Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Smile – What Brings a Smile to Your Face?

Exodus 34:29
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.

What brings a smile to your face? Of course the first answer I would give these days is spending time with my grandchildren (and children). We now have five grandchildren. Another answer might be a long winning streak by the Baltimore Orioles or Washington Nationals (even a win would be great at times). The opening day win in the 11th inning by the Birds Monday brought a smile to my face. Still another might be time spent with my wife. I could get very pastoral here and say a smile comes across my face when a person receives Jesus Christ – when the light comes on for them in their personal relationship with Jesus. Other things bring a smile to my face as well (like when my friend makes a good shot in golf and gets excited about it). When we see someone with a smile on their face we usually think something just happened and we tend to be curious.

How about when people notice you have lost weight? Better yet – when they say something encouraging to you (if losing weight was what you were after). I remember when one of my daughters greeted me with a hug and she said – getting skinny dad – as she wrapped her arms around me? What about someone saying something about your new hairdo or your new dress (or suit)? How about the smell of your favorite food – or freshly baked bread – or bacon frying (that one always brings a smile to my face)? Continue reading

April 5, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Husbands – We’re Called To Love Our Wives

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. NIV

Brothers – do you love your wives? Is loving your wife first and foremost in your mind? I posted something this week on Facebook – the day some women didn’t show up for work. Something I ponder. Why would my wife want to be equal with me? From where I sit that would be a demotion in status on her part! I don’t think of my wife as an equal – she is far above and beyond me – I treasure her.

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church — a love marked by giving, not getting. The Message

Too many people don’t get this far in the passage.  Most folks get stuck with the 22nd verse.

Ephesians 5:22 – Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. Continue reading

March 10, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do We Lack Wisdom? Just Ask God!

James 1:5

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

112015 Ray McDonaldOK – as I’m writing this devotional thought – the Orioles’ opening game is in a rain delay.   It looks like it will begin at 4:45 pm. I hope they can play long enough to win! I’ve been to several Home Openers and enjoy them but didn’t try to get tickets this year for some reason. Not sure if this can be called wisdom or not. I’m safe and dry and in my easy chair as I type and listen to the pre-game stuff. I have friends who are at the game as the rain falls and the temps drop! One just twitted to me that he was working in the stands (after I twitted that I was working from home).

As the season unfolds we will be in a better place to know if the front office had wisdom or not in putting together this year’s team. They should score lots of runs – I just hope the pitching holds up! We know the defense will be golden! The game is about to start! The first pitch is a – wait for it – a tough pop up to the short stop! Wow – the wind really blew it around! We have four starters with gold gloves in the past and two that should get them soon. (To of the first inning went one – two – three – go O’s.) Continue reading

April 5, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Today Is The First Day Of The Rest Of Our Lives!

Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

112015 Ray McDonaldToday is the first day of the rest of our lives. Have you ever heard that before now? We cannot change anything about yesterday or the days – weeks – months – or years in the past. We might be able to make restitution for something that happened in the past. We might be able to correct something done in the past. We might be able to improve on something in the past. We might even be able to build upon something done in the past. But the past is just that – the past.

Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. Yesterday my wife and I had a conversation about what we’d like to do in the year and years ahead of us. We both have some hobbies we’d like to develop. We both have family that would require travel to visit. We both have ministries we would like to invest in and visit. The list continues. We cannot change what we have done – but we can focus on what we would like to do in the future. Continue reading

April 4, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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