Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Christianity Boils Down to Attutude – Really

1 Chronicles 28:9

“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”

Much of the Bible and thus much of Christianity comes down to attitude – motivation – the desire of one’s heart. In today’s passage we read – for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.  David was trying to pass on some words of wisdom to his son Solomon and others and urged him to acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.

Throughout the Bible we are urged to have the attitude of Jesus – an attitude of a servant. Our motivation is to be clearly for God’s purposes. Our heart is to be set on God and God’s kingdom – all of us who call ourselves after Christ. Today we will look at a few of many passages that pass along these truths. Continue reading

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May 24, 2018 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

As Unto The Lord

Ephesians 6:7

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,

I’ve had a job since I was 12. I have worked delivering papers – I was a certified babysitter – I worked behind a fountain at a Pharmacy as a Soda Jerk – umpired and officiated football – baseball – softball – basketball – field hockey (doing baseball at a Division I level and basketball on the Junior College level). I have worked installing carpet – laying tile – delivery materials – working at Sears and McDonald’s – cutting grass for a church and for individual homes – served as a sexton – sub teaching in High Schools – driving a school bus – coaching High School basketball and softball. I have worked as a starter/greeter at a golf course – as a maintenance person for West River Camp – and more. I have served the church for 42 years as a minister of the Gospel. I’m sure there’s more I have forgotten at the moment. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have 2 or 3 jobs going at the same time.

In addition to all of my secular and ministry jobs I finished High School from Annapolis High School – graduated with an AA degree from Anne Arundel Community College – graduated with a BS degree in Business Management from the University of Maryland – graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew Divinity School. I was ordained a Deacon and an Elder in the United Methodist Church as well. Continue reading

May 4, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rejoice Always – Really?

1 Thessalonians 5:16

Rejoice always

I’m still recovering from rotator cuff surgery – my second one in two years (left should last spring – right shoulder this spring). I head out for Physical Therapy later this morning (this was written on Thursday morning). Being five weeks out from surgery – I’m stating to get some use out of my arm. I’m starting to build it up again. I can’t wait to swing a golf club and shoot some basketball. I can’t wait to be able to cut and split wood for next winter (the fire is going today – it was in the 30’s when I woke but the house is warm and cozy).

How did your week after Easter go? I know some colleagues that took the week off. I know some others that kept at it. What about you dear reader? How’s life treating you? I know some marriages that are in trouble – I’m praying for them. I know some people who have just been placed on Hospice care. I know some folks who are waiting for their first child. I know some folks that are waiting to get married. Ups and downs hit us all. Good times and bad times will fall on us all. Yet Paul calls us to rejoice always. Continue reading

April 6, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Become Like Little Children

Matthew 18:3

And he said: Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

My wife and I have five grandchildren. They remind us of when we had little children. Children have a way of trusting – at least until we prove untrustworthy. They will do most anything you ask of them – or at least try it – as long as they feel you are there to catch them or help them or look after them.

I remember my oldest daughter Shelly – when she was two or so. We had gone camping and the campground we were at had a jungle gym type apparatus. She was on the top level and I urged her to jump to daddy. She came to the edge of the platform – her feet were above my head – and jumped into her daddy’s arms. I caught her of course. A year later – we went to the same place and tried the same process. This time she came to the edge and said – but dad I might fall and hurt myself. In a short year – she went from totally trusting her dad to catch her to adding some doubt (by the way – she eventually jumped after some coaching). Continue reading

January 30, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy New Year – 2018

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Happy New Year! I’m reworking a past New Year’s Day devotional. I hope that your day – your New Year – got off to a great start. Steve Furtick once tweeted – The way your day starts doesn’t have to be the way your day finishes. We can always make improvements as the day goes along. We can always make improvements as the year unfolds.

This morning I was playing some basketball with some friends. I hit a couple of 3’s and made some nice passes – but didn’t have an exceptional day. But I stuck with it and had a good morning workout – even if I didn’t play very well. Our new years may not always produce the best days – but if we stick to it – stick to our goals – in the end – we might just have a good year.

Typically – on New Year’s Day – some friends and I play golf – 5 degree weather was just a little too cold for me. Continue reading

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

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