Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Sin and God’s Perfect Design

Life ChangeThis is not a typical devotional thought. Today, I have been caught up in a theological discussion on Facebook (not the best place for such things but it is a tool to use to reach folks one might not be able to reach otherwise). I’m caught off guard – some – by those who differ with my understanding of God. The following – without names – is part of the discussion. I would welcome your thoughts and understanding on the issue at hand – namely – can we say we were born a certain way by God’s design or has sin caused a deviation or atypical altering of God’s perfect plan for us? I will identify my comments and will not post all  comments here. You can read all on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ramonmcdonald).

This theological understanding is deep in a thread. If you are not following the thread, you may not have seen it. It was my theological explanation for why we see deviations from God‘s perfect design of humanity, even of the world. I would be interested in your theological take?

(I wrote) I believe that all deviations from God’s perfect design are a result of our brokenness from God (sin). That brokenness can be personal sin, the sin of others, or our collective sin (humanity). God did not, as I understand it, create these deviations. Now God can use them, even to His glory, but let’s not say God made me or designed me with these deviations from His perfect design. Somewhere along the line, brokenness (sin) has caused the deviations we see. Sin or brokenness is the ultimate issue we face. In the case of birth defects, somewhere our genetic makeup has changed. For instance, a person’s use of drugs or alcohol could cause genetic change for their descendants (personal sin). This same change in genetics could’ve been caused several generations back and passed on unknowingly (the sin of others). This same change in genetics could be caused by environmental change (think ozone destruction or the chemicals in our food or water)(sin of humanity). This is not meant to place blame, it is an attempt to explain deviations from God’s perfect design in creation. Continue reading

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

There Is A Time For Everything

Ecclesiastes 3:4

…a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

RevRayMcThere never seems to be enough time. We’re always up against some artificial or real barrier of time. How many times have we heard or uttered the phrase – there are not enough hours in a day? How many times did we wish for one more hour or even one more day to our week?

There never seems to be enough time. Some of us create our own time crunches – I realize that fact. We procrastinate until the last minute and then feel crunched by the time limit before us. Some of us actually work better – it seems – when crunched for time.

There never seems to be enough time. My father and father-in-law are with Jesus. What I wouldn’t do for just a few more hours or days with them. Yet – while they were here – I feel like I didn’t make good use of the time (anyone with me on this?). Continue reading

June 29, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marriage: It Takes Hard Work

1 Corinthians 13:5

It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

IMG_0301We’ve all read 1 Corinthians 13 or heard it read at weddings.  It presents God’s love – perfect love – and is used as an example of how a couple’s love should be modeled (although none of us measure up perfectly).  The passage that speaks most to me in this chapter is the last phrase of the 5th verse – it keeps no record of wrongs.

Marriage is hard work (as I said in yesterday’s message titled Biblical Marriage).  If we were striving to model our marriage and our love after God’s love – we would realize that when we keep a record of wrongs – and we all have wrongs – we set ourselves up for failure.  Love wipes the slate clean and allows for us to heal our wounds and move forward. Continue reading

April 13, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Will – God’s Plan

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgI remember – as a child – building sand castles at the beach. They wouldn’t be the fancy ones you often see – with detail. They would be piles of wet sand – with a trench or moat around it to allow the water to avoid the castle and fill in my own personal pool behind the castle or wall of wet sand. Sometimes my brother or cousin or someone would join in and we would make it really big and actually – when we were smaller – lie in the pool and be completely covered with water. I know TMI (too much information).

I remember – as a youth – taking shop in Junior High School – and making a pencil box (I wasn’t very creative). I think I still have that pencil box somewhere! I bent the metal – smoothed the edges – soldered the ends and it looked pretty good – but it was only a pencil box – nothing fancy. I have never been very good with my hands – not like my brother who got all of the tool man gifts.

Around our house – whenever I do a tool related fix – it is a big deal and my wife hoots and hollers – LOL – really! I create things with my mind and computer – but with tools – like hammers and nails or anything else – it is a struggle. I hung shelves 18 years ago in my basement and they are still up – but – the parcel board I used has warped and needs to be replaced. You get the picture. Continue reading

November 6, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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