Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Confidence

Ephesians 3:12

In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

RayMcDI love playing a familiar golf course. Part of the reason I like playing a familiar golf course is the confidence I gain from knowing how the fairway slants or how the green slopes and where the flag is on the green.

My long-time favorite course was Twin Shields Golf Course in Dunkirk – Maryland. For instance – I knew (the course is no more) that on hole number 15 – a long par 4 – it was better to land on top of the hill on your drive unless you felt you could get to the bottom of the fairway past the hill. If you only made it part of the way down the hill – you would have a side hill approach shot of 150-165 yards or so and that would be a tough shot. Land on top of the hill and have a 180-200 yard shot from high and flat. Land on the fairway at the bottom of the hill and you had a 100-115 yard shot from flat ground.

Another favorite course is Valley View Golf Club just outside of Moorefield – West Virginia. We only play this course once or twice a year but my brother and I can talk you through each hole on the course. An interesting hole is hole number 4. It is a short par 5 – but a tricky par 5. Unless you can hit a straight drive some 230-250 yards you should hit a short iron 150-175 yards to a landing area. You typically cannot reach the green from here (unless you can get a shot of 165-175 up over trees very quickly). Continue reading

February 27, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do Not Be Anxious!

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

RayMcDWhat – if anything – are we anxious about today? Some of my friends have voiced anxiousness about retirement. Will they have enough to last? When should they retire? Should they work after they retire? Should they travel or save?

What – if anything – are we anxious about today? As some of my friends get older – I have heard anxiousness in some of their voices concerning their health. Should they get long-term care insurance? Should they or when should they move into assisted living quarters? Should they find one that is associated with longer-term care?

What – if anything – are we anxious about today? Some of the folks I talk to and some on Facebook have expressed anxiousness about the upcoming elections. Some say they know who they will NOT vote for and some say they will have a hard time voting for either of the main candidates. Some say one candidate doesn’t have the temperament to be President – flying off the handle too many times for them. Some say the other candidate doesn’t have the character to be President – having lied too many times to the public and congress. There are other concerns about both candidates. Continue reading

September 2, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Confidence

Hebrews 4:16

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

RevRayMcI try to not be political in my sermons or my writings. Yet today we’re talking about confidence. The two presidential candidate front-runners seem very confident. One wants to make America great again and the other wants to continue the current administration’s programs. They are both very confident that their approach is the right approach.

The voters are caught choosing between a person who wishes to shake up a rigged system (in his words) and a person who wishes to keep the ball rolling – building on the current administration (her words). Both seem confident that their way is the right way. Only time will tell I guess. Continue reading

July 6, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Faith – Confidence in Jesus!

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

82015 RayWhat is it you are confident in these days? This morning my 3-point shot wasn’t falling – but all in all – I would say I have confidence in my 3-ball. As a shooter – I launch the ball expecting it to go in – most times.

What is it you are confident in these days? Some folks are confident in their ability to accomplish their work assignments. Some folks are confident in their life partners. Some folks are confident in knowledge of certain fields of endeavor. Some folks are confident in their ability to play an instrument – even when sight-reading.

What is it you are confident in these days? Maybe the question could be reversed – and we could ask – what are you not confident in these days? I bet for most of us – many of the things we are most confident in have been things we were least confident in at some time in our life. Maybe a cheating partner changed our confidence in that area. Maybe a bad day shooting – causes our confidence with the 3-ball to wane. Maybe we crashed a project at work and thus our confidence was shaken. All of these and more can shake our confidence – because most of the things we have confidence in are fallible. Our confidence often relies on consistency and most things – even those things that tend to be consistent – are not always so! Continue reading

October 14, 2015 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

If God Is On Our Side

Psalm 27:3

Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.

IMG_0301I like to play basketball. I play with some young men on M-W-F mornings around 6:30 am. They allow the old man to play – they are so nice! If it weren’t for my occasional three-pointer – I think they might not let me play. As I continue to get in better shape – I am playing better defense and actually driving the lane once in awhile.

An old friend of mine is one of the better players. I enjoy having him on the same team. When he is on my team and playing inside – I feel more confident shooting my three-ball – because I know he will get his share of my misses and turn them into baskets or pass it back outside for another three-ball by someone.

I like to play golf – and I enjoy playing tournament ball. I usually like to form teams where I am the worst player (I normally shoot in the mid to low 80’s). If I have better players playing with me – I gain confidence and at times can play over my head! We’ve won a few tournaments over the years. Continue reading

April 20, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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