IMG_1307_2My name is Dave McDonald, but many people call me ‘Macca’. I’m married to Fiona and we have four children, two daughters-in-law, and a gorgeous grandchild! We’ve been in Canberra for 24 years, where I’ve been the pastor of a church called Crossroads, and more recently Stromlo Christian Church.

In December 2011, I was diagnosed with an ‘incurable’ lung cancer. This has turned our lives upside down, impacted our plans for the future, and caused us to reflect on what truly matters in life. Many people have encouraged me to write. While not being a writer, there are things I would like to communicate. I hope and pray this blog may be a blessing to others.

What are macarisms? And why have I called this blog by that name?

The silly answer is because people call me Macca and these are going to be things that I want  to communicate! But the deeper answer lies in the meaning of the word. It is simply an English version of an ancient Greek word meaning ‘blessing’ or ‘to be blessed’. There are various forms of this word in the New Testament, the most famous being Jesus’ words in the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5): Blessed are the the poor in spirit… those who mourn… the merciful… and so on. The specific word ‘macarism’ is found in Romans 4:6-8:

David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness (macarism) of the one whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.

My desire for this blog is that people will be blessed as they read and think about life. My hope is to help people to reflect on the good life, to stop and consider what’s really worth having. If you are encouraged by what you read here, then please leave a comment. If you think others might be blessed by macarisms, then please refer them to this blog.

27 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hi Dave and Fiona,
    It is great that we can share our lives with each other, no matter the distance, as brothers and sisters in Christ. You are in my prayers as I am traveling this year. We have such a great and powerful Lord, who promises to be with us through all seasons. May you continue to turn to Him for strength, love and mercy as you walk the path He has prepared for you. He will never let you go, Praise God! Ps139.
    God Bless,

  2. Hi David and Fiona. I have stumbled onto your blog through a friend posting it on Facebook. I also was diagnosed with cancer in December 2011. i have breast cancer and apart from having the lumps removed have not started my chemo and radiation yet. We also have four children and love the God who made us and know that he has this “journey” planned and ordained to show us how to be more like His Son Jesus. I see the Oncologist for the first time on thursday so am very scared about that. I have been dreading chemo and the effects it brings. I really have no idea how it will affect me so it has been good to read your entries and see your response. I am a registered nurse and when I trained in a general hospital 30 odd years ago I thought if I had cancer there was no way i would accept chemo because of the horrid side effects I saw patients go through but being on the other side it is a different story. I guess no matter what we feel the world needs us around a little longer and so cling to the one hope of sustaining our life. Thank you for the blog and I will be praying for your complete recovery. God is sovereign and knows all so none of this is a mistake. We just have to continue to trust and believe that He is in control and we are his very loved children who he wants what is best for us. from Diana

    1. Hi Diana, thank you for making the connection. It is so frightening to get the news that you have cancer. I was completely unprepared for it. Being supported by others is very, very important. For me, it is the love of God being made increasingly real to me. It is also my amazing wife, who I have grown to appreciate more than ever before. It is my loving kids, friends, and wider church family. It sounds like you have a strong faith in God. I will pray that God sustains you, that he provides all you need, and that you will also share in the joys that can only come through weakness and suffering. If you would like to communicate further about things, or if we can be of any help to you, please feel free to contact us via facebook and we can email or personal message you. Dave

  3. It is always great to hear what you are up too.
    Our prayer are with you and your family.

  4. Dave, I have been following the blog for some time now and appreciate your teaching, the way you share your faith and challenge and encourage others. Always inspirational. My prayers are with you and Fiona.
    Vince Newton (1st Year 1984)

  5. Hi Dave,
    You don’t know me, but my cyber-friend Narelle Atkins was talking with Brad Penfold the other day. Narelle emailed me as she knows I’ve written a book entitled “Strength Renewed, Meditations for Your Journey through Breast Cancer” – published a few months ago by Revell in the States. Although the title says Breast Cancer, the feedback I’m getting shows it of encouragement to people with all cancers – and indeed any other life-threatening situation.

    I’m not writing to you to promote my book though! When I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer which had already spread to the glands, my surgeon didn’t expect me to live as long as a year. I’m now a 15-and-a-half year cancer survivor. I went from being an active nursing sister to being an inspirational writer. I KNOW God has used all “the cancer” things for good–and He has blessed many people as a result. Hang in there my new friend. God has exciting things in store for you.

  6. Dear Dave
    just about to speak on fear from Mark 5, and I hope you don’t (I did wonder if I should put do!!!) mind if I mention you in my talk. I just read in a blog that Bronwyn Chin said last year in an article –
    “So I thank God for this gift of cancer because he is good and he is using it for his purposes. The plans of the Lord are perfect even if I don’t know the reasons for everything. All I know is that soon I will be with the Lord forever because Jesus alone has saved me through his death and resurrection.” It now remains for either the Lord Jesus to come to us, or us to Him, as Bronwyn has on Resurrection Sunday.
    Loved the picture of you and Chappo at your 50th! You young scumbag!
    Have loved the way you have kept the faith, and am looking forward to catching up with you wherever that may occur.
    Your brother in Christ
    Geoff Piggott

  7. Macca
    When first you and Fiona started in Canberra I was blessed to be a part of that formulative year. My first day at anu I met you and Michael Callahan and loved my 1990 year at ANU with AFES being a huge part of it, as was Dickson Baptist at the time. I respect your blog on humility and i know you are right but I want you to know you continue to make a difference and I need to tell you out of respect for all you did as Gods servant. You helped shaped the Christian I am. Your words still resonate inside me. I remember wanting to get a cross earring and chain as you and Shane had to demonstrate my love for God to others visually, however untheological that is. I loved the fact you had the confidence to preach in thongs knowing the word was more important than anything. I continue to meet people from that year, from colleagues who are also school hsie coordinators in Sydney like me, to my boss being Tim Bowden from CU, to seeing off Daniel Seggesser yesterday from his five week visit to Australia. I love your words today as I can see you preaching all those years ago. Thank you for making a difference, and thanks to Fiona for supporting you, and God, so faithfully for all these years. God bless all of you.

    Stuart Jones

  8. Hi david, my name is michelle potter ( fomerly Temple)
    My parents david and kerry used to cook for focus camps.
    I recently heard about your battle with cancer at church.
    Im so sorry.
    I just wanted to let you know that im praying for you, fiona and the children reguarly.
    Your faith in God is such a blessing to others.
    May God contiune to bless you and use you and heal you
    With love

  9. Hi David,

    i dont think we’ve met but we lived in Canberra for a couple of years. At the moment we’re in Bolivia doing some water ministry with SIM. Anyway a while back a mate of mine caught up with you and told me where youve been at – and so youve been on our prayer list for maybe 18months now. Keep on keeping on. God bless.

    Craig, Bolivia.

  10. Hi Dave
    My name is Anna-Marie and I was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2011. I had two surgeries, chemo and radiation. I have joined an Art Therapy group for cancer sufferers. It has been a blessing to me and also provided lots of opportunities to share Christ. I was just ordering some leaflets from Matthias Media to hand out with Easter baking to this group and some neighbours and got a copy of your book which I look forward to reading and sharing. I went to a cancer event last year and have been thinking a lot about the hope for a cure and our certain hope in Christ. So I am encouraged that you have addressed this in your book.
    I too have four children (ages 16,18,20,22) and a wonderful godly husband who loved me through the whole ordeal.
    Through suffering ( I have CFS too, since 2003) I have found a deeper connection with Gods faithful promises as I trust in Him.
    I will pray for you and you family as you journey in the valley of the shadow of death.
    Your sister in Christ,
    Anna-Marie Waters
    Two really helpful biblical books written by a Christian cancer sufferer : Off Script by Cary Schmidt and a Christian motor neurone disease sufferer: Remember by Rhonda Watson (The Lord took her home in August 2011)

  11. Hi Dave, I met you at the hospital today 🙂 So sorry to take you by surprise and that I rambled on. It was just really nice to see you and I have found your blog a real encouragement and am reading your book also. I heard you speak in about 1995 at the University of Canberra after I had just become a Christian and even went to a couple of your bible studies with my friend Ann Harris who led me to Christ. I was very saddened to hear of your illness and have been praying for you along with many others. As I said today I have also been struck down with illness. The broken leg at the moment is the least of my troubles. I am trying to manage chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety. I find it hard to bear this suffering but continue trying to put my trust in the Lord, though sometimes I find this very difficult. Anyway, I just wanted to say hi and thanks for encouraging me and wish you all the very best with all your treatments. Please drop me a line if you ever want to chat 🙂

  12. Hi Dave, I hadn’t actually seen your latest post but am feeling much more at ease now. I was worried you would think I was just some random crazy lady coming up to you. I really had to make a quick decision of whether I was brave enough to say hello as I am pretty shy. It was really nice to see you and I am glad your chemo session went well. You will continue to be in my prayers and thank you for yours 🙂 Rebecca

  13. Hi Dave, Warwick Mears (of NSW Sports Chaplaincy Australia) told me about your book and suggested I ask if you would be interested in sharing a shortened version of your testimony with Challenge The Good News Paper. Would you please email me at info@challengenews.org if you are interested? We would love to interview over the phone or via email, as we are based in Perth. All God’s best, Darryl Budge (Challenge assistant editor).

  14. Hello,
    I’m a friend of Jeana and Peter. Jeana gave me your book a month ago because my brother was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. He is 30. He has and will have quiet a story once he is on the other side of his treatment. I wanted to thank you for your book. It helped me personally when I first read it. I am a Christian so at the time the most helpful part of your book was the insight it gave me into how my brother might be thinking or feeling. But further on I also want to give a massive thank you for the tools it gave me to help break down some of the important stuff. I picked him up from the hospital yesterday, he was in total despair and hopelessness. I virtually used your words in the book to lead him though where his hope is and ultimately Who he puts his hope in. Last night mum called to say he was a completely different person last night and that he had worked through a lot that day. So big praise to God for the work he is doing and a big massive thanks to you for your book! Bless ya heaps, Elly

  15. Dear David, my friend gave me your book ‘Hope Beyond Cure’ yesterday. I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer on 16 December, a few days after finding a lump on our first day of holiday on Kangaroo Island. My life has been completely stopped in its tracks. I had surgery after coming back to Melbourne and is due to do chemotherapy on 31 Jan. I completely identify with all everything you mentioned in your book, even though it’s just early chapters I am reading. I asked all the questions you asked. I feel lost. I do not know God’s will at this point. I do not want to die of cancer! That’s what I know for sure! But like you said, when we recover, what then? I totally get you about how we need to find the hope beyond cure, which is only in Christ Jesus. I am trying to. I want to have this hope and peace that no one can rob me of, everything else is sinking sand. I want to know God and his promises with my heart, not with my head. Just like Proverbs 3:5-6, to trust in the Lord with all my heart, not with my head… is something I need to work on. I thank God, like you, I have many friends and family who are praying for me, who constantly remind me of God and his word, because I really do need them when I feel weak in every way. Audrey xx

    1. Dear Audrey, I still can’t get my head around why cancer happens. It’s real and raw and awful. But I know that God knows and I can trust him with my unknowing. Praying that in your weakness, you will grow strong in the Lord. Dave

  16. Hi David, Thank you so much for writing your book. In September 2017 my husband, also called David, and I were on a cruise. Had a lovely time but I noticed that over again the verse Romans 8:28 was repeated all the time. I said to David “I wonder if God is warning us about something?”. Sure enough a few months later David was diagnosed with incurable cancer. We were lent your book and found it so encouraging! I have ordered 25 from the Good Book Company as there are so many people I want to give it to. Janet, Ipswich, Suffolk, UK.

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