Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Heaven or Hell – It Is Our Choice!

Revelation 21:1

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

img_0063-2When’s the last funeral you attended? For me – I seem to attend a funeral or more most every week. Some I attend – some I help celebrate the life lived and lost. I recently celebrated the life of a longtime friend who died way too soon. I also have celebrated the lives of much younger persons – spouses and children. Most services are mixed with different emotions. The friend lived a good life – a life of faith – a life with family – a life filled with community and church involvement. She was a wonderful lady and has gone on to her reward with Jesus – yet – sadness was there too because we don’t have her around to talk with – until we meet again.

The others had their stories as well. One was a school teacher – another was a home engineer – still another worked for NSA. Each funeral or memorial service has some sadness and at times – some celebration. Like my mom’s service a few years ago – after she battled with dementia for 6 plus years – it was a blessing for her to transition to be with Jesus – yet it was still hard.

It has been over seven years since my father died – and I still miss him and tear up from time to time thinking about him. He was a man of great faith and a family man all the way. He served others his whole life. Because of dad’s passing – I can better understand the grief of others. My mom’s passing has helped me as well. She too lived well and had a deep faith. Both services were times of mixed emotions. Continue reading

January 13, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Helping Others

Deuteronomy 22:4

If you see that your neighbor’s donkey or ox has collapsed on the road, do not look the other way. Go and help your neighbor get it back on its feet!

RayMcDHelping others – something we should all do – is not natural for most of us. I remember the good feeling I received when our church went on mission trips to ASP (Appalachia Service Project). I went on trips to Tennessee – West Virginia – Kentucky – and Virginia. The people we helped were in dire need of a helping hand for sure. Most of us received a lot more than we gave for sure.

I especially remember working with the late great Arthur Anderson on a home in Tennessee. Arthur was a great man of God and a great builder. We were to install studs – insulation – and drywall – in order to help protect the family from the winter cold. We were working on an old minor’s shack. The outside boards had gaps between them that let the winter cold in. Each piece of drywall had to be scribed and fitted because nothing was square for sure. Continue reading

November 3, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Good Is It?

James 2:14

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?

112015 Ray McDonaldWhat good is it – if you shoot a 35 (even par) on the back 9 – if you already shot a 46 (10 over par) on the front 9? Sure – an 81 is a good score for me – anywhere from 76 to 83 would be considered a good round for me – but with 4 pars on the bad nine – that means I blew 10 shots on 5 holes (yes – 2 snowmen were involved if you know what I mean).  I’m working on a new swing and I might have worked it out on the second 9 – we’ll see.  I know one thing – my putter was hot today!  Oh to be consistent one day!

What good is it – if you eat well all day but pig out on a Snickers bar at the end of the day (not saying I did this – just wondering what good it would be)? Dieting half the day has very little value if you chow down on a half-gallon of ice cream at the end of the day (again – not saying I did this – at least not recently).  In order to get the diet to be helpful – one must be consistent – one must follow up a good day with another good day! Continue reading

April 19, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do You Want To Go To Heaven?

Revelation 21:1

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

Pic of Ray 11302014When’s the last funeral you attended? For me it was just last week – I attended the funeral for a good friend’s mom and the week before I celebrated the life of a longtime friend who died way to soon. Both were services mixed with different emotions. The mom lived a good life – a life of faith – a life with family – a life filled with community involvement. She was a wonderful lady and has gone on to her reward with Jesus – yet – sadness was there too because we don’t have her around to talk with – until we meet again. The friend served his whole career helping others as a schoolteacher while also keeping the family farm running. He also was a person of great faith – a family man with a wife and two children who are also schoolteachers. We attended the same elementary school back in the late 50’s and early 60’s. We attended the same church as adults for 20 plus years and played softball and basketball together. His service had mixed emotions – mainly because he was so young on the one hand and was so strong in his faith on the other hand. We are sad for us – but celebrate his going to be with Jesus.

It has been a little over two years since my father died – and I still miss him and tear up from time to time thinking about him. He was a man of great faith and a family man all the way. He served others his whole life. Because of dad’s recent death – I can better understand the grief of others. My mom is still with us – strong of body and struggling with her memory. She too has lived well and has lived her faith. It will be a time of mixed emotions when she goes to be with Jesus. Continue reading

December 1, 2014 Posted by | Advent Thought, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let Our Actions Match Our Words

James 2:17

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgWords are cheap! Have you ever heard that phrase? It often comes from wives to their husbands (or the other way around) when they say I love you but don’t show it with their actions – when they say one thing and do another. It can become frustrating for sure. It can cause folks to see us – when we say one thing and do another – as hypocrites.

No one likes a hypocrite – a person who says something different than his or her actions. Actions speak louder than words – is another popular saying.  Our words need to be matched with our actions.  We need to be men and women of integrity – not changing with the wind – depending on when it helps us or not. Continue reading

November 21, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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