Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Let Our Light Shine Before Others

Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

112015 Ray McDonaldAs a pastor’s son – a PK (pastor’s kid) – I always had to be on guard around people. Some were looking for ways to get the pastor’s kid to make mistakes so they could run it in the pastor’s face (or so it seemed). I remember once – in a bowling league – someone treated our team to a round of sodas (we all have marks in a certain frame). I was keeping score and so they brought my soda to me at the scorer’s table. As I raised the cup to my mouth – something didn’t smell right so I put it back down. Later the person who bought the drinks asked me why I wasn’t drinking mine – which made me weary. Later – on a food run – I noticed a small empty vodka bottle near where this person sat. I believe this person was trying to get the PK to drink (I was under age at the time). We must all be no guard – it seems – at all times. Our witness can be damaged in a twinkle of an eye.

I remembering when I was a young adult – going into a bar/restaurant in downtown Annapolis with some of my friends. They went in for a drink – I went in to be with my friends. I hung with them – trying to show them one didn’t need to drink to have a good time. A few times I had to drive them home. I tried to let my light shine – so that Christ could be seen (not always of course – I had my issues). Continue reading

May 3, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Praying for Haiti

This morning as I arrived at work – Haiti was on my heart.  Only 12 days till we head off.  I’m am less apprehensive these days and more anticipative. I’m starting to look forward to going and allowing God to use us to help in some small way.  My morning prayers are about God using me(us) during the 8 days we will be away – ask I often say – may God work in me – through me – and in spite of me.

The country is still trying to dig out from under the rubble from the earthquake that occurred in 2010.  I’ve included some pictures in today’s post – the first of a village in Haiti.  As I searched the internet for pictures this morning – some were way too graphic to put up on this blog page.  The carnage that the earthquake caused – to an already poverty-stricken nation – was too much.

Here is a view of the Haiti I saw on my “cruise” – a very different picture.  It is in a beautiful part of the world – with sandy beaches and blue waters.  But people live in poverty most in our country have never seen.  I would say – even the homeless in America have it better off than many in Haiti.  My friend David told me that I needed to prepare for the scenes I will see.  I told him I had been on ASP trips for many years and had seen poverty.  He told me many in Haiti would love to move to Appalachia.

I know my life will never be the same after this trip.  Another prayer is that God will change me – to seek His face more – while I desire His grace.

Some have asked me where Haiti is located and I found this picture which gives us a good idea of where it is located – so close to Florida – so close to other thriving nations.  It is in the Caribbean – where vacation spots are located for many.  Near Cuba – on the same Island with the Dominican Republic – near Jamaica.  It is amazing to me how much poverty can be in such a lush and beautiful part of the world.  But – then again – I have seen poverty in the lush and beautiful mountains of Appalachia – with spectacular views.  You know the song that says – Almost Heaven – West Virginia.

A lot has and will happen to me in 2012.  My first trip outside the USA – my first mission trip outside the USA (same trip) – my first and second grandchild will be born this year (the Lord willing) – Carolyn and I will celebrate 32 years of marriage – I am experiencing a revitalization of my call into ministry – and God is working on me (and more).  I will also have my ear worked on again this year (hopefully) and maybe my eyes (getting to that age where parts are wearing down!).  Like my car with 208,000 plus miles on it – you just replace a few parts and keep on keeping on.  I pray that this Haiti trip is just the start of many more to come.  Maybe some folks from Mt. Oak will join me next time.

God bless you all!

June 8, 2012 Posted by | Community, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Outreach | , , | 2 Comments

I Continue to Pray About Haiti

Philippians 4:11b-13

11b for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Another one of my prayers for my Haiti mission trip is that this passage would become ever so clear to me.  Whenever I went on an ASP trip (Appalachia Service Project) I would return with a different view of things.  They were not as important after seeing people with much less.  Rev. Graves says the poverty in Haiti will be exponentially more than I saw in the mountains of Appalachia.

I have not lived in what many of us would call need – most of us have never experienced the need like I will see in Haiti.  My prayer is that I will learn to live with less so I can give more to those in real need!  My prayer is that I will learn – more than ever before – the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

I pray our team realizes – I hope I realize – that we/I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Lord – I continue to pray that You will work in me – through me – and in spite of me to bring about Your glory!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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June 6, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Evangelism, Faith Journey | , | Leave a comment

Haiti Trip

Matthew 28:18-20

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in  the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Well – in a few days – 15 days to be exact – I will be headed to Haiti for a week long mission trip – June 20-27.  I’m in need of your prayers for sure.  I have been on numerous mission trips inside the USA – but none outside.  As a matter of fact – I have only been outside the country twice – once to Canada and once on a cruise – which didn’t really count.  Speaking of not really counting – I was actually in Haiti a few years ago – but it was a beach on Haiti owned by the cruise-line.  Did I mention I know that it didn’t count?

I’ve been given three major tasks on this trip.  One is to blog about the trip – you can follow the Haiti blog at http://haitivimtrip.wordpress.com/ or keep up with my Facebook or Twitter accounts where they will be posted.  Another task the pastors on the trip will have is to teach a two day seminar with up to 100 pastors from Haiti (80 already signed up).  One portion of the seminar I will be leading is on personal and family time – please stop laughing!  The pastors in Haiti are workaholics and our leader must think another workaholic will be able to speak their language – so to speak.  Speaking of language – the third task I have been given is to join with one of the other pastors and travel on two day trips to help some Haitians with English.  That one might be as funny as the personal and family time seminar since I speak Hillbilly a lot better than English!  Did I tell you we will be walking almost everywhere?  Might come back 20 pounds lighter – now that would be a good thing!

I’m including a current picture so people can remember me if for some reason I don’t return from Haiti – lol.  It might also serve as a before picture – I’m hoping to be a changed man when I return.  My friend – Rev. David Graves – says the trip will impact me in a great way.  I pray he is right!  I want God to use me – and use me up if necessary.  I want God to work in me – through me – and in spite of me to reach everyone I can for Jesus!  My prayer is – Lord – do not let me be a stumbling block to anyone You may be trying to reach this week!

The trip – I pray – will open up a whole new world to me and to Mt. Oak as we reach out beyond our walls to help others come to the saving grace of God’s love.  You are going with me through your prayers, your donations and in my heart.  You can – if the Lord leads you – support me and the team financially by making a check out to Mt. Oak and putting Haiti in the memo and sending it to 14110 Mt. Oak Road, Mitchellville, MD 20721 or by donating online at http://www.razoo.com/story/Haiti-Trip. Razoo takes less than 3% for administrative costs and the rest will go to support our Haiti trip.

When I return – I will share some of my experiences in a sermon or in small chunks on Sunday mornings and on my blog.  Remember – I will be trying to blog while there – so keep up on the blog or on the Haiti Trip blog (see link above).  I am getting a global cell phone for the week and using it to get a data connection for my iPad because Wi-Fi or other connections are hard to come by in Haiti but Verizon assured me a data phone would work.

Keep us in your prayers – because we are striving to obey today’s passage – Jesus’ commandments to take the Gospel to all corners of the world – Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in  the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

June 5, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , | 2 Comments

   

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