Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Take Refuge In The Lord!

Psalm 57:1

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.

Have any of us had rough days – troubled days? (LOL) I know – silly question. Most all of us have had hard days – some of us have had hard weeks – months – years and maybe even lifetimes. I’m thinking this morning of those who have been impacted by the recent hurricanes that hit the US – the Caribbean Islands – and other places. Puerto Rico for instance – a US territory – has been totally devastated.

I’m also thinking of the troubles that come from relationships and from life in general. Today I’m thinking of friends who have had or are experiencing broken marriages. I’m thinking about a colleague who lost a child through a drug overdose. I’m thinking about the folks I know who have lost loved ones through automobile accidents. I’m thinking of those who have faced life and death situations. I’m thinking of those in Vegas and their families. Continue reading

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

Because You Say So Lord!

Luke 5:5

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

Did we have parents who would say something to us – and we would ask why – they would respond – because I say so? Some parents used that line (I can’t remember my father ever using it but I may have once or twice). Did you? It is a common lines used by many parents.

As parents – we might have wished that our children would respond yes simply because we asked them to do something – after all – we are the parents! Too often – I imagine – that wasn’t the response we got. Sometimes they might have asked why – at times they may have said no – still other times they may have simply ignored us – and on occasion they may have said yes. When they asked why – did we ever say – because I say so? Continue reading

September 25, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rejoicing Comes In The Morning

Psalm 30:5

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

I wonder how many times – if ever – we have had so much on our plate – we had trouble getting to sleep at night – or staying asleep? I know I have experienced some sleepless nights because of what has been on my plate. I’ve also been awakened in the middle of the night because of what I was facing the next day.

I remember as a child not being able to sleep because something special was coming the next day. I remember as an adult having so much to accomplish the next day I could hardly sleep. I’ve also experienced troubled times that have kept me from getting a good night’s sleep. Is anyone with me in these experiences or am I alone? And how about that time you had to face something you wished you didn’t have to face?

Just last night I heard the news that one of our wonderful members at First Church passed. Bob has been heavy on my heart of late and I have lifted him and others from our church in prayer – at times waking to pray in the middle of the night. Weeping comes upon us at times – but joy often comes in the morning (weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.) I work better – even with troubling times – when I’ve had some rest. Continue reading

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

Let’s Streamline Our Lives

1 Peter 2:1

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.

I’m the type of person who likes change in my work environment. I would change my office at home and at work every year or two – to give me a different look and feel. This has become harder in our current home and in my current office because of a mounted TV at work and the windows in my home office (along with the internet hookup). Because I can’t change my desk position much anymore – I’m making a plan to streamline my office at home (giving away some books and such since most everything is online now). I have a nice sound system that needs to find a good home because I listen to music at home on my computer and at work on my Smart TV. The hope is that a more streamlined office will give me more flexibility and less of a confined feeling.

Carolyn and I want to streamline our home now as well – not wanting to leave (in 30 years or so) that task to our children when we’re gone or unable to do it. Like many – we have things stored in the house that we haven’t used for 20 years or more and we should give them away or recycle them. Less stuff will give us a streamlined feel to our home. It will make it easier for the children eventually too. Continue reading

July 6, 2017 Posted by | Daily Devotion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Thoughts From the 2012 Election

Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

RayMcDToday’s devotional thought is refreshed from a post of mine on November 8, 2012. The truth still holds today and this year’s election.

(11/8/12) The election is over and the results are mostly in by now. Your candidate either won or lost – your opinion was either in the majority or the minority on the questions on the ballot. You may agree or disagree that our nation is headed in the right or wrong direction. Many in the news and on Facebook have tried to project the future – with mixed projections. The market dropped dramatically yesterday and some speculate about the elections impact on it – and where it is headed. Some make a living looking into the future and trying to gauge how today will impact tomorrow.

Several of us who are closing in on retirement – say in the next 10-20 years – naturally peek into the future to see what the climate will be as that day approaches. We look at things like the housing market – our debt – the Dow Jones – our savings – the cost of living – and on and on the list might go. Looking to the future is not a bad thing – it is actually a wise thing. David Ramsey has many suggestions about savings and retirement. Continue reading

October 17, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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