Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

All Saint’s Day 2017

Psalm 116:15

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

Early this morning I was watching the news. The news is very rarely good. Today they were reliving the terror attack in New York yesterday. When will we protect our boarders and keep such radicals out of our country? I know that is not an easy subject – but we need to do something to keep our shores safe – if that is possible in this day and age. I don’t mean to be political – but something needs to be done!

Later today I will help to celebrate the life of a lifetime friend – Doris. She was a special lady for sure. One I fondly remember from my days as a child and later as a pastor – serving the church where she attended. I have many memories of Doris. Most of them are good! I will share some of them today at her service of celebration. I especially remember how she loved her Jesus!

All Saint’s Day of late – always reminds me – of my dear departed father and now my mother. They loved Jesus with all their hearts. They knew and experienced God and they now rest in peace with Jesus. I have confidence in this fact – it is part of my faith – part of my walk with Jesus. Do we know Jesus? Is Jesus our personal Lord and Savior? Do we have a personal relationship with Jesus? All of these are good questions. What are our answers? Continue reading

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November 1, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

As Christians – Others Should Know Us

John 13:35

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

As Christians – others should know us simply by looking at our beautiful sanctuaries. Wrong! As Christians – others should know us simply by our style of worship – traditional – contemporary – gospel – informal. Wrong! As Christians – others should know us simply by our committee structure. Wrong!!! As Christians – others should know us simply by the songs we sing – hymns – praise songs. Wrong! As Christians – others should know us simply by our doctrine and how close we hold to it. Wrong! As Christians – others should know us simply by how we vote in elections. Wrong! As Christians – others should know us simply by our stance on social issues. Wrong!

As Christians – others should know us simply by our love for one another. Here’s today’s passage – John 13:35 – By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. In my Bible these words are in red letters – an indication that they are the words Jesus spoke. Continue reading

October 25, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Following Christ’s Example

Luke 2:52

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Many of us are familiar with the story of Jesus at twelve – as He was amazing the teachers in the temple courts with questions and answers. Joseph and Mary couldn’t find Jesus among the relatives in the caravan – so they headed back to Jerusalem to find Him. Luke 2:46–47 – 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.

Recently in a Bible study we talked about the divinity and humanity of Jesus. Depending on how you understand that dynamic will reveal where you fall in our ability to follow Christ’s example. For instance – if you believe He was fully divine and only appeared as human – you would have a hard time believing you could follow God’s example. If you believe that He was human on earth and didn’t access His divine power – you would have an easier task of seeing Jesus as an example for us to follow. Continue reading

October 6, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Truth Or A Lie

Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

Where do we go for truth? In this day and age – truth is hard to come by. Fake news is all the rage it seems. The media reports what supports their agenda or what sells their papers or commercials.

Where do we go for truth? Do we seek truth in the history of men and women? Do you search for truth among the stories of our country or of the world? All the rage these days is bringing down historic figures that don’t tell the tale we would like (I’m totally against neo-Nazis and white supremacy) – but I’m not convinced that the destruction of historic monuments is the way to go (where will we stop – I’ve heard some would like to destroy monuments of George Washington because of some of his sins). Continue reading

August 18, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hang Onto Our Faith

Colossians 1:23

…if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

If it ain’t broke – why fix it? I know most of us have heard that saying before. That isn’t perfect English – but – it is real. Most often we shouldn’t try to fix things that are working.

Change is not always good nor is it always bad. Change for change sake can be either good or bad. Many of us do not like change. Many of us have a hard time with change.

Technology buffs (the mirror is up) always want the latest greatest – even when what they have accomplishes what they are doing. Car buffs always want the newest model – even when their vehicle they have is working well. We can have a closet full of clothes – and every style imaginable – but when the new line comes out – we want to change. Our golf clubs play well – but someone convinces us that a new set will help our game (it is not the arrow but the Indian that misses the target – typically). My 2013 iMac is doing just fine thank you – I don’t need the newer model. Many of us need to resist change – because change is often just fluff – bells and whistles. Continue reading

August 3, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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