Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

John 3:16 – Golf’s Passage

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

If you watch golf at all – you are well aware that at many golf tournaments – someone will probably have a sign behind the golfers (where the cameras catch it) that reads John 3:16. This passage hit home with me this week as I continue to watch the national and international scene unfold around us. I understand nationalism and I think I understand our need to protect our borders and our people from terrorists and other threats. I listen to the debates about building a wall – denying certain people entrance into the USA – and the need to keep track of certain people. It can be very confusing at times and very mind blowing.

As Christians who are from a certain nation – we are often caught dealing with our national interests and our Christian global interests. Christ died for the whole world (although all will not accept His free gift of salvation). Christ died for the people we are trying to keep out of our nation – even the criminal elements. It is a hard place at times. It is tough taking a stand because there are arguments on both sides of most discussions.

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July 10, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What if Everyone Worked the Harvest Fields?

Luke 10:2

He told them, The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

In church life – there is a common statement that is very sad – but often true. It goes like this – 20% of the people do 80% of the work – in the church. At times this might be because the 20% has a hard time sharing or delegating the work load. At times it might be a control issue on the part of the 20%. But most often – it is because the 80% aren’t joining in the labors for Christ in the church. Are we part of the 20% or the 80%? If we are in one camp or the other – why?

Think about this for a moment. Are we only attending worship in our church and doing nothing or little else? Are we only taking what the church offers – youth ministry – children’s ministry – family ministry – worship – fellowship events – etc. – and not giving anything back? In essence are we takers without being givers as well?

There is another saying we might be familiar with – it goes like this – you get out of something what you put into it. I wonder what a church would look like if everyone associated with that church were to serve God in some capacity in the life of that church? What if everyone in the church considered themselves workers in the harvest fields Christ has for us? I mean – we can all help somewhere! Right? What would a church look like where all members worked the harvest fields?

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July 9, 2020 Posted by | Bring, Church, Community, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life – Death – and Life After Death

John 14:1-3

1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

20B2484D-93F3-4834-A657-15E51ED76F9ADo you think about life after death much? I made a comment recently that we tend to think more about our mortality – our own death – after our parents have passed – because – all things being equal – there is no more buffer – we are the oldest generation. A member said that really made them think. I think about it. All four of our parents have now passed. We are the next generation. My in-laws lived to 89 & 86. My parents lived to 84 and 89. As their generation passes – I know I will think more about my mortality even more. There are a few from their generation still with us – but directly – we are the next generation.

I think about my mortality as it is – with my job. I face life and death situations often with members and friends – being a pastor. I also get my blood checked and a physical annually and at times the numbers (weight and blood work numbers) – are not that good. I’m thinking about my mortality even more today (and taking more seriously my need to improve my health). Continue reading

June 25, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Attitude Like Christ

Philippians 2:5

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

20B2484D-93F3-4834-A657-15E51ED76F9AThis is one of my favorite passages. I have a number of them for sure. Years ago I took this verse and created a favorite statement. A number of you have heard it before – I’m sure. It goes like this – Christianity Boils Down to Attitude. Some in our church families could finish this saying with me. I would say Christianity boils down to and they would respond with Attitude. Now I know that Christianity is all about God’s grace – that it is all about Christ’s life – death and resurrection. But – as we mentioned many times in teachings and in sermons – Christian maturity is all about the condition and position of the heart. Christian maturity is about doing – about walking out our faith – and this takes an attitude likened to the attitude of Jesus. Continue reading

June 24, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Staying Connected to Jesus!

John 15:4

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

Rays HaircutI think John 15:4 is one of the most significant passages I have ever read.  It falls in the midst of Jesus teaching about Him being the vine and His followers being the branches. Jesus tells us we must remain in Him to live. In order to live and be fruitful – we must remain in Jesus!

When I think of this passage – one thing that comes to my mind is trimming my bushes. Can you identify with this chore? I try to trim my bushes to keep them from getting too large – to keep them from over growing their place in the flowerbeds. It is an ongoing chore – year after year.

When my daughter and son bought a home a few years ago – the previous owners had not trimmed the bushes in some time. The bushes had grown so large they were a safety hazard at the front of the house. You couldn’t see the front door. You couldn’t see the lower part of the front of the house. They trimmed them way back and now the front of the house looks way better. They eventually replaced them with new plants. Continue reading

June 22, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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