Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

A True Leader Must Serve

Mark 10:43

Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,

RayMcDI had an amazing example growing up of a leader who served others. My father was a pastor – a leader of men and women – yet he was always found serving others. As I grew up – physically and spiritually – I always found my dad out in the yard working with the other men and women raking leaves in the fall. I usually found my father working in the kitchen or serving in the fellowship hall when church meals were being served. I remember seeing my dad taking the trashcan around picking up the trash during meals at church. I remember dad helping to mix concrete and carrying cinder blocks when the folks from our church were doing most of the work building the fellowship hall and Sunday school wing at the church. In short – where there was a need – you could find this leader of men and women serving. He had a servant’s heart. Nothing was beneath him. Continue reading

January 10, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dependency on God

Psalm 62:8

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

profileA question was asked Tuesday morning in the co-ed Bible Study at our church. The question was something along the lines of – why don’t we see God’s work and action in our churches like in Biblical days? It was a very good question – I thought. One I hope I answered in a way that made sense and in a way that would challenge us to think. I thought I would share some of my thoughts along this line today. I would love your thoughts in the comments section.

The first thought was that Jesus – while on earth – did nothing that He wasn’t told and empowered to do by the Father. All that Jesus did while on earth was at the command of the Father. John 5:30 – By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

Jesus emptied Himself of His equality with the Father when He came to earth – that old fully human – fully divine thing. This is how Paul described it in one of his Epistles/letters. Philippians 2:5–8 – 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Continue reading

April 16, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Attitude Check!

Philippians 2:5

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

RevRayAttitude check!  It is something that I pray for every time we meet to play basketball with some men on Monday – Wednesday – Friday mornings at 6:15 am at a Middle School near where I live.  I might have to give it up because of my knee – but that is another story – another post.  We pray for the Lord to keep our attitudes in check as we play ball (competition can cause tempers to flare).  We ask the Lord to remind us that our witness is important to the teachers and students that come into the gym while we are playing.  I’ve mentioned this before in a post – Christianity Boils Down to Attitude.

Attitude check!  Do you have any ill feelings toward someone?  Has someone done you wrong and you hold a grudge against them?  A lesson I learned long ago was that forgiveness was more for me than for the one I was forgiving.  Most often the person who has wronged me doesn’t have or ever will have a repentive heart.  If I waited till they had a repentive heart to forgive I might never forgive and that would weigh upon my heart and soul.  When I forgive someone – it releases it from my heart and soul – even if the person hasn’t come to apologize.  I hope that makes sense to our readers this morning.

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March 13, 2013 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Lenten Thought, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

He Was Hungry

Matthew 4:1-2

1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

RayBlogI remember as a child running in from outside playing and telling my mom I was starved. Of course I received the typical parent’s response – you’re not starving – you’re just hungry. Of course I wasn’t starving – I was merely – ever so slightly mind you – hungry. It might have been a few hours – even several hours – since my last meal and I had been playing and was running low on fuel.

This past year I visited Haiti on a mission trip. It wasn’t the first time I had seen starving people – having taken several mission trips to Appalachia – but it reminded me of the times I told my mom I was starving. It made me feel bad for ever thinking I was starving.

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March 11, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Husbands – Love Your Wives

Ephesians 5:25

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)

RayBlogIn the midst of giving directions to husbands and wives – God – working through His servant Paul – gave these instructions to husbands. 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) In the NIV it reads this way – Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. As Valentine’s Day approaches (WARNING to my fellow husbands – it is this Thursday) I thought I would share this Scripture and some thoughts.

love hd normalHusbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for 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. I hope we husbands understand these words? I repeated them for effect. They should sink into our minds and hearts. If we understand them – I hope we also know how to put them into practice. I wouldn’t begin to give examples that I think would fit all marriages – because each marriage is an individual partnership. My wife’s love language may not be your wife’s love language. The principle here is that we are willing to show our wives – not just on Valentine’s Day mind you – that they are most important to us (after God of course). Our desires – our hobbies – such as hunting – golf – the Ravens – Redskins – Orioles and Nationals – come behind our wives (you can add your desire and hobbies right here)!

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February 12, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Marriage, Personal | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

   

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