Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Anxious Moments – Again

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

RayMcDLet me begin by apologizing for not having a devotional post yesterday. I may not have one every day this week. My mom passed on Sunday evening. Yesterday I had a hard time focusing. I found this devotional I wrote just before my father passed and thought I would refresh it for today.

As a pastor I have seen way too many medical issues strike seemingly healthy persons. I’ve mentioned before having a friend die a few feet away from me while playing basketball one morning several years ago. I’ve also seen friends who seemed to be very healthy die a few months after being diagnosed with a sickness like cancer. It is enough to give anyone a few anxious moments. I know I have had my share!

While in Florida on vacation (back in 2012) – my father entered the hospital (remind me to talk to him about his timing later – when he is well and home). Have I told you recently that I love this man! He is 84 and common sense says he is in the last chapters of his life – even if he lives to be 100. While talking to my brother and sister by phone – I heard anxiousness in their voices (and for my brother to be anxious I knew it wasn’t good). I sat in the dark and cried out to God for help and comfort for my dad and family (and me). My wife came out and tried to comfort me – but only God could bring me comfort at that moment. Today’s passage came to mind – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. As I made plans to return home I could only trust in God – because this was something I couldn’t control. I had to place my trust in Jesus – because – well – just because! (My father would die that fall.) Continue reading

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

Keeping Our Eyes On The Lord

Psalm 16:8

I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

RevRayMcWhen I was growing up – learning to play baseball – I was told many times – hitting or catching – to keep my eyes on the ball. Watch the ball all the way to the glove or to the bat! Keep your eyes on the ball was a common phrase. In many sports – keeping your eye on the ball or the goal is important.

When I was growing up – setting goals for my life – I was often told to – keep my eye on the goal. When it took me five years to get through four years of college (working my way through school – paying my way as I went – working several jobs) – I was reminded by my dad to keep my eyes on the goal of graduating.

When I was growing up – I often had to look down the road at goals I had set – to keep focused. I imagine I am not alone. I imagine that many of us set goals and aimed at them in life. Continue reading

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

Set Our Minds On Jesus!

Colossians 3:2

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

112015 Ray McDonaldThe other day I wrote about my earlier days of playing basketball. A question often arises when teaching people to shoot a basketball. The question – where do you aim when shooting a basketball? Some say the front of the rim – some say the back of the rim – while still others say the middle of the basket (try to swish the ball each time without touching the rim). A survey was done and of those who responded – 46% said back of the rim – 34% said front of the rim – and 20% said center of the basket. Personally I aim for the basket – the center – and hope for the best!

One of my favorite sayings of all time goes like this – aim at nothing and you’re bound to hit it! In most of life – jobs – hobbies – relationships – we need to be aiming at something. When a couple has been dating for a while – one might ask the other – where do you see our relationship heading? Clue – you better have a good answer or the relationship might be headed out the door! Saying I don’t know – can’t we just enjoy things the way they are going now – normally is not a good answer. Setting our aim is very important. Continue reading

March 31, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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