Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

My Memory – God’s Grace

Psalm 103:11-12

as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

My memory is not the best. For instance – I forgot to put out today’s devotional. Before I hear a rousing chorus of amens from the peanut gallery about my memory – let me explain. I’m not sure if it is age – my Tourette Syndrome – my A.D.D. – a male thing – early Alzheimer’s disease or dementia – or simply who I am. I can leave my office and walk to Cathy’s desk and forget why I was going there. I can even at times get into my car and forget where I was headed. It’s my issue – among others – but today it reminded me of God’s grace.

You might ask how I got from my short term memory loss to God’s grace? Well – I’m going to tell you. Continue reading

May 19, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do We Know God’s Voice?

John 10:4

When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

RayMcDBefore I began to use medication to combat my Tourette Syndrome tics – I would make some weird noises. It was weird for sure. It was embarrassing much of the time. My dad use to tell me to be quiet – and I tried – but the TS would win out. When I tried very hard to control the tics – I could do it for a short while – but when I thought I was alone – they would come out like a wild fire.

My children and my long time friend and secretary would tell me that it was comforting to know I was near when they hard my tics. That was – maybe – slightly – the only good thing. When I began to take the meds – I had to experiment to see how large a dose to take. How much would control the tics (to a degree) and yet not put me to sleep. I went through a period of time when I would fall asleep in the middle of conversations. I’m a little better these days. Continue reading

November 1, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forgive As Christ Forgives

Colossians 3:13

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgHow many times have we prayed the Lord’s Prayer – the Our Father – as some call it? In that prayer – using the ecumenical and traditional versions found in the United Methodist Hymnal – we say – Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us – or – And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. I always wrestled with those words.

The reason I wrestled with those words – was because it was not part of my makeup – my natural – normal – makeup – to be a mercy person – a person that easily forgave. I imagine I’m alone here – but confession is good for the soul – so there it is!

If someone harmed me – and I have been harmed a great deal in my life – not as much as some I’m sure – but enough to have experienced harm. I have been bullied – I have been assaulted – I have experienced ridicule for my noises (Tourette Syndrome) and – made fun of for my faith. Please don’t hear that I haven’t done my share of sin here – I am no saint on my own but only by the grace of God. What I am trying to express is that it has been hard for me to forgive in the past – and for legitimate reason – I feel. Continue reading

November 24, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Strength for the Weary

Isaiah 40:29

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

profileOne of my daughters is really into working out and keeping her body in top shape.  She needs to do so for her job, but besides that she is into being very healthy.  She sticks to a strict diet and goes to the gym almost daily.  She is into cross-training now and loves it.  She has great control over her physical desires when it comes to her physical body.  I want that!

I have half-heartedly tried to lose weight for years now.  I blame my weight on three things – 1) the medication I take to combat Tourette Syndrome – 2) age/genetics – and 3) a lack of will power.  I can’t change number one (although I continue to pray for God to heal me).  Number two is an excuse because many people pushing 60 are in much better shape (and my daughter has half of my genetics and she is in top shape).  So the one I can really do something about is number three – my will power. Continue reading

October 31, 2013 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Personal, Prayer | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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