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

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Living above the clouds of life

Living above the clouds of life
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
Copyright
September 2017


You and I are called and equipped to live a  supernatural lifestyle. I have discovered the supernatural life I am to lead as I have faced difficult circumstances, trials, conflict, misunderstanding, disappointments and being determined to discover what God is up to in those situations.
How about you? Have you encountered any of the above mentioned things lately? How did you handle them? Did you waste the opportunity to grow?
The meaning of the word supernatural means, “above our circumstances, above natural or to exist above and beyond nature”.
We have a God given right to rise above our circumstances and paint a picture above the clouds or storms of life.
I was recently flying to Hawaii and as we took off and headed west, the city below me began to pale. It looked totally different  from a higher perspective.
Not long into the flight, a storm arose and the captain came over the speaker, telling us were were around and above the storm. Suddenly, a beautiful sunset appeared with brilliant colors as we rose above the clouds.
Jesus rose above the storm in Matthew 14 and called Peter, an average guy, to do something that seamed impossible, to walk on water.
What are you facing right now that seems impossible? Perhaps it is staying with in a difficult marriage. Maybe it is dealing with a difficult coworker. It could be letting go of a love one or dealing with an unexpected diagnoses.
I know at times in my life, I have said to myself or someone else, “I just can’t do this.” The truth is, I can not,  but when there is a greater dependency on God, I can.
The key to a supernatural life is dependency on God.
I was talking to someone the other day, and the woman made the comment that she was so stressed out. I have had my share of stressful situations and life will be stressful, if we live in our circumstances, instead of the provisions God has for us.  
God sent Jesus so we can find joy in life no matter what is thrown at us. We cannot control  all our circumstances. Some come very unexpected.  We do not get any say  many of life’s trials. However, we do have a choice in how we will respond. We can either react or respond.
The Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:10 says, “On earth as it is in heaven.” (NIV) There is no stress in heaven, therefore, when we walk to the rhythm of thanking him, praying and then casting our cares on him, we learn to live life above the cloud of our perceived negative circumstances. We live a supernatural life.
I John 4:17 says, “ ...as he is, so are we in this world.” (NIV) Jesus is full of life and peace and we have the opportunity to practice abundant life and peace anytime we choose to.
There are plenty of people that lead stressed out lives. You and I do not have to be one of them.
I want to be someone that is known for living a life of joy and peace. Jesus paid a great price for me to do that. I owe it to him to be responsible for my own development in not letting negative circumstances steal my joy and peace.
This means I have to discipline myself to step back and live from the inside out, live from Christ in me. What about you?
Do you need to discipline yourself a little more? Do you live in your circumstances preoccupied with the problem or step back into Christ in you and walk in peace?
You and I are called to reveal to those around us who God really is. We are are not called to lead normal lives, but supernatural lives. Responding out of Christ in us is so much better than reacting to negative circumstances. God’s promises found in the Bible, and putting our confidence in the God who made heaven and earth,  will  lift us above the clouds of life.
Will you join me in painting a beautiful picture above the clouds of your life and living the supernatural life available to you?

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

You are not discounted in God's eyes

You are not discounted in God’s eyes
copyright 
August 2017
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie 


Have you ever felt like someone put a big stamp on your body that said, “discount?” 

 Perhaps you had someone discard your idea, not give it consideration, or even come right out and said, “that’s stupid.”

Abuse can make people feel discounted, less than, or that they do not matter.

Sometimes, people ignoring you can make you feel “discounted.” 

In praying and ministering to people, I have encountered many that have discussed situations where they were devalued by others and they began to see themselves as someone not treasured and valuable. Often low self esteem sets in unless they see themselves as God sees them and get healing for their heart. 

 I too, have experienced different situations where i felt my value as a person,  and what I had to contribute, was being reduced, ignored  and pushed aside.

People, situations, circumstances may work hard to “discount” you or me, but God’s heart for us is different. 

He states in Psalms 8:4-5, “What is man that you are mindful of him and the son of man that you should visit him? For you have made him a little lower than the angels and have crowned him with glory and honor.”

The word glory actually means, rich, weighty and valuable. God has placed on you and me a crown that says we are not discounted, we are very valuable. That is how the God that made you and me see us.

God’s heart about us is stated again in Deuteronomy 7:6.  “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” 

Isaiah 43:1-4 declares God’s heart again for us, counter acting any words or actions of those that have discounted us. “But now, this is what the Lord says- he created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel…Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you.”

God does not discount you or me. He treasures us, we are precious and honored in his sight, and his perspective trumps all others.

So why do people discount others? Often, the root cause is unresolved hurt in their own lives or insecurity. When someone has been wounded in their lives,  and that hurt is not healed or dealt with, they often times strike out at others to make them feel better about themselves.

Any situation that touches their insecurity, causes them to be defensive and lash out at those that threaten them. They often have a hard time complimenting others.

We cannot let the insecurities and hurt of others define us or believe words they may hurl at us. We must choose to believe what God says about us and that is that we are his beloved, which means, “much loved” sons and daughters.

The first step in walking free of situations and times where you have been devalued or discounted, is to first, forgive your offender. Choose to forgive or if you cannot do that, ask God for the grace to forgive. 

Second, take those memories and times you felt discounted to God and give them to him.  Ask him for his perspective of you. What does his word say? Choose to believe what God says, instead of others.

Ask him to heal your heart of the hurtful words and actions of others. God loves to heal broken hearts and reveal truth to people.

The good news is God loves to redeem any situation where you have been discounted. In his eyes, you are highly valued, his treasured possession, and dearly loved.


Kathleen is a native of the Hill Country and is passionate about helping people discover their value and worth and discover the joy of walking with God. Contact her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com or visit her blog on www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com



Friday, August 18, 2017

Good things come to those who wait on God

Good things come to those who wait
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
Hawaii 2017
August 2017

As I opened the freezer door, trying to put away groceries, I felt like I heard God say  the word “wait.” 

“Wait on what God?” I muttered under my breathe as I couldn’t think of what I might need to wait on.

I even wrote the above in my journal the next day, asking God again what he meant. No reply.

Several days later, I told my husband I could not figure out what to write about this week and we prayed about it in our prayer time together Wednesday morning and proceed with our day.

 Much of my day was spent on the phone trying to get our phone service, internet and television bundled and some things worked out with our health insurance. Needless to say, hours of my morning and afternoon were spent waiting on the telephone, being put “on hold” and trying to accomplish my task.

I finally went to the local phone/internet store to get things straighten out and while i was there, I received a text from my husband that said, “write about being on hold, God never puts us on hold.” I chuckled and quickly turned my attention back to the sales person helping me.

Later, as I pondered my husbands text, I remembered the incident at the freezer and quickly realized God was answering my prayer and I was to write this week about waiting on God. God never pushes the “hold” button in our lives and says, “ I am too busy and need to talk to someone else,” but I believe he does have us wait on his timing for things and because he is a good God and sees the big picture. He always has time for us, makes us a priority, is not too busy, loves to talk to us and always wants to partner with us in our lives. I think he could really teach some businesses about good customer service!

I am a “get it done girl” so moving slowly is not my speciality, however,  I have learned many things as I have waited on God to answer prayers or for the right timing for things.

Isaiah 40:31 states,”But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (KJV)

The word wait in this verse has a different meaning in the Hebrew language it was written in than our modern day language. In this verse, wait means to bind together or strengthen. As we bind ourselves to the Lord in our waiting, it changes us, makes us stronger and strengthens us and our relationship with God. It prepares us for our future. God sees what we need developed in our lives for the days ahead.

Please remember it is two totally different things to simply wait on something and wait on God to change things. When we commit things to God, it changes everything. What do you need to commit to his perfect timing?

In my own life, I have found three important things about waiting:
1. It reveals our character-good qualities and what need to change
2. Waiting is more about who we become in the process 
3. Our relationship with God can be upgraded and become stronger

How we wait on something usually reveals our character. It can show our impatience, anger, unforgiveness, lack of faith or it shows patience, gentleness, kindness, forgiveness, and trust. Next time you find yourself waiting, see what comes out of you. Does your character need an upgrade and need to change or do you see yourself treat others and the situation like God would?

Waiting is more about who we become in the process of waiting than the answer immediately unfolding. It is always more about the journey than the destination. God is more concerned about conforming us to His image and changing us to become more like him. As we wait on God, it can work things out of us and good things into us.  If I feel myself getting impatient about something, it always helps if I step back in my heart and pray, “God, what do you want to work in me and out of me?” Partnering with God always puts us in a win-win situation.

As I commit things to God and bind myself to him I find myself talking to him more throughout the day and I have more joy. When I commit things to him, I can trust he is working things for my good. Trust is always built by relationship and God is always concerned with us getting to know him more. He loves us dearly and wants us to know more of his great love and his character. I trust him so much more now than I did years ago because our relationship has been strengthened. Not all of my prayers have been answered like I would have chosen, but I know God in a much more intimate way that has much more peace, joy and confidence into my life.

Recent trip to Hawaii to see our son and his family
Psalms 27:14 instructs us and says, “Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (NIV) 

God works in ways we often cannot see and I love the lyrics of a popular song, “he is in the waiting.” When we find him in the waiting, it can put our heart at rest because we know he is at work and something is happening.

After spending almost 5 hours on the phone and with customer service representatives, I came out ahead, accomplishing my goal and saving hundreds of dollars. God was in the waiting saving me money and I had a fun journey with him, even though accomplishing my goal took much longer than expected.

I have dreams in my heart and other  things in my life I have prayed about for years and I am still waiting on God, however, I am confident in his plan, have committed these things to him, and know he sees the big picture and is at work.

My friend, if God has not answered your prayers yet, commit things to him, partner with him in the waiting, and enjoy the journey. You will find he is working things out for your good,  preparing you and strengthening you because he loves you so much! 


Kathleen is a native of the Hill Country and is passionate about helping people discover their value and worth. Contact her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com or visit her blog on www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com



Monday, August 7, 2017

When things do not go as you expect, it's time to find God

When things do not go as you expect, find God
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
copyright July 2017


Sunset at Amistad 
Recently, I have had several friends that have dealt with some difficult, unexpected news and things not going as they had planned.  My heart has hurt for them, as I have been in similar situations in my own life; however, it was in those challenging places I found God right there in the middle- in the big challenges as well as the little ones. It was also in that place, my faith and trust in Him grew, forever shaping and changing me.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were fishing on Lake Amistad. I love spending the day with him at the lake and having the opportunity to just be with God on the water. I frequently pray and ponder things in the peaceful setting as I try to learn to fish.


“Lord, I commit today to you,” I prayed as I looked at my surroundings and then picked up my fishing gear. I have been working on improving my casting and could not wait to practice with my new rod and reel. As I gazed out over the water, I selected the spot I thought would be perfect to catch a fish. Right as I began to cast, a huge gust of wind swept across the water and my cast went totally opposite of where I wanted it to go.

“Well that did not go as I expected,” I chuckled as I quickly began to reel my lure towards the boat and thinking, what a waste of time and energy. About that time, I felt a hit on my bait, set the hook and much to my surprise, began to pull a good size fish closer to the boat! 

The very place that was a disappointment and I thought would be a waste of time and effort because my cast did not land as expected, had been productive after all. I think that is true in many other places in real life in big and small daily life events.

Psalms 37:5 states, “Commit you way to the Lord, trust in him and he will do this.” When we commit our day and way to the Lord, we can trust that God is in the middle of events of the day and can trust him even when things do not go as we plan or expect. I have found the adventure in each day as I try to find God in the middle of whatever is unexpected in my life. When we see God in our circumstances, somehow it makes the unexpected OK. and peaceful.
I have had my share of sudden unwanted surprises in my life-my late husband was battling cancer, my grandson was diagnosed with Type One diabetes, my dad was in the hospital with a 90% blockage in his heart, work crisis are just a few I’ll name. In each of these situations, as I’ve committed them to the Lord and ask for his perspective, my heart could rest and I have had encounters with God in amazing ways. I have found Him in each of these situations and that is a treasure.

One of my daily prayers is, “God, give me your perspective of this.” “I want to see this as you see it because often my natural thinking needs some adjusting. God is good and he is faithful to always give me a better perspective, change my heart, and help me to be more like him.

A few months ago Stephen and I were traveling with another couple. On our way to the airport, we encountered some road work that caused a detour we had not counted on. This made us a few minutes late for our flight and we were bumped to another flight. As my friend apologized because we had to sit at the airport for four more hours, I smiled and said, “It is alright, I am going to find the divine appointment God for me.” I had prayed that morning, “God I commit today and my life to you; it is all yours.” I could be at peace in the delay and look for God as my life and time belong to him.

As I sat down in my seat on the plane, a young girl that was 20 years old sat beside me. We began talking asking each other casual questions and then began talking about God. For 3 1/2 hours, I visited with this young lady, answering question after question she had about a deeper relationship with Jesus. It was such an honor for me to invest in her life. I found God in the middle of our flight delay and even though we got home much later than expected, it did not matter, God was in the delay and my life belongs to him. 

I challenge you to commit your day and situations to God and  look for him when the unexpected knocks at your door. God is a relational God and loves to partner with us each day. Go on the treasure hunt of finding him in your situations and you will find peace. Faith and trust are outcomes of taking His hand and walking with Him. Life does not always make sense but we can have fun in the journey when we find Him in the unexpected.



Kathleen is a native of the Hill Country and is passionate about helping people discover their value and worth. Contact her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com or visit her blog on www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Determination, perseverance and forgiveness are necessary for success. Are you your own worst enemy?

Are You Your Worst Enemy? 
copyright
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
July 2017



Truett and Ellis
To be successful at anything takes determination, preserving and forgiveness. My grandfather had been married to my grandmother for more than 65 years. I asked him what their secret was to staying married so long and he replied, “Just never quit.” That was simple but good advice. Most people fail at things because they quit too soon or get discouraged. Winners do not quit and often times have to encourage themselves to press through days. The book of Psalms is full of David encouraging himself as he attempts to battle discouragement. Psalms 42:5 says, “Why so downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God.” David encouraged himself on days when you could tell he was tempted to quit.

Abraham Lincoln failed at a number of things before he was successful. He failed as a farmer, a shopkeeper, his first attempt at political office, a business man, his first attempt at Congress and the U.S. Senate. That could be a little discouraging, but our famous president was determined. He didn’t quit and pressed on with the things he knew he was meant to do. He also lost two children at young ages. That is a lot to overcome, but he kept pressing on.
Price is engaged! July 2017 We welcome Halie!
Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies. Beginning anything takes determination and practice and realizing there is a learning curve, which means we are likely to make some mistakes or even fail at our first attempt at something new. Sometimes we can get frustrated and mad at ourselves when we fail. This only leads to more turmoil within ourselves and robs us of peace. Jesus paid a great price for us to have peace but we often ignore the peace we could enjoy. We all want to do well in life, and many times I have seen in my own life I have a greater expectations of myself than I do others. 

Someone once said to me, “Kathleen, the devil doesn’t have to bother attacking you, you attack yourself.” At first, I got mad at the statement and the person who said it, but it made me think. There was an element of truth to the words, and I had to admit it. Anytime someone makes us mad, we need to ask ourselves if there is any element of truth in what they have said. It might not be “the truth,” but there might be an element of truth in their statement, otherwise we would not get mad. 

I have seen many people act as judge and jury and punish themselves for failures worse than anyone else would, especially God.
God is not a God that keeps making us pay for our mistakes. Yes, there are consequences to our sin or wrong behavior but God is quick to forgive and forget when we come to Him with repentant hearts. If God forgives us, why do so many people refuse to forgive themselves and others and keep punishing themselves? There is rest for our souls and peace when we simply accept His gift of forgiveness. If you are lacking in rest and peace, you might consider forgiving others or yourself.

The beauty of a relationship with God is that His love and mercy are new every morning.  Fresh love and brand new mercy each day. What more could we want? 

Psalms 86 says, “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”(NIV)
Recent trip with great friends Tammy and Alan Brown
Mercy is defined as a compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or someone subject to one’s power. How much mercy do you show yourself? Do you keep punishing yourself for your failures? What often happens is when we do not like ourselves and do not admit it and release ourselves from mistakes made, we often do not extend mercy to others and are quick to find fault with them. To give mercy to others, first we have to receive it ourselves. 

God does not require perfection, just a heart that is moving in the right direction of being aligned with his purposes. Philippians 4:9 says, “Practice what you have learned, and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living it, and the God of peace (of undisturbed well being) will be with you.” (AMP) 

I think God loves to see his children practice doing what is right and those things that please him. God’s mercy and grace is there to help us with any project, situation or difficulty we face. You are made in God’s image and you have what it takes to succeed. Just don’t quit, keep practicing, forgive yourself of the times you have failed, forgive others and press on in the things he has called you to. Will you join me?
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