Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Lord Will Rescue Us!

Matthew 14:31

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.

RayMcDI remember once – I was body surfing at Ocean City – and I had a wave swallow me up. I tumbled and tumbled and hit the bottom a few times – and for a moment – I thought I might not come up for air in time. I was very young and probably had been told to not go out so deep in the water. An older person happened to see my predicament and in a quick motion grabbed me by the hand and lifted me up out of the water. I was coughing and gasping for my breath and I thanked him once I caught my breath. I’m not sure if he saved me or not – whether I would have survived without his help – but – I know I appreciated his help.

Have any of us ever been given a helping hand? I remember my father giving one of my uncles a helping hand. He was down and out and needed help establishing a place to live. He and his current wife had little to nothing and my father and another uncle gave him a helping hand. They set them up in an apartment at a rate they could afford and gather furniture for them. They helped them get clothes and filled the frig for them. Dad felt he had to help his brother – even though he knew the probable outcome. You can give someone a helping hand – but they need to be willing to take the help and keep on the right path. Unfortunately – this uncle didn’t make good use of the helping hand offered. Continue reading

August 20, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus Is God The Son

Matthew 14:33

Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

RayMcDWhat was it that convinced us to become fans of a certain team? Was it our parent’s view or preference? Was it our friend’s view or preference? Was it our home team? Was it a winning season that won us over? I began to follow the Baltimore Orioles one year before their first World Championship in 1966 when they swept the Dodgers in four games. It was the local team and 1966’s season sealed me as a fan (although 14 losing seasons in a row and seasons like this current one make it hard).

What convinced us to attend a certain college (if we did) (being local and my dad’s college played into me attending the University of Maryland)? What was it that convinced us to ask someone or accept the invitation of someone to go on a date or later to married him or her? What does it take to convince us of something? We make a number of important decisions in our lifetime.

What was it that led us to believe in Jesus? What was it that convinced us that Jesus was the Son of God – even God the Son? Was it a message on a Sunday or at a revival service? Was it something we read in the Bible? Was it the witness of someone that convinced us? Was it a miracle or something we couldn’t explain? Continue reading

July 17, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Truly You Are The Son Of God

Matthew 14:33

Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

RayMcDWhat was it that convinced us to become fans of a certain team? Was it our parent’s view of preference? Was it our friend’s view or preference? Was it our home team? Was it a winning season that won us over? I began to follow the Baltimore Orioles one year before their first World Championship in 1966 when they swept the Dodgers in four games.

What convinced us to attend a certain college (if we did)? What was it that convinced us to ask someone or accept the invitation of someone to go on a date or later to married him or her? What does it take to convince us of something?

What was it that led us to believe in Jesus? What was it that convinced us that Jesus was the Son of God? Was it a message on a Sunday or at a revival service? Was it something we read in the Bible? Was it the witness of someone that convinced us? Was it a miracle or something you couldn’t explain? Continue reading

August 19, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where Do We Pray?

Matthew 14:23

After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMI remember when I was a teenager (or preteen maybe) – the church we attended (Seat Pleasant UMC) had a month-long prayer vigil. I signed up for a certain time every afternoon. I remember going to the chapel of our church where the prayer room was set up and spending thirty minutes every afternoon reading my Bible and praying. At first it was difficult – but as the month unfolded before me – it became easier and easier and when someone came to relieve me – I often stayed a few extra minutes to finish what I was reading or what I was on my heart as I prayed. It started for me a regular prayer time.

Where do we pray? This is not a trick question. I know we can pray wherever or whenever. It has been my experience that if we have a time or place to go – we can develop a habit that will bear much fruit. I know some people who start their morning at the kitchen table or during nice weather on their porch or patio soaking in the presence of God and spending time in devotion and prayer. Do we have a time and place? In years gone by – one of my favorite places was in a deer stand – way too early to shoot – and spending that time in God’s presence – praying and listening. Continue reading

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

   

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