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

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Choosing God's Ways Takes Practice

Choosing God's Way Takes Practice
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
Copyright January 2016





God has provided everything we need for each day we face. The problem we all wrestle with is not walking in the new life Christ has provided for us and defaulting to our old ways of handling situations. 

Galatians 5:22-25 talks about our new life in Christ  of love, joy, peace, gentleness, patience, kindness and self control. Each day, in each situation, we  can choose to keep in step with God or do things our way- the old self centered way.

It is like God has given us a brand new car, representing our new life in him, and he tells us to take it out for a spin. Our old life, represented by an old beat up dilapidated junk yard car, is right there, comfortable for us to continue to use or we can simply get in the new vehicle God has given us, learn about it and  practice driving it. Romans 6:4 says, “...just as Christ was raise from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (NIV) Which will we choose?
The new car, is nice, pretty, and has all the bells and whistles, safety features but we just are not comfortable driving it so we go back to what we are comfortable with. Each day, in every situation, everyone of us has the opportunity to practice walking in newness of life, practicing driving our new gift,  or default to immature and out of date ways of handling situations we face. We get to choose what we will drive.

I had a  convertible car I had driven for years. Although it was 9 years old, it was comfortable. My husband recently bought me as SUV, as I am on the road a great deal and he wanted me in something safer and bigger. I have had to learn a lot about driving my new vehicle and I am still practicing and learning about this vehicle.

With our new life in Christ, there is much to learn and practice. The other day, I had an opportunity to choose and practice. I was traveling on business and I ordered a cup of coffee and sat down to wait for my eggs and ham. As the young girl placed my breakfast in front of me, I felt the Lord say, “She needs to know how much I love her and how special she is to me.” I knew it was the Lord but in my mind, I began to think that I did not have much time and needed to hurry to my next appointment. I then sipped may coffee, only to discover that it was not hot, but actually cool in temperature. I had just paid good money for a hot cup of coffee, About that time, the waitress came back and asked, “Is there anything else I can do for you?”  “Yes, if you could get me another cup of coffee, I would really appreciate it.” I said kindly.  “This one is not very hot,” I stated. When she returned, she apologized and thanked me for not getting upset about cold coffee and said she deals with many customers that get mad and upset. I realized at that moment, it was much more important to God that I was kind to this young girl than it was that I had a hot cup of coffee.

Seizing the moment, I stepped out in faith, hoping she did not think I was crazy, and told her how special she was to God and how much he loved her. Much to my surprise, she sat down at my table and began to weep. Those words were life to her soul. They were exactly what she needed. We visited a few minutes and then I asked her if I could pray for her. She readily agreed and we prayed.  Her entire countenance began to change and I saw a new sparkle in her eye. I was so glad I chose to practice kindness instead of my right to a hot cup of coffee. 
Each day, in each situation, we  can choose to keep in step with our new life in Christ and practice driving our new vehicle or  revert to old self centered ways, our old vehicle.  If you find yourself in your junk yard car, put it in park and get out. Enjoy God’s provision of newness of life, remember, practice makes perfect. None of us are too old to learn anything and all of us need more practice in walking in love, joy, peace, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness and self control. Join me in choosing God’s new provision for us, new life in him, learning about it and practice, practice, practice.


Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie is a writer and speaker. She passionate about helping people discover their value and worth and is a native of the Hill Country. You can reach her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com or visit her blog for other writings at www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com

Friday, January 1, 2016

Need instruction or counsel for 2016? Seek God!

Need instruction or counsel for 2016? Seek God!
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
Copyright

In fall of 2008, I was given a framed scripture that has impacted my life and has been a constant source of stability since that time. It was given to me just a few weeks before my late husband was diagnosed with a rare disease and reminded me in the uncertain days I faced, that God would direct me step-by-step. Recently, I encountered a few challenging weeks and, once again, this scripture was my anchor.“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” Psalms 32:8 (NIV) 

As we enter a new year, it is comforting to know that God will instruct us, teach us, counsel and watch over us, as we seek Him. I have my plans, goals and dreams for 2016 and, yet, I have lived long enough to know that things do not always turn out the way I want them to. Nevertheless, I have a security and someone I can depend on and his name is Jesus. My job is to look to him, seek him, listen and trust.


A few weeks ago, I had just finished a big fundraising event for work and was dealing with all the paper work when my youngest son called to visit before he boarded a plane to Paris, France for work. Even if he is 6-feet, 4-inches, he is still my baby. I told him I loved him and would be praying for him, only to find out later that evening about the terrorist attacks in the city he was flying into. Needless to say, I prayed a little more intensely upon hearing that news.
Five days later, my daughter called from the emergency room and her two-year-old had broken his arm playing on the playground. Days before, she had been in the same emergency room with her two-month-old that had a high fever. Once again, I prayed and committed my kids and grandkids to the Lord.
 At this same time, I was also preparing for a grand opening of a building project I had been working on for the past four years and was in the middle of moving to the new BCFS Hill Country Resource Center. This was also a busy time for me at work, as I was overseeing 10 Christmas appeals for the different cities I work with so things were quite hectic. As I was unpacking boxes, I received another call from my daughter, “Mom, I need you to pray, we are in the ER again with Truett and a team of 15 just surrounded him. His blood sugar is sky high, and they are moving him to ICU,” she said. We were unaware, at the time, that this little boy was a Type 1 Diabetic.
As I pondered the words I heard and tried to think of what to do next, I remembered Jesus came to this earth as the prince of peace, and I had a God-given right to walk in peace in any situation. I knew I needed to go to Houston and help my daughter and son-in-law in this crisis as they had a two-year-old in ICU and a new baby that could not be in the hospital room with them.
“Lord, how am I going to meet my deadlines, prepare for the grand opening in three days, unpack my office and take care of those I love?” I prayed as I packed my suitcase. And there it was, sitting on my dresser: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” Peace flooded my heart and I knew I could not figure it all out, but that God would show me step-by-step. Once again, this scripture anchored my soul in a trying time and my job was to seek, listen, trust and walk in the peace God provides in times of crisis.
The rest of the story is, a few days later, the boxes were unpacked, the grand opening went well, my grandson was released from the hospital, my son was safe, but still in France and God was once again faithful to instruct, teach, counsel and watch over me.
I challenge you as you enter 2016 to write out Psalm 32:8, put it where you can see it, and let it be your guide into the new year. Whatever you face, I have no doubt that God will instruct you as you walk with him, teach and counsel you as you look to him, and watch over you.

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