Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

You Have Heard Is Said…

Matthew 5:21

You have heard that it was said to the people long ago

You’ve heard it said… This past weekend I stirred up a little discussion between a colleague of mine in ministry and a young student of the Bible (not that the colleague isn’t). I posted a meme that said – God is not going to rewrite the Bible for your generation. Stop trying to change Scripture when it’s written to change you.

A discussion or debate or argument ensued. The colleague proposed that Jesus rewrote the Bible – and that we can – through God’s leading I assume – rewrite and/or re-interpret the Bible today – to meet our current circumstance. The young student of the Bible believed the Bible was whole and what Jesus did was draw the people who heard Him back to the original meaning – rather that what they had come to believe. He believed the Bible was inspired by God – and God’s Word for us today and always. (either can correct me if I have express your views wrongly.)

I believe one either believes that the Bible is the inspired Word of God or simply a good collection of books and letters that we can interpret as we see fit. Here’s what the Apostle Paul felt about the Old Testament or as some call it – the old covenant.

2 Timothy 3:16–17 – 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. I – personally believe that God meant this for the New Testament/Covenant as well – but that is my take. Continue reading

August 26, 2019 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Soul Thirsts For God

Psalm 42:2

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

112015 Ray McDonaldHave you ever thirsted for something? I’ve fasted from things during Lent before and for other reasons. I have thirsted or hungered for them. When we do without something for a period of time and we desire that something – we hunger or thirst for it.

Were you ready for the current baseball season to start? In a way – did you thirst for some baseball? I know some people who are already counting down the days until College Football or the NFL returns. What about thirsting for a Stanley Cup in DC?

If married – is there a yearning for your spouse when you are away for some time? I have a hard time being away from my spouse for even a day (we both work outside the home and the time a part is not fun). Some day – when we both retire – we might get tired of being around each other so much – but until then – I will continue to thirst for her company during the day! I text her several times a day to let her know I miss her. Continue reading

April 20, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God is After Our Hearts

1 Chronicles 29:17

I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgOne of the phrases I loved to hear from my girls when they were growing up was – daddy – I love you with my whole heart. It meant a lot to me for sure. Another phrase I loved to hear from folks was – you have a good heart. If you have a good heart and you love with all your heart – now that is a great combination.

Jesus said – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.Mark 12:30 Giving God our all – our everything – is so important.

One of my favorite sayings is – Christianity boils down to attitude – the position and condition of the heart. Putting God first in our lives is so important.   Continue reading

June 11, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Something God Hates

Proverbs 6:16,19

The LORD hates… a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

profileOne of my favorite sayings is Christianity boils down to attitude.  I often follow that phrase with the following – Christianity boils down to attitude – the condition and position of one’s heart.  Scripture tell us – Matthew 6:21 – For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Attitude is everything says a little stone marker on my office desk.  I believe that the heart – the attitude we have – is so very important.  Each time I pray for the men who gather to play basketball early in the morning at Southern Middle School – I pray for an attitude check – that our attitudes would be a blessing and not a hinderance to our witness and our exercise.  As Christians we are called to have the attitude of Christ in the scriptures. Philippians 2:5 – Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Continue reading

March 24, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Loving One Another

John 13:34-35

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

profileThis is Monday’s devotional but I am sending it to my congregation via e-mail on Friday so that they have time to think about it before Sunday.  Sunday we’re going to be preaching on David: A Man after God’s Own Heart.  We’re going to talk some about our worship and our witness and what might hinder these.

A committee (I know – that is a bad word for some) met last night (Thursday) and talked about ways of connecting our congregation – current attendees and visitors.  We talked about a number of ways to bring this about.  I know last Monday another committee (there’s that bad word again) met to talk about ways to share in fellowship together as a congregation.  On Tuesday morning in a Bible Study I attend we talked about ways to let folks know we’re glad they attended worship with us and to let those who have missed a few Sundays know that we miss them.  A clergy meeting I attended this week talked about this same subject – connecting the folks in the congregation and ministering to the body. Continue reading

February 3, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , | 1 Comment


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