Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Let’s Not Stir Up Dissension

Proverbs 6:16, 19

The LORD hates… a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

Ray 2018One of my favorite sayings is Christianity boils down to attitude. I often follow that phrase with the following – Christianity boils down to attitude – the condition and position of one’s heart. Scripture tell us in Matthew 6:21 – For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Attitude is everything says a little stone marker on my office desk. I believe that the heart – the attitude we have – is so very important. I celebrated the life of a friend who told his children that attitude meant everything in life.

Each time I pray for the men who gather to play basketball early in the morning at Riva Trace Baptist Church – I pray for an attitude check – that our attitudes would be a blessing and not a hinderance to our witness and our exercise. As Christians we are called to have the attitude of Christ in the scriptures. Philippians 2:5 – Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Continue reading

September 6, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Walking By Faith

2 Corinthians 5:7

For we live by faith, not by sight. NIV11

RayMcDWhen I was a younger pastor – many moons ago – I would listen on Sunday mornings to a preacher early before our worship service. His name was Frederick K.C. Price – pastor and founder of Ever Increasing Faith Ministries. Fred Price was a powerful speaker who stuck with the Word of God. He always had a good word for me. He still might be a dynamic speaker at 85 – I haven’t heard him lately.

Fred’s key verse was today’s verse – in the King James Version – 2 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV 1900) – (For we walk by faith, not by sight:). Too many people today – and in every age I imagine – need to be shown something to believe in.

I believe I am a better learner when I could see something rather than merely being told something (they call that a visual learner I believe). We have a whole state – Missouri I think – that has as their state motto – the Show Me State. Some people are better audio learners – hearing it helps more than showing it. Continue reading

February 22, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tough Love Is Tough

Mark 10:21

And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

RayMcDAs I researched the phrase tough love – I found that this phrase became popular in the late 60’s.  Tough Love was a book written by Bill Milliken, published in 1968. Tough love is the idea of discipline and even the restriction of freedoms in order to train and teach – to get someone – usually a child – to conform to an acceptable pattern of behavior. It is not easy because as parents we usually want to shower our children with everything we can – but – at times – that is counterproductive to the results we are after in them.

An example might be not bailing out a child who has done something wrong but allowing them to face the consequences of their actions – thus learning that there are indeed consequences when we behave in certain ways. Do you remember the episode of Andy Griffith where Obie broke a window and Andy told him he would have to pay for it? That was the episode where the rich young man (Bill Bixby I think) came speeding through town and wrecked a farm truck. His rich father sent a lawyer to bail him out and bought off the farmer with a new truck. In the end the rich young man learned a lesson by spending some time with Andy and stayed to pay the debt owed. Continue reading

February 21, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Is It That Defiles Us?

Matthew 15:11

What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.

IMG_0435-0In a day and age when most everyone is trying to promote physical fitness (and indeed Americans need to consider taking better care of their bodies) – today’s passage reminds us that it is not what you put in your body that defiles it – but rather what comes out of the mouth.

Of course we can eat too much and too much of the wrong things – but in the day of Christ – they had debates over what foods were acceptable and what foods were unholy. Some foods – set aside for idols – were thought to defile the person if he or she ate them.

Defile is defined – to desecrate or profane (something sacred). Our Lord says – What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them. Continue reading

June 6, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Telling Others About Jesus!

Matthew 10:32-39

32 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.  34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— 36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ 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.

112015 Ray McDonaldSoon we will start a sermon series titled Walking to the Cross.  We will take three weeks to approach the Cross of Calvary. Today I want to break down some thoughts in this passage that will be fruitful for us as we search for what the walk to the cross really means.

Jesus – talking to His disciples – was equipping them and giving them marching orders.  He begins this section of Scripture with these words: Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. Continue reading

February 25, 2016 Posted by | Bring, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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