Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Thanksgiving Is Coming Soon

Matthew 10:37-39

37 Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Thanksgiving is prime family time and it is sneaking up on us folks! It arrives this Thursday. Do you have the whole week off? Do you have Friday off? I hope you get some time off to spend with your family. Family time is a special time. I remember a few years ago a football game on Thanksgiving Day – the Harbaugh Bowl – where the 49’ers and Ravens played each other on Thanksgiving – a family affair with brother’s Jim and John Harbaugh as head coaches. I wonder who is playing this year?

In our home – the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is always a special time for family gatherings and time spent together. We gather as a whole family several times (we miss dad and mom and Carolyn’s dad).

What are you planning for the holidays to come? If you don’t have a plan – better make one soon. I hope you and yours have great family time throughout the fall and into the holidays. Don’t forget to keep Christ in Christmas when it comes. Remember – don’t go into debt to buy gifts for the children (or yourself) – they will end up playing with the box anyway and then you will have to pay the bills in January (or throughout the year). Continue reading

November 25, 2019 Posted by | Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are We Ashamed of Jesus?

Luke 9:26

If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

profileI need to confess – and I don’t feel good doing it – but there was a time in my life when I had a friend I didn’t want to be seen with at school.  I was ashamed of him in a way.  You see – he wasn’t part of the groups I hung with at school.  He wasn’t a jock.  He wasn’t cool.  He wasn’t in any of the organizations I was in at school.  But he did attend my church and we were friends.  I am ashamed today to remember how I treated him or rather how I avoided him at school.  It only happened for a few months – and God convicted me – but none-the-less – I did it.

At times that is the way we treat God.  We are friends at church – but at work or even around our friends we tend to avoid Him – at least some of us do.  We like being friends or thinking we are friends with Jesus – because there are such benefits we think – like heaven.  But are we trying friends with Jesus?  And if we are not – who are we fooling anyway? Continue reading

October 15, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Denying Self

Luke 9:23

Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

profileI have a few too many pounds on this body of mine.  It is hard – it seems – to deny myself the things I like – food wise – and I like most foods.  Denying self is not easy.  I’d like to use the excuse that I’m a big fellow by nature – but I wasn’t while younger for sure (and I have the pictures to prove it).  I must have an issue with eating too much and not exercising enough.  Denying self is not easy for me – when it comes to food.

Denying self is not easy for some of us if not all of us when it comes to sin.  We like pleasing ourselves it seems.  We would like to say we are willing to deny self and follow Christ but we often fail to do so.  We fail to follow through and end up indulging self rather than denying self. Continue reading

August 22, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Walking Out Our Faith

Luke 17:5

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

profileI’m a sucker for deals.  I will buy two of something – or six of something – if I think I will get a better price for the one I was going to buy – even if I only need the one!  I like deals and I like go get more for less.

The last time I bought golf balls – I got 15 for a lower price – a much lower price – than they wanted for 12 of a different brand.  Of course – most golfers would never notice the difference in play between a less than a dollar ball and a six-dollar ball!

There’s a cute commercial on where children are asked what’s better more or less?  Of course they say more!  More of this and more of that for sure.  If you like ice cream you should have been at our ice cream social.  There was more ice cream than anyone could have eaten for sure. Continue reading

August 21, 2013 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obey the Lord

Luke 6:46

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”

profileAs a parent of three daughters – I know full well that our children do not always do as we say.  My children were very good children growing up – but indeed they didn’t listen all the time for sure.

As a child myself – I remember some parents saying do as I say – not as I do and that didn’t go over very well with our generation (I imagine it has never gone over very well).  If we want our children to obey us we need to do as we say!

The relationship we have with God is Father/Parent and child – shown to us several times in the Scriptures.  Jesus was telling His disciples about those who listened to His teaching.  Today’s passage comes from a section where Jesus is teaching about the wise and foolish builders.  Here is today’s passage in partial context.  Luke 6:46-49 – 46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” Continue reading

August 15, 2013 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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