Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

2020 – A Time for More Love Not Less

Deuteronomy 6:5

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amI’m sure you have heard this before – love is a core value in the Christian faith. Showing love to one another is a significant characteristic of our Christian walk – or at least it is supposed to be. I believe that love seems to be missing from our society these days and also from many who claim to follow Christ. Some folks who claim to be Christians – like some of our politicians today – tend to take sides on issues and show anything but love to those who disagree with them. Like some – we tend to forget that even when we disagree – we should show love. Even when our disagreements are over our theology!! Loving one another – even in the face of disagreement – is something we are called to do by Jesus.

I created a song for my grandchildren. I sing it with them whenever they’re here or on FaceTime. It goes like this – I love Pop, Pop loves me, and that’s the way it’s going to be! If I have written it before (and I know I have) – I just love being a Pop. I love my five grandchildren – a sixth one will join them soon – from South Korea! I love showing them how much I love them – by giving them my focus when they are around. I didn’t always do that with my children. I want to be a better Pop than I was a Dad. They love to sit with Pop and comb his greying hair (it may be greying – but at least it’s staying). I also love getting kisses from my girls.

In Christ – we are called to love others – even as we love ourselves. Jesus was asked what were the greatest commandments – and part of His response is to love our neighbors – those around us – even as we love ourselves. Matthew 22:39 – And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

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September 24, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Should Consider What We Say and Who is Listening

Ephesians 4:29

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Photo on 10-9-18 at 2.15 PMLess than four weeks from now – our nation will go to the polls for the mid-term elections. I urge everyone to register to vote and to get out and vote for the person or persons you believe will help to make us a better nation. It is our legal duty and responsibility as citizens of this country to vote.

If you’ve been listening to the news or to TV – or the radio – or have read anything on the internet – you have probably heard what I have heard – or read what I have read. Men and women – people in political office – radio jocks – TV and movie stars – entertainers – comedians – folks on social media – and in other places – say or write some horrible things of late. Their choice of words leaves a lot to be desired. I mean I’ve stopped listening to programs on TV because of the language being used. I’ve even had to turn off some sports programs on my favorite all-sports channel. I won’t watch certain shows on TV and don’t go to too many movies. I’ve unfriended or hidden some folks on social media because of the language they use. Some people use such foul language! They even take the Lord’s name in vain – and laugh about it! There is a commandment about that with a warning! Continue reading

October 11, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

1 John 3:18

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Actions speak louder than words! Have we all heard that phrase? Husbands and wives say it to one another – young people dating say it to one another – parents use it with their children. Have you ever used it? We want the person we are speaking with to understand that mere words are not enough – we want to see actions as well. Actions speak louder than the words we use. We can say we love someone – we can say we will do something – but words are merely words unless we back them up with actions.

Politicians are infamous for saying anything to get elected and when elected doing whatever they wish (although some are starting to do what they say of late). If we could find a number of leaders that would do what they say – we might just turn our nation around! Continue reading

January 24, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fear of the Lord!

Matthew 10:28

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

IMG_0435-0In this day an age – we often hear about politicians who have special interest groups supporting them. These special interest groups often try to put pressure on the candidates to vote certain ways or to take a stand on issues the way they would support. Some candidates fear their power and fear not getting their money!

One candidate for President this year – for the most part – has financed his own campaign – according to reports. It is what endears him to some voters – believing that he will vote the way he feels is right – not as special interest groups or supporters suggest. If a candidate is beholding to someone or some interest group – that can put real pressure on them as they serve.

In our society – often small – even tiny – segments of our culture can put pressure on politicians to get laws and decisions passed that support them and their interests. We see this all the time. We see this in church life as well at times. Continue reading

May 31, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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