Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Peace Is Elusive At Times

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

RayMcDA little over a week ago my mom transitioned to heaven. I have an extraordinary amount of peace with this situation. I have confidence that mom is with Jesus and with my dad again. I grieve my loss – but I rejoice in mom’s victory and that brings me peace.

A friend of mine ended a multiple year relationship recently and I am praying peace for him. Another friend is dealing with cancer and treatment and I am praying peace for her. Still another friend is waging a battle against stubborn family members and I pray peace for them.

Peace is elusive at times. Peace is something that most of us seek but few of us find. We live in a day and age when people are struggling to find peace. We even struggle with what is right and what is wrong at times. Our parents and grandparents and so forth probably thought that each generation faced an uncertain world around them and a struggle for right and wrong. They probably thought they lived in a world where others called wrong as right and the right as wrong. Key to this thought is that we don’t all have the same moral values or ideology. We don’t all see the world or truth as the same.

Peace is elusive at times. Racial tension is still high in our society. A call for racial reconciliation – a call to treat persons by the content of their heart rather than the color of their skin – is still being met with opposition. Fifty to sixty years after some tried to awaken our country to racial tensions – these tensions are still alive in some folks and in some areas more than others. There are still those who hate because of skin color – as crazy as that seems.

Peace is elusive at times. There are ideologies today – as there have been in days gone by – where people think the only way to nirvana is to kill all infidels. ISIS (radical Islamic terrorists) is still a threat – killing Muslims – Christians – Jews – and others – around the world because they don’t agree with their ideology. They are creating fear around the world with their understanding of right and wrong. Most agree this is wrong but we can’t seem to agree how to defeat this hatred. Continue reading

February 14, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Living Sacrifice

Romans 12:1

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

IMG_0301As the Baltimore riot has unfolded the last few days – the media has made a point of focusing – it seems – on those who were doing destruction. Burning buildings – burning vehicles – vandalized businesses – rock and bottle throwing crowds. As the police commander said – when asked about using force – did folks want 14-15-16 year old bodies lining the streets?

Some officers were injured for sure – broken bones and other injuries. Probably millions of dollars worth of damage was done. The restraint of the officers was amazing – they should be commended. The mother caught on film dragging her son home – went viral – and she has become a national hero – an example I wish other parents had followed.

Several young men and women placed their safety on the line as they fought fires and tried to contain those who would do them harm. I knew several police officers that were on the scene. I know of several pastors who walked the streets – trying to calm folks down. I so wanted to be there – walking with them. I’m a bit disappointed I didn’t go. Not sure if I would have been a help – but I knew some brothers on the line and I would have loved to have supported them. Continue reading

April 29, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What We Need Is God’s Love

1 John 4:7

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.

Pic of Ray 11302014We’re living in a time – not unlike many times in our history – where love is very much needed. Yet we live in a time when love is the furthest thing from the minds and hearts of many. Actually – some are running away from God’s perfect love and running toward the devil’s hatred.

I am appalled by the happenings around our country – as many are – and for a variety of reasons I’m sure. Hatred is running rampant in so many of our communities. Anger is all around us. Peaceful and non-peaceful protests are on the news every night. Something needs to change in our country and now is the time for every good Christian man and woman to stand up and be counted.

It is above my pay grade to know all the answers for sure – so I will not try to decide right and wrong in each case placed before us in the news. I have tried to stay out of the fray when it comes to commenting on the situations the news has blasted all over our TV screens and the internet. Some of my friends and colleagues on social media and from pulpits have been very outspoken – and I respect their right to their opinions. Continue reading

December 5, 2014 Posted by | Advent Thought, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Prudent Hold Their Tongues

Proverbs 10:19

…the prudent hold their tongues.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgHave you ever had something happen in your life – and you felt compelled to say something or write something about it – only to have your words come back to haunt you? I know it has happened to me a number of times.

I don’t believe in jinxes – but I have tweeted during a game – that my team was up and on the way to a win – only to see them lose in the closing minutes. A number of times I have tweeted things that later I had to erase. At times my fingers type faster than my brain thinks. Some of my Facebook friends might say the same thing. I mean – have you seen some of the things folks have posted? There seems to be no filter for some folks.

The proverb today – in part – says – the prudent hold their tongues. This seems very appropriate as many rush to make comments about issues and events that we face in our society. Tweeting or posting on FB or not – withholding comments on things can be seen as a modern day holding the tongue.

Continue reading

November 27, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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