Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Helping Others – But No Entitlements

Acts 2:44

All the believers were together and had everything in common.

June 2019I remember attending the graduation ceremony for my two five-year-old granddaughters. We saw picture after picture on the big screen of children sharing and having a great time. Children from all walks of life – from various communities – and from diverse ethnicities. Children don’t care about our differences as much as their parents do. Children just care if someone is nice and plays nice. I wish we adults could learn something from our children.

Most children learn early in life to share – especially if they have siblings. When they are very young – sharing is something they learn or should learn. It may not come naturally to us all – but thru time and training – most of us learn to share. We take turns in games – we learn to share our crayons and other materials. I know my daughters taught this to our grandchildren – even sharing with their cousins after they learned to share with their siblings. Now – they wouldn’t think of letting a classmate go without if they had something and could share. Continue reading

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July 25, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can We Be More Encouraging?

Ephesians 4:29

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

June 2019In 2020 – our nation will go to the polls once again – to place our vote for the POTUS and others. I urge everyone to register to vote and to get out and vote for the person or persons you believe will help to make us a better nation. It is our legal duty and responsibility as citizens of this country to vote.

If you’ve been listening to the news or to TV – or the radio – or have read anything on the internet – you have probably heard what I have heard – or read what I have read. Men and women – people in political office – radio jocks – TV and movie stars – entertainers – comedians – folks on social media – and in other places – say or write some horrible things about the persons they do not support. I would rather hear positive things about the person(s) they support. Their choice of words leaves a lot to be desired. I mean I’ve stopped listening to programs on TV because of the language being used. I’ve even had to turn off some sports programs on my favorite all-sports channel. I won’t watch certain shows on TV and don’t go to too many movies. I’ve unfriended or hidden some folks on social media because of the language they use (not always foul language but not uplifting language. Some do take the Lord’s name in vain – and laugh about it! There is a commandment about that with a warning I believe! Continue reading

July 9, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Father Knows Best

Matthew 6:8

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Life ChangeI was thinking about my dad this past week. He was an awesome dad. Do you remember the Television Show that aired from 1954 to 1963 titled Father Knows Best? It starred Robert Young (Jim) – Jane Wyatt (Margaret) – Elinor Donahue (Betty) – Billy Gray (Bud) – and Lauren Chapin (Kathy) – as the Andersons. The show won six Emmy Awards and was a consistent Top 10 show in the Nielsen Ratings. It was based on a patriarchal model that was popular in the 50’s on TV and in American life. By the way – Elinor Donahue (Ellie Walker) also played the part of a female druggist and a flame for Andy Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show (1960 to 1968) for a few seasons.

The premise of the show – Father Knows Best – was that the family would have all sorts of trouble – only to turn to their father (Jim Anderson) for help. He would often give sage advice and would make things all right in the end. He always seemed to know best – of course that was very idealistic – but for the show it worked. We know that not all fathers are so wise and not all families turn to their father for help – often turning to mother as well – and even others inside and outside the family. Continue reading

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

Deny Self and Follow Christ

Matthew 26:35

Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.

Life ChangeLent is almost over for 2019. We have a special Seder meal tomorrow night. I hope you signed up. Hope to see you there. We have our Good Friday service Friday at 7 pm. We will continue our walk toward the cross with John’s gospel. Lent – according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary – is defined as – a period of 40 days before Easter during which many Christians do not eat certain foods or do certain pleasurable activities as a way of remembering the suffering of Jesus Christ. 

Today’s passage is about Peter and the disciples saying they would not deny Christ – that they would actually die with Jesus if need be. Here is today’s passage in partial context. Matthew 26:30-39 – 30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same. 36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Continue reading

April 18, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Annual Warning for Men/Husbands

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. The Message

Life ChangeValentine’s Day is just 7 days away. This is a warning devotional for men who might need the reminder. After 39+ years with my wife I write with some experience. What do we plan to do this year brothers? Traditionally this is a holiday where men are supposed to show their love and affection for the women in their lives. So men – what do we have planned? If nothing is planned yet – this is our warning to get something planned – ASAP. The following are some thoughts. If you are a wife reading this – you might want to print it for the man in your life!

In The Message version of the Bible – we read from Paul’s Epistle today’s passage: Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting.

Here’s a plan for February 14th – just a suggestion or two! Start by getting a nice card – it can be store-bought or homemade. If you have little ones – get a sitter for the evening of the 14th or a night you plan to celebrate this holiday. Make a reservation by this weekend or soon for a nice restaurant (McDonald’s will not cut it – doesn’t have to be the Chart House or Ruth Chris Steak House – but something nice). Buy something – it doesn’t need to be from Zales! You could buy some flowers – a small box of candies – a piece of jewelry – something! Bring it with you to the dinner – or have it delivered while you’re having dinner. The key here is that you get the sitter – you make the reservation – you go out of your way to purchase something for her. Most women aren’t so concerned with what you get them – rather they are impressed when you take the time to plan a nice evening with them – and you take the initiative to take care of all the details. Continue reading

February 8, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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