Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

God is God and We are Not!

Job 38:4

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.”

Photo on 9-10-18 at 11.09 AMIn much of life we operate as if we have a handle on things. We go along – as long as we have our health and our mind – as if we are in control and that nothing can take us down. I have had experiences in my life when I realize how quickly we can be knocked down from that healthy perch when a simple cold or an event in our life where things change. We don’t feel like moving when we are sick – let alone get out of bed and function. We are such fragile beings for sure.  We pray – often – for those in life changing events. We remember – a year ago – how the mass shooting in Vegas changed the lives of so many so suddenly #VegasStrong. It can happen in different ways in our lives.

When we are well – we can get pretty full of ourselves – thinking nothing can get to us – we are invincible. New drivers often think of themselves as invincible – driving faster than they should – thinking nothing will happen to them – since they are in such control.

When we discuss and debate God and God’s attributes and other such things about God (theology) – I believe we can get full of ourselves as well. We can tend to believe that we know God and we know all about God – when in fact – our knowledge of God is very small at best. God desires to reveal Himself to us – but we look intently in the wrong direction at times.  We need to remember that God is God and we are not! Continue reading

October 2, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Memorial Day 2018

Job 31:35

Oh, that I had someone to hear me!

Have you ever felt alone? Have you ever felt you were fighting the battle with no one in your corner? I wonder how a boxer would feel if they had to fight without someone in their corner? Without someone pulling for them and giving them comfort and even direction between rounds. I wonder how the men and women who came back from Vietnam felt – when they returned to an ungrateful nation (for some that is – not all)? They gave their all for their country and came back to some folks who spit on them and called them baby killers.

Today is Memorial Day. Are there people in your life that have served in the military? Are there folks you know that have served that you could say thank you to today? Those who serve – don’t serve for the thank you – in the military or in the church (at least that is the hope). They serve because it is in their blood or it is their job. Yet – a thank you – even a listening ear – is often appreciated.

One year – when I in Moorefield – WV – for a family vacation – I had a chance to speak with one of my cousins – who served in Vietnam (it was the last time I spoke with him – he died that year between our visits – probably from something that happened to him in Vietnam). He never liked to talk about his experiences in Vietnam – but he appreciated it when people thanked him for serving his country. Memorial Day was special for him as he would serve in reenactments of the Civil War or honor the fallen by placing a wreath on a grave or simply attending special services for the fallen. Continue reading

May 28, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wisdom – We All Need More

1 Kings 3:9-10

9 Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?” 10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom.  NLT

I cannot believe that it is May 1st already. The weather is suppose to be very nice this week. I hope to get out to play some golf once-a-week moving forward. My shoulder is healing and I feel great. The doctor’s wisdom is – just don’t beat the ground!

God’s wisdom is amazing. God tells us through Paul’s writings that God’s foolishness is wiser than humanities’ wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:25 – For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Here are some other Scriptures about God’s wisdom.

1 Kings 4:29-34 – 29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. 32 He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. 33 He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. 34 From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom. Continue reading

May 1, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Day of Evil

Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

IMG_0301There are a number of theological or religious concepts that are debatable.  Like how much water should be used for baptism?  In the United Methodist Church we celebrate baptism by sprinkling, pouring or immersion.  We believe the amount of water is not as important as the transformed heart for Jesus.  I’m sure there are many other debatable concepts.

One concept that doesn’t seem debatable to me is that the evil one – Satan – is real and intends us no good.  Peter puts it this way:  1 Peter 5:8 – Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

We’ve referred to the story of Job in several sermons and here is a verse from that story – talking about Satan roaming the earth: Job 2:2 – And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.” Continue reading

June 16, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Do You Treasure?

Matthew 6:21

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

profileWe’ve passed through Christmas about a month ago and many of us got new treasures as presents.  I know I received a new fleece that I have worn often.  I also got a picture in a frame of one of my granddaughters and it is already on my desk at work and I look at it every time I’m at my desk.  I need one of my other granddaughter now!

What do you treasure?  I really enjoy golf and when the weather is nice I try to play with a friend most Saturday mornings (we’re usually one of the first groups to tee it up and finish mid-morning).  If I can – this summer – I want to get another round or two in during the week – maybe with some of the men and women from my new church. Continue reading

January 22, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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