Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

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

Have We Learned To Be Content?

Philippians 4:11

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

Life ChangeThink about this question for a moment. Have we ever been content? Have we ever had enough? Have we ever been satisfied? When is enough – enough? How much do we need? Are we storing up more than we need?

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. A friend – 92 – who just died this week – went for many of those years. We sent teams to ASP (Appalachia Service Project) each summer. We learned just how much we had and how much we take for granted. It really helped us think about things in a different way. We had way more than almost everyone we served – and yet they were happy and often content.

I remember working on a coal miner’s shack in the mountains of Tennessee. That family had made their home out of this old minor’s shack. The outside boards had big gaps between them and the Tennessee winter winds and cold made it very hard to keep the shack warm. They had a pot belly wood stove in the middle of this shack and the ceiling above it was black from how hot they had to keep the fire to offset the winter cold. In this home we studded out the walls, installed insulation and put drywall up. Our efforts were to help them stay warmer in the winter. It was a small help – yet they were very appreciative of our efforts. I know they were warmer that following winter. Continue reading

October 29, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being Content – Is It Possible?

Philippians 4:11

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

Photo on 9-10-18 at 11.09 AMThink about this question for a moment. Have you 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?

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 think about things in a different way. We had way more than almost everyone we served – and yet they were happy and often content. Continue reading

October 9, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being Content

Philippians 4:11

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

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMHave we ever been content? At times being content might take away from 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.

With one church I served – we 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.

I remember working on a coal miner’s shack that a family had made their home. The outside boards had big gaps between them and the Tennessee winter winds and cold made it very hard. They had a pot belly wood stove in the middle of this shack and the ceiling above it was black from how hot they had to keep the fire to offset the winter cold. In this home we put in insulation and drywall and tried to help them stay warmer in the winter. It was a small help – yet they were very appreciative of our efforts. Continue reading

July 12, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deny Self and Follow Jesus

Philippians 4:11

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

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgChristians who live in the USA live in a society of plenty – for the most part – even a society of excess. We have a hard time doing without. We have a hard time denying self. Obesity is rampant in our culture partly because we have so much food and very little constraint. We live in homes large enough for several families. We have multiple vehicles – often more than the number of drivers in our family – one for every occasion. We throw away what some cultures would treasure. We have so much – denying self is foreign to us.

Here is today’s passage in partial context – there are final instructions given by God through Paul in his letter to the church in Philippi. Philippians 4:4–13 – 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, 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. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. 10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Continue reading

July 17, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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