Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Word Of God Endures Forever

Isaiah 40:8

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.

I’ve spent a number of years trying to grow a yard – 20 years to be exact. I remember when my yard was a dust bowl. I remember cutting the weeds and grass – that was scattered around the yard – and working up a small storm cloud of dust.

Eventually I began to grow some grass. After years of aerating and seeding – the yard is starting to take shape. Keeping the weeds down has been a task. I finally went to a yard service to fertilize and treat for weeds. The cost of the service is just slightly more than I would pay for the materials myself and then I would have to put them down – and I can call them back to retreat if the weeds don’t die!!

A bought a new lawnmower this year and I’m cutting the grass twice a week at 4 inches. The grass is growing well and filling in like never before. And the new lawnmower is cutting to clean and mulching too. Continue reading

May 16, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Thoughts From the 2012 Election

Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

RayMcDToday’s devotional thought is refreshed from a post of mine on November 8, 2012. The truth still holds today and this year’s election.

(11/8/12) The election is over and the results are mostly in by now. Your candidate either won or lost – your opinion was either in the majority or the minority on the questions on the ballot. You may agree or disagree that our nation is headed in the right or wrong direction. Many in the news and on Facebook have tried to project the future – with mixed projections. The market dropped dramatically yesterday and some speculate about the elections impact on it – and where it is headed. Some make a living looking into the future and trying to gauge how today will impact tomorrow.

Several of us who are closing in on retirement – say in the next 10-20 years – naturally peek into the future to see what the climate will be as that day approaches. We look at things like the housing market – our debt – the Dow Jones – our savings – the cost of living – and on and on the list might go. Looking to the future is not a bad thing – it is actually a wise thing. David Ramsey has many suggestions about savings and retirement. Continue reading

October 17, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life Keeps Changing – But God is Consistent

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

112015 Ray McDonaldLife keeps changing!  Our current sermon series is Discerning God’s Will in an Ever-Changing World.  A number of things in my own life have changed.  I’ve been married longer than I wasn’t married (36 years this summer verses 25 years not married).  I will celebrate 43 years this spring of my High School graduation.  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 grown.  Two have children (my four granddaughters).  My wife and daughters are such a blessing to me along with the granddaughters.  I’ve been in ministry for 40 years this coming fall.  I’ve begun to think about retirement (although I hope to have a few more years left).

Life keeps changing!  This past summer the Nationals and the Orioles both played some good ball. The Redskins – Wizards – and Capitals recently won on the same day in many years.  The Ravens had a rare bad season and the Redskins had a rare (I hope they become common) good season with a playoff game at home.

Continue reading

January 12, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Faith – Confidence in Jesus!

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

82015 RayWhat is it you are confident in these days? This morning my 3-point shot wasn’t falling – but all in all – I would say I have confidence in my 3-ball. As a shooter – I launch the ball expecting it to go in – most times.

What is it you are confident in these days? Some folks are confident in their ability to accomplish their work assignments. Some folks are confident in their life partners. Some folks are confident in knowledge of certain fields of endeavor. Some folks are confident in their ability to play an instrument – even when sight-reading.

What is it you are confident in these days? Maybe the question could be reversed – and we could ask – what are you not confident in these days? I bet for most of us – many of the things we are most confident in have been things we were least confident in at some time in our life. Maybe a cheating partner changed our confidence in that area. Maybe a bad day shooting – causes our confidence with the 3-ball to wane. Maybe we crashed a project at work and thus our confidence was shaken. All of these and more can shake our confidence – because most of the things we have confidence in are fallible. Our confidence often relies on consistency and most things – even those things that tend to be consistent – are not always so! Continue reading

October 14, 2015 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where Do You Find Truth?

Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

IMG_0301Where do you go for truth?  Do you seek truth in the history of men and women?  Do you search for truth among the stories of our country or of the world?  What about the shared history of a people of faith?  I have heard people say – this must be truth because so many people have believed it and died for it!

Where do you go for truth?  Do you seek truth in your own experience?  Has your life unfolded in such a way as to mold truth for you?  I have heard people say – this is what I believe because it is real to me.

Where do you go for truth?  Do you seek truth in your mind?  I mean – if we can think of it – it must be true – right?  I have heard people say – if my mind can conceive of it – it must be true! Continue reading

June 4, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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