Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

What Is Most Precious To Us?

1 Peter 2:7

Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,”

What is most precious to us? Growing up I collected comic books. I had Captain America – Thor – The Avengers – Hulk – Wolverine – Batman – Aqua Man- Superman – Green Hornet – Silver Surfer – Fantastic Four – and more. For some – I had complete original series – in mint condition. I read them all and kept them in a box in the basement of our home. In a sense they were precious to me – precious in the sense that I collected them and kept them.

What is most precious to us? One day my mom had a yard sale. She was selling all sorts of things. I helped for a while and then I had to go umpire a baseball game. I left for a few hours. I went over to the old Elk’s field in Annapolis for the baseball game. When I returned the sale was just about over and I helped bring things into the house. It was later that evening that I found that I was missing my comic collection. My younger brother had taken them out and sold them in the yard sale. I was furious. Something that was precious to me was taken away – without my permission. I hate to think of what they would be worth today. I’m just glad he didn’t find my box of baseball cards – some of them hang in my office now at work! Continue reading

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July 19, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forgiveness of Sins

Ephesians 1:7

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

Tuesday – in our co-ed study time (Tuesdays at 10:30am and 7:00pm) – we discussed Justifying Grace. Previously we had discussed Prevenient Grace. Some of us are amazed at the grace of God – working in us and through us – even before we responded to God. I know I am amazed every time we study God’s Grace and understand it a little better. God’s Grace is very powerful.

God has not only provided Grace for us through the death of Jesus Christ – God has also tugged at our heart – over and over again – to draw us into a relationship with Him. Not only has God provided Grace and a constant tug on our spirits – God has provided a way to become justified in God’s presence. We can become just-as-if-we-never-sinned. Continue reading

May 3, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Are Called To Reach The Lost

Luke 15:10

In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

My father concluded his active ministry as an evangelist. He preached in revivals all over the east coast and some in some other states like Ohio – West Virginia – Minnesota – and Indiana. He loved sharing the Gospel with folks. He loved when folks would open their hearts to Jesus and receive Him as their Lord and Savior. I love being a pastor of a local congregation – but the times I have preached revivals for other churches has given me a glimpse of what dad shared in those twilight years of his active ministry. I too love it when the lost come to know Jesus and receive his free gift of salvation.

Revivals seem to be a thing of the past. It seems that many pastors today don’t believe in hell or Satan and his demons. It stands to reason that the belief in hell and Satan would fade for those who don’t believe they are real. For eight years I served on our conference Board of Ordained Ministry (BOOM) and have served many terms on the District Committee of Ordained Ministry (DCOM) as well. I often ran into pastoral candidates who were Universalists – persons who simply believed that all persons went to heaven. There were times – during examinations – candidates (many who eventually were ordained) couldn’t clearly define salvation because they couldn’t explain what the alternative would be. Continue reading

April 10, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Is Precious To Us?

1 Peter 2:7

Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,”

What is it we count as precious? Growing up I collected comic books. I had Captain America, Thor, The Avengers, Hulk, Wolverine, Batman, Aqua Man, Superman, Green Hornet, Silver Surfer, Fantastic Four, and more. For some – I had complete original series – in mint condition. I read them all and kept them in a box in the basement of our home. In a sense they were precious to me – precious in the sense that I collected them and kept them.

One day my mom had a yard sale. She was selling all sorts of things. I helped for a while and then I had to go umpire a baseball game. I left for a few hours. I went over to the old Elk’s field in Annapolis for the baseball game. When I returned the sale was just about over and I helped bring things into the house. It was later that evening that I found that I was missing my comic collection. My younger brother had taken them out and sold them in the yard sale. I was furious. Something that was precious to me was taken away – without my permission. I hate to think of what they would be worth today. I’m just glad he didn’t find my box of baseball cards – some of the hang in my office now at work! Continue reading

July 5, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Look At Evangelism

Matthew 28:19

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Those who know me well – know that above all else – I would label myself an evangelical. As a Christian pastor I believe that Jesus is Lord and that there is no other way to salvation except through Him. You could call me a John 14:6 kind of guy. In this passage Jesus tells us what is required to go to heaven. John 14:6 – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Having said that – the passage for today has a lot of meaning. Today’s passage is part of the Great Commission found in Matthew 28 – Matthew 28:19 – Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

A number of pastors and church leaders as well as church members read my blog page each day. Are marching orders as pastors – as Christians – is The Great Commission. Because of the way some go about evangelism and the way that some have turned away from evangelism – in some circles evangelism has become a dirty word. It is anything but! Continue reading

June 27, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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