Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

A Great Gift

Ephesians 2:8

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

So – what are you getting me for Christmas – LOL? What great gift have you picked out for me? Ask me and I will give you some great ideas.

So what are you getting your children? What are you getting your spouse or special someone? What is on your wish list? Have you shared your wish list with anyone?

I saw on Amazon that vintage Hot Wheels are making a comeback. LEGOs are still a hot item. Robots seem to be selling well. Other electronics like pads for children – the latest cell phone or pad – and virtual viewers are selling well. Clothes are always a welcome gift. Cash or gift cards are always in style (although some call them lazy gifts – I love them). Continue reading

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December 12, 2017 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fishing For Men and Women

Matthew 4:19

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

I have a number of friends who love to fish. I never really got into it – I get motion sick very easily – but wouldn’t mind sitting on a shoreline somewhere on a lazy summer day with a line in the water. My friends post pictures of some of their favorite fishing holes on Facebook. They really enjoy fishing. It must be very exciting and relaxing to them.

A friend of mine from a former church is really into fishing. He often posts pictures of fish he has caught on Facebook. He gets some big ones. He and another friend go deep water fishing at times. My friend’s youngest son has taken an interest in fishing as well and they are often together at their favorite fishing hole – as seen on his Facebook page! He brought a dozen or more rods to church one Sunday for a prop for a sermon series titled Gone Fishing or something like that. I miss this friend dearly! We both play golf and need to do more of it together this coming season. Continue reading

December 11, 2017 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Attitude During Advent/Christmas

Philippians 2:5

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Advent is here and Christmas is only 17 days away. Are you excited yet? What do you do to prepare for the Christmas season? A niece of mine and her married family always bake dozens and dozens of Christmas cookies that her family (and extended family) baked together. It is a family tradition for her husband’s family. They certainly looked good. I will try to resist cookies this Christmas season – LOL.

What do you do to prepare for Christmas? What do you do in this time of waiting and anticipating (Advent)? Were you active on Cyber Monday shopping online? Now they call the whole week Cyber Week – so if we missed the one day – we can catch up throughout the week and maybe the whole month. Have any of us hit the Malls yet? Have we baked some cookies? Have we planned our parties and the ones we will attend? Have we picked out that perfect gift for our loved ones? Continue reading

December 8, 2017 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Advent Is The Season Of Waiting

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Advent is the season of waiting. I made the mistake the other day of going near the Mall in Annapolis. Mind you I wasn’t going to the Mall in Annapolis – just near it for something. I sat through three lights changing because only a few cars could get through at one time because the cars before them hadn’t gone very far and blocked them from moving further.

Advent is the season of waiting. During this season we will do lots of waiting. We will wait in lines at the Malls and Shopping Centers – we will wait in traffic going here and there – whether we are headed where everyone else is headed or not – and we will wait for Christmas parties and activities (and more). Waiting is not new – we have been waiting for Christ’s return for over 2,000 years.

Advent is the season of waiting. Have any of us ever wondered why it has taken over 2,000 years for Christ to return? Talk about waiting! Today’s passage gives us some insight into the love of God and why we are still waiting. Here is today’s passage in partial context. It is a great teaching about the Advent – the waiting on Christ’s return! Continue reading

December 7, 2017 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m So Confused

Romans 7:15

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

I’m so confused! Ever felt like this – confused? I believe most of us have been confused before. I was confused a few weeks ago – when my second NFL team – the Redskins – were winning throughout the game – seemingly had the game in hand – only the lose it in the 4th quarter. This type of confusion returned when I saw my favorite college basketball team blow a 20 point early lead to need a miracle ending to regulation and then some great plays in overtime to win a recent game. Things just don’t as planned – sometimes.

I’m so confused! I am at a loss and very confused by the current political scene. The left and the right – the extremes of both views – seem to be out of control. I definitely lean right my self – but not as far right as some in today’s political world. It seems that neither party wants to think of what is best for America – or even discuss where their views of what is best for America might differ or agree. Continue reading

December 6, 2017 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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