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

Protection And Care

Psalm 121:7-8

The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

I remember when our oldest was just a toddler. Her mother and I were shopping with her and we were having a great time. My wife was looking at the women’s clothing and I was looking in the men’s section. We each thought the other had our daughter. When we realized no one had her – we panicked. We were frantic and ran all over looking for our precious little one. We had security looking and barring the doors and all we could think of was our little girl being lost and taken by someone. She was outside our protection and care – for the moment – and we were scared-to-death!

Soon we heard over the loudspeaker – would the parents of a precious little redheaded girl come to the clothing counter. We were so relieved and there she was – sitting on the counter – holding court – never realizing the trauma her parents had just experienced. We praised God – thanked God for delivering our daughter back to us – and thanked the salespersons for their care. Needless to say – that never happened again – with her or her twin sisters who came along five years later. Continue reading

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

Looking For A Little Shade?

Psalm 121:5

The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand…

RayMcDIt has been a hot summer. Not extremely hot – but hot none-the-less. We’ve only had one day over 100 in our area – but a number of days in the upper 90’s for sure. I’ve had to work in the heat some (nothing like those who work in the heat every day or on roofs in this heat) and it can get to you after a while [I’ve also played some golf in the heat in the afternoon and that is hard too :)]. Finding shade is usually a relief in heat like this summer has produced. Finding a tree or a tall building or even an umbrella seems to bring some relief – a break from the scorching sun. Even wearing a hat with a nice brim brings some relief.

Life at times is hard. I know – for some that is an understatement and for some – even most of us in the Western Hemisphere of our world – we don’t fully understand just how hard life can be at times. But I repeat myself – life is hard at times. We all need rest and peace. We all need down time – shade from the heat of a hard day if I might go there. Some of us take power naps (a good 15 minutes and I’m good for the rest of the day). Some of us take numerous coffee breaks (and drink lots of coffee to help us get through hard days). Some of us live for the clock to strike the end of a hard day at work. Our shade is often returning home – while some have it hard at home as well. Continue reading

August 11, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Hope Is In The Lord!

Psalm 121:2

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

IMG_0301Where does your hope come from these days? If you’re an Orioles fan – you might be hoping that our second baseman returns soon and can help our offense or maybe that the latest call-ups from the minors will help. We have won 8 out of the last 10 games and are within shouting distance of first place. We’re only one game behind last year’s record at this point and last year we won the division and won 96 games I believe.

Where does your hope come from these days? I was recently talking to a young person who was hoping to find a career – a job that they could focus on and provide for themselves moving forward. Finding your nitch in society is not easy for everyone for sure. I prayed with them and wished them well as they try to make their way in life.

Where does your hope come from these days? I was recently speaking with a young couple – about marriage. They had high expectations about their marriage. They had high hopes that they would live happily ever after and were ready to work hard to make it so. I’m glad they were ready to work hard – because marriage is hard work! Continue reading

June 17, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , | 1 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

   

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