Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Keep Me from Stumbling

Jude 1:24

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—

Ray 2018We’ve all had moments when we’ve stumbled and fallen. I’m thinking about it more these days – as I age. A friend from our church fell Sunday morning and he was examined for cracked ribs (he had one and we pray for his healing).

Falling down steps seems to be a big issue as we age. I have a long flight of steps from my home office (upstairs) to the main part of the house. I often think about how fast I take them (coming down). With my knees ailing – I try to not take them too fast while carrying things. At times that can’t be avoided. I have been known to take them one step at a time when I am carrying things though. I pray – Lord – keep me from stumbling.

A brother in Christ – who spoke at our church recently – fell down some stairs at his church and messed up both of his knees. We’re still praying for his healing – his surgery is scheduled for today. It made me even more aware of stumbling and falling. Continue reading

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September 11, 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

Rejoice Always – Really?

1 Thessalonians 5:16

Rejoice always

I’m still recovering from rotator cuff surgery – my second one in two years (left should last spring – right shoulder this spring). I head out for Physical Therapy later this morning (this was written on Thursday morning). Being five weeks out from surgery – I’m stating to get some use out of my arm. I’m starting to build it up again. I can’t wait to swing a golf club and shoot some basketball. I can’t wait to be able to cut and split wood for next winter (the fire is going today – it was in the 30’s when I woke but the house is warm and cozy).

How did your week after Easter go? I know some colleagues that took the week off. I know some others that kept at it. What about you dear reader? How’s life treating you? I know some marriages that are in trouble – I’m praying for them. I know some people who have just been placed on Hospice care. I know some folks who are waiting for their first child. I know some folks that are waiting to get married. Ups and downs hit us all. Good times and bad times will fall on us all. Yet Paul calls us to rejoice always. Continue reading

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

Call On The Lord

Psalm 120:1

I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me.

One night last week – as I was beginning my recovery from surgery – I woke and needed my meds. I wasn’t in distress – but I knew I soon would be feeling significant pain if I didn’t get my meds soon. I also knew there were babies sleeping in the house so I couldn’t call out with a loud voice. In a whisper – I called for my wife. Carolyn – can you hear me?

If the roles were reversed – I know I never would have heard her at that sound level – cause I sleep through most anything and I often sleep with my good ear down. She was in the bedroom and I was on my chair in the TV room (I still haven’t slept in the bed yet since surgery). She heard me and came to my aid. She has been a real trooper through this surgery – as always. I wouldn’t be as recovered as I am without her help and support. Continue reading

April 3, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gifting of the Church – Part V

Ephesians 4:11-16

11 It was he (Christ) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

RayMcDThis is the fifth and final part of this series. Today we will review verse 16 and conclude this brief study about the gifting of the church.

The gifting of the church is essential to mature us and to draw folks together. It is also part of what unifies the Body. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

When I recover from my surgery I plan to get back to the gym and to basketball (and of course golf). I know that there will be lots of sore muscles and aches and pains. Hot showers and I will be good friends. My muscles and ligaments and joints are going to be taxed and I hope – growing – and getting stronger. It will be about 3 months between my last time in the gym and when I get back. As I lose weight and start to get in better shape (I know round is a shape – I said so in a message – but not a desired shape) the aches and pains will get less and sleep will returned – lol. Continue reading

March 7, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Wants to Give the Weary Rest

Matthew 11:28

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgYesterday I took a different path outside of my home during my walk. I usually walk to the left and cover 1.5 – 2.25 miles. There are some small hills – but the path I take is basically level and relatively easy to walk. Well, yesterday when I arrived at the top of my driveway I decided to turn right. Let me share that the community to the right is very hilly. The road goes down to a low area under the power lines but then it rises to the highest point in the community – and with a very steep climb. As I began the rise to the top of the community – my legs started to tire – and my breathing quickened. Numerous times I thought about stopping – turning back – or pausing long enough to catch my breath. I didn’t – I kept going.

As I arrived at the high point in the community I walked a little further until I came to the end of the road – at which point I turned around and started back. Yesterday the roads were wet from rain and there are leaves on the black top. Going down the steep hill was almost as hard as going up – in a different way. I had to step easy and I could feel my knees holding me back and was very aware of where I stepped. I made it to the bottom of the steep hill and walked level for a while in the low area – only to arrive at the smaller hill climbing to my home. This was an easy hill to walk down – but after the mile plus walk I had just finished – even the small hill took its toll on me. I arrived back home – my shirt soaked from the walk (I had a sweatshirt and a rain jacket on to stay warm and promote sweating – LOL). I was tired! I went inside – changed my shirt – sat down – and drank a protein shake. Continue reading

October 14, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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