Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Who Guides Our Thoughts and Actions?

Galatians 5:25

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

fullsizeoutput_ffeWho guides our thoughts and actions each day? Do we rely on our own abilities or thinking? Do we follow other’s thinking or even consult a horoscope (please don’t say yes to a horoscope)? How do we determine things like – who we vote for in elections – how we vote in our congregations or denomination – whether to marry or not and to whom? Who do we turn to when discussing starting a family – what job to take – whether to relocate for work – when to retire – whether to buy or rent and in what community? All important decisions for sure. Do we rely on our skills – on our spouse – on our parents – on our friends – on the world around us?

Who guides our thoughts and actions each day? How do we decide what is right or wrong – what is beneficial or detrimental in our lives? Where do we turn to discern the path in life we should walk? If it hasn’t been God – if it has only been God for a few things – how’s that working for you? I know for me – the times I have made my own decision – it has been hit or miss – but when I have turned to God – God is batting 100%. Continue reading

Advertisements

November 13, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Every Good and Perfect Gift

James 1:17

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

RayMcDCan you remember any gifts you’ve gotten over the years? I remember my first new bike (my sister and I shared an old one together but one Christmas we both got new bikes). It was a red bike – because red has always been my favorite color. I rode that bike – almost every day. It was my favorite gift that year. I kept it for many years. I would later put a banana seat on it and monkey handlebars (you have to be old to remember those). I remember putting old baseball cards in the wheel spokes to make noise like a motorcycle at my cousins. I delivered papers with that bike – putting a basket on the front and two saddle bags on either side of the rear wheel. But – alas – it got old and eventually I had to get another bike. But – while it lasted – it was a great gift.

Can you remember any gifts you’ve gotten over the years? I remember once – when my brother and I were into the show Combat – we got walkie-talkies. We would talk on them all the time – pretending to be soldiers. We played in the church cemetery and in the sand dunes behind my grandmother’s house. But – alas – they broke and were of no use after a while. Continue reading

August 29, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Will For Our Lives

Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

RayMcDIf there is a subject that comes up the most in ministry – it is determining the will of God for our lives. We’re spending a time of prayer – interviews – and discernment right now on our next Contemporary Worship Leader. We’re praying about it and some of the candidates for the position are praying about it. We are seeking God’s will.

A number of High School students over the years have asked me how they can determine God’s will for their future. Where should they go to school? Should they go to college or trade school or some other form of advanced education past High School? What is God’s will for me?

Through the years young people have asked – what is God’s will concerning my future? Should I get married? Should I work here or there? Should I have my education and job before I settle down and get married? When should we have children? Where should we work? Where should we live? What is God’s will for me? Continue reading

September 22, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, 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

A Discerning Heart

1 John 4:1

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

RevRayTesting the spirit of someone is not easy – because so many people put on such good airs.  Testing the spirit of what one hears is not easy either.  Discernment is a gift and it is a gift we should all cultivate in our spiritual lives.  I heard a wise pastor once say to his congregation – don’t believe a word I say because I say it – but rather compare what I say to the Word of God to see if what I say is of God.  I have tried to model that statement in my years of ministry and have even used that phrase myself.

In a world filled with cults and false teachers – and even wolves in sheep’s clothing – even among the church members.  People need to be discerning.  How can we discern truth?  How can we discern the Word of truth?  Here are a couple of Scriptures that we can turn to in discerning if a person is of God or not – if a person is speaking truth or not. Continue reading

May 13, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: