Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Showing Love At A Time Like This

Romans 8:37

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

RayMcDSome of us – the older persons for sure – grew up in an era when men had a hard time showing their emotions.  Even in today’s society it is not unusual for some men to have a hard time saying I love you to their spouse – their children – family – or others. Some women have a hard time as well – but it seems to come more naturally for them. Expressing our feelings – our love and our emotions – shouldn’t be so hard.

Along the lines of some men having a hard time saying they love the ones they do love – it is not uncommon to hear at a funeral for a dad – he may not have said it very often if at all – but I knew my father loved me.

At funerals I often remind people to not wait to say I love you to those they love – because the opportunities might be short – and the end can come unexpectedly. A clergy friend of mine – four years my junior – died suddenly of a heart attack – here one moment and gone the next.  We all know of people who died suddenly – and maybe we had some regrets about not saying we loved them enough – if at all. Same thing for people holding grudges against those they love. It is often heard at funerals – the last time we spoke we had an argument – and then I find out that the argument was months – even years ago at times. Continue reading

February 1, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be Merciful

Luke 6:36

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

RayMcDWhen I was younger – and I officiated baseball games – in some of the leagues where I worked there was something called a mercy rule. Sometimes it was called a slaughter rule. Either way it went like this – if a team ever got ahead of another team by 10-15 runs – (depending on the league) – the game was called to show mercy to the team being beaten so badly. In some leagues it didn’t matter how many innings had been played and I remember the mercy rule being applied in the bottom of the first inning. Mercy – defined on an online dictionary is compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.

In the Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical TheologyMercy is a concept integral to an understanding of God’s dealings with humankind. In English translations of the Bible, it comes to expression in phrases such as “to be merciful, ” “to have mercy on, ” or “to show mercy toward.” The corresponding term, “merciful, ” describes a quality of God and one that God requires of his people. The noun denotes compassion and love, not just feelings or emotions, as expressed in tangible ways. Continue reading

October 12, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For God So Loved Us

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

112015 Ray McDonaldGod loves us and we are called to love God.  God so loved us – according to today’s passage – that He gave His own life for our lives.  God the Father so loved the world that He gave us God the Son to suffer death upon the Cross of Calvary for our redemption.  Today’s passage is a favorite of many.  John 3:16 is often put on posters at golf tournaments!

As Holy Week unfolds before us – we are being reminded of the love of God.  God’s love is what our walk with Jesus should be all about dear readers.  Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  1 John 4:9–10 – 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Continue reading

March 24, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Showing Love During A Season Like This!

Romans 8:37

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

112015 Ray McDonaldSome of us grew up in a time when men had a hard time showing their emotions.  Even in today’s society it is not unusual for some men to have a hard time saying I love you to their spouse – their children – family – or others.  Some women have a hard time as well – but it seems to come more naturally for them.

Along the lines of some men having a hard time saying they love the ones they do love – it is not uncommon to hear at a funeral for a dad – he may not have said it very often if at all – but I knew my father loved me.

At funerals I often remind people to not wait to say I love you to those they love – because the opportunities might be short – and the end can come unexpectedly.  A clergy friend of mine – four years my junior – died suddenly of a heart attack – here one moment and gone the next.  We all know of people who died suddenly – and maybe we had some regrets about not saying we loved them enough – if at all.  Same thing for people holding grudges against those they love.  It is often heard at funerals – the last time we spoke we had an argument – and then I find out that the argument was months – even years ago at times. Continue reading

March 12, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sold Out For Jesus

1 Timothy 1:15

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.

112015 Ray McDonaldWhat is our purpose in life?  Recently we have been looking into the Word of God for some understanding concerning God’s will for our lives.  Have we figured it out yet?  One of my favorite passages of Scripture tells us something we need to do to know God’s will in our lives.  Romans 12:2 – Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.  We are called to be transformed – changed – renewed.  If we walk in the path of righteousness rather than the path of the world – we will be able to better understand God’s will for our lives.  If we seek after God – after Christ – we will be able to better understand what God’s will is for us – God’s will for our lives.

Continue reading

January 13, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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