Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Happy 4th of July – 2019

2 Chronicles 7:14

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

June 2019On this 4th of July – I will use this very familiar passage from 2 Chronicles to remind us that God wishes to turn every nation around – if it will confess and repent and turn to Him. I believe that God would transform any nation that turned its collective hearts toward Him. Lord knows that America needs to humble themselves and turn their hearts to Jesus. The world is running as fast as it can away from God and America seems to be following the rest of the world. As a mater-of-fact – it seems the church is also fleeing God and following after the world and Satan.

In today’s passage – God was speaking to Solomon and Israel – but I think the message shared is equally compelling for all nations. God will bless and will heal our lands if we return to His commands – to His teachings. Continue reading

July 4, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be Strong and Courageous

1 Chronicles 28:20

David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.”

Life ChangeMemorial Weekend is a time in our family’s history – when we visit with family. In the past – pre-arson on our West Virginia home – we would go home to my mom’s home town – where mom and dad met. There is a family reunion – with mom’s side of the family. We haven’t gone the last two years because our home is missing – and it wouldn’t be the same.

I did spend a great deal of time thinking about my mom and dad and our family history. We spent time with our local family – over at my nephew’s home on Sunday afternoon and my daughter’s home on Monday afternoon. We spent time with family.

I also spent time yesterday and even all weekend – thinking about those who gave their all so that we could spend a weekend spending time with family. Phrases like freedom is not free and Home of the Free – Because of the Brave – reminded me of Memorial weekend. I also appreciated a meme that said – Stand for the flag and kneel for the Cross – and one that reminded me that Armed Forces Day is for those currently serving – Veteran’s Day is for those who once served – and Memorial Day is for those who served and never returned home. Too often folks get them mixed up. Continue reading

May 28, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Discerning Heart

1 Kings 3:9

So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

fullsizeoutput_ffeOK – today is the mid-term elections. Will there be a red wave – a blue wave – or the status quo? Will my side win – your side win – or will our nation win? If you haven’t voted yet – please get out to vote. This is more important than a sporting event. This is about the future of our nation! Get out and vote – with a discerning heart.

I saw this the other day and thought it noteworthy – whether John Wesley said it or not (John Wesley is the founder of the Methodist Church). I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them: 1) To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy. 2) To speak no evil of the person they voted against, 3) To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side. These are words I hope we can all abide by in the days – weeks – months – and years to come. We haven’t done a very good job so far! The media – the society we live in – wants to push division. I hope a discerning heart will be wiser – following the wisdom of John Wesley. Continue reading

November 6, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christianity Boils Down to Attutude – Really

1 Chronicles 28:9

“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”

Much of the Bible and thus much of Christianity comes down to attitude – motivation – the desire of one’s heart. In today’s passage we read – for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.  David was trying to pass on some words of wisdom to his son Solomon and others and urged him to acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.

Throughout the Bible we are urged to have the attitude of Jesus – an attitude of a servant. Our motivation is to be clearly for God’s purposes. Our heart is to be set on God and God’s kingdom – all of us who call ourselves after Christ. Today we will look at a few of many passages that pass along these truths. Continue reading

May 24, 2018 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wisdom – We All Need More

1 Kings 3:9-10

9 Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?” 10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom.  NLT

I cannot believe that it is May 1st already. The weather is suppose to be very nice this week. I hope to get out to play some golf once-a-week moving forward. My shoulder is healing and I feel great. The doctor’s wisdom is – just don’t beat the ground!

God’s wisdom is amazing. God tells us through Paul’s writings that God’s foolishness is wiser than humanities’ wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:25 – For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Here are some other Scriptures about God’s wisdom.

1 Kings 4:29-34 – 29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. 32 He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. 33 He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. 34 From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom. Continue reading

May 1, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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