Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

An Attitude Like Christ

Philippians 2:5

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

20B2484D-93F3-4834-A657-15E51ED76F9AThis is one of my favorite passages. I have a number of them for sure. Years ago I took this verse and created a favorite statement. A number of you have heard it before – I’m sure. It goes like this – Christianity Boils Down to Attitude. Some in our church families could finish this saying with me. I would say Christianity boils down to and they would respond with Attitude. Now I know that Christianity is all about God’s grace – that it is all about Christ’s life – death and resurrection. But – as we mentioned many times in teachings and in sermons – Christian maturity is all about the condition and position of the heart. Christian maturity is about doing – about walking out our faith – and this takes an attitude likened to the attitude of Jesus. Continue reading

June 24, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Heals the Brokenhearted

Psalm 34:18

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (ESV)

Rays Haircut

My heart is broken today as the news of Ravi Zacharias’ passing sinks into my heart and spirit. As the White House Press Secretary – Kayleigh McEnany – said in an interview – Billy Graham was the great evangelist and Ravi Zacharias is the great apologist. She almost lost it in the interview and I almost lost it listening to her. We will miss Ravi greatly. He had one of the sharpest minds of our age. I wonder how many of our readers have ever experienced a broken heart? Am I alone? You can listen to this interview here.

What breaks your heart? What brings you to tears and beyond? I’m a hopeless romantic (that is the term I choose to use and I’m sticking with it). As much as I love my wife and wouldn’t trade her for the world – I remember relationships from the past. Smells and songs trigger memories for me. I remember the first girl I ever kissed (I was 9 and we were moving from our church and she was 10 and I kissed her on our last Sunday). She was my first girlfriend – so to speak (it is written in my baby book LOL). I remember the perfume my next girlfriend used (Heaven Scent) and it brings back memories when I smell it.

As I grew older – songs began to play a part of my memories. Stevie Wonder’s You Are The Sunshine Of My Life has fond memories as does Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together. Colour My World by Chicago was also a favorite – it was the first song I ever danced to (with someone special).

Let’s Stay Together was a song that brings back not only fond memories but sad memories as well. It was still popular (came out in 1972) – a few years before one of my relationship breakups. As an emotional person – it would bring tears to my eyes remembering that relationship after it was over. Even today I occasionally remember relationships past. I’m listening to some music from the Vietnam era as I type out this devotional and each song brings back memories of my youth. Continue reading

May 21, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Super Natural – God Stuff

Psalm 42:8

By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.

Rays HaircutI grew up reading comic books. I had many first editions and full series. I enjoyed the ones where the mild mannered people in day-to-day life turned into super heroes when trouble came their way. One of my favorites growing up was mild mannered Clark Kent becoming Superman. I wouldn’t miss an episode and even today try to catch the old TV show when I can. My brother was a fan of Batman!

I must admit – I don’t watch much TV these days – other than some really old shows – sports and the news (you can guess which news program I watch the most). Some of the shows I tape and try to watch are the ones about super heroes. I like the supernatural! I like it when good overcomes evil.

Today’s passage reminds me of the supernatural presence of God in my life. Psalm 42:8 – By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. I guess it is just that phrase – by day the Lord. God is always at work in our lives. By day – He is directing His love in us – through us – and in spite of us. And at night – we are singing songs to His glory and presence in our lives. Continue reading

May 11, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 6 of Lent 2020

Mark 12:1a

He then began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey.”

Ray 2020I hope you are keeping up. Today’s reading is a parable. I hope we are enjoying our time together during Lent. I know I am.

Parables are stories that Jesus used to share truths. Parables are not necessarily real life stories – yet they tell a real life truth. They are great examples of putting the Scripture to work – an application of the word of truth in our lives. I love reading Parables and seeking God’s truth in them. The parables always seem to hit home for me – at times in a very timely way for sure.

What does this parable say to us today? What Biblical truth do we read in the words of this parable? Leave some comments as you read so that others can read and share as well! Jesus often used agricultural examples in His teachings because He lived in an agricultural community. The truths would stick with His hearers longer if He told them in stories – stories they would remember. Continue reading

March 3, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Will the Rapture Occur?

Matthew 24:36

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

img_0063-2I first posted this devotional thought on May 21st – 2011. According to fundamentalist Harold Camping – that was the day he predicted for the Rapture. The Rapture is a even that some believe will happen when the saints of Christ – true believers – will be raised before the end of time arrives. A key passage some use in their teaching about the Rapture is 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. I agree with this train of thought – Christ will return – Christ will receive His church (true believers) and the end times will unfold. I just wasn’t sold on Harold Camping’s prediction in 2011 nor of anyone’s ability to predict the date today. It will come like a thief in the night according to Jesus (see Scripture reference below).

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 – 15 According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

The Rapture will occur as part of the end-time events. The question is – can we know when it will occur – by predicting the day and hour as some have tried – and been wrong in the past as Harold Camping was in 1994 and in 2011. Continue reading

February 4, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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