Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Mulligans – I Wish I Had a Few!

Ephesians 1:7

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

Readers – can you remember ever doing anything you were sorry for later? Yes – I really did ask that question! Can any of us remember anything that we wish we hadn’t done? Anything we wish we could take back? Anything that we knew was a mistake the minute we did it or said it?

In golf – when someone hits a bad shot – mostly on tee-shots – they might ask their playing partners for a mulligan – some might just say they are taking a mulligan – a do over. I wish I had a few the other day as I was out with two friends and a friend of a friend. I had one of my worst rounds in years. In life – there are few places where do overs are allowed. Most often we have to sleep in the bed we’ve madedeal with the cards we are dealt.

I’m sure that Russell Wilson would like a mulligan on his last throw in Super Bowl LXLIX against the New England Patriots in 2015. Do you remember that interception in the end zone? I would also imagine that Pete Carroll would like a mulligan on the play call – just saying! I know some Seahawk fans wished they could call for a mulligan for sure on that play.

Continue reading

October 20, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus Can Fix Us

Isaiah 53:12

For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Sunday – we will begin a new sermon series. It is on a subject every pastor should love to preach on. We are going to talk about Jesus and our need for Him. Evangelism is sharing the Good News of Jesus and His gift of Salvation. God fixed all people through Jesus’ shed blood – if they open their hearts and lives to Him. Fixing the broken is something that God desires to do.

No too long ago – my office MacBook Pro was giving me some trouble. So – I found myself in the Annapolis Mall to sit outside the Apple Store to see if I could get it fixed. After waiting an hour for the store to open and 45 minutes after that to see a tech and about 15 minutes of running tests – I was told that I needed a new top case assembly (keyboard circuit and cover). They could fix it in the store but it would take 3-5 days. So – at work – during that time I used iPad Pro and work more from home on my iMac – till I get it back. I’ll need to find some down time later. They fixed it and I was so happy.

Today’s passage is a prophecy concerning Jesus. It ends with a reminder that He bore our sins on the Cross of Calvary. He made intercession before the Father on our behalf. He took upon Himself all of our sins – and according to scripture the sins of the world – for those who would receive His grace – paying the blood price we could not ever consider paying. Remember – there would be no Easter without Good Friday – no victory over the grave had Jesus not died on the cross first. He bore our sins – we owe Him our everything! He can fix us!

Continue reading

October 1, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Help Me to Forgive

John 1:14

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Rays HaircutIn today’s passage – John describes Jesus – the Word becoming flesh. I am struck by yet another difference between Jesus and myself! Jesus was and is full of grace as John writes – and I am not always filled with grace – and at times the church is not as well. I am not – by nature – a mercy person – yet as a pastor I am called to show mercy – maybe another name some use for mercy is compassion. The church is called to show mercy and compassions as well.

In a broadcast on the web I was listening to they were talking about grace – and restoration – in the church. Amazingly – their stories were that even in the church – there weren’t a lot of people who knew how or were even willing to show grace. Those who have been shown grace – who have been shown mercy – by God – should be the first ones willing t show mercy – forgiveness to others. God’s grace should be evident in our lives. God’s grace is poured out on us and we should share it with others. We should be ready to forgive and show grace and compassion to the hurting people of our communities. Continue reading

May 7, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 3 of Lent 2020

John 12:16

At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him.

Ray 2020Day 3 of the Lenten reading series is a similar story to the one we read on day one. Today I want to look at the above portion of that passage. At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him.

As we walk to the cross this Lenten season – I want us to think about some of the things we didn’t or still don’t understand about our faith. It might be things like the Virgin Birth – the resurrection – or forgiveness of sin. As we think of those things we might not completely understand them or intentionally seek out Scriptures and readings that deal with them. We live post the resurrection – post the glorification of Christ – and the Holy Spirit is available to us as we seek to understand the things of God. Seek to understand more about Jesus this Lenten season

Our Bible studies on Tuesday will begin to look at and understand some of the essentials of the faith. This coming Tuesday we will look at the Cross. Join us at 10:30 am or 7:00 pm on Tuesdays in the Fellowship Hall at the church.

Continue reading

February 28, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Many Times Do We Forgive Others?

Matthew 18:21-22

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Ray 2019How many times have we forgiven someone for the same thing? Do we have a limit to our forgiveness? Does this saying work for us – fool me once – shame on you – fool me twice – shame on me? How many times will we forgive someone? We mentioned Sunday – praying for our enemies – can we do that?

Peter asked Jesus – how many times should we forgive someone? Seven was a number – often used in the Bible to represent completeness – and Peter would have been OK – I think – if Jesus had said seven times. I imagine Peter had come close to that number on several occasions with people he dealt with on a daily basis. Have we come close to forgiving someone seven times? Would that be considered a lot of times? Would you be satisfied with forgiving someone 7 times?

Jesus’ answer might have blown Peter away. In the NIV – the translation of the answer from Jesus is seventy-seven (77) times. In the KJV – it is interpreted to read – Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (490 times) Continue reading

December 10, 2019 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: