Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Lord – Set Us Free From Our Things

Psalm 146:7

He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free,

RayMcDThere was a time I heard this a lot – do we own our things or do our things own us? While growing up in America – in a lower middle class family – things were of some importance. My parents worked hard to provide for us some of the finer things of life. Christmas was a big deal because it was a time we got lots of new things. Yet ownership of things is a trap for some if not many.

With the recent hurricane – Hurricane Matthew – much devastation has occurred in our Western Hemisphere. Haiti was a place where much damage of property and loss of life occurred. I spent a week on a mission trip there and know that most of the people of Haiti have very little. It wouldn’t take much to take away all that some families have worked a lifetime to collect. I know that much damage was caused in the USA as well but many families in America have insurance or savings or other support to fall back on (although I realize some families do not and may have lost everything). Again – I ask the question I mentioned earlier – do we own our things or do our things own us? Continue reading

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October 11, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking For A Little Shade?

Psalm 121:5

The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand…

RayMcDIt has been a hot summer. Not extremely hot – but hot none-the-less. We’ve only had one day over 100 in our area – but a number of days in the upper 90’s for sure. I’ve had to work in the heat some (nothing like those who work in the heat every day or on roofs in this heat) and it can get to you after a while [I’ve also played some golf in the heat in the afternoon and that is hard too :)]. Finding shade is usually a relief in heat like this summer has produced. Finding a tree or a tall building or even an umbrella seems to bring some relief – a break from the scorching sun. Even wearing a hat with a nice brim brings some relief.

Life at times is hard. I know – for some that is an understatement and for some – even most of us in the Western Hemisphere of our world – we don’t fully understand just how hard life can be at times. But I repeat myself – life is hard at times. We all need rest and peace. We all need down time – shade from the heat of a hard day if I might go there. Some of us take power naps (a good 15 minutes and I’m good for the rest of the day). Some of us take numerous coffee breaks (and drink lots of coffee to help us get through hard days). Some of us live for the clock to strike the end of a hard day at work. Our shade is often returning home – while some have it hard at home as well. Continue reading

August 11, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Again I Ask – How’s Our Prayer Life?

Mark 9:28-29

28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMWestern Christians (those in the Western Hemisphere – especially the Northern part of the Western Hemisphere) have it different than other Christians around the world IMHO. When asked the difference between Christians in America and Christians in his land – a pastor/missionary from Africa said – In parts of Africa people actually pray for their daily bread. In most of the Christian homes in America – pantries are full as well as freezers and refrigerators.

So if we aren’t praying for our daily bread – what is it we pray for each day? In today’s world we have much we could be praying about for sure. Christians – Muslims – Jews – from around the world are being attached by ISSIS. We could spend hours upon hours praying for them. The 2016 Presidential elections is another thing we could pray about for sure. We could pray for race relations and the racial tension in our country. Our church has a prayer list in the bulletin each week filled with persons in need of prayer. There should never be a lack of something for us to use for prayer material. Continue reading

July 29, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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