Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

My Hope Is In Jesus – Not The Left Or The Right!

Mark 9:23

“Everything is possible for one who believes.”

This is not an easy truth to always count on or believe. My wife and I both counsel people – and are reminded of the pain and suffering folks are dealing with everyday. I’m aware of a few couples that are facing severe stress in their marriages – stress that would challenge even the best of marriages. I know of a few people who are facing life-altering situations – some facing multiple such situations. Yet Jesus says – everything is possible for one who believes.

I have seen with my own eyes the miracles of God. I know that the impossible can be possible. I don’t believe I know how or when or why – but I have seen the impossible. Today’s Biblical story is about the healing of a young man who was possessed by demons – evil spirits. The father was brought his son to Jesus but His disciples could not cast out the evil spirit. Read the story below and see why Jesus said – everything is possible for one who believes. Continue reading

April 11, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Are Called To Reach The Lost

Luke 15:10

In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

My father concluded his active ministry as an evangelist. He preached in revivals all over the east coast and some in some other states like Ohio – West Virginia – Minnesota – and Indiana. He loved sharing the Gospel with folks. He loved when folks would open their hearts to Jesus and receive Him as their Lord and Savior. I love being a pastor of a local congregation – but the times I have preached revivals for other churches has given me a glimpse of what dad shared in those twilight years of his active ministry. I too love it when the lost come to know Jesus and receive his free gift of salvation.

Revivals seem to be a thing of the past. It seems that many pastors today don’t believe in hell or Satan and his demons. It stands to reason that the belief in hell and Satan would fade for those who don’t believe they are real. For eight years I served on our conference Board of Ordained Ministry (BOOM) and have served many terms on the District Committee of Ordained Ministry (DCOM) as well. I often ran into pastoral candidates who were Universalists – persons who simply believed that all persons went to heaven. There were times – during examinations – candidates (many who eventually were ordained) couldn’t clearly define salvation because they couldn’t explain what the alternative would be. Continue reading

April 10, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Has God Done For Us?

Mark 5:20

So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

IMG_0435-0What has God done for us? Let us begin to name in our minds the number of things that we believe God has done for us. We might begin with the amazing things that God has done for all – like dying on the cross – sending the Holy Spirit – ordaining the Body of Christ – and more.

What has God done for us? After a long list of things God has done for all of humanity – maybe we could begin a list of things that God has done for our families. Can we think of any? Are there any blessings you can name for your family?

What has God done for us? Next we might begin to name the things that God has done for us as individuals. Our personal salvation should be number one on the hit list!

It is through our telling of the story of God’s involvement in our lives that we testify about God to others. In today’s passage we see a person so touched by God’s action in his life – he had to go and tell somebody! Continue reading

June 10, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Real Deal

2 Corinthians 11:14

And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

IMG_0301Have you ever played pretend – maybe you called it make believe or something else. It is when you play act – pretending to be something you are not. Playing pretend can be fun. If you’ve ever acted in a play – you’ve pretended to be something or someone you’re not. Acting can be a hoot.

One of the churches I served has a façade – a false front. What is an A-roof building looks much bigger because it has a square front. It appears to be one type of building – when it is actually a different shaped building.

When dating – men and women often put their best foot forward – trying to win over the affections of the other person. The same thing might happen when we are applying for a job – putting our best foot forward to get a job. Continue reading

April 1, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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