Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Understanding God

Job 38:4

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.”

Life ChangeLast night I felt a cold coming on. I prayed against it and so did many others. I felt God’s presence last night as I preached at Queen’s Chapel UMC in Beltsville. The Holy Spirit came on me and I made it thru the evening. On the way home I felt the cold coming on stronger. I went straight to bed when I got home. his morning – the cold is there! I’m taking a sick day at work. I’m trying to handle things – working a little from my home office – and treating the cold. A nurse from our church told me to get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water. I know God is with me and I pray I will feel better soon. I will rely on God to heal me for sure. I will seek after His face and desire His grace and try to more fully understand God.

In much of life we operate as if we have a handle on things. I know I do. We go along – as long as we have our health and our mind – as if we are in control and that nothing can take us down. I have had experiences in my life when I realize how quickly we can be knocked down from that healthy perch when a simple cold or an event in our life where things change. We don’t feel like moving when we are sick – let alone get out of bed and function. We are such fragile beings for sure (men especially it seems). We pray – often – for those in life changing events. We remember – several years ago – how the mass shooting in Vegas changed the lives of so many so suddenly #VegasStrong. Most recently the mass shooting in ChristChurch New Zealand reminded us of evil in the world and how quickly our lives can be changed. It can happen in so many different ways in our lives. We need to more fully understand God and to do this we must – at times – deny self and looking beyond what we think we know.

When we are well – we can get pretty full of ourselves – thinking nothing can get to us – we are invincible (I kissed my wife even though she was sick for a week – thinking I would not get sick). New drivers often think of themselves as invincible – driving faster than they should – thinking nothing will happen to them – since they are in such control. Continue reading

March 21, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Turning Our Back on God

2 Timothy 4:4

They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

Life ChangeMy how the times – they are a changing. I’m old enough to remember not locking our doors and leaving the keys in the car in the driveway. You can’t do that today. At least not in most communities. Do you live in an area where you feel safe doing this?

It seems like our society is going from bad to worse – and that shouldn’t surprise us. We live in a godless society – where even some of the religious groups aren’t sure about their view of God and moral absolutes. We are becoming a lost people.

In 2011 – the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords – an Arizona Congresswoman – as well as 14 others with 6 being killed – focused us on the darkness of our world and society. That was 8 years ago. It doesn’t seem that long. How many mass shootings have happened in those 8 years?

Comments were flying in 2011 about expecting this type behavior in other countries – but not in America. Fingers were pointed to the left and to the right – politically. Few people in the news hit the nail on the head. Behavior like this is a sign of a society that has turned their back on God. We are running as fast as we can it seems away from God. Continue reading

March 18, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Finished the Race

2 Timothy 4:7

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

RayMcDThe Olympics are over for another cycle. The USA got the most metals and the most gold metals. Maryland came in third I think – if they were a nation. It was fascinating to watch. I even watched the Olympics – at times – rather than an Orioles game or a Ravens pre-season game.

During the Olympics we witnessed many exciting and touching moments. Two Olympian icons participated in their last (they say) race and both won gold during their relays (Michael Phelps & Usain Bolt). Michael ended up with more gold metals in his career than any other athlete (it isn’t even close) – with a total of 28 metals – 23 of them gold. Usain tied the record with 9 golds in Track and Field.

The scene with New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin and American Abbey D’Agostino is what the Olympics is all about – as they tumbled together during a preliminary heat and cared for each other as they crossed the finish line – injured. It tugged at the hearts of many and really shows off the Olympic spirit. Continue reading

August 24, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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