Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

A Day Of Rest?

Exodus 23:12

Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed.

I remember – as a child – our typical Sunday schedule was as follows. We would awaken (often I was awakened by my father’s typing out his sermon early in the morning) early – eat a light breakfast and attend morning worship and Sunday School at our local church. We would return home and share a full lunch together (often roast beef with vegetables – rolls – and mashed potatoes). This was a must family meal – even as we grew older. We would often take a nap after lunch (after we cleaned up of course). After our nap – we often would have a light dinner/supper and head to church again for the evening worship service (youth group too when we were of age).

Sunday was a day of worship and rest in our household. I believe our family practice was not typical of all church going families in the day – but more were following this pattern back in the day for sure. Today – it seems – Sunday is treated like any other day. Some may attend worship and Sunday School – but we shop – we work – we go out to dinner (making someone else work) – and we treat Sunday as any other day in the week it seems. Continue reading

July 11, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Is Enough – Enough?

1 Timothy 6:8

But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

112015 Ray McDonaldWhen is enough – enough? Yesterday we wrote about fleshly desires and how they can be contrary to the Holy Spirit’s desire for us. Today I ask the question – When is enough – enough?

In a society where entertainers – from ball players to actors – get millions upon millions for acting in a movie or TV show and playing a game – When is enough – enough?

In a society where the haves and the have nots are so far apart – When is enough – enough? When should those of us with plenty feel an obligation to help those who have very little? (I know – some people have made personal decisions that have gotten them where they are today – but there are plenty of people – if you have this concern – to help who are trying their best and are down on their luck). Continue reading

May 6, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Are Our Limits?

Mark 2:11

“I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”

112015 Ray McDonaldHow convinced are we of the things that we believe?  I mean – where are our limits?  We all have limits to our faith?  For instance – few would argue that God calls us to pray – even continuously – yet how many minutes a day do we pray?  Is our limit 5 minutes or 10 minutes or even an hour?  If we wish to grow spiritually – we might need to push that limit some – and spend more time in prayer.  Christ’s example – He often prayed all night long!  He would pray – for long periods of time before making a decision or taking on a challenge.  When is the last time we spent significant time in prayer?  Luke 5:16 – But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

Few would argue that the Bible calls us to tithe (giving 10% of our income to the Lord’s work) or  sacrificially give to God’s work – yet – how much do we give?  Is the measure of our giving a limit we need to push back in order to grow spiritually? Tithing is the one are where God says test me.  Malachi 3:10 – Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Continue reading

December 23, 2015 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

21-Day Prayer/Fast – Day 7

Mark 14:22

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”

01032015 RayBroken and poured out – that is how Jesus was on the Cross of Calvary.  His body was broken and His blood was shed – for you and for me.  His love – the full measure of His love – was shown to all on the cross.  He died on the Cross because He loved us so much – His arms were outstretched for us!  How awesome is that?

We fast in order to connect more deeply with Jesus and His deep love.  We deny ourselves of something – like food – drink – worldly pleasures – personal desires – in order to be broken in His presence – to be like Him – to do without so that God might be lifted high.  We strive to humble ourselves and strive to identify with Jesus.  I pray that this is the heart we have as we pray and fast during our 21-day prayer/fasts. Continue reading

January 11, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Do We Determine What to Give to God at Church?

Malachi 3:8

“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.” “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’” “In tithes and offerings.”

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgHow do we determine the amount we give in the weekly offering to God at our church?

The tithe was established in the Old Testament as the amount due God from His people.

Leviticus 27:30 – A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.

We’re told that to not bring the tithe to God is robbing God.

Malachi 3:8-11 – 8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse — the whole nation of you — because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the Lord Almighty. Continue reading

September 18, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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