Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Loving One Another In The Midst Of Disagreement

Luke 6:27-28

27 But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

We all have enemies. Maybe not like war enemies – Russia vs. USA or North Korea vs. South Korea – but people who are out to do us harm and have done us harm. A colleague recently posted that she had been on the receiving end of some gossip that was very hurtful – from fellow clergy members even. When people do or say things that hurt us – it is hard to deal with for sure. It hurts deeply when it is people who we think should know better or know us better.

We all have enemies – those persons who are not looking out for our best interest – those persons who are actually out to hurt us. Gossip – rumors – lies are the tools of some. It is not easy to love those who are out to hurt you. Loving those who love you is hard enough at times. Loving our enemies is next to impossible it seems. Continue reading

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May 22, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All We Need Is Love

1 John 4:21

And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

I love this simple truth. Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. This is such a simple truth – yet it is such a huge command. If we say we love God – but do not show love toward others – we are lying – because God is love and if we are His children we will love others. The verse just before today’s verse says it this way – 1 John 4:20 – Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

So today – the simple truth and simple challenge is this – love one another. Continue reading

April 23, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love Deeply

1 Peter 4:8

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

The 1st year anniversary of my mother’s passing was just a couple of days ago. It was a sad day for me – I shed more than a few tears. Mom always showered her children with love. She loved her children deeply – but she loved her man – my father – even more so. She gave of herself in every way so that we would feel cared for and loved. At times I would even say she suffered for us.

In a few months I will remember my father’s passing 6 years ago. Dad loved mom and his children deeply. He worked several jobs – at a time – to provide for his family. He worked hard to show his deep love for his family. At times I would even say he suffered for us.

This summer my wife and I will celebrate 38 years of marriage – if she stays with me till August (LOL). We’re already talking about what we will do to celebrate our 40th. My wife loves her children and her husband deeply. We also love our grandchildren deeply. At times we suffer for them all. Continue reading

February 8, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

1 John 3:18

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Actions speak louder than words! Have we all heard that phrase? Husbands and wives say it to one another – young people dating say it to one another – parents use it with their children. Have you ever used it? We want the person we are speaking with to understand that mere words are not enough – we want to see actions as well. Actions speak louder than the words we use. We can say we love someone – we can say we will do something – but words are merely words unless we back them up with actions.

Politicians are infamous for saying anything to get elected and when elected doing whatever they wish (although some are starting to do what they say of late). If we could find a number of leaders that would do what they say – we might just turn our nation around! Continue reading

January 24, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking Like Jesus

1 John 4:12

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Some people have said – over the years – that I look like my father. I was named after him too – and God called me into the same field of work. We have so many similarities. Both of us are/were workaholics – working several part-time jobs over the years in addition to our full-time ministry. When people see me – they often see my father. We look so much like one another. I always take it has high praise to be compared to my late father.

In today’s passage we’re told that if we love one another – God lives in us and people will see God in us. 1 John 4:12 – No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. Continue reading

November 13, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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