Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

We Are All A Part Of The Whole

1 Corinthians 12:27

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

When I was in school – grade school – Junior & Senior High – I was in the school band. I played trumpet (or in some of our music it was called a cornet). In High School I played in the Orchestra – the Pep Band – the Concert Band and the Marching Band. These bands were a conglomeration of different persons with different talents. When the director got us all on the same page and the same beat – we made some pretty good music. We won awards even for some of our efforts.

The same can be said about the sport teams I played on in High School. A group of different people – working toward a common goal – and we had a measure of success. I’m sure if you’ve been on any team or group – you may have experienced the same.

Churches are like this as well. Churches are made up of a collection of different people trying to make great music together – trying to achieve goals together. Continue reading

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March 20, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How’s Our Prayer Life?

Luke 5:16

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

RayMcDHow’s our prayer life? I ask this question often. It is the 3rd devotional thought that has the same title. I ask it because I believe our prayer life is very important – even essential to our walk the Lord.

We usually get out of something what we put into it. If we lack communication or time for our spouse – our marriage won’t be very good. If we don’t spend time with our children our relationship with them will be shallow. If we put little into our jobs we will get fired.

How’s our prayer life? Prayer is our communication time with God. We’re called in Scripture to deny self and follow Christ. We’re called to spend time in prayer as Jesus modeled for us. Continue reading

October 18, 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

Happy New Year – 2015

Matthew 18:2-4

2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgWe are entering a New Year in approximately 8 hours as I type this devotional thought.  Some will stay up to see the old year leave and the new year arrive.  Some will have friends over to enjoy the change of years.  Some have headed to New York City and other places to join larger groups of people to celebrate the coming of a New Year.  Some will go to sleep as if nothing will be different or change.  Change is the key word.  The hope that a New Year will be better than the year just completed.  Facebook is filled with people hoping for a better 2015.  That we can get a fresh start and make changes in our lives.  If we change nothing and still expect a different result – well – you know what they say about that saying.

Have you ever read and wondered what Jesus meant by these words from Matthew’s gospel?  When Jesus says – I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  What is it about a little child that is so significant? Continue reading

January 1, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Come to Jesus for Healing

Matthew 9:12

 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgI go to see my primary physician later today. My hope is that he will allow me to go off the BP meds he has had me on. My hope is that my BP is low enough – after already losing nearly 40 pounds – that I won’t need to stay on the meds. The plan is to lose 80-100 pounds – so sooner or later I hope I will be off the meds.

With the Ebola outbreak starting to pickup speed (I still do not understand the administration’s failure to restrict air traffic from known infected areas) – many in the states and around the world will be needing a doctor and health care of some sort.

When is the last time you went to the doctor’s office or the hospital? I know I am very appreciative of the doctors and caregivers that treated me during my recent surgery. Continue reading

October 15, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , | Leave a comment

Have Mercy On Me/Us – Day 15 of 21 Prayer/Fast

Psalm 51:1-2

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

RayBlogHave mercy on me/us dear Lord as we enter our third and final week of the 21 Day Prayer/Fast.  As we embark on the end of this journey and prepare for the next – be ever before us – with us and behind us.

I want to ask a question I have asked a number of times during the prayer/fast – What have we learned through the prayer/fast?  What has God revealed to us?

The Psalmist – reading from Psalm 51:1-19 – begins with today’s verses – Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.  As we enter this final week of the 21 Day Prayer/Fast – I challenge us to ask God to examine our deepest thoughts – our deepest hurts – our deepest sins – our very soul.

21 day prayer fastAs I have tried to unwrap my 2012 before God during our prayer/fast I have found myself shedding more than a few tears.  Tears from the pain – tears from the healing – and tears simply from the emotions involved.  Don’t get too worried – I am a crier for sure.  Many have heard me say I can’t watch a Jimmy Stewart movie without crying.  For the younger generation – Jimmy Stewart is one of the all time great actors and starred in move’s like 1946’s It’s A Wonderful Life, 1954’s The Glenn Miller Story, 1963’s How the West Was Won, and 1939’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington just name a few.

As cleansing as the tears have been – the times spent with Jesus during the prayer/fast have been even more impactful.  I have felt – like few times before – the very presence of God sitting with me.  I know there are many prayer warriors who have been lifting me up in prayer as 2013 unfolds and I appreciate them and feel their prayers.  I cry out – like the Psalmist – and encourage others to do the same – Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

Our reading for today tells us to do this – Ask God to search you and begin to shine a light on all the dark corners of your heart. Ask Him to use this last week to refine you and cleanse you.  I challenge us all to do this today.  Let God search us and know us full well!  Are there sins we have not confessed and made right yet?  Are there attitudes that need adjusted?  Are there habits still to be released?  Are there hurts that need healed?  Don’t let this day – this week or this 21 Day Prayer/Fast pass without allowing God access to your very heart and soul.   We’re asked all the time to give access to our pictures – our Facebook or Twitter page – our contacts – and now Jesus is asking for access to our heart and soul.  Please click the allow button and receive the healing that God offers.

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

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January 15, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Fast | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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