the BLOG of stuart mcdonald

Starting the New Year Off With a Fast
December 30, 2009, 9:53 am
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At the beginning of every year, I, along with my church family (Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church in Atlanta, Georgia) embark on a 21-day fast in order to sharpen our senses, deepen our relationship with God, & gain insight, wisdom, & purpose for the upcoming.

For the first 21 days of January, beginning at 6am on the 1st, we remove the following things from our diet: meat, dairy, breads, sugars, caffeine, and sweets. Essentially, we eat only fruits & vegetables. This is called a Daniel Fast.

It’s taken from the story of Daniel in the first chapter of the Biblical book bearing his name: Continue reading


Why I Don’t Want To Recap 2009
December 29, 2009, 9:09 am
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It’s the end of the year, 2009. It’s also the end of the first decade of the 2000s. Wow.

Seems like it was just yesterday that you couldn’t find bread, milk, water or batteries to save you life because everyone (or at least the majority of America) was concerned that the world would end because we “forgot” that at some point, computers might not understand that “01” means “2001” and not “1901.”

But alas, ten years have passed. And now is the time when all the writers, bloggers, and basically everyone and their mothers, will be writing about what we can learn from 2009 (or the previous ten years) and all the great things that happened and all the bad things that happened and yada, yada, yada… Continue reading

My Job Search — Part 1
December 26, 2009, 5:10 pm
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I don’t have a job. Well that’s not entirely true. I am in school full time & I have a few sites I have a blogging commitment with. But neither of those produce money for me. Not yet anyway.

What I mean is this: I haven’t had a job where I filled out a W-2 since 2004.

I’ve mostly been doing freelance graphic design because, well, I was decent at it. Maybe even good. And it was fairly easy for me. But I always knew that it was just a temporary thing; it wasn’t my passion. It wasn’t my calling. I could do without it.

Now I find myself in a place where I need a job — not because I want one, because, honestly, who does — but because I need money. Continue reading

Give The Gift Of Love
December 25, 2009, 9:43 am
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It’s Christmas morning… but not exactly the picturesque mental image that you might imagine. There are no presents under the tree. Mama isn’t in the kitchen getting some delicious vittles ready for our consumption. There are no kids running around with their new toys. No. It’s 2:30am. There’s not much around but me and this laptop. And the rain outside — it’s much more a wet Christmas than a white one. Oh, and I’m tired.

So what kind of wisdom do I want to leave you with on December 25th, 2009? Simply this: Continue reading

Has Christmas Become An Idol?
December 22, 2009, 8:53 am
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62584Ah, Christmas… It’s that time of year again. The time when we sing Christmas… err… to be politically correct… holiday songs (most of which have little or nothing to do with Jesus and more to do with Santa), give gifts to those we care about (because doing it any other time just wouldn’t make sense), and, of course, we put up all kinds of decorations around the house — lights, trees, ornaments, stockings, berries, branches, and ribbons. All this in order to, allegedly, celebrate the birth of Christ.

But wait… did I miss something? What does a Christmas tree, eggnog, mistletoe, stockings, or eight reindeer have to do with the Son of God? Sounds like some kind of bad riddle, doesn’t it? Continue reading

Why Should We Get Married?
December 18, 2009, 9:24 am
Filed under: Relationships | Tags: , , ,

marriage-2 I think too often we — whether singles, Christians, whatever — tend to “tag along” with ideas without asking any questions Certain ideas and ways of doing things have just become the status quo. We blindly adopt the “if they’re doing it, I probably should too” ideology.

I would categorize marriage as one of those things. We never really examine if it’s something that’s for us. Instead we just assume it’s the natural next step and right and we fall right in line.

Do we get married because we have legitimate, real reasons, or do we do it just because that’s what society, and especially the church, tell us that we should do? If you get down to the heart of the matter, almost everything that one could do inside a marriage, could also be done outside of a marriage, whether in a committed partnership, or in some cases, just a “regular” relationship. Continue reading

Should Singles Date Outside Their Local Church?
December 16, 2009, 9:35 am
Filed under: Relationships, Think About It | Tags: , , , , ,

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine the other day, and as singles tend to do, we inevitably came to talk about where single people can meet potential spouses. She asked me, “Why does it seem like every man that goes to [our church] is going outside of [our church] to find themselves a girlfriend?” (While we were talking specifically about the church we attended, the same conversation could have been had about any church across America.)

Good question. Why does it seem that so many men go outside of their local church when there may be plenty of “options” inside their church?

First, I wonder if it just seems that way because we tend to more easily notice “outsiders” who come in with a person we know in our church? For example, if I’m dating a new girl, who I met outside of my church, to a Sunday service, people would be more likely to recognize that than if I came to a service with someone who is a member of my church, wouldn’t you think? Continue reading