Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Only Constant Is Change

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Life keeps changing! The only constant in life is change. A number of things in my own life have changed. I’ve been married longer than I wasn’t married (37 years this past summer verses 25 years not married). I celebrated 44 years since I graduated High School this past June. 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 all grown. Two have children (my five granddaughters). My wife and daughters are such a blessing to me along with our granddaughters. I’ve been in ministry for 41 years. I’ve begun to think about retirement (although I hope to have a few more years left – maybe more!).

Life keeps changing! This summer the Nationals have played playoff bound baseball – the Orioles are trying to get in but it doesn’t seem to be a certainty for sure. The Redskins lost their season opening game while the Ravens won – shutting out the Bengals. The Wizards made the playoffs and so did the Capitals. That’s pretty good change for our area and Maryland is 2-0 after two convincing wins.

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September 11, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let Our Light So Shine

Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

112015 Ray McDonaldJust a personal note – today is my birthday!  I’m 61 today and thankful that God has allowed me to live this long.  I also want to thank my parents – family – and friends for putting up with me all of these years (or as long as you’ve known me.

OK – I must admit it up front – I am an Orioles’ fan – I mean it – even when we suffered though 14 straight losing seasons – I love me some O’s.  They have returned to some winning of late and now we have gotten use to it again. Ever since I was a young lad – in 1966 when they won the World Series and I was 11 years old collecting baseball cards – I have followed the O’s.  I remember the time I met Eddie Murray – it was a highlight for me.

I follow them closely – I listen to their games – even those on the West Coast late at night (just ask my wife).  I have an O’s jacket – some hats and other items.  I have baseball cards of some of the O’s greats of old like Brooks Robinson – Boog Powell – Frank Robinson – Mark Belanger – Jim Palmer – Paul Blair – Dave McNally – and more.  I’m excited about my O’s – the coming season – and I let others know it.  I really think they will go far this year – even though some think they will be in last place in their division.  They have won more games than any American League team since 2012 I think. Continue reading

March 4, 2016 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

With All My Heart

Psalm 138:1

I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise.

112015 Ray McDonaldWhat do we do with all our heart?  What gets all of our attention?  What is it that takes first place in our thinking – above all other things? What is it that totally focus on in our lives?

I know some sports fanatics (fans) who support their teams with all their heart.  They paint their vehicles with their favorite team’s colors.  They wear team jerseys – jackets – hats – and more.  They don’t miss a game.  They talk about the game all week before their team plays and all week afterward – to anyone who will listen and even some who won’t (if they had a chance).  I love watching my Orioles – Ravens – and Wizards – play ball.  Some of my Facebook friends also seem to enjoy watching the Capitals (hockey) – and they seem to have a good shot this year to play in the post season.  My favorite teams have high draft picks this year (which means they didn’t play too well this past year.  There have been a number of years of late – say for the Ravens – that they have picked late in the first round because they won the Super Bowl or made it into the playoffs. Continue reading

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

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.

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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

I Will Praise You With Everything!

Psalm 138:1

I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise.

IMG_0301What do you do with all your heart?  What gets all of your attention?  What is it that takes first place in your thinking – above all other things?

I know some sports fanatics (fans) who support their teams with all their heart.  They paint their vehicles with their favorite team’s colors.  They wear team clothing – all the time.  They don’t miss a game – either in person or on TV.  They talk about the game all week before their team plays and all week afterward – to anyone who will listen and even some who won’t (if they have a chance).  I just finished watching the Orioles play another game – they aren’t doing great this year – but – they are my team. The Wizards are in the playoffs as are the Capitals – it is exciting around here. The NFL draft just finished and the Ravens had a number of needs – and picked up some amazing players. Continue reading

May 15, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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