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

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Determination, perseverance and forgiveness are necessary for success. Are you your own worst enemy?

Are You Your Worst Enemy? 
copyright
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
July 2017



Truett and Ellis
To be successful at anything takes determination, preserving and forgiveness. My grandfather had been married to my grandmother for more than 65 years. I asked him what their secret was to staying married so long and he replied, “Just never quit.” That was simple but good advice. Most people fail at things because they quit too soon or get discouraged. Winners do not quit and often times have to encourage themselves to press through days. The book of Psalms is full of David encouraging himself as he attempts to battle discouragement. Psalms 42:5 says, “Why so downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God.” David encouraged himself on days when you could tell he was tempted to quit.

Abraham Lincoln failed at a number of things before he was successful. He failed as a farmer, a shopkeeper, his first attempt at political office, a business man, his first attempt at Congress and the U.S. Senate. That could be a little discouraging, but our famous president was determined. He didn’t quit and pressed on with the things he knew he was meant to do. He also lost two children at young ages. That is a lot to overcome, but he kept pressing on.
Price is engaged! July 2017 We welcome Halie!
Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies. Beginning anything takes determination and practice and realizing there is a learning curve, which means we are likely to make some mistakes or even fail at our first attempt at something new. Sometimes we can get frustrated and mad at ourselves when we fail. This only leads to more turmoil within ourselves and robs us of peace. Jesus paid a great price for us to have peace but we often ignore the peace we could enjoy. We all want to do well in life, and many times I have seen in my own life I have a greater expectations of myself than I do others. 

Someone once said to me, “Kathleen, the devil doesn’t have to bother attacking you, you attack yourself.” At first, I got mad at the statement and the person who said it, but it made me think. There was an element of truth to the words, and I had to admit it. Anytime someone makes us mad, we need to ask ourselves if there is any element of truth in what they have said. It might not be “the truth,” but there might be an element of truth in their statement, otherwise we would not get mad. 

I have seen many people act as judge and jury and punish themselves for failures worse than anyone else would, especially God.
God is not a God that keeps making us pay for our mistakes. Yes, there are consequences to our sin or wrong behavior but God is quick to forgive and forget when we come to Him with repentant hearts. If God forgives us, why do so many people refuse to forgive themselves and others and keep punishing themselves? There is rest for our souls and peace when we simply accept His gift of forgiveness. If you are lacking in rest and peace, you might consider forgiving others or yourself.

The beauty of a relationship with God is that His love and mercy are new every morning.  Fresh love and brand new mercy each day. What more could we want? 

Psalms 86 says, “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”(NIV)
Recent trip with great friends Tammy and Alan Brown
Mercy is defined as a compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or someone subject to one’s power. How much mercy do you show yourself? Do you keep punishing yourself for your failures? What often happens is when we do not like ourselves and do not admit it and release ourselves from mistakes made, we often do not extend mercy to others and are quick to find fault with them. To give mercy to others, first we have to receive it ourselves. 

God does not require perfection, just a heart that is moving in the right direction of being aligned with his purposes. Philippians 4:9 says, “Practice what you have learned, and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living it, and the God of peace (of undisturbed well being) will be with you.” (AMP) 

I think God loves to see his children practice doing what is right and those things that please him. God’s mercy and grace is there to help us with any project, situation or difficulty we face. You are made in God’s image and you have what it takes to succeed. Just don’t quit, keep practicing, forgive yourself of the times you have failed, forgive others and press on in the things he has called you to. Will you join me?
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Monday, July 3, 2017

A time to heal: Let forgiveness bring freedom into your life

A time to heal: Let forgiveness bring freedom into your life

Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie

Copyright July 2017

We live in a country founded on freedom but are you really living free?

I had a conversation not long ago with an old acquaintance I ran into at the grocery store. Our brief visit left me concerned for my friend’s personal freedom.

“It is so good to see you, how have you been?” I asked cheerfully.

“Oh fine, busy with grand babies and my kids,” she replied. 

A few minutes into our dialogue, she began to talk about how mad she was about something that happened years ago between her and someone else we both knew. She was still bitter and went on for a while about incident. 

It made me sad to see her heart and mind hanging on to the offense. As I  left her and in the days since our meeting, I have prayed for her to have the grace to forgive so she can be free.

Freedom in our personal lives is critical to a positive outlook on life and our physical well being.  Life happens and we often encounter those that betray us, are unkind, self centered, take advantage of us or those we love, just to name a few. This can open the door of hurt, bitterness, and unforgiveness. Unless that door is shut, we can lose freedom in our hearts, unless we forgive. 

Forgive means to cancel or pardon a debt, to stop feeing angry or resentful of someone for an offense. Almost 30 years ago, there were several people that betrayed me. The hurt was real and the pain was deep and cut to the core of my being. I had read the Bible and knew I needed to forgive but really did not feel like it. I was mad. It did not seem to matter where I went in my hometown, I ran into my offenders. It did not matter if I went to the grocery store, church, a party or the basketball court, they were there. I remember sitting in my vehicle in tears at the gym because once again, Iran into them  and it pricked the pain that was in my heart. I sat there and asked God, “Why on earth do I keep running into them?” God’s simple answer to me was, “Kathleen, I am giving you the opportunity to forgive.” I sobbed a little more and then realized God loved me and wanted me free from the pain. I could keep pulling the victim card or I could choose to forgive.

Matthew 6:14-15 says, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (NIV) Luke 6:37 states, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (NIV)

We forgive because we need forgiveness for our sins. I knew I was not perfect and needed forgiveness from God, however, I was struggling with my feelings. I did not feel like forgiving and kept putting it off until I felt like it. I finally realized that forgiveness is a choice and God in his mercy kept giving me the opportunity and reminder I needed to chose his way, not mine.

I was honest with God and simply prayed, “God, I don’t feel like forgiving but I choose it as an act of my will to forgive  because you said to do it.” That was the beginning of the process of forgiving.

Forgiveness is not a one time event. Often times, it is a process. The greater the hurt or betrayal, the longer the process can take because we have more pain to work through. The key is committing to the process and the good news is God will help us. 

From the day at the basketball court and my surrender to God, each time I would encounter those that caused the hurt or replay the video in my mind, I would chose to forgive again, and eject the video. It took months for me to be fully free, but I can honestly say, the forgiveness was worth it and God healed the hurt. I am free.

Forgiveness aligns us with trust in God. We do it because his word says to do it if we want forgiveness. We forgive for own sake, benefit and freedom. Who do you need to forgive so you can walk in freedom? Choose to do something good for yourself and forgive. 


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