Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Perplexed But Not Crushed

2 Corinthians 4:8

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;

Life – at times – can be unfair. I’m not talking about a pitch being two balls of the plate and called a strike unfair. I’m talking about real life – being unfair. I know a number of persons who are going through some real life struggles. I know of a few marriages that were supposed to last a lifetime – that are falling apart. I know persons who have lived healthy lives – taken good care of their bodies – facing cancer and other life threatening medical issues. I’ve heard from pastors and parishioners that are perplexed by what they see even in the pews and pulpits of the church – the Body of Christ.

We see people ready to take sides – vehemently – on issues that abound. We are still not settled – nearing a year after the election of our President. If you are against him – or for him – people on the other side will attack your views in a heartbeat. Racism is an ugly reality in our nation and yet the recent destruction and removal of Confederate statues has driven our nation to polar opposites with little harmony in sight. Love for one another is not the center of our thinking as a nation or even as a church at times. Continue reading

August 30, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

His Love Endures Forever

Psalm 106:1

Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

RayMcDFor some of us – 2016 was a good year. For some of us it wasn’t. My Facebook has been filled with people hoping 2017 will not be anything like 2016. Some folks on Facebook are hoping for more of the same in 2017. It is a mixed bag for sure. Some can’t wait for 2017 while some dread what is to come.

A significant number of celebrates have passed during 2016. People like Carrie Fisher – Debbie Reynolds – David Bowie – Prince – Florence Henderson – Zsa Zsa Gabor – Pat Harrington – Alan Young – Mohamed Ali – Nancy Reagan – Patty Duke – Arnold Palmer – George Michaels – Ron Gloss – John Glenn – Alan Thicke – and many – too many others.

Uncertainty always faces us moving forward. We often know where we have been – but where we are headed is often a mystery. Of course we can make plans – but we never seem to know just what is on the other side of the next turn. Not many – this time last year – would have predicted Donald Trump winning the 2016 Presidential elections. Moving forward – some tread his presidency and some look forward to it. Still – there is uncertainty. The market is exploding with the news while some are crying about what his win means to them. Continue reading

December 29, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bone Of Our Bones

Genesis 2:23-24

23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

RayMcDGod has a plan for marriage. This is one of the plans found in the Bible. When God was creating the universe He created man and woman. When the woman (Eve) was created and brought to man (Adam) – Adam exclaimed this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.

One of the things I get from this passage is that a husband should see his wife as part of him – bone of his bones. The wedding vows talk about the two becoming one and that nothing is to divide them. Husbands should consider their wives to be part of them – part of their very self.

You know – I was once very fit. I was lean and mean. I could run all day – I could bench press more than I weighed. But part of me – my hunger – and my lack of will power in this area – began to eat away at the shape I had and gave me the shape I have now. It is part of me that created in me something I do not desire. I cannot just get rid of me – I need to work on me to make me better. I need to overcome that part of me that has ruined my shape (although round is a shape). Continue reading

October 25, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, 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

I Can Do All Things

Philippians 4:13 RSV

I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgI can do that! Have you heard that phrase before? A friend was having a tough road ahead of them and someone posted on their Facebook page – we can do this! Tough things will come our way dear readers. The rain falls on the good and the bad – says the Scriptures.

What tough thing has come your way of late? Some of the tough things that have happened to me over the last 2-3 years could be the foundation for a book on tough times. Just to name a few things – my father died – my mom’s dementia got worse – we lost a grand-baby 24 hours after we were given her (her birth mom changed her mind and decided to parent her) – I was struck by a tractor-trailer and my car was demolished (and yes I saw my life flash before me) – my long time black lab died of cancer (I held him as he drew his last breath) – and more. In each of these moments and others – I tried hard to rely on the One who gives me strength for every day. I remember quoting today’s passage often – I can do all things in/through Him who strengthens me. Continue reading

June 18, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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