Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Let Your Light So Shine For Jesus

Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

All of my life – growing up – I was told that my actions reflected on my earthly father and mother. My dad was the pastor of my home church and as I grew into my teens – people knew him and if I did something good or something not so good – it would reflect upon him (and mom).

I remember a time in my early twenties when my friends wanted to go downtown Annapolis – drinking. I went along with them (I didn’t and don’t drink). I remember wrestling with the idea of my witness to my friends (that I could have a good time without drinking) and the witness of someone seeing me coming out of a bar (I was raised in the old Methodist belief that drinking was something to be avoided – we called it abstinence). Continue reading

July 24, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do We Heed The Words Of Jesus?

Matthew 26:75

Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times. And he went outside and wept bitterly.

112015 Ray McDonaldHow quickly do we notice when someone wrongs us? How quick are we to point out someone’s sin or someone’s error? How quickly do we seek for things to be made right when we are harmed?

I grew up with rules and regulations. I was a jock – so I played many sports and sports have rules and regulations. There are lines on the court or field to keep us in bounds. There are rules that establish when we have done something wrong and there are prescribed penalties for when we break the rules. There are even umpires – people to arbitrate the rules and be judges.

I grew up with rules and regulations. I am a PK (Preacher’s Kid) so I was a child of the church. There are rules and regulations for children in church – especially for the pastor’s kids. There were places we could play ball and there were places we couldn’t. There were age rules on groups (my friends got into youth group before I could attend) and there were other rules and regulations as well. Continue reading

May 12, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let Our Light Shine Before Others

Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

112015 Ray McDonaldAs a pastor’s son – a PK (pastor’s kid) – I always had to be on guard around people. Some were looking for ways to get the pastor’s kid to make mistakes so they could run it in the pastor’s face (or so it seemed). I remember once – in a bowling league – someone treated our team to a round of sodas (we all have marks in a certain frame). I was keeping score and so they brought my soda to me at the scorer’s table. As I raised the cup to my mouth – something didn’t smell right so I put it back down. Later the person who bought the drinks asked me why I wasn’t drinking mine – which made me weary. Later – on a food run – I noticed a small empty vodka bottle near where this person sat. I believe this person was trying to get the PK to drink (I was under age at the time). We must all be no guard – it seems – at all times. Our witness can be damaged in a twinkle of an eye.

I remembering when I was a young adult – going into a bar/restaurant in downtown Annapolis with some of my friends. They went in for a drink – I went in to be with my friends. I hung with them – trying to show them one didn’t need to drink to have a good time. A few times I had to drive them home. I tried to let my light shine – so that Christ could be seen (not always of course – I had my issues). Continue reading

May 3, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

True Friends

Ruth 1:16

Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.

profileAs a pastor’s son – I grew up in several different places. My dad had long stays at most of his churches – long by the standard of his day when most pastors moved every 4-6 years (sooner if the church and pastor were not a good match). Growing up we stayed 9 years at one church – 5 years at the next and 11 years at another. During the years I lived at home I knew 3 church families and 6 different schools before going off to college and beyond. Finding true friends – lasting friends was not easy.

I still know folks from 1st grade but I don’t have any real friendships with them. I do know some folks from my first church as a child – and know some of them very well and feel close to some of them – but that might have been heightened by the 24 years I served as pastor of that church 18 years after my father left (dad followed my grandfather serving that church – after my grandfather’s death). You might say it is a family church for the McDonald family (some family members are still there). Continue reading

April 14, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Rock – My Refuge

Psalm 94:22

But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.

profileWere you the biggest kid in school? Were you the most popular? Were you stunning in High School – and socially exceptional? If not – you fall into the mix with the rest of us. I wasn’t the biggest – I wasn’t the fastest – I wasn’t the cutest – I wasn’t the most popular or the most likely to… anything. I was just one of the crowd growing up. Most of us fall into this category.

In High School I was often on the outside looking in – never really in the in crowd. I played a little basketball in High School and a little football – playing for Annapolis High School. I was in the band at AHS – spending time with the concert band – the marching band – the orchestra – and the jazz band. I played trumpet well enough to rise to 1st Trumpet but there were often others ahead of me. I was active in my church and church youth group – but my position there was that of the pastor’s kid (PK) more so than anything else as I remember it. Continue reading

April 11, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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