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

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

Giving Our Lives For Jesus

Matthew 10:39

Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

RayMcDYesterday we remembered Martin Luther King Jr. I typically attend a MLK breakfast on that day but had a church member’s funeral service in the morning and a trip to West Virginia for her internment. I did spend some time talking with folks about MLK and his legacy. I also spent some time listening to some of his speeches online. MLK literally gave his life for his cause and his movement – the civil rights movement (he was assassinated on April 4th – 1968 – for his cause).

Others have given their all for their causes. People like Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela are people who lived their causes to the brink for what they believed. People like Mother Teresa and Florence Nightingale also gave their all for their causes. I’m sure our readers could think of others as well. Continue reading

January 17, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, 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

What Does It Cost Us to Follow Jesus?

Philippians 3:14

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

112015 Ray McDonaldThe Ravens won Sunday. Well – they won the game – even as they lost their franchise quarterback and their starting running back to injury. It has been a rough season to say the least. A team that has had much success in the past and that some picked to do great things this year as well – is mired in a losing season that has left a sour taste in the mouth of many. Some of us – even long time fans – have given up on the season and are waiting for spring training to begin.

The team set out to win the Super Bowl as their target for the year. They practiced and sacrificed to accomplish their goal – their target – their prize. For a variety of reasons – that won’t be happening this year – yet that was still their goal and they sacrificed greatly to achieve that goal – that prize. Continue reading

November 24, 2015 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Cost of Following Jesus

Mark 10:22

At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgHave you ever lost something of real value – or had to give something up of real value? It could have had a material value or a sentimental value. It could have been something you lost – like misplacing something – or could have been something you had to give up – like a cost to do something. I tend to measure a number of activities I do – for instance – on how much work went into making the money it will cost me to do that activity (sad – but that is how numbers people think at times).

When we want something – most of us determine the cost and then decide whether it is worth what we must give up to get it. Do we buy a new car or a used car – it depends on the costs? Do we buy the newest phone or can our old one last – it depends on the costs? Do we move into a bigger home – it depends on the costs? Do we invest in a new relationship – it depends on the costs? Continue reading

September 22, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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