Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Do Not Worry About Tomorrow

Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Life ChangeThe 2020 Presidential Elections will happen in less than a year from now. Your candidate will either win or lose – your opinions will either be in the majority or the minority. You may agree or disagree that our nation is headed in the right or wrong direction. Many in the news and on Facebook will try to project the future. They will have mixed projections – and mixed results.

Let’s look at a few things. The stock market has hit all time highs for the last 3 years – yesterday was a new record closing. Are your finances better off now than they were 3 years ago? Some say that people vote according to their personal pocketbook. Will you?

Several of us who are closing in on retirement – say in the next 5-10 years – naturally peek into the future to see what the climate will be as that day approaches. We look at things like the housing market – our debt – the Dow Jones – our savings – the cost of living – and on and on the list might go. Looking to the future is not a bad thing – it is actually a wise thing. Dave Ramsey has many suggestions about savings and retirement. Look up some of his ideas here. The Presidential elections usually have a major impact on the market – on our finances.

We’re told that many if not most of Americans are better off now than ever before. The jobless numbers are down to record lows. The average wage is higher than ever before – and rising in record amounts. But – is it all about our finances?

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November 14, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Is Watching Over Us

Psalm 121:3

He will not let your foot slip — he who watches over you will not slumber;

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amJust to bring you up to date – I have five granddaughters. Two are in 1st grade – two are in pre-school and one is catching her older sisters and cousins (she wants to do everything the older girls do)!

Believe it or not – I actually get left alone with them from time to time. I have sat with the three from the one family for movie night while their parents go out for an evening (their parents must have been desperate for a night out to leave them under my care – LOL!). Before we go any further I want you to know everything went well and there were no fires! The girls actually go to bed for me pretty well – better than my own girls if I remember correctly.

Technology is so great these days – when I watched my granddaughters solo – her parents had cameras in each bedroom that allowed me to watch them in their rooms. I can even talk to them – when they get out of bed. I could watch them (and their parents could too while they were out) without disturbing them. It is better than peeking into their rooms every 45 seconds. I wish we had those when our children were babies. Continue reading

October 1, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

21-Day Prayer/Fast – Day 11

James 1:2-4

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

01032015 RayAnother day and another difficulty – seems like that sometimes – right?  Have you ever felt that way in your life’s journey?  Have you ever felt if things could go wrong they would?  Or have you ever felt if it wasn’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all?  Trials and difficulties just seem to come with the reality that we are human and things will be tough in certain seasons of life.  Can I get an Amen?

I have written on my blog page in the past that the last few years have been rough for me and my family – with the sickness and death of my father in late 2012 – with the loss of an adoptive granddaughter that was in our arms until the birth mom changed her mind – with the near death accident I had with a tractor-trailer that same year – and with other personal and professional happenings.  Part of the prayer/fast for me in 2013 was to dig deeper into my relationship with Jesus – and that is my purpose again in 2015.  I hope that is the point of your prayer/fast as well.

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January 15, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Guarantee Of What Is To Come!

2 Corinthians 5:5

Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgHave you ever wondered why you’re here? Ever questioned some of the things that have happened to you in your life? How Sovereign is God in your life? Does God have a plan for your life? Are we striving to walk in that plan? Are we seeking that plan? Are we seeking His face, while we desire His grace?

A High School classmate of mine just died – after a battle with cancer. He was a great man – a true patriot and man of God. He was a family man and a man of the community. Several people have asked me to make sense of his death. He loved the Lord and served Him with his life. It is not easy for family and friends to understand. Questions are being asked and answers are few and far between.

I started my portion of his service by saying I wished I had words that would make it all right – that would answer all our questions – but I don’t have such words – nor do I believe such words exist. What I can do is point us toward what I do know. Continue reading

October 16, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

F.R.O.G.

Matthew 6:25

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

profileWorry – anxiousness – that can really knock you down.  Some of us worry or are anxious about just about anything.  What are some things you have worried or are anxious about in your life?  Have you ever worried or been anxious about the weather?  Have you ever worried or been anxious about your bills?  Have you ever worried or been anxious about your children?  Have you ever worried or been anxious about your health?  Have you ever worried or been anxious about what you will wear – where you will live – what you will eat?  I could go on and on.

In the Sermon on the Mount – Jesus tells us to not worry – to not be anxious.  We’re to rely on God for our daily needs.  Being worried or anxious will not help our cause for sure.  It will not add a day to our life – it might even cut a few days off of it! Continue reading

January 16, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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