Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

2020 – A Year of Change

Psalm 46:10

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Life ChangeAs we enter the last 6 or so weeks of 2019 – I have been giving us warning that 2020 could be a year of major change for many of us. The United Methodist Church seems on the brink of a split – officially or otherwise. This change may impact many of us. If it is an official split or some other split – conferences – churches – and members will need to decide where they will worship moving forward. This could being as early as January 1 – 2020 – as the 2019 Special General Conference approved churches withdrawing from the denomination. It could happen as we move toward the 2020 General Conference in May – shortly thereafter – or as soon as any changes take place.

The 2020 Presidential Election in November could continue the current Presidential leader or elect a new President. The Congress could change hands or solidify one party in leadership. Will one party of the other hold the President’s office and both houses of the Congress or will there be divided leadership? Will we continue along the same lines of leadership or will there be a change? How will the economy react to this election? How will the election impact you and your family? Continue reading

November 13, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Is Able To Deliver Us

Daniel 3:17

If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.

Is there anything we are going through today that is too much to face alone? I know some folks – myself included – who will face Christmas this year without a parent for the first time (my mom passed this year after my father passed 5 years ago). I know some folks who have some major medical issues – and at times they seem to compound – one on top of another. I know some folks who are facing broken marriages this Christmas. I know some folks that are out of work this Christmas.

What are some of the difficult things we are facing this year? The economy is doing amazingly! The market is higher than it has ever been – gaining 5,000 points in a calendar year for the first time ever. Yet some are not invested in the market – even with their retirement funds. Joblessness is the lowest it has been for decades. Yet there are still folks who haven’t planned well or haven’t had the opportunity to do so – and their economic state is not what they would wish. Some folks are still living paycheck to paycheck or social security check to social security check. Continue reading

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

Don’t Be Anxious

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Don’t be anxious! Easier said than done. There are so many things that could make us anxious. The economy is one of them. For some – the market rising is a good thing – but so many are not invested in the market. For some – we might be nearing retirement and aren’t sure if we will be able to make ends meet. For some – we may have just lost a spouse and their pension and are having a hard time remaining where we are currently. I could go on and on – the economy could be cause for anxiousness.

Don’t be anxious! Easier said than done. There are so many things that could make us anxious. Our health is one of them. For some – we’ve never felt better. For some – we might be facing a disease that could threaten our life. For some – we might be currently limited in what we can do by our health issues. I could go on and on – health issues could be cause for anxious moments. Continue reading

December 13, 2017 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Not Worry

Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. NIV84

RayMcDOver the years we have heard loads of catch phrases. Phrases like what – me worry or don’t worry – be happy have graced our airways over the years. The world knows all about worry and how many of us suffer with it. What is it that we are spending time worrying about today? Are we worries about the economy? Are we worried about the elections? Are we worried about where our next meal with come?

Another translation of this passage reads this way – Matthew 6:34 – “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. ESV Apparently worry and anxiousness are akin.

So what are we anxious about or worried about? Is it our health – let’s give it over to God. Is it our economics or lack thereof – let’s give it over to God. Is it a relationship – like our marriage or a friendship – let’s give it over to God. Is it the election – let’s give it over to God. Is it trouble in some way in our lives – let’s give it over to God. Continue reading

November 17, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Delivered From All Our Fears

Psalm 34:4

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

RayMcDWhat is it we are afraid of today? Some have expressed a real fear over the Zika Virus – and it is a scary thing for sure – especially for women who wish to bare children or are pregnant now. The Zika Virus has arrived on the shores of the USA most recently. The virus has come to the USA as infected mosquitos on U.S. soil have bitten some people. The medical community is telling us that it is doing all it can to combat this virus. Fear still runs rampant among some in our southern states – and maybe for good reason.

What is it we are afraid of today? The economy shows some signs of recovery while the number of people out of work seems to be increasing. People are wondering when they should pull their money out of the stock market as some say a crash is near. No one really knows. Being able to pay our bills – especially in retirement – is a real concern for some. Continue reading

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

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