Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Memorial Day 2017

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Arlington

Arlington Cemetery

Today is Memorial Day 2017. It is a day we remember those who gave the greatest sacrifice – those who gave their lives for our nation – for our freedoms. It is a day that we remember that freedom is not free. Pictures of Arlington Cemetery reminds us of the number of folks who have served and died. It is an amazing experience to visit one of our veteran’s cemetery’s.

I use to walk to and from school past the Annapolis Veteran’s Cemetery and would often say a prayer of thanks for those who have served and died. I remember a few years ago attending a service for my cousin who served in Viet Nam and most likely died of something he was exposed to in Nam. He didn’t die in Nam but may well have died early because of Nam. Not all veteran’s died during war time – but they all were exposed to life and death as they served our nation. Continue reading

May 29, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Praises 18

2 Corinthians 9:15

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

christmas-3During the month of December I have asked some members and friends of our church to write a paragraph or so describing some of the things that bring them joy this Christmas season in their relationship with Jesus and First Church? They were asked where they see Jesus in their church family? They were asked what draws them to First Church. The reason for this is to stir up some joy and excitement this Christmas Season. I told them I would share their thoughts anonymously – but I am keeping their e-mails for sure. I will try to post a comment a day for December so obviously I need 31 comments. The posts will go up around noon each day.

As a member of First Church, I am especially proud of how our church supports our military and our country.  Every week in our Sunday bulletin there is a Prayer Concerns section for friends and family members serving in the military.  This section contains over 30 names.  Both my sons have served I the military and one still is serving on active duty.  It comforts me knowing that so many are praying for them especially during the Christmas season.

There is so much more than just the prayers of support.  A bright and colorful flag is always flying from our church’s flagpole.  In the narthex is a tribute to individual veterans who have served as well as a stained glass window in their honor/memory.  In the fellowship hall, there still hangs the star banner with over 50 stars of those from First Church who served in WWII.  With God’s guidance, not one lost their life in that war.  First Church has one remaining WWII vet who represents the greatest generation.  Our Choir puts on an Independence Day Cantata and sing-a-long.  On the Sunday nearest Veterans day we honor those who have served and present a flag to one of those vets.  Many of our sons and daughters who have grown up in our church go off to serve.  We were especially fortunate to have an Air Force Chaplain who attended First Church with his family and would bring us a message from the pulpit frequently.  He keeps in touch with many of us via Facebook while he is serving overseas.  May the Lord speak through him to those serving so that they may have Jesus Christ in their lives.

Merry Christmas and God Bless First Church and God Bless the USA.

I praise the Lord for the testimony. I hope that it brings those who read it great joy. Merry Christmas to one and all.

December 18, 2016 Posted by | Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Memorial Day 2015

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Arlington

Arlington Cemetery

IMG_0301Today is Memorial Day 2015.  It is a day we remember those who gave the greatest sacrifice – those who gave their lives for our nation – for our freedoms.  It is a day that we remember that freedom is not free.  Pictures of Arlington Cemetery reminds us of the number of folks who have served and died.

I use to walk to and from school past the Annapolis Veteran’s Cemetery and would often say a prayer of thanks for those who have served and died.  I remember most recently attending a service for my cousin who served in Viet Nam and most likely died of something he was exposed to in Nam.  He didn’t die in Nam but may well have died early because of Nam. Continue reading

May 25, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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