Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Merry Christmas to One and All

Isaiah 9:6-7

6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

112015 Ray McDonaldMerry Christmas dear readers!  Today’s Scripture is a very familiar one to most I’m sure.  As the prophet Isaiah was writing – God gave him this prophetic word about Jesus’ birth – some 740 years beforehand.  Isaiah 9:6-7 – 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

So what will fill our Christmas this year?  Will there be lots of food – lots of gifts – given and received?  Will there be lots of travel to visit with as many people as possible?  Will it be a sad Christmas – without a family member for the first time?  Will it be a happy Christmas – with a new family member for the first time?  Will it be a time where we actually spend time praying for peace on earth and goodwill toward all?  Will it be a time to celebrate the greatest gift ever given – for to us a child is born, to us a son is given? Continue reading

December 25, 2015 Posted by | Build, Christmas, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Child Is Born

Isaiah 9:6 

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

112015 Ray McDonaldCan you remember the first time or the last time a child was born into your family? The anticipation was surreal I’m sure. It was probably – for most of us – an experience we will never forget.

I remember when our children were born. Shelly – our oldest – was a natural birth. I was from a generation that began to join the wife in the delivery room. We went to the classes and learned the methods of breathing and concentration. We didn’t know going into the delivery room what our child’s gender would be – we wanted to be surprised. I watched her come into the world and after making sure she was OK and that Carolyn was OK – I remember running down the hall to the family – jumping up and down and screaming that I was a father.

Nicole and Jaclyn were born five years later and the excitement was just as high pitched. We knew we were having twins but the thrill of adding two more daughters to our family was something I will never forget. I now had four women depending on me to be the husband and dad. It was a time I will never forget. I was so excited – running the halls again – screaming that I had twin daughters! Continue reading

December 9, 2015 Posted by | Advent Thought, Bring, Christmas, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peace on Earth

Luke 2:14

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Pic of Ray 11302014Peace on earth! How about peace in the TV room? That was what my mom was after as we three kids were growing up. With one TV in the house – the three of us (my sister – brother – and I) would debate (loudly at times) what to watch. Was it going to be something my older sister wanted to watch (usually something my brother and I didn’t want to watch) – something I wanted to watch (the middle child – usually sports or westerns) – or something our younger brother wanted to watch (usually Batman or something else that was OK but not what we wanted to watch – LOL)? Mom would usually threaten us with turning the TV off if we couldn’t decide. That usually won the moment as our sister would go off to read and that left my brother and I to decide and we usually compromised (our sister knew she would lose in a vote off as my brother and I would team up!).

Peace on earth! This is the usual pageant response by those wishing to touch the awe button in all of us as they respond to questions. Peace on earth – a novel idea for those who dream – because with radical Muslims around the world like ISIS – racism running rampant (between all races) – and unrest all over the world – peace on earth is a pipe dream it seems. There always seems to be something going on to cause unrest. Continue reading

December 19, 2014 Posted by | Advent Thought, Christmas, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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