Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Jesus’ Prayer For Unity

John 17:21

…that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

Annual Conference is coming next week – a week I would look forward to in years past – a time to see old friends that are scattered all over the conference. It was a time to renew friendships and share war stories. It was a time to worship and learn and to be challenged. Although there have always been ideologies and theologies that differ from my own – we always seemed to get along – somehow.

In recent years – the divide between us has grown it seems. On issues like human sexuality there doesn’t seem to be a place for us to coalesce. On one side of the discussion – some expressions of sexuality are considered sinful – such as same-sex relations. On the other side of the discussion – same-sex attraction and relations is seen as normal and acceptable. For over four decades this debate has raged – yet in the last few years it seems to have gotten more and more divisive.

Add to the discussion persons born one gender who wish to be seen – treated – and recognized as the other gender – even going so far as to alter their gender identity with surgery – and the divide increases. Continue reading

May 23, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Good Old Days

Matthew 7:26-27

Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

RayMcDThe majority of this piece was written some 13 years ago. I have brushed it up a little but it stands today as truth.

Have we ever heard someone talk about the good old days? When they say this – normally they mean the morals and values of yesteryear. Of course not all values of the past were good. Racism – although still an ugly part of our society was much worse – IMHO – in years gone by. Women’s rights – although not what they should be today – were at times worse in days gone by. I’m sure there are others we could mention as well. But in general – in days gone by – one could leave their door unlocked at night and the keys in their car without fear of them being broken into or walk the streets day or night without much fear.

One of my favorite TV shows of all time is The Andy Griffith Show. I grew up watching Andy – Opie – Barney – Aunt Bea and the whole drew in Mayberry. Times were good on this show and even the unchurched were fairly moral and had values in Mayberry. This show took place during the 50’s & 60’s just a few states south of us.

I wish that the troubles Opie had would be the troubles our youth would get into today. Unfortunately – our youth – and our society as a whole – are far beyond the sins of Mayberry. Our communities use to resemble Mayberry’s morals and values. I can remember growing up near here. As a matter of fact – I can remember watching Mayberry as a child. How did we get to the place we are today? How have we become so corrupt and sinful? Continue reading

February 16, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Being Pro-Life Is More Than Being Against Abortion

Psalm 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

RayMcDJanuary 1973 – I was 17 – soon to be 18 and a graduate of High School. I was preparing to enter Anne Arundel Community College (AACC or A2C2) for the summer semester to get a head start on college. I would raise my baseball officiating career to the college level by umpiring division one games at Navy that spring and be invited by Navy’s coach to go to Florida to umpiring school to become a professional umpire. Life was good – for me.  But January 1973 – is an infamous month in the history of our country. 44 years ago (I can’t believe I’ve been out of High School that long) the courts passed Roe v. Wade – which legalized killing babies in the womb – called abortion.

I understand that this is a hot button topic still today. Maybe especially today since President Trump is soon to name the next Supreme Court nominee and he or she will most assuredly be conservative on this issue. Vice President Pence is very pro-life and so maybe for the first time in 44 years there is hope for the pro-life movement.

I’ve written about abortion on several occasions – one article was titled – An Article about Abortion – written in 2009. Another article was titled simply – Abortion – written in 2008. Still another article was titled – Does It Take Controversy – written in 2012.  In 2011 I mentioned abortion in an article about the upcoming resolutions before General Conference in 2012. In 2011 I wrote another article titled – When Will Our Nation Awaken to Such a Great Sin?  In 2010 I wrote about abortion and used the example of a dear child that doctors said should be aborted and about a woman who was aborted but lived. In 2010 I also shared The Manhattan Declaration In Total. Continue reading

January 30, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

If My People

2 Chronicles 7:14

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

RayMcDI spent part of yesterday listening to the confirmation hearings for Senator Jeff Sessions. He is the President-elect’s candidate to be our next Attorney General. He fielded questions from all over the room. There were protestors inside and outside of the room and building where the hearings were taking place. I even saw on Facebook some of my colleagues who were protesting at the hearings.

You could tell by the questions which persons were for Senator Sessions and which were not. The hearings will be long and at times boring. The political scene in America is very adversarial these days. Maybe it has always been that way. I recently watched a historical piece on TV – it was during the days when the person running for the President of the United States that got the most votes made President and the next highest total became the Vice President. It was soon changed because it became evident that the parties couldn’t work well together. Continue reading

January 11, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Watching Our Talk and Type

1 Peter 3:10

For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.”

RayMcDWith the election just past – with the mud-slinging that took place between the candidates – and individuals supporting their candidate – a reminder seemed in order about controlling our tongues (or our keyboards). We seem to have a hard time with this on occasion.

A lot of people air their beliefs and disbeliefs on social media. At times it is informational. At times it becomes ridiculous (IMHO). Free speech on social media has been an issue at times – even expressing hatred – which should never be acceptable. I’ve had to block a few people on Facebook because of the language they use for sure. Today’s passage says – “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.” Good words for us to heed? Good words whether in talk or type. Continue reading

November 29, 2016 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: