Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Hatred Has No Place at Christmas (or any time)

2 Timothy 4:2

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.

Life ChangePaul – an Apostle – told a young pastor – Timothy – to preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Timothy 4:2) Paul also wrote these words to Timothy – 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.

I’m not a young pastor nor am I an Apostle – but the Word of God – as I read it – tells me to love one another – not hate anyone. I see far too much hatred in the world – and at times – sadly – from folks claiming to be Christians.

We’re told to hate sin – we’re told to love others. We’re told to love God more than anything or anyone. Matthew 10:37 – Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Continue reading

December 7, 2018 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stand Up And Be Counted

Esther 4:14

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?

Photo on 9-10-18 at 11.09 AMNot too long ago I attended a gathering of clergy from the Laurel area. Our common ground is our love for Jesus and our evangelistic approach to spreading the gospel. We differ in many ways – like age – gender – race – size of our churches – and our personal stories – as we learned today as some of us shared some of our journey.

Race is a huge issue in our nation these days – as it has been for generations it seems. Some of what the media put before us in the last month or so has heightened our awareness that racism (hatred and bigotry toward a difference race) is still alive and unfortunately in some circles – still thriving. Racism is found in every race – and is expressed toward persons of other races. Instead of judging a person by the content of their heart – their character – some still in 2018 judge people by the hue of their skin. We must all be in prayer for one another and do whatever we can to destroy racism in our hearts and in our churches and communities. Racism is sin and as such can only be overcome by Jesus and His love. Continue reading

October 5, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From November 5, 2008

Colossians 3:13-14

13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

RayMcDI am trying to wrap my brain around all of the unrest at the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President. I know when we talk politics in America – we can get down right nasty toward one another – even it seems – in the church. I know that neither candidate this time around were ideal candidates – IMHO. I know that both had major issues with their morals and ethics. Many said they had to vote for the lesser of two evils – not a good place to be in as we elect the President of the United States.

On November 5, 2008 – I write the below blog post. It was a tough time in our nation as we elected the first president of color. There was unrest after that election as well – although I don’t remember the protests and riots that we are seeing this year. I pray the protests settle and soon we will begin – especially as the church – praying for president-elect Donald Trump. I know he comes with loads of baggage and many are having a lot of pain and anguish at his election. I pray he does a good job. Remember – I supported neither candidate. Here is what I wrote in 2008. Continue reading

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Race Is Marked Out For Us

Hebrews 12:1

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

112015 Ray McDonaldA few years ago – one of my daughters was preparing for a race. She started a routine that would allow her to slowly work up to the distance of the race. It was a half marathon I think – maybe a full marathon – but I think it was a half. She worked hard to get into shape. She was doing very well until an injury slowed her prep work.  Despite the injury – she got back at it as soon as possible.  She had a plan.

I’ve been walking lately – nearly two miles at times.  I’ve also been playing some basketball. I want to work up to five miles. I have an app on my cell phone that through the GPS feature on the phone tracks my steps and gives me encouragement along the way by sharing the distance and time and at the end gives me updates on how I’ve done.   I also have a Fitbit which helps track steps.  The iPhone program even sends me an e-mail if I walk further per activity – per week – and per month than ever before. It shares other milestones as well.

I participated in a 5 mile event once and remember that they had the course marked out for us so we couldn’t make a wrong turn. It was through the Naval Academy and surrounding area. It was a pleasant walk – made better by the opportunity to witness my faith along the way with a friend of a friend who later accepted Christ and joined our local church. Having the course marked out for us was a great blessing. Continue reading

March 2, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Living Sacrifice

Romans 12:1

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

IMG_0301As the Baltimore riot has unfolded the last few days – the media has made a point of focusing – it seems – on those who were doing destruction. Burning buildings – burning vehicles – vandalized businesses – rock and bottle throwing crowds. As the police commander said – when asked about using force – did folks want 14-15-16 year old bodies lining the streets?

Some officers were injured for sure – broken bones and other injuries. Probably millions of dollars worth of damage was done. The restraint of the officers was amazing – they should be commended. The mother caught on film dragging her son home – went viral – and she has become a national hero – an example I wish other parents had followed.

Several young men and women placed their safety on the line as they fought fires and tried to contain those who would do them harm. I knew several police officers that were on the scene. I know of several pastors who walked the streets – trying to calm folks down. I so wanted to be there – walking with them. I’m a bit disappointed I didn’t go. Not sure if I would have been a help – but I knew some brothers on the line and I would have loved to have supported them. Continue reading

April 29, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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