Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

God Will Be With You Wherever You Go

Joshua 1:9

…the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Today’s passage is something we all want to hear – the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Yet – we may not understand the requirement for such a passage. This passage is from the installation of Joshua as the leader of Israel.

Here’s today’s passage in partial context. Joshua 1:1–9 – 1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Continue reading

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May 12, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking For A Little Shade?

Psalm 121:5

The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand…

RayMcDIt has been a hot summer. Not extremely hot – but hot none-the-less. We’ve only had one day over 100 in our area – but a number of days in the upper 90’s for sure. I’ve had to work in the heat some (nothing like those who work in the heat every day or on roofs in this heat) and it can get to you after a while [I’ve also played some golf in the heat in the afternoon and that is hard too :)]. Finding shade is usually a relief in heat like this summer has produced. Finding a tree or a tall building or even an umbrella seems to bring some relief – a break from the scorching sun. Even wearing a hat with a nice brim brings some relief.

Life at times is hard. I know – for some that is an understatement and for some – even most of us in the Western Hemisphere of our world – we don’t fully understand just how hard life can be at times. But I repeat myself – life is hard at times. We all need rest and peace. We all need down time – shade from the heat of a hard day if I might go there. Some of us take power naps (a good 15 minutes and I’m good for the rest of the day). Some of us take numerous coffee breaks (and drink lots of coffee to help us get through hard days). Some of us live for the clock to strike the end of a hard day at work. Our shade is often returning home – while some have it hard at home as well. Continue reading

August 11, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy 4th of July

2 Chronicles 7:14

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

RevRayMcOn this 4th of July I will use this very familiar passage from 2 Chronicles to remind us that God wishes to turn every nation around – if it will confess and repent and turn to Him. I believe that God would transform any nation that turned its collective hearts toward Him.

In today’s passage God was speaking to Solomon and Israel – but I think the message shared is equally compelling for all nations. God will bless and will heal our lands if we return to His commands. Continue reading

July 4, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Are We So Privileged?

Luke 12:48b

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. NIV

82015 RayI have a question for us to ponder today.  I have never been able to answer it – maybe you can help me.  This is a deep question and I would love some prayerful consideration and some answers.

Here it is – Why were we born where we were born? Is it completely random that I was born into the majority race – to lower middle class – educated – moral – and Christian parents?

Israel was called from among the nations – beginning with Abram – as God’s chosen nation. They were chosen for service – not for privilege. They were called to tell the nations about God – yet they began to call the other nations pagan – godless. They withheld the knowledge of God from the world – in many cases. Even the Disciples had a hard time with Paul taking the Gospel to the Gentile world.

Continue reading

September 1, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

And The Parents Marvel!

Luke 2:33

The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.

profileChristmas is often about children.  As a matter of fact – much of the life of a parent is about the children.  Some of my fondest memories are about events in the life of my children – our three daughters.  Things like one daughter organizing her playground in elementary school – so that the students (her classmates) would move from apparatus to apparatus in an orderly fashion at her instruction.  Things like one daughter needing to find words she couldn’t spell (and neither could her parents) for her weekly test because she already knew the words for her class that week (every week).  Things like one daughter who didn’t seem to have interest in school becoming a straight A-student through college and grad school. Continue reading

December 19, 2013 Posted by | Advent Thought, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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