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Donald Macleod

My name is Donald Macleod better know as Doonie I live in Stornoway and I am married to Liz and have three children Craig, Stuart and Brian.  I work for the Health Board.

I publicly confessed my faith in Christ  in February 1996 at the same time as my wife Liz.  I always felt aware of the Lord in my life. I did not realize it but I was searching for the Lord  for about 20 years before I gave my life to Him.

For most of my life I had felt that I wanted to give my life to Christ but could not. The fact was, I had a foot in both camps.  I was a regular in church doing the best for my family and community.  I had a good job and marriage.

I had a problem! I found the idea of attending the prayer meetings filled me with fear! I felt like I would be going into another world yet I knew it was the place to be.  I knew that God was calling me, however no matter what happened, I just could not make that commitment.  God's Spirit was striving with me and I knew it.

I was first made aware of God in Sunday school.  The whole class was misbehaving and the Sunday School Teacher was at his wits end.  He told us in a very loving way that we had one of two choices to make.  It was brought home to me that day that if I did not have the Lord as my personal Saviour then I would not be going to Heaven, instead I would be going to a lost eternity.  This realization frightened me!

As I grew up I remembered enjoying sermons, well most of them.  I can remember some nights coming out of church and wanting to give my life to Christ. These thoughts would quickly disappear. There was little opportunity to follow up these desires when I was young. Youth Fellowships were not really in existence. My perception of that time is that very few Christians ever spoke to me about my soul. Therefore I feel now that it is very important for Christians to speak to any visitors or people both young and old that come to church on a regular basis.  They might be longing for a Christian to speak to them. They made be seeking counselling or help but feel unable to make an approach.

I suppose I tried to lead a very moral life and to a large degree I was very self righteous. Trying to please God but on my own terms and trying to win His favour. It was not working!  During the early 1980’s I came across a book by C.H.Spurgeon,  entitled 'All of Grace.' It was given to my father in law by a Church Elder and I read it with great interest. This book had a great impact on me. After I was converted I mentioned to the Church Elder that I had read this book, the one he had given my father in law. He said that he often gave books away but at times wondered if what he was doing had any value. I am living proof that it did!

Two verse in that book remained with me:

Romans Chapter 5 verse 6 and 8.

‘For when we were yet without strength in due time Christ died for the ungodly.’

‘But God commended His love that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.’

During the early 1980’s I was most aware of God calling me.  I was in Preston doing a course. It was spread over three years, twelve weeks per year.  I was sharing a room in a Bed & Breakfast with a colleague from Glasgow.  I would always read my Bible in front of him. There were a dozen of us on the course and they always asked questions about the way of life on the Island of Lewis especially the way of life from a  Christian perspective.  I would always speak about it in positive terms. 

There is a void in the heart of everyone that only Christ can fill.  At weekends I would go to my wife’s aunt in Erskine.  I  remember one Sunday going to get milk with my wife’s Uncle Jimmy. Believe it or not at that time there was a farm in Erskine!  We passed the local Church and a service was about to start. I felt so drawn by the Lord that I had to go in.

About that same time I heard another sermon and the verse preached was :

Revelations 22:17

‘And the Spirit and the Bride say come, and let him that heareth say Come and let him who is a thirst come and whosoever will let him take the water of life freely.’

I knew then that I wanted to give my life to Christ, however it took another 10 -11 years! I could no longer carry on! I had to give my life over to Christ.  I could not remain being a secret Christian, God was calling me!  He was also calling Liz my wife in a different way but she was resisting.  She suffered a particular tragedy in her life in that she lost a brother who passed away at the age of 34 years.

A decision had to be made! We both gave our lives to Christ and we did it on our 16th wedding anniversary. We became members in Stornoway Free Church six months later.

I am not a good example in that I took a long time to give my life to Christ. I would urge anybody that does not know Christ, to ask Him into your life. Ask Him to get rid of any stumbling blocks that are in the way!  We do not know what an hour or what a day may bring.  Come and receive that peace and joy which passes all understanding and receive Christ into your life as your own personal Redeemer.  Seek Him and you shall find Him.

Tomorrow may prove to be a day too late! Do not go to a lost eternity with the Gospel ringing in your ears!  You might not think He is calling you! He might not be shouting in your ear but is He calling you with that still small voice. Ask Him to open your heart and make it receptive to His Word.

When God is calling us the devil will put doubts in our mind. Do not look to other Christians as they will only disappoint you. Look to Christ and Him alone, the Perfect One. Are weary with what this  world has to offer? What is keeping you back from Christ? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.