Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Loving Everyone

2 Timothy 4:2

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.

June 2019Paul – an Apostle – told a young pastor – Timothy – to preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Timothy 4:2) Paul also wrote these words to Timothy – 2 Timothy 3:16–17 – 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. God’s Word is to be obeyed. God’s Word is clear on many topics. God’s Word directs us in many ways in our lives. Amen and Amen!

I’m not a young pastor anymore – nor am I an Apostle – but the Word of God – as I read it – tells me to love one another – not hate on anyone. I see far too much hatred in the world – and at times – sadly – from folks claiming to be Christians. Showing others love is a commandment of God’s Word for God’s people. Church goers – politicians – and others seem to be filled with hate these days rather than love.

We’re told to hate sin – we’re told to love one another. We’re told to love God more than anything or anyone. Matthew 10:37 – Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Continue reading

July 19, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

And So The Fast Begins

Luke 18:13

But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’

fullsizeoutput_ffeSo my fast begins today – as we walk through the last week of the mid-term elections. Part of my fast is to simply be encouraging rather than enter into the hateful and evil conversations that happen on social media. Everyone thinks they have the answer. Folks think their candidate or party of choice has all of the right answers. Some say the mid-terms are about how well the current POTUS is doing – yet history tells us that rarely does the party in the White House win the mid-terms. We’ll see what happens next week.

What I hope is that our nation will come together. Blue wave or red wave aside – why can’t we just love one another. There doesn’t seem to be any easy answer for sure. I clearly rebuke hate groups who support any candidate or party. I will stand up to support anyone against hate talk and abuse – even if I totally disagree with them. At times – this will be very clear and we can all stand opposed to it. At times – it may not be as clear and we may need it pointed out or to agree to disagree without being disagreeable. Continue reading

November 1, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Love One Another

John 13:35

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Do we have a hard time loving others or showing love to others? I know some men who have a hard time showing love – or even say I love you to family members.

Typically it is easier to say I love you to those who love you back or do nice things. If someone is nice to us or shows us respect – it would seem easier to love them – right?

Loving others is not as easy command from Jesus. In today’s passage Jesus says that others will know we are His followers – His disciples – if we love one another. Think for a moment – are there folks we have a hard time loving?

Here’s today’s passage in partial context. John 13:34–35 – 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Continue reading

October 10, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Complete Joy

John 15:11

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

IMG_0435-0Dear readers – have you ever experience joy that you felt was complete? I’ve experienced joyful moments before – I imagine most of us have in our lifetime. But complete joy may be something that some have never experienced. We might experience moments of happiness – but joy is something spiritual.

There always seems to be something that deflates our joy or happiness. For instance – the Capitals won the President’s Trophy with the best record in the regular season this year – a lot of people were happy! But they were ousted from the playoffs and failed to win the Stanley Cup – deflated joy or happiness.

I’ve heard of couples that were filled with joy/happiness for their wedding and even during the honeymoon period only to have their joy/happiness tempered or deflated when the honeymoon was over and stuff began to happen. Continue reading

June 17, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We’re Called To Love One Another

1 John 4:11

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

IMG_0301Years and years ago – when I was growing up in Seat Pleasant – we lived across the street from a family that wasn’t the type of family we grew up knowing.  They let their home go without needed repairs (front door was broken – yard was a mess – toys and trash everywhere – people coming and going all the time – and I mean all hours of the day and night).  The only time that home looked normal was one winter when it snowed so hard it covered everything in the yard!  Looking back on it – there was probably some great dysfunction in that family that needed someone’s love and care.  Enter my dad (more on this later).

All I knew as a child was to avoid that home across the street.  It was not a safe place.  I could go down the street to my friend’s home (a few doors down).  I could go up the street to my sister’s friend’s home.  But the home across from us – I avoided.  There was a little girl about our age that lived in that house.  She came over once-in-awhile to our yard.  She smelled.  She wasn’t very orderly in behavior or in her appearance.  She wasn’t like the children we were around in church or our friends in the neighborhood. Continue reading

March 16, 2015 Posted by | Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , | Leave a comment

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