Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

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

Day 15 of Lent 2018

Mark 13:11

Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.

Today is day 15 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan on www.youversion.com. I hope you are keeping up with the reading plan.  Lent is the 40 days leading up to the cross. My prayer is that this walk with Jesus will draw us into a place where we really feel His presence in our lives.

Today’s reading reminds us that God is always with us – even when we are persecuted and brought to trial for our faith. Jesus promises His disciples and each of us that His Holy Spirit will give us words to speak when we stand for Him and are brought to trial because of Him! He will never leave us nor forsake us! Continue reading

February 28, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 14 of Lent 2018

Mark 12:42

But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.

Today is day 14 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan on www.youversion.com. I hope you are enjoying the 40 Day reading plan.  Keep up with the stories about Jesus’ life as He walked to the cross.

Today’s reading reminds us that it isn’t how much we give to the Lord’s work – but rather the heart with which we give it. The widow gave her all – the rich – they gave from their abundance. How do we give? Do we give our tithe and think we are doing so well – when a sacrificial gift might be 15 or 20%? Are we giving sacrificially to God or are we giving from our abundance? Let us search our heart today and be honest with ourselves. Do we give our all t Jesus or only from what we think we can spare? Continue reading

February 27, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 13 of Lent 2018

Matthew 23:12

For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Today is day 13 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan on www.youversion.com. I hope you are enjoying the reading plan as it walks us through some of the events in Jesus’ life as He walked to the cross. I know I am. Lent is the 40 days leading up to the cross. May we walk closer to Jesus as we read about His life and ministry.

Today’s reading reminds us to be humble for sure. If we are followers of Christ – we need to walk as He did – with humility. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. How are we walking in humility this Lenten season? How are we reflecting Christ to those we meet along life’s journey? Continue reading

February 26, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 4 of Lent 2018

Mark 11:23

“I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.

Day 4 of the Lenten reading is a remarkable (did you see what I did there) passage. It holds a number of curiosities for me. I only have time today to deal with the above verse. There is the cursing of the fig tree – the overturning of the tables of the money changers in the temple – the declaration that the house of the Lord was a place of prayer not a ten of robbers – the withered tree – and today’s verse – “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.

I could spend a week in this section of Scripture and still not fully unpack it – I’m sure. What the final statement says – that if we believe and not doubt mountains will be moved to the sea is powerful. Continue reading

February 17, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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