Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Election Is Over – Jesus Is King!

James 1:2

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

RayMcDWell – when you read this devotional thought – the election will be over – or at least it should be (unless there are some more hanging chads or someone calls for a recount). I hope you voted dear readers. Some of us will be happy. Some of us will be sad. Some of us will be confused. Some of us will shake our heads. Some of us will be dancing in the streets. Some of us will feel downtrodden. Some of us will feel uplifted.

As I write this devotional thought I’m watching the early news as the polls are getting ready to close – starting with the East Coast and moving westward. How would you like to live in Hawaii – OK – most would say I’d love to live in Hawaii – except for Election Day – when the race is usually decided before you even get to vote – LOL (the West Coast also feels this way at times). Continue reading

November 9, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

I Can Do All Things

Philippians 4:13 RSV

I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgI can do that! Have you heard that phrase before? A friend was having a tough road ahead of them and someone posted on their Facebook page – we can do this! Tough things will come our way dear readers. The rain falls on the good and the bad – says the Scriptures.

What tough thing has come your way of late? Some of the tough things that have happened to me over the last 2-3 years could be the foundation for a book on tough times. Just to name a few things – my father died – my mom’s dementia got worse – we lost a grand-baby 24 hours after we were given her (her birth mom changed her mind and decided to parent her) – I was struck by a tractor-trailer and my car was demolished (and yes I saw my life flash before me) – my long time black lab died of cancer (I held him as he drew his last breath) – and more. In each of these moments and others – I tried hard to rely on the One who gives me strength for every day. I remember quoting today’s passage often – I can do all things in/through Him who strengthens me. Continue reading

June 18, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let Nothing Be Wasted

John 6:12

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” NIV

profileMy parents were raised during the depression – my grandmother was a parent during the depression.  My grandmother lived with us or next door to us during my childhood years.  Nothing went to waste around our house.

My grandmother was the original pack-rat – so my dad came by his ways honestly.  When grandmother died – we had to clean out her house.  She had magazines and newspapers from before time it seemed – stored neatly in boxes.  Never know when you might need old magazines and newspapers.  She had stuff that most people would never have saved – but because of the depression – she was taught to let nothing be wasted. Continue reading

March 14, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keeping Our Eyes on Jesus

Matthew 14:29-30

29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

I know – you’re looking to see – didn’t he use this passage yesterday?  Yes – I did – not as the lead passage – but in yesterday’s devotional thought.  I’m using it again today because it has come up in so many of my prayers of late – the idea of keeping my/our eyes on Jesus.

I’m convinced – as I face tough times – as we face tough times – that keeping my/our eyes on Jesus is the only way to survive.  Let’s read that passage again together:  Matthew 14:25-31 – 25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”  31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Too often we try to face things on our own – with our own strength.  We forget what the Scripture says: Philippians 4:13 – I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Doing all things – is through Christ who strengthens us – not on our own.  It is through our relationship with Jesus – and only through that relationship – that we can face the tough times and do the will of God: John 15:4-5 – 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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October 16, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , | Leave a comment

God Still Has Miraculous Powers!

John 20:26

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

Do we believe in the impossible?  Do we serve a God who can do all things – even the impossible?  We read stories throughout the Bible of miracles that God performed.  We could spend weeks and maybe even months writing about the many miracles that God performed – as recorded in the Bible.  Today’s passage is just one of these miracles.  Jesus appeared with His disciples – even though the room was on lock down and there was no way in!  This is a post resurrection appearance – and that in itself is a miracle of God.

What miracle do we need in our lives today?  Do we believe in a God of miracles?  Or is our God weak – like us?

We might be able to name a few miracles we would like in our lives – like healing from cancer – healing of our marriage – getting our children on the right path.  But the question of the day is – do we believe that God can do all things?  Do we believe in a God of miracles – or is that just a Biblical story that we no longer believe?

People like to quote Philippians 4:13 – I can do everything through him who gives me strength – but do we really believe this passage – or is it just nice to hear/read?  Do we believe we can do all things through Him who strengthens us?

Of course 1 Corinthians 13 is most commonly called the love chapter – and so we focus on the love language in it – but do you really read what it says before it gets to verse 4 and following?  1 Corinthians 13:1-3 – 1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.It is a report of some of the miracles God has given His church – from Chapter 12 where Paul writes about the miraculous powers of the Holy Spirit working in believers.  Do we believe that God is operating in our lives today?  Do we believe that God is still God?  That God is still the God of miracles and miraculous powers?  Well – I do – and I believe God can change any person or any situation to His glory if we would just allow Him.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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March 5, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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