Search This Blog

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

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Is God interested in your everyday life?

Is God interested in your everyday life?
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
copyright
August 2018


Have you ever had one of those days or weeks, when everything was five times harder than it needed to be? I am talking about a time when things take a lot longer to do than are necessary.

I recently had a few days like that. I have traveled a great deal this past month, and after  returning from a trip, there is much to catch up on. Mail piled up, newspapers to go through,  bills to pay, calls to return, grocery store, and a “to do” list a mile long, consisting of things I needed to accomplish this week.

I’ve trusted God with the big things in my life, like cancer, finances, death, etc., but what about the little challenges in life? Is God interested in helping us in our everyday life?

In addition to the above list,  and one of them was a meeting with a friend that is helping me with a project. The project is time sensitive and the next few weeks will be busy for me with a step-daughter getting married, a new grand baby due, as well as grandchildren with birthdays. I needed to get things done on my project this week, to keep the ball moving.

During the meeting with my friend, I was intent on accomplishing tasks  and had high hopes of walking away from the meeting and our mission being accomplished. Then, everything began to  be a process instead of something I could check off my list!

My computer had been upgraded recently and a simple task was taking both of us a great deal of time. Furthermore, we were also trying to find a phone app that would help us with the project. I do not like  technical difficulties. 
Fishing trip in Alaska

 We worked and worked to figure out the new computer upgrade and after two hours, we decided to end our meeting. We had ask Siri, tried to look things up on YouTube and the internet, only to run into road blocks.  We had not accomplished much of anything! We did laugh and have a good time, and that is always good. I love my friend.

“Jesus, help us figure out these issues,” I prayed, as I smiled at my friend, thanked her for her time and we walked out the door of the restaurant. We could not figure our problems out but I knew God could.

I decided to call Google and got someone on the phone who replied, after I ask for assistance, “I do not know much about this issue but I will try to help you.” After 25 minutes of being on the phone and on hold, the call dropped! I closed my computer, asked God again for his help and decided to move on to something else on my “to do” list.

One of my next task was getting a new remote control for my garage door so I could open my garage door, and then program it to my car. My husband and I had tried for hours to program the door and car and finally gave up. I was going to take it again. This is not a big crisis, but something that makes life  a lot easier. 

 I went to a local store, only to find two hot water heaters stacked in front of the end cap that had the universal remote controls. There was no clerk around to help, and I tried to squeeze behind the hot water heaters to find what I needed. Again, I asked God to help me with this simple task that was suddenly difficult.

Finally, someone came along and was able to help me. I thanked God as I walked out of the store, asked him to help me, program the devise. Again, technology is not my area of expertise. 

God loves relationship with us and is interested in our everyday life. He delights in enjoys relationship with us in the little things, as well as life crisis. All things in life are not easy, but God enjoys our company and dependency on him.

Psalms 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” (NIV)  This is a promise we can take to the bank and cash in.

People often think God is not interested in the little things in life, but he is. I pray with many people about major crisis in their lives and I am happy to help others, however, God is just as interested in helping in the little things in our everyday life.
Alaska adventures

I enjoy conversations with my adult children. Sometime they call just to check on us, other times it is for advise, and then there are times they call just to visit. All the calls are special to me. I love hearing about their lives, as well as helping with their difficulties. God is the same way. We are his kids and he takes great delight in us.

Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (NIV)

I came home that evening and in a matter of ten minutes, my garage door was programed. I paid a few bills, returned phone calls and sat down at my computer again. In a matter of minutes, I figured out how to solve my problems for my project! God was faithful in the little things.

Prayer is nothing more than talking to God, and we can do that anyplace and anytime. Those simple prayers I offered up the past few days, accomplished much. They accomplished more than I could accomplish in hours and days. 

How about you? Have you ever talked to God about the little things in your life? You do not have to wait until you go to church or you are in crisis to visit with him. He is ready  to instruct you, teach you and help you, and he loves relationship with you.

Perhaps you have never talked to God and don’t know him. That’s okay, God knows you and is ready  and waiting for you to know him. Just offer up a simple prayer, “God, I want to know you.” I have no doubt, he will hear your prayer and lead you in a relationship with him.




Kathleen Maxwell is a native of the Hill Country, a writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping others discover the joy of walking with God and their value. Fall of 2018, she will lead a study called, The Gathering- Bringing God into everyday life. For more information, you can contact her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com and on her blog www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Hope-Do you have it?

Hope-Do you have it?
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
copyright 2018


Summer 2018 trip to Alaska
Hope is not only vital in times of crisis but in our everyday life. It is necessary to keep us moving forward in any situation. Many of the challenges we often face in life,  need the anchor of hope. I’ve found I have needed hope to help me in business, relationships, health or finances. 

The Bible has much to say about the subject of hope and even secular society understands the importance of hope. What is hope? How do you get hope? What do you do when hope is gone or what you hoped for does not happen?

Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for something to happen. To not have hope, is to have a negative mindset and can be detrimental,  nor only for the person with a negative mindset but also those around a person that has lost hope.

Where do you go when you need hope? I have found God’s Word to be my “go to” spot for hope. 

Romans 15:4 tells us, “ For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (NIV) 

There are many negative circumstances and negative people in life, so it is important that we look to God’s promises for our lives. He is the one person we can always count on.

Alaska
 Romans 15:13  which says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.”(NIV) From this scripture we find that hope is part of the character of God. It is part of who He is and who we are as we are made in His image, therefore, we always have access to hope. We also find in this passage that trust in God links us to not only hope but joy and peace. That right there is reason enough to keep trusting God. Everyone  needs more joy and peace? 

The benefits of hope are amazing. Isaiah 40:31 states, “ But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strengthen, they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.” (NIV) In this scripture, the meaning of the word hope is to bind, to strengthen and to wait.

 Hope in God, not our circumstances, gives us strength and ability to weather extreme circumstances, and keeps us going. Please note that we are instructed to not hope in anything but God.

Bears in Kodiak Alaska...yes I needed hope
David commanded his soul to hope in God. Psalms 43:5 says, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”  (NIV) This is a good reminder for all of us to command our inner man to not  rely on our negative feelings, but to put our hope in the one who has the power to change things.

One of the things I noticed at MD Anderson when my late husband was battling a rare cancer, was how all the staff encouraged and spoke of hope and were optimistic during his battle. Medicine is about science and facts and yet all the doctors and nurses we dealt with always spoke of the importance of hope in his battle. That was not really a problem for us because we had a deep faith in God. Although we sought some of the best medical treatment, our hope was in God and our trust was in Him. Even when we came home for him to die, we still had hope in God’s ability to intervene in our circumstances. 

Price, Mallory, Kathleen and late husband Joe









Nine months after his diagnosis, he passed away. Did I get what I hoped for? No, but to me, God never failed me, He was faithful and was with me in the most challenging time of my life. My hope remained in God that dearly loves me,  in God,  to heal my broken heart and to help me keep moving forward in my life and purpose. 

God is looking for a people that are optimistic, see all the possibilities in life  and hope in Him. Jeremiah 31:17 promises us hope stating, “So there is hope for your future,” declares the Lord.” (NIV) 

I challenge you to grab that promise and trust in God. And once we are anchored in hope ourselves, then we can offer hope to those around us. 


96,724
Kathleen Maxwell is a native of the Hill Country, a 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





Wednesday, July 25, 2018

God does not do shame

God does not do shame
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
July 2018
copyright

“Shame on you,” my grandmother said, as she shook her finger at me, with a scowl on her face. I was about nine or ten years old and those word cut to the core of my being as I stood in her picture perfect kitchen.

Our adorable grand kids!
I do not remember what I did wrong, but I do remember being confused about even getting in trouble for whatever upset her. All I could think about was getting away from her so I could cry.

Our words carry power and what I remember, was I had done something wrong in her eyes and I just wanted to hide. I felt like a mistake and felt her intense displeasure with me.  I  could not figure out why she would respond like that. I thought she loved me and I had looked forward to going to see her and my grandfather. Now, I just wanted to go home.

I was feeling the power of shame. Shame say, “you are a mistake, instead of “you made mistake, let me help you.”

Shame makes people feel less than and devalued. Jesus paid a great price so we could be free from shame. 

Whenever we have done something wrong, the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin.  His purpose is to bring us to repentance, not shame. In His great love, Jesus paid the price so we do not have to live in shame.

Romans 10:11 states, “For scripture says, Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame. (NIV)

When we realize we have made a little mistake or a huge one, God’s heart is that we recognize it, ask his forgiveness and the forgiveness of others if necessary, and walk in freedom. Jesus paid the price for our freedom.

Ephesians 1:7 tells us, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” 

Acts 13:38 states, “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.” (NIV)

Once we repent, we can walk free of shame. God sent Jesus to take care of shame for us. Yes, we may struggle to walk free of the feelings of disgrace, but in God’s eyes we are loved and accepted.

Hebrews 4:16 instructs us, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (NIV)

God’s grace and forgiveness are an incredible gift that each of us have an opportunity to enjoy. It begins with asking Jesus into our hearts, confessing our sin, and believing he died for us and loves us. That is the simple part. Practicing our new life in Christ, enjoying freedom from past mistakes, is where the work comes in, as our culture seems to like to judge.


We have all done things we regret or that are embarrassing at some time or another in our lives.So why do people try to put shame on others when they have missed the mark and done something wrong? I think there are two reasons. Judgement and pride. And both of those are not part of a Christian’s our job description.
Often times people look at their sin and compare it to someone else and say, “I did this but I didn’t do something that bad.” Statements like this are rooted in judgement and pride.

 Matthew 7: 1 & 2 warns us, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (NIV)

Proverbs 16:18 tells us, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Our own foolish pride can get us in trouble. 

When we walk with God, we are to hate the sin, but love the sinner. That is what Jesus does. Sin separates us from God and Jesus came to bridge that gap so we can have relationship with a God that loves us and forgives us. 

I had to forgive my grandmother for the hurtful words she said many years ago. I later found out, she was a very wounded woman and because of her wounds and her own failures and  shame, she projected that on me and others.

If you have shamed someone, I encourage you to ask for forgiveness. If you have been someone that has been on the end of receiving shame, I pray healing for your heart and for any lies you have believed about being a mistake, to be erased. Remember to forgive those that have shamed you.

If you have judged others or walked in pride, ask God to forgive you. 

I Corinthians 13 reminds us that, “love covers a multitude of sin.”

 All of us mess up and can be embarrassed of our failures. Christ came to set us free, so get back up, and walk in his grace and forgiveness. You do not have to walk in shame any longer. God sees you, he loves you, he forgives you and he loves to restore the broken pieces of your life.




Kathleen is a native of the Hill Country and is a writer and speaker. She 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 95,934

Monday, June 25, 2018

Upgrades and restoration


Upgrades and restoration
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
copyright June 2018

I love God’s heart for us. He is always leading us to reach our fullest potential. The big question, is will we follow his lead or resist where He is taking us?

Sometimes, He leads us back to a place we might not want to go, but I have found, He takes us back, because He wants to give us an upgrade.

I have seen this in several areas of my life, and I have had to take a deep breath and follow. 

Years ago, I was working in a  west Texas town. One of my assignments was to do a fundraising event. Several of my coworkers in the city I was working in, were relatively new to the company we were working for and the company was in a lot of transition. This made the task difficult and some of my coworkers were hard to work with. There were many challenges along the way in order for me to accomplish my assignment and let’s just say, it took every bit of Jesus in me to pull the event together. The event went well but not without a lot of sweat and tears.

As I drove out of that community exhausted, I whispered a prayer, “God, thank you for your grace and kindness in helping me with this event, give me safe travels home, and God, I don’t really care to ever come back to this city.” 

I love that we can pour out our hearts to God and He meets us right where we are. I was being gut level honest, and I verbalized it to the God that loved me and helped me.

Several years passed and one day I was asked if I could quickly pack and head back to this town. I was needed to help pull off another event that was the next day! I love helping people, especially in crisis situations, and I said yes before I even had a chance to think.

I was about half way to my destination and I remembered what I had said the last time I left. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed and said, “What on earth am I doing?” It was too late, I was committed.

I began to pray and ask God for wisdom, strength and help. Then I  told the overwhelming feelings to go away. I knew they were not from God. 

I felt God say to me, “One woman walking with God can do great things.”

I also heard him say, “Kathleen, I’m taking you back at a much higher level, leading you to triumph and I am upgrading you.” Peace settled over my heart. I knew God was in this and I had to trust him.


I remembered 2 Corinthians 2:14, which tells us, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us spreads and makes evident everywhere the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Him.” (AMP)

When we know Jesus, Christ is in us. We can tap into the power of Christ in us and God leads us. We have a choice to take his hand and follow and he always leads us to triumph, or to a better place. He is a God of relationship and loves for us to partner with him and help conform us to his image.

people attending event
I arrived in the afternoon and worked with the staff.  I hit the ground running and somehow had plenty of strength and made quick decisions There were new people there this time and they were very helpful and grateful I was there.  I gathered the staff together and prayed with them, modeling my dependency on God and I worked until late that night. 


Isaiah 58:12 says, “Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”

God loves to restore things. It is part of who is is. He gives us new life, forgiveness and will lead us to better places. Our job is to run to him, follow him, and trust him. He is a God of restoration and redemption and he cares about every detail of our lives.

Walking with God on a daily basis is one of the best blessings I have discovered and I pray you too will discover more of His love, passion for you, desire to bless you. If there some area in your life that needs an upgrade, run to him.  He cares about your job, your family, your dreams and every detail of your life. And he loves you and loves to restore.




Kathleen is a native of the Hill Country and is a writer and speaker. She 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

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Exchanging the broken pieces of life

Exchanging the Broken Pieces of Life -Restoration
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
June 2018
Copyright

     One of the things I have discovered that God loves to do, is restore or redeem things in our lives. No matter what mess you have made, how bad things look, or how much you have lost, God is standing right beside you orchestrating redemption just for you.

     What is redemption or what does it mean to redeem something? The dictionary definition states, “to compensate for the faults or bad aspects of something, to save from evil or error, to gain or regain possession of something, to exchange something.” Our society does not use the word redeem much unless we are talking about coupons, but uses exchange or restore instead. 

     What is it that you need for God to exchange for you? Think about it for a moment. What matters to you, matters to God. We live in a fallen world where life interrupts; sometimes suddenly, occasionally tragically, often times unexpectedly. I think that is why God is in the business of redeeming things, just for us. Redemption is what he specializes in.

The deck
      What do we do when our plans and dreams are interrupted? I have found by experience that we simply hang on to God to take the next step. We wait for Him to work in our lives to redeem the situation. This often times rubs the impatient the wrong way. As Americans, we are not good at waiting in the line at the grocery store. But in those times of waiting, we get to experience the joy of holding His hand. 

Isaiah 41:13 states, “For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear, I will help you.” (NIV)

     One of my personal stories of redemption began nine years ago. I sat on our beautiful  deck with my late husband, The conversation began with, “Kathleen, sit down, we need to talk.” 

I knew we needed to discuss some things neither one of us wanted to talk about but we had to. I sat at the end of the table and took a deep breath.  Even in his physical weakness, due to a rare cancer, Joe was leading his family. 

“Things are not going the way we want them to. My life insurance policy is in the front desk in the file. When I am gone, call USAA and they will walk you through the whole process,” he said. “They will help you,” he continued.

 My mind and body exhausted from caregiving and fighting for his life, was swimming with questions. I suddenly felt like I was in very deep water and the waves were way over my head. I found it hard to even breathe as my eyes filled with tears.

  Then he continued, “You are not made to live alone.” His eyes filled with tears and his voice began to crack. “I love you and I know you better than anyone on earth. You are not made to live alone.” 

“I want you to know, you have my permission to go on with your life and find someone else,” he struggled to say. I had to turn my face away. I did not want to hear those words anymore than he wanted to say them. 

We had  been friends, lovers, parents, and partners for 30 years. I could not imagine life with out him. I knew out of his great love for me, he was saying the words he never thought he would have to say but he wanted what was best for me. Joe took his last breath a few days later.

     Three very long and lonely years rolled by as I struggled to discover life without him. “How do you live when half of you is gone and your heart is broken,” I often thought. I have discovered, you live one day at a time holding God’s hand in the journey. Sometimes holding his hand for comfort, other times when fear knocks on the door and many times holding tight trying to find the joy in living again.

     So what does this have to do with redemption? Several years later, I sat on the very same deck again, except with another man, Stephen. We were laughing and enjoying the beautiful weather and working on our wedding vows. As we finished writing, we shared with each other the promises we were going to make at our wedding. 

My lemon tree on the deck
All of a sudden, I remembered the day years ago I sat in the very same spot in tears feeling like my life was over. The very place that had been so painful, was now a place of restoration. I thought how kind God was to redeem the place that had been so painful was now my place of new beginnings. 

     The journey has been a long and difficult one but my heart has expanded, gotten stronger and actually thrived, holding God’s hand. God gave me a chance to experience His redemption. He has exchanged the thing I feared most, losing my husband, for something new, good and full of fun and adventure.

Stephen and me with our tow grandkids several years after we married
      Psalms 107:1 states, “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” Psalms 107:6-8 says, “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.”  (NIV) I am not quoting this scripture. I have lived and experienced it and the experience has made me rich.

     Where are you right now in your life? Are you hanging on by a thread? Are you mad at God because of where this world has tossed you and you are blaming Him? Perhaps you just need your knees strengthened to stand and wait for Him to redeem. He will. He is faithful and good. 

Psalms 130 tells us to wait for him to exchange things for us and verse 7 states, “hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is FULL redemption.” (NIV)
     
      What do you need to ask God to redeem in your life? Ask Him now. Who do you need to encourage that God will redeem their tragedy? Ask God today. He is ready and waiting for you to take his hand, and let him walk you to your restoration.
     



Kathleen is a native of the Hill Country and is a writer and speaker. She 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 
94,500