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Helping spread the word

Ishmael ‘Mac’ McDonald, a longtime minister of the gospel, has authored ‘Mac’s Mini Bible: The Word of God.’ SUBMITTED PHOTO
Ishmael ‘Mac’ McDonald, a longtime minister of the gospel, has authored ‘Mac’s Mini Bible: The Word of God.’ SUBMITTED PHOTO
Published: 8:53 AM, 02/07/2013

Source: The Blowing Rocket

Ishmael “Mac” McDonald, a Blowing Rock homeowner, has announced the release of his book, “Mac’s Mini Bible: The Word of God,” and something that he believes will prove to be a powerful publication in 44 pages.

Published by Xulon Press, a division of Salem Communications, (the world’s largest Christian self-publisher), McDonald’s book, he said, is an easy way to remind people of God’s love and his plan for our salvation.

“This book is written by my heart because of the way God loves and cares for his children,” he said.

After a lifetime of being a church member and leading the church as a teacher, ruling elder, lay speaker, lay preacher and a certified lay pastor, McDonald decided to write a book 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.”

It 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,” he said.

McDonald has spent a good part of his 87 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,” he said, despite the fact that it derived from his mother’s biblical “hero.”

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, 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 his book will gain a better understanding of the Bible, he said, and a desire to follow the commandments of Jesus to go into the world to share “this wonderful story.” 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 “Mac’s Mini Bible,” McDonald presents six 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 finally, how we, as God’s children, are commanded to communicate with God, to praise him and glorify him.

“It’s no great masterpiece,” he said. “I just want people to read it with an open mind, regardless of their religious beliefs, and if they do, hopefully it will improve or even change their lives.”

“Mac’s Mini Bible” is available online through, and; paperback copies are $8.99; e-books are $4.49.

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

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