Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Day 17 of Lent 2020

Matthew 25:13

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”

Ray 2020Today is day 17 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan (remember – of the 40 days of Lent – Sundays do not count). I hope you are enjoying the 40 Day reading plan – I know I am. Keep up with the stories about Jesus’ life as He walked to the cross. Draw closer to Him and let us deepen our faith walk. Constantly ask yourself (as I ask myself) – how can I be more like Jesus. To use past slogans – WWJD – What Would Jesus Do?

Today’s reading ends with a verse like yesterday’s first passage. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” The hour is coming – but it will be a time only the Father knows. Our task is to share Jesus with as many people as we are able until that time comes. At First Church – we believe we are called to reach the whole family for Christ. How can we help each other to help the kingdom! What can we do to better serve Jesus and draw others to Him? How can we so live our life today – that God is glorified and others see Jesus in us? Continue reading

March 16, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 16 of Lent 2020

Matthew 24:36

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

Ray 2020Today is day 16 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan (remember – of the 40 days of Lent – Sundays do not count). I hope you are enjoying the 40 Day reading plan – I know I am. Keep up with the stories about Jesus’ life as He walked to the cross. Draw closer to Him and let us deepen our faith walk. Constantly ask yourself (as I ask myself) – how can I be more like Jesus. To use past slogans – WWJD – What Would Jesus Do?

Today’s reading starts with a passage that Harold Camping should have familiarized himself with before making Rapture predictions several years ago. “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Having said that – we don’t want to live without the urgency of living in the last days. I wonder how many people lived differently the spring of his prediction – just in case Harold had it correct? How many of us – if we thought Jesus was going to return very soon – would walk differently? I feel like we should live that way all the time – because we do not know the day or the hour of His return. Just something to think about today! Continue reading

March 14, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 15 of Lent 2020

Matthew 24:29

“Immediately after the distress of those days ” ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ “

Ray 2020Today is day 15 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan (remember – of the 40 days of Lent – Sundays do not count). I hope you are enjoying the 40 Day reading plan – I know I am. Keep up with the stories about Jesus’ life as He walked to the cross. Draw closer to Him and let us deepen our faith walk. Constantly ask yourself (as I ask myself) – how can I be more like Jesus. To use past slogans – WWJD – What Would Jesus Do?

Today’s reading shares some insights into the last days. It caused me to remember when I posted on Facebook about Jupiter and Venus being lined up with the moon a few years ago. People will be looking for signs and people will make predictions about the end of time (we have lived through some end of time predictions in 2011 and at the turn of the century too – some new predictions will surely come). What we should really – IMHO – concentrate on – is our walk with Jesus. If our walk with Jesus is where it should be – than when Jesus comes won’t make a difference to us! Think about it. Live or die – if we are living for Jesus – our death will simply usher us into the presence of God. Continue reading

March 13, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Here We Go 2020

Ephesians 4:22-24

22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Ray 2020One of my favorite passages is Philippians 2:5 – Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. We’ve handed out WWJD bracelets at church in the past. WWJD stands for What Would Jesus Do? The bracelets are a reminder that we should constantly think about how Jesus would handle a given situation – and try to model His example. As we walk through 2020 – I pray that we will ask ourselves that question throughout the year – WWJD.

In today’s Scripture we are told to turn away from the sins of our life – the sins we lived with before turning to Christ. Ephesians 4:22-24 – You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Putting off the old self is not easy. Another favorite passage goes like this – 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! I usually add – but the old doesn’t go very far! Continue reading

February 25, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holding Our Tongue and Our Key Strokes

James 3:6

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

img_0063-2I have preached a number of sermons over the years on the danger of the tongue. I’ve also heard a number of sermons on gossip – on slander – and on idle conversations. I’ve heard teachings on being positive and not negative with our words. I’ve heard sermons on how words can hurt and how we should consider what we say before we say it. The old saying is so true – put your brain in gear before putting your tongue into action.

We’ve probably all heard this old saying – sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never harm me – yet words do hurt and can cause lasting pain. Verbal abuse is real abuse! Just because the bruises are not visually evident (at times) from verbal abuse doesn’t mean there hasn’t been real injury and real pain.

We should all think before we speak. Another saying about the tongue I’ve read – credited to Abraham Lincoln – goes like this – Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. Another quote I posted yesterday is credited to Willie Nelson – and it goes like this – Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results. Continue reading

January 14, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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