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

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Benefits of Loving One Another



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. The past few articles I have talked about what scripture has to say about one another. Why did Jesus give us this commandment? I think one reason was he knew we would encounter difficult people and would need the reminder.

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 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.

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!


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. She can be heard on Sunday mornings from 8:00 am to 9:00 am on The REV FM, 94.3. Contact her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com or visit her blog on www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com


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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summer Fun with Family

Austin and Laura and my grand daughter that is hiding right now
 Summer is for fun with family! Our family has taken a different shape this past year with people we love saying goodbye and leaving this life. We have also gained new members to our family. I think it is so interesting that before my mom and dad passed away, both my daughter and daughter-in-law were expecting. God gives and takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Recently, Stephen and I were able to go to Annapolis Maryland to spend some precious time with Austin, my oldest son and his wife. We loved getting to see their new home and help them with moving in. Laura and I worked to get things for the baby, while Stephen and Austin hung pictures and did various projects in the house. Of course we played a little. The boys played some golf while Laura and I shopped for the baby.
Downtown Annapolis

Enjoying Annapolis

My daughter and me celebrating  at a baby shower
My grandson is on his way!



Austin, my oldest son  and Stephen





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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Your Greeting and Serving Makes a Difference


Greeting and Serving Make a Difference
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
June 2013


The last several columns, I have written about the phrase one another and the different things the Bible has to say to us about how to relate to those around us. God has incredible love for us and the heartbeat of what I have see in my personal study of the one anothers  in scripture is He wants us to openly show those around us that love. 
The phrase one another appears numerous times in the Bible, 83 to be exact. What does the phrase mean? Our language uses the word others more than one another. According to some grammarians, if we’re talking about more than just two people, we should use the pronoun: one another instead of each other.

Have you ever thought much about how you greet someone makes a big difference?
I Peter 5:14 says, “Greet one another with a kiss of love.” How we greet someone sets the stage for a positive and healthy interaction. I remember a situation I encountered  not too long ago and I saw the importance of a greeting. I was on my way to a meeting and knew there was going to be a woman there that had caused some discord in the group. As I drove to the meeting, I was praying about the situation. I felt God say to me to make an effort to hug her when she got there. I must admit I took a deep breathe and let out a sigh when I was praying, as that was not exactly what I had in mind. My prayer quickly switched to praying for myself instead of the meeting saying, “Lord please help me.” When she arrived, I made an effort to walk across the room and greet her with a hug. You could tell it was not what she expected and it diffused the tension she brought into the room when she arrived. God’s grace was there to help me and His ways work. 

 I had never really thought much about the importance of greeting or acknowledging someone when we see them. Several times in scripture we are told how we are to act when we meet and greet those that are our friends and acquaintances The Bible has more to say about greetings than you might think. Romans 16:16 and I Corinthians 16:20 both state, “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (NIV) Our culture is not usually one that extends a kiss when we meet unless we are married. The intent of the scripture is to greet one another warmly and demonstrate our love for one another. We are instructed to show our love and affection for others and to honor them. Jesus was not afraid to show his love for his disciples and if he walked into my office or yours, I’m sure he would extend his arms and show us how glad he was to see us.

When someone communicates they are glad to see you it actually makes you feel valued and treasured. Conversely, when someone ignores your presence, it does not make you feel very important or valued. I think it is interesting how some businesses these days actually have greeters at the front door to make sure their customers feel welcome.  Do you need to improve on greeting your coworkers and friends? 

What about how you greet your mate? Our mate should be the most important relationship in our lives. I learned a good lesson about this years ago... the hard way. The story went something like this. 
The smell of garlic filled the kitchen as I chopped the little vegetable and put it into the skillet. As I grabbed an onion and the phone rang. “Hi Kathleen, do you have a minute?” said my good friend. “Yes, how are you?” I replied. She began to talk about her kids, job and some problems in her life. I was enjoying the conversation with her when my late husband walked in the door. I looked up at him, smiled and continued  the conversation as I made dinner. Fifteen minutes later I got off the phone and I could tell he was upset. 
“What’s wrong?” I asked. 
“Nothing,” he replied. 
“Somethings wrong,” I continued, pressing the issue.
 “I’m not sure why I bothered to come home, I guess I should have kept working late,” he stated.
 “What are you talking about?” I asked, as I stirred the dinner several more times than it needed.
“I guess Sue is more important than I am,” he said firmly. 

As I reflected and tried to justify why I did not get off the phone when he arrived, I had to admit to myself, that I could see how my actions could have conveyed that he was not the most important person in my life. Once I swallowed my pride, I made it a point to get off the phone when he arrived home from work to honor him and show him he was the most important person in my life. 

Next, I want to tackle the phrase, serve one another. Galatians 5:13 says, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” (NIV) We are told here to be of service to, be of use to, to assist, aid or make a contribution to those around us. We are to do this, simply because it reflects the heart of God. Jesus served us by dying on the cross. He did that out of a heart to show his love and desire to help us even at his expense. Jesus served his disciples and served those around him. 

There are many social service organizations around our town and nation. When we serve, we give the most precious thing we have- time. Some people are naturals at serving others. They have a real gift in that area and others of us have to work at it. We are called first to serve in our families. Make sure you are putting them first, then serve in your workplace, church and community. How are you at serving others? Do you need some improvement in serving those around you? 

Will you join me in practicing greeting one another and serving one another? I have no doubt our obedience will reap great rewards in our community.