Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

What Does it Take to Be Content?

Philippians 4:11

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

Think about this question for a moment. Have we ever been content? Have we ever had enough? Have we ever been satisfied? When is enough – enough? How much do we need? Are we storing up more than we need? What does it take to be content?

Have we ever been content? At times – being content might take away our drive – our desire – to accomplish more. I think – at times – giving people things without them working to earn them – takes away a sense of contentment that comes with hard work.

The contentment that Paul is writing about in today’s passage has to do with things – learning to be content with the things we have or don’t have. What does it take – things wise – for you to be content?

One church I served went to Appalachia each summer. A friend – 92 – who just died while back – went for many of those years. We sent teams to ASP (Appalachia Service Project) each summer. We learned just how much we had and how much we take for granted. It really helped us think about things in a different way. We had way more than almost everyone we served – and yet they were happy and often content.

I remember working on a coal miner’s shack in the mountains of Tennessee. That family had made their home out of this old minor’s shack. The outside boards had big gaps between them and the Tennessee winter winds and cold made it very hard to keep the shack warm. They had a pot belly wood stove in the middle of this shack and the ceiling above it was black from how hot they had to keep the fire to offset the winter cold coming through the walls. In this home – we studded out the walls – installed insulation – and put drywall up. Our efforts were to help them stay warmer in the winter. It was a small help – yet they were very appreciative of our efforts. I know they were warmer that following winter.

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July 28, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Have We Learned To Be Content?

Philippians 4:11

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

Life ChangeThink about this question for a moment. Have we ever been content? Have we ever had enough? Have we ever been satisfied? When is enough – enough? How much do we need? Are we storing up more than we need?

Have we ever been content? At times – being content might take away our drive – our desire – to accomplish more. But the contentment that Paul is writing about in today’s passage has to do with things – learning to be content with the things we have or don’t have.

One church I served went to Appalachia each summer. A friend – 92 – who just died this week – went for many of those years. We sent teams to ASP (Appalachia Service Project) each summer. We learned just how much we had and how much we take for granted. It really helped us think about things in a different way. We had way more than almost everyone we served – and yet they were happy and often content.

I remember working on a coal miner’s shack in the mountains of Tennessee. That family had made their home out of this old minor’s shack. The outside boards had big gaps between them and the Tennessee winter winds and cold made it very hard to keep the shack warm. They had a pot belly wood stove in the middle of this shack and the ceiling above it was black from how hot they had to keep the fire to offset the winter cold. In this home we studded out the walls, installed insulation and put drywall up. Our efforts were to help them stay warmer in the winter. It was a small help – yet they were very appreciative of our efforts. I know they were warmer that following winter. Continue reading

October 29, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Needs and Wants – Do We Know the Difference?

Philippians 4:19

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

We often write – teach – and preach – about our needs compared to our wants. Most of us live in the world of our wants (I know you have heard that from me before). Most of us have all we need and most if not all of what we want. Of course – there are those among us – either through choices they have made or choices and circumstances beyond their control – who live lives of need.

Take a test with me. Think for a moment – what would you do with $1,000? With $10,000? With $100,000? With $1,000,000? Does your answer include needs and/or wants? Are there bills that need to be paid for needs or are there things you’d like to buy that aren’t needs but rather wants? How much of that money would be spent on your needs verses your wants?

Most – I imagine – would talk about a new car – paying off the mortgage – buying a beach house – retiring early – or some other want. Few – I think – would talk about buying groceries for the family or paying medical bills or helping others have their needs met. What would you do with some extra money? If you inherited a sum of money – how would it change your life? Many who come into large sums of money have ended in ruin – because they failed to understand the different between needs and wants. Many pro athletes and movie/TV stars fall into this trap when they suddenly come into a large amount of money. I was moved by the young athletes that immediate help their family with their new found wealth rather than purchasing everything they lay their eyes on. Continue reading

January 4, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being Content

Philippians 4:11

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMHave we ever been content? At times being content might take away from our drive – our desire to accomplish more. But the contentment that Paul is writing about in today’s passage has to do with things – learning to be content with the things we have or don’t have.

With one church I served – we went to Appalachia each summer. We sent teams to ASP (Appalachia Service Project). We learned just how much we had and how much we take for granted.

I remember working on a coal miner’s shack that a family had made their home. The outside boards had big gaps between them and the Tennessee winter winds and cold made it very hard. They had a pot belly wood stove in the middle of this shack and the ceiling above it was black from how hot they had to keep the fire to offset the winter cold. In this home we put in insulation and drywall and tried to help them stay warmer in the winter. It was a small help – yet they were very appreciative of our efforts. Continue reading

July 12, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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