Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Let Your Light So Shine

Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Photo on 9-10-18 at 11.09 AMI remember as a child – camping as a family. I remember the dark nights and how my father’s lantern on the picnic table would shine and lead us home when we were out and about. Dad kept the globe on the lamp clean and the wick new and it burnt bright. He kept a good supply of fuel in the lamp and in storage. The light would shine in the darkness – and the darkness could not overcome it.

I remember one of my siblings – my brother I believe – needed a night-light early in his life. A little light plugged into a wall outlet – that gave off a dim light. Even in the darkness of the night in the bedroom – this little light was enough to give peace to him as he woke in the night. Continue reading

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September 18, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Not Stir Up Dissension

Proverbs 6:16, 19

The LORD hates… a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

Ray 2018One of my favorite sayings is Christianity boils down to attitude. I often follow that phrase with the following – Christianity boils down to attitude – the condition and position of one’s heart. Scripture tell us in Matthew 6:21 – For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Attitude is everything says a little stone marker on my office desk. I believe that the heart – the attitude we have – is so very important. I celebrated the life of a friend who told his children that attitude meant everything in life.

Each time I pray for the men who gather to play basketball early in the morning at Riva Trace Baptist Church – I pray for an attitude check – that our attitudes would be a blessing and not a hinderance to our witness and our exercise. As Christians we are called to have the attitude of Christ in the scriptures. Philippians 2:5 – Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Continue reading

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

I Have Loved You

Malachi 1:2

“I have loved you,” says the Lord. “But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’ “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob,

RayMcDAt a recent Bible study – I asked the question – how has God been active in your life? We had a number of answers. Some talked about miracles they had experienced. I shared – once again – about my tractor-trailer accident. Some talked about family members coming through seemingly impossible medical issues. Some talked about their salvation experience. Some talked about spiritual high moments when they felt especially close to God. Some talked about some very emotional things – and the whole group felt a bit of their experience. We talked about God’s love for us and how He shows it.

How has God been active in your life? Think about that for a moment. Have you experienced any miracles? Have you seen the Holy Spirit at work in your life? Have you felt a certain closeness with God at any time in your life? Do you regularly experience the presence of God in your life? God loves us and shows it in so many ways. Continue reading

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

We’re Called To Love One Another – Not Hate

2 Timothy 4:2

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.

Paul – an Apostle – told a young pastor – Timothy – to preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Timothy 4:2) Paul also wrote these words to Timothy – 2 Timothy 3:16–17 – 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. God’s Word is to be obeyed. God’s Word is clear on many topics. God’s Word directs us in many ways in our lives.

I’m not a young pastor nor am I an Apostle – but the Word of God – as I read it – tells me to love one another – not hate on anyone. I see far too much hatred in the world – and at times – sadly – from folks claiming to be Christians. Showing others love is a commandment of God’s Word for God’s people.

We’re told to hate sin – we’re told to love one another. We’re told to love God more than anything or anyone. Matthew 10:37 – Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Continue reading

July 25, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Does It Cost Us To Follow Christ?

Philippians 3:8

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ

What does it cost us to follow Christ? I wonder – have we ever thought about this question? Have we ever spent time really thinking about the cost of following Christ?

What does it cost us to follow Christ? Most things in life cost us something. In our home (mostly me) – we estimate something’s worth to us by what it would cost us to get it. If we want to buy something – I might estimate how many hours we would need to work for it. We would then determine if it was really worth it and if we really wanted it that badly.

What does it cost us to follow Christ? This week or soon – the Baltimore Orioles will begin to dismantle this year’s team and begin working on the team of the future. At some point – a team will determine what it will cost them to purchase 3-4 months (counting the playoffs) of one of the top 2-3 players in baseball and some of his teammates. The Orioles will need to do the same as they figure out what the best offer is moving the team forward. Will it be the needed players or draft picks. What will it cost to improve a playoff team and what will it cost to rebuild a once proud team? Continue reading

July 10, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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