Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Clothe Ourselves in Christ

Colossians 3:12

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

June 2019Dear readers – did any of us have a favorite piece of clothing growing up? I apparently – according to old photos – had a favorite cowboy shirt and a red baseball hat. In many of my childhood pictures – from a certain age – that was what I had on. I still have favorite clothes – enjoying the more casual look over anything dressy. When I was in my early teen years – I had a favorite hat that was always on my head it seems. I remember when I finally had to give it up – it was old – torn and smelled from years of sweating in it. I remember buying it with my own money at Ocean City one year. I know my girlfriends probably didn’t like it much – but it was a favorite!

As a pastor – I know there are proper times to wear certain clothes. For instance – I when I have a funeral – I will bring my collar and my suit jacket to work with me – so I can change before the service. I will return to the office for meetings after the funeral and put on my church shirt – typically a polo shirt with my name and the church’s name on it. I hardly ever wear a tie anymore – using the clergy collar shirt when I need to dress up. Continue reading

July 12, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Shows No Favorites

Acts 10:34

I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism

Life ChangeAs a father of three daughters – the oldest and the twins – I have learned to not show favorites – although two of them will say the oldest twin is the golden child. They are not accurate of course – in their assumptions. They are all my golden children – I love them with all my heart. All three have been a blessing – almost entirely! They are all my favorites.

As a grandfather of five granddaughters – one is six – one soon to be six – one is four – one soon to be four – and one is two – I have learned to not show favorites (I must confess that the three younger girls tend to hug Pop more often and for longer – so I am drawn to them of course). All five have Pop’s heart for sure. They are all my favorites. Continue reading

January 15, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

And The Parents Marvel!

Luke 2:33

The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.

profileChristmas is often about children.  As a matter of fact – much of the life of a parent is about the children.  Some of my fondest memories are about events in the life of my children – our three daughters.  Things like one daughter organizing her playground in elementary school – so that the students (her classmates) would move from apparatus to apparatus in an orderly fashion at her instruction.  Things like one daughter needing to find words she couldn’t spell (and neither could her parents) for her weekly test because she already knew the words for her class that week (every week).  Things like one daughter who didn’t seem to have interest in school becoming a straight A-student through college and grad school. Continue reading

December 19, 2013 Posted by | Advent Thought, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For All Have Sinned – But…

Romans 3:23

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

profileFor all have sinned – a very Biblically based statement.  We read it in Romans 3:23 – today’s passage.  Here is today’s passage in partial context.  Romans 3:21-26 – 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

For all have sinned – a very Biblical statement.  Unfortunately too many people use this truth as an excuse to sin.  If we’ve all sinned – some say – than what’s the big deal?  We can’t be perfect – so why worry about it? Continue reading

August 7, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Joy Is Better Than Happiness

Acts 13:52

And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

RevRayA friend of mine posted this on Twitter this morning – It’s not about happy. It’s about joy. #FindJoy.  It made me think of a saying of mine – Happiness is spiritually driven while joy is spiritually derived. Although happiness is a good thing – joy is lasting while happiness is fleeting. Joy is better than Happiness.

Today’s passage ends a section of the Book of Acts that describes the Gospel being taken to the whole of the region – including to the Gentiles.  The church began in Jewish circles – of course – since Jesus and the early disciples were Jewish.  And although many were moved to accept Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah – some had a hard time being open to the message that God was also available to all people – including the non-Jewish people. In the King James Version of the Bible the word for non-Jewish people is pagan – the ungodly.

Here are a few verses from just before today’s passage concluding with today’s verse. Acts 13:49-52 – 49 The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. 50 But the Jews incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Continue reading

June 4, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: