Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

My Memory – God’s Grace

Psalm 103:11-12

as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

My memory is not the best. For instance – I forgot to put out today’s devotional. Before I hear a rousing chorus of amens from the peanut gallery about my memory – let me explain. I’m not sure if it is age – my Tourette Syndrome – my A.D.D. – a male thing – early Alzheimer’s disease or dementia – or simply who I am. I can leave my office and walk to Cathy’s desk and forget why I was going there. I can even at times get into my car and forget where I was headed. It’s my issue – among others – but today it reminded me of God’s grace.

You might ask how I got from my short term memory loss to God’s grace? Well – I’m going to tell you. Continue reading


May 19, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Is Our Refuge

Deuteronomy 33:27

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMRecently I posted a devotional about Social Media and the Tongue and many read it and liked it. I posted one about the 2016 Presidential Elections and it too was widely read. Yesterday I wrote on God’s grace and today on God being our refuge and my prediction will be little notice for today or yesterday’s posts. I wonder why that is?

Are we drawn to things thought controversial? Are we drawn to the train wreck – the car crash (like the 2016 Presidential Elections)? Understanding God’s grace and how God is our refuge seems to be of utmost importance – yet few will share this on Facebook or other social media outlets and the reading of it will be low.

Recently I visited the state where I was born (West Virginia). I played a round of golf on one of the most beautiful courses I’ve ever played. The course itself is nothing great – even middle of the road of courses I’ve played (nice greens) – but the scenery surrounding the course – sitting in the valley with mountains all around it is breath-taking. Continue reading

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

Following Christ’s Example

1 Corinthians 11:1

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

IMG_0301What excites you? Are you excited about your favorite team?  My Orioles have won 4 straight and are in the second wild card position in the American League.  Which team are you rooting for this year?

If sports don’t excite you – what about the elections that are just a year away? Which candidate strikes your fancy so far? Have you picked a favorite yet? I haven’t. Or are you like some – are you looking for the strongest of a weak list of candidates? Remember not to take your party into the booth when you vote – take your faith instead. Which candidate has the Christian values you support? Who would support abortion or who is for the life of the unborn child for instance? Who is out to protect the environment that God gave us dominion over?  Who stands for Christian values?  Who supports traditional marriage?  There are so many issues that as Christians we should be concerned about and we should search for the candidate who thinks as we do. Have you become excited about the election? Continue reading

August 18, 2015 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Revival Is Coming! We Stand in the Need of God’s Grace!

Isaiah 64:6

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

IMG_0301I need to clean out the garage again.  My wife likes a clean garage.  Argue as I might that a garage is not meant to be clean – she won’t buy it.  We have a friend – her name is Nancy – and her garage was always perfectly ordered.  My father-in-law’s garage too (that is where Carolyn got the idea of a clean garage I guess (you know – where there are outlines on the way for EVERYTHING!).

When I clean out my garage – I always come across dirty rags.  I use them for cleaning up most anything and at times they are not thrown away quickly enough for sure.  I found one recently that was soaking wet with oil – with dirt – with dust – etc.  Whenever I pick up dirty – filthy rags  today’s passage comes to mind.

I am convinced that some of us believe that our sins are not as bad as our neighbor’s sin(s).  Some might think that because they go to church – because they may give support to the ministry of the church (time, talent, money, prayers) – they are not as bad as others. Continue reading

July 22, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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