Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Can We Disagree While Still Loving Each Other?

Romans 12:18

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

June 2019Of late – I have been disturbed by the number of colleagues that think they are being prophetic by speaking evil about and toward the current POTUS. I disagree greatly with much our current POTUS says and does – as I have with previous presidents – but I wouldn’t say some of the things others are saying. There needs to be a way of disagreeing with the POTUS or others without speaking evil. How are we a witness for Jesus when we join in the name calling and judging? I hear some of the same rhetoric when it comes to those who support the conservative side of our denomination.

Living at peace with each other in days like these is not easy. During this season of time – pre-2020 elections and 2020 General Conference we need to focus as much as possible on living at peace with one another – even everyone. I know – it is not easy to live at peace with people who are diametrically opposed to your ideology or theology – but it is what we are called to do as we walk out our faith. It is not always easy to live at peace with those we love and agree with either. We don’t need to agree with everyone – but as we disagree – we should not be disagreeable. Living at peace with others doesn’t mean we always have to agree for sure.

In today’s passage Paul writes – If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. How do we read this? And if we read it that we should strive to live at peace with everyone – how well are we doing? If we’re as blue as it gets – even radically blue (far left) – even socialists – with our politics – how well do we get along with someone who is as red as it gets – even radically red (far right)? Can we discuss our differences without becoming ugly? I know this doesn’t seem to happen on many social media pages I visit. It seems like the far left cannot even comprehend the far right – and vice versa – and they don’t play well together. Continue reading

July 29, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Living at Peace in Days Like These

Romans 12:18

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

fullsizeoutput_ffeLiving at peace with each other in days like these is not easy. During this season of time – post mid-term elections – pre-new congress forming in January – pre-Special General Conference in the United Methodist Church (February 23-26) – pre-Thanksgiving – and pre-Christmas (did I miss anything) – we need to focus as much as possible on living at peace with one another – even everyone. I know – it is not easy to live at peace with people who are diametrically opposed to your ideology or theology – but it is what we are called to do as we walk out our faith. It is not always easy to live at peace with those we love and agree with either. We don’t need to agree with everyone – but as we disagree – we should not be disagreeable. Living at peace with others doesn’t mean we always have to agree for sure.

In today’s passage Paul writes – If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. How do we read this? And if we read it that we should strive to live at peace with everyone – how well are we doing? If we’re as blue as it gets – even radically blue (far left) – with our politics – how well do we get along with someone who is as red as it gets – even radically red (far right)? Can we discuss our differences without becoming ugly? I know this doesn’t seem to happen on many social media pages I visit. It seems like the far left cannot even comprehend the far right – and vice versa – and they don’t play well together. Continue reading

November 20, 2018 Posted by | Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peace on Earth – Can it Be?

Romans 12:18

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Pic of Ray 11302014I was born in the 50′s and remember a lot about the 60′s and 70′s.  I remember the peace movement surrounding the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement.  I remember the protests on college campuses all over America about the war and the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King.  Unfortunately – some of those asking for peace didn’t give much peace when the veterans from Vietnam came home.  These veterans faced anger and hatred that shouldn’t have been aimed at them.  These young people – men and women – many who wanted nothing but peace so they could come home – were not welcomed home with much peace – respect or dignity!  It seems that peace is not as easy as we might think – nor is it as easy as a protest march.

Think for a moment.  Is there someone we have a hard time dealing with these days?  Someone we have a hard time being at peace with these days?  Is someone giving us a hard time?  Has someone hurt us?  Maybe it is our ex-spouse who is giving us trouble with our divorce settlement or with their child support?  Maybe it is someone at school who seems to enjoy being a bull?  Maybe it is someone at work who always seems to pick on us or take credit for something we have done?  Maybe it is someone who just won’t leave well enough alone?  Is there anyone like that in your life today?  Reading today’s passage we might say/ask – and God wants us to live at peace with these persons? Continue reading

December 23, 2014 Posted by | Advent Thought, Christmas, Church, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unity in Christ

Philippians 4:2

be of the same mind in the Lord

Oprofilene of the things that I believe hurts the cause of Christ the most is disunity in the Body of Christ. We don’t have to all think alike or agree on everything – but disunity is damaging to the cause of Christ.  Disunity in the Body of Christ – in the various denominations – and in the local churches can all do damage to the cause of Christ.

Disunity can be seen in the simple fact that there many denominations that call themselves after Christ. I’ve always thought that the unbelieving world must be so confused – thinking if Christ is the answer – the only true way to the Father and to heaven – why are there so many of His followers at odds with one another. At times our disagreements are so petty too – it seems to me.

Not only is this disunity seen in the many denominations that call themselves after Christ – it can be seen within those denominations as well. The recent battle within a variety of denominations – the United Methodist Church among them – over issues like same-sex marriage or whether same-sex relations are sinful or acceptable – reveals this disunity. Many believe our view of Scripture is part of our disunity – our differences in the very basics of the faith. How can we present Christ to a broken world when we aren’t even sure – within our own walls – what following Christ means? Continue reading

April 8, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Living at Peace With Everyone

Romans 12:18

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

RevRaypeaceI was born in the 50′s and remember a lot about the 60′s and 70′s.  I remember the peace movement surrounding the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement.  I remember the protests on college campuses all over America about the war and the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King.  Unfortunately – some of those asking for peace didn’t give it very well as veterans from Vietnam came home to anger and hatred that shouldn’t have been aimed at them.  These young people – many who wanted nothing but peace so they could come home – were not welcomed home with much peace!  It seems that peace is not as easy as we might think.

Think for a moment.  Is there someone you have a hard time dealing with these days?  Someone you have a hard time being at peace with these days?  Is someone giving you a hard time?  Maybe it is your ex-spouse who is giving you trouble with your divorce settlement or with their child support.  Maybe it is someone at school who seems to enjoy being a bully.  Maybe it is someone at work who always seems to pick on you.  Maybe it is someone who just won’t leave well enough alone.  Is there anyone like that in your life?  Reading today’s passage you might say/ask – and God wants us to live at peace with these persons? Continue reading

May 1, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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