Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Hatred Is A Corrosive Element

Proverbs 10:12

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.

img_0063-2I’m spending some time today and over the next few days – listening to the impeachment trial on TV. I could have ignored it (and maybe I should). I could simply read or listen about it later. But – I decided to have it running while I work. I wanted to make my own decisions – rather than hearing someone else’s opinion about it. I’m still looking for a news agency that gives me simply the news without their take or slant. I’m looking for a news station or an online source that simply reports news rather than give opinion. Since I have not found such a source – I will listen and make my own opinion. If you know of such a source – please pass it along to me in the comments or by private message.

What I see in politics today (and in some religious circles as well) is anger – partisanship – and even hatred. We have lost – in some circles – the ability to disagree without hatred or anger – without being disagreeable. As I listen to the impeachment – it is amazing that thoughtful person on either side of the disagreement can be so opposed to each other – in such a partisan way. The democrats are with all wrong or all right – the republicans as well. The same seems to be the position taken by the liberals and the conservatives in religious circles. There is very little bipartisan work in politics or religious life these days. Continue reading

January 22, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Forgive As God Forgives

Matthew 6:12

and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. NLT

Life ChangeIf you’re anything like me – sometimes the Bible says things that cause me to pause. Stuff like loving my enemies or turning the other cheek or if you deny me before men I will deny you before My Father in heaven or today’s passage – and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. In many translations the word debt is used or in the common Lord’s Prayer used by many – forgive us our trespasses. Many of us do not understand the meaning as clearly as using the word sin. We are actually asking God to forgive us our sins/debts/trespasses in the same manner in which we forgive others their sin/debt/trespasses against us. This is amazing to me. In the manner that I am gracious – in the way that I forgive – Lord – forgive me.

This seems so amazing to me because many of us – myself included – are not always that gracious. We hold grudges – we are vengeful – we are resentful – we have a hard time forgiving the past. Today I simply challenge us to search our hearts and find the areas where unforgiveness lives in us. I challenge us to be a more grace filled person – a person who is ever ready for new beginnings. Continue reading

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

Our Witness at Christmas Time

1 Peter 2:12

 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

Life ChangeAs we approach Christmas – the world is headed in one direction (buy and sell and get stuff) while the Christians should be more focused on the birth of Christ and spreading love to those around us. Christians can get caught up in the secular buying and selling – in order to get gifts for folks or being able to afford them (working longer hours). We often need to refocus ourselves to spend more time teaching ourselves – our children – and our grands – what Christmas is all about for sure.

Living our lives in such a way – even during the hustle and bustle of Christmas – that others around us will see Jesus – is what we are called to do. Being able to put Jesus first is what Christians are called to do in life – and Christmas is no exception.

In today’s passage (and I always use NIV unless I say so) – we’re told the following: Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. That word pagans seems so harsh – but what it means is the ungodly. In Biblical days – one was either a follower of God (the One true God) or one was a pagan (a godless person). Continue reading

November 27, 2018 Posted by | Bring, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Sins Are Many

Psalm 40:12

For troubles surround me—too many to count! My sins pile up so high I can’t see my way out. They outnumber the hairs on my head. I have lost all courage. NLT

Sunday in the message about forgiveness we talked about our sins and how God forgives our sin. Each of us has sin galore. Our sin has mounted up and it hems us in on all sides at times. Today’s passage – from the New Living Translation (NLT) says – For troubles surround me—too many to count! My sins pile up so high I can’t see my way out. They outnumber the hairs on my head. I have lost all courage.

Our sins are so plentiful – and left alone – they would keep us from heaven and send us to hell. But – even though our sins are more than the hairs on our head – Jesus died on the cross to provide grace – forgiveness. Continue reading

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

Lord – Examine Our Hearts

Psalm 139:1

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.

Christianity boils down to attitude – the condition and position of one’s heart. This is one of my favorite sayings. I believe if our hearts are in the right place – centered on Christ and not on self – we will have the right attitude and will glorify Him. The right attitude is so important for Christians. We must have the attitude of Christ – the heart and mind of Jesus. Philippians 2:5 (NIV) – In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: (NLT) You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

One thing I’ve come to know about myself and other church people is this – we cannot fool God! God knows our hearts and our motives and our attitudes. God knows the things we say or think in private. God knows our motives for the actions we take. God searches our hearts and knows even our thoughts – you know – those things we think but have a filter to not say out loud (most times). Continue reading

October 5, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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