Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Some Things Never Change

Matthew 6:34

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

Today’s devotional thought is refreshed from a post of mine on November 8, 2012. The truth still holds today and this year’s election. It was written after the 2012 election and I will write something after this year’s election too – but – this struck me the morning.

(11/8/12) The election is over and the results are mostly in by now. Your candidate either won or lost – your opinion was either in the majority or the minority on the questions on the ballot. You may agree or disagree that our nation is headed in the right or wrong direction. Many in the news and on Facebook have tried to project the future – with mixed projections. The market dropped dramatically yesterday and some speculate about the elections impact on it – and where it is headed. Some make a living looking into the future and trying to gauge how today will impact tomorrow.

Several of us who are closing in on retirement – say in the next 10-20 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. David Ramsey has many suggestions about savings and retirement.

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October 27, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What? Me Worry?

Matthew 6:34

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

The 2020 Presidential Elections will happen in less than a month. 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 – on Facebook – or other social media 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 4 years – with some ups and downs during the pandemic (but rebounding). Are your finances better off today than they were 4 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 few 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. As one who is considering retirement – these are all things I am thinking and praying about on a regular basis.

We’re told that many if not most Americans are better off today than ever before. The jobless numbers were down to record lows before the pandemic (and improving as we rebound from it). The average wage is higher than ever before – and rising in record amounts. But – is it all about our finances?

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October 7, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What? Me Worry?

Matthew 6:34

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

The 2020 elections are at hand (please be ready to vote as your heart and mind decide). Your candidate will either win or lose – your opinion was either in the majority or the minority on the questions and contests on the ballot. You may agree or disagree that our nation is headed in the right or wrong direction. Many in the news and on Facebook have tried to project the future – with mixed projections. The market was doing better than ever before. The COVID-19 happened and the market dropped significantly – but – it seems to be rebounding these days. Many speculate that this election (like many) will have an impact on the market. Some have predicted – or have tried to predict the elections impact on the market. Some make a living looking into the future and trying to gauge how the elections impact the market.

Several of us who are closing in on retirement – say in the next few years or so – 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 – our retirement funds – 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.

Continue reading

September 10, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Plus Two Better Equal Four

1 Peter 1:25

“…but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

Consistency is important to most of us. Two plus two better equal four every time or our whole number system is thrown up in the air. Consistency is important.

Inconsistencies usually drive many if not all of us crazy. The person who says one thing and yet does another is an example of inconsistency that drives most of us crazy. Remember when your friends tried to change the rules mid-game as a child – like when you were playing whiffle ball – batted left-handed – began to hit homers over the right field fence and they called homers over that fence an automatic double or even an out (my cousin tried to pull that one on me in his backyard in Barboursville – WV when we were kids)?

What about in your line of work – what if the formula for concrete kept changing? What if the codes kept changing – not once-in-awhile but every day? What if the points for a reward or promotion at work kept changing? Consistency is something we all try for in life. It is a good feeling for most of us to come home to basically the same-old-same-old each day after a hard day’s work. I know that might sound boring to some of our readers – and some variance at times is good – but most of us love consistency.

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July 24, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Joy as We Walk with Jesus

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil.

I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ – our Lord – our Savior and my dear friend. I write to encourage you this afternoon in your walk with Jesus. Often in sermons or in teachings we talk about building our spiritual lives. We encourage those who would hear to take the time to build their spiritual lives and to develop a deeper walk with Jesus. We urge people to take advantage of the many opportunities to eat spiritual food and to grow stronger.

I write today to encourage you to NOT rely on your pastors to have knowledge of the Word and a relationship with Jesus! I write to encourage you to regularly search the Word and to pray on every occasion. Your faith cannot be based on your parent’s faith – your grandparent’s faith – your pastor’s faith – or anyone else’s faith. Each of us must develop our own walk with Jesus. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians that we are to always have joy in our journey with Jesus. Here’s today’s passage again.

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July 20, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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