Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Perseverance Leads to Lacking Nothing!

James 1:4

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

fullsizeoutput_ffeI’m sitting here – in my church office – trying to find my focus! I’m praying and reading the Bible – I’m listening to some Contemporary Christian music – feeding my spirit (after a lunch of salad – grilled chicken and water to feed the body).

As I was reading in the Bible I opened to a favorite book – the Book of James – Christ’s brother’s book. I came across that famous passage at the beginning of that book.

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. Continue reading

October 19, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Plan For Our Lives

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

112015 Ray McDonaldI’m a planner. I use an app that sets reminders for my to-do-list. My wife and I use an app to tell each other what we need at the grocer (it actually works when she remembers to check it). I use a program that keeps all of my important info or data (no secrets or deep treasures) available to me wherever I am. I plan out future sermons well in advance. I try to give as much information to the worship team as possible. I allow my office manager to review and even edit my work calendar. I have my work & personal calendar and several other calendars on my devices. My wife and I have planed – financially – for our retirement (we have a target figure and conditions we wish to achieve before we retire). In other words – and I could go on and on – I plan and try to execute my plan(s).

Are you a planner? Do you make plans or do you fly by the seat of your pants? One of my favorite saying is – if we aim at nothing – we are bound to hit it. Making plans is important for most of us. Carrying those plans out is what we should all aim at – allowing for adjustment of our plans as things develop. For instance – the Orioles plan to win their division and thus make the playoffs. If during the season that doesn’t seem possible – the next target would be to make the playoffs by being a wild-card team. Continue reading

April 6, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

21-Day Prayer/Fast – Day 9

Romans 12:1-2

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.  2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

01032015 RayDay 9 is upon us dear readers – the time is flying by.  During our prayer/fast we have written and discussed presenting ourselves to God and making ourselves a sacrifice for Jesus.  We have asked questions – like what are we willing to do to please God?  What are we willing to sacrifice for God?

Today’s passage in the 21-Day Fast devotional reading plan can be found here.  The reading is the 12th chapter of Romans – which starts with the two verses above.  These are two of my favorite verses in the Bible (the list is long but these are on it).  They speak about offering God ourselves – our bodies – and even our souls!  All that we have and all that we are – for sure.  Are we willing to give God our all?

Share some of your thoughts in the comments section – bless others with your questions or responses and see what God will do with us.  Seek His face and desire His grace and offer your all to Jesus!

Continue reading

January 13, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, 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

The Plan/Will Of God!

Psalm 33:11

But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

profileAre you the type of person who makes lists – a person who has a to-do list? Does your data phone have a lists app such as GTasks – which is Google Tasks and connects with the tasks on your Google account – your Gmail e-mail account?  If you make a task in your e-mail account – it can follow you on your data device through such apps.  For some of us that might be a little too much!  For some of us that isn’t even enough.

How organized are you?  Is your office desk neat and orderly?  Or do you simply know where everything is in your mess?  Does everything have a place in your garage?  My wife teases me all the time because my garage is not neat.  Nancy Lane and my father-in-law keep the ideal garage according to my wife – so neat and everything has a place and is in that place. Do you draw lines around your tools hanging on the wall so you know what tool goes where? Continue reading

March 27, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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