Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Day 18 of Lent 2018

Matthew 25:13

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”

Today is day 18 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan on www.youversion.com. I hope you are enjoying the 40 Day reading plan and the few comments I leave each day. Keep up with the stories about Jesus’ life as He walked to the cross.

Today’s reading ends with a verse like yesterday’s first passage. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” The hour is coming – but it will be a time only the Father knows. Our task is to share Jesus with as many people as we are able until that time comes. At First Church we believe we are called to reach the whole family for Christ. How can we help each other to help the kingdom! What can we do to better serve Jesus and draw others to Him? Continue reading

March 3, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love Deeply

1 Peter 4:8

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

The 1st year anniversary of my mother’s passing was just a couple of days ago. It was a sad day for me – I shed more than a few tears. Mom always showered her children with love. She loved her children deeply – but she loved her man – my father – even more so. She gave of herself in every way so that we would feel cared for and loved. At times I would even say she suffered for us.

In a few months I will remember my father’s passing 6 years ago. Dad loved mom and his children deeply. He worked several jobs – at a time – to provide for his family. He worked hard to show his deep love for his family. At times I would even say he suffered for us.

This summer my wife and I will celebrate 38 years of marriage – if she stays with me till August (LOL). We’re already talking about what we will do to celebrate our 40th. My wife loves her children and her husband deeply. We also love our grandchildren deeply. At times we suffer for them all. Continue reading

February 8, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Is The Rapture?

Matthew 24:36

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Have we read anything lately about the rapture. Do we even know what the rapture represents? I first posted this devotional thought on May 21st – 2011. According to fundamentalist Harold Camping – that was the day he predicted for the Rapture. The Rapture is a belief that the saints of Christ – true believers – will be raised before the end of time arrives. A key passage some use in their teaching about the Rapture is 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. Here’s what I believe – Christ will return – Christ will receive His church (true believers) – and the end times will unfold. I just wasn’t sold on Harold Camping’s prediction in 2011 nor of anyone’s ability to predict the date today of the rapture or the end of time. Nor what order things will occur.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 – According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Continue reading

April 4, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Are We Waiting For Today?

Titus 2:13

…while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

82015 RaySo what are we waiting for today? I have a friend who is waiting for retirement. He is counting the months till he can retire from his job and do something else. He doesn’t want to sit around – he just doesn’t want to keep doing what he is doing now.

So what are we waiting for today? Some folks are waiting for their ship to come in. They have worked hard toward whatever their career goals might be and are just waiting for it to pay off. They don’t want more than they think they deserve – they just want what they think they deserve.

So what are we waiting for today? I know a couple that can’t wait for their wedding day to arrive. They are very excited and have planned and prepared and are just counting the days. I can remember that feeling! Continue reading

October 30, 2015 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are We Ready to Face God?

Amos 4:12

Prepare to meet your God!

In the movies – as the movie is coming to a close – we often see these words – The End.  At times – the end comes before we want it to.  Often I find myself saying – they should have done this or that rather than end the movie that way.  The end often doesn’t come the way we would have it come.  This is often true in real life as well – the end often comes when we least expect it – like a thief in the night the Bible says.

In the movies – we have heard today’s passage – probably said this way – prepare to meet your Maker!  As we age we might think about this from time to time – thinking of the end and meeting our Maker.  I know one night this week I went to bed thinking about my life ending and standing before God.  This time it was a pleasant thought. Have you ever thought of meeting your Maker?

Several places in the Bible we are brought to the place of reflection – thinking about the end of our earthly lives.  Most of us have probably gone there in our thought life – and from various angles.

Maybe we have thoughts of judgment day and reflect upon John’s writings in Revelation 20:11-13 – 11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.

Maybe your thoughts are more in line with hearing these words found in Matthew 25:23 – “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Amos – in his book by the same name in the Bible – is trying to warn the people of the earth that God’s wrath will not be held back forever.  God will not be mocked – nor will God allow us to sin forever.  Time and time again God has tried to reach out to His creation – but the time will come – whether it is the end of our personal lives or the end of time as we know it – that we will face our Maker – our God.  Are you ready?  A dear brother recently told me he was ready to go home – to meet his God – and I believe he was.  Are we?

“Therefore this is what I will do to you, Israel, and because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel.”

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

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October 6, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , , | Leave a comment


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