Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Satan Is Real and Needs to be Rejected

 Revelation 2:13

I know where you live — where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city — where Satan lives.

This is a reworked devotional – produced on Tuesday for Thursday so I won’t need to write a new one while I’m at Annual Conference. I will do the same for Friday.

Have we ever felt surrounded on every turn by folks that seem to be doing the work of the Devil? I mean – we can think of cities like Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible or cities like San Francisco – New York City – Chicago – Washington, DC and other havens of sin – but sin lives wherever men and women’s hearts are turned away from Jesus and turned toward Satan. Satan may live in our workplace – in our own family or in our own life at times. We may think (tongue in cheek) we are married to Satan him/herself – but in reality Satan is Satan and those who succumb to his trickery are his instruments – and they live everywhere.

We do not have to be a child molester or mass murderer to be a tool of Satan! We don’t have to be named Hitler or Attila the Hun to be a tool of Satan. Our journey may take us into the presence of many who are being used of Satan – daily. We may be used of Satan from time to time as well. Even people who present themselves as sheep can really be wolves in sheep’s clothing. Matthew 7:15 – Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. Continue reading

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May 30, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sitting Still Is Not Easy

Psalm 46:10

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God”

I’ve always had a hard time sitting still. Even though I love working on my computers – I’m thinking of getting one of those desk risers – so I can stand and move about while working. They say moving around is healthy – and suggest that desk workers get up every hour to move around for five minutes. I enjoy preaching from the podium instead of the pulpit from time top time so I can move around more. Not only am I able to move around – but it gets me closer to the people I am trying to reach with the Word of God.

I’ve always had a hard time sitting still. Typically – if I sit still for any length of time – I drift off to sleep. I traveled to Carnegie Hall in New York City once to listen to James Taylor in concert. My wife – daughter – son and I traveled toe New York City to site-see and to see JT. As I sat and listened to his mellow sound – I found myself drifting off. Granted – we were in the nose bleed section and it was dark and I often listen to his music to drift off to sleep at home – but I was in Carnegie Hall and it was JT live! Continue reading

August 7, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The New Year Unfolds Before Us

Matthew 18:2-4

2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

We are in the early days of a New Year – thew New Year is unfolding before us. Some stayed up on New Year’s Eve to watch it arrive. Some had friends over to enjoy the change of years. Some may have headed to New York City and other places to join larger groups of people to celebrate the coming of a New Year. Some – like me – went to sleep as if nothing will be different or change with the changing calendar. Change is the key word. Some hope that a New Year will be better than the year just completed. Facebook is filled with people hoping for a better 2018. Some hope we can get a fresh start and make changes in our lives. If we change nothing and still expect a different result – well – you know what they say about that saying.

Have we ever read and wondered what Jesus meant by these words from Matthew’s gospel? When Jesus says – I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. What is it about a little child that is so significant? Continue reading

January 5, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Walking With Jesus

Luke 19:3

He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.

112015 Ray McDonaldI remember waiting in line – a long line – that seemed to go on forever – when my family went to pay our respect to President John F. Kennedy – lying in state. I remember that several times my dad had to pick me up so that I could see what was going on around us – while in line and when we arrived at the casket. I was short and had to be lifted up.

I remember watching a baseball game and needing to climb a fence in order to get a better view. I was shorter than the other folks at the game and in order to see the game I had to climb up high. I jumped down to catch a ball only to cut my arm on the barbed wire on top of the fence (and I have the scare to prove it).

I remember climbing trees as a child. The view from up high was thrilling – so was the climbing. I loved to climb trees as a child. I built several tree forts as a child and played in the trees often. I played in my tree forts for hours at a time – sometimes taking a nap in the warm summer heat. Continue reading

March 14, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What We Need Is God’s Love

1 John 4:7

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.

Pic of Ray 11302014We’re living in a time – not unlike many times in our history – where love is very much needed. Yet we live in a time when love is the furthest thing from the minds and hearts of many. Actually – some are running away from God’s perfect love and running toward the devil’s hatred.

I am appalled by the happenings around our country – as many are – and for a variety of reasons I’m sure. Hatred is running rampant in so many of our communities. Anger is all around us. Peaceful and non-peaceful protests are on the news every night. Something needs to change in our country and now is the time for every good Christian man and woman to stand up and be counted.

It is above my pay grade to know all the answers for sure – so I will not try to decide right and wrong in each case placed before us in the news. I have tried to stay out of the fray when it comes to commenting on the situations the news has blasted all over our TV screens and the internet. Some of my friends and colleagues on social media and from pulpits have been very outspoken – and I respect their right to their opinions. Continue reading

December 5, 2014 Posted by | Advent Thought, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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