Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Be Anxious About Nothing

Philippians 4:6-7

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Today marks five full weeks since my rotator cuff surgery with a torn bicep muscle as well. I had physical therapy (PT) this morning and they are well pleased. They took measurements this morning to report to my surgeon on this Friday. My hope is that he will be pleased and released me from the sling and allow me to begin to use my arm some and build it back up.

The physical therapist said I had nearly 100% movement (compared to my right arm not compared to a young man or a double jointed person – LOL). In some measurements my movement was 100% or even better.

My hope is that by the last weekend in May I will be able to take half swings with my golf clubs – hip to hip. My family takes a vacation every year and we always play golf together. It would be hard to miss that bonding time with my brother and some of my nephews and a niece. If I must simply ride along – I will. Continue reading

May 3, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pornography – Conform Not!

Romans 12:2

Do not conform 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.

Sexuality drives the secular world it seems. One area of our lives where we are called to NOT conform to the pattern of this world is Sexuality and Pornography.

Pornography is very damaging to marriage and to all of human sexuality. Filling one’s mind with unnatural and fictitious scenarios can lead to expectations and demands that are not healthy or natural. It can lead to fantasies that are sinful and damage not only marriage but relationships with other men and women in your life. You will find yourself thinking thoughts about strangers and even close friends you would never have thought without the use of or involvement with pornography.

Pornography is addictive. It is easy to access today through the internet. It is sin and WILL damage your marriage. As a single person, it will damage your thinking about sexuality and when you marry it will cause expectations that will lead to difficulties in your marriage, guaranteed. Continue reading

March 17, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pornography

Romans 12:2

Do not conform 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.

IMG_0301Sexuality drives the secular world. One area of our lives where we are called to NOT conform to the pattern of this world is Sexuality and Pornography.

Pornography is very damaging to marriage and to all of human sexuality. Filling one’s mind with unnatural and fictitious scenarios can lead to expectations and demands that are not healthy or natural. It can lead to fantasies that are sinful and damage not only marriage but relationships with other men and women in your life. You will find yourself thinking thoughts about strangers and even close friends you would never have thought without your use of pornography.

Pornography is addictive. It is easy to access today through the internet. It is sin and WILL damage your marriage. As a single person, it will damage your thinking about sexuality and when you marry it will cause expectations that will lead to difficulties in your marriage, guaranteed. Continue reading

August 12, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What The Church Needs Today Is More Of God’s Grace

Romans 5:8

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

IMG_0301I’m going to start today with the bottom line – we are all sinners saved by grace. You can stop reading now and you have the jest of this blog post. Here are three Scriptures that make today’s point. They are familiar passages and often quoted.

Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Ephesians 2:8 – For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.

God’s grace was shown to all of us through Jesus Christ. Every one of us deserves hell – yet God’s free gift of salvation gives those who turn to His saving grace – eternal life. Continue reading

June 12, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Can We Be Welcoming and Hold to a Standard?

A question that came to my mind after the most recent Annual Conference is – can we be welcoming of others and still hold to a Biblical standard or belief?  This question arises from time to time in my thinking when we deal with issues where there is a difference in interpretation of the Scriptures.  One area is our view of sexuality (and there are other subjects as well).  Dealing with sexuality for the moment – how can the church be welcoming to those heterosexual persons who live together outside of marriage – if living together outside of marriage is seen as sinful?  How can the church be welcoming to homosexual persons who actively practice their sexual preference – if acting on that preference is seen as sinful?  Is there a way to be welcoming of sinners without accepting sin?

How far can the church bend without breaking?  Is overlooking sin acceptable – since all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and continue to do so?  Is there a loving way to accept the sinner without accepting the sin?

Far too often – as a fairly conservative person theologically – I am made to feel by those of a more liberal view – that I cannot be accepting of the person without accepting their choices in life.  That somehow I have entered into the arena of judgement to try to hold to a view of Scripture that says there are sinful choices in life – even some absolutes if I might.  I believe you can show love to someone without accepting every choice they make in life.

And before someone writes it is not a choice it is how they/we were/are made – everything we do is a choice.  We may have some natural tendencies toward one thing or the other – but all of our actions are a consequence of choices we make.  We chose to obey God or not – to follow God’s teachings or not – we are not animals – acting on our every urge – we have choices.

The question is – can the church welcome a person and love them while at the same time strive to help them (as they or others help us) live without sin?  Do we have to accept all things – all choices – before we can be considered welcoming?  I think not.  What do you think?

Another question that was raised has to do with differing views of Scripture.  Can differing views be right or is one view automatically wrong if the other is right?

May 31, 2011 Posted by | Discipleship, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Theology | , , , , | 13 Comments

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