I want to share with you something that is very much on my mind all of the time…concerning Christianity. I ask you to have ears to hear, eyes to see, and a heart to understand. Please do not make assumptions.
I’m a pastors wife. My pastor reverend husband, Robert, was called by God to serve people participating in presbyterian churches.
I grew up in a presbyterian church, Robert, grew up in the Catholic faith. Robert and I took our children to Non-denominational churches, most of them tongue talking, oil anointing, laying on of hands and dancing in the isles churches.
Have I given you enough information that assumptions and attitudes and differences are at the front of your thoughts?
- Robert is serving where he knows he was called.
- We spend a lot of our time with people that don’t read the Bible.
- We spend very little time with people that read their Bible.
- Robert preaches the gospel truth of Jesus in every message.
- Robert and I share the gospel truth of Jesus in every conversation and in every class we teach, everyday.
The first 25 years, before seminary, we spent very little time with people that needed to hear about Christ, they knew it all. Now, in the last 15 years we spend almost all of our time with people that hunger to be loved, recognize Christ when they see Him in people and grow with every teaching they hear from the pulpit telling the gospel of Christ.
Now for the point of this blog, please do not make assumptions about my salvation, or walk with Christ, when we meet. Don’t, assume I need to be more like you or that the church where my husband serves is a dying church and we need to bury it and join with you.
I think Robert and I have been built for wear and tare and we have been prepared for this small congregation of people. They are a beautiful remnant of God’s people….an important remnant to Jesus. Join us some Sunday and see if God shows you what I can see about His people.
I contend that if we all spent more time sharing Christ love with the lost all around us they would know us by our love.
Join me at Leander Presbyterian Church, 101 N West Dr, Leander, TX, 78641, Worship Service 11:00 am each Sunday. You will need to come early to get a back seat.
You are invited to Watercolor and Fellowship in the fellowship hall at Leander Presbyterian Church from 2-4. Learn more by visiting my website Classes Page. It is not us and them…it is Jesus and us.
My sweet, very good looking Pastor husband, Robert, says “Kathleen talks and thinks in negative space”. When he first said this I knew he was correct. I think and talk in the same method as I plan a painting.
I meticulously lay out the negative space, the white space in my paintings. This is the space where the purpose, the focal point is not, the space where your eye can rest and then wander back into the painting.
Now thinking a bit more and a bit deeper about this – Even as a child I surmised that everything in the painting, that is not the focal point is the negative space. And the negative space becomes the supporting evidence of the purpose of the painting.
I was about 13 when I first heard the gospel. I desperately wanted the relief that people talked about experiencing when they accepted Christ as Lord. I began the journey of implementing this new knowledge into my life. I was 22 before I had teachers in my life that began to inspire me to read the Bible and to allow the Holy Spirit to work in my life. For me it was not the magic of the sinners prayer, it was the line upon line precept upon precept that allowed me to make changes in my life, but I remained human. Now as a Christian, trying with all my mite to do the right things I proceeded to experience life in ways that I think mirror Job and his heartbreaks and losses at the hand of satan. I was a very unhappy person, holding fast to a love for Christ but not walking in Christ’s love for me.
I then made a conscious effort to turn my life around. I made the decision to wake every morning, reach my hand out to Jesus and tell Him I wanted to walk in the garden with him.
This was when I began to live consistent with my purpose and let my day-to-day life be the supporting evidence to my purpose: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
I began to paint each day while I walked and talked with Jesus. Each day, a new day, a new garden, a new experience of Christ love and each painting included a deeply experienced time of coming away, of being still in the presence of my Lord and Savior.
When I invite people to learn to watercolor paint from me, I teach them to paint, but one of the results is that people learn to become quiet and be still for a bit. This is not something that happens in the American culture unless you individually allow it, it is an act of your will. Knowing how to do this is not easy, but it happens as you learn to watercolor paint from me. I believe when the Holy Spirit called me to teach people to paint with this method that I was being called to share daily devotions the same as Frances J. Roberts in her devotional Come Away My Beloved, and Sarah Young with Jesus Calling and many other writers of daily devotions.
For me, and maybe for you to turn your life around, to experience the everlasting love of Christ you need something to do with your hands to learn to, Be still and know God, as intended in Psalms 46:10.
Come learn to paint flowers and birds and trees and seeds and insects that live in the garden and see if you find yourself walking with your Lord in the garden that you have now learned to paint.
To learn how you can receive my teaching videos, see my paintings and read my devotions and stories, please visit my Patreon page. I ask you to pledge support so that my message and teaching methods can be shared with many people.
The page is found at this URL online
Kathleen McElwaine to learn more visit my website kmcelwaine.com
They noticed when Moses held his hands up… Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, the enemy prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and they supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set.
I love this scripture and when something is going on that I feel overwhelmed and desperately need help praying I think of it.
I live knowing
- Prayer is timely…if prayer is needed, pray now and ask others to pray with you and continue to pray until you know the change.
- God is serious when he says “where two or three gather in my name, I am with them. When we pray together, holding each other up it is very powerful.
Last night, as I went to bed the news about Hurricane Harvey was awful…it seemed as if the storm might go out, gain strength and return to the same areas. Not one place in the path of this storm could take more, the consequences were already more than they could bear. I prayed falling to sleep and picturing the rain breaking up and separating.
Late into the night or early morning I woke and looked at facebook, checking on friends that were posting about their safety. I was blessed to join in with prayers that were being shared on Facebook.
Yes, this made a difference. As these prayers were being shared, prayers were being answered, safety, the water stopped rising, the storm continued to move out wider.
Even the day the storm disappears, please don’t stop praying and keep my list of 1 and 2 in your minds.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, is asking God to show Himself so that we will know and recognize and experience His hand in our lives!
Please share this post with others.I ask Robert to help me find the correct ratio for art I am creating to then create wallpaper. Robert helped me. I told Robert I did not understand how he got the answer. So Robert began telling me about Euclid’s contribution to Geometry (300BC) and the meaning of the word Logos and how it relates to our Lord Jesus Christ.How is it I somehow understood everything Robert was saying and I understood how he came to the ratio I needed for my artwork?
John 1:1, In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
By 20 years of age, I had made every mistake I could imagine. Still yet, not all of life was a series of mistakes.
When working as a bank teller in downtown Tulsa, OK, one of my regular customers invited me to have dinner with him. We determined he would cook at my apartment. During dinner conversation, I was introduced toward a richer meaning of “The Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Oh, growing up attending a denominational church, I had heard the term, “The Gospel,” but I always wondered what it meant -exactly. My new friend knew and began to share this precious treasured account with me. You see, at every worship service in the church in which he had grown up the gospel had been shared with him.
That special evening I began pondering the words he was saying and the Gospel accounting my friend read from the Bible. I marveled with increasing clarity as the Holy Spirit of God led me to a more richer understanding of Jesus Christ, his person, and his work. The next day, he showed up at my teller window with a gift, a paperback living bible. I began reading the Bible – like a person who had found a pearl of great value.
For years past I had kept a calendar as a diary. It came to be an accounting of my wrong doings. This was started when I was 12 or 13 after seeing a documentary film about David Wilkerson’s book The Cross and the Switchblade. I saw it with my youth group from church. At the end they had, what I later learned to be termed, an alter call. I heard this call and wanted to be right with someone, anyone. If only God could / would give me the way to be acceptable – I wanted the invitation to prayer to be extended.
Standing up from my seat weeping, I started down the aisle to where prayer was being offered. When passing by the youth leader’s wife, she stretched out her hand and turned me back saying: “We don’t believe that way.” Once again mindfully let down and bewildered, I returned to my seat.
Since that time and going forward after this event, I began the task of keeping an accounting of life’s experiences on a calendar.
My menstruation dates, my sexual activity, my inability to stay out of trouble with my parents, my school assignments, even my D’s on the report card, had a place on the calendar.
Before Cross and The Switchblade, I don’t remember feeling responsible for my involvement with sexual activity. The first time it was by coercion. After that, I seemed powerless to stop it. After hearing that call to receive prayer, I knew I was a sinner. Writing all the happenings of the day in the calendar, this documenting accounting as a confession, I thought maybe it would help me change my ways. Though I continued to feel desperate, unable to make things right, I began to treasure and protect the accounting in the calendar.
The Good News Gospel of Jesus Christ has the authority and power to make all things new!
Over a few months, through conversations with my new friend and reading the bible with maturing eyes, I saw changes I needed to make. One evening I took 8 years of calendars to the trash bend and threw them away. Though I did not know how – or why – to talk with Jesus, I talked with him walking to the trash and walking back to the apartment. I requested Jesus to burn up those calendars! Burn up the accounting and memories! Take it all away from me. I did not want to be a sinner or a disappointment. Neither to my new friend nor to myself. He / she whom the Lord sets free, is free indeed!
To watch a video of me painting the donkey I used for this story click on this link https://youtu.be/V2OUChG4dIk
An image pattern for this image is available.
Thank you KMcElwaine® Keep The White Space®
Thursday evening I dressed in my red boots, my Divine Treasures, red poppy shirt, and jeans and headed out to A Shot of Texas Ranch with my big’O Orange chair. After a Texas Welcome ride with Rob Kahn at the wheel of his 4 wheeled mule, I set up and started painting for all my peeps that showed up for the Georgetown, Business After Hours event.
Nobody asked me to do this so I set and painted and enjoyed the view and conversation until someone that knew…came and ask about what I was doing. That is when I started giving the gifts. 8 people received a whimsical longhorn painted right there under their nose and 1 person received a painting of Richard Parker the Ranch Goat. They have lots of goats, but Richard Parker was rejected by his mom so Teffany Kahn took to bottle feeding him, well you know the rest of that story.
I’m still giving to my community in Georgetown. I love you guys and together we can be the greatest community in Texas. I can’t call us small town anymore and that is ok because I’m just like you, I am reaping the benefits of a wide variety of good attention from all over the nation.
This true story is shared with you for the purpose of Bible Study.
A Devotional and Life Enrichment Bible Study.
While you listen, try to let the story take your mind off of anything you might have on your mind.
BODY OF STORY
How I Got My Smile.
Robert and I visited a new church one Sunday evening to hear a Highway Patrolman preach. The church was in Bixby, Oklahoma. The highway patrolman was known for telling about things that happened to him in the line of duty that saved lives and turned lives around.
I remember his sermon to be inspirational and encouraging. After he preached he and the pastor at that church invited anyone that would like prayer to come to the front. I went to the front for prayer and Robert was right behind me.
The highway patrolman was praying for each person individually. He would stand in front of the person he was praying for, pray quietly and then move to the next person.
When it came time for him to pray for me I stepped in front of him and bowed my head. He prayed for me and turned to step away. Robert describes what happened next this way:
His face energized. His face changed, flushed with joy. With a very large, glowing grin he lit up radiant. He turned and stepped back to stand in front of Kathleen. Speaking directly to Kathleen with loving assurance he said:
“My child, don’t cover your smile. You are covering a gift I gave you. I gave you that smile to share. “
We returned to our seats and I began to reflect on what I had heard him say. This man did not know me and I had not said a word to him, keeping my hands to my side the complete time. I knew this had been God speaking to me through this man. I knew the truth behind the words spoken to me. Robert also was aware.
You see, my front teeth are big. I have believed since childhood that I had an unattractive smile. When I smiled or talked or laughed, I covered my mouth with my hand.
With this as a turning point, I began to think of my smile as a gift from God and I worked to stop the habit of covering my smile. A few years later I became so comfortable with my smile that people started telling me, my smile was what they enjoyed the most each time they saw me.
Now all these years later, if I catch myself feeling self-conscious or afraid to be myself I remember that God had given me my smile to share and not hide from others.
I still struggle with self-confidence. At this time in my life, I had taken a back seat and was afraid to speak up. I never thought of myself as being a leader in any situation. I was seldom a contributor and became shaky and sick at my stomach when I had to speak up in a group. This experience was paramount in God showing me my individual value and self-identity.
This experience became a part of who I am, only after I let it replace doubts and fears. In my heart and in my mind I let this scripture be alive, Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart. In an instant when the man shared with me I thought it really was a possibility that God knew individually and personally who I am and what I struggle with. Now I carry the scripture inside of me, alive and a part of who I am.
I may have read this scripture many times before this happened to me, but at some point, I read it and stopped and thought about what it might mean in my life and I remembered God had given me my smile and I knew my smile was to be a light in the world. Matthew 5: 14 – 16 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven. I thought how appropriate it was for God to give me a smile to learn to show. Many times in my life a genuine smile from someone had given me peace and quieted my fears.
I had to make real changes in myself to begin to incorporate what had been said to me. It was undeniably so for me: The Sovereign Holy Spirit of God had spoken through a stranger to me. I wanted more than anything to be the person God was showing me He had created me to be. It was going to require changes.
I love new art supplies, I love to experiment with new colors but somehow I seem to gravitate back to what I am most familiar. When God told me to not cover my smile, I could not help but want to break the habit I had established of covering my smile with my hand. I found out that I needed to renew my mind to break this habit. I had to stop thinking wrongly of myself, I had to put on a new self as the scripture Ephesians 4: 22-24 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
After learning that I needed to break the habit and that I needed to change the way I saw myself, I found life in Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I learned quickly that it was not as easy as reminding myself to remove my hand from covering my mouth. I had to begin to see, understand, and live differently. I had to work at being comfortable sharing my Joy with laughing and smiling.
Making changes in my life required me changing the way I think.
The scriptures refer to this as the renewing of our mind. And just like learning to watercolor takes time, dedication and practice. Stopping the habit of covering my mouth with my hand could change only after time, dedication and practice.
I began the work of change and learning, of renewing my mind, to stop covering my mouth.
I realized I needed to first change the way I thought about myself.
These scriptures in Ephesians and in Romans helped me understand what I needed to practice.
Now that you have read my story, I recommend you Download and Transfer the Donkey image and begin painting and staying quiet to allow yourself to process thoughts about what you have just read and the scriptures. My hope is this will be white space in your life and you will allow the Holy Spirit to work in you as in Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
To watch a video of me painting the Donkey visit my Youtube Channel
Scripture Meditation and Watercolor Study is written for a person alone or in a group, discussion time will not always be available.
Isaiah 62:3 The LORD will hold you in his hand for all to see–a splendid crown in the hand of God
I was 21 years old and recently divorced. This is the stage in my life when I met Katherine, an amazing woman, the first person I remember experiencing the love of Christ. At the time I met her, my family was holding me at arm’s length. I was frequenting bible studies and church services, I doubted that I was one of the people that Christ had died for. I thought I was not included in the “Body of Christ” I had come as I was but I was still in charge and I was still not acceptable and never expected to be.
During this time, I was attending bible studies and church services. Connected to the body of Christ, at least I was connected to a group of believers. I still doubted that I was one of the people that Christ had died for. I had come as I was but I was still in charge and I was still not acceptable to God and never expected to be.
I saw myself as put on this earth by accident and not included in God’s plan for good. It was easy to go to church, talk about scripture, carry on in fellowship. When I began to experience Christ Love in my friendship with Katherine, I finally began to see how much Jesus loves me and that He had died on the cross as much for me personally as He had for others.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
I began to realize I had chosen a path, but an easy and very wide path.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. Matthew 7:13
Over time Katherine learned more and more of the sordid facts about my life, I always expected her to stop showing me the Love of Christ, but she never changed. She held me close when I was in her presence; she looked intently in my eyes when we talked. It was not her love to give; it was Christ love through her.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” John 13:35
She was the first person I ever heard talk about God’s plan for our life. She talked about Christ alive in her life. Her life was far from perfect, but I could see she experienced the love of Christ and exhibited a great deal of the Joy.
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Psalm 5:11
For the first time, I knew someone that had personality characteristics that I wanted. I wanted what she had, so I paid attention, I learned from her in every way I could. She was a leader to me.
Earlier this year I received a phone call from my daughter telling me that Katherine had died. My daughter had other people she needed to tell so we talked briefly. The phone silenced I began to pray. I gave thanks for Katherine’s life I gave thanks for who she is to me.
What happened next is this “ I was caught up to heaven. I was an observer of Katherine standing before our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus and Katherine were standing close but I could see the Lords’ hands outstretched to Katherine and in His Hands, I saw a Jewel and I heard Jesus say.
And this is the Jewel for our love for Kathleen.
Scriptures – Narrow Path, Matthew 7:13,
The Lord will hold you, Isaiah 62:3,
Even as sinners, God demonstrates His love, Romans 5:8,
Sing for Joy, Psalm 5:11
A Jewel in Katherine’s Crown
I taught over 60 people at the Presbyterian Women 2017 Conference at MO Ranch. Wonderful Experience
and then I celebrated my 66th Birthday
My frustration level lately has been off the charts.
I am trying to adjust to working on long-term goals. When I was at my studio in Georgetown, it was necessary for me to be ready to greet people. Cash flow came easier. I could put classes together, new paintings found homes without posting on my Etsy Stores, Kathleen McElwaine Art, and Watercolor and Ink 4U, …it was even easier for me to stay inspired to paint because I was hearing hopes and dreams from my visitors each day.
I know I’m getting closer to my goals, but oh how I miss the encouragement I received from you each day. Working alone, getting things done and then I need to make a phone call to ask a customer service person a question. I don’t know how frustrated I am until I realize I forgot the person on the phone with me is a person with feelings, often doing the best they can, but I don’t understand the answers to my questions, I become angry with myself and with them. I forget to say I’m sorry and then I give up.
I have taken my focus off of Jesus, off of what he wants from me. Matthew 22: 38-39
I have picked up the burden, I am feeling like I need to try harder, work longer, act nicer etc. I know my long term goals are all wrapped up, pretty in a package He showed me, but, day to day I forget my part.