Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

And The Peace Of God

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Even in the year 2017 – we live in a day and age when people are still struggling with right and wrong – go figure. Some might say it has always been that way. Our parents and grandparents and so forth probably thought that each generation faced an uncertain world around them and a struggle for right and wrong. They probably thought they lived in a world where others called wrong as right and the right as wrong. Key to this thought is that we don’t all have the same moral values or ideology. We don’t all see the world or truth as the same. What a shame.

We live in a day and age when people are still struggling with right and wrong. Racial tension is still high in our society. Last night in Boston – Baltimore Orioles’ Adam Jones was racially abused – verbally – by some fans. A call for racial reconciliation – a call to treat persons by the content of their heart rather than the color of their skin – is still being met with opposition. Fifty to sixty years after some tried to awaken our country to racial tensions – they are still alive and well in some folks and in some areas more than others. There are still those who hate because of skin color – as crazy as that may seem to many of us.

We live in a day and age when people are still struggling with right and wrong. There are ideologies today – as there have been in days gone by – where people think the only way to nirvana is to kill all infidels. ISIS (radical Islamic terrorists) is still a problem and they are still killing Muslims – Christians – Jews – and others – around the world because they don’t agree with their ideology. They are creating fear around the world with their understanding of right and wrong. Most agree this is wrong but we can’t seem to agree how to defeat this hatred. They are certainly not the “JV” – and I pray they are stopped soon. Continue reading

May 2, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christ Modeled Love For Us

Romans 5:10

For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

112015 Ray McDonaldWhen the Steelers lost this past weekend – several Ravens fans and Bengals fans sheered on Facebook. Steeler & Bengal fans cheered that the Ravens didn’t even make the playoffs this year. As a matter of fact – they Ravens were the whipping boys for most of the league (except for the Steelers – lol).

Currently – as a Ravens and Redskins fan – I am cheering for the Broncos – because I’d love to see the Pats lose and Peyton Manning get another Super Bowl win. Fans of one team have a hard time rooting for other teams.

Baseball is a month away (pitchers and catchers reporting soon). The Hot Stove has had a lot of rumors and signings. The Orioles – my favorite team – went well out of their normal pattern and signed Chris Davis to a 7 year $161 million dollar contract. They have retained three of their most significant free agents. Several teams that compete against the Orioles in the Eastern Division of the AL have also signed significant players while the Yankees have not signed anyone to date. Continue reading

January 20, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holiness

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16 NIV)

profilePosting today from my iPad so the format might be a little different. Just wanted to post something – as I attend Annual Conference in Baltimore with the United Methodists of the Baltimore-Washington Conference.

We will discuss and vote on many things this week. Some will have little impact on the life of the church and some may lead to healing or a church split in 2016 or sooner or later.  My prayer is that a split will not happen – that we will seek holiness.

Continue reading

May 30, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

It Is Really a Shame

John 8:11

“No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

profileIn today’s passage we have the teaching moment in one of the stories about Jesus’ life and ministry.  Here is today’s passage in partial context.  John 8:3-11 – 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”  8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

The teaching moment is clear – although adultery was sin – Jesus was not here to condemn the woman but rather to show love and grace.  He wanted to love the woman into a relationship with Him.  A great example to the church today – show love and build a relationship.  But in the midst of building a relationship and showing love – Jesus told the woman in no uncertain terms – “Go now and leave your life of sin.” Continue reading

September 20, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Annual Conference 2012

20120530-123753.jpgFor the next three days clergy and laity are gathering together to worship God and make decisions about the life of our conference. This is a local version of the General Conference which is global.  Our annual conference covers DC, all of Maryland on the western shore and parts of West Virginia.

I’m seated with some pastor friends and taking it all in. I will post and tweet items of interest. If you have questions send them to me and I will try to respond. My hope is that the church will seek to be faithful to the Word of God. The following is a favorite passage of mine – calling us all to remain faithful even as the world around us goes astray.

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men 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. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:2-4 NIV84)

Stay tuned for updates as they become available.

May 30, 2012 Posted by | Denomination, From the Pastor | , | Leave a comment

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