us needs to change – and over time – much has changed – but I ask – are there no absolutes? Continue reading

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

Our Father Knows Best

Matthew 6:8

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Life ChangeI was thinking about my dad this past week. He was an awesome dad. Do you remember the Television Show that aired from 1954 to 1963 titled Father Knows Best? It starred Robert Young (Jim) – Jane Wyatt (Margaret) – Elinor Donahue (Betty) – Billy Gray (Bud) – and Lauren Chapin (Kathy) – as the Andersons. The show won six Emmy Awards and was a consistent Top 10 show in the Nielsen Ratings. It was based on a patriarchal model that was popular in the 50’s on TV and in American life. By the way – Elinor Donahue (Ellie Walker) also played the part of a female druggist and a flame for Andy Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show (1960 to 1968) for a few seasons.

The premise of the show – Father Knows Best – was that the family would have all sorts of trouble – only to turn to their father (Jim Anderson) for help. He would often give sage advice and would make things all right in the end. He always seemed to know best – of course that was very idealistic – but for the show it worked. We know that not all fathers are so wise and not all families turn to their father for help – often turning to mother as well – and even others inside and outside the family. Continue reading

April 26, 2019 Posted by | Build, 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

When The Foundations Are Being Destroyed

Psalm 11:3

When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?

Life ChangeAndy Griffith is one of my favorite all-time shows. I grew up watching Andy – Opie – Barney and Aunt Bea. Times were good and even the unchurched were fairly moral and had values in Mayberry. This show took place during the 50’s & 60’s just a few states south of us.

I wish that the troubles Opie had would be the troubles our youth would get into today. Unfortunately – our youth – and our society as a whole – are far beyond the sins of Mayberry. Our communities used to resemble Mayberry’s morals and values. I can remember growing up near here. As a matter of fact – I can remember watching Mayberry as a child – and thinking our community was like it. How did we get to the place we are today? How have we become so corrupt and sinful?

A 1994 survey conducted (I know – 25 years ago) by Josh McDowell’s ministry team showed some startling results. The study showed that among churched youth from 11-18 – 66% lied to a parent – teacher – or another adult in the previous 3 months. Continuing – 59% lied to one of their peers – 36% cheated on an exam – and 23% intentionally tried to hurt someone. I was blown away when I first read that survey in 1994 and I only imagine it has gotten worse.  Additionally – the survey showed that – 55% have engaged in sexual behavior by age 18 – 50% say they are stressed out – and 55% say they are confused. Remember – these were the churched youth! And 25 years ago! Continue reading

February 20, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grief is Real

Genesis 25:8

Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people.

Yesterday I went with a family – some friends from younger years at another church – to spend some time with the body of their 30 year-old son who died Sunday – on Mother’s Day – in a car accident. As I stood with the family and tried to hold back the tears – my thoughts went to my nearly 30 year old daughters and eventually to my mom and my dad’s passing.

I was reminded of today’s passage – as I thought of my dad’s passing nearly 6 years ago. When dad passed – my dad was 84 – he would have bene 90 this summer. I would have loved to have had him around another 16 years or so – yet he was at a good old age when he died. He was ready to meet his Maker – even though he would have loved to stay around to be with a family that he loved and who loved him. One of the comforting thoughts I cling to even today is that as much as he loves us – he wouldn’t trade a moment of heaven for another moment with us. He is in God’s glory! Continue reading

May 17, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grief Needs To Be Processed

Genesis 25:8

Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people.

I ran across today’s passage again this week. It reminded me of my father who was 84 and although I would have liked to have had him around another 16 years or so – he was at a good old age when he died five years ago. Before he died he told me he was ready to meet his Maker – even though he would have loved to stay around to be with a family that he loved and who loved him. One of the comforting thoughts I cling to is that as much as he loves us – he wouldn’t trade a moment of heaven for another moment with us. He is in God’s glory!

As I processed and dealt with my father’s passing – over the next 4 plus years my siblings and I faced the passing of our mom as well. Dealing with death is not easy dear readers. I ran across the five stages of grief according to the Kubler-Ross model. Those five stages are 1) Denial, 2) Anger, 3) Bargaining, 4) Depression, and 5) Acceptance. A link to more information about these five stages of grief can be found here. Continue reading

September 29, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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