Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Following God’s Voice

Isaiah 30:21

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Photo on 9-10-18 at 11.09 AMI’ve mentioned several times before that as a child – I tried to follow in my father’s footsteps. I could ALWAYS trust that dad would not lead me wrong. He was a man of God and if I followed his example – I knew I would be walking after God – seeking His face and desiring His grace. Of course – he told me on several occasions that I should follow Christ – not him. That was because he was a humble man for sure.

Have you ever wondered about the path God has for your life? Did you or are you praying for God’s guidance as you walk thru life – seeking His face and desiring His grace? I encourage people to pray over all decisions. I especially urge them to pray about the big ones such as – who to date – what school or training to seek – what career to pursue – whether to marry or who to marry – whether to purchase or rent a home or a vehicle – whether to have children and how many – where to worship – etc. If we don’t include God in our decisions – why would we go to Him for help after we make mistakes? Go to God before decisions are made and I bet – if we are listening to His voice – we might just make fewer mistakes. Think about it – doesn’t that make sense? Continue reading

September 26, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wake Up And Be Counted!

Revelation 3:2

Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.

During the week of VBS – each year – my dad would wake us up with a song I believe he made up. At the top of his singing voice – which was considerable – he would sing his Vacation Bible School song. I can still remember him singing it today. It woke us up for this day long – week-long event. I fondly remember it now – but at the time I was not too happy.

Dad wasn’t the subtle type. He didn’t come up and lovingly whisper in our ears that it was time to get up and gradually allow us to deal with the early hour. He allowed us to stay asleep as long as possible – I assume – and then he WOKE US UP! Continue reading

January 18, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be Still – And Know That God Is Present

Psalm 46:10

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

112015 Ray McDonaldHow’s your Prayer/Fast going? If you began on the first day of the Revival (2/7) – you’d be on day 17 of a 49 day Prayer/Fast. Any stories to share?

I remember – seems like a lifetime ago – we use to sing Be Still My Soul in worship – often. It was a favorite hymn it seemed.

Lyrics go like this – 1. Be still, my soul: The Lord is on your side; Bear patiently the cross cross of grief or pain. Leave to your God to order and provide; In every change God faithful will remain. Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly friend Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end. 2. Be still, my soul; your God will undertake To guide the future as he has the past. Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake; All now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul; the waves and wind still know His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below. 3. Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on When we shall be forever with the Lord, When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone, Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored. Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past, All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

It is an old hymn – written by Katharina von Schlegel – 1752 and transposed by Jane Borthwick – 1855. It is in our hymnals and we still sing it from time to time. Continue reading

February 23, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Pure Heart – A Steadfast Spirit

Psalm 51:10

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

112015 Ray McDonaldA pure heart!  A steadfast spirit!  Obviously two things to strive toward – to gain through Christ – but how?  The Psalmist writes: create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Is that how easy it is – to simply pray for it?  And are we sincere when we pray?

As I surf through the many comments on Facebook these days – from young and not-so-young people – I see hurting people who are searching for something.  Some use acronyms to mask the words they are thinking – some simply type it out – for the world to read.  Shock value or not – many of us are far from a pure heart – far from a steadfast spirit.  We are hurting and we are searching and we need God more than we might think.  If you’re not a Facebook person – we’re not excluded from this thought.  Some of the words we use – some of the things we look at on the TV or on the internet – some of the thoughts we have – reveal our need for a pure heart – a steadfast spirit.

There must be more to it than simply asking for a clean heart and a steadfast spirit.  The Psalmist gives us a clue with the verses that precede verse 10 of this Psalm. Continue reading

January 19, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In Whom Do You Trust?

Psalm 56:3

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

IMG_0301It is rare to find a large number of people you can trust. At times it is hard to find even one. I know a number of people who thought they had found someone to trust – only to have the person or persons break their trust.

One of my granddaughters spent the night last night (her parents too). Mom and dad were out visiting another daughter and my granddaughter woke. I was in my office and heard her crying and coughing. She was calling for her mommy and not very happy. Not sure if her cough woke her or maybe she was afraid in a different bed. Anyway – Pop went in and picked her up and rocked her and patted her back and soothed her and she settled down.

I love being trusted by my daughters to care for the ones they love the most – their children. I pray I never do anything to destroy that trust – cause Pop loves him some grandchildren (my fourth is due in April)! I’m teaching my grandchildren a song I made up – it goes like this – I love Pop – Pop loves me – and that’s the way it’s going to be! I know corny – but I want them to always know their Pop loves them. I pray they grow to trust their Pop. Continue reading

March 26, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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