Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections


Ephesians 3:12

In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

RayMcDI love playing a familiar golf course. Part of the reason I like playing a familiar golf course is the confidence I gain from knowing how the fairway slants or how the green slopes and where the flag is on the green.

My long-time favorite course was Twin Shields Golf Course in Dunkirk – Maryland. For instance – I knew (the course is no more) that on hole number 15 – a long par 4 – it was better to land on top of the hill on your drive unless you felt you could get to the bottom of the fairway past the hill. If you only made it part of the way down the hill – you would have a side hill approach shot of 150-165 yards or so and that would be a tough shot. Land on top of the hill and have a 180-200 yard shot from high and flat. Land on the fairway at the bottom of the hill and you had a 100-115 yard shot from flat ground.

Another favorite course is Valley View Golf Club just outside of Moorefield – West Virginia. We only play this course once or twice a year but my brother and I can talk you through each hole on the course. An interesting hole is hole number 4. It is a short par 5 – but a tricky par 5. Unless you can hit a straight drive some 230-250 yards you should hit a short iron 150-175 yards to a landing area. You typically cannot reach the green from here (unless you can get a shot of 165-175 up over trees very quickly).

One new favorite course is The Golf Club at South River in Edgewater – Maryland. Hole number 2 is a tough hole. It measures around 420 yards from the blue tees – a tough par 4. If you don’t hit a solid drive of 230-250 down the left side of the fairway (avoiding the trap at around 240) – you might not be able to reach the green. From your tee shot (unless you hit one like I mentioned) you might not be able to see the hazard (environmental area) between you and the green. If you were unfamiliar with the hole – you might be tempted to hit a shot of 220 or more toward the green (from a drive to the right side of the fairway or a short tee-shot. Familiarity breeds confidence.

Let’s take a look at today’s passage in partial context. Ephesians 3:7–13 – 7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

Familiarity with a golf course brings confidence. A deep and abiding walk with Jesus brings confidence. But unlike the golf course – where you must hit a good or perfect shot from time to time – God’s grace allows for sin – confession – and repentance. Paul counted himself as the least of all who followed after Christ – yet he had confidence coming before God because of Jesus. His relationship with the Father was made possible by his relationship with the Son. Today we can have confidence coming before God is Jesus is our Lord and Savior – if our heart is right with Him.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

P.S. For those who have been following my blog – I would encourage you to pray for me. I will be having rotor cuff surgery at the end of March and I’m not sure how I will function for 6 weeks with only one arm – lol.


February 27, 2017 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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