Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Memorial Day 2017

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Arlington

Arlington Cemetery

Today is Memorial Day 2017. It is a day we remember those who gave the greatest sacrifice – those who gave their lives for our nation – for our freedoms. It is a day that we remember that freedom is not free. Pictures of Arlington Cemetery reminds us of the number of folks who have served and died. It is an amazing experience to visit one of our veteran’s cemetery’s.

I use to walk to and from school past the Annapolis Veteran’s Cemetery and would often say a prayer of thanks for those who have served and died. I remember a few years ago attending a service for my cousin who served in Viet Nam and most likely died of something he was exposed to in Nam. He didn’t die in Nam but may well have died early because of Nam. Not all veteran’s died during war time – but they all were exposed to life and death as they served our nation. Continue reading

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May 29, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be Blessed This Good Friday

Psalm 29:2

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

Today is Good Friday. Spend the day remembering that Jesus loved you so much – that He came down from heaven and died on the cross for your/our sins. If you are in the Laurel area – join us this evening for a meaningful service of remembrance as we read through some of the Biblical story of Jesus’ sacrifice. The service begins at 7 pm at First United Methodist Church at 424 Main Street – in Laurel – MD. Here are some passages to get us thinking today.

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Continue reading

April 14, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For God So Loved Us

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

112015 Ray McDonaldGod loves us and we are called to love God.  God so loved us – according to today’s passage – that He gave His own life for our lives.  God the Father so loved the world that He gave us God the Son to suffer death upon the Cross of Calvary for our redemption.  Today’s passage is a favorite of many.  John 3:16 is often put on posters at golf tournaments!

As Holy Week unfolds before us – we are being reminded of the love of God.  God’s love is what our walk with Jesus should be all about dear readers.  Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  1 John 4:9–10 – 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Continue reading

March 24, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Loving Our Neighbors

Matthew 5:43-45

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

112015 Ray McDonaldAt Christmas time – love is felt by many but not by all. I remember the little girl next door to us when we lived in Seat Pleasant – who didn’t seem to have anyone to love on her and how my dad would welcome her to play with us or eat a meal with us. My dad would even buy her some Christmas gifts as I remember. Dad showed love to others – his heart was as big as the whole outdoors.

Who will we show love to this Christmas? It is easy to love those who love us back. Here is today’s passage in partial context. Matthew 5:43–48 – 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Continue reading

December 18, 2015 Posted by | Advent Thought, Bring, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Veteran’s Day 2015

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

82015 RayIf ever there were a Scripture that spoke to the American soldier – I believe this one is it. Whether they were drafted or volunteered – men and women of our armed forces have put their lives on the line for God and Country. Whether they served at home or abroad – during peace time or a time of war – they were our defense – our shield. They trained to be able to serve and protect.

I’m in my office today – not knowing or remembering that it was a day the office was closed – calling veterans. I’m letting them know that I appreciate their service to God and Country. Here is a list of some veterans I know and have or will call – they are from our church and a small group of my friends and family. Continue reading

November 11, 2015 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , | 2 Comments

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