Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Men – Look at the Calendar! NOW!

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. The Message

img_0063-2Valentine’s Day is just 1 day away. This is a warning devotional for men who might need the reminder. After 40 plus years with my wife I write with some experience. What do we plan to do this year men? By the time this devotional goes out – I will have already taken my sweetie to dinner with some treats presented at dinner.

Traditionally – Valentine’s Day is a holiday where men are supposed to show their love and affection for the women in their lives. So men – what do we have planned? If nothing is planned yet – this is our last warning to get something planned – ASAP. The following are some thoughts. If you are a woman reading this – you might want to print it for the man in your life!

In The Message – we read from Paul’s Epistle today’s passage: Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Continue reading

February 13, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Speaking in Tongues

1 Corinthians 12:31-13:1

12:31But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way. 13:1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

img_0063-2In the last month or so I have had two conversations about speaking in tongues. One was a family member and one was a friend of mine that goes to a church in another state. The friend from another state asked me about something their pastor mentioned. The pastor, in a recent sermon, said that if a person didn’t speak in tongues they were not baptized in the Spirit. My friend was questioning this statement. My family member did as well.

This is not a new debate for sure. Some believe that when the Bible says that speaking in tongues is the least of the gifts (1 Corinthians 12) – that implies that all Christians baptized in the Spirit would have the least of the gifts. There are also passages that connect the moment of salvation with water baptism and speaking in tongues.

I do not believe that an argument needs to be ensued. For me – the debate is not about who is baptized by the Spirit or not – or what gifts a person has or doesn’t have. I believe that the gifts are not to be worn as trophies but rather used as God gives them to His glory – not the glory of the person God is blessing. Continue reading

February 12, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Have We Ever Been Content?

Philippians 4:11

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

img_0063-2Think about this question for a moment. Have we ever been content? Have you ever had enough? Have you ever been satisfied? When is enough – enough? How much do we need? Are we storing up more than we need? Most of us live well beyond our needs – yet it is our wants that keep us from being contented.

Have we ever been content? At times – being content might take away our drive – our desire – to accomplish more. But the contentment that Paul is writing about in today’s passage has to do with things – learning to be content with the things we have or don’t have.

One church I served went to Appalachia each summer. We sent teams to ASP (Appalachia Service Project). We learned just how much we had and how much we take for granted. It really helped us (me) think about things in a different way. We had way more than almost everyone we served – and yet they were happy and often content. Have we ever been content? Continue reading

February 6, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Social Media is a Buzz

img_0063-2As I began my day – after my morning devotions – I began to check the news and my social media feeds. There is no shortage of things people are excited about these days – or that people disagree on as well. Let’s review a few.

The President was impeached by the House of Representatives recently and the case will soon be dropped by the Senate because they will not reach the vote necessary to remove him. People on all sides of the discussion – basically along party lines – continue to debate the facts as they see them in this situation (and as usual – they see the facts differently). Some will continue their fight to take this President down (for some this effort started the moment he declared for President). Some will continue to support this President – even some calling him the best President ever. This impeachment process has been the most partisan act ever – at least regarding something as serious as removing a sitting President of the United States. Wherever you are in the discussion – I would think most would agree this has been a very partisan process. Social media is a buzz.

The Super Bowl was last night – and the Chiefs beat the 49ers. I watched the game and thought it was a pretty good game. This morning – of course – social media was a buzz with those from the 49er’s fan base blaming the officials for calls that turned the tide toward the Chiefs (the TD that wasn’t and the offensive PI that wasn’t as examples). I didn’t agree with all the calls by the officials – but have come to realize that they don’t get it right all the time. On a side note – as a Ravens fan – I wanted the Chiefs to win and for Patrick Mahomes to win the MVP. Next I want him to demand a record contract so the team will not be able to surround him with other players (salary cap issues). See how my mind works? Again – social media is a buzz. Continue reading

February 3, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Encourage One Another – Please

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

img_0063-2I fully believe that we all need some encouragement once in a while. Some need it more than others – some don’t seem to need much at all – but we all seem to appreciate it when we receive it.

Some of us need to practice encouragement. Some folks are natural encouragers – some are not. For some – it seems easier and more natural to point out what’s wrong with this picture – rather than being an encourager. I know my natural self is better at pointing out things that are out of place or that need improved rather than encouraging others. I must work at being an encourager.

Today’s passage – in partial context – is instructions from God through Paul – for the church. I don’t read Paul as an encourager by nature either – he seemed very black and white – right and wrong. Yet God used him to encourage others. Continue reading

January 30, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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