Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Never Will I Leave You

Hebrews 13:5

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Do we have any life-long friends? It is unusual to have friends from childhood till death. I have a few friends from my school days – but not many. Most of us grew up and went on with our lives. Because I attended three elementary schools – two junior high schools – and one high school – I haven’t been able to keep in touch with many from my younger days. Facebook has helped some.

My daughters are in the position that most pastors’ children do not experience. They started and finished grade school – middle school – and high school – with the same set of friends. Because we stayed in one church for 24 years – they grew up in the same school system and even today – grown and with families – they have some of the same friends for their school days.

Other than family – most of us don’t have friends from our childhood. For some of us – our 35-55-75 year marriage is the longest running friendship we have known. Some will never know that either – with many marriages not making it that long. Continue reading

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April 19, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Carry Each Other’s Burdens

Galatians 6:2

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

RayMcDCarry each other’s burdens. Like some – I work better with someone working along side of me rather than working alone. I know folks that work well alone – but I like having someone there with me – even if just for company. I’ve encouraged my wife at times to simply be in the yard with me while working to have someone there. I can work alone – but I work better with someone there to talk to and bounce ideas off of.

Carry each other’s burdens. I wonder how many of us have had issues in life (almost all of us I imagine). I can also imagine that often having someone help us through the difficult time was appreciated. Whether is was a loan at just the right time – a word of advice – a shoulder to lean on – a prayer said at just the right time – a kind word of encouragement – or simply just being there. Continue reading

September 9, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Put God’s Words Into Practice

Matthew 7:24

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

DadI was thinking of my dad the other day. In a few months – it will be four years since he passed. I can’t believe how fast the time has gone. I miss him so. He taught me many things – even things I am still learning today. As his words echo in my ears – in my mind – I am guided in life to be a better man – a better husband – a better pastor – a better father. Is there anyone like that in your life?

Many of us have coaches or teachers or parents or close friends who have given us advice and guiding words in our lives. We often remember them and think of those persons fondly. I still remember a close friend – Harry – who poured into my life for many years. He took time to guide me in my developing years as a youth and young adult. A close friend – Brad – also was significant in my life – may he rest in peace. Continue reading

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

Our Use of Social Media

Philippians 2:21

For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.

facebook_icon112015 Ray McDonaldSocial media has connected a boat load of people in the last few years.  I have a Facebook account – a Twitter account – a Linkedin account – and a Google+ account.

I have numerous friends on Facebook (and that term is used at various levels on Facebook).  There are so many friends that we have to put them in categories like folks who went to our High School – folks who are family – folks who are from our church – folks who live in our community – folks we really don’t know – etc.  We can determine who sees our posts – no one but you (if you pick this option why are you posting on Facebook – lol) – everyone – our friends only – and we can even break some friends down into a group called acquaintances and block them from seeing what other friends see.  It can get confusing. We have a news feed where we see what our friends post.  There is a private messaging portion of Facebook as well.  You can post pictures and videos too.

twitter100x100-Black-BackgrOn Twitter we can follow some folks and some folks can follow us.  On Facebook we can leave long messages.  On Twitter we are basically limited to 140 characters per post (I say basically because some Twitter Apps or Apps connected to our Twitter account will accept more than 140 characters and let people know that there is more to read after the basic characters (YouVersion.com is a program that allows you to Tweet longer Scriptures than 140 characters for instance).  Twitter is supposed to be short thoughts and people come up with loads of shortcuts to get their message across in 140 characters.

Google+ is an app that allows a variety of options to communicate with friends.  I use it mainly to set up video hangouts with my friends (basically a video call from device to device).  You can put your friends into circles and message them in groups if you wish.  I also post my blog page on this and other formats. Continue reading

February 1, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BFFs

Hebrews 13:5

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

112015 Ray McDonaldDo any of us have longtime friends?  Friends we have had like for forever it seems? On Facebook – some folks call long time friends BFFs – Best Friends Forever.  They have even started ranking BBFs by calling them BFF1 or BFF2 (I kid you not).

My children were blessed more than most pastor’s children – because we were at one church for such a long time (24 years).  They were able to start school (pre-school) and end High School with some of the same friends throughout.  It was amazing for them.  Some of their friends have been there for them for all that time – even as they finished college – married – and started families.  We have had their friends in and out of our home for so long we feel like they are part of our family. Continue reading

November 23, 2015 Posted by | Build, Christmas, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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