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

Do We Need a Nap?

Psalm 121:1-2

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

Photo on 10-9-18 at 2.15 PMThe Major League Baseball playoffs are in full swing. Only one series to go before the World Series. What team are you rooting for to win it all? I’m rooting for the Houston Astros and the LA Dodgers to meet in the World Series and for the Astros to win it all.

I wish it was the Orioles playing for the World Series – but they qualified for the number 1 draft choice in next year’s amateur draft. I am an O’s fan and always will be – even during hard years. I suffered through 14 straight losing seasons several seasons ago. We’re tired – already – of this losing skid and want changes. We hope the changes that are coming will help us win again. But this is not real life! It is a game!

Where do you go when you are tired and exhausted in real life? When you need rest – where do you turn? I’ve had a busy week. Besides working over 60 plus hours – I’ve played basketball – a round of golf – and I’ve walked several miles each day. I’ve only gotten about 5-6 hours of sleep each night and according to my new watch – that sleep hasn’t always been sound. I could use a nap! Taking a nap seemed like a punishment as a child. As an adult it is something I look forward to taking! Who agrees with me? 😇💤 Continue reading

October 12, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Listening to the Doctor’s Orders

Psalm 121:1-2

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.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgOver the last couple of days – bronchitis has invaded my body. Bronchitis is defined as a chronic or acute inflammation of the mucous membrane of the bronchial tubes according to dictionary.search.yahoo.com.

I’ve been to the doctors and received a breathing treatment – which has helped my oxygen levels. I was sent home with an inhaler and some antibiotics. I also OD on Halls menthol cough suppressants. Thanks to some dear friends I have an amble supply. At night I use NyQuil to get to sleep – listening to my wheezing.

To review – I was coughing and was having a hard time breathing. I went to my doctor’s walk-in clinic and the nurse practitioner treated me and sent me home with prescriptions. Today – day two of the meds and day four of the breathing problems – I am starting to feel better but thought against going into the office. I had showered – dressed – and was on my way when I had another coughing episode and returned home. No need exposing others to my sickness (Becky – our director of pastoral care tried to get me to go home on Tuesday). I’m working at my desk at home and I think tomorrow morning I will be back on par (he writes as he pops another halls). I plan to go into the office tomorrow – my day off – to catch up with the last few days. Continue reading

July 10, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , | 1 Comment

When We’re Tired and Exhausted – Where Do We Turn?

Psalm 121:1-2

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

RayBlogOK – even I’m starting to get tired of all the reports on the upcoming Super Bowl.  They have dissected both the Ravens and the 49ers every which way and have repeated the same reports over and over and over.  Will the Ravens run defense be able to stop the 49ers running attack including their young quarterback?  Will the 49ers’ secondary be able to control the Ravens’ vertical game?  Which brother (John or Jim) will out coach the other?  Will Ray Lewis retire with his second ring?  Which team will feel the confetti falling on them at the end of the game?  The only thing that will release me from my weariness is the game being over I guess.  And I hope it ends in the Ravens win!  That will make Monday morning so nice!

Where do you go when you are tired and exhausted in real life?  When you need rest – where do you turn?  I’ve played basketball (we usually play 6:15 am at a local gym 3 days a week) and when I’ve finished playing for the morning I’ve been tired – and I mean tired.  It takes a few moments to find the energy at times to change my shoes to head home (I mean it).  Once home I take a shower and change into my clothes for the day and usually head out.  A little rest – a nice shower – and then I’m off and running again!

When we are physically tired – we turn to the things that rejuvenate us.  Maybe you like to have a piece of fruit or an energy bar to help pick you up.  While you’re mulling over how you find refreshment from physical exhaustion – when we are spiritually tired – where do we turn?  When we are emotionally distraught where do we turn?  I know people who have been tired and frustrated spiritually.  I’ve known people who have been emotionally distraught as well – completely exhausted.  I have been these people at times – haven’t you?

The church is supposed to be a place where we can turn for support and refreshment when we are tired and drained spiritually and emotionally.  Life in the church is supposed to be a place where we can turn for rejuvenation.  Church is supposed to be a place where we find family and people willing to go the extra mile to help.  Often we turn to our faith and those who walk with us in our faith journey for refreshment and support.  I know I have in the past and I probably will in the future as well.

Now don’t get me wrong – there are hurts in the church as well and not everyone who professes faith has faith.  Not everyone is looking to help others.  You can spend all night in a garage and that doesn’t make you a car – one of my favorite sayings.  You can spend a lifetime in the church and not be a follower of Christ – but many who are in the church are true believers who will help us when we are tired and exhausted.  I know they are there because I have experienced them in the church.

Recently a person in the community asked me where they should turn for support for a concern in their life.  I felt confident in pointing them to several churches in their community.  I try to keep up with the ministries of area churches – like which church sponsors AA or other support groups.  I try to get a feel for what churches seem to express a loving and accepting ministry to the hurting.  I try to find out where someone with certain hurts might turn for support.  If you’re in a church – would you be able to suggest your church or a neighboring church to someone who was tired – hurting and exhausted?

Some churches don’t seem to have the time or desire to help hurting people.  How about us as individuals?  Are we willing to go out of our way to help someone in need?  Who have you reached out to recently that was hurting?  If we know the One who brings rest and healing – in all circumstance mind you – why aren’t we prepared and ready to point the hurting toward Him?  Maybe we are ready!  Maybe we just haven’t stepped out in faith and helped!  I lift up my eyes to the hills — where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  Let’s be ready to tell somebody about Jesus and how He has refreshed us in our hurting and exhausted times of life!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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February 1, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Outreach | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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