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

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Transition

Hill Country Community Journal
Copyright
December 2014

The other day as I remembered the second anniversary of the death of my mom, I began to ponder all the things that had changed in my life in the last few holiday seasons. Things look very different than they did a few years ago and with change, there always comes the period of transition, the in between time, the time of letting go of the past and embracing the new. Change is often times a good thing, although it can also challenge things within us and if we look at history, it has been around a long time..

I have encountered several recent changes in my life in my family and work.  The addition of my new husband, step children and grand babies was a wonderful change in our family. Although wonderful, it has been a time of adjust, transition and we are all learning our new life together.  Other changes are a little more challenging, such as changing or losing a job, a family member encounters a life changing illness or gets cancer, losing a spouse, child, or parent. And then there are those changes, like when we think we know the road map for our life and God suddenly reveals that he has a different plan.

Christmas 2009 in Cabo
Think about Mary and Joseph. Those two young people had a huge shift in their plans and lives when God began to reveal to them they were chosen for a very special task in the world, to birth and raise Jesus. Here was a young couple, engaged to be married with dreams for their lives together, and suddenly they were told a very special baby was on its way, the son of God.

Luke 1 tells us at first Mary is greatly troubled by the news and has questions. She did not have a grid or any understanding of the news she received as no one else had been chosen to carry the son of God. We can all learn from her ultimate response. Luke 1:38 recounts her response to the news with, “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said.” (NIV) Luke 1: 46 also states she says, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” When the unexpected came, Mary humbled herself , agreed with God’s plan, even though she did not understand,  and worshiped God in her transition. I love that about her!  She lived Proverbs 3:5 which states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.” (NIV) She simply trusted God and his goodness.

Matthew 1 tells us Joseph first thought of ending the relationship with Mary but after an angel appeared to him in a dream and explained God’s plan, he changed his mind. Matthew 1:24 says, “When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.” (NIV)

Transition is defined as the process of changing from one state or condition to another. I have often felt like my own transitions make me feel upside down. God’s purpose in our lives is to conform us to his image. In our day to day walk, he wants us to be his representatives here on earth of his kindness, love, goodness, faithfulness and peace. He is all about changing us  to be more like him and often times uses change or transition as a tool to shape us.

 Recently pondering changes at work, as my division is undergoing a new restructure, I suddenly had a burst of energy!  I thought, “what is one more change and it will be good for me”? What  resinated in me was change has helped me grow in my walk with God and become who I am today. Change can shape us and is a catalyst to helping us become who God wants us to be, if we embrace it, accept it, rest in God’s love and plan for our lives.

We can tell from the Christmas story, that change might no seem good to us at first, but ultimately it can be our friend and birth something new in us, a better version of who we are,  as well as affect the world around us. Mary and Joseph were chosen for special purposes. They embraced the plan and change and simply trusted God.
  
Change has been around for over 2000 years and is here to stay. God is looking for people that will say “yes” to him and make a difference in the world. What change has happened in your life since the last few holiday seasons? What change do you need to wrap your arms around? I wonder what special task God has chosen you for? 

I challenge you to have the same attitude as Mary and Joseph. Simply say “yes” to God’s plan, trust him and grow from your changes. In that journey, our faith is upgraded,we can be conformed to God’s image and we discover, it’s a wonderful life.

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, December 3, 2014

The Power of Thanksgiving Year Round




Thanksgiving in Alpine...true west Texas event!

The Power of Thankfulness
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
November 2014


Thanksgiving is not just for November but is a powerful resource for us throughout the year. The Bible tells us to be thankful. The number one reason to be thankful is because God said so. That alone is reason to be thankful all the time, however, there are other reasons. Thankfulness is good for us and good for those around us! There is power that comes into our lives when we are thankful. Power to adjust our attitude, power to focus on the good and the goodness of God and power to overcome difficult circumstances. 

As a little girl it would really maked me mad when I would ask my dad why I needed to do something and his reply was, “because I said so.” Really what he meant to say was, “ because it is good for you.” I was one of those kids that wanted to understand things and I’m sure I annoyed my parents by asking why. I’m sure God sometimes wants to tell me, “because I said so or because it is good for you Kathleen.” After all, He is all knowing and our job is to trust him.
Psalm 100:4 encourages us to be thankful as it states, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” (NIV) Thankfulness opens our heart and brings our emotions and thinking into alignment. Think about it. How many people do you know that have said thank you with their arms folded? Not many...When we come to God with a thankful heart it opens us up to see all He has done for us that we might have missed. Thanksgiving makes God bigger than our problems or the things we face. It magnifies Him and His goodness.
Colossians 3:15 and 4:2 respectively state,“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.  “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (NIV)
I’ve seen the power of a thankful heart to change me personally. In my dark days of digging through grief, learning to live as a widow and caregiving for my ill, elderly parents, knowing their life span was short, it was easy to become weary and feel like life would always be painful. It was a difficult time, but God was also blessing me in some incredible ways. Realizing I needed to focus on the good in my life, I began to write down each evening something I was thankful for that day or had seen God do for me. In the beginning, I had to think about what to write but the more I looked for God’s goodness to me, the more I discovered. An attitude of gratitude began to change my heart and open my eyes. 
No, I did not thank God that I was living alone, was lonely and had a lot of responsibility, but I could thank him for holding my hand, leading me and comforting me as I cried. I could thank him that I still had my parents in my life and they called me each day. As my list of things that blessed my life each day grew, I began to see my heart change. Even though my circumstances did not change, life seemed easier.
I challenge you to develop a heart of thankfulness by either writing what you appreciate each day or verbally thanking God throughout the day. Do it because He said so and you will empower yourself. I would love to see the hills alive in Kerrville with a thankful heart!

Uncle Price and Truett

Monday, November 17, 2014

Highlights of the Past Month

Highlights for the past month October to November 2014
Uncle Barrett and Truett resting during dove season









Collins came to see Mama Max and we went to the park with Daddy
Dove Hunting with my good friends!

Celebrating our second anniversary

Fishing at the beach for our anniversary


Capital Campaign Project I've been working on for 2 1/2 years finally broke ground!

Dove Dynasty....

Friday, November 7, 2014

Who Are You Listening to?


Kerrville Daily Times Article 
October 2014
Copyright 2014
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie


     Too many times in life, we listen to other people, popular opinion, the voice of fear, our own insecurities instead of listening to what God says. When we listen to anything but God, we shoot ourselves in the foot. Isaiah 43:1 and 14 tells us of who we are to listen to. “But now, this is what the Lord says...” This is a powerful statement. In any situation or circumstances, we need to stop long enough to hear and investigate what God’s perspective is, what God says about our situation.

Dove Hunting with my sons...don't shoot yourself in the foot!
     “But now, this is what the Lord says, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel; “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”(NIV)  God reminds us in this passage that he knows everything about us and He knows our potential. He even knows our capability in our current circumstances. It is his way of saying to not give Him excuses for our fear. Then kindly, he commands us to not fear, reminding us that he has redeemed us.

 Redeem means to compensate for the faults or bad aspects of something. I feel the Lord is instructing us to not look at our ability or inability but to look to Him and His greatness. Even in our weaknesses, He has us covered. The Father goes on to say, “I have summoned you and called you by name, you are mine. Often times in life, we can feel insignificant and we must remember God Almighty has hand picked us and chosen us for a particular task and loves us enough to identify with us and call us part of the family. All of us have a need to belong, and He claims us.

Holding my Daddy's hand the last few moments of his life
This passage is rich and verse two of Isaiah 43 is packed with more promises for us from God. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” (NIV) All of us encounter difficult waters in life. Tough situations at work, illnesses, loss of someone we love, financial trouble, marital problems are just a few that come to mind. God is gently telling us difficulty is part of life here on earth and when it happens, He will walk beside us. As I read this passage, I reflected on a time recently I had been wading  through water. As I stepped into the lake, the sediment swirled and I could not see very well. I continued walking in the unknown waters slowly, as we all do in life, and suddenly hit a spot that was slippery. I reached to grab my husband’s are to steady me. Do you reach for God to steady you when you encounter the unknown waters of life? He is always there to hang on to .

There have been times in my life that I have felt like the river of life was rising around me and I might not make it. I thought I might drown.  My mom was an very ill for nine years and I over saw her care. Balancing work, my family, her doctor visits, caregivers,  medication, and the emotional loss was challenging. I became the parent and she became the child. Six years into her illness, my late husband developed cancer and passed away. I was struggling to overcome the heart ache of the loss, when my father became ill. In these days, I was not sure I would make it. Being the only sibling in town, put the major responsibility of both of them on my plate. All I could do was take one step at a time and hang on the fact that I was not alone, God was with me. He was faithful to sustain me, walk with me, help me, give me strength and comfort. It was a long and challenging season.Although it felt like the waters of life would sweep me away, God was greater than all my circumstances and those difficulties shaped me and forever changed me in a positive way. 

He is with us when we pass through the water to give us hope and a future
 When life gives you circumstances you do not want, what you do get is experience. And the experience of walking with God in unknown waters or rushing rivers makes you rich. Will you join me in listening to what God says instead of the negative voices around you? 

October 27th we celebrated our 2nd anniversary!
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




69,127


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Open Your Eyes, Let Go and Take Responsibility


Open Your Eyes, Let Go and Take Responsibility
October 2014 
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
Copyright

We live in exciting and yet dangerous days. We live in a time that I feel is packed with potential for each of us as well as Ebloa,  airstrikes, and much more to be concerned about.  I firmly believe God is reaching out to all of us to first accept Him as Lord and Savior, see how big He is and that we are made on purpose for His purpose, and take responsibility for our personal development. All these things are necessary to step into our destiny.

The book of Esther in the Bible and her life describe how one orphan girl, a common girl  that most in society would have overlooked. She stepped into becoming queen, risk her life and saved the Jewish people. God saw her potential, prepared her and chose her for an important purpose. 

Speaking at the Wanted Campference on Esther in October
Esther knew God. Her parents died when she was a girl and she was raised by a man named Mordecai. She was Jewish and taught the ways of God and I feel it was in her dark days of loss, she learned through experience to trust God in a great way. Later in her life she demonstrates that trust. When King Xerxes announced he was looking for a wife, Esther was taken from her comfort zone into a whole new world of royalty. During that time, she had a year of preparation. It was during that time she had to see herself as God saw her, a woman made in the image of God, a woman of royalty, and called for a special purpose. She did not whine and make excuses of all that she was not, she took responsibility for her development to step into her destiny. When the king summoned her, she could take anything she wanted with her, but scripture says she took nothing. I have this picture of her taking God’s hand and walking confidently into her destiny.

God is looking today for people just like you and me to be just like Esther. A people that know God, fully trust Him, let go of what is comfortable and take responsibility for our development. He is not calling more pastors, he is calling ordinary people like you and me to go outside the walls of the church and do extraordinary things here on earth.

Isaiah 41:9 sums , “You are my servant; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. 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.”

God has changed my thinking over the recent years. I previously believed that whenever things went wrong, trouble knocked on the door, trials came satan and the world were against me. There is an element of truth in that statement, however, when we partner with God to discover how we can grow in any situation, we win. I have had to leave what was comfortable for the unknown,life. I have grown in the process and know God in a deeper way. I am learning to partner with God, get His perspective of myself and see the situation just as he does, and take His hand.
Recently, I found myself in a situation where things were going wrong and the odds were against me. I ask God how He saw me and the situation. I felt Him say, “I’m with you and you will do amazing things.” I then found myself in a conversation with someone many were intimidated by. When I was asked a question by this man, my first thought was, “this is my Esther moment.” I could not entertain the fear others had, I just had to walk confidently with a God who loves me. God gave me favor in the situation, the situation turned out better than I imagined and I know He used me in the situation just as He did Esther, “for such a time as this.”


Collins Maxwell and Mama Max
What about you? Do you know God as your Lord and Savior? Do you partner with God in your own personal development when things go wrong or whine? Have you ever asked God to help you see yourself as He sees you? I challenge you to to open your eyes and see with the lens God has, step out of your comfort zone and partner with God to become who He has called you to be. Discover your wonderful life.


Kathleen Maxwell is a native of the Hill Country, educator, 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, October 8, 2014

Five Years Later

Maxwell Family Update Five Years Later
2009 - 20014
Last family picture
Five years ago today, a great man took his last breath on earth and his first breath in heaven. It is hard to believe that Joe Maxwell has been gone that long. In some ways it seems like yesterday and in other ways, it seems like a lifetime ago.

Our family has changed dramatically since October 8, 2009. Yes, we lost a member of our family we all loved dearly, but we've grown in number and in who we are. 

Price graduating from UT
I am proud of my children and how they have navigated the waters of grief, change, making a new life without dad and embracing their mom remarrying. I'm proud of Price, who made a 4.0 at UT the semester his dad died, graduated in 4 years and has an amazing job as a petroleum engineer. It is not easy to watch your dad slip away as a freshman in college and die the beginning of his sophomore year.
I'm proud of Mallory for going on with her life, marrying a few months after her dad left, for God's provision in Rob, and the wonderful mom she is to Truett. I'm proud of Austin and Laura, in how they have both navigated losing both of their dads in a short time. Not many people in their late 20's and early 30's lose their dad. God will use them to help others. I'm thankful all my kids still love and serve God.

New parents and new grandbabies
Learning to be a hunter's wife
God's grace has carried us the past five years. His love has comforted us. His kindness has met us at every corner we needed to turn. His faithfulness has helped us go on. Our family has grown from 5, five years ago to 9 now! Added were Rob Williams, my son-in-law, Stephen Rambie, my new husband, and Collins Maxwell and Truett Williams, our little bundles of life and grandbabies. All have brought much joy and life into our family and made us laugh again. I am thankful.
Family vacation 2014

I'm thankful for the new life we all now lead. I'm thankful to God who continually brings new healing to our hearts. I'm thankful that He has helped us overcome a great loss and go on and enjoy life. I'm thankful for how we have all grown in adversity.

I am also thankful for all of you that stood with us, cried with us, cheered us on and prayed for us. Many blessings to you all.







Saturday, October 4, 2014

Waiting On God is the Best Choice


Kathleen Mazwell-Rambie
Copyright 2014

     Where are you right now in your life? Are you in a difficult situation or a low spot? Are you trying to just keep your head above the water as the storm rages? Do you feel all alone and caught in the waves? You are not alone, trust me. I am 53 and don’t know much, but know there are seasons in all our lives that challenge us. It is just part of life here on earth.
     I recently came across a passage I memorized years ago when I was waiting for God to bring sunshine into my life again. The clouds seemed dark at the time and the storm seemed to rage for a while. Psalms 130 was chapter I hung on to  while I waited for the waves to subside. The good news is that  the sun did shine again in my life but it took a while for the clouds to break and dawn to come. In the time in between  was waiting...
     Psalms 130 begins with, “Out of the depths I cry to you O Lord; O Lord hear my voice. Let your ear be attentive to my cry for mercy.” (NIV) The Psalmist was in a dark place and I believe was verbally processing where he was, reminding God of his plight; like Almighty God didn’t know.  I am a verbal processor so I understand the conversation. He was reminding God that he was in a dark place and was waiting to see the kindness of God. I have had some of those same conversations with God myself; I just said it a little differently. My version went something like, “Seriously God, I don’t think I can make it much longer. I know you love me and are kind but I am tired.” I believe God loves it when we are honest with our feelings and tell him. He loves relationship with us just like I do with my three adult children. I love it when they share their hearts on a matter and tell me how they see things.
     Often times in adversity, people blame God or feel he is punishing them. Psalms130:3 is a reminder that God doesn’t hold our sins against us  when we confess them. I love The Message interruption of Psalms 130:3-4, “If you God kept records of wrongdoings, who would stand a chance? As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that’s why you’re worshipped.” (The Message Bible) When I read this passage, I had to ask myself if I had a good habit of forgiving people. It was a good reminder to make it a habit, not an occasional event. Right there is the reason we all need to worship God more; simply because he does not hold our past against us. Whooo whoo! Do you daily thank God that He doesn’t hold your past against you? How do you treat those that have wronged you? Do you treat them with kindness or contempt? Do you hold the past against them?
     Psalms 130: 6 states, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.”  I feel the Psalmist is preaching to himself here. I do that a lot. In the stormy times we have the word to hang on to and we need to remind ourselves of the truth.  Wait in this passage is translated “to bind, to twist, to expect, to collect.”  In the waiting time we have the opportunity to bind ourselves to God, to develop faith as we we put our expectation in Him and collect things necessary for the next part of the journey. Waiting is a gathering time.
     Then the writer of Psalms reminds us to put our hope in the Lord for with Him is unfailing love and FULL redemption. What a promise to hang on to! Redemption means recovery, saving, or honoring. Sometimes the salvation in the storm comes as God guides us through the rain. Other times He rescues us. One thing is for sure, He is always loving us and right there. 
     The longer I walk with God, the more I am aware of His presence with me. His presence has become my security blanket and gives me confidence to step out and walk on the water. An awareness of God’s presence didn’t just come from reading the scripture. I had done that for years. It didn’t come from listening to a good sermon. I knew the verses and had them memorized. An awareness of His presence came as I waited on God, looked to Him to guide me through the storms of heartache, betrayal, disappointments. It came as I faced life altering illnesses with loved ones and as I put my hope in Him. An awareness of His unfailing love came as I poured out my heart in anguish in the depths of despair and wondering if I could survive. Sermons, memorizing, reading often don’t change us. It is as we take the word and apply it and develop an experience with God that the word becomes life and truth to us. Experience makes us rich when we learn from it. Our experience is invaluable. It makes us who we are and gives us authority.
     Isaiah 30:18 sums things up and declares that we are blessed when we wait on God. It says, “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion, For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!” ( NIV)
     Crying out to God, hanging on when we want to give up, reminding ourselves of truth , waiting on God’s redemption and putting our hope in Him is good for us. It strengthens us and enlarges us; therefore, our challenges become our opportunities to grow. The growth is often not easy but one day we will experience His full redemption of the situation. What do you need to do? Cry out, wait, make forgiveness a habit, preach to yourself or hope? Pick one and get started! Just do it... He is waiting on you. Are you just waiting or are you waiting on Him?
     

Kathleen Maxwell is a native of the Hill Country, educator, 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




Sunday, September 21, 2014

Hope Only in the Lord-Anything Else Will Let You Down


Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
Copyright 2014

Not only is hope vital in times of crisis but in our everyday life. It is necessary to keep us moving forward in any situation. Some of the challenges we often face in life that need the anchor of hope are 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.

 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. Who doesn’t need 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.

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.

Maxwell,Williams and Rambie Vacation 2014
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 being 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. 

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. 


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

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Wanted Campference OCT 9-12, 2014 H.E.Butt Foundation Camp

Come and join the fun and fellowship! For any member of Christian Women's Job Corps, you will receive a scholarship to come free of charge in exchange for helping with the event.



For all other women, September special is $100 for Thursday-Sunday. We had a great time last year and look forward to another wonderful time.

Come and be refreshed, have lots of fun and enjoy the wonderful Hill Country.



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Wanted Campference women's retreat wants to pray with and for you. Let us know what we can pray for.
It is always a treat when this lady, Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie, prays for me. Come hear her share God's Word at camp OCTOBER 9-12 H.E. Butt Foundation Camp We were giggling and tears were rolling last year as the Holy Spirit prayer brought us an overflowing joy. Have you signed up for camp yet? 


Go to WantedCampference dot com


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

His Amazing Love Enables Us to Love Others


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. February, 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 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 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. What are their characteristics? Do they say they love God or demonstrate that they love God by loving others. Loving others is proof of our love for God.
Believing God loves us takes faith. Faith and love are linked together. More than 55 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 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 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 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 30-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.
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.

I challenge you to ask God to reveal more of his love to you, then, look for it!




Saturday, August 16, 2014

One Little Girl Walking With God



The past 6 months have taken me out of town a good bit for work. I have been working on a project in Lubbock and in Abilene. When I was tasked with the project, I was only out of town once a month but as the projects have come closer to deadline, I have had to travel weekly. My Abilene project was complete last week and culminated with a Men's Breakfast for the Abilene Transition Center.

Tables at the Steak and Egg Benefit Breakfast
The beauty of spending a lot of time on the road is you get lots of time to talk to God. I knew from the beginning of both projects that I was not going to these communities just for the job. God made it very clear that there were kingdom purposes for me in my travels so each time I entered each community, I would keep my eyes open for what God's purposes were in taking me to the Big Country and the South Plains of Texas.

Going into a community where I did not know anyone was quite different than in the Texas Hill Country where I have lived almost all my life. How on earth would I raise awareness of what our transition centers contributed to their community when I didn't know anyone? One thing I have learned in my life and am totally confident in is that God
Vintage baseball decorations 





 is with me and when He calls me, He equips me. I saw that over and over as I simply showed up in each community. God gave me incredible favor with the local TV stations and radio stations as well as community service organizations like Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions and others. It has been amazing to see Him put me right next to key people that can help me accomplish the mission of my job.

I have numerous stories as well as numerous obstacles God has helped me overcome. I have had the privilege of ministering to numerous widows and praying with others from staff at the hotels I've prayed at to staff at the transition centers I've worked at. God has brought the volunteers I've needed, people to come along side and make my life easier and people that share the passion I have to help those in need. 

One story I will share began as I showed up for a Rotary meeting in Abilene. I just happened to be presenting that day and just happened to sit at a table with a retired judge and author. Through the conversation, I was invited to speak at the Abilene Writers Guild. Although I felt inadequate to speak at this kind of event, I said yes as God told me He was going to open doors and I was to simply say "Yes" and trust him. When I showed up at the event and shared my story of how I began writing for local newspapers, I shared the tragedy of losing my late husband. I also told of the goodness of God and how my writing was a gift I never knew I had and how it was a blessing that came from a loss. At the conclusion of the meeting, I had at least 5 and probably more widows that came up to me and said, "You were here just to speak to me." How cool is that? I was able to encourage each of them in where they were in their own journey.

Jim "The Rookie" Morris was our feature speaker for the Men's Breakfast
One of the young adults I've had the honor of working with
From the woman that is a recent widow that I met and have shared lunch a few times to the young girl struggling with her self esteem, to the older gentleman at the Marriott, each one is precious to the Lord. So special to Him, that He gave me the privilege of touching their lives. God is looking for people here on earth that will listen to the Holy Spirit and obey when He wants to use us to touch someone.

After seven months in a community where I knew few people, the Abilene Men's Field of Dreams Benefit Breakfast was this past Thursday and $39,000 was raised! Yea God! Actually, that was over $10.000 more than I raised last year in my own community! 

God loves it when we simply say "yes" to Him and show up and hang on. I've seen him do above what I can ask or think. Life to me is about spending time with Him and loving the people He puts right in front of me each day.

I challenge you to ask Him for divine appointments, listen to Him and love those He puts in your path.