Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Where Is It That We Struggle Most?

Romans 7:18

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

Have you ever felt one way and yet ended up going another way? Silly question I guess – since we are all human and most know the right thing to do but have succumbed to the wrong way in our lives. We often know the right way – and yet yield to the wrong way. We fight temptations and evil – but at times we fail in our struggle. We fall short and sin.

Where is it that we struggle the most? For some it is what we put into our bodies that tempt us. That could mean drugs or alcohol or it could mean overeating – all are harmful to us – and we know it – yet some of us continue to abuse our bodies with what we put into them. We try diets – we try to be sober – we try to walk the steps – but – at times – we succumb to what is harmful for us. Continue reading

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May 10, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

He Is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed!

Matthew 28:6

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.

Wow – what an Easter we had yesterday at First UMC in Laurel. Not only were there loads of people in worship – worship was amazing. From the sunrise service outside in the prayer garden to the two services – we were blessed. New people – regulars – and others joined in as we gather to worship God. I pray your worship was amazing as well in your local church dear readers.

Today’s reading is from the Easter readings. It was what Jesus promised His disciples – that He would die and be raised to life. They didn’t always understand – and some Gospel accounts tell us they even had their doubts – right up to Pentecost. I think they were not much different than we are. We have our moments of faith and understanding and we have our moments of doubt and when we lack understanding. Continue reading

April 2, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Sermons, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 29 of Lent 2018

Matthew 26:33

Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

Today is day 29 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan on www.youversion.com. I hope you are enjoying the readings like I am. Lent is the 40 days leading up to the cross of Calvary. As we walk with Jesus we hope to be drawn closer to Him.

Today’s reading reminds me that we can have good intents but not good results – we can intend to do the right things and end up not doing the right thing. Peter intended to stay faithful – intended to be true – but we all know that he denied Jesus when Jesus was arrested. The other disciples intended the same – but they too failed. The Good News is that Jesus is in the grace business and searches our hearts much more than our good or failed actions. Something to think about today! Continue reading

March 14, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Has Our Back – He Will Rescue Us!

Jeremiah 1:8

Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

RayMcDWhen I was in High School – during the early 70’s – there was much unrest in our nation and in Annapolis where I lived. It was mostly racial – and it was a scary time for all involved. I remember the late 60’s while living in Seat Pleasant – this was a stressful time – a time when you wondered who might have your back if there was trouble.

I was on the football team and the basketball team at Annapolis High in the 70’s and I had friends from every hue – every shade – every color. I saw people as people (I can’t say I was perfect at it but I tried for sure). I remember a time when I could have been hurt badly by a group of students – while walking through the old cafeteria area in one of our older buildings. I was about to have my clock cleaned when a friend stepped forward and said – Ray’s OK – let him pass. I will forever remember this experience and am thankful for my friend who spoke up for me. He had my back in a troubled time. Continue reading

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

Where Is It We Struggle The Most?

Romans 7:18

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMHave you ever felt one way and yet ended up going another way? Silly question I guess – since we are all human and most know the right thing to do but have succumbed to the wrong way. We often know the right way – and yet yield to the wrong way. We fight temptations and evil – but at times we fail in our struggle.

Where is it that we struggle the most? For some it is what we put into our bodies. That could mean drugs and it could mean overeating – both are harmful to us – and we know it – yet some of us continue to abuse our bodies with what we put into them. We try diets – we try to be sober – we try to walk the steps – but – at times – we succumb to what is harmful for us.

Where is it that we struggle the most? For some it is their behavior. Some of us have trouble with interpersonal relationships. Some have tempers – some use foul language – some have faithfulness issues – some are gossips – and more. We probably know we should do better – and may even desire to do better – but the flesh is weak it seems. Continue reading

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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