Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Hurt People Hurt Others – There Must Be A Better Way

1 Peter 3:9

Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.

Over the weekend hatred reared it’s ugly head once again in our nation. Satan had a field day as 3 people died and at the last report 35 others were injured. And a nation – leaders – and others – are picking sides and blaming each other for the violence – deaths – and injuries. Folks are also wagging fingers at others for not seeing things their way and condemning the other side with the words they see appropriate.

A radical hate group – some have even called them a homeland radical terrorist group – a group of white supremacists – who believe they are better than others because of the color of their skin – clashed with another group in Charlottesville – Virginia. I stand opposed to any group that represents themselves as a neo-Nazi movement. I stand opposed to any group that believes they are better than others because of the color of their skin.

The protests soon became an angry confrontation – between two differing sides of a point of view (I’m not trying to minimize their difference). Hatred – on both sides – as evidenced by the video clips – erupted. Innocent people – standing up for their view and rights are often caught up in the hatred of others. Apparently – and we will know more when the investigations conclude – a member of the white supremacy group ran a vehicle into a crowd of protestors – killing one person and injuring many others. When the local and national investigation is complete – we will probably find guilt on both sides. Yet the evil – sinful – premise that some people are better than others because of the color of their skin or their nation of origin is an evil we cannot ignore and bares the brunt – IMHO – of the responsibility for the violence. This is not a view that can be or should be supported in American! Continue reading

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August 14, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Holy Ground

Exodus 3:5

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

Think for a moment about the places in your life that you consider holy ground. Maybe it is the halls of your high school. Maybe it is the place where you met your spouse. For pastors it might be that first appointment or that appointment where everything seemed to jell in your ministry. What place do you consider holy ground?

Think for a moment about the places in your life that you consider holy ground. For some of us it might be our yard or our gardens. For some it might be our homes. For some it might be that first date or the birth of your first child. What place do you consider holy ground?

Think for a moment about the places in your life that you consider holy ground. Maybe it was the place you met someone famous? Maybe it was the place in time you go back to for your happy place (I still listen to music from the 60’s and 70’s more often than other music). Continue reading

May 17, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering

1 Chronicles 16:12

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

profileDecember 23rd – just two more sleeps until Christmas for those who count sleeps!  All four candles were lit this Sunday on the Advent Wreath.  That means the last Sunday before Christmas has passed.  The day we celebrate the birth of Christ is soon to be upon us.  Are you ready?  My wife wants to send me to the Mall today – can you believe it??

What are some of your best memories of Christmas?  My dad loved Christmas.  He loved watching us at Christmas.  I’m sure he was usually beat on Christmas after leading worship on Christmas Eve – going out to get our tree many years after the last service and setting it up.  He and mom would decorate the tree and put all the gifts together and in the right place.  I would imagine he didn’t get to sleep much before we got up! Continue reading

December 23, 2013 Posted by | Advent Thought, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Will Never Leave Us Nor Forsake Us

Hebrews 13:5

God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

profileThe assurance of a parent was all that was often needed when we were in the dark camping and trying to fall asleep.  Dad would say – I’m here kids – watching over you – and we would feel comforted and soon fall asleep.

I remember one night that the power went out when our children were young.  Their mom and I comforted them as they fell asleep and checked on them through the night.  I imagine the comfort I felt knowing my mom and dad were near when I was a child was felt by my children as well. Continue reading

September 25, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Marriage, Outreach | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Evangelism Is Not a Dirty Word

Matthew 28:19

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

RevRayIf you don’t know me well – let me share that if I am anything as a pastor or Christian I am evangelical.  I believe that Jesus is Lord and that there is no other way to salvation except through Him.  You could call me a John 14:6 kind of guy – John 14:6 – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Having said that – the passage for today has a lot of meaning.  It is part of the Great Commission found in Matthew 28 – Matthew 28:19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

A number of pastors and church leaders as well as church members read my blog page each day.  The Great Commission is our marching orders so to speak as the church.  Because of the way some go about evangelism and the way that some have turned away from evangelism – in some circles evangelism has become a dirty word. Continue reading

July 2, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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