Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Jesus Said – Come To Me

Matthew 11:28

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

RayMcDOk – Christmas is coming – ready or not. I mentioned yesterday in the sermon – I already opened my Christmas present from my wife. I love it and we are enjoying it already. She hasn’t opened her gift from me yet. We’ll probably have to install if while she is away after Christmas visiting our daughter.

Have you gotten your shopping done yet? It is easier if you don’t put so much pressure on yourself to buy too much. Remember – Christmas is not about how many gifts you get or give – but about Jesus. It is His birthday celebration – not ours. I urge people every year to not go into debt for Christmas – but to keep it simple and within your means.

Even with Christmas just around the corner – we are First Church have had a rough month or so. We had a number of deaths and a number of accidents (a number of hand injuries and falls). One of our oldest members is it he hospital fighting for his life. Another older member had a fall at home and is home healing. Our Administrative Board chair was among the deaths we have experienced. It has been a difficult time. Continue reading

December 12, 2016 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do We Have Anxiety?

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

82015 RayWhat are we anxious about today in our lives?  Are we anxious about a child’s medical concerns or our own medical concerns?  Are we anxious about our job or our finances?  Are we anxious about the days as they unfold before us? Remember Jesus’ teachings on this subject – Matthew 6:34 – Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

From time to time we talk about dark places in our lives – and how life doesn’t always work out the way we planned.  We’ve talked about our hope not being based on temporal things but on the eternal (not the short part of the rope but the long end).  Our hopes are based on the eternal life found in Christ.  He didn’t remain in the grave but rose and He also ascended to the right hand of the Father. Continue reading

November 5, 2015 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

21-Day Prayer/Fast – Day 6

Isaiah 58:6

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?

01032015 RayWe’re well into our 21-Day Prayer/Fast and I am hearing some remarkable stories.  I will try to share some of them along the way. What story do you have to share?

During our Prayer/Fast have we asked ourselves any questions about why we are fasting?  The last few days we have laid out some of the basics of our prayer/fast.  Let’s ask some more questions today.

Are we in the prayer/fast merely because the pastor asked us to join him (motivated by the ask is OK but there needs to be something deeper than the ask/challenge)?  Are we doing the prayer/fast mainly to lose weight?  Is it somehow to show our spiritual maturity to someone?  Is it to try and get God to do something for us?  Our spirituality needs to be greater than cruise control or auto pilot.  We need a real and vibrant relationship with and faith in Jesus!

Isaiah suggests some things about fasting to us today.  We should take a read and strive to discern why we are fasting!  It is a long lesson so let us spend some time and let it sink into our hearts.  Seek insight into why you are fasting as you read this passage. Continue reading

January 10, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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