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

Monday, September 30, 2013

Building Blocks of Faith


Baptist Standard Publishing
BCFS youthbuild
Members of a BCFS YouthBuild team learn not only about construction, but also about the importance of helping others. (BCFS PHOTOS)

Home addition a dream come true

KERRVILLE—To say Wanna Runyan has a full house is an understatement. The 77-year-old single great-grandmother has sole custody of her three great-grandchildren—6-year-old twins, Payton and Paige, and their 5-year-old sister, Kodi.Runyan, who also cares for an elderly family member, needed another bedroom in her small Kerrville home to comply with Child Protective Services licensing standards, but she didn’t know how she could afford to enlarge her house.
“It would have to be a miracle,” she said.
Neighbors and friends heard about Runyan’s dilemma. One acquaintance, a volunteer from the local Christian Assistance Ministry benevolence organization, contacted Partners in Ministry, and the ball started rolling.
bcfs runyan400
Partners in Ministry coordinated
“It is indescribable how it all came together,” said Jeff Anderson, executive director of Partners in Ministry, a volunteer-intensive organization that focuses on facilitating innovative collaboration. Anderson began working with a neighbor, Bob Meader, who drew up plans for the project. Several local companies donated supplies or gave discounts to make the room addition come together.
Partners in Ministry enlisted Kerrville Transition Center, a ministry of Baptist Child & Family Services, to assist with labor through its YouthBuild program, which helps young adults who dropped out of high school further their education while also learning the construction trade.
Keith Schoonmaker, YouthBuild’s construction manager, said his youth put in more than 120 hours of hard work, learning to give back to their community.
One YouthBuild student, Eddy, shared his excitement about the project.
“To go from nothing to being a room was amazing. I loved the experience and learned a lot,” he said.
A dream come true
For Runyan, the building project represented a dream come true.
“When they started building, I cried,” she said. “I could not believe it was happening to me. It was like a dream.”
Runyan’s three great-grandchildren grew fond of YouthBuild workers and staff, looking forward each day to their arrival on the construction site. Schoonmaker and his assistant, Russell Wells, even made the three young youngsters wear safety goggles and a hard hat when they came out to “help.”
Recently, 36 friends, staff and volunteers from BCFS, Partners in Ministry and Christian Assistance Ministry gathered for the ribbon-cutting celebration.
When the doors opened to the pink bedroom, someone asked 6-year-old Paige, “Who built your new room?”
“Jesus built this room,” she answered. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sowing in Tears and Reaping in Joy

Holding a bundle of joy
Sowing in Tears-Reaping in Joy

Community Journal and Kerrville Daily Times Article


Have you ever had a tear filled day? Maybe you had a challenge that brought you to tears? Perhaps you lost someone you loved. Could it be that you feel like giving up on life? Might I suggest that in those times and on those days, you become a farmer. There is no way we are going to get a different result from what we are encountering unless we sow into what we desire. It is vital that we plant the right seeds in this season in order to reap the crop we want. The word sow means to do something that will eventually bring about a particular result. 

Rice field in Bali
What do you need right now in your home, business, and life? Are you frustrated that you do not have it? Are you sowing any seeds to obtain what you want? One of life’s basic principles is that of sowing and reaping. My new husband was a farmer in south Texas for a number of years. We have had numerous conversations about farming that I have enjoyed. Each year he said he carefully chose seed from reputable dealers that had a proven history of producing excellent crops. Choosing the right seed was very important to his future. He said if you do not sow good seed, you have little hope of harvesting a good crop. Whether we realize it or not, we are always planting some kind of seeds around us in our homes and business and relationships.

I recently was reading Psalms 126:6 which says, “Those that sow in tears, will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.” I had written a date next to this scripture several years ago, to remind me to sow into my future. Even in my time of great sorrow and tears, I needed to keep moving and plant into others and my life so that one day in the future, I would reap a good crop. If you are in a season of sorrow or distress, start planting! Responding in the opposite of what what we are experiencing is important. 

I needed comfort, laughter and joy because the grief of losing my husband was enormous. I began to look for ways I could make people laugh, especially those that were going through trials. I looked for ways I could bring joy into others lives. I also looked for opportunities to comfort others. Scripture tells us even in our darkest hours, choosing to sow, we will not just reap, but reap with songs of joy and an abundant harvest.

If you are dealing with a lot of drama in your life, it would be wise to sow seeds of peace. Say and do things that will be a blessing to others that are causing the unrest and discord. I was listening to a woman a few months ago talk about her life. There was lots of discord in her life; however, as I listened, I could see that she constantly sowed seeds of contentiousness and yet wondered why there never seemed to be peace in her life.
Enjoying Truett after the dove hunt

Not long ago, I was in a discussion with a someone. The person must have been going through a difficult time as they were grumpy, and their tone, demeanor and words were sharp. I could have quipped back, however, I carefully chose seeds of kindness and looked for ways to help them and satisfy them instead of being offended and defensive. The atmosphere changed and the results were very beneficial.

Reaping in joy-Collins Elise and Mama Max
Financially giving what we have, when we need a financial blessing is important. Years ago, my late husband and I were going through a stressful time financially. Every penny mattered and there just did not seem to be enough for our family of five. We purposed to give to God and helping others. Even putting $5 to $10 seemed like hundreds to give away in our time of distress to make ends meet. However, we were faithful to give and over and over in our lives, God blessed us. You cannot out give God! 

Galatians 6:7-8 warns, “Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. The I challenge you to carefully select and examine the seeds you are sowing in your life and those around you. Choose seed of kindness, love and blessings. You may not see the crop immediately, but you will reap what you sow.

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

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Baby Truett Payne Williams Arrives

Peace That Brings The Future
Kerrville Daily Times Article
August 2013
Turett Payne Williams
7.9 and 20"
Born August 23,2013



“Mom, the baby is fine but my blood pressure and lab work are not what they should be, so they are checking me into the hospital,” my daughter stated as I listened over the phone. “Pray mom, my platelet counts are low.” she said.

“Alright, honey,” I responded. “I am on my way and I will be praying,” I said.

As I drove to Houston, down the same highway I had often driven when my late husband had cancer, I prayed for my daughter and the precious baby boy she was carrying. I was ecstatic about getting to be a part of his birth. I was ready to witness new life after losing my husband, mother and father in the last few years.

“Lord, what is my role in this baby’s birth?” I asked. I felt like the Lord said my role was to establish peace and guard it.

At 6:00 am the next morning, labor was induced. The nurse came in a few hours later with the first answer to prayer. “Your counts are still borderline, but you should be able to have the birth you want if our body cooperates.”

My son-in-law and I prayed with my daughter for strength as she had not been allowed to eat for almost 24 hours. Remembering what I felt the Lord say to me earlier, I prayed for peace to saturate the room throughout her labor and delivery and that every decision would be made from a place of peace.

Peace is a weapon. Anxiety and fear are always trying to rob each of us from our God given right to walk in peace in every situation. Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you...Do not let your heart be troubled.” (NIV) I learned that scripture years ago cognitively but have had numerous opportunities to establish it as a way of life in recent years through trial and tribulations. That seems to be the way things work with God. We learn a principle and then we get the opportunity to practice it and practice it.

At 3:00 pm that afternoon my daughter was still only in early labor even though she was having frequent contractions.  Again, my son-in-law and I prayed for strength and peace. At 10:30 pm, and after 16 hours of laboring, I overheard the nurse and the doctor discussing a c-section as she was only 4 cm dilated. Something rose up in my daughter and she asked the doctor if she could wait until midnight to make the decision. By this time, I was concerned she would not have the energy for delivery.

The next several hours, she slept peacefully. The nurse returned and commented, “I’ve been an OB nurse for 22 years and I’ve never been in such a peaceful room.” I smiled and thanked God. 

“Wow,” she said surprisingly. “You’ve made a lot of progress.” It was almost time for delivery, and she went to get the doctor.” I constantly watched the monitor and watched my daughter sleep with each contraction. Again, I shot up an arrow prayer, concerned that she had not eaten in almost 40 hours and had labored 21 hours.
The doctor arrived and we woke Mallory up as it was time for us to meet the new addition to the family. After 20 minutes, Truett Payne entered the world at 7 pounds and 9 ounces. We rejoiced as he cried, and we knew that mom and baby were just fine.

“Mallory, I can’t believe you did it,” the doctor stated. “Your patience and the fact you didn’t panic and quit helped you get through delivery.”

As I pondered the events of the last few days, I had to reflect on the power of peace and the answers to prayer. Psalms 37:37 says, “...a future awaits those who seek peace.” (NIV) I challenge you to seize the peace Christ has provided for you and look forward to your future.


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


Mallory and Rob enjoying their new addition

Mama Max and Pops with Truett

Out to Dinner

Enjoying this boy

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