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®
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.