Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

God’s Word Is Truth

1 John 4:1

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

When we are trying to determine Godly values or true Biblical core doctrines – we need to refer to the Scriptures. We need to have Scripture as our base. Truth can be found in God’s Holy Word. God’s Word is truth.

The Wesleyan quadrilateral reminds us that Scripture is primary and we are to use tradition – reason – and experience to help us understand Scripture. Having said that – I remind us that Scripture is primary and the source of our understanding of truth and of God’s will. http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/wesleyan-quadrilateral

We hold this belief because we believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Even though Paul may have understood this in his context to mean the Old Testament – orthodox opinion is that this passage was meant for the entire Bible. 2 Timothy 3:16–17 – 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Continue reading

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May 18, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

As Unto The Lord

Ephesians 6:7

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,

I’ve had a job since I was 12. I have worked delivering papers – I was a certified babysitter – I worked behind a fountain at a Pharmacy as a Soda Jerk – umpired and officiated football – baseball – softball – basketball – field hockey (doing baseball at a Division I level and basketball on the Junior College level). I have worked installing carpet – laying tile – delivery materials – working at Sears and McDonald’s – cutting grass for a church and for individual homes – served as a sexton – sub teaching in High Schools – driving a school bus – coaching High School basketball and softball. I have worked as a starter/greeter at a golf course – as a maintenance person for West River Camp – and more. I have served the church for 42 years as a minister of the Gospel. I’m sure there’s more I have forgotten at the moment. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have 2 or 3 jobs going at the same time.

In addition to all of my secular and ministry jobs I finished High School from Annapolis High School – graduated with an AA degree from Anne Arundel Community College – graduated with a BS degree in Business Management from the University of Maryland – graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew Divinity School. I was ordained a Deacon and an Elder in the United Methodist Church as well. Continue reading

May 4, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wisdom – We All Need More

1 Kings 3:9-10

9 Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?” 10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom.  NLT

I cannot believe that it is May 1st already. The weather is suppose to be very nice this week. I hope to get out to play some golf once-a-week moving forward. My shoulder is healing and I feel great. The doctor’s wisdom is – just don’t beat the ground!

God’s wisdom is amazing. God tells us through Paul’s writings that God’s foolishness is wiser than humanities’ wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:25 – For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Here are some other Scriptures about God’s wisdom.

1 Kings 4:29-34 – 29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. 32 He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. 33 He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. 34 From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom. Continue reading

May 1, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rejoice Always – Really?

1 Thessalonians 5:16

Rejoice always

I’m still recovering from rotator cuff surgery – my second one in two years (left should last spring – right shoulder this spring). I head out for Physical Therapy later this morning (this was written on Thursday morning). Being five weeks out from surgery – I’m stating to get some use out of my arm. I’m starting to build it up again. I can’t wait to swing a golf club and shoot some basketball. I can’t wait to be able to cut and split wood for next winter (the fire is going today – it was in the 30’s when I woke but the house is warm and cozy).

How did your week after Easter go? I know some colleagues that took the week off. I know some others that kept at it. What about you dear reader? How’s life treating you? I know some marriages that are in trouble – I’m praying for them. I know some people who have just been placed on Hospice care. I know some folks who are waiting for their first child. I know some folks that are waiting to get married. Ups and downs hit us all. Good times and bad times will fall on us all. Yet Paul calls us to rejoice always. Continue reading

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

Day 35 of Lent 2018

Philippians 3:10-11

10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

Today is day 35 of the 40 Days of our Lenten reading plan (looks like the plan will have 47 days because the Sundays didn’t count). I hope you have stayed with us. I veered off of the online plan and am finishing the plan myself. Today’s passage is about digging deeper into our faith – our trust of Jesus.

Lent is typically a time to give something up – to stop a bad habit – to deny yourself – to dig deeper into our walk with Jesus. Today we want to read what Paul had to say about getting to know Christ better. He was so into getting to know Jesus that he sought to suffer for Jesus and even die for Jesus. He wanted to experience all that knowing Jesus entailed. Continue reading

March 20, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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