Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Heartache Crushes the Spirit

Proverbs 15:13

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amSo – how has your fall of 2019 started? Has the new school year caught you ready and prepared? Has the lack of rain impacted your yard or garden plans (we haven’t had much rain at all since early July). Have you broken any hearts yet this fall? I hope your plans for the fall and into 2020 (which promises to be a year of much change) are all you’ve hoped.

What – if anything – have you decided to change in your life recently? What have we planned to do differently this fall and into 2020? Setting goals is important – because we all know – if you aim at nothing – you’re bound to hit it! What goals have you – have we – set? My daughter posted this: Don’t downgrade your dreams just to fit your reality. Upgrade your conviction to match your destiny. Continue reading

October 2, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pressing Forward for the Prize

Philippians 3:14

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

We have a number of new parents at Mt. Oak.  As a parent we probably have goals – dreams and aspirations for our children.  It is for them to succeed.  Our parents probably had them for us as well.  We might even have some goals – dreams and aspirations for ourselves.

Unfortunately – as most of us know – some of our goals – dreams and aspirations tend to not come to fulfillment.  It may be that some of our dreams are unrealistic.  For instance – dreaming of being a professional athlete might be pushing the odds.  Even if we have the genetics to be a professional athlete – one internet source said that there are 4 million professional athletes in the world (all sports) and that this is 1.3% of the world’s total population.  Yet many of us will press toward this dream or goal – trying as we might to succeed.

Paul has a goal that he is pressing toward.  He writes about it in Philippians 3:10-14 – 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

He wants to know more and more about Christ and to be like Him in all He does.  He strives for this goal – he knows he hasn’t arrived at it yet – but he strives.  At times that is all we can do is strive – press forward toward the goals that are before us.  Someone once said aim at nothing and you are bound to hit it.  But aim at something and even if you come up short – you will be further along than if you didn’t strive at all.  And if we are striving with all we have to be like Jesus – His grace will cover our failure!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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December 27, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , , | Leave a comment


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