Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Can God Renew My Strength?

Isaiah 40:31

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

OK – I’m almost 63 and I have to admit that I don’t have the strength I had in my younger years. I mean – in years gone by I was able to dunk a basketball – now I have a hard time touching the net. I was able to finger roll at the rim and now a finger roll has to have a big shove to reach the rim (and I don’t leave the ground very far either these days). My legs have a hard time getting this old and overweight body up and down the court so I’ve had to watch my knees. As a matter of fact – with a torn meniscus in my left knee – I may need to give up on the idea of playing full-out – full-court basketball. My doctor even encouraged me to give it up all together a few years ago! I went to play recently only to see 20 plus young men on the court and so I decided to go the gym and workout instead! So I ask the question I have asked before – can God help me dunk again?

I walked 18 holes once this past summer (I typically use a cart these days). That is good exercise – but on the last few holes I could feel the burn in my legs and I got winded a few times going up hill. My strength is not what I wish it would be or what it once was for sure. My hope is that I can walk the golf course twice a week this coming spring and summer and go to the gym as well during the week to get in better shape – to regain some of my strength. Maybe I’ll ask this question. Can God help me scratch some strokes off my game or help me hit longer drives again? Continue reading

December 15, 2017 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Prayer | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Renew Our Strength

Isaiah 40:31

…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.

This is vacation season for many people. My social media feeds are filled with people heading to the mountains or to the beach or out of town to a vacation destination somewhere. Often people see vacation time as a time to renew their strength – to relax and not be controlled by the day-to-day work schedule. It often allows for more family time than a typical workweek as well. What do we do to relax? What do we do to renew our strength?

An interesting discussion might include these questions and more. What do we do to relax or t be rejuvenated? Time off from work is not always relaxing as many people say they need a vacation to recuperate from their vacation. What relaxes us? What renews our strength?

I’m relaxed when I play golf or cut my grass. These times also renew my strength to face the difficulties of the day. These are times away from the troubles and drama of the world. I also relax watching mindless TV (usually old shows with morals and values that match mine). What brings us renewed strength? Continue reading

August 1, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hope In The Lord!

Isaiah 40:31

…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

112015 Ray McDonaldHope in the Orioles! They started the season 7-0 and have a good balance – in such a small sample size – of hitting – power – pitching – and defense. They lost last night for the first time this season and still hold a 2.5 game lead over the second place team 8 games into the new season. They are hitting homers at a record pace and their pitching has been better than they expected. I have hope in the Orioles!

Hope in the Warriors! Possibly the best team in NBA history – last night they won their 73rd win of the season to break the previous record of 72 set by the Bulls in 95-96 season. The Bulls were led by Michael Jordan while the Warriors are led by Stephen Curry. Curry broke his own record for made 3’s in a season. His previous record for an NBA season was 286 and this season he hit on 402 3’s. Hope in the Warriors!

What is it we have hope in these days? Hope in our health? Hope in our wealth? Hope in our marriage? Hope in our children? Hope in our church? Hope in our faith? Continue reading

April 14, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Renewing Our Strength

Isaiah 40:31

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

112015 Ray McDonaldOK – I’m almost 61 and I have to admit that I don’t have the strength I had in my younger years.  I mean – in years gone by I was able to dunk a basketball – now I have a hard time touching the net.  I was able to finger roll at the rim and now a finger roll has to have a big shove to reach the rim (and I don’t leave the ground very far either these days – lol).  My legs have a hard time getting this old and overweight body up and down the court so I’ve had to watch my knees.  As a matter of fact – with a torn meniscus in my left knee – I’ve given up on the idea of playing full-out – full-court – basketball.  My doctor even encouraged me to give it up all together!  I went to play this morning only to see 20 plus young men on the court and so I decided to go the gym and workout instead!  So I ask the question – that I have asked before – can God help me dunk again?

Continue reading

January 29, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Can God Help Me Dunk Again?

Isaiah 40:31

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

RevRayOK – I’m 58 and I have to admit that I don’t have the strength I had in my younger years.  I mean – in years gone by I was able to dunk a basketball – now I have a hard time touching the net.  I was able to finger roll at the rim and now a finger roll has to have a big shove to reach the rim (and I don’t leave the ground very far either these days – lol).  My legs have a hard time getting this old and overweight body up and down the court so I’ve limited myself to half-court basketball (even when others are playing full court).  As a matter of fact – with a torn meniscus in my left knee – I’ve given up basketball until my knee heals or I drop some significant weight (neither is going to happen overnight it seems).  My doctor even encouraged me to give it up all together!  So I ask the question – can God help me dunk again?

Continue reading

March 20, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Lenten Thought, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: