Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Happy 4th of July – 2020

1 Timothy 2:1-4

1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

20B2484D-93F3-4834-A657-15E51ED76F9ATomorrow is not a day to think Republican – Democrat – or Independent. Tomorrow is not the day to be the resistance or to be a member of Trump’s troops. It is not a day to attack each other – or to attack those whose ideology is different than ours. Tomorrow is a day to celebrate our freedom as a nation. It is Independence Day. It is the day our nation declared its independence from the Old Country and decided to begin a new as a new nation.

Too many people – thinking themselves wise and even some thinking themselves prophetic or woke – have attacked our current President and our current Congress (and other leaders as well). We have the freedom to express ourselves. For one day – please – let us put our differences behind us. Tomorrow is a day to be united and to thank God for His mercy and grace on our nation. To thank God for America – with all of our warts and scares. We are still the greatest nation in the world IMHO. Continue reading

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

No Excuse – God is Real

Romans 1:20

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Rays HaircutI’ve always appreciated this passage. It is one of those bottom-line type of passages. If all other means of reaching a person or a society have failed – God is still evident in the creation – there is no excuse for not seeing and understanding God’s presence and awesomeness.

Have you ever argued this point or had someone argue it with you? What if there are people who have never heard of God? How will God deal with them? The example given is usually a deserted island somewhere with people who haven’t seen or heard from the rest of the world in centuries. You could argue that all people came from Adam and Eve and so they had a faith in God as a root. You could argue that all people came from Noah and his family after the flood and had a root of faith. Somewhere along the way the ancestors of those who are on the deserted island made a break from faith in God and now generations later the descendants are living without faith in God. So – what happens to them? Continue reading

June 23, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Difference Between Wants and Needs

Philippians 4:12

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Rays HaircutWe live in a day and age – probably not unlike many other eras – when there are a number of folks that live hand-to-mouth. These persons live in many communities around us and in our own communities. Living hand-to-mouth means that a person uses every part of their income with no plan for the future. Everything they make they spend. They live hand-to-mouth.

Some people have had many opportunities – yet still live hand-to-mouth. Some have not had many opportunities and find themselves in the same situation. There are a number of people in our society that may not be able to make ends meet. For these our society tends to help (although many we help – IMHO – have made decisions in life to put themselves in this situation of need).

Part of what leaves many folks living hand-to-mouth is a lack of understanding or discipline when it comes to wants verses needs. Most people (and I have no statistics for this at this time but it is an educated opinion from 40+ years of ministry) live beyond their means because they have mixed up their needs and their wants. This happens at all income levels – from the very poor to the very rich. How many times have we read about professional athletes – who make more money in a 4-10 year career than many of us could make in several life-times – only to find themselves living hand-to-mouth in short order? I had an elderly person once tell me they couldn’t live on their social security check. I wanted to tell them that social security was never meant to be the sole income for a person in retirement. A person was supposed to save – to put money aside for retirement. They were not to spend all they made. They may have mixed up their needs and wants. Continue reading

May 26, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life Led By the Spirit

Romans 8:14

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

Rays HaircutI was thinking about my dad this week. I miss him so much. What brought him to mind is the health concerns of Ravi Zacharias. Ravi is a man of faith – a man of God – like my father. I looked up to my dad and I look up to Ravi. My father was my hero and Ravi is a spiritual giant himself – and a hero of sorts.

A year ago – a sport’s writer and MASN personality – a friend of mine – wrote about his father’s passing in a recent post. You can read about it here. His father was his hero – someone who guided his life – someone who led him in life. I could so identify with his article/post. He wrote – He read this blog every morning before his newspaper and kept checking it throughout the day, scrolling through all of the comments. I’ll keep telling myself that he’s reading this one, his eyes moistening because the former offensive guard at Ford City High School and Indiana State in Pennsylvania softened as he got older. The hugs hello and especially goodbye kept getting tighter. The old guard called for holding.

Roch Kubatko grew up in Anne Arundel County – just north of where I grew up. I knew of him when he was in High School and I was officiating sports in High School and College. He wrote about his dad – his hero – and I thought I was reading an article/post I had written six years ago about my dad. We were both so blessed to have dads in our lives that meant so much to us. Continue reading

May 14, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Encouraging Spirit

Hebrews 10:25

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Rays Haircut

I want to write today about a subject that is essential. I think it is essential that we encourage one another – especially during this pandemic.

The Bible tells us in today’s passage in Hebrews 10:25 – Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching. I think the day is fast approaching. We need one another. We need Jesus. We need to encourage one another. We need to be in the daily business of encouraging one another. Let’s try and see how we are blessed by it and one another.

It is so easy to be critical. Tearing down doesn’t build up the Body of Christ. We do not ignore that which needs attention or correction – but we do so in love and as much as possible through encouragement. We can correct and even rebuke as Scripture says through love. But – often – we fail to praise and encourage. It is easy to see and report and have an opinion about what we dislike. How about what we see going well? Continue reading

April 29, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: