Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

What God Has Prepared for Us!

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Life ChangeI’m a planner. I use an app that sets reminders for my to-do-list. It syncs to my phone and my other devices. My wife and I use an app to tell each other what we need at the grocery store (it actually works when she remembers to check it – lol). I use a program that keeps all of my important info or data (no secrets or deep treasures) available to me wherever I am. I plan out future sermons well in advance. I try to give as much information to the worship team as possible – as far out as possible. I allow our office assistant to review and even edit my work calendar. I have my work & personal calendar and several other calendars on my devices. My wife and I have planned – financially – for our retirement (we have a target figure and conditions we wish to achieve before we retire). In other words – and I could go on and on – I plan and try to execute my plan(s).

Are you a planner? Do you make plans or do you fly by the seat of your pants? One of my favorite saying is – if we aim at nothing – we are bound to hit it. Making plans is important for most of us. Carrying those plans out is what we should all aim at – allowing for adjustment of our plan(s) as things develop. For instance – the Orioles plan to win their division and thus make the playoffs. If during the season that doesn’t seem possible – the next target would be to make the playoffs by being a wild-card team. If that doesn’t workout – the next thing is to improve to the point where next year (or soon) – they will be able to compete for their goals. Continue reading

May 8, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

God’s Plan For Our Lives

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

112015 Ray McDonaldI’m a planner. I use an app that sets reminders for my to-do-list. My wife and I use an app to tell each other what we need at the grocer (it actually works when she remembers to check it). I use a program that keeps all of my important info or data (no secrets or deep treasures) available to me wherever I am. I plan out future sermons well in advance. I try to give as much information to the worship team as possible. I allow my office manager to review and even edit my work calendar. I have my work & personal calendar and several other calendars on my devices. My wife and I have planed – financially – for our retirement (we have a target figure and conditions we wish to achieve before we retire). In other words – and I could go on and on – I plan and try to execute my plan(s).

Are you a planner? Do you make plans or do you fly by the seat of your pants? One of my favorite saying is – if we aim at nothing – we are bound to hit it. Making plans is important for most of us. Carrying those plans out is what we should all aim at – allowing for adjustment of our plans as things develop. For instance – the Orioles plan to win their division and thus make the playoffs. If during the season that doesn’t seem possible – the next target would be to make the playoffs by being a wild-card team. Continue reading

April 6, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Would You Abort These?

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew  you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

IMG_0301With Planned Parenthood in the news – for reportedly selling the body parts of aborted children – abortion is once again in the news.  I wish it were in the news because it was no longer a means of birth control – but only used when the very life of the mother was in danger (like tubal pregnancies).  I found these in an old blog post on this blog page and thought I would bring these questions back for your consideration.

Would you consider abortion in any of the following four situations (if you considered abortion at all)? Often the argument is made by society that quality of life or the threat of a lessened quality of life is a reason to abort. Would you consider abortion or suggest abortion in any of these circumstances?  I will list who each person was at the end of today’s blog post.

1. There’s a preacher and his wife who are very, very, poor. They already have 14 kids. Now she finds out she’s pregnant with her 15th. They’re living in tremendous poverty. Considering their extreme poverty and the excessive world population, would you consider recommending she get an abortion? Continue reading

August 7, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

42 Years Later Our Sin Continues!

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

01032015 RayI almost didn’t write anything this year because we were in the midst of our 21-Day Prayer/Fast.  Another reason – my wife often thinks I should stay away from controversial subjects.  I cannot – when it comes to the Bible and truth – even on subjects that are controversial.

I’ve written this article several times in the past.  It hits home I think.  The year was 1973 – the year I graduated from High School and a few months before I graduated – in the same year – the infamous Roe v. Wade decision came down.  I couldn’t let this month go by without raising our awareness of one of the worst sins of our nation in my humble opinion. Forty-two years ago – January 22nd – the Supreme Court of our nation passed a decision mandating abortion on demand, effectively overriding the abortion laws of all 50 states.  Soon after that several mainline denominations created the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) – an organization that proposed to represent the religious community and supported abortion (of course it didn’t and doesn’t represent all religious communities).

Although women with an unwanted pregnancy (there is no such thing as an unwanted child) are often in tragic circumstances – I cannot understand for the life of me why any church – especially a church that says they follow after Christ – would support the killing of unborn babies.  I could see churches trying to help prevent unwanted pregnancies.  I could see churches helping to pay for maternity care for those who could not afford it.  I could understand churches working with schools and communities to help with pregnancy prevention. But short of the mother’s life being in danger – life versus life – I cannot understand any church supporting abortion on demand – which current law allows and current health care even provides funds to carry out. Continue reading

January 26, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Will Our Nation Awaken to Such a Great Sin?

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

I almost didn’t write anything this year – but I couldn’t let this week go by without raising our awareness of the worst sin of our nation in my humble opinion. Thirty-eight years ago – January 22nd – the Supreme Court of our nation passed a decision mandating abortion on demand, effectively overriding the abortion laws of all 50 states.  Soon after that several mainline denominations created the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) – an organization that proposed to represent the religious community and supported abortion.

Although women with an unwanted pregnancy (there is no such thing as an unwanted child) are often in tragic circumstances – I cannot understand for the life of me why any church would support the killing of unborn babies.  I could see churches trying to help prevent unwanted pregnancies.  I could see churches helping to pay for maternity care for those who could not afford it.  I could understand churches working with schools and communities to help with pregnancy prevention. But short of the mother’s life being in danger – life versus life – I cannot understand any church supporting abortion on demand – which current law allows and current health care even provides funds to carry out.

I’m not sure we even grasp the size of our sin?  One group estimates that by 2009 – nearly 50 million babies had been aborted since 1973.  Current statistics set the number at over 52,000,000.  This is not right my friends.  The Mississippi Baptist Convention tried to find a way to drive this number home and created a visual reminder of the 50 million babies aborted by 2009.  The picture included to the left is of a Memorial to the Missing – being filled with 50 million pennies.  It brings tears to my eyes to think f this great sin hanging over the nation – and with many churches in support.

Another way of thinking about such a large number of aborted babies is to add up all the people in the following states: Kentucky, Oregon, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Iowa, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, West Virginia, Nebraska, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont, & Wyoming.  The populations of these 25 states equals about 50 million.  We have allowed the total population of 25 states to be killed – lawfully – in our nation – since 1973.  Do we understand what we are doing?

Here are some other numbers to think about.  I know these items have little to do with abortion – yet we often think of them as tragedies – and they are – yet many in our government and in our society do not see the tragic killing of so many babies. Number of American battle deaths in all U.S. wars since 1776: 658,000. Number of Americans of all ages who start smoking every day — 3,000. Percentage of smokers who will die prematurely 50-70 years later: 30%. Percentage of babies killed by abortion this year: 23.1%.

My prayer is that we will come to our senses and awaken spiritually and morally.  My prayer is that we will teach our boys to respect women – we will teach our girls to love their bodies – and that we all will respect life and stop killing our babies.  These little – innocent children – they need someone to help them.

The United Methodist Church says it supports abortion in situations such as rape – incest – and the life of the mother. Even in these situations we are killing innocent babies – but some estimate that this is the case in only about 5-7% of all abortions performed.  Yet these are the cases people will bring up to argue for abortion – when in reality – most abortions are used as a method of birth-control – a way of removing an inconvenience.  The United Methodist Church does not support abortion for selective breeding (as in China) – or as a form of birth control. Often persons have multiple abortions – we must find a way to help them avoid unwanted pregnancies without killing babies.  When will the reality of what we are doing as a nation sink into our minds and hearts.  I know some will talk about the backroom abortions with coat-hangers and that too is a tragic situation – but is killing a baby the best we can do my friends?

Can we call on the moral fiber of our nation to come up with a better solution?  Can the church standup and say enough is enough – we will be a people who will stand up for those who cannot standup for themselves – mothers with unwanted pregnancies and their unborn children?  Why are we a people who will do everything to save the life of a child that is born at say 24 weeks but will also abort/kill a child at the same time frame and call it a choice?  It makes so little sense to me my friends.

Matthew 25:40 – “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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January 25, 2011 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor | , , , , | 4 Comments

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