Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Husbands – We’re Called To Love Our Wives

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. NIV

Brothers – do you love your wives? Is loving your wife first and foremost in your mind? I posted something this week on Facebook – the day some women didn’t show up for work. Something I ponder. Why would my wife want to be equal with me? From where I sit that would be a demotion in status on her part! I don’t think of my wife as an equal – she is far above and beyond me – I treasure her.

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church — a love marked by giving, not getting. The Message

Too many people don’t get this far in the passage.  Most folks get stuck with the 22nd verse.

Ephesians 5:22 – Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. Continue reading

March 10, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Away From The Body And At Home With The Lord

2 Corinthians 5:8

We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

RayMcDFirst – let me apologize for missing most of last week. My mom passed and I just couldn’t focus long enough to put out a devotional thought each day. I wanted to begin today’s devotional with a thank you. Thank you to all who have reached out or will reach out to my family during this trying time. Last Sunday night – during the Super Bowl (I wasn’t really watching – #NotMySuperBowlChampion) – mom transitioned to glory! I saw it coming. She was tired of fighting – and ready to meet her Lord and Savior and to see her beloved husband – my dad – again.

Mom battled dementia for about five years and the last two have been really tough – for her and for us. She was the last of her siblings – my father has one living brother. Their generation is fading fast. Which means my generation is not the oldest in our family. That seems to hit home when your parents are with Jesus and you are the oldest generation in your family (or nearly). Continue reading

February 13, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Always Give Yourself Fully

1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

112015 Ray McDonaldHere we are – the first Saturday of our Prayer/Fast. How’s your Prayer/Fast going?

We’re getting close to March Madness and our local college team – the University of Maryland Terps – both the women’s and men’s teams are ranked high with high expectations. I wouldn’t be surprised if both teams make the final four or at least the Elite eight. And wouldn’t it be great if both came away with championships!

In most team sports – as we just witnessed in the Super Bowl – where the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers – team work plays a big part and giving your all does as well. Peyton Manning – perhaps playing in his final NFL game – put everything on the line – working his way back from serious surgery and injury – to help his team win. There were players on both teams giving their all – fully. Some players – at times in the game – seemed to back away from giving their all. One play – late in the game – when the game was still on the line – a Panther player seemed to back away from contact when a fumble was on the ground. It may have costs his team a chance to take the lead. Continue reading

February 13, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keep Us Safe and Draw us Near to You!

Matthew 6:13 (The Message)

Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil

112015 Ray McDonaldToday is day 1 of our 49 day Prayer/Fast. It is also the 1st day of our Pre-Lenten Revival. Lent – a time of prayer and fasting – a time of self-denial – begins on Ash Wednesday – this Wednesday – February 10th. We’re starting the time of prayer and fasting today (or tonight if you wish – after the Super Bowl).

Today’s passage comes from The Message version of the Bible. It is the 13th verse of Matthew 6:7-13 – commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer. Here is today’s passage in partial context – from both the Message and from the NIV (New International Version).

Matthew 6:7–13 (The Message) – 7–13 “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best— as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes. Continue reading

February 7, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pray And Do Not Give Up!

Luke 18:1

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

112015 Ray McDonaldI’m sitting here tonight in my chair – watching the reports from Iowa on the news – with a twisted back and sore neck – rotating a heated bean bag from my neck to my back. I’m typing on my iPad – trying to put together my thoughts for tomorrow’s devotional. I’m wondering if the two or three candidates I have been following will fare well tonight. I’m wondering if the two or three candidates I hope never get elected will do well (I sure hope not). There is so much at stake in this election.

The candidates are leaving nothing to chance. They are working long hours to get their message across. They have spent millions of dollars to be elected. This is only the first of 50 states to walk through this preliminary voting process. Please pray about who you will vote for and please – get out and vote.

Starting Sunday – we will begin a time of prayer and fasting. Starting Sunday – before or after the Super Bowl – your choice – we will pick some things to remove from our lives and we will pick some things to add to our lives. Our plan is to remove things that hinder us physically or spiritually and adding things that will enhance us. I’m going to remove some things I put into my body (food and drink) and some behaviors as well. I’m going to spend more time in prayer and less time on social media. I challenge our readers to follow suit – to pick some things that will enhance our relationship with Christ. Continue reading

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

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