Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

God’s Love

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

profileWhen Shelly – our oldest – was born – I believe if I had been put in the situation – I would have given my life in exchange for hers (thank God I was never in that situation).  I would do the same for my wife and all three of my daughters I believe (we never know what we might do – really – until we are actually faced with situations).

If you expanded that circle I might include a few family members and even a few close friends – but the circle wouldn’t be too wide.  What would you be willing to do for a friend?  Would your circle be wide or small? Continue reading

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November 27, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Know That I Am God (God says)

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.”

profileI remember in elementary school – there were some boys and girls who must have been held back a few years.  They were more mature than the rest of us – biologically.  They did the craziest thing during recess.  They would walk hand-in-hand around the playground.  I mean they would form a line and would parade around the playground – hand-in-hand.  This was back in the days when elementary school was 1st through 6th and they must have been old enough – the ring leaders to be in Junior High School (7th through 9th).

As the ring leaders led – many of the other 5th and 6th graders (our recess group) who were paired off (going with someone – lol) would join them.  The line got pretty long if I remember correctly.  Somehow during the school year a girl and I started to like each other – as much as any 6th grader can like another I guess.  She wanted to join the line at recess – I wanted to play ball.  You can see where I’m headed – no – I didn’t join the line – I lost a girlfriend – lol.  She was very dramatic and threw my 10 cent ring across the room after school one day when she broke up with me.  Strangely – it didn’t seem to impact me much. Continue reading

November 6, 2013 Posted by | Church, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Love

Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

profileI’ve been married for 33 plus years.  I have experienced real love from my wife as she has loved me through the good times and the bad times.  We have three children and we have loved them through the good times and the bad times.

As much as we try to love those whom we love with everything we have – our love is not the best love going.  The best love is the love that God offers us.  Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Continue reading

October 30, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Justified Through Faith

Romans 5:1

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

profileI remember collecting pop bottles as a child.  We would roam the community and pick up the empties people threw out their windows.  In our wagon we would collect as a many as we could carry or as many as we could find.  We would take them to the store or gas station where they sold pop.  We would get 2 cents for every bottle we collected.  The store owner/worker would count up the bottles – make sure they were bottles he serviced and make an accounting of how much he owed us.  If we had bottles he couldn’t return to his distributor – he would not count them and we had to take them back.  In turn we would take the money we got for the pop bottles and buy candy and pop from him.

I remember counting in my head as we approached the store – just how much my efforts had earned me that day and how much candy I could buy.  I use to buy baseball cards with my money – if I remember correctly I could get five cards and a large piece of bazooka bubble gum for a nickel.  It was my first job – if you want to call it that – a time when my work (picking up the bottles) resulted in a payback. Continue reading

September 5, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trust in the Lord

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

profileSome things are hard to understand in life.  I just experienced my 40th High School reunion last weekend and some of us have aged – lol.  Hard to understand how it has been 40 years since we walked the halls of High School together.  Talking with some of my classmates – life has taken some turns for the good and for the not so good.  Some of our classmates didn’t make it to this 40th reunion – already having their journey on earth ended.  Some things are hard to understand – even when we spend a lot of time trying to understand.

In 35 plus years of ministry I have had to help a number of people understand that our understanding is not all that and that we should rely on a higher power for sure.  When a child is born with a special need – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  When a person has taken their life – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  When a marriage fails – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  When a child dies unexpectedly in a crib at night or from a disease – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  When a young mother or father succumbs to a disease – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  When called in the middle of the night because a young person was just lost in a car accident – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  And I could go on and on.  When I have or someone else has yielded to the same temptation – again – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  Life has some difficult moments and being in ministry – I have experienced much of it with folks and with my own family. Continue reading

August 14, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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