Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Helping Others – But No Entitlements

Acts 2:44

All the believers were together and had everything in common.

June 2019I remember attending the graduation ceremony for my two five-year-old granddaughters. We saw picture after picture on the big screen of children sharing and having a great time. Children from all walks of life – from various communities – and from diverse ethnicities. Children don’t care about our differences as much as their parents do. Children just care if someone is nice and plays nice. I wish we adults could learn something from our children.

Most children learn early in life to share – especially if they have siblings. When they are very young – sharing is something they learn or should learn. It may not come naturally to us all – but thru time and training – most of us learn to share. We take turns in games – we learn to share our crayons and other materials. I know my daughters taught this to our grandchildren – even sharing with their cousins after they learned to share with their siblings. Now – they wouldn’t think of letting a classmate go without if they had something and could share. Continue reading

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

Where Do We Struggle The Most In Our Lives?

Romans 7:18

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

Where do we struggle the most in our lives? Have you ever felt one way and yet ended up going another way? Silly question – right? We are all human and most know the right thing to do but have succumbed to the wrong way. We often know the right way – and yet yield to the wrong way. We fight temptations and evil – but at times we fail in our struggle. I know I have more times than I wish to remember. And I keep trying to find a way to be faithful to what I know to be right.

Where do we struggle the most in our lives? For some it is with what we put into our bodies. That could mean drugs – or alcohol – or it could mean overeating. Anything we do to excess and can be harmful to us. We know certain things are wrong and harmful – yet some of us continue to abuse our bodies with what we put into them. We try diets – we try to be sober – we try to walk the steps – but – at times – we succumb to what is harmful for us. Again – I have a mirror up as I type this devotional seeing myself! Continue reading

July 9, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Throwing Off Our Sinful Nature

Ephesians 4:22

Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. NLT

RayMcDWe’re approaching a new year. New Year’s Day is usually the time folks make resolutions. Rather than wait till January 1st – how about we agree today to throw off our old sinful nature and our former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception? Make a resolution today to follow Jesus and strive to shed sin in our lives. Seek His face and desire His grace.

Sin is nothing new – yet it does seem to be stacking up pretty high – even in folks that profess Christ as Lord and Savior. Sin comes in many forms. We can sin through thought – word – and/or deed. We can sin by what we do and we can sin by what we do not do. As Christians we should be striving to remove all sin from our lives. We should be striving to follow the example set by Jesus!

Our sin nature is part of our struggle as children of God. Here are a few Scriptures that speak to sin and our sin nature.

Romans 8:3 – For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.  And so he condemned sin in the flesh, Continue reading

December 2, 2016 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where Is It We Struggle The Most?

Romans 7:18

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMHave you ever felt one way and yet ended up going another way? Silly question I guess – since we are all human and most know the right thing to do but have succumbed to the wrong way. We often know the right way – and yet yield to the wrong way. We fight temptations and evil – but at times we fail in our struggle.

Where is it that we struggle the most? For some it is what we put into our bodies. That could mean drugs and it could mean overeating – both are harmful to us – and we know it – yet some of us continue to abuse our bodies with what we put into them. We try diets – we try to be sober – we try to walk the steps – but – at times – we succumb to what is harmful for us.

Where is it that we struggle the most? For some it is their behavior. Some of us have trouble with interpersonal relationships. Some have tempers – some use foul language – some have faithfulness issues – some are gossips – and more. We probably know we should do better – and may even desire to do better – but the flesh is weak it seems. Continue reading

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do Not Exasperate Your Child

Ephesians 6:1-4

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” – which is the first commandment with a promise – 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

82015 RayAs we continue to look at these verses – today we will begin to look at the final verse. Here is what verse 4 says – Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

For a long time – as I was growing up – I wasn’t sure what exasperate meant.  I had to look it up in the dictionary.  Doing that today produces a definition for exasperate as follows: to excite the anger of – according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary.  In the KJV the word used where NIV uses exasperate is provoke – In NEB it is goad to resentment.

According to John Macarthur Jr. (Successful Christian Parenting): the children’s duty in the home is to obey.  The parent’s duty: to teach them that obedience in an environment of godly nurturing, without exasperating them in the process. Continue reading

October 1, 2015 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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