Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Loving Jesus The Most

Matthew 10:37-39

37Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

The summer is prime family time and it is almost over dear readers! What have we accomplished this summer? Did we have any vacation time? Are we excited that school is almost here or are we wishing for a few more weeks? Do we have anything planned with the family as the summer comes to an end?

With the fall comes the football season. I know there are some who have issues with the NFL right now – but I must confess that I am watching the Ravens in a pre-season game tonight. I hope – if you watch football – that your team (College – Pro or High School) plays well this year (our local High School team needs to have a good year this year). Sports on TV are often a family event in many homes. I know I am blessed by a wife who loves football. We often spend time together watching games.

I’m putting up a small pool for the grandchildren this weekend. I’ve invited them all over the enjoy it – maybe Sunday afternoon. I hope to get it up Friday so the water warms up some by Sunday. Continue reading

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

Family Time This Weekend

Matthew 10:37-39

37 Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

RayMcDThanksgiving is prime family time and it is sneaking up on us folks! It arrives for some today and for some tomorrow (some actually had the whole week off). Family time is a special time. I remember a few years ago a football game on Thanksgiving Day – the Harbaugh Bowl – where the 49’ers and Ravens played each other on Thanksgiving – a family affair with brother’s Jim and John Harbaugh as head coaches. This year we’ll need to settle for the Redskins and the Cowboys.

In our home – the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is always a special time for family gatherings and time spent together. We gather as a whole family several times (we have missed dad the last four years!). What are you planning for the holidays to come? If you don’t have a plan – better make one soon. I hope you and yours have great family time throughout the fall and into the holidays. Don’t forget to keep Christ in Christmas when it comes. Remember – don’t go into debt to buy gifts for the children – they will end up playing with the box anyway and then you have to pay the bills in January (or throughout the year). Continue reading

November 23, 2016 Posted by | Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Loving Jesus More

Luke 14:26

If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. NLT

112015 Ray McDonaldThis is a hard passage to understand. In the NIV it reads this way: Luke 14:26 – If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. Either reading is tough.

I have a wife and three daughters and I never imagined I could love anyone more than these four – that was until my four granddaughters came along. We’re a tight family – and we miss my dad and my father-in-law greatly – we love them dearly. We love our moms too. Family is very important to us. Yet here is the Bible – even the words of Jesus Himself – telling us that our love for family needs to be so much less than our love for Him – that it is almost like we hate them in comparison.

Maybe this is what the church is missing these days. The church seems to put self and even family above Christ at times. If the family has something to do – ball games – picnics – late Saturday nights – etc. – at times we will put our public worship of God on the back burner. I mean – I’m not even dealing with where we put our daily devotions and our prayer life when it comes to sporting events – the news – our favorite TV shows – etc. Continue reading

March 28, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Loving God and Family Time

Matthew 10:37-39

37 Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgThanksgiving is prime family time and it is sneaking up on us folks!  How would you like to have been the Harbaugh family a few years ago when they coached the Harbaugh Bowl (49’ers and Ravens football game with brother’s Jim and John Harbaugh as head coaches) or in the Super Bowl most recently?  Family time in a battle for football supremacy.

In our home – the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is always a special time for family gatherings and time spent together.  We gather as a whole family several times (we have missed dad the last two years!).  What are you planning for the holidays to come?  Better start your plans now.  I hope you and yours have great family time throughout the fall and into the holidays (and in the little bit of summer yet to go).  Don’t forget to keep Christ in Christmas when it comes – and don’t go into debt to buy gifts for the children – they will end up playing with the box anyway and then you have to pay the bills in January (or throughout the year). Continue reading

August 18, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Loving God More Than Anything

Romans 8:32

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

What is your weakness?  What is it that you hang onto or can’t do without?  Do you have a keepsake that reminds you of years gone by?  Is there a piece of furniture handed down through the generations you couldn’t think of giving to someone else?  What is it you love?

What about your family?  Do you love them?  I hope the answer is yes.  I have three daughters that I love very much.  Because of them I now have three sons as well – I love them too.  Of course my partner for life is the one I love the most.  I also love my parents – my siblings – my nieces and nephews and others.  Family is so important and we have a special place for in our heart for our love for them.

Continue reading

December 16, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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