Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

It Seems Hard To Love One Another

John 14:15

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

Life ChangeIt seems hard to love one another. For example – I tried to cheer on the Washington Nationals as they were in the playoffs and eventually won Major League Baseball’s World Championship. Yet – pushback came from National’s fans calling me a pretend fan who was jumping on the bandwagon late. I also took pushback from others – calling me out for rooting for the Nationals – since I’m a diehard Orioles fan – as if I couldn’t root for another local team – simply because my team wasn’t in the playoffs. I could better understand if the Orioles and Nationals were in the same league or division and competing for the same league championship. But the Nationals are my National League team – since I was a young child – I’ve rooted for the local Washington team – back in the day it was the Senators (my dad was a big fan). When I was 12 – I began to root for the Orioles and have stayed with them ever since.

It seems hard to love one another. For example – because I have Facebook friends from all walks of life – we don’t all agree on many subjects. Be it sports (Ravens and Steeler fans – Oriole and Yankee fans) – or politics (Republican and Democrat – Trump and Hillary or now Trump or anyone but Trump) – or theologically (left and right – liberal and conservative – Christian and atheists or others) – my friends are all over the place. We hardly agree on much of anything. As a matter of fact – some have unfriended me because of my beliefs (my theology or ideology). Continue reading

November 8, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus Is The Great Physician

Matthew 9:12

 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”

Life ChangeI go to see my primary physician next month. My hope is that he will allow me to stay off my Blood Pressure medicine and be happy with my weight loss (65 pounds now – I want to get to 100). I’ve also backed off most of my meds for my Tourette Syndrome (not totally but mostly). I also need to get my flu shot (might get it at the hospital because my doctor’s have a clinic on Saturdays for the shot and I am usually tied up on Saturday mornings).

Health care is so important. I’ve had both shoulders worked on (rotator cuff surgery) and I have gotten cortisone shots in both knees (getting old is not for whimps – said my dad). My orthopedic surgeon is looking into other injections for my knees. I want to be able to walk more and play golf and not have such pain. I haven’t played basketball for 6 months now because of pain in my knees.

Some of the Presidential candidates are talking about health insurance for all and this sounds nice – but how will it be paid for is the big question and will we be able to keep our current health plans and doctors? When is the last time you went to the doctor’s office or the hospital? I know I am very appreciative of the doctors and caregivers that have treated me during my surgeries and treatments. Continue reading

October 28, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Clothing Matters

Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amDear readers – did we have a favorite piece of clothing growing up? I apparently – according to old photos – had a favorite cowboy shirt and a favorite red baseball hat. In many of my childhood pictures – from a certain age – that was what I had on.

I still have favorite clothes – enjoying the more casual look over anything too dressy. When I was a teen I had a favorite hat that was always on my head it seems. I remember when I finally had to give it up – it was old – torn and smelled from years of sweating in it. I remember buying it with my own money at Ocean City as a young teen. I know my girlfriends probably didn’t like it much – but it was a favorite!

As a pastor – I know there are proper times to wear certain clothes. For instance – I when I have a funeral – I will bring my collar and my suit jacket to work with me – so I can change before the service. I will return to the office for meetings after the funeral and put on my church shirt – a polo shirt with my name and the church’s name on it or a regular polo shirt. I hardly ever wear a tie anymore – using the clergy collar shirt when I need to dress up. Continue reading

October 22, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anxiety

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amI know a number of people that battle anxiety. I was reading this passage the other day – and even talked recently to some folks about their anxiety. What are we anxious about in life? What is it that causes us to have trouble sleeping at night? What do we think about and can’t seem to stop thinking about – moment by moment? What decisions in our lives have caused us the most anxiety?

As I reflect back on my life – I can think of numerous things that caused me anxious moments. I can remember being anxious when I went out for the High School football team and cuts were being posted (I made the team each year by the way)! I can remember being anxious when I asked my future bride to marry me and wondering if she would say yes or no (she said yes – and we just celebrated 39 years of marriage). I remember being anxious when my children were being born – the first because she was the first (she is 36 now) – the twins because they were twins (they are now 31). I can remember times when I was anxious about my job – about my health – about many things. And on this side of those anxious moments – I can testify that being anxious didn’t help the situations one little bit. As a matter of fact – being anxious made some of them more difficult and didn’t help my health any at all. Continue reading

September 5, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Social Media – It Can Be a Tool for God

Philippians 2:21

For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.

June 2019Social media has connected a boat load of people in the last few years. I have a Facebook account – a Twitter account and other accounts as well. Follow me – if you so desire. I also have this blog page that I use to share my faith and thoughts.

I have numerous friends on Facebook (and that term is used at various levels on Facebook). There are so many friends that you have to put them in categories like folks who went to your High School – folks who are family – folks who are from your church – folks who live in your community – folks you really don’t know – etc. You can determine who sees your posts – no one but you (if you pick this option why are you posting on Facebook – lol) – everyone – your friends only – and you can even break some friends down into a group called acquaintances and you can also block some from seeing what other friends see. It can get confusing. You have a news feed where you see what your friends post. There is a private messaging portion of Facebook as well. You can post pictures and videos too.

On Twitter you can follow some folks and some folks can follow you. On Facebook you can leave long messages. On Twitter you are limited to 280 characters per post (that number used to be 140). Some programs will allow for larger posts. Twitter is supposed to be short thoughts and people come up with loads of shortcuts to get their message across in 280 characters.

Continue reading

July 30, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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