Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Would Jesus Weep at Our Grave?

John 11:25

Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amAs a pastor – I am often called upon many times in the course of a year to celebrate the life of folks from our church and from our community. As I have recently mentioned – it has been nearly 7 years since we celebrated my father’s life. I have also celebrated the life of my mother and my father-in-law. Some day I will help the family celebrate my mother-in-laws life – unless they celebrate mine beforehand.

Someone once said – in this world you can be certain of two things – death and taxes. Some attribute this to Benjamin Franklin. It is a true statement. We weren’t created to die – we were created to live eternally. Yet – because of sin – we are born to die.

Folks – even folks who only know me on the day of the celebration of their loved one’s life – say I hold a nice service – a comforting service – a service that brings them into the presence of God. Recently a man said – I’m not a religious man – but you said some things that touched me today. Another women told me – you made celebrating my father’s life doable. I thought I would be too broken to get through the service. God has gifted me with the ability to connect with people and to help people to be at ease and to remember the good as they celebrate the life of a loved one. Continue reading

September 2, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

God Has A Plan For Each Of Us!

Philippians 1:6

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Thanks to all who responded to yesterday’s first devotional thought – since coming back from my staycation. I felt like something was missing from my daily walk with Jesus without writing them and I’m glad to be back. I’m also glad that they help some in their walk with Jesus.

There are so many thoughts running thru my head these days. Father’s Day has become hard for me – with the passing a number of years ago of my earthly father. Mother’s Day too with the passing of my mother. I have so many memories of my mom and dad. Days like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day bring them to the forefront. Tears ran down my cheeks often this weekend.

So – in the last few weeks – I have celebrated to life of a couple of 80+ individuals – a 90+ individual – and a 24 and 30-year-old. Life is not guaranteed – for any number of years. We never know when our life will end. What we do know is we have the here and now and need to use each moment to draw near to God and to serve Him. Continue reading

June 19, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holy Week Remembered

Luke 24:50-53

50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

Today’s passage is from the story of Jesus’ accession. At the end of Luke’s Gospel we read an account of Jesus’ accession. Here is a larger section of that story – Jesus had already been crucified and had already risen when this story took place. I know – out of order with this being Holy Week – but it impacted me today as I read it.

Holy Week is a powerful reminder of our walk with Jesus and His walk to the cross. Services this week will be held on Wednesday – Thursday – Friday and a beloved member of the church – 98.5 years old – will be remembered and celebrated on Saturday. Then and only then will we enter into the Easter celebration. Today’s passage will give us a reminder of His walk and His purpose. Jesus reminds us of His suffering and His glory. At the end of the reading we read that the Disciples stayed continually at the temple, praising God. Let’s take a read. Continue reading

April 11, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus is The Resurrection and The Life

John 11:25

Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die

82015 RayAs a pastor – I am often called upon many times in the course of a year to celebrate the life of folks from our church and from our community. As I have recently mentioned – it has been 3 plus years since we celebrated my father’s life. I have three aging parents still dealing with various ailments and will celebrate their lives some day – unless they celebrate mine beforehand.

Someone once said – in this world you can be certain of two things – death and taxes. Some attribute this to Benjamin Franklin. It is a true statement. We weren’t created to die – we were created to live eternally. Yet – because of sin – we are born to die.

Folks – even folks who only know me on the day of the celebration of their loved one’s life – say I hold a nice service – a comforting service – a service that brings them into the presence of God. Recently a man said – I’m not a religious man – but you said some things that touched me today. God has gifted me with the ability to connect with people and to help people to be at ease and to remember the good as they celebrate the life of a loved one. Continue reading

October 19, 2015 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: