Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Numbers Are Awesome – God Is More So

Psalm 147:4

He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.

Life ChangeThe Orioles lost yesterday. They are 4-3 – having already won two away series. They only won three away series all of last year. They had a 4-1 lead – late into the game – but couldn’t hold down the Spankees in the late innings.

I’ve mentioned – in the sermon titled Let’s Talk About the Pastor – that I loved baseball because I love numbers. I was preparing to be a CPA in college when God called me into the ministry – so I love to crunch numbers and baseball is filled with them. For instance – if the Orioles only lose 100 games this year – they will have improved by 15 games over last year – an amazing turnaround. That would give them a 62-100 record. If they improved the following year by 15 games – they would be 77-85 – pushing .500. The third year of a 15 game improvement would give them a 92-70 record and in the thick of the playoff picture. I know – that is a tall order – but – you have to improve a little each year. If they don’t improve by 15 games a year – it might take them longer or they may need to improve by more than 15 games in some years. Baseball is filled with numbers. A player that fails 7 out of 10 times to get a hit for a career can go to the Hall of Fame. Continue reading

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April 5, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wisdom – We All Need More

1 Kings 3:9-10

9 Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?” 10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom.  NLT

I cannot believe that it is May 1st already. The weather is suppose to be very nice this week. I hope to get out to play some golf once-a-week moving forward. My shoulder is healing and I feel great. The doctor’s wisdom is – just don’t beat the ground!

God’s wisdom is amazing. God tells us through Paul’s writings that God’s foolishness is wiser than humanities’ wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:25 – For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Here are some other Scriptures about God’s wisdom.

1 Kings 4:29-34 – 29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. 32 He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. 33 He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. 34 From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom. Continue reading

May 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 Are We Facing?

2 Kings 6:16

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

IMG_0301What are we facing today? What challenges are before us? Some of my friends are starting new appointments today as pastors of United Methodist Churches. Two specifically start serving churches in Crofton and Annapolis. As they meet new people and Sunday preach and lead worship before a new congregation – I will be praying for them. May God richly bless them as they serve with all of their hearts a new people!

What are we facing today? What challenges are before us? Are our marriages having issues? Are the children facing tough times – are we facing tough times with the children? Is our job a trouble spot? Are relationships caving in around us? Is the news causing us pain? Do we have legal issues facing us?  Are we fighting a disease like our governor is facing?  Are we fighting an addiction?

What are we facing today? What challenges are before us? And my next question – what are we doing about these challenges? How are we facing them? Do we try to face them alone – on our own power and strength? Continue reading

July 1, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Guarantee Of What Is To Come!

2 Corinthians 5:5

Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgHave you ever wondered why you’re here? Ever questioned some of the things that have happened to you in your life? How Sovereign is God in your life? Does God have a plan for your life? Are we striving to walk in that plan? Are we seeking that plan? Are we seeking His face, while we desire His grace?

A High School classmate of mine just died – after a battle with cancer. He was a great man – a true patriot and man of God. He was a family man and a man of the community. Several people have asked me to make sense of his death. He loved the Lord and served Him with his life. It is not easy for family and friends to understand. Questions are being asked and answers are few and far between.

I started my portion of his service by saying I wished I had words that would make it all right – that would answer all our questions – but I don’t have such words – nor do I believe such words exist. What I can do is point us toward what I do know. Continue reading

October 16, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Numbers Are Awesome

Psalm 147:4

He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgThe Orioles won again last night (Wednesday) – and so as I write this on Thursday morning for Friday morning – they are 60-46 – the 3rd best record in Major League Baseball. If they win tonight that will make them 61-46 – but that is getting ahead of myself.

I mentioned Sunday – in the sermon titled Let’s Talk About the Pastor – that I loved baseball because I love numbers. I was preparing to be a CPA in college when God called me into the ministry – so I love to crunch numbers and baseball is filled with them. For instance – in order to win 90 games this year the Orioles will need to go 30-26 in their remaining 56 games – very doable. Currently they are playing at a .566 clip and to win 90 they will only need to play at a .536 clip. If they stay at .566 they will end the season around 92-70. See what I mean about numbers? Baseball is filled with numbers. A player that fails 7 out of 10 times for a career can go to the Hall of Fame. Continue reading

August 1, 2014 Posted by | Church, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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