Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Jesus Is Consistent

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Life ChangeLife keeps changing! The only constant in life is change. A number of things in my own life have changed. I’ve been married longer than I wasn’t married (38 years this past summer verses 25 years not married). I celebrated 45 years since I graduated High School this past June. 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 all grown. Two have children (my five granddaughters). My wife and daughters are such a blessing to me along with our granddaughters. I’ve been in ministry for 42 years. I’ve begun to think about retirement (although I hope to have a few more years left – maybe more!). Continue reading

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February 4, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Every Good and Perfect Gift

James 1:17

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

RayMcDCan you remember any gifts you’ve gotten over the years? I remember my first new bike (my sister and I shared an old one together but one Christmas we both got new bikes). It was a red bike – because red has always been my favorite color. I rode that bike – almost every day. It was my favorite gift that year. I kept it for many years. I would later put a banana seat on it and monkey handlebars (you have to be old to remember those). I remember putting old baseball cards in the wheel spokes to make noise like a motorcycle at my cousins. I delivered papers with that bike – putting a basket on the front and two saddle bags on either side of the rear wheel. But – alas – it got old and eventually I had to get another bike. But – while it lasted – it was a great gift.

Can you remember any gifts you’ve gotten over the years? I remember once – when my brother and I were into the show Combat – we got walkie-talkies. We would talk on them all the time – pretending to be soldiers. We played in the church cemetery and in the sand dunes behind my grandmother’s house. But – alas – they broke and were of no use after a while. Continue reading

August 29, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Only Constant Is Change

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Life keeps changing! The only constant in life is change. A number of things in my own life have changed. I’ve been married longer than I wasn’t married (37 years this past summer verses 25 years not married). I celebrated 44 years since I graduated High School this past June. 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 all grown. Two have children (my five granddaughters). My wife and daughters are such a blessing to me along with our granddaughters. I’ve been in ministry for 41 years. I’ve begun to think about retirement (although I hope to have a few more years left – maybe more!).

Life keeps changing! This summer the Nationals have played playoff bound baseball – the Orioles are trying to get in but it doesn’t seem to be a certainty for sure. The Redskins lost their season opening game while the Ravens won – shutting out the Bengals. The Wizards made the playoffs and so did the Capitals. That’s pretty good change for our area and Maryland is 2-0 after two convincing wins.

Continue reading

September 11, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Praises 19

James 1:17

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

christmas-7During the month of December I have asked some members and friends of our church to write a paragraph or so describing some of the things that bring them joy this Christmas season in their relationship with Jesus and First Church? They were asked where they see Jesus in their church family? They were asked what draws them to First Church. The reason for this is to stir up some joy and excitement this Christmas Season. I told them I would share their thoughts anonymously – but I am keeping their e-mails for sure. I will try to post a comment a day for December so obviously I need 31 comments. The posts will go up around noon each day.

I see Jesus in the lives of many who attend First United Methodist Church. The warm and friendly way that I was greeted when I first attended the church has continued. What I love the most about our church is the diversity. The flags in the entrance area represent just a slice of the diversity in our church family. Pastor once said that we had over 40 nations represented in our congregation. This diversity is evident each and every Sunday. For me it is a slice of heaven where all of God’s people will be united. In a world where we are often judged by our skin color or the accent we have I feel accepted and appreciated in our church. This Christmas my wish is for everyone to have a blessed time however that looks for you. For me it will be time off work and time with my family. It will also mean coming to worship on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I hope to see my church family.  

I praise the Lord for the testimony. I hope that it brings those who read it great joy. Merry Christmas to one and all.

December 19, 2016 Posted by | Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Encouragement, Family, Personal | , , , , , , , | 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

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