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,


God Is My Refuge {What Gets You Through}

Matthew 4:4

I was ten the first time Daddy asked me for a real favor. He called me over to his favorite chair. The only Book I’d ever seen him read lay open on his lap. It was there he shared with me what had been weighing heavy on his mind.

He was still a preschooler in his journey of faith and my did he ever want to grow up. He anxiously explained the exercise he wanted to start to aid him in that effort. Then confessed quietly how he couldn’t do it alone.

Could we do it together, he wondered? Could I push him further, encourage him deeper, strengthen his mind so his heart could follow? Could I help him memorize The Word?

Now that I’m grown, I see what he was trying to do here…but, friends, it worked.

The first verse we memorized together was the one that started this desire to begin with. Twenty-six years later, I can still quote it chapter and verse. And I could spend a half-dozen posts explaining what the words have meant to me over these decades, as they have carried me through many seasons.

It wasn’t long before I was up in front of the entire church, quoting chapters in length. And though I haven’t tried in ages, I discovered this week I still could. The excitement grew thin as I hit my teen years. But it hasn’t stopped me from tapping into what was embedded in my heart long ago when I’ve needed it most.

Lately, God has tugged on my heart to pick up where I left off. So when I received an offer to review a new book, and saw the premise behind its pages, I knew I was up for the task.

God is My Refuge

God is My Refuge is a 12 week devotional geared for women faced with trials and difficulties. Let’s face it, friends, that’s every woman on earth. Jesus warns us of this

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

The author, Kathy Howard, shared in an interview recently that most Christians believe God can help, but many don’t know where to go in the Bible to find the comfort, peace, and guidance He longs to give. God Is My Refuge provides the direction Christian women need to discover, understand, and apply the “ever-present help” God brings.

Friends, I’ve read a lot of devotionals. Most promise to help guide me to The Rock. Telling me they can show me the way to my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble.

But I’ve never read one like this one.

Let me be very clear: Although her take is refreshing, it doesn’t mean Kathy provides a new way. On the contrary.

Kathy Howard sticks to what’s been tried and true and has stood the test of time: His Word. She takes it a step further as she encourages women to guard their hearts with it. To embed their thoughts with verses and keep His Word hidden so when troubles come their way –and they will — they will know in their very marrow where to go to find comfort. peace. shelter in the storm.

God is My Refuge is a 12-week devotional that provides twelve key verses to memorize (one a week) each focusing on a specific trial we all face. Burdens such as uncertainty, temptation, grief, fear, loneliness, illness, etc…

For five days a week, Kathy will provide additional scripture readings followed with a personal illustration and brief commentary. She will give you questions to reflect upon, a prompt to help you pray specifically, and quick tools to help you memorize the key verse.

You all know I only promote things here I fully support. So I have to be honest and tell you I do recommend this book.
  • If you would like to read more about the devotional, please visit Kathy’s website and follow-up with the reviews on Amazon, etc…
  • If you would like to read a FREE sample devotional from the book, CLICK HERE.
  • If you would like to hear how I have personally applied one of the devotions in my everyday life, check out THIS POST.
  • And if you have any questions for me or the author, please let me know. I will follow-up with you.

How about you, friend? How do you guard your heart for troubled times? How do you remember God is your help in times of trouble? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,