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Ishmael ‘Mac’ McDonald, a longtime minister of the gospel, announces the release of his second
book, ‘The Disciples Share the Word: Witnessing to the Word of God.’



Originally published: 2014-03-10 10:43:23
Last modified: 2014-03-10 10:45:37

'The Disciples Share the Word': continues a message of hope

by Sherrie Norris

At about this same time last year, Ishmael "Mac" McDonald, a Blowing Rock homeowner, announced the release of his book, "Mac's Mini Bible: The Word of God," but  said it was only half of the story that he really wanted to tell. 

McDonald said his latest work, in which his first work has been included, is a  synoptic, or a general summary, of the use of God's word -- "from the beginning to the present time." 

"It's "an account," he said, "of those persons who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, became his disciples and carried his message throughout the world." 

McDonald said he does not see any coincidence in the timing of his latest book's release. "It's about the same time that the epic movie 'Son of God' hits the screens of our nations. I really think that God inspired me so that this would happen," he said. "God works in mysterious ways to help us to follow him and to witness for him."

Regardless of what others might say, McDonald said he has done what God wanted him to do. "I hope, based on the biblical principles found therein, that anyone who picks up this book to read it will have a life-changing experience," he said. 

The first section of McDonald's book recaptures the original six chapters of his initial publication, focusing on the word of God, from the beginning through Pentecost, to where those, as God's children, are able to speak to him.

It is published by AuthorHouse UK, part of the global book publishing company, Author Solutions.

The rest of the story expands on McDonald's desire to remind people of God's love -- and his plan for their salvation.

As with his first, his latest release is written from his heart, McDonald said. 

It was only after spending a lifetime as a church member and leading the church (as a teacher, ruling elder, layspeaker, lay preacher and a certified lay pastor), that McDonald decided to write books that illustrates his understanding of the power of the word of God. 

"God's word is the most powerful thing in the cosmic universe," he said. "By his word he can create, sustain, change or destroy. He created the universe. And he created mankind in his own image." 

He describes his book as "a synoptic of the use of His word, from the time He created all things to the present, which the Holy Spirit led me to write."

The book gives an orderly account of McDonald's understanding of the methods God used in dealing with civilization, "which I call God's children," he said. "It is my fervent prayer that each person who reads my writing, will be led to give their hearts to Jesus and he will fill their hearts, as he has filled mine."

McDonald has spent a good part of his 88 years explaining that he is not Islamic, but rather, the firstborn of a Scotsman, he said. His (first) name bothered him, "tremendously, for many years," despite the fact that it derived from his mother's biblical "hero," he said. 

It took the true story of a man in Eastern North Carolina years later to help him understand that one can be embarrassed by his name -- or decide to use it as an asset. 

"As a teenager, things began to change after I heard about this man, whose hometown of Smithfield was overrun with businesses bearing the name Robin Hood. That caused me to forget about changing my name," McDonald said. 

Prior to that time, he said he had been "one of the most introverted people you had ever seen."

While attending one of the Presbytery's early classes for certified lay pastors, McDonald was given an assignment to assume the character of a person in the Old Testament, and thus, write in first-person text. "Naturally, I chose Ishmael," he said. 

That essay might have been one of his first written biblical accounts, but, by no means, was his last.

McDonald, whose primary residence is with his wife, Clara, in Vass, owns a second home in Blowing Rock. He was born Nov. 3, 1925, in Hamlett County. 

"We came to know and love the Boone/Blowing Rock area when our granddaughter came to school there at Appalachian State University," he said.

He has been a servant of the Lord, he said, for many years, since making a profession of faith and joining Flat Branch Presbyterian Church, where he was elected an elder in 1955. 

Having served in various capacities through the years, he was most recently elected pastor emeritus of Palestine Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville. 

It is McDonald's hope that those who read this second, and more inclusive book, will gain a better understanding of the Bible and a desire to follow the commandments of Jesus to go into the world to share the gospel.

He hopes, too, that "as many people as possible will be able to read this book and realize the opportunity God gives us all to make significant changes in our lives," he said.

 In "Disciples Share the Word," two sections present a total of 23 scripture-based chapters on the word of God and how that message is imparted, from the beginning, through the prophets of old, through Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, through man, and how people, as God's children, are commanded to communicate with God, to praise him and glorify him -- and that's just in section one. 

The following section is focused on the disciples of Christ and takes readers through 13 chapters, which include everything from Holy Communion to Paul the Apostle, the first split in the church, to the influences of Martin Luther and John Calvin, each described by McDonald as "a disciple and reformer." 

Beyond chapter eight, he touches on the influences of other disciples, he said, such as John Knox, John Wesley and Billy Graham. 

McDonald ends his book with his own words in chapters 16 and 17, with "Mac, an Old Disciple Writes," and "Two Sermons by an Old Disciple, Mac."

McDonald said about his final compilation, as he did his first, "It's no great masterpiece. I just want people to read it with an open mind, regardless of their religious beliefs." 

"The Disciples Share the Word -- Witnessing to the Word of God" is available online through Amazon, through the publisher at http://www.authorhouse.com, and at other major bookstores in paperback, hardback and Ebook formats. 

McDonald welcomes calls to his home at (910) 245-4127 for those who would like to know more about his books and the reason he wrote them. Those who would like to email him may do so at (imcd13@centurylink.net)