Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

A True Leader Must Serve

Mark 10:43

Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,

RayMcDI had an amazing example growing up of a leader who served others. My father was a pastor – a leader of men and women – yet he was always found serving others. As I grew up – physically and spiritually – I always found my dad out in the yard working with the other men and women raking leaves in the fall. I usually found my father working in the kitchen or serving in the fellowship hall when church meals were being served. I remember seeing my dad taking the trashcan around picking up the trash during meals at church. I remember dad helping to mix concrete and carrying cinder blocks when the folks from our church were doing most of the work building the fellowship hall and Sunday school wing at the church. In short – where there was a need – you could find this leader of men and women serving. He had a servant’s heart. Nothing was beneath him. Continue reading

January 10, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Peace Comes From Loving God

John 16:33

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

RayMcDAre any of us the type of person who would like to know what is coming next? I mean – if we could know the day and time of something in our life – would we appreciate that knowledge or would it freak us out?

What if we could know when we were going to die? What if we could know what will happen next week in our life? What if we had an idea about how we would be treated because of whom we followed?

Dear Christian readers – hear God when God says – the world will hate us because we follow Him. Jesus tried to warn His disciples – His followers – about what was coming – about the hate that we would face in the world we live in today. In the midst of some of His warnings – we find today’s passage –“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Continue reading

November 18, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wipe Every Tear From Their Eyes

Revelation 21:4

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

112015 Ray McDonaldIf you know me – you know that I am an emotional person.  Growing up I found out early that I was an emotional person.  It didn’t take much to make me cry.  It also didn’t take much to make me angry.  I could get hot in a second – but thankfully – I could also release my emotions and level off quickly.

As I aged – I grew to control my anger – most times – but my tears came to flow more freely it seems.  I remember my maternal grandmother passing and how I cried at the family viewing time.  My cousin – same age – laughed at me for crying and his father took him by the scruff of the neck out of the room.  He came back in and told me – look – I’m crying too.  I guess it takes more to make some cry than others – lol. Continue reading

April 14, 2016 Posted by | Build, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Children of God

1 John 3:1

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

profileChristmas is just around the corner folks – are you ready?  Ready or not – it will be here shortly.  I pray that you have a Merry Christmas with family and friends.  If you don’t have family or friends – make some friends this year!  I hope I can say – go to your local Christian church and develop some new friends this Christmas.  I know you will find new friends at 1st UMC in Laurel – drop by some Sunday (8:15, 11 am) or Christmas Eve (4, 7, 11pm).

For those blessed with family – Christmas is normally a good time.  Days off of work (at the very least Christmas Day and New Year’s Day for most) – time to spend with family and friends.  What gatherings are on your calendar?  Our McDonald family gathering was last night.  We gathered at my sister’s home and shared time with Nan (my mom) and her off-spring.  We weren’t all there last night – but a quick count would yield 39 and counting I think.  We always have a great time.  We didn’t play the gift game this year at my sister’s request – but we had fun none-the-less. Continue reading

December 16, 2013 Posted by | Advent Thought, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Marriage, Outreach, Personal | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Indescribable Gift – Open It!

2 Corinthians 9:15

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

profileChristmas is coming!  I hope you aren’t getting tired of hearing that greeting!  I plan on using is some for the next couple of weeks!  Merry Christmas to one and all and Happy Holidays (which includes New Years).

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?  My wife does most (OK almost all) of our Christmas shopping.  She has most of the gifts for our family members wrapped already and under the tree.  She is amazing.  She is such a wise spender of our family funds and finds just the right gift for each child and family member.

What are you hoping for this Christmas?  Anything special?  I was thinking about a new desktop computer but after working all day on my current model – I’m OK staying with it a little longer.  There is better use for the money for sure. Continue reading

December 12, 2013 Posted by | Advent Thought, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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