Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Running the Race of Our Lives

1 Corinthians 9:26

Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.

Rays HaircutHave you picked your favorite candidate for President in 2020? he election is only 5 plus months away. The two major candidates – President Donald Trump (the current President and Republican candidate) and Mr, Joe Biden (former Vice President the the Democratic candidate) – are facing a difficult campaign season with the Pandemic making typical rallies and campaigning difficult if not impossible. Both believe they would make the best next President of the United States. I’m praying for our country and the next President. I truly hope that the person we elect has a plan and that the other leaders of our country have one too – and that they gel. Our country is in trouble if a plan doesn’t develop that will carry us forward – past this pandemic and to help our economy to recover.

As I type this – basketball and baseball – among other sports – are on hold. NASCAR has returned and I actually saw ESPN running a cornhole contest. The public must be starving for entertainment and sports.

Basketball is talking about a playoff of some sorts. Baseball – Major League Baseball – is talking about playing in July – a shortened season – maybe 100 games rather than 162 with more teams making the playoffs. Continue reading

May 18, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life Led By the Spirit

Romans 8:14

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

Rays HaircutI was thinking about my dad this week. I miss him so much. What brought him to mind is the health concerns of Ravi Zacharias. Ravi is a man of faith – a man of God – like my father. I looked up to my dad and I look up to Ravi. My father was my hero and Ravi is a spiritual giant himself – and a hero of sorts.

A year ago – a sport’s writer and MASN personality – a friend of mine – wrote about his father’s passing in a recent post. You can read about it here. His father was his hero – someone who guided his life – someone who led him in life. I could so identify with his article/post. He wrote – He read this blog every morning before his newspaper and kept checking it throughout the day, scrolling through all of the comments. I’ll keep telling myself that he’s reading this one, his eyes moistening because the former offensive guard at Ford City High School and Indiana State in Pennsylvania softened as he got older. The hugs hello and especially goodbye kept getting tighter. The old guard called for holding.

Roch Kubatko grew up in Anne Arundel County – just north of where I grew up. I knew of him when he was in High School and I was officiating sports in High School and College. He wrote about his dad – his hero – and I thought I was reading an article/post I had written six years ago about my dad. We were both so blessed to have dads in our lives that meant so much to us. Continue reading

May 14, 2020 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

Can We Be a Better Witness for Jesus?

Ephesians 4:29

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Rays HaircutThis year – the year of our Lord 2020 – our nation will go to the polls once again – to place our vote for the POTUS and for others to lead our nation. I urge everyone to register to vote and to get out and vote for the person or persons you believe will help to make us a better nation. It is our legal duty and responsibility as citizens of this country to vote.

If you’ve been listening to the news or to TV – or the radio – or have read anything on the internet – you have probably heard what I have heard – or read what I have read. Men and women – people in political office – radio jocks – TV and movie stars – entertainers – comedians – folks on social media – and in other places – say or write some horrible things about the persons they do not support. I would rather hear positive things about the person(s) they support. Their choice of words leaves a lot to be desired. I mean – I’ve stopped listening to programs on TV because of the language being used. I’ve even had to turn off some sports programs on my favorite all-sports channel. I won’t watch certain shows on TV and don’t go to too many movies. I’ve unfriended or hidden some folks on social media because of the language they use (not always foul language but not uplifting language). Some do take the Lord’s name in vain – and laugh about it! There is a commandment about that with a warning I believe! Continue reading

April 30, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Servants of The Lord

Matthew 20:26-28

26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Ray 2020We are all called to be servant ministers to our Lord – not only the pastors – all of us – to be servants of the Lord. Along this line – a few years ago – I was asked why some pastors are not as involved in the community as they used to be? I know some pastors are for sure. Here was my answer (this came up on one of my pages recently).

That is a complex question or issue. Some pastors today are no less committed to their calling than pastors of earlier generations. What we have found over the years – the hard way – is that our families were often sacrificed on the altar of serving God.

Being a pastor is a high calling – but the divorce rate and broken family rate and even early retirement rate of pastors leads the way in many studies – partly because of the time spent away from the family. Being a pastor is not a 9-5 job where the family can plan around work hours. Being a pastor is a 24-7 calling. In my younger days – I would work 70-80 hours most weeks and at times more. There were times I wasn’t there for my wife and my children because of it. Maybe the Romans Catholics have a point in having their priests marry the church! Having said that – I have been a better grandparent than I was a parent. I attend less meetings and fellowship times at church – realizing the church will not fall a part because I do not attend – and that the church is more than the pastor and his or her presence (some in my church folks have complained about this though). Continue reading

April 16, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why Can’t We Just Get Along? Why?

Philippians 2:10

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth

img_0063-2Did anyone watch the democratic debate last night? It seems that it is getting harder and harder to live at peace with one another. The candidates all seemed to be trying to tear down their rivals. They ganged up on one another it seemed. No one came across as a winner or a loving person in my view.

From politics to religion to sports to how we raise our children – people differ in their opinions and seem to have a hard time expressing themselves without anger and attitudes. On top of that – some people seem to have a hard time dealing with a differing opinion. We’ve lost the art of debate and disagreement. It seems many among us cannot disagree without being disagreeable. Why can’t we just get along?

This seems to be the case in the political world for sure. After eight years of a President popular with one segment of the country and now three years of a President popular in a different segment of the country – we are a blazed with disagreement about who should lead us in 2021 and beyond. I have witnessed families and friends have issues because of which way they voted in the 2016 Presidential elections or plan to vote in the 2020 elections. The country is very divided – red and blue – right and left – ideologically. We’ll see what the rest of 2020 brings – leading up to November and the election. Why can’t we just get along? Continue reading

February 20, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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