Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Only Constant Is Change

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Life keeps changing! The only constant in life is change. A number of things in my own life have changed. I’ve been married longer than I wasn’t married (37 years this past summer verses 25 years not married). I celebrated 44 years since I graduated High School this past June. I saw a picture of me in High School the other day and I do not look the same today!

My children – my babies – are all grown. Two have children (my five granddaughters). My wife and daughters are such a blessing to me along with our granddaughters. I’ve been in ministry for 41 years. I’ve begun to think about retirement (although I hope to have a few more years left – maybe more!).

Life keeps changing! This summer the Nationals have played playoff bound baseball – the Orioles are trying to get in but it doesn’t seem to be a certainty for sure. The Redskins lost their season opening game while the Ravens won – shutting out the Bengals. The Wizards made the playoffs and so did the Capitals. That’s pretty good change for our area and Maryland is 2-0 after two convincing wins.

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September 11, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This Is The Day The Lord Has Made

Psalm 118:24

This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. (NLJV)

Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast and caused a lot of damage. Loss of some lives and a lot of property damage has been the result. Hurricane Irma is hitting the Caribbean and will soon hit the Florida Keys and the US mainland. Already Irma has taken life and has caused and will cause much damage.

President Trump has been president for 7 plus months and for some this is the worst thing that our country has ever faced. For some this is the best thing that could have happened.

We recently lost the oldest member of our church family – a woman nearly 102 years of age. In the weeks just past I have celebrated the funeral for folks in their 30’s – 40’s – 50’s and this weekend – in their 60’s (born just days after me). Continue reading

September 8, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Devote Ourselves To Prayer

Colossians 4:2

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Sunday we began both worship services with prayer. The President of the United States (POTUS) called us to a time of prayer. That wasn’t the reason we prayed – but it was nice to hear our President call the nation to prayer. We need it.

We began the first service with a time of prayer for all impacted by hurricane Harvey. We prayed for peace around the world – naming the unrest in North Korea – and for the hearts and minds of world leaders – including our President. Later in the service – after hearing praise and prayer concerns we had a time of prayer for our relatives in need – for a college student heading back to Houston – for two members with medical issues and for others.

At our second service we began with a powerful prayer by one of our worship team and later – again after hearing praises and prayer concerns – we prayed for those impacted by Harvey and for world leaders – naming our President and the unrest in North Korea. We began our second prayer time by laying hands on a member who was present and in need of healing. Prayer is so powerful. Continue reading

September 4, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sound Doctrine and Truth

2 Timothy 4:3

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

In this day and age – sound doctrine and truth are under attack – always has been – always will be. The Bible is under attack – and the attacks are not all coming from outside the church. There are whole denominations – pastors – and laity – calling themselves followers of Christ – who are putting aside sound doctrine and truth. There are those who want to redefine sin – creation – and human design. Some want to re-write the Bible or delete parts that don’t sit well with them.

This is not a battle between conservatives and liberals. It is not orthodox folks verses progressive folks. It is Biblical doctrines and truths verses heresy IMHO. God’s Word is not something we can pick and choose – something we can decide to like or dislike with our feeble minds. The Bible is the Word of God – no other definition is needed. The Bible is the sacred text inspired by God and guarded by the Holy Spirit. Continue reading

August 21, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Social Media And The Tongue

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.

I 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. Continue reading

August 15, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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