Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

It Is All About Grace

Ephesians 2:5

…it is by grace you have been saved.

RayMcDI love it when I win something. I’m all about competitions. For instance – I enjoy hearing someone say cover Ray when I’m playing basketball and lining up for a three-point shot. Or don’t leave Ray as the person on me leaves to help double team someone else. It means someone respects my ability (as meager as it may be).

I love it when I win something. I’m all about competitions. For instance – I love the challenges on my Fitbit – both the personal challenges and the group challenges. I love it when this old pastor can at times keep up with the younger pastors in a Fitbit pastors group.

I love it when I win something. I’m all about competitions. For instance – I love playing golf with a friend of mine – we are fairly equal in our abilities (we can both play a round in the 70’s or as high as the low 90’s from time to time). When I come out on top – it feels good – I know I have beaten a decent golfer. (I sure hope my torn rotor cuff heals quickly.) Continue reading

February 20, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aim Small Miss Small

Philippians 3:13-14

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

RayMcDOne thing they teach in basketball is to keep your eye on the rim – on the basket. When driving to the hoop we’re trained to keep our eyes on the basket – rather than on something else. When we dribble the ball – we are taught to keep our head up and look around to take in the whole court – trusting that the ball will return to our hand as we dribble up the court. Keeping our eyes on the goal – the rim – the basket – helps our accuracy on shots. (By the way – by the time this posts – I will have returned to basketball after a two week layoff because of an injury – hope it went well).

My brother loves to hunt (I do too but haven’t for about 6 years – which is another story all together). He practices with his bow through the summer – getting ready for the deer season. In the movie Patriot Mel Gibson used this line – aim small miss small. Many didn’t know what he meant. The idea of aim small miss small is pretty simple. If you aim precisely – at a small area on your target (like the center of the bulls-eye rather than at the whole target) if you are off a little you will still hit your target. Keep your eyes on the target – and a small point on the target. Continue reading

January 18, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Attitude: Leadership

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.

RayMcDAs a pastor with several decades of ministry under my belt – I believe I can say without fear of contradiction that the attitude of leaders in a church is essential. As a pastor I have witnessed some terrible attitudes among some of the leaders in the church (mine hasn’t been great all the time either – just saying).

Are we a glass half-full or a glass half-empty type of person? Do we see the good in things or the bad in things first? Are we a complainer or an encourager? Do we tend to think the worst of people and situations or the best? Come on now – let’s be honest.

We all know people who are half-empty types. We all know people who see the bad in every situation – first. We all know people who are complainers – who tend to see the worst in every situation (at times ignoring the good). At times we might all have that tendency! And – if we were honest – we would acknowledge that we don’t enjoy being around those type of people. If these people are leaders in a church – they can block the church from growing – they can block the Spirit’s work at times. They can stifle the Spirit with a bad attitude. Continue reading

January 4, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Rebuke Hatred Of Any Kind

2 Timothy 4:2

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.

RayMcDPaul – an Apostle – told a young pastor – Timothy – to preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Timothy 4:2) Paul also wrote these words to Timothy – 2 Timothy 3:16–17 – 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God  may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

I’m not a young pastor nor am I an Apostle – but the Word of God – as I read it – tells me to love one another – not hate one anyone. I see far too much hatred in the world – and at times – sadly – from folks claiming to be Christians.

We’re told to hate sin – we’re told to love others. We’re told to love God more than anything or anyone. Matthew 10:37 – Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Continue reading

November 30, 2016 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Humility

Philippians 2:3

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,

RayMcDOK – today is Election Day. Have you voted? I will have voted by the time this devotional thought hits the airways. I’m not sure at the time of this writing who will win – it depends on what news agency you listen to for sure. Some have Trump winning – some have Clinton winning. Remember – whoever is elected President – Jesus is still King!

So – on this Election Day – I want to remind us to be humble. We should not gloat if our candidate wins – we should pray for the unity of the country – we should think not of ourselves – but about others.

Paul had every right to boast in himself – he was an awesome person by the standards of his day. Paul consistently calls his readers to a standard of humility. Today’s passage is one of those where Paul calls us to be humble. Continue reading

November 8, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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