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

Be Strong and Very Courageous

Joshua 1:7

“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.

IMG_0301I just finished playing some full-court basketball (we try to play a few mornings a week). I’m actually starting to feel better on the court. The 3-ball was dropping this morning and when they took that away I was able to drive to the basket a few times. I’m actually playing better defense too – which is an indication that I am feeling stronger. Twenty more pounds and look out!

Where in your life are you feeling stronger? Is there a place in your life where you feel strong and very courageous? Where you feel bold and ready to take on a task?

In today’s lesson we read words of God as He encourages Joshua to be strong and very courageous. Moses had passed and Joshua was being installed as God’s new man – new leader. God was giving Joshua instructions as Joshua’s book opens. Continue reading

June 22, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

We Will Serve the Lord!

Joshua 24:15

But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgOne of my father’s sayings was – if you’re old enough to make your own rules – you’re old enough to find your own roof. I think he came up with that by reading today’s passage – where Joshua tells the people of Israel to follow the Lord or follow other gods from the land – but as for me – and my family – we’re going to follow the Lord.

If you are a Christian – when did you decide to follow Jesus? When did you decide that following the gods of the world wasn’t going to cut it? When did you decide that as for you – as far as it depended on you – you were going to obey and follow the Lord?

Joshua faced a time like this where he had to take a stand. Taking a stand is not always easy dear readers. A familiar statement goes like this – if you stand for nothing – you will fall for anything. I have added to this thought – if you take a stand for anything – you are going to make yourself a target for someone to disagree with you. When we take a stand – we are bound to have someone take offense to our stance. Continue reading

June 12, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

As For Me and My House

Joshua 24:15

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

RevRayFamily traditions – they create memories.  We’re in the midst of Memorial weekend and many families have traditions on this weekend – the official unofficial start to the summer.  Our family traditionally returns to my mother’s home town for a family reunion.  I have many memories – growing up – revolving around this annual trek.  My children do as well.  Other families have barbecues or go to a ball game or open the pool on this weekend.  What are your memories for Memorial weekend?

Family traditions – they create memories.  What memories can you remember?  Special memories developed around what your family did/does on the 4th of July (cookout at my brother’s home) – Labor Day (wear work clothes to church) – Thanksgiving (serving meals) – Christmas (family night) – and other special days.  What about something special for your birthday or anniversary (some celebrate the anniversary of their first date even).  I know someone who makes memories at Disney – not only annually but often each year! Continue reading

May 27, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Train a Child in the Way of the Lord

Proverbs 22:6

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

RevRayWhat is it you learned as a child from your parents?  My parents taught me about Jesus (the most important thing they could have taught me).  More important than teaching me about Jesus – they showed me Jesus in the way they lived.  They taught me how to garden – although I don’t garden today.  They taught me how to camp – although my wife soon put an end to that endeavor.  My father taught me how to be a good husband and father – you’d have to ask my wife and children how well I followed his lessons.  They taught me loads of things.  What did your parents or someone else in your life teach you while you were growing up?  How significant is what you learned as a child today? Continue reading

April 4, 2013 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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