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.

A Living Bible

“You are the light of the world..” Matthew 5:14

Someone has said, “You are the only Bible someone out there may ever read.” That is an incredible responsibility, but certainly consistent with the above verse. All of our lives are an open book to Christians and non-Christians alike. What is the Gospel according to my life? St. Augustine said, “Share the Gospel with all you know and if necessary use words.” That statement does not just apply to a person’s actions; it also applies to one’s attitude. You can be a magnet with a Godly positive attitude or you can be a repellent with a miserable negative attitude. Most people will not notice the strength of your character when you are on top of the mountain and things are going very well with blessings abounding. The microscope is upon us when we face the deep valleys. They will watch how we handle those situations more closely. A watching world is not as impressed about what we say we believe as they are with the difference in how we handle the tough situations that we go through that are similar to theirs. It is said that your actions speak so loud I cannot hear what you are saying; but I think that a more substantive concept is that the attitude you display when you are going through the pain of life speaks so loud that I can now see the reality of what you believe.

Blessings, Pastor Joe

The Point

“—who being in the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person” Heb.1:3

Point is an interesting word. When used as an adjective it describes something that is extremely sharp and piercing. One might say, “that needle is very pointed.” It has various meanings as a noun such as, “the point I am trying to make,” or it might be used to bring someone who is rambling in their talking to an abrupt halt by saying, “please get to the point.” It can also be used as a verb by saying something like, “let me point out that.” In all these usages it is a powerful word that refers to the very essence or most important characteristic of almost anything. Allow me to “point” out that Jesus Christ is the center point of God Himself. Jesus is the point of it all, the point of redemption, the point of the image of God and the point of all of grace. Point also refers to the core meaning of anything important. Jesus is the core meaning of God. Jesus said, “if you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” In fact, He is the express image of God. I sure hope you get my POINT.

Blessings, Pastor Joe

Let Go

“Trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path” -Proverbs 3:5-6

Did you know that one of the secrets to amazing power in your life as a believer is simply to let go? That is right. When you take your hands off the wheel of your life and let God take over, that is when God can do more than you could ever ask or think. The story is told of the little boy who had broken his toy car and, believing his dad could fix anything, brought the toy to him and asked his dad to fix it. Just as the father began to fix the car the little boy grabbed it from him and said, “I can do it now,” and proceeded to try to fix it himself. Frustrated because he couldn’t fix it he handed it back to his father and then took it back again. This back and forth scenario continued several times until the little boy cried out in exasperation, “Why can’t you fix my car, Dad?” To which the father replied, “I would have if you had only taken your hands off of it until I was finished fixing it.” How like us with our heavenly Father. We partially turn over our needs and concerns to God, and then take them back again only to find that they got worse. Jesus says, “Trust Me and let go completely. Stop being the control freak of your life and let me have it all and watch what happens.” I love Cory Ten Boom’s statement about this when she said: “I have learned to not grasp on to anything too tightly in this world because it hurts so bad if God has to pry my fingers off of it.” The most painful and frustrating state of being in life is to give our circumstances only part way to God. We end up asking God to bless our mess rather than discovering the sufficiency of God to take over the reigns of life, and surprise us with His perfect will as he guides us in it. So, the words of the day are: LET GO!!

Blessings, Pastor Joe