Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Following God’s Example

Ephesians 5:1-2

1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

So who stands out in our lives as an example we follow? As a child and a youth – I had favorite ballplayers I followed. Boog Powell – Brooks Robinson – Frank Robinson – were players I liked in my youth. They played for my home team Baltimore Orioles. Eddie Murray – Cal Ripken – and others were baseball players I followed later in my life. In basketball some of my favorites were Wes Unseld – Earl “the Pearl” Monroe and Walt Frazier (from the Baltimore Bullets). In football I liked Johnny Unitas – Raymond Berry – Tom Matte. They were football players – Baltimore Colts – that I followed.

In school I had my favorite teachers – did you? I had my favorite singing groups I followed as well like James Taylor – Cat Stevens – Stevie Wonder – 3 Dog Night – Diana Ross and the Supremes and more. I had men and women who I looked up to in church and in other circles. I looked up to my dad the most. Continue reading

July 13, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Real Transformation

2 Corinthians 5:17

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

RayMcDLast night in the Men’s Bible study we were talking about real transformation – the real change that comes over us when we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. From time to time – shows appear on TV that seem to be popular. Shows like Extreme Makeover or Strong or Biggest Losers appeal to the general population because we like to believe – given the right circumstances – we can all become better than we are right now. We can lose the weight – we can reshape our appearance – we can have a better home and a better life. If nothing else – we can get lost in the fantasy of someone else’s transformation and wish it were really about our lives.

From time to time – most of us – looking back on the life choices that have led us to where we find ourselves – most of us would make a few changes. We often hear people say – if I had it all to do over again I wouldn’t change a thing – but in reality – most of us would change some things.

From time to time – have we ever thought of taking a different career path? Have we ever thought about living in a different part of the country or even a different part of the world? Have we ever regretted choices we have made? I bet the answer to that is a resounding YES for many of us. Continue reading

December 14, 2016 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love Must Be Sincere – Real

Romans 12:9

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

RevRayMcCan we remember growing up and playing pretend? I was a second child and had an older sister. She had me playing house with her and her dolls and with her friends when they were old enough to come over. I remember pushing my sisters around in her large baby buggy and her me. I also remember something I did that I am not proud of – involving the baby buggy – my sister – and the hill in our front yard. If you want more – ask my sister.

Can we remember growing up and playing pretend? I remember playing ball against the chimney at the parsonage at Mt. Zion. I would bounce my ball of the chimney for hours – playing catch as it came off the wall – pretending to be Brooks Robinson or Boog Powell. There was a steep hill not too far from the chimney and soon I had several balls down the hill (which I was not allowed to retrieve). It didn’t keep me from playing pretend – I would throw an imaginary ball against the wall and didn’t miss a single one coming off the wall. Continue reading

July 1, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Real Life Transformations

2 Corinthians 5:17

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

RevRayMcFrom time to time – shows appear on TV that seem to be popular. Shows like Extreme Makeover or Strong or Biggest Losers appeal to the general population because we like to believe – given the right circumstances – we can all become better than we are right now. We can lose the weight – we can reshape our appearance – we can have a better life. If nothing else – we can get lost in the fantasy of someone else’s transformation and wish it were really about our lives.

From time to time – most of us – looking back on the life choices that have led us to where we find ourselves – most of us would change a few. We often hear people say – if I had it all to do over again I wouldn’t change a thing – but in reality – most of us would change some things.

From time to time – have we ever thought of taking a different career path? Have we ever thought about living in a different part of the country or even a different part of the world? Have we ever regretted choices we have made? I bet the answer to that is a resounding YES for many of us. Continue reading

June 28, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do You Remember The Good Old Days?

Acts 2:46

Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,

112015 Ray McDonaldOriole BirdDo you remember the good old days? Do you remember back in 1966 when the Baltimore Orioles won 97 regular season games and went on to beat the LA Dodgers in 4 straight games in the World Series? I was 11 years old that summer and it was my second year of really following the team. The team was fairly young with players like Frank Robinson (30) – Brooks Robinson (29) – Boog Powell (24) – Davey Johnson (23) – Paul Blair (22) – Mark Belanger (22) – Jim Palmer (20) – Dave McNally (23) – and a mixture of other players older and younger. Some of them were the core players to several great teams through the 70’s. It was the good old days.

Do you remember the good old days? On Pandora you can create your own listening channels. My wife wonders why I listen to James Taylor – Stevie Wonder – Motown – Randy Travis – Chicago – Harry Chapin – Rod Stewart – Neil Young – Bob Dylan – 70’s Lite Rock – and others. It is the type of music I grew up on and I enjoy listening to it. It was the good old days. Continue reading

April 18, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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