Pastor’s Biography

Reverend Galen “Joe” MacDonald

Reverend Galen “Joe” MacDonald and his wife, Pam, began their tenure with First Presbyterian Church of Livingston in September, 2010. Pastor MacDonald, a native of northern Maine, came to us from the Sandy Lake, PA area. Before he came to us, he served two churches for 12 years in the Sandy Lake area. He has been with First Presbyterian Church in Livingston since 2010. Rev. MacDonald earned bachelor degrees in Bible and Psychology in 1968 from Gordon College and a Master of Divinity from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1970. In 1990 he earned a Masters Degree in clinical psychology from Edinboro University.

Interview with God

I dreamed I had an INTERVIEW WITH GOD. “So, you would like to interview me?” GOD asked. “If you have time,” I said. GOD smiled. “My time is eternity… what questions do you have in mind for me?” “What surprises you the most about humankind?” GOD answered… “That they get bored with childhood, that they rush to grow up, and then long to be children again.” “That they lose their health to make money… and then lose their money to restore their health.” “That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live in neither the present nor the future.” “That they live as if they would never die, and die as though they had never lived.” GOD’s hand took mine… and we were silent for a while. And then I asked, “As a parent, what are some of life’s lessons you want your children to learn?” GOD replied, “To learn they cannot make anyone love them. All they can do is let themselves be loved.” “To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others.” “To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness.” “To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in those they love, and it can take many years to heal them.” “To learn that a rich person is not one who has the most, but is one who needs the least.” “To learn that there are people who love them dearly, but simply do not yet know how to express or show their feelings.” “To learn that two people can look at the same thing, and see it differently.” “To learn that it is not enough that they forgive one another, but they must also forgive themselves.” “Thank you for your time,” I said humbly. “Is there anything else you would like your children to know?” GOD smiled, and said… “Just know that I am here. Always.” – Anonymous
Blessings, Pastor Joe MacDonald

The Bible in 50 Words

God made. Adam bit. Noah arked. Abraham split. Jacob fooled. Joseph ruled. Bush talked. Moses balked. Pharaoh plagued. People walked. Sea divided. Tablets guided. Promise landed. Saul freaked. David peeked. Prophets warned. Jesus born. God walked. Love talked. Anger crucified. Hope died. Love rose. Spirit flamed. Word spread. God remained. -Anonymous
Blessings, Pastor Joe MacDonald

Soar Like an Eagle

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31).
Ever wonder how and why the eagle is able to so easily stay aloft with seemingly little effort as it glides with wings outstretched and motionless, while smaller birds seem to struggle, beating the air with their wings incessantly? I know that there are aerodynamic explanations for this, but the example of the eagle is such a picture of peace and tranquility as it soars higher and higher. It can reach amazing heights that other birds cannot reach. There are two reasons. First, its wings are aerodynamically engineered by the Lord to catch the updraft of the prevailing winds, and secondly, the eagle needs to stay aloft for much longer periods of time to hunt its prey from the air. What the eagle models and what the scripture above indicates is that, like the eagle depends on the updrafts for its easy flight, we should rest and depend on the mighty wind of God’s Spirit for our energy to walk the walk and live the life he has given. Too often we “flap” our wings and try to live on our own strength which is a guarantee of failure. Like the wings of eagles and the sails of a ship, we need to draw close to the Lord and embrace His strength for the journey. I heard this little poem a long time ago about seeking God early in the morning for the strength we need for each day:
I met God in the morning when the day was at its best
And His presence came like sunshine with a glory in my breast
All day long His presence lingered; all day long he sailed with me,
And I sailed in perfect calmness oe’r a very troubled sea
Other ships were torn and battered; other ships were sore distressed,
But the winds that seemed to drive them brought to me a peace and rest.
So I think I’ve learned the secret, learned from many a troublesome way.
I must meet God in the morning to sail with Him through the day.
Blessings, Pastor Joe MacDonald