The Mathis Literary Club met on April 13 at the First Baptist Church in Mathis with 17 members in attendance. Jeanne Baen and Literary Club President Jenie McCraw hosted with Vivian Johnson assisting them. Delicious yellow cake with lemon filling and elite white icing, jelly beans and coffee or punch were served.
McCraw introduced her daughter, Bethany McCraw, to the group and invited her to begin her program “Strength Through the Storm.” B. McCraw began with a brief biography of herself, beginning with being from Mathis, a Mathis ISD graduate and attending Baylor University. Before graduation, Bethany was offered a job on the Baylor campus. Forty years later she is the Assistant Dean for Conduct Administration which deals with student conduct and the honor code at the university which has 20,000 students enrolled.
Using a slideshow presentation, she showed them the Baylor line created in 1970. B. McCraw wanted to be a part of that so she had to come up with a nickname to put on the back of her yellow-gold Baylor T-shirt. She came up with “Miss Conduct.”
B. McCraw related her experience touring the experimental biosphere outside of Tucson, Arizona. Its purpose was to measure survivability in places where there is no atmosphere. It had its own ecosystems including desert, ocean, rainforest and created its own oxygen. It was not a success and the acacia tree was an example as it was noted it began to bend under the weight of its leaves. It seems there was no wind or storms to make the tree’s fiber strong.
B. McCraw suggested that God weaves a tapestry in our lives with our experiences and those experiences turn the tapestry of our lives into our strengths and our talents that help us weather the storms that occur in all of our lives. Her program called “Strength Through the Storm” uses a sword similar to Excalibur, the sword which was impaled into the stone. The sword represents strength. It took personal strength of character to remove the sword.
B. McCraw posed the question of what helps us find light in the darkness?
When she bought her home there was a dark dilapidated shed in her backyard. She wanted to do something with it.
After landscaping her backyard, she was able to single-handedly transform that dark ugly shed into her place of quiet. It took her from 2013 to 2015 with lots of internet research – and lots of muscle – but now it’s a bright, cozy place she goes to early every morning to start her day meditating, talking to God in prayer and reading her Bible. She has a plaque on the table with Psalm 143:8 inscribed on it. She calls this her Vesper House.
She also explained that the Word of God is the sword of the spirit giving Christians strength: Ephesians 6:11 -17. She believes social media causes anxiety among young people today and feels that God is calling Christians today to speak blessings over others. Psalm 71:17-18. She is a sponsor to a Christian sorority and she tells the girls that their lives can be testimonies of God’s grace to others.
B. McCraw quoted scripture that relates the hope that those who follow us find us faithful. Among them are Hebrews 12:1 and Matthew 25:21. She played a song to the group entitled “Find Us Faithful “ by Steve Green.
She reads the Bible in its entirety every year using the One Year Bible. She closed her program by having a drawing for four of them. The lucky recipients were Ruth Gilleland, Carolyn Henderson, Willena Quinn and Evelyn Hutchinson.
The Mathis Literary Club presented B. McCraw with the picture book “Birds of Instagram” in appreciation for her inspiring program.