Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

God Works For Good

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

RayMcDAt times things seem to stack up against us. I remember when I was much younger and dating – I had two long-term girlfriends – one for a year and one for two years. When the relationships ended – I remember thinking my life is coming to an end and why would God allow such pain in my life – among other things. It was hard to see beyond the pain of the breakup. It was hard to see beyond the moment. Yet somehow God helped me push forward.

At times things seem to stack up against us. I remember when I was in college changing my major more times than I wished – never feeling comfortable with what I chose. At times I was lost – yet I still pushed forward. God helped me stay focused.

At times things seem to stack up against us. Four years ago my father – whom I thought was the greatest man in the world – passed. A year or two earlier my mother fell into dementia and we lost her – mentally – too. She is still with us physically but we haven’t had her for nearly six years now. Losing my father and mother has been harder than I expected. I fight negative feelings more often than I thought I would at losing them. God keeps me going. Continue reading

January 12, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Narrow Door

Luke 13:23-24

23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.”

IMG_0435-0On Wednesday – I was helping to interview some pastors for our District committee on Ordained Ministry. One of those we interviewed had a hard time with a number of questions – including the question about who would go to heaven and who would go to hell (not naming them – LOL – but what allowed folks to go to heaven and what would exclude some from heaven). The pastor said it was belief in Jesus Christ that allowed people to go to heaven (weak answer because Jesus’s brother James said – James 2:19 – You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder) but the pastor didn’t know what to do with those who didn’t believe in Jesus.

A number of years ago a number of pastors professed that they believed in Universal Salvation. Universal Salvation is a belief that all would go to heaven – that none would go to a place called hell (some didn’t believe in such a place). This is definitely not Wesleyan Theology nor is it Biblical Theology. Continue reading

June 16, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Morning Devotions

Psalm 5:3

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.

IMG_0301Are you a morning person? Do you awaken early – bounce out of bed – have a smile on your face – and tackle your day with vigor and vitality? If so – you need to go to the doctor for a check-up – because that is just not right!! As a non-morning person – I can tell you – my father was a morning person – and he never seemed to understand that – although I look like him – was named after him – even went into the same calling (ordained ministry) – I’m just not a morning person. I did my best work late at night after the wife and children (when they were younger) – went to bed. I could get so much more done from 11 pm to 2 pm than from 5 to 8 am. Can anyone testify with me please!

OK – now before you get me wrong – I rarely sleep in these days. I’m up by 6 am most mornings – actually earlier 4 days each week when I am playing basketball (M-W-F) or getting ready for worship on Sunday mornings. Yet – I would love to sleep till 8 or so when given the chance. I rarely needed more than 4-6 hours of sleep when I was younger – so going to bed at 2 am and getting up by 8 am was a breeze. These days – I like to get my 8 hours – so going to bed by 10 pm to get up at 6 am is the norm. Continue reading

March 17, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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