Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Our Righteousness Is Like Filthy Rags

Isaiah 64:6

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

It is that time of the year when house cleaning takes place. My wife was washing windows and I was cleaning screens – trying to get some airflow during the recent three days of warmth and sunshine (we had the screens out for the winter). I need to clean out the garage again. My wife likes a clean garage. Argue as I might that a garage is not meant to be clean – she won’t buy it. We have a friend – her name is Nancy – and her garage was always perfectly ordered. My father-in-law’s garage too (that is where Carolyn got the idea of a clean garage I guess – you know – where there are outlines on the wall for EVERYTHING!).

When I clean out my garage – I always come across dirty rags. I use them for cleaning up most anything and at times they are not thrown away quickly enough for sure. I found one recently that was soaking wet with oil – with dirt – with dust – etc. Whenever I pick up dirty – filthy rags – today’s passage comes to mind. Continue reading

April 17, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blameless and Pure

Philippians 2:15

so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky

Yesterday we wrote about people knowing that we were Christians by our love (you can read it here if you have an interest). The key line yesterday was this – As Christians – others should know us simply by our love for one another. We are called to follow the example of Christ in loving one another. We are to love as He loved. Our love for others should be an example to others of the love of Christ.

Today we want to write some on being blameless and pure. Today’s passage says we are to become blameless and pure as children of God. Philippians 2:15 – so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky. We know full well that becoming blameless and pure is not something we can do on our own. Continue reading

October 26, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Stand In The Need Of Grace

Isaiah 64:6

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

When my arm heals – one of the first things I need to do is clean my garage. My wife likes a clean garage. I’ve written this before so not one should be surprised. Argue as I might that a garage is not meant to be clean – she won’t buy it. We have a friend – her name is Nancy – and her garage was always perfectly ordered. My father-in-law’s garage too (that is where Carolyn got the idea of a clean garage I guess – you know – where there are outlines on the wall for EVERYTHING!).

When I clean out my garage – one thing I always come across is some dirty rags. I use old rags for cleaning up most anything and at times they are not thrown away quickly enough for sure. I found one recently that was soaking wet with oil – with dirt – with dust – etc. Whenever I pick up dirty – filthy rags – today’s passage comes to mind.

I am convinced that some of us believe that our sins are not as bad as our neighbor’s sin(s). Some might think that because they go to church – because they may give support to the ministry of the church (time, talent, money, prayers) – they are not as bad as others and not in need of grace like others. When I talk or preach or teach about sin – I always have a mirror in front of my face because I know my sin and I stand in the need of grace! Continue reading

May 8, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let Us Walk With Jesus

Psalm 146:8

…the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.

112015 Ray McDonaldI was driving a golf cart – late at night – on the golf course – near the clubhouse. It was pitch dark – I was there late – and I drove off the cart path. I hit a sign. The club pro tried to warn me just before I hit the sign and maybe – just maybe – that saved me from wrecking the sign and the cart and doing damage. I replaced the sign and went on! Driving without lights in the dark – not a good thing to do. Driving blind – so to speak – is not a fun way to drive. I need a golf cart with headlights if I’m going to be out that late. I noticed this year that they placed some ground lights along the cart path I was on. Folks can thank me later!

Humility is something that we seek in leaders – while also seeking self-confidence. Seems contradictory – right? We want a leader who can lead – but also one who is humble enough to know they don’t have all the right answers. We need a leader who will surround themselves with experts in many areas because they don’t know everything. Continue reading

March 16, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seek God’s Face

Jeremiah 29:13

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

82015 RayDo we spend much time seeking God’s face – seeking to be in God’s presence?  I sure hope so.  The Bible has many passages about seeking the Lord – about being in God’s presence – and about the blessings of doing so.  Here are just a few.

Jeremiah 29:13 – You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Isaiah 55:6 – Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.

Psalms 27:8 – My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”  Your face, Lord, I will seek.

If we spend time before the Lord – seeking His face – do we give God time to open His heart to us – or do we spend most of the time telling God what is on our mind?  Many people who do daily devotions get into such a routine that they take little time to listen for God’s voice.  They lift some prayers – read some of the Bible – and run off to their busy day.  I read on Twitter recently – a leading pastor say – that prayer is a supposed to be conversation and that conversation was a two-way process.  Do we give God time to speak to us?

Continue reading

September 24, 2015 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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