Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

I Like You – Do You Like Me?

1 John 4:19

We love because he first loved us.

June 2019I remember – when I was a teen – playing the dating game. I dated women from the time I was 16 until I got married at 25 – that’s 9 years. I had two long-term relationships in that time frame and a few short-term ones. As some teens (and young adults) in the dating game – I was insecure at times. Like many men and women in the dating game (not thinking of dating as a game but that seems to be the best word to use) – being insecure about our feelings – I often held out expressing my feelings till the person I was dating expressed their feelings. Remember – when we were in elementary school and they passed the little notes that said – I like you – do you like me? Or was my school the only one that did that note passing thing?

Telling someone you like them or even going the next step and telling someone you love them is a big move. You’re always wondering if they will like you or love you back. I’ve even heard the dreaded – let’s be friends’ line more than once – have you? Continue reading

June 18, 2019 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

Love Is The Key

Deuteronomy 6:5

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.

Life ChangeLove is a core value in the Christian faith. Showing love to one another is a significant characteristic of our Christian walk – or at least it is supposed to be. I believe that love seems to be missing from our society these days and also from many who claim to follow Christ. Some folks who claim to be Christians – like some politicians today – tend to take sides on issues and show anything but love to those who disagree. Like some – we tend to forget that even when we disagree – we should show love. We should be able to disagree without being disagreeable.

I created a song for my grandchildren. I sing it with them whenever they’re here or at times on FaceTime. It goes like this – I love Pop, Pop loves me, and that’s the way it’s going to be! (Repeat until we get tired of singing it.) If I have written it before (and I know I have) – I just love being a Pop. I love my grand-children – five now with another on the way soon from South Korea! I love showing them how much I love them – by giving them my focus when they are around. I didn’t always do that with my children. I want to be a better Pop than I was a Dad.

In Christ we are called to love others – even as we love ourselves. Jesus was asked what were the greatest commandments – and part of His response is to love our neighbors – those around us – even as we love ourselves. Matthew 22:39 – And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Continue reading

May 9, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Being God’s Friend

John 15:14

You are my friends if you do what I command.

Life ChangeIf you’ve ever helped raise children – you know the heart of every parent is for their children to listen to them and grow to make good decisions. We train and discipline them to behave properly. We spend their lifetime trying to equip them to have good morals and values – to trust in God and follow His teachings. Every morning – as our girls were headed to school – my wife told them – make good choices – watch your surroundings – and listen to the Holy Spirit. Wise words to guide your life.

I was listening to Andy Stanley this morning and he was talking about treating his children well. If anyone didn’t treat them well – he was their enemy. The Papa Bear came out in him when his children were mistreated – and look out for Sandra – his wife – because she was a very protective Mama Bear. Continue reading

April 19, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love More And Have A Better Attitude

Romans 15:5

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had…

I’ve written a number of posts over the years about attitude. I believe attitude is so very important – possibly essential in our Christian walk. One of my favorite sayings has to do with attitude and Christianity. It goes like this – Christianity boils down to attitude – the condition and position of one’s heart. But how do we improve our attitude toward someone – especially someone who has hurt us or who is unlikeable?

Our love for one another and our love for God – has a lot to do with our attitude. The Bible says that if we don’t have love then we have nothing – and we are nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2 – If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. Having and expressing love – Christ-like love – is at the core of our faith. Continue reading

August 7, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love One Another! It Will Help Your Attitude!

Galatians 5:22-26

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Over the next few days we will examine the Fruits of the Spirit as found in Galatians 5. We just took a few days to look at attitude – and several have remarked at how those hit home.  Our love quotient goes a long way toward having the right attitude my friends.

The first fruit listed is love.  Love is THE most important of the fruits – because without love we could have all the rest – all of the fruits and gifts of the Spirit – and something would still be missing.

1 Corinthians 13:2 – If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

We are called to imitate Christ and the love He showed us.

Ephesians 5:1-2 – 1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

The commandments were summed up by Jesus with a heavy dose of love.

Mark 12:30-31 – 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’   31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.”

Today – and throughout the rest of our lives – we should be working on being more loving.  Allowing the fruit of love to invade our very being.  For some that is easier – because it is their nature to be loving.  For some – this will be a task – but it will help us produce a better attitude and will help us be a better witness for Christ.

Love one another – even as Christ loved us.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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December 20, 2010 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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