Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

From Where Does Our Help Come?

Psalm 121:1-2

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Life ChangeFrom where does our help come? During the government shutdown – from where does our help come? Were we good savers? Do we have a contingency plan in place – having experienced shutdowns in the past. Have our churches come to our aid? Have other family members? Have other agencies of the government? And – of course – the question remains – when with the POTUS and Congress compromise – solve border security – immigration – and open the government again?

From where does our help come? Have we faced tough issues in life? From where did we seek help when we had medical issues? We have some of the best hospitals in the nation right in our backyard. Some of the best doctors and medical schools. But – can we afford health care? Can we afford the best doctors and medical care? From where does our help come? Will we ever get a grasp on health care in this nation? Continue reading

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January 24, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Shows His Strength When We Are Weak

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Photo on 9-10-18 at 11.09 AMKnowing where we are strong and where we are weak is very important. Knowing strengths and knowing our weakness is essential to understanding who we are in life. Have we ever taken the time to examine our strengths and weaknesses? Most of us probably know where we are strong but ignore our weaknesses.

I ask couples who come to be married to write down their areas of strength and weakness. I also ask them to do the same for their partner. Knowing our self and our partner is very important. Can we receive our life partner with all of their weaknesses? Or do we think we can change them? God can make changes in our lives and we can make changes in our lives – but rarely can another person make changes in someone else. Continue reading

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

Do We Connect with People?

Romans 12:15

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

RayMcDChristian are often called upon to connect with people. As a pastor – I am often called upon to be empathetic with people and their needs/situations. At times I must be sympathetic or compassionate. Are we empathetic with others? Are we sympathetic at times? Are we compassionate too? Do we feel the pain of others?

I was moved by a report on Facebook yesterday of a police officers who pulled over and saved the life of a lifeless infant. His mother was panic mode and this officer calmly proceeded to give life support to the infant and rush him to the hospital in his patrol car. I could feel for the mom – and I could feel for the officer and his professionalism. Continue reading

August 15, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clothe Yourself In Christ

Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Dear readers – did we have a favorite piece of clothing growing up? I apparently – according to old photos – had a favorite cowboy shirt and a red baseball hat. In many of my childhood pictures – from a certain age – that was what I had on. I still have favorite clothes – enjoying the more casual look over anything dressy. When I was a teen I had a favorite hat that was always on my head it seems. I remember when I finally had to give it up – it was old – torn and smelled from years of sweating in it. I remember buying it with my own money at Ocean City one year. I know my girlfriends probably didn’t like it much – but it was a favorite!

As a pastor – I know there are proper times to wear certain clothes. For instance – I when I have a funeral – I will bring my collar and my suit jacket to work with me – so I can change before the service. I will return to the office for meetings after the funeral and put on my church shirt – a polo shirt with my name and the church’s name on it. I hardly ever wear a tie anymore – using the clergy collar shirt when I need to dress up. Continue reading

August 6, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In case you didn’t know it – I’m very emotional.

Romans 12:15

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

In case you didn’t know it – or didn’t know me well – I’m very emotional. I’m the kind of guy that cries at shows on the TV. I cry when certain songs are played. I’ve yet to watch It’s a Wonderful Life without crying. I cry at most movies that talk about the death of a parent. I can be found crying while watching The Andy Griffith Show or MASH.

In case you didn’t know it – or didn’t know me well – I’m very emotional. I like a good belly laugh – hearing jokes or telling them. I like to be around funny people. I have numerous golf jokes and pastor’s jokes if you’d like to hear them.

In case you didn’t know it – or didn’t know me well – I’m very emotional. I enjoy expressing my love for my wife – for my children – and for my grandchildren. I love hugs and my granddaughters give the best hugs. I drive my brother crazy when I tell him I love him.

In case you didn’t know it – or didn’t know me well – I’m very emotional. I have a hard time at funerals – often shedding tears right along with the family. I remember doing the funeral of my brother’s future (that week) father-in-law and losing it in the midst of the service. I had known that man my whole life and knowing the emotions of that week got to me. Continue reading

July 30, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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