Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Putting the Word of God on Our Hearts

Psalm 119:11

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Today we began our Tuesday Bible studies. The morning class meets at 10:30 am in the Fellowship Hall. We had 6 of us this morning. We normally have between 6-12 – and the room can hold more so all are welcome.

Tonight we will start up the Men’s study again. We meet in the Fellowship Hall as well and meet at 7:00 pm. We normally have 8-12 men and would love to see you – if you can join us. Both studies will pick up where we left off in July – with Matthew 14:1.

The more we know the Word of God – the more useful a tool it will be for us in our spiritual journey. That is a reason – one of many – that I asked people to bring their Bibles with them on Sunday mornings instead of using the pew Bibles (or our data devices if we carry the Bible there). The more we use our Sword (the Bible) – the more useful that tool becomes to us – so we encourage people to bring their Bibles to church and to follow along (and keep the pastor on track). Today we can read our Bible on our smart phone/data device and even follow along on YouVersion.com and leave notes for later on the sermons (on our live events). Continue reading

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September 5, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, 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

God Will Understand Us!

Romans 8:26

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

I have two granddaughters who are two years of age. They are beginning to talk up a storm. It is so cute. At times they are very articulate. At times I need their mother to interpret for me. At times – we both throw up our hands and wonder what they just said! Both are second born – and so this second born middle child connects with them. I love when they jump up into Pop’s lap to snuggle or watch their favorite shows on TV.

We are becoming an increasingly diverse community and country. I’ve entered some establishments and have a hard time understanding the cashier or salesperson because of their accent or dialect. I often call tech support from various companies and often I am connected with someone from another nation – where that tech center is located. It is hard at times for me to understand. Continue reading

September 1, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keeping Our Eyes On The Cross

James 1:14

…but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.

Sunday in the sermon we mentioned collectables. I mentioned my wife’s snow babies – she has a whole china cabinet full of them. I mentioned my Oriole bobble heads and gnomes – and the member that has a collection that puts mine to shame. A quick search on E-Bay reveals a large number of collectables such as military metals – decorative spoons – china plates – a variety of toys and dolls and more. Collectables can be anything that someone treasures and finds valuable. I’ve seen collections of license plates (trying to get one from every state for instance or all of the Maryland tags going way back. My father collected stickers for his campers – one for each state and park we passed through or camped at during our childhood (and after).

I also mentioned in the sermon that we put a value on our collectables. We determine if the price being asked for an item is worth it to us. I mentioned that paying $495 (plus club rental and a caddy to play Pebble Beach was a bit much for me so I didn’t collect that golf course on my list of courses played. I did buy some golf balls with the course name on it and stepped onto the first tee box! Continue reading

August 29, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christ-Like Humility

Philippians 2:3-4

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

I was talking to someone the other day – and the term narcissistic came up when referring to someone we both know. Narcissistic persons have an excessive or erotic interest in themselves and their physical appearance. Other terms used to describe a narcissistic person might be vain – self-loving – self-centered – self-admiring – self-absorbed – self-obsessed – conceited – egotistic – and more. These certainly aren’t the terms one would use to describe Jesus nor should they be terms that describe followers of Jesus.

According to today’s passage – followers of Christ should be humble. Humility can be defined as being modest or having a low view of one’s own importance. Humility in great people is so rare we often think highly of persons who have accomplished much but are very humble. Continue reading

August 28, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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