Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Living at Peace in Days Like These

Romans 12:18

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

fullsizeoutput_ffeLiving at peace with each other in days like these is not easy. During this season of time – post mid-term elections – pre-new congress forming in January – pre-Special General Conference in the United Methodist Church (February 23-26) – pre-Thanksgiving – and pre-Christmas (did I miss anything) – we need to focus as much as possible on living at peace with one another – even everyone. I know – it is not easy to live at peace with people who are diametrically opposed to your ideology or theology – but it is what we are called to do as we walk out our faith. It is not always easy to live at peace with those we love and agree with either. We don’t need to agree with everyone – but as we disagree – we should not be disagreeable. Living at peace with others doesn’t mean we always have to agree for sure.

In today’s passage Paul writes – If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. How do we read this? And if we read it that we should strive to live at peace with everyone – how well are we doing? If we’re as blue as it gets – even radically blue (far left) – with our politics – how well do we get along with someone who is as red as it gets – even radically red (far right)? Can we discuss our differences without becoming ugly? I know this doesn’t seem to happen on many social media pages I visit. It seems like the far left cannot even comprehend the far right – and vice versa – and they don’t play well together. Continue reading

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November 20, 2018 Posted by | Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Prudent Hold Their Tongues

Proverbs 10:19

…the prudent hold their tongues.

fullsizeoutput_ffeHave you ever had something happen in your life – and you felt compelled to say something or write something about it – only to have your words come back to haunt you? I know it has happened to me a number of times. I know many of us want to respond to folks on social media as they exclaim their victories or losses from the mid-term elections. The sky is falling for some and for others – our team won! I have pledged to stay out of it – at least for November (maybe forever).

I don’t believe in jinxes – but I have tweeted during a game – when my team was up and on the way to a win – only to see them lose the game in the closing minutes. A number of times I have tweeted things that later I had to erase. At times my fingers type faster than my brain thinks. Some of my Facebook friends might say the same thing for themselves. I mean – have you seen some of the things folks have posted during this election season? There seems to be no filter for some folks. Continue reading

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

The Day After The Elections

Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. NIV84

fullsizeoutput_ffeThis is a reworked devotional thought from 2016 after the Presidential elections. Yesterday was the mid-term elections – and when this devotional was reworked – every vote had not been counted yet. It appears that the Dems will take the house. It appears the GOP will increase their hold on the Senate. It also appears that the GOP will pick up some important Governorships. We will see what all of that means.

Over the years we have heard loads of catch phrases. Phrases like what – me worry or don’t worry – be happy have graced our airways over the years. The world knows all about worry and how many of us suffer with it. What is it that we are spending time worrying about today? Are we worries about the economy? Are we worried about the elections? Are we worried about where our next meal with come?

Another translation of this today’s passage reads this way – Matthew 6:34 – “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. ESV Apparently worry and anxiousness are akin. Continue reading

November 7, 2018 Posted by | Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Discerning Heart

1 Kings 3:9

So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

fullsizeoutput_ffeOK – today is the mid-term elections. Will there be a red wave – a blue wave – or the status quo? Will my side win – your side win – or will our nation win? If you haven’t voted yet – please get out to vote. This is more important than a sporting event. This is about the future of our nation! Get out and vote – with a discerning heart.

I saw this the other day and thought it noteworthy – whether John Wesley said it or not (John Wesley is the founder of the Methodist Church). I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them: 1) To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy. 2) To speak no evil of the person they voted against, 3) To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side. These are words I hope we can all abide by in the days – weeks – months – and years to come. We haven’t done a very good job so far! The media – the society we live in – wants to push division. I hope a discerning heart will be wiser – following the wisdom of John Wesley. Continue reading

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

Where Are We Weak? Let’s Seek God’s Help!

Romans 8:26

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

fullsizeoutput_ffeYesterday I began my month-long prayer/fast. Am I alone or has someone joined me? I want company!!

Two things so far in my fast department. First – I am fasting from negativity on social media. During a heated mid-term election’s last week – this is not easy. Even after the election – it will not be easy. I’m sure all of my preferred candidates will not get elected – and someone will post something negative. Second – I am fasting from any food not on my health plan. Being on a health journey is not easy to begin with – but holding fast to the plan is even harder. I’m trying to coach and encourage others – so I MUST walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Yes – I have lost 37 pounds in less than 4 months – but how much healthier might I be if I had walked the walk 100%? We’ll see what November brings. Pray for me please! Continue reading

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

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