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

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fear Is Not Your Friend


Fear Is Not Your Friend
July Newspaper Article
By Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie

      Recently I have talked to a number of people struggling with different fears. I can certainly relate as for years I was a vicim of a variety of fears. Thankfully God has set me free from the bondage fear brings.
     Fear is defined as: an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat. The feeling of anxiety about the outcome of something or the safety and well being of someone.  
     One thing is for sure, fear is tormenting. Fear is a thief and a robber of peace, joy and tranquility. I speak from experience. 
       There are many different kinds of fear. A few that I have struggled with in the past were a fear of death, fear of germs, fear of failure, and fear of the dark. I have found that many people struggle with the same fears that held me captive for years. I was good at justifying my fear, telling my self that one could never be too cautious. 
     One day I heard the words, “Fear is doubt  and unbelief and doubt and unbelief is not trusting God - that is sin.” At that moment, I knew I could no longer justify my fears. Whenever I was afraid, I began to acknowledge them as sin. God graciously began to set me free as I was faithful to repent and resist the temptation to walk in fear. Repentance is always our friend and is found on the path to freedom. 
     IITimothy 1:7 states, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” We can conclude from this passage that fear is a spirit and it is not from God; therefore, it is not our friend. There are times when I have simply said the words, “Fear go, you are not my friend.” As long as we coddle our fears, they will hang around. We must deal ruthlessly with them if we want to  get free. 
     I love Isaiah 41:10 which says, "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." Many times I have pictured myself holding God’s hand and that gives me great courage. Dismayed means feelings of anxiety and consternation, usually by something unexpected. Have you ever had something unexpected happen? I have. 
     Proverbs 3:25 tells us, “Be not afraid of sudden fear....” Satan loves to make us feel scared because then we are intimidated. Intimidation has one goal; to scare us from even engaging in the battle. Goliath used intimidation on David but David did not bow to fear. He quickly strengthened himself by remembering how God helped him slay a bear and a lion. I love David’s faith in response to intimidation. He told the bellowing giant he would strike him down, cut off his head and give his carcasses to the birds! 
Now those are some faith filled words!
     Prior to a personal relationship with God I was terrified of dying. I had trouble sleeping at night for fear I might die. Once I accepted Jesus into my heart and repented of the fear, I was no longer afraid of dying. Knowing God personally, is the beginning of overcoming fear. Tell God you want a personal relationship with him. He will be delighted!

     The US Navy has a slogan that I think is a motto against any fears. “Life liberty and the pursuit of all who threaten it.” God wants us to enjoy life, our freedom and get rid of any fear that would threaten us. Fear is an enemy, not our friend. Do not let fear rob you anymore.
Freedom is waiting...what are you afraid of?


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



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Brilliant Events with Graham Cooke

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Do You Need an Upgrade in Life?


June 2014
Do You Need an Upgrade In Life?
Kerrville Daily Times and Community Journal


Man lifts at our rental yard in Pecos, TX
In my journey of walking with God, I have discovered He is always wanting to lead me to a better place in life with him or an upgrade in my relationship with him. He takes great delight in presenting opportunities to be conformed to his image. He is a very relational God and everything, good or bad, can lead us to a closer relationship. We always have room to grow in any area of our lives. He loves us so much he wants the best for us and loves the process in our everyday lives.

About six months ago, my printer at work began to act up. It still worked, but the scanner only worked right about half of the time. It was frustrating but I put up with it’s malfunction, simply because I didn’t want to deal with packing it up and returning it. Finally, I had enough and took the time to return the printer. Much to my surprise, the item had been upgraded since I purchased the original one. The new upgraded version of my printer was so much better than what I had before.

In the printer situation, I saw that I was comfortable with a malfunctioning printer when there was a much better version available. To get the better version, took some of my time and of course there was a little bit of adjustment time to the new one. Upgrade means, to move to a higher standard, improve something, or raise to a higher grade or rank. There was a much better version of what I had. It is like that in our relationship with God.

We are dealing with a God who is always joyful, kind, and loves to expand us. Often times, I’ve seen him put me in situations that are beyond what I can handle, but I find, it is because he sees my potential and wants our relationship to grow even deeper. Everything with God is relational. For me, when I survey a situation, I begin with thanking God for where he has me, even if I don’t like the situation. Overcoming, to get the better of a situation, begins with thanksgiving. II Corinthians 2:14 states, Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ.” He is committed to leading us upward in life and I think thanksgiving is the key.
Romans 8:29 tells us, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son,...” Although He stays the same, God loves us being changed into the likeness of Jesus. Life presents us many opportunities to change and get an upgrade, a better version of us. Life and Jesus are not separate, and he loves to be a part of all of our life situations.
Kathleen and sister Melissa were able to spend a few days together
For years, I lived my life stressed, anxious, and fearful with situations in life.  For the most part, those days are gone.  I discovered I choose the level I live on and God has provided peace for me to walk in no matter what life throws at me. Stress is not part of his plan for me; overcoming stress and walking in peace is. With multiple medical crisis with my late husband and parents, I got the opportunity to practice peace over and over again. I received an upgrade in crisis by choosing what level I would live on, and not just knowing scriptures on peace, but practicing peace Jesus had already provided for me. Even when I’ve gone down a path I did not plan, did I have fun with God? The answer is yes when I do not take things too seriously, look for what he wants to give me in the situation, my upgrade, and enjoy the journey with him.
Enjoying our grand girl Collins
God’s goodness and kindness leads us to upgrades in our lives when we embrace each and every situation. I challenge you to ask God to show you the upgrades he has waiting for you. There is a much better version of you, and the world is waiting to see it!



Grandson Truett is all boy!
67,141

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Fun in Annapolis 2014

 Recently we went to Annapolis, Maryland to see Austin, my oldest son. He is so handsome and a wonderful father. It was fun visiting with him and his family and seeing him become the man God has called to serve our nation. All his life, I prayed God would help me prepare him for his destiny...never did I think of him going into the military. God is using him and his skills in a way I would have never imagined. So proud of this guy!

Our grand girl-Little Miss Collins
The highlight of this trip was playing with our wonderful grand daughter Collins. She is adorable and we had so much fun playing with her. She finally warmed up to Stephen and was checking him out!
This is Collins and Mama Max on Collins first boat ride. She wasn't too sure about the life jacket! So much fun just loving on this precious girl.



 Stephen and I had fun eating crabs and enjoying the water on our trip. It was fun to get away from work and enjoy our kids.



View eating dinner







Eating with my son.


Austin is a wonderful example of a father's love. He fathers Collins like his dad did Mallory. He adores his sweet little girl and she trusts him totally.
Laura is a great mom and I loved visiting with her!


Life hasn't turned out anything like I imagined, but nevertheless, God has been faithful and blessed us richly. I love watching our kids grow up and become parents. It is so fun just being their friends. My children lost their father, however, God has provided a wonderful man to love them and love our grandchildren. God works in ways we cannot see and it is our job to simply trust Him and be grateful for all the love and grace He gives.





Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself


Kerrville Daily Times Article
May 2014
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie

     Often times in life, we get so busy we forget the amazing strength and peace that is in us when we have Jesus in our hearts and lives. I have discovered thru hard times, the value of drawing on that strength and peace that is in me because as a little girl, I gave my heart to Jesus. He is the one constant in my life that I can trust with my heart. Walking with God and remembering that all I need is with me has become a well that I  continually tap into more and more. 
     What comes out of you when things get crazy in life? Faith or stress? Life in this world often times interrupts with the unexpected. If we do not have the issue of faith settled, and Christ in our hearts, we are certainly at a disadvantage as we are more likely to be tossed around by circumstances. 
     I have not always handled the unexpected that easily. Seeing God’s faithfulness to me, when crisis arrived on my door step 4 years ago when my late husband got cancer and died has given me an unshakable confidence in God’s ability to handle the little things as well as big things in my life. Walking with God in that crisis has given me experience that has forever shaped me. This is not a journey I would have chosen but nevertheless, the experience has made me rich and given me tools and a confidence I wouldn’t trade.
     II Corinthians 13:5 says, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you- unless of course you fail the test? And I would trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.” (NIV) From this scripture we can conclude that we need to check ourselves frequently and see what is on the inside. Does faith and trust rule your heart and life or do your circumstances? 
     Several years ago, I worked was working with youth and young adults.  We started and ended each day with a chant. The chant ended with a statement that summarizes the above scripture to me. “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.” When I read II Corinthians 13 I was challenged to check myself and make sure faith in Him was ruling my heart. God’s faithfulness to me as a young widow has brought healing to my heart as I’ve learned to depend on Him and look to him for all I need. Fortunately for me, this scripture helped lift me up above the adverse circumstances that could have stolen the joy. II Corinthians 13:11-14 further challenged me by stating, “...aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you...May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (NIV)
     Perfection in this passage means to aim for maturity not being perfect. Do you need to grow up in some areas? Is God challenging you to handle things in a better and more mature way? What comes out of you when life presses in? Bitterness, anger, frustration, or stress? Stress is always an inside job. I think stress is not so much our circumstances but how we look at the situation. Do you have a godly perspective or not? Maybe the adverse circumstances can help you mature in a way you wouldn’t otherwise learn? Don’t waste the opportunity that is yours. Perhaps like me, you need to examine yourself.
     Living in the peace he provides takes practice. Keep practicing, and when you fail the test, confess it and get back up.
     He absolutely adores and loves you and has provided incredible peace for each of us. It is our choice to tap into that wonderful well of life!
     Christ in me gives me lots of faith, hope and peace. Will you join me in regularly checking yourself? Are you remembering that Christ, the living God, is in you if you ask him? The grace He provides along with the love of God and the Holy Spirit are all we will ever need. Check yourself before you wreck 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.com or visit her blog on www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com