Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Tough Love Is Tough

Mark 10:21

And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

RayMcDAs I researched the phrase tough love – I found that this phrase became popular in the late 60’s.  Tough Love was a book written by Bill Milliken, published in 1968. Tough love is the idea of discipline and even the restriction of freedoms in order to train and teach – to get someone – usually a child – to conform to an acceptable pattern of behavior. It is not easy because as parents we usually want to shower our children with everything we can – but – at times – that is counterproductive to the results we are after in them.

An example might be not bailing out a child who has done something wrong but allowing them to face the consequences of their actions – thus learning that there are indeed consequences when we behave in certain ways. Do you remember the episode of Andy Griffith where Obie broke a window and Andy told him he would have to pay for it? That was the episode where the rich young man (Bill Bixby I think) came speeding through town and wrecked a farm truck. His rich father sent a lawyer to bail him out and bought off the farmer with a new truck. In the end the rich young man learned a lesson by spending some time with Andy and stayed to pay the debt owed. Continue reading

February 21, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Love Language

James 5:16

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

IMG_0301I often ask the question – how’s your prayer life? It is a question meant to challenge us to actually think about our prayer life. Some folks – I fear – develop a prayer life that doesn’t take much thought. It can become – for some – a ritual rather than a relationship.

Think about it some. Do you say the same grace at meals – when you remember to say grace? Do you have any other habitual prayers? Can you recite the Our FatherThe Lord’s Prayer – without thinking about it? Memorizing prayers is often a good thing – a go to prayer when you need it quickly – but often memorized prayers and creeds can become simply a religious act rather than a communication with the Most High.

In worship at our church we change the creeds and prayers – often. Folks aren’t always happy when we do this – but reciting the Lord’s Prayer for instance – in 2 or 3 different ways – might make us think about the words we are saying. If we think about the words we are saying – they might draw us to really think about the meaning of the prayers and creeds we recite in worship. At least that is the goal – the hope. Continue reading

May 8, 2015 Posted by | Church, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tough Love

Mark 10:21

And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

profileTough love is a phrase that became popular in the late 60’s as far as I can tell.  Tough Love was a book written by Bill Milliken, published in 1968.  Tough love is the idea of discipline and even the restriction of freedoms in order to train and teach – to get someone – usually a child – to conform to an acceptable pattern of behavior.  It is not easy because as parents we usually want to shower our children with everything we can – but – at times – that is counterproductive to the results we are after in them.

An example might be not bailing out a child who has done something wrong but allowing them to face the consequences of their actions – thus learning that there are indeed consequences when we behave in certain ways.  Do you remember the episode of Andy Griffith where Obie broke a window and Andy told him he would have to pay for it?  That was the episode where the rich young man (Bill Bixby I think) came speeding through town and wrecked a farm truck.  His rich father sent a lawyer to bail him out and bought off the farmer with a new truck.  In the end the rich young man learned a lesson by spending some time with Andy and stayed to pay the debt owed. Continue reading

February 6, 2014 Posted by | Daily Devotion | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Confession is Good for Our Health – Physically and Spiritually

James 5:16

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

I believe that James 5:16 could be one of the most powerful passages of Scripture we could read related to our personal health – both physical and spiritual.  A number of studies have shown how unconfessed sin can hinder our health.

Do we have unconfessed sin in our life that we see as a detriment to our health?  Through years of counseling and personal experience I can say that unconfessed sin can weigh heavy on a person’s mind.  If we constantly live in fear of being found out – for instance – our anxiety level might be raised and our bodies could be stressed beyond a healthy level.  If there is something hanging over our heads – so to speak – something that we believe could impact or change our lives – we might make decisions in our lives differently.  This can impact us both spiritually and physically.

One issue that I think we run into when we consider confession is whom do we confess to – who is safe?  Is our spouse the place to go?  What if what we have to confess will impact our marriage?  Do we realize that unconfessed sin has already impacted our marriage?  Some religious circles have set up the priest or the pastor as a safe place to confess – but I don’t think that is what this passage is talking about entirely.

Most of us have heard the term – accountability partner.  If not – let me explain.  Promise Keepers – among other Christian organizations that strive to help us grow in our faith – suggests that we find one or two others persons (same gender) whom we can be open and honest with as we grow in our faith.  These persons will help hold us accountable to the path we know we should be following.  We allow these persons into our world – into our mind – into our spiritual and personal journey through life.  As Christians – obviously these need to be other Christians – persons who would have a similar approach to faith and life (More detail in another post).

Even with an accountability partner(s) – we face some challenges with a passage like James 5:16.  What would they think of me if I told them of some of my inner thoughts?  What if I told my accountability partner(s) things that could damage my life?  How can I know – truly know – that they would never tell anyone my inner thoughts?

Finding an accountability partner is not like finding a small group or a Discipleship group.  It is not – normally – as easy as asking someone to be your accountability partner.  It might take years – even after identifying someone – to get to the place where we feel comfortable opening up.  We might even open up slowly – testing the waters of our relationship.  Most accountability partnerships I have seen and experienced over the years developed a good relationship before entering into the accountability stage.

Finding a person or persons we can be open and honest with is very important to our spiritual and physical health.  Ideally – I would think our marriages should be a place where we could be open and honest.  Sadly – this is not always the case.  Bottom-line – we need to confess our sins.  It is healthy to do so.

We’ve all heard the phrase confess and repent.  I will talk about repentance in a later post.  I pray each of us will find a person we can confess our sins to – even as we have direct access to God to confess our sins.  Having someone – face-to-face with us is very helpful – it seems.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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December 7, 2010 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , | 1 Comment

   

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