Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Loving Our Enemies

Matthew 5:44

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

The family was over on Sunday – at least most of it. It was a neat time. I was in my glory holding first one grandchild and then another. At one time I had three of them sitting with me (on me) watching a movie on the TV (a Troll movie). It was such a blessing.

Loving on your grandchildren is so easy. As a matter of fact – loving on anyone who loves you back is easy. I really enjoying cuddling with the grands and I enjoy showing love to my daughters and to my wife. I often don’t have trouble showing love to others as well – with hugs and kind words. What gets hard is showing love to those I know do not love me.

Are there folks in our lives that we might consider enemies? When I think of the word enemies – I often think of the Germans in WWII or Communists who threaten our way of life or ISIS who threatens world peace with terrorism. Enemies seem to be the worst of the worst. They are mean and contrary to all that is sacred or holy (or so it seems). Continue reading

February 13, 2018 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, 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

Be Careful – Don’t Fall!

1 Corinthians 10:12

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!

RayMcDHave you ever walked on a mountain path? I have and it is scary at times with the side of the mountain on one side of the path and a drop off on the other side as the side of the mountain goes down – down – down! How mountain goats run on these paths is beyond me. I inched myself along the path – holding onto anything I could. I’ve also driven on mountain roads and it can be as scary. I once traveled in the mountains on winding roads in a snowstorm and that was scary.

Have you ever walked on a balance beam? I don’t mean doing flips and splits and all sorts of other things like the Olympians do – simply walk on a balance beam. I’ve done so and it is not easy. I see why they call it a balance beam – you must have amazing balance to simply walk on it. The US gymnastic team was simply amazing in the Olympics!

Have you ever crossed a creek walking on a small – even slight – tree branch that had fallen across the water? I have and it is not easy to say the least. I’ve also slipped and fell into the cold water before – and it is not a nice feeling to fall. Continue reading

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

Pump It Up!

1 Timothy 4:8

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

82015 RayMuch is said at this time of the year about staying physically fit.  The fall and winter – when outside activities slow and gym memberships are pushed – is a prime time to look at our diets and our exercise plans.  Many will wait until the New Year to make resolutions – some will begin now before Thanksgiving trying to make a plan. What about our spiritual shape?

Do we have an ideal weight for our physical body?  Are we taking steps to reach that ideal weight?  Are we exercising – dieting – working to draw closer to that ideal?  Or have we given up?  Some friends and family are into Fitbit trackers and trying to get the most steps they can each day.

Are there things we would like to be able to do in the physical world?  Would we like to run a marathon?  Would we like to ride in a 100-mile bike run?  Would we like to hike up a mountain?  If so – sisters and brother – most of us simply need to pump it up – working up to such an event. Continue reading

November 16, 2015 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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