Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Do We Connect with People?

Romans 12:15

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

RayMcDChristian are often called upon to connect with people. As a pastor – I am often called upon to be empathetic with people and their needs/situations. At times I must be sympathetic or compassionate. Are we empathetic with others? Are we sympathetic at times? Are we compassionate too? Do we feel the pain of others?

I was moved by a report on Facebook yesterday of a police officers who pulled over and saved the life of a lifeless infant. His mother was panic mode and this officer calmly proceeded to give life support to the infant and rush him to the hospital in his patrol car. I could feel for the mom – and I could feel for the officer and his professionalism. Continue reading

August 15, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In case you didn’t know it – I’m very emotional.

Romans 12:15

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

In case you didn’t know it – or didn’t know me well – I’m very emotional. I’m the kind of guy that cries at shows on the TV. I cry when certain songs are played. I’ve yet to watch It’s a Wonderful Life without crying. I cry at most movies that talk about the death of a parent. I can be found crying while watching The Andy Griffith Show or MASH.

In case you didn’t know it – or didn’t know me well – I’m very emotional. I like a good belly laugh – hearing jokes or telling them. I like to be around funny people. I have numerous golf jokes and pastor’s jokes if you’d like to hear them.

In case you didn’t know it – or didn’t know me well – I’m very emotional. I enjoy expressing my love for my wife – for my children – and for my grandchildren. I love hugs and my granddaughters give the best hugs. I drive my brother crazy when I tell him I love him.

In case you didn’t know it – or didn’t know me well – I’m very emotional. I have a hard time at funerals – often shedding tears right along with the family. I remember doing the funeral of my brother’s future (that week) father-in-law and losing it in the midst of the service. I had known that man my whole life and knowing the emotions of that week got to me. Continue reading

July 30, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mourn With Those Who Mourn

Romans 12:15

mourn with those who mourn

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMThe last two days have been hard for our nation. The pain of so many has cried out all over the news and social media. We have all felt the pain of loss – if we haven’t – we have no heart.

I have read much the last few days on social media and have watched hours upon hours of news reports. I’m not going to try to give my opinion in this space. I’m not going to point any fingers and put the blame on anyone – although there is plenty of blame to go around.

Today – I simply want to call our nation to mourn with those who mourn. Don’t try to get your point across. Don’t feel the need to respond to someone or one up someone on social media or in a conversation. Don’t try to defend your position or your peeps. Continue reading

July 8, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer | , , , | Leave a comment

Rejoice and Weep with Others

Romans 12:15

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

profileAre you empathetic?  Are you sympathetic?  Are you compassionate?  Do you feel other people’s pain?  When I mentioned the reaction of a member of our church to the report of shootings at the Columbia Mall this past weekend to my wife – she fully understood her attitude and said she would have done the same thing (her daughter was at the Mall and she sped to the Mall to retrieve her and became excited when security delayed her).

I think most of us had some emotions watching the scene unfold on TV or if we were at the Mall ourselves.  One member was on the other floor from the shooting but at the same section.  Another member reported being 50 yards away from the shooting. Continue reading

January 27, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Outreach, Personal | , , , | 1 Comment

Some of God’s Instructions from Romans!

Romans 12:15

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

It might seem easy to rejoice with those who rejoice – except during those times when you become jealous of someone else’s success or happiness.  It might seem harder to mourn with those who mourn.  This passage comes in the midst of one of my favorite passages.

Romans 12:9-21 – 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Can you see why I love this passage?  I mean – there is so much here for us – so many challenges and encouragements.  It starts with: Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Man – if we could just do that!

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Now that is not easy – to do good to those who have done us wrong – to love those who hate us!  Do not repay anyone evil for evil.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. I mean – what a challenge!  And then: Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. How many times do we want to take revenge on those who hurt us!?

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

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February 14, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , | Leave a comment

   

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