Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Encourage One Another – Please

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

img_0063-2I fully believe that we all need some encouragement once in a while. Some need it more than others – some don’t seem to need much at all – but we all seem to appreciate it when we receive it.

Some of us need to practice encouragement. Some folks are natural encouragers – some are not. For some – it seems easier and more natural to point out what’s wrong with this picture – rather than being an encourager. I know my natural self is better at pointing out things that are out of place or that need improved rather than encouraging others. I must work at being an encourager.

Today’s passage – in partial context – is instructions from God through Paul – for the church. I don’t read Paul as an encourager by nature either – he seemed very black and white – right and wrong. Yet God used him to encourage others. Continue reading

January 30, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Annual Warning for Men/Husbands

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. The Message

Life ChangeValentine’s Day is just 7 days away. This is a warning devotional for men who might need the reminder. After 39+ years with my wife I write with some experience. What do we plan to do this year brothers? Traditionally this is a holiday where men are supposed to show their love and affection for the women in their lives. So men – what do we have planned? If nothing is planned yet – this is our warning to get something planned – ASAP. The following are some thoughts. If you are a wife reading this – you might want to print it for the man in your life!

In The Message version of the Bible – we read from Paul’s Epistle today’s passage: Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting.

Here’s a plan for February 14th – just a suggestion or two! Start by getting a nice card – it can be store-bought or homemade. If you have little ones – get a sitter for the evening of the 14th or a night you plan to celebrate this holiday. Make a reservation by this weekend or soon for a nice restaurant (McDonald’s will not cut it – doesn’t have to be the Chart House or Ruth Chris Steak House – but something nice). Buy something – it doesn’t need to be from Zales! You could buy some flowers – a small box of candies – a piece of jewelry – something! Bring it with you to the dinner – or have it delivered while you’re having dinner. The key here is that you get the sitter – you make the reservation – you go out of your way to purchase something for her. Most women aren’t so concerned with what you get them – rather they are impressed when you take the time to plan a nice evening with them – and you take the initiative to take care of all the details. Continue reading

February 8, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day Is Coming Brothers!

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. The Message

Valentine’s Day is just 19 days away. This is a warning devotional for men who might need the reminder. After 38 years with my wife I write with some experience. What do we plan to do this year men? Traditionally this is a holiday where men are supposed to show their love and affection for the women in their lives. So men – what do we have planned? If nothing is planned yet – this is our warning to get something planned – ASAP. The following are some thoughts. If you are a wife reading this – you might want to print it for the man in your life!

In The Message – we read from Paul’s Epistle today’s passage: Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Continue reading

January 26, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Word of Encouragement This Morning!

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

RayMcDWe must be careful when we pull verses out of context and try to make too much out of them. I pray I don’t do that – simply using the words of Scripture to encourage and give us something to think about as we go on our way each day. Here is a word that encourages me and I pray it does you as well. We all need encouragement from time to time – don’t we?

Paul is coming to the close of his letter (Epistle) to the Christians in Rome and he is trying to give them encouragement after giving them much instruction. Encouragement can be so helpful. When a team is going bad – like the Orioles – encouragement can lift them to play better. When a person is fighting depression – encouragement can help them fight through the down time and see the light at the end of the tunnel. When a student is having a hard time focusing on material for a test – encouragement might be of help.  When someone is trying to accomplish a significant task – encouragement can help.  Who are we encouraging today? Who’s walk in Christ are we trying to encourage? Who is encouraging us today? Continue reading

August 22, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wipe Every Tear From Their Eyes

Revelation 21:4

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

112015 Ray McDonaldIf you know me – you know that I am an emotional person.  Growing up I found out early that I was an emotional person.  It didn’t take much to make me cry.  It also didn’t take much to make me angry.  I could get hot in a second – but thankfully – I could also release my emotions and level off quickly.

As I aged – I grew to control my anger – most times – but my tears came to flow more freely it seems.  I remember my maternal grandmother passing and how I cried at the family viewing time.  My cousin – same age – laughed at me for crying and his father took him by the scruff of the neck out of the room.  He came back in and told me – look – I’m crying too.  I guess it takes more to make some cry than others – lol. Continue reading

April 14, 2016 Posted by | Build, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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