Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

A Look At Evangelism

Matthew 28:19

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Those who know me well – know that above all else – I would label myself an evangelical. As a Christian pastor I believe that Jesus is Lord and that there is no other way to salvation except through Him. You could call me a John 14:6 kind of guy. In this passage Jesus tells us what is required to go to heaven. John 14:6 – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Having said that – the passage for today has a lot of meaning. Today’s passage is part of the Great Commission found in Matthew 28 – Matthew 28:19 – Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

A number of pastors and church leaders as well as church members read my blog page each day. Are marching orders as pastors – as Christians – is The Great Commission. Because of the way some go about evangelism and the way that some have turned away from evangelism – in some circles evangelism has become a dirty word. It is anything but! Continue reading

June 27, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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.
Continue reading

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

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

Our Denomination and First Church

Romans 14:1

Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.

112015 Ray McDonaldOur denomination is facing some tough discussions and decisions right now. General Conference 2016 is taking place as I type in Portland, Oregon. I have been watching the simulcast when time allows, even while on vacation (in the same time zone now). I have kept these proceedings in my prayers as I hope you have as well. Although the future of the Body of Christ is not in question, the future of the United Methodist Church may stand in the balance.

A number of people have quoted today’s passage from both sides of the aisle it seems, on some of the current issues. I can see where both sides are coming from, and the bottom line is that if we are to remain a United Methodist Church, we will need to give some, on both sides of the aisle. In order to get along in any family, some give and take are needed. My family doesn’t understand this right now, as I am writing this while on vacation, lol. They are telling me to stop and be on vacation. Continue reading

May 18, 2016 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , | 2 Comments

Life Keeps Changing – But God is Consistent

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

112015 Ray McDonaldLife keeps changing!  Our current sermon series is Discerning God’s Will in an Ever-Changing World.  A number of things in my own life have changed.  I’ve been married longer than I wasn’t married (36 years this summer verses 25 years not married).  I will celebrate 43 years this spring of my High School graduation.  I saw a picture of me in High School the other day and I do not look the same today.  My children – my babies – are grown.  Two have children (my four granddaughters).  My wife and daughters are such a blessing to me along with the granddaughters.  I’ve been in ministry for 40 years this coming fall.  I’ve begun to think about retirement (although I hope to have a few more years left).

Life keeps changing!  This past summer the Nationals and the Orioles both played some good ball. The Redskins – Wizards – and Capitals recently won on the same day in many years.  The Ravens had a rare bad season and the Redskins had a rare (I hope they become common) good season with a playoff game at home.

Continue reading

January 12, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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