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.
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®
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
The Story….In 2007, Kathleen McElwaine moved to Leander, Texas, with her husband Rob who became the Pastor of Leander Presbyterian Church. Kathleen worked at the University of Texas and had to ride a bus over an hour each way to and from her day job each day. That time soon became the best time of the day; it became her painting time. As it is said, necessity is the mother of invention, in order to paint while commuting, Kathleen created what she calls her laptop easel. Her supplies included primary and secondary colors, a small block of watercolor paper and a brush that holds water. With tools in hand, Kathleen sat down in her bus seat, prepared to continue her life as an artist. Contemplating what to paint, a picture came to mind of her mother carrying a clay pot of red geraniums up a staircase to her grandmother’s porch. Kathleen, using a memory as her subject, painted those geraniums. As she continued painting on the bus, Kathleen’s painting technique “Keep The White Space TM” was born.
Keep The White Space TM is a watercolor concept that teaches mapping out the areas in a painting that will stay white; because once the white space is gone in watercolor it cannot be recovered. Kathleen believes this concept also carries over into everyday life. It is important to map out our day allowing for white space because once time is gone, it too cannot be recovered. In November of 2011, Kathleen became a full-time artist teaching watercolor painting using Keep The White Space TM Books for those of us who want to experience the joy of watercolor, no matter where we are. This video was made on the train 1 at the end of my commuting to work days. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI3LTkN3xz4
I was 11 years old when I started taking Creative Painting Classes from a great and famous artist Jay O’Meilia. Jay was being paid to teach me with payment of Nocona Boots Company handmade boots. Jay taught me in a class full of serious adult art students. Jay wanted me to be successful because he liked wearing boots.
- Each Saturday morning when I came into the classroom I was taught to stand at a wall easel and loosen up by drawing with charcoal on newsprint paper. I was taught to draw circles and lines. The purpose was to loosen my muscles enough that my eye and my hand were in control….not my wrist.
The next thing I did was go to a drawing table that stood about 4 inches below my waist.
- At this table, I would begin to draw or paint with watercolor the setup that had been prepared for me. Most often this was a cow skull with lots of light reflections from a lit lamp to the side of the setup. Most often I was given burnt sienna paint, a #8 sable paintbrush, clean water, and a scrap piece of watercolor paper torn into pieces around 4inches x 6 inches. I was instructed and encouraged each Saturday to paint this over and over again. Over time I found many creative ways of painting this image.
Jay would work his way around the room, helping each adult student, coaching each one to push the limits of what they were working on in his class. I listened intently to these conversations. Jay was encouraging to each student and often I heard him say “it is obvious that you have been practicing your brush strokes, good job!
I worked hard to hear those words, so I began the habit of painting every day, it was not long before I was allowed the next step.
I tell my story of becoming an artist in my Childhood Autobiography available from Amazon $12.99.
Between 1978, the year Robert and I married and 1990 Oil prices went from over a $100.00 a barrel to $22.00 a barrel to reach a peak of $65 in 1990. It was during these years that we started our family, sold a home I had purchased previous to our marriage date and then bought a home in the country to fix up and make just right for us to raise our family.
I tell you the oil prices because we lived in Oklahoma and because of the price of oil, our life was totally changed.
Growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma both Robert and I had grown up with everything we needed but our families were not wealthy. The families around us, people we knew from Church, neighbors and friends were often very wealthy and very generous people. Given this mix we never knew want.
When Oil prices plummeted and people started loosing their jobs and leaving Oklahoma it was done so quietly in this community of affluent lifestyles that it was barely noticeable.
I had had so many complications with both of my pregnancy’s that I had never returned to work. Rob was employed by a family owned construction specialty company, as their door man. Stanley automatic doors in the surgery rooms and grocery stores had kept him busy for years and then their had always been the large building going up and Rob would be hanging door after door in stairwells. Our needs were met as usual.
Then Robert and I began to notice people being in a home on one day and gone the next and never a sign offering the property for sale or for lease. I think Rob began to see the writing on the wall but to my recollection I did not think much of the indicators around me.
One day Robert came home from hanging doors at a almost finished parking garage being built by, Oklahoma Natural Gas and everyone on the crew had been laid off. The unfinished, empty parking garage would stand in that same way until sometime in the mid 90’s when it was raised.I began my habit of daily praying and scripture meditations and searching during these years. My one on one encounters with God began during this time. And, our water well ran dry and by dialing a phone number in the yellow pages found under the heading of Water Delivery my Father God called Jeannine and Larry and a closer walk with Jesus into our lives.