Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Remain Faithful

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Life ChangeGod’s grace is amazing as the song – Amazing Grace – records (isn’t that one of your favorite older hymns?).  One of the best promises in the Bible – IMHO (in my humble opinion) – is this one about the forgiveness of sins. We are all sinners in need of God’s grace and forgiveness. Today’s passage speaks of God’s desire to forgive. 1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Most of us have experienced deals before – like if you do something – I will do something. As children I remember getting notes passed in school – with if you like me – I will like you. As adults we learn that if we work at a certain job – the boss will pay us a certain paycheck. I’m sure we can all come up with if you I will life experiences. We have one in today’s passage when we’re told if we confess our sins – He will forgive our sins. Continue reading

January 29, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Is The Cost?

Luke 9:23

Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

Life ChangeWhat is the cost of being a fan of the Orioles? This past year we had to suffer through 115 losses. In recent history – we suffered through 14 losing seasons in a row. Some of our best players have signed elsewhere – because we weren’t willing or able to sign them. Some of the best players in baseball were traded away (example: Curt Schilling) or allowed to leave in free agency (example: recently honored Hall of Famer Mike Mussina). Maybe – just maybe – the sons of the current owner of the Orioles will be able to bring back some enthusiasm and bring us a winner once again. We can only hope.

What is the cost of living in Maryland? Some of the things that some would call costs – others might call blessings. For instance – the high cost of living makes it tough – but that also means there are plenty of jobs and careers that pay high wages/salaries. The urban areas of Baltimore and DC are seen by some as a high cost of living in Maryland – but – with many people brings much diversity and amazing schools and hospitals – just to name a few things. We have the Orioles as mentioned before and the Ravens along with some DC teams to cheer as well. And some strong colleges in the area. Continue reading

January 25, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Will Meet Our Needs

Philippians 4:19

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

We’ve talked a lot during the Christmas season this year about our wants and our needs. I mentioned in a couple of sermons that most of us live in the world of our wants rather than in the world of our needs. Most of us have all of our needs met. Many of us have many of our wants satisfied as well.

We’ve talked about wants and needs a number of times. I mentioned that I couldn’t think of anything I needed for Christmas – and even had a hard time thinking of anything I wanted (that I didn’t already have for sure).

Most of us are wealthy compared to the world’s standard. Some of us are wealthy compared to the state or communities standard as well. The worldwide median income is less than $10,000 a year according to gallup.com. The average income in America is $56,810. I know those are two different measurements – the medium and the average – but they are still a good comparison. The median income in Maryland is $75,847. Continue reading

January 4, 2018 Posted by | Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Only Constant Is Change

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Life keeps changing! The only constant in life is change. A number of things in my own life have changed. I’ve been married longer than I wasn’t married (37 years this past summer verses 25 years not married). I celebrated 44 years since I graduated High School this past June. I saw a picture of me in High School the other day and I do not look the same today!

My children – my babies – are all grown. Two have children (my five granddaughters). My wife and daughters are such a blessing to me along with our granddaughters. I’ve been in ministry for 41 years. I’ve begun to think about retirement (although I hope to have a few more years left – maybe more!).

Life keeps changing! This summer the Nationals have played playoff bound baseball – the Orioles are trying to get in but it doesn’t seem to be a certainty for sure. The Redskins lost their season opening game while the Ravens won – shutting out the Bengals. The Wizards made the playoffs and so did the Capitals. That’s pretty good change for our area and Maryland is 2-0 after two convincing wins.

Continue reading

September 11, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keeping Our Eyes On The Cross

James 1:14

…but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.

Sunday in the sermon we mentioned collectables. I mentioned my wife’s snow babies – she has a whole china cabinet full of them. I mentioned my Oriole bobble heads and gnomes – and the member that has a collection that puts mine to shame. A quick search on E-Bay reveals a large number of collectables such as military metals – decorative spoons – china plates – a variety of toys and dolls and more. Collectables can be anything that someone treasures and finds valuable. I’ve seen collections of license plates (trying to get one from every state for instance or all of the Maryland tags going way back. My father collected stickers for his campers – one for each state and park we passed through or camped at during our childhood (and after).

I also mentioned in the sermon that we put a value on our collectables. We determine if the price being asked for an item is worth it to us. I mentioned that paying $495 (plus club rental and a caddy to play Pebble Beach was a bit much for me so I didn’t collect that golf course on my list of courses played. I did buy some golf balls with the course name on it and stepped onto the first tee box! Continue reading

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

%d bloggers like this: