Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Clothe Ourselves in Christ

Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

June 2019Dear readers – did any of us have a favorite piece of clothing growing up? I apparently – according to old photos – had a favorite cowboy shirt and a red baseball hat. In many of my childhood pictures – from a certain age – that was what I had on. I still have favorite clothes – enjoying the more casual look over anything dressy. When I was in my early teen years – I had a favorite hat that was always on my head it seems. I remember when I finally had to give it up – it was old – torn and smelled from years of sweating in it. I remember buying it with my own money at Ocean City one year. I know my girlfriends probably didn’t like it much – but it was a favorite!

As a pastor – I know there are proper times to wear certain clothes. For instance – I when I have a funeral – I will bring my collar and my suit jacket to work with me – so I can change before the service. I will return to the office for meetings after the funeral and put on my church shirt – typically a polo shirt with my name and the church’s name on it. I hardly ever wear a tie anymore – using the clergy collar shirt when I need to dress up. Continue reading

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July 12, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Make Sure You Fit Into The Right Crowd

John 15:19

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

June 2019Have you ever fit into the in crowd? Maybe it was the way you wore your hair? Big hair was in for women at one time. I grew up during a time when men – to keep their hair slicked back – used Vitalis. It was the Elvis look I guess – or a hood look! The natural look – the Beatles’ style – became popular among some years later! Hippies wore really long hair. When i was younger I wore the crew cut look.

Have you ever fit into the in crowd? Maybe it was the clothes you wore? I remember when the style of clothes you wore got you labeled. I was known as a block in junior high school. Block’s wore kaki pants with banlon shirts. We wore Peter’s jackets with our name on it and Chuck Taylor basketball shoes. We weren’t hoods – who wore leather jackets. As the years mounted there were hippies and preppies and others who dressed certain ways to be in the in crowd (the crowd they wanted to be).

Have you ever fit into the in crowd? I remember when I finally got into the “A” club at Annapolis High School and got to wear my “A” jacket (I became an official jock at that time). I was never very good at any particular sport – still aren’t – but I could play most sports well enough to make a few teams and to play and enjoy sports later in life. I have some lifetime friends because of sports and later because I coached and officiated sports. Continue reading

July 2, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Loving Our Neighbor

Mark 12:31

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment outsiders greater than these.”

Life ChangeI just left the home of a farmer in South County. His mom is nearing the end of this life. As we sat and talked – names were being mentioned that I remember from my time living and serving in SoCo. We talked about folks that I have known my whole life. Names that ring true in Southern Anne Arundel County lore. It was good to talk about them – some now with Jesus and some still with us. Many of them were my neighbors at one time or attended the church I served or simply lived in SoCo when I did.

Neighbors – at least old school neighbors – in SoCo – would be there and some still are – whatever comes our way. I’ve seen farmers harvest crops for a neighbor when health or personal concerns impacted their ability to do it themselves. I’ve seen brothers working side-by-side. I’ve seen three and four generations working a farm together. I’ve witnessed neighbors that didn’t really know one another come to the aid of one another. I remember the way it used to be – and in some ways – still. Continue reading

May 6, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Using Our Blessings to Glorify God

Luke 12:48b

48bFrom everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

Life ChangeWhen I was playing High School football – we often heard this phrase from our coach – Big Al Laramore (from Annapolis High School) – from everyone who has been given much – much will be demanded. I’m not sure our coach knew it was from the Bible – he was a man of faith – but he reminded us and demanded it of us none-the-less!

Pro players have been given much – talent as well as a platform and money. Three baseball players just signed for 300 to 430 million this off-season (all record deals). I wonder if they will use their platforms for Christ’s glory? Players like Chris Davis for the Orioles and Ray Lewis (Hall of Fame) with the Ravens try to give back to the community and to share their faith as well. I went to a recent FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) banquet and met Coach John Harbaugh and former player – placekicker Matt Stover. They have used their position and platform to spread Christ. They have been given much – and they use it to God’s glory. Continue reading

March 22, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Abortion Takes A Life

Psalm 139:14

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

Life ChangeLast Friday was an infamous date in our country’s history. Today’s devotional thought is taken from several previous posts about the fact that abortion takes a life.

In January 1973 – I was 17 – soon to be 18 and a graduate from Annapolis 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. 46 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 in these days with two more Supreme Court Justices nearing retirement or worse and the current POTUS – President Trump – sure to appoint conservative Justices to the high court Vice President Pence is very pro-life and so maybe for the first time in 46 years there is hope for the pro-life movement. Maybe changes will be made after all of these years to protect the unborn. The media screams over many things today – but the killing of thousands of babies a day doesn’t appear on their radar.

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 22, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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