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

Monday, September 2, 2019

Kickboxing and Christianity: What they have in common

Kickboxing and Christianity-What they have in common
Recent trip to Tacoma Washington
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
Copyright August 2019
Kerrville Daily Times
Hill Country Community Journal

Back in the spring of 2018, I walked into The Kroc Center to work out and noticed a kickboxing class. The ladies were getting a good workout and it looked fun.

“I do not think I will ever be able to do that class,” I told myself. It looked too strenuous and I doubted my ability, especially with my knee injury.

A few months later, I finally decided that I would show up for the kickboxing class and just give it a try. After all, I could just walk out, if it was too much. I walked into the class and was greeted by our bubbly teacher, Sarah. Much to my surprise, I was able to do the whole class with some simple modifications. I was hooked!

Believe it or not, I have noticed some similarities between kickboxing and our relationship walking with God.

First, simply show up, take one step at a time and do not underestimate yourself. For several months, I underestimated my ability and did not even go to the class but when I did, I learned so much. 

God absolutely adores you and me just the way we are, however, He wants us to grow, mature, and stretch in our walk with Him. He also wants to teach us and knows what we are capable of. Sometimes I think we underestimate our value and distance ourselves from God because we do not see Him as a loving father.

Jeremiah 31:3 tells us, “The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore, with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” (NIV)

He daily gives us opportunity to know Him more. Setting aside a little time to read the Bible, pray about things that concern us and others, are just a few ways to improve our relationship with Him. Showing up daily to spend time with Him is half the battle, just like me simply showing up for the kickboxing class. He loves us just the way we are, but also wants us to grow and mature in our relationship and walk with Him. 

Another thing I discovered in my class is, I could not compare myself with others, I just had to keep moving and practicing the steps and moves. At first, they were awkward and a little difficult to master, but as time went on, I found my rhythm. 

There are some younger people in the class that are much more in shape than I am. I cannot compare myself to them or even try to keep up with them, I just keep working on my own personal goals. The important thing is I am showing up and gaining better stamina, mobility and muscle tone. 

In our walk with God, He loves it when we practice His word. Yes, we all stumble, go back to ungodly ways of handling things, etc., however, the more we practice, the easier it is to develop our new life in Christ and understanding His love for us. God is not comparing our talents us to someone else.

2 Corinthians 10:12tells us we are not wise when we compare our abilities to others. It says, “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” (NIV)

 One of the keys to success in kickboxing class is following and listening to our teacher. Keeping my eye on her during the workout, helps me grasp new moves, workout harder, and learn. Sometimes I mess up the steps but when that happens, I quickly look at Sarah, and try to find my rhythm and get back in step. 

Psalms 32:8 states, “Iwill instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” (NIV)

It is the same way in our walk with God. If we try to keep our focus on Him throughout the day, listen to His guidance, instruction and practice the Bible each day, we can grow in our faith. Yes, I stumble and fail at times, but when I do, I ask His forgiveness, and get back to practicing.

Another similarity I found is, I am responsible for my own physical health, and no one can do my work out for me, only me. In our spiritual walk, no one can do it for you. Each of us has an opportunity for a wonderful relationship with a living God that dearly loves us and wants to help us in our everyday life. It begins with inviting Jesus into our heart and asking His forgive us. The next step is we need to show up and seek Him by reading the Bible, fellowshipping with other believers, finding a church and practicing what the Bible says. God is happy to teach us and will lead us. We just have to follow Him, just like I have to follow my kickboxing teacher. 

In my kickboxing class, our teacher is always encouraging us, cheering us on in our development and proud of us. Her encouragement is a big motivation for all of us in the class.

This reminds me of how God encourages me in my life in many ways. 
 
Psalm 10:17
states, “You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,” (NIV)

“Hands up and guard your face,” is a frequent instruction from Sarah in the kickboxing class.

A person’s face is how we identity someone. Without a face, it is hard to know who someone is.

This reminds me of how I should daily guard my thoughts about who I am in Christ, my identity in Him. The Bible says we become His children when we accept Him, therefore, I am a daughter of the King of Kings, a woman of great value and see myself the same way God sees me. I must guard my God given identity in Him, not my accomplishments or other things.

 I have been doing my kickboxing class for over a year now and it is one of the highlights of my week. I’ve learned new things, get a good cardiovascular workout, have improved my mobility, balance and muscle tone.

I challenge you to step up and try something new that you’ve never done in your life and take a step closer to God today. Show up and spend time with Him, read a few verses in the Bible and listen for His voice.

 I will be starting a community Bible study September 17that The Kroc Center in Kerrville. It could be a great place for you to meet others seeking God, learn practical application of the God’s word and be encouraged. Just show up, like I did for the kickboxing class. As you seek God, no doubt, He will encourage you, instruct you and you will grow.

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. Beginning September 17, 2019, 6:30-7:45 she will be leading a Bible study at The Kroc Center called, The Gathering-Bringing God into everyday
life. You can register for the event and reach her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com, and visit her
podcast at kathleenmaxwellrambie.podbean.com or her blog at
www.theMaxwellminutes.blogspot.com 
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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Gathering begins September 17, 2019! Sign up today!






The Gathering is a community Bible study, centered around bringing God into everyday life situations. It begins Tuesday, September 17th, 2019. Reply to this email to register today or call 830.377.8061!
I am very excited about the topics this fall. Each lesson stands alone, so if you miss one, you are not behind and each person determines their level of involvement.
Topics are:
Living Out of the New You-Identity, Understanding God's Nature, Benefits of Transitions in Our Lives, Value of Grace, Trusting God, Understanding and Releasing Heartbreak, Waiting on God, and The Power of Thanksgiving.
Also, check out my podcast of some previous recordings of The Gathering at kathleenmaxwellrambie.podbean.com or find it on Apple Podcast- The Kathleenmaxwellrambie Podcast Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie

Monday, July 29, 2019

The Kathleenmaxwellrambie Podcast

The Kathleenmaxwellrambie Podcast

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Grace-The power to do something we cannot do ourselves and the unmerited favor of God


Two Sides of the Coin of Grace
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
July 2019
copyright


Gods grace is something that has helped me through many hard days in my life. His grace is never rationed, in short supply or earned. It is always hanging around but sometimes, it is hidden in plain sight because we do not understand it. So, what is grace?

I think of grace like a valuable coin. There are two sides to grace. It is a word that is often thrown around casually in many Christian circles but I have to wonder, how many people really understand it or access it?

John 1:17 says, But the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth were given by Jesus Christ.” (NIV)

One side of the coin is defined as, the free and unmerited favor of God on the undeserving or unmerited blessings. Grace is free and it is a gift from God. You cannot earn it. The truth is none of us deserve anything good, therefore, every good thing in our lives is simply a gift of grace. 

James 1:7 says, Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father...(NIV) 

All that we have in our lives that is good, is from God. That is pretty humbling. As talented as some people are, at the end of the day, the talent comes from Gods favor in their lives. The choice we have, is to partner with God and use our gifts and talents to bless others, or bury them.

The other side of the coin of grace can also be described as power. The desire and power to do what is right or what God tells us to do. There have been times in my life when I knew what I needed to do, however, I just felt like I could not do it. I had the desire, but I felt like I simply did not have it in me to do what was needed at the moment. I underestimated myself and Gods ability to work in me. When I simply said, God, I need your help and grace,somehow, His grace showed up and helped me do what I could not do in my own ability.

Recently, I was reading in the book of Jonah and a scripture stood out to me. It says, Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.(NIV) 

When I read it, I had to reread it again and again. What a powerful and pointed scripture!  I had to ask myself, What am I clinging to that is worthless? Am I forfeiting Gods grace in my life in anyway?Then, I had to ask myself, do I have any worthless things I am hanging on to that I need to let go of?” 

Unfortunately, my answer to these questions was yes.

 An idol something that we put before our love for God. It can be a person, relationship or even a spouse, or child. Another idol can be a job or hobby. It can be an addiction, money or a house or car. All of these things are good, but become an idol when we put them before our love and worship of God. An idol is anything that occupies our focus. Often times idols are deceptive. We do not realize something has become an idol until God reveals it to us. Jesus came to give us grace and truth. Ask him to reveal truth to you in any area you are blinded to and show you any idols you may have. 

 I just do not have grace for that,was a frequent comment I could be heard saying when I did not want to do something. I do not make that statement anymore. I realized that I always had Gods grace if I asked and wanted to do things His way, instead of mine. 

I recently talked to a young man that was recovering from an alcohol addiction. As he shared his story with me, I told him about the scripture in Jonah. He wholeheartedly agreed that alcohol and drugs were his idol and that he spent too much time forfeiting Gods grace to quit his addiction. 
The word forfeit means, not even showing up to play the game. Forfeit means we do not even try. Are you resisting the grace that could be yours? Are you not even showing up and asking God for His grace?

 II Corinthians 12:9. It says, My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in your weakness.(NIV)

 It constantly reminds me that no matter what I face, His grace (power) is all I need. His grace walks with me and is like a shadow, it is always beside me. His grace grows in my weakness; therefore, my weakness is a good thing when I draw on Him.

I Peter 5:5 says, God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.This indicates that we need to humble ourselves instead of trying to do everything in our own strength. 

The next time you are challenged by a circumstance, do not forfeit the grace of God. Show up on His doorstep and ask for his help to lay down your idol. Do not let pride be your idol. I find that people that are not transparent with their lives and cannot admit when they are wrong have pride as an idol. The most freeing words spoken are, I was wrong.Too many times people are held captive by the thought that they are a mistake, instead of the fact that they are simply human and made a mistake. Do you need to say the freeing words, I was wrong?It does not indicate weakness but strength under control.

Gods grace is waiting for you and me. His power to do what we cannot do ourselves is a tremendous gift. Do not waste the grace of God or forfeit His grace. Look at both sides of the coin of grace and spend it daily. Will you join me on the treasure hunt of discovering His incredible grace? Let me know what you find! Id love to hear about your discovery.


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. Beginning September 2019, at 6:30, she will be leading a Bible study at The Kroc Center called, The Gathering-Bringing God into everyday life. You can register for the event and reach her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com, and visit her podcast at kathleenmaxwellrambie.podbean.com or her blog at www.theMaxwellminutes.blogspot.com
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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Living in the home of the brave

Home of the brave
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
July 2019
Copyright


Back in May, I was listening to the beautiful voice of a woman that was singing the National Anthem at the Kerrville National Day of Prayer. When she came to the last line of the verse, she belted out, “O’re the land of the free and the home of the brave.” 

 As I have thought about those words, I have thanked God for the privilege of living in a place where we can enjoy many freedoms. We are free to worship wherever we want, free to assemble to pray, free to go into business for ourselves, and the list goes on.

I have also focused on the last five words of the verse, “the home of the brave.”
For some reason, those words keep reverberating in my head.

 I asked Siri the meaning of the word brave. As an adjective, it means, “ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.” As a noun, it means, “people who are ready to face and endure danger or pain.” 

These words accurately describe our country’s military, and I want to say a big thank you to all of you that have served our nation and are currently serving the United States of America. You are brave.

I had to ask myself, “how readyam I on a daily basis to face life’s difficulties with courage and bravery?”  What about you? 

Our nation was founded as, the home of the brave; therefore, we should be comfortable with being brave, just like we are comfortable being at home. We also have a God given right to walk with courage, knowing God is right there with us.

I recently had my own opportunity to be brave. A few weeks ago, I kept my grandchildren so my daughter and son-in-law could attend a wedding. My grandson is five and has Type One Diabetes, which basically means, we have to constantly monitor his blood glucose and give him insulin, as his body does not produce it. Fortunately, there is a devise that is attached to his arm and is linked to a cell phone, so it is easier to monitor and see his numbers.

Mallory and Rob are modern day heroes, as there is much that goes into caring for a child with Type One. I have tried to learn everything I can so I can over the past three years since his diagnoses, so I can keep him at times.

At 5:30 they left for the wedding, I was on duty, and the kids were so excited about their time with Mama Max. We went swimming and were having a great time, when I realized I could not see his blood glucose numbers anymore. The devise read, “sensor error.” 

I tried to call Truett’s parents to see what I should do. They did not answer. I took a deep breathe, quickly said, “Truett, I need to do a finger poke to check your numbers.” I hated sticking his little finger to make it bleed.

“Okay, and then can we get back in the pool?” he replied, in a cheerful voice. 

I pricked his finger to draw blood and manually get his blood glucose level, only to discover, he was 18 points low, which meant I needed to act quickly, to get it back up in the normal range. Again, I tried to call his parents. No answer.

Then, I remembered the words of the National Anthem, “home of the brave.”
“Lord, please help me, I cannot let anything happen to this child on my watch,” I prayed. 

As a teacher, I know children key off the emotions of adults. I had to keep calm and figure this out. I tried to contact his parents again. No answer.

I recalled a scriptures I had recently read,  Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (NIV) 

Ezra 10:4 states, “Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.”

I could not afford the luxury of panic, I had to be brave.  I was going to have to constantly manually monitor his numbers and make adjustments to keep him in the normal blood glucose range. His numbers kept going low, therefore, monitoring was imperative, as low blood glucose is very dangerous for a Type One and they can go into a coma.

I had turned the TV on to find a kid friendly show. As I was flipping throught the channels, I came upon a sporting event and someone was signing the National Anthem. Again, I heard, “O’re the land of the free and the home of the brave.” God was reminding again about being brave.

 Several hours later, I finally got in touch with my daughter. They were in a location that had no cell service, but my daughter said, “Mom, everything that could have gone wrong did, but I knew you could handle it Mom. I appreciated the peace God gave her and was happy to help she and Rob have a good time.

Truett’s fancy monitoring devise had failed and that required ten finger pokes that evening; however, Max was brave and Truett and Ellis had a fun filled evening.

 I was exhausted by the time my daughter returned, but thankfully, remembering the words, “home of the brave,” kept me steady in a challenging situation.

None of know when we will be thrust into things beyond our control and where others will depend on us to be courageous and brave.

With this month is being our nations 243rdbirthday, let me encourage you to look at your challenging situation in the face, and be brave, just like those who fought for our freedom. You and I are fortunate to live in a country that is the home of the brave.




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. Beginning September 2019, at 6:30, she will be leading a Bible study at The Kroc Center called, The Gathering-Bringing God into everyday life. You can register for the event and reach her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.comor visit her blog at www.theMaxwellminutes.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Kathleenmaxwellrambie Podcast

The Kathleenmaxwellrambie Podcast- click here

Check out my new podcast! Follow and receive updates when new messages are released. Current podcasts include: 
Wake up to who you are-Where do you get your identity? Work, kids, marriage?
Understanding your value and worth-Do you see yourself and your potential through God's eyes?
Walking in peace-How do we walk with our hearts at peace in times of difficulty?

Friday, June 21, 2019

You are much more capable than you think you are

You are much more capable than you think
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
Copyright June 2019

“There is no way I can shoot 1,000 shotgun shells in a day,” I told my husband, as we were planning our recent vacation to Argentina. Shooting that many shells sounded painful and I did not think I was that interested in trying to shoot that many birds.

 Going to Argentina dove hunting was on my husband’s bucket list and I was happy to go and practice my shooting. We had planned to go with friends; however, they had to cancel and gave us their trip. It was an incredible blessing and I’m always up for an adventure and a fun adventure with Stephen.

Dove are very prolific in Argentina because they have three hatches a year, and shooting 1,000 shells a day is not uncommon. In Texas, we only have one hatch a year and I have only been hunting six seasons. I can count on two hands the times I have gotten my limit of 15 birds, so shooting 1,000 shells sounded impossible to me.

I was the only woman at our lodge and I was determined to hold my own. The first day we went out, I was in awe of the number of birds and opportunities to shoot. Much to my amazement, that morning, I shot 500 shells and hit 110 birds! Somehow, after lunch and a siesta, I managed to hit more birds that afternoon, totaling 219 birds. Stephen hit 1,011 of 1425 shells. It was a fun filled day.

Thankfully, we fished a few days before we hunted again. We caught Golden Dorado and many other fish I had never seen. You never knew what you were going to pull out of the water and catching Golden Dorado was challenging, as they are an acrobatic fish. 

The second day we hunted, there were 20 mile an hour winds and it was much harder to hit the birds. They were zipping by very fast.  I was proud of the 170 birds I hit and much to my amazement, shot 1,000 shells again. That day was very difficult and a lot of fun. The beauty of the land was captivating and the breeze felt good.  

The last day, I hit my stride and shot 1,500 shells and got 531 birds! I could not believe I shot that many times, much less could hit that many. Stephen, on the other hand, broke the lodge record, shooting 1,500 shells and hitting 1,135. Needless to say, you could find me in the hot tub that evening. 

As I pondered the days of hunting, I felt like God said, “You are much more capable than you think.” I thought of how I underestimated myself, doubted, and never saw myself doing what I did. Then I began to think of that in spiritual terms. I have felt God calling me to step out in some new things, and yet I have struggled and doubted at times.

God has a call on each of our lives. There are things He wants all of us to do for the Kingdom of God, people to touch, pray for, encourage, love, speak to, and bless. How many times do we miss it because we do not think we are capable?

Ephesians 4:1-3 shows us that God has work for each of us.  It states, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (NIV)

Your calling will look different from mine, however, each of our calling has equal value in God’s kingdom work. The key is that we seek to know God and hear what He has for each of us and ask Him to show us how He sees us. 

I think the big key for each of us, is to simply show up and say “yes Lord.” Just like in Argentina, I simply had to show up prepared for the day ahead, and trust Him for the strength and everything that I needed. What is God calling you to that you do not think you are capable of? 

I know God is calling me to some things for His kingdom that I do not feel I can do in my own strength. I know He wants to expand my territory, and yet I wonder if I can do that. 

Ephesians 3:20 says, “20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” (NKJV) 
 
You and I are much more capable than we think. Many have gone before us that have failed numerous times, only to later succeed and make a big difference. Abe Lincoln tried many times at many things, before he became a great president and set a whole group of people free. He simply kept showing up and overcoming the adversity that was before him.

I saw my mom and dad, in the last few years and months of their lives, touch countless caregivers, Hospice workers, and those that provided home health care. They bloomed right where they were planted in their home. Perhaps you are sitting in prison, wondering what you can do for God, He has a purpose for your life and a calling. It might be the person in the cell beside you.

Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Never underestimate your ability. 

I want to encourage you to simply show up and say “yes” to a God that loves you dearly and sees your potential. You do not have to be perfect for Him to use you. The Bible is full of people that God used, that had made mistakes.

I challenge you, just like I feel He is challenging me, to show up and be a willing vessel for Him to use. God is our strength and source of life, and that life is an abundant life.

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. Beginning September 2019, at 6:30, she will be leading a Bible study at The Kroc Center called, The Gathering-Bringing God into everyday life. You can register for the event and reach her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.comor visit her blog at www.theMaxwellminutes.blogspot.com
Visit her podcast at www.kathleenmaxwellrambie.podbean.com




Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Who needs kindness and why should we practice it?

Who need kindness and why should we practice it?
May 2019
Kathleen Msxwell-Rambie
copyright

Stephen and Kathleen
The hot Texas sun was beaming down highlighting the green rows of cotton, corn, and melon that lined the road. I was driving down Highway 90 on my way to Uvalde, Texas thinking of how I love seeing all the fruits and vegetables this part of the country produces. My husband was a farmer for several years in the 80’s and it is always interesting to hear his farming stories. He tells about the long hours each day he invested to produce a good crop and some challenges.

There were years that he made good money and then there was the year he was ready to harvest onions, and the night before the harvest, there was a hail storm that destroyed the entire crop. Then there was the story about the beautiful bell peppers he grew in October that were plump and full of color.  He woke up one morning, and much to his surprise, snow covered his crop and lost every bell pepper.

Growing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives is not always easy and takes a lot of hard work and practice. Often times, it is in the difficult soil of life that we have the opportunity to plant the seeds and cultivate them. 



Galatians 5:22 states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such there is no law.” (NIV) Basically, this is saying when you practice these fruits, they will always work for you, not against you. Practicing these always puts you in the winners circle and will benefit not only you, but others.

I have been studying about each fruit, to cultivate them in my own life and see what God says about each one and what He requires of me. Recently, I have been looking at kindness.

What is kindness? Who should we be kind to? What are the benefits of kindness? 

Kindness is the quality of being considerate, friendly and generous, thoughtful and loving. Kindness considers where someone’s heart is and acts accordingly. It is also showing superior qualities of grace. I think we would all have to admit, we like it and it makes us feel valued when others are kind to us, especially when we really do not deserve it. 

I have asked God to open my eyes to His kindness in my life and I am amazed at what I have discovered. Day after day I have seen God’s kindness and it has caused me to have a deeper desire to be kind to others. It has begun to change my heart and made me want to practice kindness to a greater degree on those around me.

Jesus tells us in Luke 6:35 that he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. It is easy to be kind to our friends, but a little more challenging to be kind when others are ungrateful and ugly to us.  I think those are the people that need kindness the most. I have to admit; God has given me the chance to practice kindness recently on some ungrateful and unkind individuals and it has taken every bit of Jesus in me to persevere! The good news is God has helped me and I it is actually getting easier!

There was a situation I was involved in where I was doing a lot of work and had to make some decisions for others. Often times when we step up to the plate to make a difference and do what is right, there will be those who are insecure and oppose us. I encountered this, and the opposition was challenging. I was determined to practice kindness because Jesus is kind. It was not easy, however, over a course of months, the kindness paid off and I saw God work in the situation and totally change the heart of the person that was using so much difficulty.

Proverbs 16:25 says, “kind words cheer up an anxious man.” Just today I was talking to a woman and she was very fearful and anxious. As I spoke kind words to her in a soft voice, I saw her countenance change right before my eyes and she left our meeting with a smile on her face.  Her circumstances have not hanged yet, but I watched kindness cheer her up. 

I Thessalonians 5:15 states, “Make sure nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” (NIV) That about covers anyone you will encounter each and every day! 

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 11:16 &17, “A kind woman gains respect and a kind man benefits himself.”(NIV) If you want respect, the answer is being kind. We win when we are kind and there is power in our kindness, to change a situation. Kindness makes us a hero.

Baby Vega, one of our grand girls
I still have much to learn about kindness and the rest of the fruit of the Spirit.  I want to challenge you to join me and practice kindness in the days ahead. Sow good seeds of kindness to the difficult people in your life and all others around your home, workplace and community. Ask God to open your eyes to how He is kind to you and let his kindness change your heart. I am now seeing his kindness each day in my life. Most of all, enjoy the wonderful blessings and benefits that being kind will reap in your own life. You will not only bless others but will receive many blessings yourself.

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.comor visit her blog on www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com  106,196

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Practicing the art of waiting

Practicing the art of waiting
May 2019
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
copyright


     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 59 and do not know much, but I do 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. 
     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 called 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. I have three adult children and two stepchildren. 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 when things are difficult. God gets blamed for a lot of things he did not do. Adversity can draw us closer to God, help us understand His ways, and strengthen us.
     Psalms130:3 is a reminder that God does not 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. When we receive His forgiveness for our sins, it gives us freedom. Many people walk in bondage and torment because they do not turn to God for forgiveness. 
     Do you daily thank God that he does not 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.” (NIV)
     I feel the Psalmist is preaching to himself. I do that a lot. In the stormy times we have the word of God to hang on to and we need to remind ourselves of the truth.  Waiting 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 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 did not just come from reading the scripture. I have studied the Bible for years. It did not 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 does not change us. It is as we take God’s word and apply it and develop an experience with God, that the word becomes life and truth to us.                                                       
     Experience makes us rich. When you experience something, you really begin to know what the situation is like. 
       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, and reminding ourselves of truth, strengthens us. Waiting on God’s redemption and putting our hope in Him is good for us. It strengthens 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. Sometimes I have had to wait years for the full redemption, however, it always comes because God is faithful.
     Psalms 27:14 says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (NIV)
     God is in the waiting and is developing many things in us in that time when we wait. Waiting and hope is not wasted when we wait on God.
    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-Rambie 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.comand on her blog www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com
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