Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

God Knows All About Us

Psalm 139:3

You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

When I was growing up – I had certain chores – like most of us I assume. One of my chores was to cut the grass. We had just moved into the new parsonage at Seat Pleasant UMC on Addison Road in Seat Pleasant – MD. That church has since been renamed Gethsemane UMC.

The grass was just starting to take root and so it was very thin – sparse. There were rocks in the soil and my dad instructed me to cut the grass with the mower pointing away from the house. This meant I would push the mower up the hill in our side yard and pull it down the hill. It was harder – I thought – than pushing it down hill and pulling it up the hill – so I turned the lawn mower around and did as I thought – rather than as my father had told me. Continue reading

April 10, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being Pro-Life Is More Than Being Against Abortion

Psalm 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

RayMcDJanuary 1973 – I was 17 – soon to be 18 and a graduate of High School. I was preparing to enter Anne Arundel Community College (AACC or A2C2) for the summer semester to get a head start on college. I would raise my baseball officiating career to the college level by umpiring division one games at Navy that spring and be invited by Navy’s coach to go to Florida to umpiring school to become a professional umpire. Life was good – for me.  But January 1973 – is an infamous month in the history of our country. 44 years ago (I can’t believe I’ve been out of High School that long) the courts passed Roe v. Wade – which legalized killing babies in the womb – called abortion.

I understand that this is a hot button topic still today. Maybe especially today since President Trump is soon to name the next Supreme Court nominee and he or she will most assuredly be conservative on this issue. Vice President Pence is very pro-life and so maybe for the first time in 44 years there is hope for the pro-life movement.

I’ve written about abortion on several occasions – one article was titled – An Article about Abortion – written in 2009. Another article was titled simply – Abortion – written in 2008. Still another article was titled – Does It Take Controversy – written in 2012.  In 2011 I mentioned abortion in an article about the upcoming resolutions before General Conference in 2012. In 2011 I wrote another article titled – When Will Our Nation Awaken to Such a Great Sin?  In 2010 I wrote about abortion and used the example of a dear child that doctors said should be aborted and about a woman who was aborted but lived. In 2010 I also shared The Manhattan Declaration In Total. Continue reading

January 30, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Animals vs. The Yet Unborn Babies

Psalm 139:13-16

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

RayMcDNews often comes in waves and every once in awhile articles written in the newspaper catch my eye and causes me to think. This was the case a number of years ago as I was reading with interest three articles of a similar tone.

The first story that caught my eye was the on-going saga surrounding Michael Vick – the starting quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons football team of the NFL (back in the early 2000’s). Mr. Vick has been indicted for having dog fights on his property. He was barred from his team’s camp. Eventually there were big fines – jail time – and other consequences that he faced when found guilty. It was appalling that anyone would make a sport out of dogs fighting and find enjoyment in two animals tearing each other apart. Personal satisfaction and entertainment drive us to do some terrible things in this society.

Another story I found was about a disturbed man who was angry with his neighbor. Two days in a row he came to his neighbor’s home and each day he stomped a cat to death. This is a horrific act and this man faced years of incarceration for such an evil act with psychological care as well. Continue reading

December 9, 2016 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Has Our Back – He Will Rescue Us!

Jeremiah 1:8

Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

RayMcDWhen I was in High School – during the early 70’s – there was much unrest in our nation and in Annapolis where I lived. It was mostly racial – and it was a scary time for all involved. I remember the late 60’s while living in Seat Pleasant – this was a stressful time – a time when you wondered who might have your back if there was trouble.

I was on the football team and the basketball team at Annapolis High in the 70’s and I had friends from every hue – every shade – every color. I saw people as people (I can’t say I was perfect at it but I tried for sure). I remember a time when I could have been hurt badly by a group of students – while walking through the old cafeteria area in one of our older buildings. I was about to have my clock cleaned when a friend stepped forward and said – Ray’s OK – let him pass. I will forever remember this experience and am thankful for my friend who spoke up for me. He had my back in a troubled time. Continue reading

November 2, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Can Cleanse Us From Our Sins

Colossians 2:13-14

13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.

112015 Ray McDonaldThrough sin we do so much wrong.  Sin drives us – our circumstances – our happiness – our desires – and our wants – drive us.  We do things we think are for our best – things that are in our best interest. Scriptures says; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

God is in the business of taking our sorry sinful selves and by grace turning our lives around and making us into something special for His glory.  He can cleanse us from our sin.  I found this video on Facebook – someone had posted it and it touched my heart.  A young teenager had become pregnant and had decided that what was in her best interest was to abort her unborn child.  I don’t for a second begin to think that I can understand what she or others like her deal with in their lives.  The circumstances of her pregnancy could have been rape or incest.  It could have been a date gone wrong or it could have been two teens having unprotected sexual relations.  At her tender age – she decided that what was best for her was to abort her unborn child. Continue reading

February 26, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Marriage, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: