Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Grief is Real

Genesis 25:8

Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people.

Yesterday I went with a family – some friends from younger years at another church – to spend some time with the body of their 30 year-old son who died Sunday – on Mother’s Day – in a car accident. As I stood with the family and tried to hold back the tears – my thoughts went to my nearly 30 year old daughters and eventually to my mom and my dad’s passing.

I was reminded of today’s passage – as I thought of my dad’s passing nearly 6 years ago. When dad passed – my dad was 84 – he would have bene 90 this summer. I would have loved to have had him around another 16 years or so – yet he was at a good old age when he died. He was ready to meet his Maker – even though he would have loved to stay around to be with a family that he loved and who loved him. One of the comforting thoughts I cling to even today is that as much as he loves us – he wouldn’t trade a moment of heaven for another moment with us. He is in God’s glory! Continue reading

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May 17, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Train Up A Child

Proverbs 22:6

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. It was my first Mother’s Day without my mom. There was one other person in each service that was facing their first Mother’s Day without their mom. It was not an easy Sunday. I couldn’t bring myself to preach a typical Mother’s Day sermon. It would have been too hard to deliver.

Today’s passage is familiar to many of us I’m sure. Proverbs 22:6 – Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. NIV11 In the KJV it reads this way – Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go: And when he is old, he will not depart from it.

My mother did much of the child rearing/training – as my father worked several jobs to make ends meet while we were young (he drive a school bus – sub taught in the local High School – and served a church while attending college and seminary). She was the day-to-day presence in our lives. She and my grandmother were whom we turned to often in our daily lives as young children. I owe much if not most of my development as a child to my mom. Continue reading

May 15, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Compassion

Psalm 103:13

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

IMG_0301Compassion is an amazing attribute. This last Sunday was Mother’s Day and compassion is often an attribute of mothers (not all mothers for sure but most). When I skinned my knee – I came to mom rather than dad. Dad would probably such something like – you’ll be OK – get up and brush it off while mom would hug me and tell me it will be OK – let me clean it off and kiss it.

As a father – I tried to be more like my mom is this area of parenting – trying to comfort my children when they were in pain and still with a little bit of my dad – trying to get them to get back after it so they wouldn’t develop a complex about the pain. Continue reading

May 12, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Proclaim God’s Great Deeds

Psalm 145:6

They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds.

IMG_0301Yesterday was Mother’s Day and my Facebook feed was filled with photos and stories of people celebrating with their moms or with the memory of their moms. I spent the day with my mom.

Mothers are one of the building blocks of God’s design for the family. God’s design includes one man and one woman – a father and a mother when children are part of the family unit. We see so much deviation from God’s design creeping into our society today – even into some churches. When sinful humanity begins to redesign God’s plan – we will see the destruction that it will bring.

We see some of the destruction in many single parent homes – where one parent or the other is missing. A high percentage of criminals come from single parent homes – and I don’t think that is by accident. God’s design is perfect and when we mess with it – we cause issues. Continue reading

May 11, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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