Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Working As Unto The Lord!

Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

Life ChangeOK – most everyone is back to work today. January 2nd and a Wednesday – and the work force in America – except the portion of the government shutdown because the President and Congress can’t agree – is back to work. Even if you are retired – you’re probably back to your normal routine today. Our office will open at 9 am after being shut down since December 20th. Of course – a number of the staff at church – including me – has worked since the 20th – but not at the office. I only put in about 60 hours Christmas week – so it was a light load.

So – think for a moment about the new year and your work. Are you a teacher? Do you work in an office? Do you work for the government? Are you in law enforcement or the military? Are you in sales? Are you in the medical field? Do you work for a non-profit? Wherever you work – do you work as unto the Lord or do you work for a paycheck (and only do what is required)? Continue reading

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January 2, 2019 Posted by | Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Essentials in Life

John 7:16–17

16 Jesus answered, My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

Photo on 9-10-18 at 11.09 AMRecently at a Bible Study I asked those in attendance – What are your essentials of faith? How would you answer that question? Do we base our faith on any essentials? Do we have any irrefutable truths you bank on in your walk with Jesus? Are there any absolutes for you?

What are the essentials of your faith – the essential doctrines? With so many denominations around and non-denominational churches too to attend – is doctrine an important part of your choice or not? If you are United Methodist – what is the reason? If you are Roman Catholic – why? If you attend a non-denominational church – is the church’s doctrine the reason? Why do we attend the church we attend? Is doctrine a part of that decision? Continue reading

September 21, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pure Socialism – Is It Possible?

Acts 2:44–45

44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.

What is Socialism? Socialism is all the rage for some progressives today in the political arena in the United States. Some on the progressive side are suggesting socialism as a societal norm for the US. This devotional is not meant to be a perfect description of socialism – but rather a brief look at socialism and what pure socialism would look like from a Biblical point of view.

What is Socialism? One definition I found on Google Search says – a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

What is Socialism? Another definition I found on Marriam-Webster’s online dictionary reads this way – any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods. Continue reading

August 9, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All Mankind Will Come And Bow Down Before God

Isaiah 66:23

“all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Lord.

I grew up the son and grandson of Methodist pastors. I was raised on Wesleyan theology – which is not Calvinist or Arminian exactly – but for me a mixture of the two (the best parts of each). I was raised during a time when we were told to date within our denomination – because it would be easier raising the children – better for a unified home. I didn’t always follow that path – dating a Catholic girl – a Baptist girl – an Episcopal girl – a non-denominational girl and a few others. I also dated a few Methodist girls. I eventually married a Methodist girl (young woman) – who would love to be non-denominational I think. All were Christian – just from different branches of the faith.

I raised my daughters to marry boys who were Christian – the denomination was secondary. I told them they should look for three things in the young men they dated – 1) a strong Christian faith – 2) a strong love for them – and 3) a strong work ethic. Although I was still biased toward those who thought Wesleyan theology was on the right path – I believed that most Christian faiths could have the core beliefs that would create a strong marriage and family. Continue reading

May 16, 2018 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

Marriage: A Little Something About Marriage

John 3:3

“I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

IMG_0301Yesterday was a sweet time of worship.  I’m always on a high for Easter – aren’t you?  Yesterday was something special – better than the normal Easter – whatever that measures out to be.  I hope you felt that way too.  I’d love to hear from you about how Easter worship blessed you.  I was sick all week – but the prayers of the people of God got me through a wonderful week.

We mentioned that Easter is different if you walk to the cross first – if you take a deep look at the Cross of Calvary and the love of Christ in sacrificing His life for us.  I hope you were able to do that this year – and if you did – maybe that is why Easter was special this year.  If you attended our Good Friday service and experienced the cross – I imagine Easter will never be the same for you.  I would love to hear what you thought of Friday’s service.

Today I wanted to add something – unless we are born again – a follower of Christ – a Christian – Easter is merely a nice holiday with bunnies – chocolate – eggs – spiral ham – maybe attendance in church and possibly some family gatherings.  Jesus makes it very clear – in several places in the Bible – that being His follower is required for eternity in heaven – eternity in His presence. Continue reading

April 6, 2015 Posted by | 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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