Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Favorite Passage of Scripture

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.

Do we all have a favorite scripture? One of the all-time favorite passages is today’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. Watch any golf tournament and you might just see a sign that says John 3:16.

A sign of whom we love or what we love is what we are willing to give up for them or it. For instance – I once asked my Tuesday morning Bible Study – who or what they loved. They responded with the normal list – children – pets – Jesus of course – and more. When asked what they would be willing to do for a pet with a major illness – some said – whatever it takes. Another said they would sell their house to help with the medical bills of a child.

We are willing to do whatever it takes for those we love or something we love. Some of us – for the sake of a few dollars – would camp out overnight at a store to assure that we were one of the first ones in the store the next day or overnight to get tickets to a movie or a concert. We’ll do some crazy things for something we love. Continue reading

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September 21, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quiet Time Is Essential

Mark 6:31

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

OK – we prayed for our children and grandchildren to come home – two grandchildren and parents were living in New Jersey while three grandchildren with parents were living in California. We are so glad to have them back home. It is good to have family close. It was special having almost the whole family together for the 4th of July celebration at my brother’s home.

Having said that – quiet times around the McDonald home are few and far between these days. Three of the grandchildren are staying with us as the family prepares their home. Being so close to the other two grandchildren – you know they are over often. They love each other – yet like siblings and cousins – there are times they battle as well. I am not complaining – but finding a quiet moment is not as easy as it was when it was just the wife and I. Yet we realize how important – even essential – quiet time can be for us. Continue reading

July 10, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Simply Want To Praise The Lord!

Psalm 103:2

Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits

RayMcDThis morning I simply want to praise the Lord! I’ve faced a number of rough days in my life – some recently. I’m sure many of our readers have as well. Some of the members in the church I serve are facing rough times right now! Life is often rough and often doesn’t line up like we would want it to. Some of our troubles are caused by our sin and some by the sin of others. However they arrive – we all face tough times in our lives. This morning I simply want to praise the Lord!

Today’s passage says – praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Instead of focusing on the issues of life – and there are many – the passage reminds us to focus on the benefits of our Lord. I want to break down the first twelve verses of this Psalm today – repeating it in a paraphrase type fashion. Continue reading

December 5, 2016 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marching Orders For The Church

Matthew 28:19

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

RayMcDMy wife – occasionally – gives me a honey do list – which could be considered marching orders so to speak. She even uses – when I remind her – an application on our iPhones where she can leave me her honey do list. We share our grocery list on the same app (Reminders on our iPhones) – so when one of us is in the store we can see what the other needs or wants.

I’ve worked for a number of companies over the years – and the boss or foreman would give us daily marching orders so we could accomplish the tasks for the day. It is important to know what you on the list for the day so we are not working blindly. Focus is helped when we have a to do list each day. Do you keep a to do list – whether personal or professional?

Spring Training is less than four months away (when your team is out of the playoffs you start thinking about next year) and Buck Showalter has been known to have a very detailed plan for each day of Spring Training. The players seem to appreciate having a road map so to speak to their spring practices. I imagine Buck has already started working on his plans for Spring Training – even as he works on putting together next year’s team. Continue reading

October 13, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fear of the Lord!

Matthew 10:28

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

IMG_0435-0In this day an age – we often hear about politicians who have special interest groups supporting them. These special interest groups often try to put pressure on the candidates to vote certain ways or to take a stand on issues the way they would support. Some candidates fear their power and fear not getting their money!

One candidate for President this year – for the most part – has financed his own campaign – according to reports. It is what endears him to some voters – believing that he will vote the way he feels is right – not as special interest groups or supporters suggest. If a candidate is beholding to someone or some interest group – that can put real pressure on them as they serve.

In our society – often small – even tiny – segments of our culture can put pressure on politicians to get laws and decisions passed that support them and their interests. We see this all the time. We see this in church life as well at times. Continue reading

May 31, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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