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Rev Donald C. Macaskill

I was born in Glasgow in 1942 - the youngest twin. My parents did not know I was there - no scanning in these days! So I was not planned - or expected! Except in God's mind. I had a very happy childhood. Brought up in a very religious home - I do not think my parents were born again until our teenage years but they certainly brought us up 'in the church'. We were told about the doctrine of heaven and hell, with hell emphasised more than heaven. However, this did not harm us at all. In fact it made us more accountable and responsible.

I always wanted to go to heaven but 'not yet'. My parents always emphasised the necessity of 'being right with God' - the most important thing in the world.  However, I was too young for that kind of thinking. Plenty time after I achieved all that I wanted to achieve. I loved sport, especially football. But our parents did not want us to pursue football because of the bad company. So we turned to badminton. That became my 'idol' - to win the world championships.

When I was 17 years old I heard a very serious sermon "some believed the things that were spoken, and some believed not" [Acts  28:24]. I was convicted and knew I had to give up my idol if I was to be a real Christian. But decided that I would continue to play badminton and become a Christian later on. Then when I was 21 years old I heard another sermon "seek the Lord while He may be found, call on Him while He is near" [Isaiah 55:6]. That struck home. I could not afford to delay, I must commit myself to Christ now. I ran upstairs to my bedroom and fell on my knees and asked God to save me. I kept on asking him at every opportunity, praying at lunchtime and at work as well as in the evening and mornings.

I cannot tell when I first enjoyed the freedom of the gospel - it was gradual and slow but eventually I got peace and knew that I was a changed person. We gave up badminton and went into business and worked day and night in building it up. It occupied all our time but it gave us time to think and kept us out of trouble. Anyway, the Lord led and guided us (God graciously 'dealt' with George my twin brother at the same time, which made everything so much easier).

The call to the ministry came many years later. I did not think God could possibly call me to the ministry - but for me it was as clear as anything. In fact I thought that if I was not called to the ministry then I was not clear about anything and life was meaningless and all confusion. Yet the first 'hint' I had of it was at a Bible Study when a girl said that I would never have an end to my business troubles until I did what God wanted me to do. I asked her what was that? She said 'to preach the gospel'! I was shocked and said to myself 'what a foolish woman'! But her words stuck to me and would not go away. I began to want to study the Bible and preach more than anything else. All the business interests disappeared and all I was interested in was the gospel and theology and preaching. I read and read and enjoyed everything I read. God did some marvellous things to 'open the way' for us (again God graciously led George to the ministry also).

There were many shocks for us since our conversion and call to the ministry but God has been gracious. He has been faithful despite our unfaithfulness. I have been blessed beyond expression. God has given me a lovely wife, son, daughter, daughter-in-law, all converted, and covenant grandson which has made life so beautiful. God is so good.

One of the greatest and most encouraging discoveries I have made since beginning my ministry is that God is much more merciful than man is. He is indeed 'waiting' to be gracious to every sinner that turns to Him - no strings attached. He is tolerant and patience beyond compare. He is so ready to forgive. Again and again He has proved to me that His delight is in mercy. What a privilege to preach this gospel.

Anyone, but anyone, is WELCOME, not just tolerated, to come to Jesus Christ. If anyone reading this message, wishes to come to faith in Christ, let him or her not delay. There is nothing to fear -  there are only blessings at God's right hand. Remember He is inviting you to come, not for justice, but for mercy and love. He excels in pardon and love.

Yours in the Name that is Above Every Name

Donald C Macaskill