Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

God Does The Supernatural

Jonah 1:17

Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Photo on 9-10-18 at 11.09 AMThe Bible is filled with stories that skeptics have a hard time believing. There’s the one about feeding 5,000 men (not counting the women and children in one report) with a two fish and five loaves with 12 baskets leftover after all had eaten their fill. There’s the one about a small boy slaying a giant of a man with a slingshot and a stone. There’s the one about a man thrown into a den with hungry lions all-night and surviving. There’s the one about the man dead for several days and being summoned from his tomb by Jesus. I could go on and on.

Just so we are on the same page – Jesus believed in these stories – because He speaks of them as He is quoted in the Gospels. Jesus is quoted as speaking about the Great Flood and Noah and He is quoted as speaking about today’s passage – and miracle. There’s that word – miracle. A miracle is something thought impossible – like the Miracle Mets of 1969 when they played my beloved Baltimore Orioles in the World Series and won in five games. Some believed the ’69 Orioles to be one of the finest teams to ever play the game! Continue reading

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September 24, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Hope Is In Jesus – Not The Left Or The Right!

Mark 9:23

“Everything is possible for one who believes.”

This is not an easy truth to always count on or believe. My wife and I both counsel people – and are reminded of the pain and suffering folks are dealing with everyday. I’m aware of a few couples that are facing severe stress in their marriages – stress that would challenge even the best of marriages. I know of a few people who are facing life-altering situations – some facing multiple such situations. Yet Jesus says – everything is possible for one who believes.

I have seen with my own eyes the miracles of God. I know that the impossible can be possible. I don’t believe I know how or when or why – but I have seen the impossible. Today’s Biblical story is about the healing of a young man who was possessed by demons – evil spirits. The father was brought his son to Jesus but His disciples could not cast out the evil spirit. Read the story below and see why Jesus said – everything is possible for one who believes. Continue reading

April 11, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remember The Wonders Of God

Psalm 105:5

Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,

If someone were to ask us to name our top three blessings – how would we answer? Would we say our health? Would we say our family? Would we answer our salvation – our relationship with Jesus? How would we answer?

How has God blessed us? What are some of the wonders we might remember – some of the blessings from God? I might mention that moment I knew Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. I might mention my wedding day. I might mention the birth of my three daughters and my five granddaughters. I might respond with the time I walked away from being t-boned by a tractor-trailer. What would you mention as blessings – wonders – from God? Continue reading

January 10, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How’s Our Prayer Life?

Luke 5:16

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

RayMcDHow’s our prayer life? I ask this question often. It is the 3rd devotional thought that has the same title. I ask it because I believe our prayer life is very important – even essential to our walk the Lord.

We usually get out of something what we put into it. If we lack communication or time for our spouse – our marriage won’t be very good. If we don’t spend time with our children our relationship with them will be shallow. If we put little into our jobs we will get fired.

How’s our prayer life? Prayer is our communication time with God. We’re called in Scripture to deny self and follow Christ. We’re called to spend time in prayer as Jesus modeled for us. Continue reading

October 18, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dependency on God

Psalm 62:8

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

profileA question was asked Tuesday morning in the co-ed Bible Study at our church. The question was something along the lines of – why don’t we see God’s work and action in our churches like in Biblical days? It was a very good question – I thought. One I hope I answered in a way that made sense and in a way that would challenge us to think. I thought I would share some of my thoughts along this line today. I would love your thoughts in the comments section.

The first thought was that Jesus – while on earth – did nothing that He wasn’t told and empowered to do by the Father. All that Jesus did while on earth was at the command of the Father. John 5:30 – By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

Jesus emptied Himself of His equality with the Father when He came to earth – that old fully human – fully divine thing. This is how Paul described it in one of his Epistles/letters. Philippians 2:5–8 – 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Continue reading

April 16, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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