Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

With All Our Heart

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

Are we Masters of anything? My brother is a Master plumber. He is one of the best plumbers in the Annapolis area – maybe in the state. I have often said he is a Jack-of-all-trades and a Master of many. What are we Masters of – if anything?

One thing I feel pretty confident with is the area of finances. My wife and I have made some pretty good investments and have handled our money wisely over the years (thank you Jesus). But even in this area I have a great friend who has given me great advise over the years too.

Another thing I feel confident with is my knowledge of the Word of God. But even in this area – where I have two advanced degrees (Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry) – 40 plus years of ministry under my belt – and 50 years plus of faith – I have mentors that I turned to for guidance (I lost one 5 years ago when my father passed). Continue reading

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September 6, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Truth Or A Lie

Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

Where do we go for truth? In this day and age – truth is hard to come by. Fake news is all the rage it seems. The media reports what supports their agenda or what sells their papers or commercials.

Where do we go for truth? Do we seek truth in the history of men and women? Do you search for truth among the stories of our country or of the world? All the rage these days is bringing down historic figures that don’t tell the tale we would like (I’m totally against neo-Nazis and white supremacy) – but I’m not convinced that the destruction of historic monuments is the way to go (where will we stop – I’ve heard some would like to destroy monuments of George Washington because of some of his sins). Continue reading

August 18, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Word Of God Endures Forever

Isaiah 40:8

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.

I’ve spent a number of years trying to grow a yard – 20 years to be exact. I remember when my yard was a dust bowl. I remember cutting the weeds and grass – that was scattered around the yard – and working up a small storm cloud of dust.

Eventually I began to grow some grass. After years of aerating and seeding – the yard is starting to take shape. Keeping the weeds down has been a task. I finally went to a yard service to fertilize and treat for weeds. The cost of the service is just slightly more than I would pay for the materials myself and then I would have to put them down – and I can call them back to retreat if the weeds don’t die!!

A bought a new lawnmower this year and I’m cutting the grass twice a week at 4 inches. The grass is growing well and filling in like never before. And the new lawnmower is cutting to clean and mulching too. Continue reading

May 16, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Thoughts On The UMC And Homosexuality

Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

With the recent news about the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church – and the cases they are hearing this week and next – I’ve been asked for the church’s stance on the subject of homosexuality. This is a hot topic and not an easy answer.

I will start by saying the United Methodist Church strives to have open hearts – open minds – and open doors. This is not just a slogan but rather a desire to be open to all people – even in our sin – and trying to be a place where we can all find grace – forgiveness – and spiritual growth.

Having said that – the church is not a place to condemn or condone sin – that is above our pay grade so to speak. We can name what we believe is sin – but not condemn the person(s) caught up in it. We can love the person dealing with sin without condoning their sin(s). I know for some – that may sound like double talk. For me it isn’t. I can love a person without accepting or condoning their behavior/sin (as I hope people can do the same with me). I can minister to a person (and do all the time) caught in an area of sin – trying to help them (and me) see the sin in their (my) lives (life) and helping them (me) to see God’s redeeming grace in the midst of their (my) lives (life). We are to shine the light of grace on our sin so that we are convicted or compelled to confess and repent of it and move away from it. We are not to accept sin or condone it or live in it with no attempt to change. Continue reading

April 28, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Junk Food

1 Peter 2:2

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,

RayMcDJunk Food is not good for us! There – I said it! Junk food is simply that – junk – and I have been trying to stay away from it. Yet it usually tastes so good – or at least we think so. What is your favorite junk food? I love most anything with chocolate and peanuts or peanut butter. At Easter I am a sucker for peanut butter covered chocolate eggs. Junk food is usually sweet – or salty and flavored like barbecue potato chips. If you’re really lucky with your junk food you can get something that is sweet & salty!

But I digress. I’m also craving something sweet or salty – right now! Even after eating a bunch of carrots and hummus.

Junk food usually satisfies for the moment but not for the long-term. It usually has lots of empty calories and is not ultimately good for you. Why are we drawn to it – because it soothes for the moment – but it is not good for us? Continue reading

February 23, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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