Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

As Unto The Lord

Ephesians 6:7

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,

I’ve had a job since I was 12. I have worked delivering papers – I was a certified babysitter – I worked behind a fountain at a Pharmacy as a Soda Jerk – umpired and officiated football – baseball – softball – basketball – field hockey (doing baseball at a Division I level and basketball on the Junior College level). I have worked installing carpet – laying tile – delivery materials – working at Sears and McDonald’s – cutting grass for a church and for individual homes – served as a sexton – sub teaching in High Schools – driving a school bus – coaching High School basketball and softball. I have worked as a starter/greeter at a golf course – as a maintenance person for West River Camp – and more. I have served the church for 42 years as a minister of the Gospel. I’m sure there’s more I have forgotten at the moment. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have 2 or 3 jobs going at the same time.

In addition to all of my secular and ministry jobs I finished High School from Annapolis High School – graduated with an AA degree from Anne Arundel Community College – graduated with a BS degree in Business Management from the University of Maryland – graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew Divinity School. I was ordained a Deacon and an Elder in the United Methodist Church as well. Continue reading

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

Can We Remember When We Were Young?

1 Timothy 4:12

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

Can we remember when we were young? I had a dream the other night of when my wife and I first met – back when we were dating. Sunday – we sang a song that we sang in the Soul Searchers back in the day. I’m pretty nostalgic so the memory brought nice feelings.

Can we remember when we were young? As we age – memories from our younger days can bring back good or not so good memories. If we had a good childhood or young adult years – our memories might be good. I remember being in great shape when I was younger. I officiated sports year round and all of that activity kept me in good if not great shape. If I could return to the 1970’s – that would be one thing I would tell myself – to keep officiating sports or at least to remain active. That activity burned lots of calories. I even had a chance to be a profession baseball umpire. Continue reading

November 14, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Should Ooze Jesus!

Ephesians 3:20

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

In my younger days – one of my first jobs was as a Soda Jerk. People loved to order an ice cream cone from me because I gave them a good measure for their money (the pharmacist approved of my methods). A single scoop cone always got a scoop pushed into the cone before a scoop was applied to the top. Nothing worse than an empty cone! I worked at Pink’s drugstore on West Street a block away from my home on Locust Avenue in Annapolis.

One of the reasons I write weekday devotional thoughts is to give the members of the congregations I serve and have served and others more than just Sunday morning theology. I think we need to be digging into Jesus every day – not just on Sunday – and my hope is that these daily thoughts help to trigger something inside us to want immeasurably more from our relationship with Jesus. I try to use everyday ideas and thoughts to connect us with some spiritual thought for the day so that our hearts are pricked to think more about Jesus (let me know if they help). Continue reading

November 7, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Working for Jesus!

Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

82015 RayWorking for the almighty dollar. A song I remember from my childhood went something like this for the chorus – You load sixteen tons, what do you get? – Another day older and deeper in debt – Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go – I owe my soul to the company store. Tennessee Ernie Ford

Working for the almighty dollar. I remember my first job. I was a carrier for the Baltimore Sun – delivering the paper in my Annapolis community. It was a big responsibility for a young man with a bike. The rainy days – the cold days – were especially hard. Occasionally my parents would help me by driving me around – not often – after all – it wasn’t their job. I remember one early morning – as I was half asleep delivering the paper – a Great Dane came running out of the front door of a home on my route. It woke me up for sure – as he charged me and I jumped to the opposite side of my bike for a few houses (as if that was going to help). The money was nice – it helped me save for things I wanted that my parents weren’t willing or able to get me. Continue reading

November 4, 2015 Posted by | Bring, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Send, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Loving God More Than Things

Matthew 6:24

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

IMG_0301I remember when I was a little fellow – living in the country – walking up and down the road I lived on picking up soda bottles.  I would collect them and take them to the gas station on the corner and get 2¢ for each. I would turn around and buy some baseball cards with my new found riches!  I was learning early on that money bought the things you wanted.  I introduced my cousin to this way of making money and we spent a summer working the roads.  We didn’t even need one of those signs applauding our work for cleaning up the roads – we simply wanted the 2¢ per bottle!

Can you remember your first job?  My first real “official” job was one summer when I worked for the druggist near my home in Annapolis.  I was a Soda Jerk behind his counter (I can hear the jokes now).  I would make sandwiches and sodas (that’s with ice cream and soda pop for those who don’t know) and stuff like that a few days a week.  I also had a paper route that summer and was officiating baseball games too.  It was a busy summer and I kept the counter position into the school year.  A little bit of money for a youngster is cool.  I already had a savings account (started in my younger years) but I moved that account to my new home town and began to save in earnest.

Continue reading

April 14, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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