An Offering of Willingness

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I’m sure you can figure out what’s been on my heart lately just by the title of this post. I’ve been soaking in the Psalms during this season, in multiple translations, and I can’t get over how willing David was.

Willing to stand apart for God’s glory, no matter how humiliating.

Willing to take care of those less fortunate.

Willing to dance like no one’s watching. For the sake of worship.

Willing to just be….His.

Willing.

Then, one day recently, I caught myself reading in Exodus and was moved deeply by a short passage I believe is about this very thing. I’m sharing about it over at my second home, 5 Minutes for Faith. I’d love to have you stop by.

Simply click on the button below!

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Embraced by Holiness {Stuck Tight in a Turnstile}

One Life Surrendered

I own all six of her books. They read easy and yet call you to action with relentless conviction. She shares simply, straight from The Word, while providing everyday examples of how one can press harder. Love deeper. Seek further this scandalous love affair we’ve been invited into by our Savior. The one I love to share about here.

Her newest book is no exception.

Embraced by Holiness: The Path to God’s Daily Presence by Kathy Howard helps you discover a deeper intimacy with God through a life of holiness. This six-week, interactive Bible study explores why believers should pursue holiness and guides you through practical steps to pursuing a holy life.

In honor of her latest book and how excited I am about it, I’ve invited Kathy to share with you from her own heart. Friends, please welcome my friend and author, Kathy Howard:

We all have them – those funny family stories. The stories when retold bring peals of laughter from everyone. Well, almost everyone. Sometimes one family member simply responds with an embarrassed chuckle. That’s the way it is with our daughter Sarah and the turnstile story.
It was the last week of summer and time to get ready for a new school year. Back then we lived in a small town about 25 miles outside Calgary, Alberta. The kind of shopping we needed to do required a trip to the city. So the three kids and I piled in the mini-van and headed off for a day in Calgary.
We had almost hit the city limits when the smallest voice from the backseat announced he had gotten into the van without any shoes. Mom made a quick decision. We would not return home; six-year-old Mark needed new shoes anyway. Our first stop would be the sports store not far into the city.
It didn’t take long to pick out a nice pair of sneakers and socks and get to the check out. While trying to explain to the checker why I was paying for an empty box, I heard a familiar scream close behind me. Sarah, our 9-year-old, had somehow managed to get herself caught in the turnstile at the store entrance.
I can’t even explain how she did it, because I didn’t see it happen. The best I can determine is she tried to push through the turnstile on the wrong side where it spun under a crossbar. When she discovered she couldn’t get through that way, she tried to back out, but instead wedged herself between the turning tripod and the stationary crossbar. Head and shoulders hung out one side and lower half out the other. (I know you’re probably thinking I’m a horrible mother, but honestly I only took my eyes off her for a second.)
She wasn’t hurt, but she was mad. While she continued to scream, the rest of us couldn’t help but laugh – while trying to help her of course. But she was stuck fast. Her release required the manager and a special turnstile key.
Have you ever been trapped with no hope for escape? Held in slavery and in need of salvation? Just like Sarah’s turnstile prison, we’ve all been caught fast in sin with no way to save ourselves.
Yet, while we were still held captive, God called us out of the bondage of sin and into the freedom of holiness. Loosed from sin, we are free to be bound to God with cords of love and righteousness. Free to embrace the holy life to which He calls us. Free to embrace the Holy One Himself.
“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” Romans 6:22

Do you long for deeper intimacy with your heavenly Father? According to Scripture, a close connection exists between living a holy life and experiencing God’s presence. Sin strains our relationship with God and creates distance, but holiness breaks down barriers and moves us ever closer. Embraced by Holiness: The Path to God’s Daily Presence practically explores why believers should pursue holiness and how living a holy life will draw us into the circle of our holy God’s loving embrace.

Embrace holiness and be embraced by the Holy One!

Kathy Howard writes to have something to do while drinking coffee and eating chocolate.
The author of 6 books, Kathy helps women live an unshakeable faith for life by encouraging them to stand firm on our rock-solid God no matter the circumstances. Find out about her Bible studies and get discipleship and leader helps at her website: www.kathyhoward.org

You may view the first week of her latest book, Embraced by Holiness, FREE HERE.

Or read a fabulous interview she did about the reasoning behind the book HERE.

How about you, friends? What does Holiness mean to you? Have you embraced it? We’d love to hear!

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Already His

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And you must love the Lord your God
with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.
Deuteronomy 6:5

My six year-old gave me a new perspective on this verse recently. One that was so simple I almost negated it at first. Can you believe I’m still doing that?

Friends, there’s a reason Jesus invites us to come to Him like little children…

I’m sharing about it over at my 2nd home today. I’d love to see you over there. Just click on the picture above or the button below!

And to my loyal readers: I’m still trying to finish sharing with you the lessons I’ve learned recently. Thank you so much for sticking by me, encouraging me along the way! {HUGS}

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

 

Claiming My Space {In the Crescendo of Praise}

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My monthly post at 5 Minutes for Faith was inspired after reading these verses one early morn:

“I look up at Your macro-skies, dark and enormous,
Your handmade sky-jewelry,
Moon and starts mounted in their settings.
Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,
Why do You bother with us?
Why take a second look our way?”
Psalm 8:3-4~ The Message

I’d love to have you visit and join in on the praise with me. Simply click the button below!

Here’s a sneak peek:

The sun enters gracefully, allowing the crescent moon to descend in glorious splendor. Its slender, sickle silhouette dances over the treetops until it retreats in peaceful slumber. One by one, the stars follow suit as they blink farewell, allowing sun’s rays to burst in fortissimo as it makes its crescendo of praise.

And I’m captivated. Simply mesmerized at how the colors radiate and claim their space in His majesty. It never grow old. Each day portrays a new sonnet for I’m convinced not one sunrise is exactly the same with the way the trees sway in unison, keeping time for each songbird as they make their daily début.

Then I think…the God who orchestrated all of this with scientific precision…is captivated by the thought of me.

Me…

Want to read the rest? You can CLICK HERE.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

 

Chronological Study Bible {A Review}

 

It came in the mail just before Christmas and I was anxious to dig in during the New Year. Most of you know I like to read through the Bible in a different translation each year and the thought of reading it chronologically excited me. In fact, I decided to use it for the 90 day challenge I was going to participate in for Lent.

Ruth and Naomi At-A-Glance

Ruth and Naomi At-A-Glance

Confession: I couldn’t get through it in 90 days. Not with this Bible as the helps were so distracting! In a good way. I would read and find myself drawn to their points in the margins. Their at-a-glance sections. The colorful maps and the nuggets of wisdom worth dwelling on.

I’ve had it four months now and I’m still in the Old Testament.

(Although I did skip forward for Lent.)

While I assumed I would simply enjoy this Bible for the chronological aspect, I find myself enjoying the Study Helps the most. Even my Sunday School class has benefited from it as I’ve read some of the highlights to them. Such as their little tidbit on the Yoke. And we’ve used the chart listing all the disciples and their occupations, etc.

Yoke

Reading through the path Jesus took to the cross in this format impacted me greatly this Lent. Maybe my heart was simply softened to receive it deeper this year, but one thing I do know: It was easier to picture the story unfold. And it amazed me to see how different the four perspectives of the disciples were and how they recanted the story for us uniquely.

I had planned on getting through this Bible before I wrote my review, but I can tell that’s going to take some time and I feel guilty for having it as long as I have with nothing to show for it. So maybe you simply knowing how much I’m enjoying it is enough?

This isn’t the type of Bible you buy and use one time, then set it on a shelf. This is one you can go back to over and over again. I’m partial to the NLT translation when sharing it with children, as well.

Overall, this Bible is one I would recommend. I’m so grateful for the chance to review it and share it with you.

For more information regarding the Bible, please visit THIS LINK.

How about you, friend? Have you ever read through any portion of the Bible chronologically? Ever read the NLT? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Note: I am a part of the Tyndale Blogging Network. I have received this book for free in exchange for my review. All opinions and thoughts listed above are my own.

Lent on Purpose {and The Mystery of Grace}

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Have you ever tried to explain grace to a 5 year-old?

Has a five year-old ever taught you a thing or two about grace?

Have you ever considered if grace could exist without love?

These are some things I’m pondering over at 5 Minutes for Faith today as I contemplate this Lenten season. I’d love to have you join in the conversation. Simply click the button below!

 

And friends, I still haven’t forgotten this place and my utter desire to update all of you. Thank you for your patience as I try to find my new groove and figure out where blogging (and the time it takes) fits. I am determined to make room somewhere…soon.

For now, will you join me over at 5 Minutes for Faith? I’d love to see you there…

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

My Life {Punctuated with Hallelujahs}

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Friends, I’m tired. I say that literally as I care for this newborn babe. And I must confess, I had forgotten how hard simple life tasks are when sleep alludes you.

Even hallelujahs.

That’s what I’m talking about over at 5 Minutes for Faith today. I’d love to have you stop by. Just click the button below!

And can I just say I miss this space? I know I haven’t been around. It honestly wasn’t intentional and am determined to carve out some of my day this week to update any of you curious as to why. If you have time, please, check back in.

Thanks for sharing your time with me. I hope to see you over at 5 Minutes for Faith.

Simply striving,

Nikki