Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Quiet Time Is Essential

Mark 6:31

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

OK – we prayed for our children and grandchildren to come home – two grandchildren and parents were living in New Jersey while three grandchildren with parents were living in California. We are so glad to have them back home. It is good to have family close. It was special having almost the whole family together for the 4th of July celebration at my brother’s home.

Having said that – quiet times around the McDonald home are few and far between these days. Three of the grandchildren are staying with us as the family prepares their home. Being so close to the other two grandchildren – you know they are over often. They love each other – yet like siblings and cousins – there are times they battle as well. I am not complaining – but finding a quiet moment is not as easy as it was when it was just the wife and I. Yet we realize how important – even essential – quiet time can be for us. Continue reading

July 10, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Great Love

1 John 3:1

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

112015 Ray McDonaldI have four fantastic grandchildren. I mentioned them a couple of days ago in my devotional thought and I have mentioned them before. All four of my grandchildren live out-of-state. Two live in New Jersey and two live in California. Let me tell you – FaceTime is one of the best inventions ever. Also free long distance on our cells to talk to our daughters and sons in far off places! It has made the distance seem less.

Two of my grandchildren are visiting with us this weekend. It is amazing how fast they grow. It hasn’t been that long since they visited last – but they are doing more and growing. At times I wish I were retired so I could visit with them more and spend more time with them when they visit – but that is another story all together.

The reason I mention them again today is the title and base Scripture of today’s devotional. I find myself feeling a great love for them. They are blood of our blood – children of our children – and we love them with a great love. I cannot explain how I feel when I see them or when I get to hold them and cuddle with them. I feel warm inside and cherish being with them. It is an amazing love for sure. Continue reading

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

What Is It That We Treasure?

Luke 12:34

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

112015 Ray McDonaldMy daughter from California called tonight and told me something that brought a tear to my eye. My oldest granddaughter saw someone that looked like me and got all excited that Pop was there! Her mother had to explain that Pop was not there but that she would see him soon. I can’t wait to see her and her sister and her parents soon. My grandchildren have my heart for sure. My eight women – wife – three daughters – and four granddaughters – have my heart. They are my treasure!

What is it we treasure? What is it that we hold dear? Is it something material? It is someone? Is it our own desires? Is it Jesus?  What is it we treasure?

In today’s passage Jesus tells us that what we treasure will have our heart. Luke 12:34 – For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Continue reading

December 15, 2015 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being Sold Out for Jesus – What is the Cost?

Matthew 7:24-25

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

I was watching the news recently and observed the mudslides in California.  People had built their homes on the sides of hills – without firm foundations – and some of their homes were being washed away in the storms.  I’ve seen the same thing for people who build them homes on sandbars in Florida or in the Mississippi Delta.  Storms rear up and at times they are washed away.  I’m sure many of these home owners thought they had taken every precaution.

Many of us think we are taking every precaution in our faith journey.  We try to do good on every occasion – or at least often.  We try to attend worship – most Sundays – or at least more often than some.  We strive to walk by the Ten Commandments – when they don’t get in the way of our enjoyment of life.

The truth be told – many of us are playing at being Christians – we want the benefit of being a child of God – namely NO HELL – but we aren’t sold out for Jesus.  We’re sold out for the Ravens or the Steelers this weekend (or the Jets or Patriots – are there teams still playing in the other conference?).  We’re sold out for our favorite baseball team.  We’re even sold out for work – home – family – hobbies – and more.  But being sold out for Jesus – well – let’s be serious.

Continue reading

January 14, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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