Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

2020 Election Promises

Joshua 1:9

the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amWe’ve all heard the saying that the only thing we cannot avoid in life is death and taxes. Today is the day – 7 years ago – that my dad transitioned to heaven. I miss him so. He was always there to talk to and to share life with for sure. I covet your prayers for me and my family today. We will all die some day – unless we are alive with Jesus returns for His church – His bride.

The other part of that saying – we can’t avoid taxes. How appropriate that we’re in the 2020 election season and some candidates have already promised to raise our taxes and some have promised other things. Some candidates will say what they think will get them elected. Few will follow through with their campaign promises – although some do follow through on their promises. Although that is not the only issue at hand – taking more money from our already heavily taxed pockets – this issue does not resonate well with most people. I know I don’t like it. And why they need the new tax money doesn’t sit well with me either (of course that is another story all together).

What are some other things that we cannot seem to avoid in life? Are there people in our lives that always seem to show up – people we can’t seem to avoid? Some of those folks are treasures – always showing up when we need them – when there is a crisis. Some of those folks are anything but treasures – people you wish you could avoid – no mater the circumstances. Are there people in your life you have tried hard to avoid? Continue reading

September 18, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Rock of Refuge

Psalm 71:3

Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.

RayMcDWhat do we rely upon? Up until the last few years – as a Ravens fan – I could rely on them having a winning record and going to the playoffs.

What do we rely upon? I can rely on my brother – when I ask him how his day went – telling me – same old same old – more times than not.

What do we rely upon? As a little redhead once sang – the sun will come up tomorrow!

What do we rely upon? Paying taxes every April 15th!

What do we rely upon? Do we have friends we can rely on – even when times get tough? Continue reading

September 15, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Showing Grace Is Not Always Easy

Luke 19:5

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”

IMG_0435-0It is hard – at times – to show grace. There are people in our lives that we would have a hard time showing grace to I think. Do we have a hard time showing grace – showing love – to the Zacchaeus types in our lives?  The first few verses of Luke 19 tells us some about him.

Luke 19:1-4 – 1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

Zacchaeus wasn’t JUST a tax collector – but a chief tax collector.  In Jesus’ day – Rome had some heavy taxes.  And they hired Jewish people to collect the taxes from their own people.  Most tax collectors were ruthless (they had Roman soldiers to help them collect) and corrupt.  If they were asked to get $500 (for example) from each person they could actually ask for more – and kept what Rome did not demand.  That was how they became wealthy – through their corruption.  Well – a Chief tax collector would be the one who told the other tax collectors what Rome needed (and they always put more into the figure for their cut).  So if Rome needed $500 a person (again – an example only) – the Chief tax collector might tell those under them that Rome needed $600 and keep the $100 for themselves.  The regular crooks – I mean tax collectors – would then ask for $650 and keep the $50 themselves.  You can easily see why the Jews quickly came to hate the Tax Collectors – not only because of Rome’s taxes – but because of their corruption – their sin. Continue reading

June 21, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Government Bailouts

I know religion and politics don’t mix well – but I thought I would throw out a post on the government’s bailout programs.  I am at a loss for how they are good and helpful.  Maybe someone can help me see the need and the wisdom of the decisions that are being made by our government.

I’m not sure I know enough to give an opinion so I thought I would ask others for their opinion.

Should the government have bailed out Chrysler?  What about the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac takeovers?  Other bailouts?

What about the government stepping in to help families who were unwise and/or frivolous in many cases with their money?  A show the other evening on TV represented a family that had bought a larger than needed home.  They maxed out their income to buy their “dream” home.  They are caught up in the bought high, can’t afford the payments now, syndrome.  But as the program continued, it wasn’t as simple as their home mortgage.  They bought two new cars, when they only needed used one, they purchased other luxury items, when things were good, instead of saving and living within their means, being prepared for the future.  Now they are about to lose their home and the government has a program to help them out of their debt.

I can’t believe that our/my taxes are being spent on helping people out of their bad decisions while many have tried to do the right thing, living within their means, and they get nothing.  I understand people losing their jobs and needing help but where is the line drawn?  Should folks that have lived off the fat of the land be bailed out when times get lean?

Some people spend money on luxury items (more home than they need, new cars, etc.) and not on necessities (health insurance, food, savings) and simply expect the government to bail them out and this is a concern to me.

The government is us!  Our tax dollars are paying to bailout folks who in many cases were simply bad stewards of their money.

A side note that concerns me is people who expect someone to help them because they cannot live on their social security checks.  Duh, Social Security was meant as a supplemental income, not a retirement income in total.  We are to live within our means, save, and prepare for life.  Too many people are spending all they make and have little plan for the future.  Except they expect the government to bail them out.

Someone who is wiser help me see how this is right or fair or acceptable.

January 19, 2010 Posted by | Community | , , | 14 Comments

   

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