Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Forgiveness Is a Wonderful Thing!

Ephesians 4:32

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Life ChangeForgiveness is a wonderful thing! I love to play golf – golf just doesn’t always love me. In golf – some players take mulligans (sort of like a do over). It is not something you’re supposed to assume – it is something your playing partner might offer. Normally – when there wasn’t time to warm up – someone might say – mulligans on the first tee – which means you can take a second tee shot if your first one is a bad shot – a duffer. Of course – when you take a mulligan – you have to play it – even if your mulligan shot is worse than your original shot! Golf is complicated when you add mulligans – lol.

Forgiveness is a wonderful thing! Do overs in life can be a help too – like when you have said or done something you shouldn’t have and want to make amends. Saying you are sorry often helps – but making corrections to what you said or did goes beyond simply words. Oh how I wish I had some do overs in life.

Forgiveness is a wonderful thing! I did a reading plan recently on forgiveness. I urge our readers to get into a regular habit of reading the Word of God. Like I said Sunday in the sermon – knowing what we believe is important – but knowing our source is also important. Knowing why we believe what we believe and where we learned it is important. Continue reading

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May 13, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Golden Rule

Matthew 7:12

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

So – where or when did we learn to behave? For me it was a combination of home life – Sunday School – and my second grade teacher. I must admit it took a village to tame me and even then I’m not sure they got the job done. I have always had a little rebellious streak in me. There are a number of things I wish – in hind sight – I could go back and undo!

At home – in Sunday School – and in School (in my elementary school – Owensville Elementary – we said the Lord’s Prayer along with the Pledge of Allegiance before class began and said Grace before we ate lunch) – I learned The Golden Rule. It has been a standard for behavior – for our morals and values – even for non-religious folks – for as long as I can remember. We’ve all heard our Lord’s words – do unto others as you would have them do unto youeven if we didn’t know they were His words. Many of us were taught the Golden Rule growing up in Sunday School and/or at home. Do you remember it? Continue reading

July 31, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If You, Lord, Kept A Record Of Our Sins!

Psalm 130:3

If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?

Do any of us keep records of things? For instance – I know couples that keep track of how often they argue. Others keep a record of how often they spend time together. Some must actually schedule time together because their schedules are so full and can be overwhelming. Some keep records of wrongs and bring them up to the other from time to time. Some keep a record of when the other partner did the dishes or watched the children or got their way in some area of disagreement.

Do any of us keep records of things? The baseball season is basically over for my team – they need to go 8-2 in order to finish at .500. But baseball is filled with record keeping. Records seem to be made to break. Homers are being hit this year at or near a record pace. Continue reading

September 20, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

May the Words of My Mouth

Psalm 19:14

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Pic of Ray 11302014From the time I could speak I remember praying. I was raised in a Christian home – my dad was a pastor and his dad before him. I learned the Lord’s Prayer.  I learned things to say at the table before a meal.  I learned to pray at my bedside.  I learned to pray in church and in Sunday School (of course the preacher’s son was called on in front of the whole class to pray because the preacher’s son should be able to pray I was told).  I learned to pray with fancy words – and I learned to pray as if I was speaking to a friend.  I learned to pray verbally and to pray silently in my heart/mind.  I learned that prayer was speaking to God.  I learned that my words were not as important as my attitude when I came before God in prayer.

Continue reading

December 30, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , | Leave a comment

Forgive As Christ Forgives

Colossians 3:13

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgHow many times have we prayed the Lord’s Prayer – the Our Father – as some call it? In that prayer – using the ecumenical and traditional versions found in the United Methodist Hymnal – we say – Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us – or – And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. I always wrestled with those words.

The reason I wrestled with those words – was because it was not part of my makeup – my natural – normal – makeup – to be a mercy person – a person that easily forgave. I imagine I’m alone here – but confession is good for the soul – so there it is!

If someone harmed me – and I have been harmed a great deal in my life – not as much as some I’m sure – but enough to have experienced harm. I have been bullied – I have been assaulted – I have experienced ridicule for my noises (Tourette Syndrome) and – made fun of for my faith. Please don’t hear that I haven’t done my share of sin here – I am no saint on my own but only by the grace of God. What I am trying to express is that it has been hard for me to forgive in the past – and for legitimate reason – I feel. Continue reading

November 24, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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