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

Be An Encourager!

1 Thessalonians 4:17-18

17 After that,we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Life ChangeBe an encourager. What is it that would encourage us today dear readers? When we’re trying to lose weight or put it on – doesn’t it encourage us when people notice and say something nice to us? When we are trying to change our shape – exercising more or watching what we eat – it is nice when people notice. When you’re trying to change something about yourself – isn’t it nice to hear someone say something nice about that change? Let’s try to notice others and not be so narcissistic – focused on self so much.

Be an encourager. What is it that would encourage us today dear readers? Yesterday I played some golf with a friend. It was my first time in about 10 years trying to walk all 18 holes. It is early in the season. I was encouraged by my score – but I was also encouraged by my friend. He often said good things (when I hit good shots) and didn’t rag on my when I hit some not so good shots. I tried to return the favor – encouraging him as he played his game. We were not competing – we were enjoying each others company and the great outdoors. It wasn’t about me playing well – it was about us having a good time and enjoying the day. I decided before we went out – my focus yesterday was going to be on enjoying the day and encouraging my friend. Hit some really nice drives and approach shots. He hit a few irons like I have never seen him hit before – and I made sure he knew I thought they were outstanding. My task for the day was to make sure he had a good time and felt encouraged playing.

Continue reading

March 26, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Living at Peace with Everyone

Hebrews 12:14

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy…

RayMcDI know some families have issues during football season. Some couples I know root for opposing teams – like one will root for the Ravens while the other will root for the Steelers – or one will root for the Redskins while the other will root for the Cowboys. Football season is very interesting in those homes – especially when they play each other. Add to this the football widow or widower – where one spouse loves football and the other cannot stand it and you have tension in the home.

Last night in Bible study one of the brothers mentioned his wife’s support of the Capitals and his support for the Penguins and how there is usually tension in the home during hockey season – especially then they play each other. At least – he said – the Stanley Cup was in their home the last three years (2 for the Penguins and 1 for the Capitals)! Continue reading

August 22, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Delight in the Lord!

Psalm 37:4

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

RayMcDIn what do we take delight? The baseball season is heading toward the end of the regular season and the playoffs. My Orioles are fighting for the worst record in team history – and maybe the number one draft pick next year. As I type this devotional I am switching between the Orioles and the Ravens. The football season is soon to arrive. Some are excited about it and some are not. There is so much politics involved in the game it seems.

In what do we take delight? I have joined five brothers from church in trying to encourage one another in losing weight. We have lost over 70 pounds together since July 15th. We delight in the camaraderie and encouragement we share. Most all of us are in double digits with our weight loss. We’re trying to get to 5% before Labor Day – 8% by Thanksgiving – and 10% by Christmas. Two brothers have met the 5% by Labor Day already and two others are very close. One brother is nearing his 8% total already. We delight in our weigh-ins and supporting one another. Continue reading

August 21, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Is Most Precious To Us?

1 Peter 2:7

Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,”

What is most precious to us? Growing up I collected comic books. I had Captain America – Thor – The Avengers – Hulk – Wolverine – Batman – Aqua Man- Superman – Green Hornet – Silver Surfer – Fantastic Four – and more. For some – I had complete original series – in mint condition. I read them all and kept them in a box in the basement of our home. In a sense they were precious to me – precious in the sense that I collected them and kept them.

What is most precious to us? One day my mom had a yard sale. She was selling all sorts of things. I helped for a while and then I had to go umpire a baseball game. I left for a few hours. I went over to the old Elk’s field in Annapolis for the baseball game. When I returned the sale was just about over and I helped bring things into the house. It was later that evening that I found that I was missing my comic collection. My younger brother had taken them out and sold them in the yard sale. I was furious. Something that was precious to me was taken away – without my permission. I hate to think of what they would be worth today. I’m just glad he didn’t find my box of baseball cards – some of them hang in my office now at work! Continue reading

July 19, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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