Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Christ Came To Save Sinners

1 Timothy 1:15

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst.

It won’t be long and March Madness with be upon us. I’m not certain my favorite college team – the Maryland Terps – will be in it this year. They have not played very well of late.

The competitive juices begin flow in almost everyone during March Madness. Even if a person doesn’t like or follow sports in general – they often get excited in the office place (and on Facebook) for their alma mater (go Terps!).

I wonder – have we ever had a competitive spirit about following Christ? I mean – have we ever thought of giving our very best effort – spending a day or a lifetime – seeking His face and desiring His grace? Have we ever gone out of our way to connect with others around our faith? With numerous Lenten season events happening at First UMC in Laurel – it would be a great opportunity to invite someone to join us. Continue reading

February 1, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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