Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

We Need A Mulligan For Sin

Ephesians 1:7

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amCan any reader remember doing anything we were sorry for later? Yes – I really did ask that question! Can any of us remember anything that we wish we hadn’t done? Anything we wish we could take back? Anything that we knew was a mistake the minute we did it or said it?

In golf – when someone hits a bad shot – mostly on tee-shots – they might ask their playing partners for a mulligan – some might just say they are taking a mulligan – a do over. In life – there are few places where do overs are. Most often we have to sleep in the bed we’ve madedeal with the cards that we selected.

I’m sure that Russell Wilson would like a mulligan on his last throw in Super Bowl LXLIX against the New England Patriots in 2015. Do you remember the interception in the end zone? I would also imagine that Pete Carroll would like a mulligan on the play call – just saying! I know some Seahawk fans wish they could call for a mulligan for sure. Continue reading

September 27, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Focus on God – Live Out Our Faith

2 Corinthians 4:18

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Life ChangeI love this passage. It so speaks to focusing on the eternal rather than the temporal. Focusing on the things of God and the promises of God rather than on what we can see with our eyes – understand with our minds – or hold in our hands. Unfortunately – many of us often focus on what we can see rather than what has been promised.

An example of this is Abraham and Sarah. They were promised by God that they would have many descendants – but late in life they couldn’t see the promise fulfilled so they took things into their own hands. Sarah gave Abraham her maidservant Hagar to bear him children because she was barren (Genesis 16). Of course God wasn’t late in fulfilling His promise – God gave Abraham and Sarah a child – Isaac – and he did become the father of a great nation – the Hebrews. Hagar’s son did as well. His name was Ishmael – and he became the father of Muslims. Continue reading

March 25, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Can See Us!

Genesis 16:13

She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

RayMcDAnyone reading this blog post old enough to remember the TV show Romper Room? It started airing a couple of years before I was born and was franchised (rather than syndicated) – which means local stars were used wherever the show aired. It began in Baltimore and local talent worked the show.

What I remember most about this show was the Magic Mirror – through which the host could see the many children who were watching. Children were encouraged (parents of course) to mail in first names and the host would say I see Billy – I see Mary – I see Sally – etc. during the show to signify the children watching. I really thought she could see right through her mirror and into my home and I waited to hear my name. Continue reading

August 29, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Throw Off Everything that Hinders

Hebrews 12:1-2

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

RevRayI love this passage.  I love the idea of being sold out for Jesus – which I get when we are instructed to throw off everything that hinders our walk with Jesus – our joy in the Lord.  What is it that hinders us?  Let’s break down today’s passage a little and see what might be in this nugget of truth.  This may take us several days.

Therefore – whenever you see the word therefore you must look to see what was before – what this next statement is restating or concluding.  Hebrews 11 is commonly called the faith chapter.  It begins by presenting to the readers a litany of God’s faithful.  It begins with Hebrews 11:1-3 – 1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.  It then presents the faithful like Abel – Enoch – Noah – Abraham – Sarah – Isaac – Jacob – Joseph – Moses and so on.  That chapter ends with these words – Hebrews 11:39-40 – 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. 12:1 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,… That great cloud of witnesses expressed a deep faith – but – they never got to see what had been promised!  We get to see it! Continue reading

April 16, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

   

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