Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Meeting God Face-To-Face

Exodus 33:22

When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amHave you ever met someone that put you into awe mode? I’ve met some famous people over the years – and I’ve felt honored to meet them. I personally met several ball players over the years. I’ll name a few – and some of our younger readers might not know some of them – Johnny Unitas – Jim Palmer – Boog Powell – Eddie Murray (I remember him standing in the rain to give me an autograph) – Brooks Robinson – Harmon Killebrew – Frank Howard – Raymond Berry – Frank Robinson – Wes Unseld – Earl Monroe – Paul Blair – Don Buford – Al Bumbry – Justin Tucker – Matt Stover – and others. I once refereed a basketball game at old Andover High School where the visiting team was made up of Oriole ball players and others. I remember giving a technical foul before the game began – to Al Bumbry – for dunking in warmups – yes – I was a sticker for the rules back in the day.

Have you ever met someone that put you into awe mode? Maybe – with how close we are to Washington – you have met some politicians – like Presidents or others. Maybe – some of my friends who work with FCA have met some current players. I know I attended a dinner recently and met Coach Harbaugh along with some players. Continue reading

October 9, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We’re Called To Be Like Jesus

Ephesians 5:1

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children

Life ChangeI remember growing up – always wanting to do what my father was doing. I remember going hunting with him when all I could carry was a toy rifle. We would sit for hours waiting for the squirrels to come out. I remember my first time out with my .410 shotgun and seeing the squirrel through the woods and waiting for it to arrive at the nut tree we were watching. I tried to do what my father would have done – as he watched me imitate him.

When I was growing up – I remember playing first base – pitcher – and third base (not at the same time – lol) and I remember trying to imitate Boog Powell – Jim Palmer and Brooks Robinson – three of my favorite players. On our home at the time there was a brick chimney and I used to bounce balls off of it and try to make great plays fielding the ball like they often did. I could always make up a game in my mind.

As disciples of Jesus – we are called to imitate Him! (not our parents or ball players or anyone else. Now there’s a novel idea – be imitators of Christ! Today’s passage speaks to us about imitating Jesus – Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved childrenHere is today’s passage in partial context – Ephesians 5:1-7 – 1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person — such a man is an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them. Not only are we called to model or imitate Christ in love – but also to stay away from other things that would not imitate Christ. Continue reading

April 11, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do You Remember The Good Old Days?

Acts 2:46

Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,

112015 Ray McDonaldOriole BirdDo you remember the good old days? Do you remember back in 1966 when the Baltimore Orioles won 97 regular season games and went on to beat the LA Dodgers in 4 straight games in the World Series? I was 11 years old that summer and it was my second year of really following the team. The team was fairly young with players like Frank Robinson (30) – Brooks Robinson (29) – Boog Powell (24) – Davey Johnson (23) – Paul Blair (22) – Mark Belanger (22) – Jim Palmer (20) – Dave McNally (23) – and a mixture of other players older and younger. Some of them were the core players to several great teams through the 70’s. It was the good old days.

Do you remember the good old days? On Pandora you can create your own listening channels. My wife wonders why I listen to James Taylor – Stevie Wonder – Motown – Randy Travis – Chicago – Harry Chapin – Rod Stewart – Neil Young – Bob Dylan – 70’s Lite Rock – and others. It is the type of music I grew up on and I enjoy listening to it. It was the good old days. Continue reading

April 18, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let Our Light So Shine

Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

112015 Ray McDonaldJust a personal note – today is my birthday!  I’m 61 today and thankful that God has allowed me to live this long.  I also want to thank my parents – family – and friends for putting up with me all of these years (or as long as you’ve known me.

OK – I must admit it up front – I am an Orioles’ fan – I mean it – even when we suffered though 14 straight losing seasons – I love me some O’s.  They have returned to some winning of late and now we have gotten use to it again. Ever since I was a young lad – in 1966 when they won the World Series and I was 11 years old collecting baseball cards – I have followed the O’s.  I remember the time I met Eddie Murray – it was a highlight for me.

I follow them closely – I listen to their games – even those on the West Coast late at night (just ask my wife).  I have an O’s jacket – some hats and other items.  I have baseball cards of some of the O’s greats of old like Brooks Robinson – Boog Powell – Frank Robinson – Mark Belanger – Jim Palmer – Paul Blair – Dave McNally – and more.  I’m excited about my O’s – the coming season – and I let others know it.  I really think they will go far this year – even though some think they will be in last place in their division.  They have won more games than any American League team since 2012 I think. Continue reading

March 4, 2016 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Is It That We/You Treasure?

Matthew 6:20

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

profileWhen I was younger I collected baseball cards.  I have some real old ones – some special players to like Mickey Mantle – Brooks Robinson – Frank Robinson – Jim Palmer – Roger Maris – Reggie Jackson – Don Drysdale – Sandy Koufax – and many others.  The Orioles were my favorite team and I collected as many of their cards as possible.

I treasured my baseball cards and kept them in a box under my bed.  Later I put some in a special box and hid it in my room.  I’m glad I did because my mom was once having a yard sale and my little brother rummaged through things in the basement and found my comic book collection and brought them out to be sold for pennies (I might have been able to retire today had I kept that collection). Continue reading

September 27, 2013 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Personal | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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