Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

What Is Limiting Us Today?

Matthew 14:17

“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

Life ChangeWhat is limiting us today? What is keeping us from achieving our dreams and aspirations? What is it that is standing in our way? As we reach for the stars – what keeps us grounded rather than allowing us to fly? A favorite saying of mine goes like this – if we aim at nothing – we are bound to hit it.

What is limiting us today? What is keeping us from achieving our dreams and aspirations? What is it that is standing in our way? As I near retirement age (I just turned 64) – I keep telling my wife – my life-partner – I won’t retire until I know what I’m retiring to. I don’t want to retire from active full-time ministry until I know what God has for me in the next chapter of life. I have some dreams and aspirations – and I’m waiting to see what God has in store for me.

What is limiting us today? What is keeping us from achieving our dreams and aspirations? What is it that is standing in our way? How many new year’s resolutions have we made over the years? We’re into the 3rd month of 2019. Are we still holding to our resolutions for 2019? If not – what has limited us? What has blocked us from achieving the things we imagined for this year? Continue reading

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March 6, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy New Years 2019

Philippians 3:12

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

January 1st is here – Happy New Year. What will you do with the new year? Do you have a plan for the days ahead? Remember what I wrote yesterday – If we aim at nothing – we’re bound to hit it. I hope that we didn’t party too much last night (I know I was in bed early). I hope that we have a plan for the new year. What about some deepening of our faith? What about healing some relationships? What about losing some weight and getting into better shape?

January 1st is here – Happy New Year. Did you make any resolutions? Have you held to them for this day? Or have you broken some of your resolutions already? I listed some of mine yesterday. They include – I plan on losing more weight. I plan on reading more in the Word of God. I plan to increase my prayer life. I plan on spending more time with my family. I plan to take all of my vacation and days off. These are just a few of my 2019 goals. What are yours?

Continue reading

January 1, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Throwing Off Our Sinful Nature

Ephesians 4:22

Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. NLT

RayMcDWe’re approaching a new year. New Year’s Day is usually the time folks make resolutions. Rather than wait till January 1st – how about we agree today to throw off our old sinful nature and our former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception? Make a resolution today to follow Jesus and strive to shed sin in our lives. Seek His face and desire His grace.

Sin is nothing new – yet it does seem to be stacking up pretty high – even in folks that profess Christ as Lord and Savior. Sin comes in many forms. We can sin through thought – word – and/or deed. We can sin by what we do and we can sin by what we do not do. As Christians we should be striving to remove all sin from our lives. We should be striving to follow the example set by Jesus!

Our sin nature is part of our struggle as children of God. Here are a few Scriptures that speak to sin and our sin nature.

Romans 8:3 – For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.  And so he condemned sin in the flesh, Continue reading

December 2, 2016 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy New Year – 2016

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

112015 Ray McDonaldHappy New Year! I hope that your day – your New Year – gets off to a great start. Steve Furtick tweeted – The way your day starts doesn’t have to be the way your day finishes. We can always make improvements as the day goes along.  We can always make improvements as the year unfolds.

This morning will find me on the golf course with some friends. For years we would play our first round of a New Year on January 1st. As we got older – the cold kept us in some years. Fortunately it looks like mid to upper 40’s and sunshine this year so we are going to try it again!

I took some lessons at the end of 2015 and have re-gripped my putter – so I’m excited to see if these changes will produce a better round of golf. I played a practice round – 9 holes – shortly after the lessons and did well. Continue reading

January 1, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making a Plan

Acts 20:24

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

112015 Ray McDonaldMuch is said at this time of the year about staying physically fit – making New Year’s resolutions.  Gym memberships are pushed – as are diets – and exercise equipment.  Many have made New Year’s resolutions concerning their physical shape.  But what about our spiritual shape?

Do we have an ideal weight for our physical body?  Are we taking steps to reach that ideal weight?  Are we exercising – dieting – working to draw closer to that ideal?

Are there things we would like to be able to do in the physical world?  Would we like to run a marathon?  Would we like to ride in a 100-mile bike ride?  Would we like to hike up a mountain?  If so – folks would usually work up to such an event. Continue reading

December 29, 2015 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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