Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Joy of the Lord

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

RayMcDHappiness is circumstantially driven – while Joy is spiritually derived. This is one of my favorite sayings. I believe I created it some 35 plus years ago. When I did a Google search for these words – the first and only post that matches is this devotional thought I posted online last year. I’ve used that phrase for 3-4 decades.

The meaning of the phrase is that things or circumstances make us Happy – but Joy comes from our relationship with Jesus. Happiness is temporary – while Joy is lasting – even eternal. Continue reading

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August 24, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Living at Peace with Everyone

Hebrews 12:14

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy…

RayMcDI know some families have issues during football season. Some couples I know root for opposing teams – like one will root for the Ravens while the other will root for the Steelers – or one will root for the Redskins while the other will root for the Cowboys. Football season is very interesting in those homes – especially when they play each other. Add to this the football widow or widower – where one spouse loves football and the other cannot stand it and you have tension in the home.

Last night in Bible study one of the brothers mentioned his wife’s support of the Capitals and his support for the Penguins and how there is usually tension in the home during hockey season – especially then they play each other. At least – he said – the Stanley Cup was in their home the last three years (2 for the Penguins and 1 for the Capitals)! Continue reading

August 22, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Excites Us?

1 Corinthians 7:12-14

If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband.

What excites us? Did we get excited during the NBA or Hockey playoffs – even if our team didn’t go far? My favorite teams made it to the playoffs but didn’t go far. Did watching the NBA Finals excite us? Did watching the Stanley Cup Finals excite us?

If sports don’t excite us – what does? Did the elections last year excite us? Did our candidate win? Whenever we vote we should not take our party into the booth with us – but rather – after careful consideration and prayer – vote for the candidate(s) we think will do the best for the people. Which candidate has the Christian values we support? Who would support abortion or who is for the life of the unborn child for instance? Who is out to protect the environment that God gave us dominion over? There are so many issues that as Christians we should be concerned about and we should search for the candidate who thinks as we do. Were we excited about the elections just past? How excited are we about the outcome? Continue reading

June 30, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Run With Perserverance

Hebrews 12:1

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…

As I write this – three of my favorite teams are dealing with different parts of a trying season. The Baltimore Orioles have started well – and after 32 games they have the second best record in Major League baseball. Unfortunately – for now – the team with the best record in MLB is a half game ahead of them in their division. The season is long (162 games) and so they have a lot of games left. If their pitching holds up – their defense as well – and their offense begins to come around it should be a nice season for sure. (By the way – the O’s are facing the Nationals in a series right now and the Nat’s are close behind the O’s in record in the National League.) It takes perseverance to succeed in the long season.

The Washington Wizards are tied up in their second round playoff series with the Boston Celtics – 2 wins and 2 loses. They return to Boston for game 5 and the hope is they win there and win at home in game 6 to move on in the playoffs (they have won the last two games at home). Their guards are leading the way as they combine to score a large portion of their points and play defense against a rising super star on the Celtics. If they win this series they will face the Cleveland Cavaliers for the conference championship and if they win that they will face the Golden State Warriors I imagine. For now – let’s get past Boston. Basketball has a long season as well. It seems they only play the regular season in order to determine the pecking order of the playoffs – the real season. It takes perseverance to succeed in the long season.

The Washington Capitals have come back from elimination and squared the series 3 wins to 3 loses with the Pittsburg Penguins. Game 7 will determine who goes further. It is my humble opinion (and I must say I don’t follow hockey very much) that the winner of this series will win the Stanley Cup. The hockey season is another long season with many games. Again – played it seems to determine the pecking order of the playoffs. It takes perseverance to succeed in the long season. Continue reading

May 10, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Complete Joy

John 15:11

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

IMG_0435-0Dear readers – have you ever experience joy that you felt was complete? I’ve experienced joyful moments before – I imagine most of us have in our lifetime. But complete joy may be something that some have never experienced. We might experience moments of happiness – but joy is something spiritual.

There always seems to be something that deflates our joy or happiness. For instance – the Capitals won the President’s Trophy with the best record in the regular season this year – a lot of people were happy! But they were ousted from the playoffs and failed to win the Stanley Cup – deflated joy or happiness.

I’ve heard of couples that were filled with joy/happiness for their wedding and even during the honeymoon period only to have their joy/happiness tempered or deflated when the honeymoon was over and stuff began to happen. Continue reading

June 17, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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