Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Who Is The Battle Against?

Ephesians 6:12

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

When I was in High School – we battled several area High Schools for dominance in sports and in academics. We had battles with their bands and music departments too. Annapolis High was one of the best at most sports and in music. We battled Severna Park and Arundel High for 1st place in many areas of school life. The battles were real and we played or performed for keeps.

Who do we battle today? Do we battle folks at work? Do we battle against folks who root for another sports team than us? Do we battle with our spouse? Do we battle with members of our own church? Do we battle with our pastor? Who do we battle? And why? Continue reading

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November 17, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gifting Of The Church

Ephesians 4:11-16

11 It was he (Christ) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

RayMcDI will begin to breakdown Ephesians 4:11-16 today as we look at the gifting of the church. God has given certain gifts to the church in order that they may be built up for works of service. Be reminded church that the reason we grow up in Christ is to be of service to Him. I guess one place to start would be to define these offices or appointments within the church.

An Apostle according to Easton’s Bible Dictionary is a person sent by another; a messenger; envoy. According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia an Apostle is one sent forth; and envoy, missionary. According to Nelson’s Bible Dictionary an Apostle is a special messenger of Jesus Christ; a person to whom Jesus delegated authority for certain tasks. Eleven of the twelve Disciples became known in the church as Apostles as did others like Paul and Jesus’ brother James. Often a task for an Apostle is to be a church planter, a spreader of the truth to the ends of the earth.

Prophet according to McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia is a person who acts as the organ of Divine communication with men (and women), especially with regard to the future. According to New Unger’s Bible Dictionary a Prophet is one who is Divinely inspired to communicate God’s will to His people and to disclose the future to them. According to Nelson’s Bible Dictionary a Prophet is a person who spoke for God and who communicated God’s message courageously. Continue reading

March 1, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Attitude: Leadership

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.

RayMcDAs a pastor with several decades of ministry under my belt – I believe I can say without fear of contradiction that the attitude of leaders in a church is essential. As a pastor I have witnessed some terrible attitudes among some of the leaders in the church (mine hasn’t been great all the time either – just saying).

Are we a glass half-full or a glass half-empty type of person? Do we see the good in things or the bad in things first? Are we a complainer or an encourager? Do we tend to think the worst of people and situations or the best? Come on now – let’s be honest.

We all know people who are half-empty types. We all know people who see the bad in every situation – first. We all know people who are complainers – who tend to see the worst in every situation (at times ignoring the good). At times we might all have that tendency! And – if we were honest – we would acknowledge that we don’t enjoy being around those type of people. If these people are leaders in a church – they can block the church from growing – they can block the Spirit’s work at times. They can stifle the Spirit with a bad attitude. Continue reading

January 4, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Giving Ourselves to Others

1 Thessalonians 2:8

…so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.

IMG_0301As a pastor – the son of a pastor – and the grandson of a pastor – I have a different view of the pastor’s home and life than some. I want to begin with today’s passage in partial context – and the relational stuff will follow. 1 Thessalonians 2:1-9 – 1 You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. 2 We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. 3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. 6 We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. Instead, we were like young children among you. Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. Continue reading

March 27, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Time For Everything!

Ecclesiastes 3:1

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

Young&OldWell – today is the day. If there is a season for everything under the heavens – today is the day I turn 60 (and I was awake at 3 am to enjoy every moment of it)! As my dad use to say – today I start my 61st year. Wow how time flies.  A friend told me that tomorrow I would be closer to 70 than 50 – what a friend!!

I have been using a childhood picture this week for my blog posts – and today I use a combo picture from my childhood and most recently. Wow how times flies.  The young kid has gotten older – has finally entered the second half of his life (according to one of the children from our Young Disciples time Sunday morning).

I was thinking the other day about the concept of making time for things. We seem to make time for the things that are most important to us. If we like golf – we will rearrange our schedule to fit in 9 or 18 holes. If we want to catch a favorite show – we will rearrange our schedule or make sure to make time to see it later On Demand or on the DVR. If joining with others to worship God on a Sunday morning is important – we will work around other things to make sure we are present. We don’t actually make new time we simply arrange our time to fit in what is important. Continue reading

March 4, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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