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Thoughts and Prayer Requests

If you have found this site, I do not know whether or not to congratulate you or mourn for you. You will find much here about my personal life. I need your prayers, as you will see below. I do not desire this page to be a complaint at all. Please keep this in mind as you read the following text.

-Joshua McDonald

Nothing surpasses the omniscience of God in our daily world. However, there are times when I need to share thoughts and ideas - possibly concerns or joys - and I am unable to do so in any other way than through writing. I do not know who will find this on the internet, neither do I know who would really care to read any of these things. But, if you have stumbled across it, I pray that it will be a blessing to you. I do not know how often this will be updated, but, that is of no real concern of mine. I will try to update as much as possible, but with school now days, I never know when my next break will be. Have a good day, and I'll talk to you all again soon!

On this page, I also intend to list prayer requests. Again - I do not know who will ever find this page, but if you do, and you're a Bible-believing, born-again Christian, please pray for me. I greatly appreciate it.


Sunday, November 17, 2002, 10:46 PM

Well, it has definitely been a while since this page was last updated.  My apologies to those, if any, who read this on a regular basis.  I like to update it, but I have found that I do not have much time too update it very often.  The only time is usually on a Sunday evening after church, for I do not have many responsibilities once I get home on Sunday evenings.

What are you going to write about? Well, I have some things on my heart that I want to say.  Some things that are close, that I don't often get to talk about.  Don't get too excited though - it's not much.  It is just that I do not talk about things close to me with hardly anyone (except the Lord), and when I do speak them, it means a lot to anyway.

First of all, I was in complete amazement at Who God is this evening during the evening church service.  It was an awesome service.  There was a video about a husband and wife who had adopted children with special needs, and it was very moving.  Most of the congregation was in tears after the video was over, because these children were learning how to overcome their physical difficulties and serve the Lord anyway.  It was quite a blessing.  It moved me quite a bit also.  Yet, I did not cry.  I do not know why the Lord has taken that part of me away right now, but, I have found that I have been unable to truly cry at all in the last half year.  It frustrates me often, for I know I am often looked upon as a guy who is insensitive, and seemingly uncaring, and I don't want that idea of myself portrayed.  But, please don't get me wrong - I don't want to be able to cry so that others can see it.  I just want the ability back.  I have had some of the most spiritually exciting times during a good cry before the Lord, because I know my spirit is then emotionally involved with what is going on.  Now, I know that a person should not base their spiritual life upon emotional "highs," but, emotions are very strong ways of expression for humans, and I just cannot seem to express emotion in that way.  I pray that the Lord reveals it to me.

The other topic...well, I can't really explain too much in writing.  Interesting, huh?  You would think it would be the other way around.  It is basically a desire for others to not misunderstand me for who I am and what I say.  I have changed many concepts in the past months; the Lord has brought convictions in my life and given me Scripture to base these convictions upon.  Yet, many people misunderstand my convictions and supposed "standards" and believe that I am mad, upset, or offended.  Let me be quick to state that I'm not talking about unbelievers, but that I am talking about true believers who are close to me.  When an unbeliever misunderstands me for who I am or what I believe it, I may try to help him understand initially, but, I don't worry about it too much.  I just tell them the truth of the Gospel, and go on my way.  It begins to bother me, however, when Christians cannot seem to come together and work to understand each other in a real way.  I'll be the first to admit that I am quick to judge an individual based upon external appearance or reaction, but, I just pray that we as Christians can look beyond the outward, and look to the inward.  I pray we could consider what it is we are really doing or saying with our actions, and what the motives are behind them.  I pray we would be more concerned with the well-being and care for others than for our own selves.  It is a very hard thing to see, but it is what the Lord has asked us to do.  He tells us that we are responsible for every word, thought, action, attitude, and motive that we have.  That's a very powerful concept to consider.

I guess what I am saying is, I pray that we would be more willing to bear our hearts and spirits as Christians rather than our personal desires and physical wants.  I pray we would speak to each other and treat each other on a spiritual basis.  Would we truly "slam" Jesus Christ if He were in the midst of our conversations?  That is a thing that I cannot get past in my own personal walk with the Lord.  I cannot justify "joking around" in a derogatory way, or in anyway that is even mildly offensive to a person.  Even if it doesn't offend them, does that truly give us the liberty to take advantage of their true love for us just to get a reaction or response?  Consider the love and grace that must be bestowed by the person who is targeted by our hurtful words!  Why do we break down each other in such a way?  It seems to me as though it is backward theology.  Yet, I hear many people say, "Well, that's just the way I express my love."  I do not understand that.  Why use our tongues and mouths, which are the most powerful offensive weapon we have, and say things that slice, cut down, and mangle our fellow brothers and sisters spiritually?  James states that the tongue is an unruly evil, and basically that it is a horrid tool that can destroy a person (James 3).

Maybe I'm just a "softy."  Maybe I'm completely wrong.  If I am, please tell me (  I want to be told if I am wrong.  What was David's prayer in Psalm 19?  "Let the words of my acceptable in thy sight..."  I know I am not perfect - I will be the first to tell you that I find it somewhat entertaining to put down or mildly offend another person - yet, I'll also be the first to tell you that I feel horribly in my spirit after I make a comment of any kind that is derogatory.  It just seems wrong to me.

But, I'm not saying that we should all be "lovey-dovey" and "mushy-gushy."  This may seem contradictory, but, I have purposed (by God's grace) that I will not tell a girl that I love her again until I know that she will be my wife.  Why? you might ask?  Well, I'll be honest - I personally believe that when those three words are put together to make a statement, it is a statement of declaration that is stronger than any other statement.  I do not believe that a human can say something greater to another human.  But, I know the argument is out there: "Well, I'm just saying it through 'spiritual love.'"  Yes, that may be the intent, but I'm being honest:  every single time I hear the words "I love you," and they are directed toward me, it affects me emotionally.  I want to save emotional affection of that nature for my wife, not for any one else.  It is important to me, and while I really don't know anyone else who would agree with me on this matter, I just know that this is the conviction the Lord has placed in my heart concerning the issue at this time in my life.

So, I am not saying that I wish we could go around and say "I love you" all the time to each other as Christians.  That's not it at all.  But, why not reflect upon the spiritual fervor, strength, desire, and motivation we receive after a service.  I find myself speaking about some of the craziest and most hurtful things after a church service in which I had an amazingly time spiritually with the Lord.  Why not talk about those spiritual things?  If the purpose of church is to get something spiritual out of it, why can't we discuss that which we have received spiritually?  Do I want to get rid of all other conversation?  No, I don't - I'm just stating a personal conviction:  if you're in the church for a certain reason, stay focused on it, and don't get distracted by other areas.

I know that for me personally, there have been many times in which something wonderful has happened in my spirit and I have been sucked into or started a conversation that didn't have anything to do with the spiritual thing that just happened to me.  I have found that when that happens, it may be several days before I remember what it was the Lord shared with me in my heart that night.  I guess I'm probably one of the few who do this, but, that's just the way it is for me.  As a matter of fact, tonight, I was deeply moved by the Holy Spirit, and the Lord was doing a major work in my heart.  This was something that had not happened in quite a while.  I have been seeking and asking the Lord to do a work in my heart, and finally, I began to get a glimmer of it tonight during the service.  I was so excited about it, and there were some new revelations that the Lord had given me during the service, and I really wanted to talk about and discuss them with those around me.  Unfortunately, there were some words said that cut me down right after the service, and it damaged the spirit I had just participated in with the Lord.  Whether these "slams" were intentional or not, or whether I am just too sensitive or not, I do not know.  I do know, however, that after the hurtful words, I had no desire to discuss my exciting spiritual news with anyone.  And to be honest, I am currently struggling to remember everything that happened in my heart tonight.  I am somewhat sad of this, but I'm glad the Lord has pointed this out to me, and I know that I must purpose to keep the spirit as my focus in the future.

For anyone who reads this, please do not misunderstand me:  I am not blaming anyone or trying to throw a guilt-trip.  These are just things that the Lord has really impressed on my heart.  It burdens me that we as Christians cannot recognize what we are saying, and how truly hurtful our words can be.  I do not understand why we cannot show the love of Christ with our words.  It seems pointless to me to have "fellowship" with those when the words that are spoken only bring pain - that certainly does not seem like "fellowship."

I also want to say that I am not claiming myself innocent in any of this.  I am one of the worst verbal "slammers" you can find (or, in my mind I am).  I just want to exhibit the love of Christ to those who I love the most as Christians.  The last thing I want to do is throw a painful remark that will hurt for the rest of their lives.  By God's grace, I pray that I will be more aware of what I say and how I say it so that I can show God's love in a much more real way.

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight; O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer."
Psalm 19:14

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