Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Holy Spirit Comes Upon Us

Luke 1:35

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”

I remember when I was in elementary school – we use to pass notes in class (I don’t recommend this to our students).  You know the type note I’m talking about – the girls would make up these little books with questions in them like do you like so-in-so?  One of the questions on a booklet passed around said – do you watch Dark Shadows? Now Dark Shadows was a show that came on right after school – a soap opera as it were. It was about a vampire and creepy things. I didn’t watch it – or at least hadn’t watched it before being asked – and didn’t even know about it – and so I thought they were talking about dark shadows at night. Everyone else was saying yes – so of course – succumbing to peer pressure – I said yes as well. It was only later – when I was asked specific questions about watching Dark Shadows – I found out it was a TV show – and of course I started watching it. Continue reading

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January 11, 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

I Love You – Do You Love Me?

1 John 4:19

We love because he first loved us.

Dear readers – did you pass notes as a child in school? I remember passing notes in elementary school? When a little girl sent a note – it might say – I like you – do you like me? We also asked crazy questions of our classmates. I was in Miss Bailey’s classroom (I had a crush on her) at John H. Bayne Elementary School  – we were out in a trailer (temporary classroom) – because the school was expanding so fast. I remember when they came into our classroom and asked who would go to the new class (our class was overloaded) – I said yes.

I remember going steady with a young lady in 6th grade. The couples – at least many of them – would parade around the playground holding hands during recess. I wouldn’t do it – because recess for me was a time to play kickball or softball or some kind of ball. I remember getting a note from my steady telling me – if I really loved her (I never used those words) I would give up recess and walk with her. Needless to say – the relationship didn’t last very long. Continue reading

July 7, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Never Will I Leave You

Hebrews 13:5

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Do we have any life-long friends? It is unusual to have friends from childhood till death. I have a few friends from my school days – but not many. Most of us grew up and went on with our lives. Because I attended three elementary schools – two junior high schools – and one high school – I haven’t been able to keep in touch with many from my younger days. Facebook has helped some.

My daughters are in the position that most pastors’ children do not experience. They started and finished grade school – middle school – and high school – with the same set of friends. Because we stayed in one church for 24 years – they grew up in the same school system and even today – grown and with families – they have some of the same friends for their school days.

Other than family – most of us don’t have friends from our childhood. For some of us – our 35-55-75 year marriage is the longest running friendship we have known. Some will never know that either – with many marriages not making it that long. Continue reading

April 19, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Are Chosen People!

Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

RayMcDI use a lot of athletic examples. Sorry if that doesn’t work for you. Most of us can remember recess in Elementary school. Do we remember when they would pick up teams for kickball or dodgeball? Do we remember being the last chosen or not being chosen at all? For those who have been chosen last or not at all – I assume it was not a good feeling for sure. We all like to be chosen – even if only for a kickball game.

It is a good feeling – being chosen. There were times I was the one picking up sides (in elementary school). At times I might be the first or second player picked by someone else. Either way it felt good to know your services were wanted on someone’s team. I remember the same feeling when picked for teams in the classroom too – like for a spelling bee or a math competition. When picked – we were expected to give our very best to the team effort. That would mean playing hard at whatever sport or coming up with the answer to the math problem before the other team. I rarely got picked for the spelling bee teams but did get picked for the math competition or the debate team. Continue reading

August 30, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Facing Hardships for Jesus

Hebrews 12:2

For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Photo on 6-21-16 at 2.53 PMHave any of us endured hardship for a cause? Hardship is so hard to define – because it can mean different things to different people. For instance – in elementary school I remember declining an invite to play in a game of kickball because my best friend didn’t get picked. That was a hardship for a competitive person like me – even in elementary school! Others have mentioned not joining a club or a fraternity because a close friend failed to receive an invite.

I’ve heard of colleagues and friends who have turned down promotions and raises in order to remain where they felt God called them. I’ve known parents who have sacrificed for their children – going without in order that their children might have what they needed and at times what they wanted. Hardships come in many ways. Continue reading

June 23, 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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