Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

It Is All About Grace

Ephesians 2:5

…it is by grace you have been saved.

RayMcDI love it when I win something. I’m all about competitions. For instance – I enjoy hearing someone say cover Ray when I’m playing basketball and lining up for a three-point shot. Or don’t leave Ray as the person on me leaves to help double team someone else. It means someone respects my ability (as meager as it may be).

I love it when I win something. I’m all about competitions. For instance – I love the challenges on my Fitbit – both the personal challenges and the group challenges. I love it when this old pastor can at times keep up with the younger pastors in a Fitbit pastors group.

I love it when I win something. I’m all about competitions. For instance – I love playing golf with a friend of mine – we are fairly equal in our abilities (we can both play a round in the 70’s or as high as the low 90’s from time to time). When I come out on top – it feels good – I know I have beaten a decent golfer. (I sure hope my torn rotor cuff heals quickly.) Continue reading

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February 20, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Time For Everything

Ecclesiastes 3:1

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

RayMcDSaturday night we went to bed with the temperature at 72. We had turned off the AC early that evening in the hopes that fall weather would arrive. I hadn’t slept well the night before – my Fitbit said I got less than 4 hours of sleep – and I really needed some sleep. I slept soundly from a little before 10 pm till just after 6 am – over 8 hours of sleep! It was time for a good sleep!

Sunday morning I woke to 50 degrees at the house (windows open so covers were on). It was time for some cooler weather.

Sunday we tried doing a Facebook live event for the sermon. It wasn’t one of our better sermons but I wanted to try the live event feature. You can listen to the sermon here if you have Facebook. It was time to try something new. Continue reading

September 26, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Race Is Marked Out For Us

Hebrews 12:1

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

112015 Ray McDonaldA few years ago – one of my daughters was preparing for a race. She started a routine that would allow her to slowly work up to the distance of the race. It was a half marathon I think – maybe a full marathon – but I think it was a half. She worked hard to get into shape. She was doing very well until an injury slowed her prep work.  Despite the injury – she got back at it as soon as possible.  She had a plan.

I’ve been walking lately – nearly two miles at times.  I’ve also been playing some basketball. I want to work up to five miles. I have an app on my cell phone that through the GPS feature on the phone tracks my steps and gives me encouragement along the way by sharing the distance and time and at the end gives me updates on how I’ve done.   I also have a Fitbit which helps track steps.  The iPhone program even sends me an e-mail if I walk further per activity – per week – and per month than ever before. It shares other milestones as well.

I participated in a 5 mile event once and remember that they had the course marked out for us so we couldn’t make a wrong turn. It was through the Naval Academy and surrounding area. It was a pleasant walk – made better by the opportunity to witness my faith along the way with a friend of a friend who later accepted Christ and joined our local church. Having the course marked out for us was a great blessing. Continue reading

March 2, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pump It Up!

1 Timothy 4:8

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

82015 RayMuch is said at this time of the year about staying physically fit.  The fall and winter – when outside activities slow and gym memberships are pushed – is a prime time to look at our diets and our exercise plans.  Many will wait until the New Year to make resolutions – some will begin now before Thanksgiving trying to make a plan. What about our spiritual shape?

Do we have an ideal weight for our physical body?  Are we taking steps to reach that ideal weight?  Are we exercising – dieting – working to draw closer to that ideal?  Or have we given up?  Some friends and family are into Fitbit trackers and trying to get the most steps they can each day.

Are there things we would like to be able to do in the physical world?  Would we like to run a marathon?  Would we like to ride in a 100-mile bike run?  Would we like to hike up a mountain?  If so – sisters and brother – most of us simply need to pump it up – working up to such an event. Continue reading

November 16, 2015 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wait For The Lord!

Psalm 27:14

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

82015 RayOK – a vacation week is upon me. I think I have planned everything – so that I will not have to think about work – all week. My sermon for October 4th is complete and the media is already in the hands of the media team. My daily devotions have already been written and are on the website ready to post everyday at 9 am. I have called or visited those who have been sick or have had surgery. I have another pastor on call – a former pastor of our church – while I’m gone. I have paid all my bills – I have money in the bank – I have everything scheduled and planned out.  I even have someone living in my home while I’m gone – taking care of the house and our dog!

I believe I have prepared for this coming week. I believe I have taken the time to put everything in order. I have a former pastor taking care of emergencies – I have mature pay people and staff looking out for the day-to-day activities – I have a strong young man prepared to cover the message in my absence. The plans have been made! Let the vacation begin! Continue reading

September 25, 2015 Posted by | Build, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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