Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Have You Ever Been Tired?

Matthew 11:28

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Life ChangeHave you ever been tired? I mean really tired. Like after running a few miles or playing a game of full-court basketball or walking a few miles or expending all of your energy in some physical exercise. Maybe we’re not in as good a shape as we used to be. Maybe it doesn’t take much to tire us out these days. I remember how we used to take honey or oranges just before a wrestling match to give us quick energy. Those three minutes on the mat were very draining – even when we were in top shape. We just might need a renewed measure of energy or rest – at times.

Have you ever been tired? I mean really tired. Like staying up all night to cram for a test the next day. Like spending an all-nighter watching your sick children or being sick yourself. Like pulling an all-nighter at work to make sure a project finishes or catching up for someone else. At times we just need a renewed measure of energy or rest. Continue reading

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May 15, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Day Set Apart

Luke 23:56

Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

112015 Ray McDonaldHow important is your Sabbath? We’re told to honor the Sabbath – to keep it holy. I wonder if we have forgotten this commandment in today’s society? Exodus 20:8–11 – 8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

It has become very commonplace for not only the world to see the Sabbath as just another day in the week – but more and more – even Christians are starting to treat the Sabbath as just any old day. Oh – some of us might make room for a couple of hours in the morning for worship and/or Sunday School – but – the rest of the day often becomes just another day. Many work on the Sabbath in their jobs (and before anyone says something – I know that some jobs are required on the Sabbath – but not all). Many treat the Sabbath as another day to accomplish the tasks at home. Continue reading

March 26, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are We Weary and Burdened?

Matthew 11:28

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

112015 Ray McDonaldWhen my oldest granddaughter was four-months-old – she entered a stage where she fought sleep (I’m at the age where I love taking a nap and going to bed at night).  She was the best baby I have ever known (all of my grandchildren are for sure).  She didn’t fuss about much of anything – yet she began to fight going to sleep.  I remember babysitting with her and having a hard time getting her to go down for bedtime.

I remember when I was a child my mom would force me to rest – to take an afternoon nap – after hours of playing and lunch.  I’m not sure it was for my good or hers – lol.  But if I laid on my bed long enough – usually about five minutes – I would be sound asleep.  Even today – if I sit still for five minutes I can doze off.  If I’m not in motion – I will become very docile.  I find myself falling asleep most anywhere.

The body needs rest.  I remember my college and seminary days – sleep was something that I did when I really needed it – or I crashed – because there was so much to do and so little time.  Late night study sessions – mainly because I didn’t keep up in my readings like I should – were commonplace.  All-nighters were just the way I rolled back then.  Up until about a two years ago – 4-6 hours of sleep was all I needed – with a 15-20 minute nap mid-day.  At 61 I am starting to need a little more rest to recoup from the day!  Now I find myself needing 7-8 hours a night – still with the 15-20 minute nap during the day. Continue reading

March 21, 2016 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding Our Rest in the Lord!

Psalm 37:7

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

IMG_0301Where NIV84 says – be still before the Lord – NKJV says – rest in the Lord.  I like both.  When our children were growing up – I often told them to be still and what I meant was settle down – give it a rest – or in today’s lingo – chill out.  I wonder if that is what God says to us at times – be still before Me – and trust Me!

Today I want to look at this passage – Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.  Some things come to my mind when I read it and I hope they are helpful in our daily walk today.

When I think of waiting patiently before the Lord – I am drawn toward the story of Abram and Sarai.  God had promised them many descendants and instead of patiently waiting for God’s fulfillment of His promise – instead of being still before the Lord – they took things into their own hands.  Here is part of the story.  Genesis 16:1-5 – 1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my servant in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.” Continue reading

April 27, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding True Rest

Matthew 11:28

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

RevRayMy four-month-old granddaughter is just starting to enter a stage where she is fighting sleep.  She is the best baby I have ever known – doesn’t fuss about much of anything – yet she is beginning to fight going to sleep.

I remember when I was a child my mom would force me to rest – to take an afternoon nap – after hours of playing and lunch.  I’m not sure it was for my good or hers – lol.  But if I laid on my bed long enough – usually about five minutes – I would be sound asleep.  Even today – if I sit still for five minutes I can doze off.  If I’m not in motion – I will become very docile.

The body needs rest.  I remember my college and seminary days – sleep was something that I did when I really needed it – or I crashed – because there was so much to do and so little time.  Late night study sessions – mainly because I didn’t keep up in my readings like I should – were commonplace.  All-nighters were just the way I rolled back then.  Up until about a year ago – 4-6 hours of sleep was all I needed – with a 15-20 minute nap mid-day.  At 58 I am starting to need a little more rest to recoup from the day!

Continue reading

March 25, 2013 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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