Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Let The Rain Fall

Isaiah 55:10-11

10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

IMG_0301Rain falls at different rates. The other evening we had a storm at home. The rain came down so hard the ground couldn’t absorb it all – there was a river running down the side yard. Another time last week it merely sprinkled – barely got the ground wet/damp. We’ve also gotten some significant snow falls the last few winters – as the snow mounted and slowly melted into the ground. No matter how fast or light the rain/snow falls – rain is good for the ground – the crops – the flowers – the grass – our wells.  As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater.

Of course – at times there is much too much rain – just ask folks in Texas this week.  Rivers are overflowing and towns have been put underwater.  At times -on the other hand – when there is very little rain – you will hear reports about how far under normal we are in the rain fall. We will hear that water supplies are low and how much we need the rain.  When we have drought conditions – we asked to preserve our use of water. Continue reading

June 18, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Come, Follow Me

Matthew 4:19

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgJesus went around calling His Disciples. He called them from the routine – everyday – work they were doing – to the extraordinary – spiritual work of following Him.

Today’s passage gives us an example of His calling on His Disciples. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

Have we answered the call by Jesus to come and follow Him? Are we His disciples? Do we follow Jesus? If we heard the call – how did we respond? Are we still responding today? Have we given Him our all? Are we still struggling with the call? Continue reading

November 13, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , | Leave a comment

Shine Like Stars in the Sky!

Philippians 2:15-16

15 Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgHave you ever looked out into the night sky and watched the stars? If you live in an urban area – this might be a little hard – but if you live in a rural area like I do – it is a sight to behold. The stars shine brightly in the clear night sky. I use to love sitting on the roof top of a home we use to live in – watching the sky (my room have a window that opened onto the roof and I slipped out there some nights – my parents didn’t know – I think).

Let’s look at today’s passage in partial context. Philippians 2:12–18 – 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”  Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me. Continue reading

November 11, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Post More About Jesus

Psalm 98:4

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgI was watching my Twitter and Facebook explode Monday night as Redskin and Cowboy fans were posting about their game with each other. The following morning – yes – I went to bed before that game was over – my feeds were full of Redskin fans gloating about their win in overtime. What I watched – it was a good game.

I understand the rivalry – and I understand that the Redskins aren’t having a good season and the Cowboys are doing well – and – even with a bad season – it turns into a good season when the Redskins beat the Cowboys. I understand that there are fans in our area that really think this rivalry is a big deal – large parties are based on these two games a year if you aren’t lucky enough to get tickets to the game. Continue reading

October 29, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Witnessing to Others

John 3:1-2

1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgIn our recent sermon series we have been talking about evangelism – about our witnessing. How well do we believe we witness Jesus to others? Are we afraid to speak up? Are we not comfortable telling others about Jesus? Are we not learned enough – we think?

Do you remember Nicodemus? He was the Pharisee who came to Jesus at night. Did he come at night because he didn’t want others to know he was curious about Jesus or because of the crowds during the day? Let’s read today’s passage again.

John 3:1-2 – 1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

Maybe some clarity is shown by this next passage. Nicodemus was hanging around with Joseph who didn’t want others to know he was a follower of Jesus. Continue reading

September 24, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , | Leave a comment

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