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

We Are Chosen People!

Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

RayMcDI use a lot of athletic examples. Sorry if that doesn’t work for you. Most of us can remember recess in Elementary school. Do we remember when they would pick up teams for kickball or dodgeball? Do we remember being the last chosen or not being chosen at all? For those who have been chosen last or not at all – I assume it was not a good feeling for sure. We all like to be chosen – even if only for a kickball game.

It is a good feeling – being chosen. There were times I was the one picking up sides (in elementary school). At times I might be the first or second player picked by someone else. Either way it felt good to know your services were wanted on someone’s team. I remember the same feeling when picked for teams in the classroom too – like for a spelling bee or a math competition. When picked – we were expected to give our very best to the team effort. That would mean playing hard at whatever sport or coming up with the answer to the math problem before the other team. I rarely got picked for the spelling bee teams but did get picked for the math competition or the debate team. Continue reading

August 30, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Showing Love

Ephesians 4:32

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

112015 Ray McDonaldIt is the Lord’s Day – another Sunday – the first Sunday of Lent.

Today’s devotional will be short and to the point! At least that is the plan as I type away.

The call to follow Christ is not a call to be judgmental. Judgment is to be left to Christ. Revelation 20:4 – I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Continue reading

February 14, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fruits of the Spirit – Kindness and Goodness

Galatians 5:22-26

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

82015 RayWe’re starting back up this week examining the Fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5 – today we will deal with the fifth and sixth fruits listed – kindness & goodness.

What do you think of when you hear the words kindness and goodness?  A few verses before the Gifts of the Spirit are listed in Galatians 5 we read the following words.

Galatians 5:6 – For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

When I think of kindness and goodness – I think of the heart of Christ.  It is often contrary to my heart.  I am not by nature a mercy person.  I can express mercy – but only because of the grace of God – it isn’t from my natural fabric.  The heart of God – the heart of Christ is seen best – for me – in the following passage. Continue reading

October 12, 2015 Posted by | Build, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Compassion

Psalm 103:13

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

IMG_0301Compassion is an amazing attribute. This last Sunday was Mother’s Day and compassion is often an attribute of mothers (not all mothers for sure but most). When I skinned my knee – I came to mom rather than dad. Dad would probably such something like – you’ll be OK – get up and brush it off while mom would hug me and tell me it will be OK – let me clean it off and kiss it.

As a father – I tried to be more like my mom is this area of parenting – trying to comfort my children when they were in pain and still with a little bit of my dad – trying to get them to get back after it so they wouldn’t develop a complex about the pain. Continue reading

May 12, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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