An Honest Account of Love, Grief and Walking With God
Finding God's Goodness in Life's Disappointments

Monday, February 20, 2017

Loving one another and difficult people

Loving Difficult People
copyright January 2017
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie

As long as I can remember, I have heard the phrase - love one another. I heard it in Sunday School as a little girl but it was not until I was much older that I understood this commandment and its vital importance in everyday living. Why did Jesus give us this commandment? I think one reason was he knew we would encounter difficult people and would need the reminder.

Apline, Texas
Loving one another is a commandment that defines us if we choose to obey. John 13:34-35 says, “A new commandment I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so must you love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (NIV) God’s love for us is unconditional, constant, and always there. When we believe and receive God’s love for us, we have a responsibility to give it away.  Is your love for others you encounter just like God’s? 

There have been a few times in my life I just have not felt love for a person due to hurt or disappointment. I simply did not feel like loving like God does. 1 John 3:23, “And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.” (NIV) God never requires something of us without His provision for us. I have learned to quickly and constantly ask God to give me his love for certain people. Loving the unlovely can only be done well when we acknowledge our need for God’s grace to help us. When we ask for His help, we align ourselves with God and his love. We become a conduit for love to flow. Who do you need to ask God to give you his love for?

Romans 13:8 states, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”   We never arrive at the finish line when it comes to love. We will always have a responsibility to love those around us. There are ten commandments, but if we simply remember to love, we fulfill all of the other nine commandments without thinking. Simplify your life and choose to love.

Alpine, Texas
Where does real love come from? I John 4:7 tells us it come from God. That is freeing to me. I do not have to beat myself up when I do not feel like loving, however, my job is to open my heart to receive His love for me and then I can give it away. “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” (NIV)  I have prayed many a times, “God, I open my heart to you. Fill me with your love for ________.” In loving the irregular people in our lives, we get the opportunity to know more of God’s love and who He really his. Love is the core of who God is and it is in our DNA too as his kids.


When we choose to obey and love, we choose freedom for ourselves. As we celebrate the freedom our forefathers provided and Christ provided, let’s follow in their footsteps and lay down our lives and love one another...then enjoy the benefits!



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

You are loved and meant to love!


💗You are love and meant to love  
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
February 2017

 One of the outstanding characteristics of God is his constant, everlasting love for us. When someone says the word God to me, two words frequently pop into my mind His faithfulness and love. No matter what is going on in my life, His faithfulness and love are  my anchor and security. How about you? What pops into your head when you hear the word God? Opening our hearts and our minds to God’s love will bring many benefits into our lives and those we are around. With February being a month we focus on love, I think it would be good for us to spend some extra time loving God and practicing loving others.

    I have seen in my own life that the more I open my heart to God’s love for me and spend time loving Him, the better I am at loving others. We are all born with a need to be loved and we are born being selfish and self centered. Love thinks of others first. I’ve been asking God to reveal to me when I am self centered or selfish as I want to love others better.
    Love is a connection of hearts. Real love is based on relationship.When we love God with our hearts, instead of our mind, we are able to love others with God’s love. Actually, when we love those we are around well, it shows our love for God. 1 John 4:7 state,”Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”
     All of us can improve in loving God and loving others. When I think of those in my life that have loved me well, they are people that love God, are sensitive, compassionate and are not self centered. They are the people that believe the best in me and stand by me no matter what. They are people that demonstrate their love for God by how they love me and others in their lives. Humble people and those not afraid to admit when they are wrong, are usually good at loving others. People that love in their actions, not just in words.Think of the people in your life that you feel love you well. What are their characteristics? Do they say they love God or demonstrate that they love God by loving others. Loving others well is proof of our love for God.
    Believing God loves us takes faith. Faith and love are linked together. Fifty five times in the Bible, the words faith and love are mentioned in the same scripture. We cannot really believe in God’s faithfulness until we really believe God loves us. I can totally trust in God’s faithfulness to me because I’ve learned of His love for me. I will never forget the day I admitted to some friends and my late husband, that I believed God loved other people, but wasn’t convinced that He really loved me.  Let me confess, I had been a believer for 20 years.  That confession was the beginning of a great journey of discovering God’s incredible love for me. That love has become the bedrock of security and trust in God. It took a lot of courage to admit what I felt, as my late husband and I were leading a Bible study; but it was a gut level confession and God heard it and honored it. Do you need to get gut level honest with God? I had been taught since I was a child that God loved me, and believed it in my head, but not my heart. It wasn’t until I was honest with others and God as a thirty year old woman, that I really began to understand God’s love for me. Let me encourage you to be honest with God. He already knows your heart anyway.
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  Galatians 2:20 says,
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (NIV) We see in this scripture that our faith in God is directly linked to knowing His love for us. Let me encourage you, if you lack faith in God, you need to discover His love for you. Personally, I want to be known as a woman that loved God with all her heart and loves others well. Unfortunately, I know people that say they love God but do not love the poor and needy and others well.
     I personally believe, we can all grow in loving  God, understanding His love and loving others. Ask God to teach you more of His love for you and it will help you in loving others. Scripture tells us 1 John 4:12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (NIV) 1 John 4:16 states, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

    Love and forgiveness go hand in hand. I will admit, there have been times in my life I have had to ask God to give me His love for others because of hurt or injustice I have felt. It is easy to judge others when we have not walked in their shoes and oftentimes, that judgment wounds those around us. In those times, we are on shaky ground. There are times when I have to say, “I choose as an act of my will to forgive ____.  There are times I have to preach to myself and say, “Kathleen, you got to love them.” If God loves me and forgives me, I have to love and forgive others. No matter what I feel, I want to love others as He does. I have no problem in asking Him for help in loving difficult people. I need His help and am not afraid to admit it. It is better than not loving them.
    1 John 4:20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.(NIV) We cannot hate others and  have unforgiveness towards them and love God. That is a tough statement but don’t shoot me...I didn’t write the book.
   Bottom line, God loves us in our worst state;therefore, we need to loves others in theirs. February is a month when we concentrate on love. Let’s look this month at God’s love for us and get to know Him better. Open your heart to Him, ask Him to teach you about His love and ask Him to help you love others.
And remember, love never fails, so it is a sound investment. Will you join me in focusing on telling God daily you love him and practicing loving others?

Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie is a native to the Texas Hill Country, a writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping people discover their value and worth and God’s love, You can reach her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com or visit her blog at www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com




Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What to take into 2017 and what to leave behind

What to take into 2017 and what to leave behind
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
January 2017

Investing in family time in Colorado with kids and grandkids
It is the beginning of 2017 and it is time to take inventory of your life and prepare for the future. As I looked at my own life, walk with God and where I want to go, I discovered something. There are things I want to take into the new year and things I need to leave behind. What about you? What do you want to take into 2017 and what are the things you need to leave in 2016?

I want to continue solidifying the things God has taught me in this past year. Everything in life is about our relationship with God and with others. God always wants to be with us in every situation. He is always with us, he promises that in scripture, the problem is we often do not realize it and rest in his love. In his love, he wants to help us, guide us and be what we need. I have seen God help me step out to do things I have never done before, provide connections I needed, and be my security in the process. He has also been my stability during change and shown me things I have seen as a negative, He sees as a positive and will work it together for my good. He has helped me love people that have not been kind or easy to love. All of these are things I am taking with me into 2017 and intend to build on them.

Recently, I was going through some cabinets and drawers at home. I realized there were things cluttering my my drawers and cabinets and things I needed to simply get throw away. I think it is also important to look at our heart to see what we need to let go of or get rid of. What baggage needs to stay in 2016? I am talking about things like failures, disappointments, hurts and unforgiveness. Isaiah 43:18 says, “Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing.” (NIV) If we focus on the negative things and regrets in our lives, it can keep us from fully enjoying the present. Bad things happen to good people, however, each of us has a choice of how we handle them and if we dwell on them. I have wasted plenty of time in my life focusing on failures, disappointments, hurts, unforgiveness, and things that just do not benefit me.What drawer in your life do you need to clean out so you can make room for the new?
Isaiah 52:1 also instructs us by saying, “Clothe yourself with strength and splendor, shake off your dust, for this is what the Lord says.” (NIV) God tells us that his heart for us is to reach for the strength he provides, shine or be bright to the world around us and get rid of things we do not need. We need to listen to him and what he says instead of negative voices. What do you need to shake off? 
Mimi Max teaches how to lick the beaters of French Silk Pie
Perhaps 2017 was a difficult year for you. Maybe you lost your job, lost a loved one, experienced a tragedy, were diagnosed with cancer or another disease. Jeremiah 31:17  is a short scripture and is God’s gift to us as  we walk into 2017. “So there is hope for your future.” (NIV) No matter what you faced in 2016, there is fresh hope for us to grab in 2017. When you walk with God, there is always hope and hope serves as an anchor for our soul.

This year, I challenge you to take a look at your life, shake off and get rid of things you do not need and make room for the new things God has to give you this year. God adores you, so partner with him and remember the best is yet to come!


Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie is a native to the Texas Hill Country, a writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping people discover their value and worth and God’s love, You can reach her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com or visit her blog at www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com



Promise for 2017

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Opening the present of peace

Opening the present of peace
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
December 2016

Christmas 2016
Tears were streaming down the face of the woman that sat across from me. She was exhausted from trying to figure out how to care for her mom that was in the hospital, her children and financial issues that plagued her. “I’m so stressed  out,” she stated. 

This was the third person this week I’ve heard use those words as they have visited with me looking for prayer, answers and encouragement. Tension, stress, busyness, financial problems are just some of the robbers of the peace and rest for our hearts not only at Christmas time but other times in our lives.

Gifts, shopping, celebration are all a part of the holiday season but often times we miss the best present that has already been given to us - the peace that Jesus brings. Many years ago, God looked down and saw the distress  of mankind and wanted to provide a better way of life for the people He dearly loved. 

As I have read the Christmas story recorded in the Bible, I have seen one common thread-Jesus was sent to bring us peace. 

Luke 2:14 records the excitement of the birth of Jesus by stating, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” The angels proclaimed that the heart of God was to bring us peace in the gift of Jesus.

Isaiah 9:6 is my favorite passage and says, “For to us a child is born, to us a so is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace, there will be no end.”

God knew that in this fallen world, we would encounter trials, difficult situations and distress and he gave us a precious gift to enjoy and use to make our lives better. For many years, I did not open the gift of peace in my life. What I mean is I did not use the gift God had provided for me. God began to teach me about peace years ago and since that time, I have had many opportunities to open the gift and practice my peace. 

My mom and dad
Four year ago around Christmas, my father was hospitalized. It was discovered that he had bone cancer and had a short time to live. As I walked the halls of the hospital, I pictured myself being escorted my the Prince of Peace. A settling came over my heart and my heart was at rest knowing God would help me if I let him. Changing the way I looked at my situation took away the stress I was battling. I dearly loved my dad and was trying to wrap my head around the news I had just received when I received a call from my mother’s caregiver. 

“Kathleen, you need to get over here quick,” she stated with panic in her voice. My mom had been battling a debilitating disease for years. When I arrived at my parent’s home, mom was gone. I had to go tell my father, his sweet wife of over 50 years was gone. Again, I opened the gift of peace and used it as I delivered the news.

Just two weeks after burying mom and arranging care for my father, we had a fire in our home only a few days before Christmas. I was grateful our home wasn’t destroyed but we had extensive damage and I was already worn out from the grief of losing mom and dad’s diagnoses. Again, God was faithful in providing peace, I just had to unwrap it and use it.

I remembered what Jesus said in John 14:27 and depended on it. It says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not let it be afraid.” Each of us has a choice to let our heart be troubled and most of the time, stress is an inside job; how we look at our situations.

I have some beautiful presents under my Christmas tree. Hopefully, my friends and family will open them, use them and enjoy them. Gifts can be unwrapped and enjoyed or never opened and used. We each get to choose.

This Christmas, open the gift of peace and then use it through out 2017. God sent Jesus to give us a better way to handle life, heal our broken hearts and be our provision in any situation we face. I am forever grateful for the gift of peace and pray you will open it and use it every time you need it.


May the Lord richly bless you, keep you and give you peace.




Monday, December 12, 2016

Crisis at Christmas in not new

Crisis at Christmas is Not New
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
December 2016

   Have you ever made plans and things just didn’t turn out the way you expected? I will have to say that there have been many things that haven’t turned out the way I had expected or planned. 2000 years ago things were not going the way Mary and Joseph had planned either. They were in love and engaged. I am sure like most couples they had held hands and chatted about their dreams together.
     Suddenly an angel appeared to Mary and told her of another plan. This plan was one that actually put her in danger of much judgment and even possible death. It was not o.k. for a girl to be expecting without being married. From Joseph’s point of view, he had to really decide how much he loved and trusted Mary. Seriously, this story is a little out there; however, I believe it is true. God is not always predictable and doesn’t always do things the way we expect. I guess that is why it is called a walk of faith. God sent Jesus to be Immanuel, which is translated, “God with us.”  Matthew 1:23
      When you think about it, what more could we really want in life other than for God to be with us in every situation in life? What an incredible gift! I found myself the other day in an unexpected situation that could have been quite intense but I had been singing earlier that morning, “Come let us adore Him.” That song kept ringing in my ears in the midst of the situation. I was at perfect peace. The focus of my day was adoring Him. I think the problem is that most of us don’t remember to use the gift that has been given in Jesus. We can be at perfect peace in any situation if we choose and hold His hand and make Him our focus. 
     Let’s go back to the Christmas story. There was crisis in Bethlehem. Mary was expecting and was not  married. There was no place for them to stay when they arrived in Bethlehem to give birth. Joseph had to trust that Mary was being honest with him and then there is an order to kill all the babies under two in the neighborhood. Can you imagine if Obama declared to kill all the baby boys under two! It would certainly be a national crisis. We really don’t have anything to complain about.  
     Maybe your crisis is different. Maybe it is a divorce you didn’t want. Perhaps it is the death of a loved one or someone you love is very sick. It could be a  financial crisis you are looking at. It might be that you have someone you love caught in an addiction and it is destroying your relationship. Crisis sometimes barges in unannounced and makes itself at home.
      Mary chose to focus on God and the precious gift she was given that I am sure she did not understand. This is a good lesson for us. Focus on God in the midst of crisis is what will keep us moving through the crisis and give us peace. The alternative is to be overwhelmed by our circumstances. She did not have to understand. She just loved God and focused on Him and loved Joseph. 

 Isaiah 9:6 and 7 tells about the gift of Jesus given in a crisis situation“Wonderful counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace.” Wonderful counselor means that Jesus is our go between. He goes between us and any problem we have. Mighty God means that He is bigger than any problem we face. Prince of peace says that we have a God given right to walk in peace in any situation. Jesus came to be our Prince of Peace. That means we have an escort for us in any
situation. A prince rules and escorts. For me personally, I often picture myself being escorted by Him and overwhelming peace comes over me.
     Luke 1:37 Mary replied to God in the midst of her crisis, “Be it unto me, according to your word.” She said yes to God. She trusted God. She embraced her trial and let God escort her thru the situation; then she discovered the most incredible gift. Can you follow Mary’s example? Can I? Have you accepted the gift of Jesus? It is a question we must all ask ourselves. If we do, we just might discover the most incredible gifts of life and a new joy this holiday season..

Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie is a native of the Hill Country, writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping others discover the joy of walking with God and their value. You can contact her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com and on her blog www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com    81,400