Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Open Letter to Bishop Easterling and the Baltimore-Washington Conference

Life ChangeI couldn’t think of what to post today. I usually post something – Monday through Friday – at 9 am. Today – nothing came to mind. I had writer’s block. I wasn’t going to post anything – just simply miss a day. And – just before I went live for prayer on my Facebook page – this came across my feed. It is a well written response to the BWC’s Bishop’e letter that came out on March 2nd – in response to the Special General Conference of the United Methodist Church in late February. I thought this was a fantastic response to her letter and so I decided to post it here for others to read.

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The Board of the Baltimore-Washington Conference Chapter of the Wesleyan Covenant Association offers this letter in response to Bishop Easterling’s recent Pastoral Letter to the Conference.

Bishop Easterling and People of the Baltimore Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church:

We write to you today with hearts of peace and out of a deep love for God and each of you. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be yours in abundance in these trying times!

Bishop, we listened intently to your words at the briefing session held in Fulton on March 2, 2019. We were encouraged and thankful for your comments at that time which emphasized your intention to be “the Bishop of all and for all.” While we both understand and lament the deep divisions evidenced in the outcome of the Special Session of General Conference, especially the pain from all parties, we welcomed your conciliatory tone and attempts at unifying our Conference. Therefore, your recent pastoral letter both saddens and alarms us. We found your latest strong denunciation of what we believe, and questions of our Christian character, very concerning. Further, despite your title to the letter, we did not receive these words as “pastoral.” We do not wish to ascribe any uncharitable motives on your part, but are wondering if this signals some change in your position. Your clarification in this matter would be greatly appreciated. Continue reading

March 12, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Living at Peace with Everyone

Hebrews 12:14

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy…

RayMcDI know some families have issues during football season. Some couples I know root for opposing teams – like one will root for the Ravens while the other will root for the Steelers – or one will root for the Redskins while the other will root for the Cowboys. Football season is very interesting in those homes – especially when they play each other. Add to this the football widow or widower – where one spouse loves football and the other cannot stand it and you have tension in the home.

Last night in Bible study one of the brothers mentioned his wife’s support of the Capitals and his support for the Penguins and how there is usually tension in the home during hockey season – especially then they play each other. At least – he said – the Stanley Cup was in their home the last three years (2 for the Penguins and 1 for the Capitals)! Continue reading

August 22, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Rest Of Our Lives

Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. I wonder – have we ever heard that before now? We cannot change anything about yesterday or the days – weeks – months – or years in the past. We might be able to make restitution for something that happened in the past. We might be able to correct something done in the past. We might be able to improve on something in the past. We might even be able to build upon something done in the past. But the past is just that – the past.

Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. Recently my wife and I had a conversation about what we’d like to do in the year and years ahead of us. We both have some hobbies we’d like to develop. We both have family that would require travel to visit. We both have ministries we would like to invest in and visit. The list continues. We cannot change what we have done – but we can focus on what we would like to do in the future. Continue reading

May 2, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No Other Gospel

Galatians 1:6

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.

Pic of Ray 11302014Truth is truth and does not change. I remember how upset we got as children when someone tried to change the rules of a game we were playing – mid-game! It just wasn’t fair for what started out as a homer (hitting the ball over the fence in the yard – to now become an out because no one else could hit it over the fence) ending up being an out. I also play basketball with some guys who made a 3 point shot – formerly worth 1.5 points (while regular 2 point shots were worth 1 point) – now worth 2 points – over valuing the long shot.

It always bothers me when an athlete signs a contract for say – 5 years at a set amount of money each year over the course of the contract – only to demand a new contract 2 or 3 years in because they think they are outperforming the contract. Would they accept a pay cut if they were underperforming? I know each sport is different – some contracts are guaranteed and some players can be cut and their contract voided. Continue reading

December 12, 2014 Posted by | Advent Thought, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let Our Actions Match Our Words

James 2:17

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgWords are cheap! Have you ever heard that phrase? It often comes from wives to their husbands (or the other way around) when they say I love you but don’t show it with their actions – when they say one thing and do another. It can become frustrating for sure. It can cause folks to see us – when we say one thing and do another – as hypocrites.

No one likes a hypocrite – a person who says something different than his or her actions. Actions speak louder than words – is another popular saying.  Our words need to be matched with our actions.  We need to be men and women of integrity – not changing with the wind – depending on when it helps us or not. Continue reading

November 21, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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