Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Word Of God Endures Forever

Isaiah 40:8

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.

I’ve spent a number of years trying to grow a yard – 20 years to be exact. I remember when my yard was a dust bowl. I remember cutting the weeds and grass – that was scattered around the yard – and working up a small storm cloud of dust.

Eventually I began to grow some grass. After years of aerating and seeding – the yard is starting to take shape. Keeping the weeds down has been a task. I finally went to a yard service to fertilize and treat for weeds. The cost of the service is just slightly more than I would pay for the materials myself and then I would have to put them down – and I can call them back to retreat if the weeds don’t die!!

A bought a new lawnmower this year and I’m cutting the grass twice a week at 4 inches. The grass is growing well and filling in like never before. And the new lawnmower is cutting to clean and mulching too. Continue reading

May 16, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your Word In My Heart

Psalm 119:11

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

RayMcDWe’ve begun a sermon series on the Book of James. It is a Bible Study during the sermon for five of the next six Sundays.

Sunday we talked a little about the heart – about faith – about the tongue. Attitude is so important. One of my favorite sayings is – Christianity boils down to attitude – the position and condition of one’s heart.

One of the things we are trying to do at our local church is reach the younger generation with Jesus. Some believe that the way to reach the younger generation means softening the truth – lowering the standards – so the next generation will not find Christianity to be too rigid. I believe just the opposite. I believe that the younger generation has seen enough wishy-washiness in the world where there are no absolutes and nothing one can count on for truth. I believe that all generations need to hear the truth – the Word of God. Continue reading

September 20, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

So Which Will We Follow – The Laws of the Land or the Laws of God?

Daniel 1:8

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.

82015 RayIt is big in the news these days – a clerk in Kentucky who has decided to stand her ground on what she believes (not to mention the Bible – the U.S. and Kentucky Constitutions) in regards to same-sex marriage. Questions abound as to whether the Supreme Court is overstepping their bounds – trying to make law instead of interpreting it. Questions surrounding marriage verses a license to change tax status abound.  Is marriage a state or a national rite?

A debate has reared its head in social media for sure. Some have compared the clerk to Daniel – a high government official – in line for even higher office – of a foreign land – who stood against the government on several occasions. Daniel was faithful to the foreign government – until that government asked him to do something that was contrary to God’s law.  Daniel was willing on a number of occasions to face the consequences of his rebellion – following God’s law rather than the law of the land. Continue reading

September 4, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is the Bible God’s Word?

2 Peter 1:16-21 (The Message)

16-18 We weren’t, you know, just wishing on a star when we laid the facts out before you regarding the powerful return of our Master, Jesus Christ. We were there for the preview! We saw it with our own eyes: Jesus resplendent with light from God the Father as the voice of Majestic Glory spoke: “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of all my delight.” We were there on the holy mountain with him. We heard the voice out of heaven with our very own ears.

19-21 We couldn’t be more sure of what we saw and heard—God’s glory, God’s voice. The prophetic Word was confirmed to us. You’ll do well to keep focusing on it. It’s the one light you have in a dark time as you wait for daybreak and the rising of the Morning Star in your hearts. The main thing to keep in mind here is that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of private opinion. And why? Because it’s not something concocted in the human heart. Prophecy resulted when the Holy Spirit prompted men and women to speak God’s Word.

IMG_0301I want to look at the Bible – the Holy Scriptures – and its authority.  If the Bible is authoritative in our lives than the Bible is the base of our understanding as we sculpt and form doctrine. I believe that our theology reflects our view of the Bible.  If we believe the Bible is the Word of God – we will weigh it heavily in our understanding of God.  If we see it as a good book – a nice guide – but humanly created – we will not.  On one hand the Bible is authoritative – on the other it is no more authoritative than our personal experience – community history – or our reasoning/thinking.

I love the way The Message puts the last part of today’s passage.  The main thing to keep in mind here is that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of private opinion. And why? Because it’s not something concocted in the human heart. Prophecy resulted when the Holy Spirit prompted men and women to speak God’s Word.

Continue reading

June 3, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hide the Word of God in Your Heart

Psalm 119:11

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgThe more we know the Word of God – the more useful a tool it will be for us in our spiritual journey.  We use to say – the more you use your Sword (your Bible) the more useful that tool becomes to you – so we encouraged people to bring their Bibles to church and to follow along.  Today you can read your Bible on your smart phone and even follow along on YouVersion.com and leave yourself notes on the sermons.

Reading and storing up the Word of God in your heart/mind is so important.  Jesus resisted the Devil when he tempted Him by quoting the Word of God.  Jesus was such a student of the Word of God that He knew when Satan was using it wrongly! Matthew 4:1–11 – 1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Continue reading

July 23, 2014 Posted by | Book Review, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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