Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Our Suffering Can Advance The Gospel

Philippians 1:21

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Usually this time of the year is a sweet time. I love me some Orioles and enjoy watching them – even staying up late when they are on the West Coast playing late into the evening (or early into the morning). This year – their record has them on the bottom – not just of their division – not just in the American League – but in the whole of Major League Baseball. They are vying for the #1 draft choice it seems for next year. As fans – we are suffering – yet with little hope for the future.

I try to watch or listen to the Birds – but the drive or interest doesn’t seem to be there this year – and it is not because they are losing so much. It has to do with how they are losing – how they are playing – with little hope for the future. I find myself yearning for the Raven’s season to begin. Often – I typically would miss early Raven games if they were on at the same time as the Orioles – but probably not this year. Maybe if the Birds trade some of their veterans and get some young players that will be here for the future – I might watch again. They wouldn’t need to win to get me back – simply have a plan for the future – so that my suffering as a fan had a purpose. Simply show a plan for the future with players who will be here in the years to come. Continue reading

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

August 4 – Baseball Season – 2 Months Left

1 Corinthians 9:24

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

OK – lots of posts on this blog are about significant theological issues. We have written about the United Methodist Church’s policies and doctrines. We have talk about church drama and operation. We have written about grace – peace – assurance – salvation – sin – Jesus – conviction – repentance – and more.

Today I want to focus just a few thoughts on this baseball season. As today’s passage suggests – athletes will strive to achieve the victory in their sport. In order to do so – they must practice – workout – and strive every day for their goal.

Recently I met two coaches from the Orioles and had a chance to talk with them about this season. The team will not give up and they have most recently (not counting last night because this was written before the game) won 5 straight and gotten within 3 games of the playoffs and 5 games from the division lead. Continue reading

August 4, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Take Heart

John 16:33

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

112015 Ray McDonaldTake heart! The Birds are 5-0 at the start of the 2016 season – the only undefeated team in the Major Leagues. Rule 5 player Joey Rickard is still hitting the baseball like a phenom with a base hit to lead off the game followed by a sacrifice fly in his second at-bat. Alvarez and Kim had their first hits of the season and Machado – Schoop – and Trumbo – are still hot (Machado had 4 hits including a home run)!

Take heart! The NFL draft is coming soon and the hope of every team is that they can infuse some talent through the draft that will make them a better team. The big question for the Ravens is will they go defense or offense on their number 1 pick (6th overall)? They haven’t done real well of late in the draft and the hope is that after a bad season last year – with a high pick this year – they will do better.

Take heart! The school year is coming to a close in a couple of months. Seniors are preparing for summer vacations – new jobs – college – and careers. Juniors are waiting for the seniors to leave so they can be the top class in school. Teachers are also looking forward to vacations and summer jobs. Continue reading

April 11, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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