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

As For Me And Mine!

Joshua 24:15

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

RayMcDFamily traditions – they create memories. In a few months my family will try to enjoy a family weekend without mom or dad. Our family traditionally returns to my mother’s home town for a family reunion. I have many memories – growing up – revolving around this annual trek. My children do as well. Other families have barbecues or go to a ball game or open the pool on this weekend. What are your memories for Memorial weekend?

Family traditions – they create memories. What memories can you remember? Special memories developed around what your family did/does on the 4th of July (cookout at my brother’s home) – Labor Day (wear work clothes to church) – Thanksgiving (serving meals) – Christmas (family night at our home) – and other special days. What about something special for your birthday or anniversary (some even celebrate the anniversary of their first date). I know someone who makes memories at Disney – not only annually but often each year! Continue reading

February 17, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The True Measure of a Person

Philippians 1:21

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

IMG_0301The true measure of a person – what could it be?  At times we measure ourselves by numbers.  I hit 60 recently – and this summer my bride and I will celebrate 35 years of marriage the Lord willing (she is a saint).  My babies are 32 and soon to be 27 (two of them).  I’ve lost 60 pounds and am told by my wife she wants me to lose 30 more. This fall I will hit 39 years since my call into ministry.  I shot an 81 the other day for 18 holes and wasn’t satisfied with the way I struck the ball.  We have four granddaughters now – two 2 year olds and 2 infants.  I just purchased a new car in the fall. My father died 3 years ago this September at the young age of 84.  My mom hit 87 in April. My retirement investments are finally recovered from the market drop several years ago and I hope they will even climb higher.  Numbers play a big part in our lives.

Numbers tell the tale – at times – of our lives.  What we make – what we have saved – how many children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren tells the tale of our family tree going forward.  Sports are filled with statistics and numbers play an important role for sure.  Some people measure their lives by numbers.  Some count how many cars and what they cost as a measure of their lives.  Some count the cost of their homes and even for others their summer homes.  Some count the number of vacations they take and where they go.  Some consider the size of their church or the size of their business. Continue reading

May 18, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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