Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

November Fast is Coming

Romans 8:6

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;

Photo on 10-9-18 at 2.15 PMI’m challenging all of our readers and my congregation to join me in the month of November on a fast. Fasting is not a spiritual discipline many pay much attention to these days. Fasting is a time of spiritual control over something in the temporal world. I plan to place this challenge before the congregation. I will encourage them to find something in their life that either controls them or deters their walk with Jesus – and fast from it for one month – the month of November.

I want us to be challenged to think spiritually rather than with our natural minds. Let’s begin with today’s passage in partial context. Romans 8:5-8 – 5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

I want to bring up one more Scripture for our devotional thought today – 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  The old is the human – carnal – natural – sinful self. There are many things that we feel drawn toward – maybe genetically – maybe environmentally – maybe a combination of nature and nurture. The point is – not all things we might be drawn toward in our natural human self can be considered godly or acceptable as Christians. I could make an argument that my physical structure gives me every right to be heavy – I mean I am big-boned – I have broad shoulders – I have an appetite that is enormous – always have and always will I assume. From my earliest remembrances I have had a big appetite. As a young adult I could down two double Whoppers – two large orders of fries and a large milkshake as a nighttime snack. And while I was active – officiating sports all year round – playing basketball every free moment and keeping otherwise busy – it never showed up in my weight. But this sinful desire – this over active appetite (a human desire) – has shown itself in significant ways as an adult who has slowed down. I gained over 100 plus pounds since my young adult days. I maxed out a few years ago and have been on a journey to find me inside this fat man. Continue reading

October 15, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Missions, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Special Possession

1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

112015 Ray McDonaldI have four fantastic grandchildren. All four are special to me. One is the first-born and came into my life during a time when I needed her most. One has no fear and the cutest curls. One has red hair and cuddles with her Pop (of course they all do). One is our baby for now – and has such a smile – it will melt your heart! All four of them are beautiful like their GC and their moms. They are all special to me – not possessions – but rather treasures.

I play basketball a few mornings a week. Of late I have been having a hard time. My 3-point shot – which has never been a problem – has left me for spurts – and it is getting frustrating. I went through a couple of games the last two weeks without hitting even one and some games I simply passed up on taking them – because my confidence is waning. The coolest thing – most days I am the oldest person and often the younger players cheer me on – even from the other team that day. They encourage me to take me shot – even giving up shots they could take to give me a good look. One of the best players that play with us often gives up his shot so that I can take my shot. Wednesday morning one of the young men who can hit 3’s like few others – was cheering my shots and another player who hits 3’s often – playing on the other team – was cheering me on as well. Again – not possessions but treasures for sure. A good group of guys! As I turn 61 – not sure how much longer I will last – but it is still fun enough to deal with the aches and pains that come with playing. Continue reading

March 3, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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