Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Life Can Be Unfair – God Is Always With Us

2 Corinthians 4:8

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;

Life ChangeLife – at times – can be unfair. I’m not talking about a pitch being two balls off the plate and called a strike unfair. I’m talking about real life – being unfair. I know a number of persons who are going through some real life struggles. I know of a few marriages that most thought would last a lifetime – and they are falling apart. I know persons who have lived healthy lives – taken good care of their bodies – facing cancer and other life threatening medical issues. I’ve heard from pastors and parishioners that are perplexed by what they see even in the pews and pulpits of the church – the Body of Christ.

We see people ready to take sides – vehemently – on issues that abound. Our nation has yet to come to grips with the 2016 Presidential elections – and we’re into 2019. If you are against the POTUS – or for him – people on the other side will attack your views in a heartbeat. Racism is an ugly reality in our nation. Love for one another is not the center of our thinking as a nation or even as a church at times. Whatever side one might be on with the current issues facing the United Methodist Church – be careful where you express your views – because you might be bullied for sharing them. A few conservatives dared stand up for the POTUS recently at the Grammy Awards and they were belittled in social media and in person. Continue reading

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February 15, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Attitudes of the Heart

Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Life ChangeI have been writing and preaching about attitudes lately – referring to an old saying of mine – Christianity Boils Down to Attitudethe condition and position of the heart. Today’s passage reminds us what impacts the attitudes of the heart. Namely the Word of God! Reading and understanding the Bible is essential as we mature in Christ. It is the key element in our training as Christians.

We have had a number of people put their faith and trust in Jesus lately at First Church (Praise the Lord). Something exciting is happening at First Church. Recently we have seen an increase in young adults coming to First Church. We’ve seen people accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Giving their hearts to Jesus. The best advice I can give them and others is to begin to read the Bible and join a Bible study where they can search together with others the truths of God. We’ve been calling people of late to train up in the Lord. Continue reading

February 13, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus Is Consistent

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Life ChangeLife keeps changing! The only constant in life is change. A number of things in my own life have changed. I’ve been married longer than I wasn’t married (38 years this past summer verses 25 years not married). I celebrated 45 years since I graduated High School this past June. I saw a picture of me in High School the other day and I do not look the same today!

My children – my babies – are all grown. Two have children (my five granddaughters). My wife and daughters are such a blessing to me along with our granddaughters. I’ve been in ministry for 42 years. I’ve begun to think about retirement (although I hope to have a few more years left – maybe more!). Continue reading

February 4, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

For Such a Time As This!

Esther 4:14

For such a time as this!

Life ChangeFor such a time as this! In just 24 days – the Special General Conference of the United Methodist Church will begin. You can read about it here. You can also read some articles and watch some videos here. This could be a pivotal General Conference in the life of our church. Will we remain a united church or will there be a division within the ranks of the church? There are three main plans being proposed. Again – you can read about there here. For such a time as this – we are facing a trying time.

For such a time as this! The Super Bowl is coming this Sunday. Once again – the New England Patriots are in the game. Will Tom Brady and Bill Belichick win yet again? Or will the L.A. Rams win this one? A number of members from our church are Patriot fans. I don’t know of any Rams fans. I know a number of people who will not be watching. Continue reading

January 30, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy New Years 2019

Philippians 3:12

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

January 1st is here – Happy New Year. What will you do with the new year? Do you have a plan for the days ahead? Remember what I wrote yesterday – If we aim at nothing – we’re bound to hit it. I hope that we didn’t party too much last night (I know I was in bed early). I hope that we have a plan for the new year. What about some deepening of our faith? What about healing some relationships? What about losing some weight and getting into better shape?

January 1st is here – Happy New Year. Did you make any resolutions? Have you held to them for this day? Or have you broken some of your resolutions already? I listed some of mine yesterday. They include – I plan on losing more weight. I plan on reading more in the Word of God. I plan to increase my prayer life. I plan on spending more time with my family. I plan to take all of my vacation and days off. These are just a few of my 2019 goals. What are yours?

Continue reading

January 1, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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