Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Straining Toward What Is Ahead Of Us

Philippians 3:13

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amOne of the biggest issues most of us face is forgetting the past and straining toward the future – what is ahead of us. Some of us tend to live in the past and the past – most often – will only hold us down and hold us back. Forgiving ourselves is often the problem – as we mentioned in Sunday’s sermon. Long after we have confessed our sin to God and repented (grieved and turned away) of them and God has offered grace and mercy we still tend to hang on to the guilt at times. Anyone with me this morning?

Paul was focused on being holy – being perfect – striving after Jesus with all in his power. In striving for perfection – he couldn’t – he wouldn’t – allow himself to dwell on past sin – having confessed it and repented of it – he was focused on the task ahead.

Satan wants us to dwell on our past sins. Satan wants to steal the joy of forgiveness – mercy – and grace. Satan wants us to live in guilt and without the freedom that comes from forgiveness. Continue reading

October 17, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Putting Satan and Guilt Behind Us

Philippians 3:13

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead

Photo on 10-9-18 at 2.15 PMA number of our members are dealing with the guilt of the past. Several have come to me to talk about it. This is one of the biggest issues many of us face – forgetting the past and straining toward the future. Some of us tend to live in the past and the past – most often – will only hold us down and hold us back. Forgiving ourselves is often the problem. Long after we have confessed our sin to God and repented (grieved and turned away from our sin) of them and God has offered grace and mercy we still tend to hang on to the guilt – at times. Anyone with me this morning?

Paul was focused on being holy – being perfect – striving after Jesus with all in his power. In striving for perfection – he couldn’t – he wouldn’t – allow himself to dwell on past sin – having confessed it and repented of it – he was focused on the task ahead.

Satan wants us to dwell on our past sins. Satan wants to steal the joy of forgiveness – mercy – and grace. Satan wants us to live in guilt and without the freedom that comes from forgiveness. Think about it! Is there where some of us dwell? Continue reading

October 16, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pressing On Toward Perfection

Philippians 3:12

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

profileOK – I confess – my golf game is in trouble this summer.  Between my meniscus tear – my increasing age – my lack of time to work on my game – my ONLY once-a-week game – my scores have suffered.  They are not where I want them to be for sure.  Last summer I was playing much better.  This summer my chipping and approach shots have totaling left me.  Up and down is not in my vocabulary this summer.  It has been less fun playing – but someone has to do it to keep the economy going.  And my friend Dennis is having a good summer beating me most times out and Greg is looking for an opportunity to beat me too.

So what do I do?  Do I blame the clubs and get a new set ($$)?  Do I take lessons ($$)?  I’ve tried changing golf ball brands!  Do I simply accept scores that are 4-6 strokes higher than normal?  Do I even accept normal?  Or do I strive to get better?  I’ve chosen to try and get better.  I will start practicing when time allows (and I may just start making the time to do it).  I have found a place where I can practice chipping and approach shots are practiced in the meadow behind my house.  I will not accept where my scores are today – I will return to where I use to be and try to get even better.  I am determined!  I am focused!  I will not give up!  I will break that barrier in front of me and score lower than I have all summer before the summer is out!  I can do this! Continue reading

August 19, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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