Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Family Is So Important

1 Corinthians 12:26

If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

img_0063-2I’ve been spending some time lately reading (mostly online and on my iPad) and listening to some as well. I’ve read the following: The Bible – some books (like Nick Vujicic’s Unstoppable) – some sports news (as we are in the midst of the basketball season – the Super Bowl is upon us – and Spring training is just around the corner) – and the Facebook entries of some of my friends. One thing I’ve noticed in many of these venues is the importance of family – connections – and teamwork. One of my Facebook friends puts pictures and posts up – almost hourly it seems – thanking God for their children – their spouse – and where they work. I believe that our family and close friends impact our lives – for the better or for the worst.

I mourn with everyone today at the loss of Kobe Bryant – his 13 year old daughter – and the 6 other persons (as of the writing of this devotional – not yet identified) lost in a helicopter wreck Sunday morning. The sudden – tragic accident – serves to remind us how fragile life is and how precious our moments together should be.

Family and other connections are so very important to our health and well-being. One only needs to read the stories of some who have gone astray to realize that many of them had a giant fail in their family connections. Nick Vujicic – born without arms or legs – praises his parents for showing him unconditional love and attention. He credits this support for much of his ability to struggle through the challenges of life he faced and become a motivational speaker and evangelist. Continue reading

January 27, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marching Orders For The Church

Matthew 28:19

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

RayMcDMy wife – occasionally – gives me a honey do list – which could be considered marching orders so to speak. She even uses – when I remind her – an application on our iPhones where she can leave me her honey do list. We share our grocery list on the same app (Reminders on our iPhones) – so when one of us is in the store we can see what the other needs or wants.

I’ve worked for a number of companies over the years – and the boss or foreman would give us daily marching orders so we could accomplish the tasks for the day. It is important to know what you on the list for the day so we are not working blindly. Focus is helped when we have a to do list each day. Do you keep a to do list – whether personal or professional?

Spring Training is less than four months away (when your team is out of the playoffs you start thinking about next year) and Buck Showalter has been known to have a very detailed plan for each day of Spring Training. The players seem to appreciate having a road map so to speak to their spring practices. I imagine Buck has already started working on his plans for Spring Training – even as he works on putting together next year’s team. Continue reading

October 13, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Does It Cost Us to Follow Jesus?

Philippians 3:14

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

112015 Ray McDonaldThe Ravens won Sunday. Well – they won the game – even as they lost their franchise quarterback and their starting running back to injury. It has been a rough season to say the least. A team that has had much success in the past and that some picked to do great things this year as well – is mired in a losing season that has left a sour taste in the mouth of many. Some of us – even long time fans – have given up on the season and are waiting for spring training to begin.

The team set out to win the Super Bowl as their target for the year. They practiced and sacrificed to accomplish their goal – their target – their prize. For a variety of reasons – that won’t be happening this year – yet that was still their goal and they sacrificed greatly to achieve that goal – that prize. Continue reading

November 24, 2015 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are We to Help Carry the Burdens of Others?

Galatians 6:2

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

112015 Ray McDonaldI have all but ended my interest in the NFL this year. Are they close to the end of the season yet? Is baseball season ready to start yet? Come on spring training. I now know the pain of other football fans – when their team is out of the race – way early in the season. It is a pain for sure! But – it – is – only – a – sport! It – is – not – life! I have to keep telling myself this truth.

I also need to keep reminding myself that there are real concerns in the world – not these silly 1st world concerns with sports. I was spending time the last few days praying for those in Kenya and France and other places around the world where evil has reared its ugly head this year with terrorist attacks. The unthinkable has become reality. Satan – evil – is rearing its ugly face. The burden is great and the Body of Christ needs to stand up and be counted – to help carry the burden of so many. But how can we help? Where can we help? Is there a way to carry each other’s burdens in these days? Continue reading

November 18, 2015 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Send, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Good Reputation Is Not Good Enough

Revelation 3:1

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.’”

profileReputation is something most of us deal with in life.  From the bully at recess who had a reputation of being mean and hurting people to the co-worker who has the reputation of being a status climber – reputations are part of the landscape where we live.

There can be good reputations too – like the hard worker at the office who everyone respects or the girl or guy at school that has a good reputation – a solid and trustworthy person.  A good reputation – one that took a lifetime to develop – can be destroyed in a moment – even by false allegations.

Spring season is here and some teams has a reputation of getting the most from the least.  Some teams will be highly thought of and not produce.  Some teams will not go into the season being well thought of and yet they will produce a good result. Continue reading

February 24, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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