Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

We Cannot Hide From God

Psalm 139:7

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?

I was visiting over the weekend to the home of one of my daughters. Here children and I played hide-and-seek. They hid and I went looking for them. They did a good job of hiding for 5 and almost 3. But each time I found them. It didn’t hurt that the 3-year-old would chime up with I said – oh where oh where could my sweet granddaughters be. She would say – here I am pop. It was fun playing with them.

The kids were over Sunday afternoon. We may begin a regular tradition of family time at our home on Sunday afternoons. All three of our daughters are now in Maryland along with our two sons and five granddaughters. Family time at the McDonald estate on Sunday afternoons! My mom and dad would be pleased! Continue reading

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February 12, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Only Constant Is Change

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Life keeps changing! The only constant in life is change. A number of things in my own life have changed. I’ve been married longer than I wasn’t married (37 years this past summer verses 25 years not married). I celebrated 44 years since I graduated High School this past June. I saw a picture of me in High School the other day and I do not look the same today!

My children – my babies – are all grown. Two have children (my five granddaughters). My wife and daughters are such a blessing to me along with our granddaughters. I’ve been in ministry for 41 years. I’ve begun to think about retirement (although I hope to have a few more years left – maybe more!).

Life keeps changing! This summer the Nationals have played playoff bound baseball – the Orioles are trying to get in but it doesn’t seem to be a certainty for sure. The Redskins lost their season opening game while the Ravens won – shutting out the Bengals. The Wizards made the playoffs and so did the Capitals. That’s pretty good change for our area and Maryland is 2-0 after two convincing wins.

Continue reading

September 11, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Will Understand Us!

Romans 8:26

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

I have two granddaughters who are two years of age. They are beginning to talk up a storm. It is so cute. At times they are very articulate. At times I need their mother to interpret for me. At times – we both throw up our hands and wonder what they just said! Both are second born – and so this second born middle child connects with them. I love when they jump up into Pop’s lap to snuggle or watch their favorite shows on TV.

We are becoming an increasingly diverse community and country. I’ve entered some establishments and have a hard time understanding the cashier or salesperson because of their accent or dialect. I often call tech support from various companies and often I am connected with someone from another nation – where that tech center is located. It is hard at times for me to understand. Continue reading

September 1, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be Careful

Ephesians 5:15

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise…

I have five granddaughters. All five were over last night and one of the phrases I used a number of times – as they played out back with us on the patio was – be careful. They were running around – playing with each other – and at times they did not think about the consequences of their actions – after all – they are 4 – 4 – 2 – 2 – and the baby is 4 months. They are just excited to see each other and to build on their memory banks of fun.

Our patio has a drop off and rocks too. They will come close to the edge – aware and at times unaware of the danger. They will stand on the big rocks – boulders really – and be queen of the hill. Pop – the oldest family member present – knows the dangers and constantly reminds them to be careful – don’t fall. At times I would get up (other adults too) and walk them away from the edge of the patio or sit so that we could stop them – or at least try to – from falling.

We made it thru the evening without incident. We even got one granddaughter – previously scared of Pop’s lawnmower – to ride with him as he cut some of the yard. For most of the evening – she would stand on the edge of the patio and watch me cutting the backyard. She wanted to ride – like her older sister and cousin had the day before – but when she was placed on the mower – she panicked a little. It took several tries before she would stay on and once we started she was fine the whole time. As she was getting on the mower and off the mower (blades off of course) – Pop could be heard saying – be careful. Continue reading

May 9, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Know Jesus – Know Peace

John 6:47

I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life.

RayMcDChristmas is past and we are moving toward a new year. Have you heard this one? What ends as the New Year arrives? Answer – the year just past. What will we leave in 2016 and what will arrive in 2017? Some good questions for sure. The year past saw some famous people pass – it saw some of my favorite teams underachieve – it saw some long time members and supporters of our Lord and church pass or move away. We filled a few staff positions in 2016 with persons that bring a fresh attitude to the office – a breath of fresh air according to some. What are some of the best and worst moments in your past year as it closes in the next few days?

This coming year – actually in January of this year – my fifth granddaughter is due. In January we will receive 20 some folks into membership in our church. We will also welcome one or maybe two new staff members in January. New beginnings are associated with a new year and the first sermon series in 2017 is titled Making Everything New. Continue reading

December 27, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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