Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Love Is An Action Word

1 John 3:18

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

RayMcDThis election year seems to bring out the worst in some people. Maybe every election does – but – this one seems to top them all. My Twitter feed and Facebook feed are filled with election year quotes and quips. This week the opponents of Donald Trump were asking how anyone could lose one billion dollars in a single year and whether that was the kind of leadership we need? The opponents of Hilary Clinton were asking how can anyone tell when Hillary Clinton is lying? They answered their own question – when her lips are moving. And those are the comments I could put in print.

I’m not trying to be political – rather trying to show us how some are expressing themselves these days. Please forgive if I offended anyone. Rather than uplift their qualities for President – it seems like both camps are trying to tell us why the other one shouldn’t be President. One is a lifetime politician with little to show for it while the other one has temperament issues they say and so it goes. One candidate calls the supporters of the other candidate deplorable while the other candidate seems to have a comment or cut for anyone and everyone. This is not how we are called to operate.

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October 4, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Time Is Coming

2 Timothy 4:3

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine.

RayMcDHave you ever been warned about something that was pending – something that was going to happen in the future? I had a teacher who would often say – mark my word – and then tell us something that was going to happen – like – mark my word – this will be on the next test. It wasn’t always so – but it did make us study more.

Maybe as a parent you have said something like this or your parents did – mark my word – if you do that again you will get punished. Maybe it was like this – if you don’t stop fighting – if you make me get out of my chair – if you don’t get up now – if you don’t eat all your food – than “whatever” was going to happen. This too didn’t always happen (for some of us) but it probably – for a few times – change our behavior.

Paul gives us warning in today’s passage – 2 Timothy 4:3 – For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
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August 26, 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

Rejoice In The Lord Always

Philippians 4:4

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMI know people that always seem to see the bad side of things. The market just hit all-time highs and I’m reading people who think a crash or correction is just around the corner. I’ve read articles on the Internet and listened to the advice of my financial advisor and feel safe that the market will not act like 2008. By the way – I agree that we should take precautions about a down turn in the market. I’ve taken precautions with a sell price on my stocks if they drop.

I know people that always seem to see the bad side of things. While listening to my favorite sports radio channel – you’d think the Orioles were in last place the way some people talk about their troubles and how they MUST trade for a starter. They’re actually in first place by two games and with a little improvement from their current starters – they just might finish in first. I happen to believe they will do better by keeping their young players and playing out this season with what they have currently in house. We’ve been burnt the last few years by trading young promising players for rentals! Continue reading

July 15, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Loving Others and Living By Grace

Hebrews 13:9

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so.

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMFacebook and other social media outlets broke loose these last few days as the decision of the FBI came out to not file charges against Hillary Clinton. Some were delighted and some were horrified. Some thought it was a lot to do about nothing and some thought the rich and powerful got away with breaking the law again. Donald Trump believes the system is rigged – to use his terms. People typically sided with their political party on this issue – but not always.

When General Conference of the United Methodist Church took place this spring – social media was abuzz with all sorts of comments. A subject that hit the social media circuit was same-sex relationships. There were those supporting it as normal and those seeing it as sinful. Comments ranged from support for their view to demonization of those who saw things differently (from both sides).

I recently tweeted the following on my twitter page (https://twitter.com/RayMcDonald) – Praying tonight for God to open my eyes to some needed wisdom and truth. After 61+ years of life, I still have so many unanswered questions. A friend asked me what I was searching for and I told him wisdom and truth – lol. We got further and one of the things I’m searching for is how to deal with issues without being divisive. I’m searching for ways to stand for what I believe is Biblical without offending those who disagree with me. I wonder if there is a way to do this? Continue reading

July 7, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

God Sees It All

Matthew 6:6

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

IMG_0435-0In our world of social media – everyone posts everything – it seems. People post what they eat. People post what they do. People post how they feel. People post their anger – their joy – and their mixed feelings. They not only post words – they post pictures – selfies – videos – and more.

Programs like Twitter – Facebook – Snap Chat – YouTube – Instagram – and more make connecting on a surface level pretty easy. We have thousands of friends and even post things that tests our friendships – if you read this and are truly my friend – post one word on how we met and repost this on your site – or I will remove you from my friend’s list.

Some do not want an Internet footprint or want to reduce their footprint (good luck). In the Christian world we do all of the above and at times I have seen prayer requests online. My hope is that when folks type praying – they truly take the time to pray. Continue reading

June 2, 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

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