Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Let Us Encourage One Another

1 Thessalonians 4:17-18

17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMTherefore encourage one another. What is it that would encourage us dear readers? When we’re trying to lose weight or put it on – doesn’t it encourage us when people notice and say something? When we are trying to change our shape – exercising more or watching what we eat – it is nice when people notice. Try to notice others and not be so narcissistic – focused on self so much.

Therefore encourage one another. What is it that would encourage us dear readers? How about the time we spend hours – maybe even days – working on our yard or in the house cleaning or creating something? Doesn’t it encourage us when someone notices and says something? When we labor over a meal and no one notices – that surely isn’t encouraging. We should think about what others do around us and give them words of encouragement as often as possible. Continue reading

August 10, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Again I Ask – How’s Our Prayer Life?

Mark 9:28-29

28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMWestern Christians (those in the Western Hemisphere – especially the Northern part of the Western Hemisphere) have it different than other Christians around the world IMHO. When asked the difference between Christians in America and Christians in his land – a pastor/missionary from Africa said – In parts of Africa people actually pray for their daily bread. In most of the Christian homes in America – pantries are full as well as freezers and refrigerators.

So if we aren’t praying for our daily bread – what is it we pray for each day? In today’s world we have much we could be praying about for sure. Christians – Muslims – Jews – from around the world are being attached by ISSIS. We could spend hours upon hours praying for them. The 2016 Presidential elections is another thing we could pray about for sure. We could pray for race relations and the racial tension in our country. Our church has a prayer list in the bulletin each week filled with persons in need of prayer. There should never be a lack of something for us to use for prayer material. Continue reading

July 29, 2016 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

The Peace of God – We Can Have It

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMWe live in a day and age when people are still struggling with right and wrong – go figure. Some might say it has always been that way. Our parents and grandparents and so forth probably thought that each generation faced an uncertain world around them and a struggle for right and wrong. They probably thought they lived in a world where others called wrong as right and the right as wrong. Key to this thought is that we don’t all have the same moral values or ideology. We don’t all see the world or truth as the same. What a shame.

We live in a day and age when people are still struggling with right and wrong. Racial tension is still high in our society. A call for racial reconciliation – a call to treat persons by the content of their heart rather than the color of their skin – is still being met with opposition. Fifty to sixty years after some tried to awaken our country to racial tensions – they are still alive and well in some folks and in some areas more than others. There are still those who hate because of skin color – as crazy as that seems.

We live in a day and age when people are still struggling with right and wrong. There are ideologies today – as there have been in days gone by – where people think the only way to nirvana is to kill all infidels. ISSIS (radical Islamic terrorists) is gaining strength and killing Muslims – Christians – Jews – and others – around the world because they don’t agree with their ideology. They are creating fear around the world with their understanding of right and wrong. Most agree this is wrong but we can’t seem to agree how to defeat this hatred. Continue reading

July 18, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Great Love

1 John 3:1

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

112015 Ray McDonaldI have four fantastic grandchildren. I mentioned them a couple of days ago in my devotional thought and I have mentioned them before. All four of my grandchildren live out-of-state. Two live in New Jersey and two live in California. Let me tell you – FaceTime is one of the best inventions ever. Also free long distance on our cells to talk to our daughters and sons in far off places! It has made the distance seem less.

Two of my grandchildren are visiting with us this weekend. It is amazing how fast they grow. It hasn’t been that long since they visited last – but they are doing more and growing. At times I wish I were retired so I could visit with them more and spend more time with them when they visit – but that is another story all together.

The reason I mention them again today is the title and base Scripture of today’s devotional. I find myself feeling a great love for them. They are blood of our blood – children of our children – and we love them with a great love. I cannot explain how I feel when I see them or when I get to hold them and cuddle with them. I feel warm inside and cherish being with them. It is an amazing love for sure. Continue reading

March 5, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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