Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

We MUST Hold Onto Truth!

2 Timothy 4:2

to preach God’s message. Do it willingly, even if it isn’t the popular thing to do. You must correct people and point out their sins. But also cheer them up, and when you instruct them, always be patient. CEV

Ray 2019As the partisan impeachment fiasco continues – more of my colleagues are weighing in with their thoughts. Everyone is entitled to their opinion for sure. It seems to me that those who line up on the left theologically are lining up on the left ideologically and politically. The same can be said about those who line up on the right theologically – as they also tend to line up on the right ideologically and politically. The United Methodist Church’s map almost perfectly matches the red and blue map of the political scene.

I mentioned Sunday that I would love to be able to preach the warm and fuzzy theology that some on the left preach. I would love to say that everyone goes to heaven or that there is no place some call hell or to say that there are other ways to heaven than Jesus. But I cannot – because it would be heretical to do so.

Some pastors will do almost anything it seems to be liked by their congregations. I’ve known pastors who are people pleasers (many are it seems). I personally will do most anything to keep peace in the church – as far as it involves me and what I wear – how I work – etc. Where I draw the line – and I hope many pastors draw the line here – is with the truth of God’s Word. I will not dilute the Word of God. I will not water it down (for those who don’t know what dilute means – lol). I will not back away from preaching and teaching the truth of God’s Word.

Some pastors – IMHO – seem to be drawn toward political correctness. A social agenda seems to supersede the truth of God’s Word for some. I was reading some church publications recently online – and some of our churches and even some of our conferences seem more focused on social correctness rather than understanding the truth found in God’s Word. Continue reading

December 5, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Word Of God Endures Forever

Isaiah 40:8

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.

I’ve spent a number of years trying to grow a yard – 20 years to be exact. I remember when my yard was a dust bowl. I remember cutting the weeds and grass – that was scattered around the yard – and working up a small storm cloud of dust.

Eventually I began to grow some grass. After years of aerating and seeding – the yard is starting to take shape. Keeping the weeds down has been a task. I finally went to a yard service to fertilize and treat for weeds. The cost of the service is just slightly more than I would pay for the materials myself and then I would have to put them down – and I can call them back to retreat if the weeds don’t die!!

A bought a new lawnmower this year and I’m cutting the grass twice a week at 4 inches. The grass is growing well and filling in like never before. And the new lawnmower is cutting to clean and mulching too. Continue reading

May 16, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do We Have A Plan?

1 Corinthians 9:26

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

82015 RayHave you picked an early favorite for the Presidential elections in 2016? The candidates are lining up for both parties and they are making their plans. Each believes they would make the best next President of the United States. I’m praying for the whole lot of them – for someone to step up and separate him or herself from the pack. I’m also praying for our country and for that next President. I truly hope that the person that will be elected 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.

As I type this – my Orioles have now lost 8 of the last 10 games – and they seem to be headed down the wrong path as the season draws near to September. They are falling further and further behind in the wild card race and their plan just doesn’t seem to be working right now. They signed a bunch of players in the offseason – hoping to catch lightning in a bottle with one or two of them – and it just hasn’t happened. Many of the players that opened the season with the team are no longer with the team. They had a plan – but it doesn’t seem to have worked – at least not so far. I guess I could say the same thing for the team most thought the favorite to win the World Series at the start of the season – the Nationals. The best team on paper just hasn’t done it so far. Continue reading

August 28, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Lamp For My Feet

Psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgI wrote about playing flashlight tag the other day. Flashlight tag turned into Laser tag and even – as someone mentioned – saber lasers in the movies!

I’ve written about Boy Scouts and camping before and one of the things I remember doing on camping trips is going down dark paths with a flashlight. Flashlights will illuminate the path before you (if the batteries hold out). Step by step you can see the path before you. If you have a really good flashlight – you might see a few steps forward.

One of the short falls of a flashlight is that normally it is limited in where it can illuminate. Depending on how strong it is – a few steps or even a few yards ahead is the limit. Also – the flashlight normally only shines in the direction you have pointed it. Continue reading

August 28, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Word of God Will Never Pass Away

Matthew 24:35

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

profileOK – so we’re getting ready for the Final Four and Major League Baseball is underway.  As I’m writing this devotional thought the Maryland Lady Terps are in the Elite Eight. Is your favorite team still playing in college basketball?

I don’t believe anyone is going to win the Billion Dollar prize Warren Buffett offered for a perfect bracket for the Men’s tournament.  Some of my friends say they still have 3 of their 4 left in the final four for the men.  Interesting!

I just read ESPN’s predictions for this year’s baseball season and only one or two had my team making the playoffs. Oh well – someone had to be right even though the rest are wrong.  I will keep up with my team this year by reading School of Roch – the blog page of Roch Kubatko – all season to keep up with the O’s.  I’ve predicted 92 wins and the playoffs for the Baltimore Orioles – just saying. Continue reading

March 31, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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