Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Christ Came To Save Sinners

1 Timothy 1:15

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst.

It won’t be long and March Madness with be upon us. I’m not certain my favorite college team – the Maryland Terps – will be in it this year. They have not played very well of late.

The competitive juices begin flow in almost everyone during March Madness. Even if a person doesn’t like or follow sports in general – they often get excited in the office place (and on Facebook) for their alma mater (go Terps!).

I wonder – have we ever had a competitive spirit about following Christ? I mean – have we ever thought of giving our very best effort – spending a day or a lifetime – seeking His face and desiring His grace? Have we ever gone out of our way to connect with others around our faith? With numerous Lenten season events happening at First UMC in Laurel – it would be a great opportunity to invite someone to join us. Continue reading

February 1, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Excites Us?

1 Corinthians 7:12-14

If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband.

What excites us? Did we get excited during the NBA or Hockey playoffs – even if our team didn’t go far? My favorite teams made it to the playoffs but didn’t go far. Did watching the NBA Finals excite us? Did watching the Stanley Cup Finals excite us?

If sports don’t excite us – what does? Did the elections last year excite us? Did our candidate win? Whenever we vote we should not take our party into the booth with us – but rather – after careful consideration and prayer – vote for the candidate(s) we think will do the best for the people. Which candidate has the Christian values we support? Who would support abortion or who is for the life of the unborn child for instance? Who is out to protect the environment that God gave us dominion over? There are so many issues that as Christians we should be concerned about and we should search for the candidate who thinks as we do. Were we excited about the elections just past? How excited are we about the outcome? Continue reading

June 30, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Deep Snow Is Coming!

1 John 2:6

Whoever claims to live in him (Jesus) must walk as Jesus did.

112015 Ray McDonaldWhat paths do we walk each day?  Do we even determine our path or is it pre-determined for us?  What journey are we on these days?  I will go back to an old devotional and remind us to be in the Word each and every day.  It is in the Word of God that we will find the path that Jesus walked and thus the path that we should walk.  John writes in his Epistle – 1 John 2:6 – Whoever claims to live in him (Jesus) must walk as Jesus did.

In another devotional from yesterday – I wrote about walking in the light – how the light came into the world to shine in the darkness.  In order to walk in darkness of the world – we need the light to shine on our path – the direction in which we walk.  But once the light is shining we need to know which path to take – because there is often more than one path to choose.  Godly discernment is so very important and we can find it through reading the Word of God. Continue reading

January 22, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Following Christ’s Example

1 Corinthians 11:1

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

IMG_0301What excites you? Are you excited about your favorite team?  My Orioles have won 4 straight and are in the second wild card position in the American League.  Which team are you rooting for this year?

If sports don’t excite you – what about the elections that are just a year away? Which candidate strikes your fancy so far? Have you picked a favorite yet? I haven’t. Or are you like some – are you looking for the strongest of a weak list of candidates? Remember not to take your party into the booth when you vote – take your faith instead. Which candidate has the Christian values you support? Who would support abortion or who is for the life of the unborn child for instance? Who is out to protect the environment that God gave us dominion over?  Who stands for Christian values?  Who supports traditional marriage?  There are so many issues that as Christians we should be concerned about and we should search for the candidate who thinks as we do. Have you become excited about the election? Continue reading

August 18, 2015 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jesus Came to Save Sinners

1 Timothy 1:15

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst.

IMG_0301During NCAA Basketball tournament time – and the Maryland Terp men play today around 4:40 pm today – the competitive juices begin to flow in almost everyone.  Even if they don’t like sports – they get excited in the office place (and on Facebook) for their alma mater (go Terps).

I wonder – have we ever had a competitive spirit about following Christ?  I mean – have we ever thought of giving our best effort – spending a day or a life-time – seeking His face and desiring His grace?  Have we ever gone out of our way to connect with others around our faith?  Sunday will be such a time for folks from FUMC.  We will connect with one another as we walk the community around our church and introduce ourselves to our community and invite them to join us for Holy Week. Continue reading

March 20, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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