Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Veteran’s Day 2019

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Life ChangeToday is Veteran’s Day 2019. We celebrated with some of our veterans in worship yesterday. We also honored one of our veterans – Richard Reynnells – by giving him a flag that flew over our church in 2019. He was surprised to be so honored. We have honored veterans at First Church for many years.

If ever there were a Scripture that spoke to the American soldier – I believe today’s passage is the one. Whether they were drafted or volunteered – men and women of our armed forces have put their lives on the line for God and Country. Whether they served at home or abroad – during peacetime or a time of war – they were our defense – our shield. They trained to be able to serve and protect. Freedom is not free – it is very expensive. At times – it cost way more than money. At times – it costs the lives or health of those who stand in the gap for us – around the world. Continue reading

November 11, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Encouragement, Family, From the Pastor, Personal | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The 4th of July – Independence Day

1 Timothy 2:1-4

1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Today is not a day to think Republican – Democrat – or Independent. Today is not the day to be the resistance or to be a member of Trump’s troops. It is not a day to attack each other – or to attack those whose ideology is different than ours. Today is a day to celebrate our freedom as a nation. It is Independence Day. It is the day our nation declared its independence from the Old Country and decided to begin a new as a new nation.

Too many people – thinking themselves wise and even some thinking themselves prophetic – have attacked our current President and our current Congress (and other leaders as well). We have the freedom to express ourselves. For one day – please – let us put our differences behind us. Today is a day to be united and to thank God for His mercy and grace on our nation. To thank God for America – with all of our warts and scares. We are still the greatest nation in the world IMHO. Continue reading

July 4, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are We A New Creation?

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Today’s passage should be very familiar to us. If you have heard me preach or teach for any length of time – you have heard this passage used. I wonder if we give it much thought.

It may be painful – but try to remember if we can – if we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior – what it felt like before we made the decision to follow Him. I made the decision as a youth – but I can remember the feeling after I made the decision more than the feeling beforehand. I mean – I grew up in the church – and although a sinner – not a really bad person. I did think I was a Christian beforehand – thinking that because I went to church I was a Christian. But soon after giving my heart to Jesus – I knew what it was like to be a new creation. I felt like flying – I felt free – I felt relieved and blessed.

I have talked to some who received Christ later in life and they have similar reports – but with a deeper memory of their life prior to Jesus. Some walked in drugs or alcohol. Some lived lives of crime. Some didn’t grow up in the church. Can we remember? What is our story? Continue reading

June 28, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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