4/14/10

Kathy Howard: Scripture-Based Choices

Kathy is one of those “instant friend” people. I met her while attending CLASS (Christian Leaders and Speakers Seminar) in Albuquerque a few years ago. We spent only a few hours together, but I felt I’d known her for years.

Our paths sort of crossed again when, a year ago, I used her scholarly, motivating book, Before His Throne: Discover the Wonder of Intimacy with a Holy God, as the basis for a series I taught ladies in my Sunday school class. Kathy says her decision to receive Christ “completely determined the direction” of her life. “Because my life belongs to Jesus,” she said, “that relationship guides—or at least should guide—every choice I make.

I asked Kathy about her most difficult and rewarding choice in life so far, and she surprised me with her answer.

Kathy: Ironically, my most difficult choice and my most rewarding choice are the same one—the decision to follow God’s direction and go to seminary.
Dawn: Tell me about that.
Kathy: I was a middle-aged mother of three. Going back to school after 20 years was not only challenging, it turned our household upside-down. But God honored that obedience. The kids always had dinner and clean clothes, but they had to learn to help! God also used those years to prepare and equip me for the next steps of obedience.

Dawn: Perhaps you’ll write a book about biblical parenting someday. Your writing is challenging and I’m sure you’d have many “learned by experience” stories. But what led you to write your most recent book, and is there anything in the book about making choices?
Kathy: My newest Bible study, God’s Truth Revealed: Biblical Foundations for the Christian Faith, developed directly from a ministry God had me in teaching the Bible to adults who had never studied it before. The experience taught me how and what they needed to learn to make a decision about Jesus Christ. That is the main purpose of the study—to give readers all the biblical truth they need to make a decision about what to do about a relationship with Jesus.

Dawn: If it is anything like your previous book, it will be powerful and motivating! Ministry is important to you as a Bible study author, speaker, and teacher, but I know that your family is also a true priority. What has been the hardest decision you’ve made in your marriage or in parenting?
Kathy: I have two daughters, 22 and 20, and one son, 17. My husband and I have had to make some decisions on disciplining our kids that were not easy. One of our daughters in particular had some rebellious years. We had to stand firm with her even though it made her not like us for a while. I’m happy to say she has grown into an amazing young woman.

Dawn: I know that you love to ski with your family—you seem like an adventurous woman. If you knew that the results would be positive, what adventurous “no fear” choice would you make in the days ahead?
Kathy: I’d go on a mission trip to the Sudan to help a friend of mine who is a missionary there. Things are really volatile there now with the upcoming elections.

Dawn: We’ve talked about choices before. What motivates you concerning the choices you make?
Kathy: I want all my choices to be exactly the ones God wants me to make. Yet, I know my own desires have sometimes driven my choices. I wonder what great things from God I’ve missed out on because of that.

Dawn: Me, too, Kathy. I want my choices to be His. In fact, the scripture that I’m claiming for my ministry is Psalm 40:8: “I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” We can pray for each other—that God will help us to make wise, godly choices aligned with His heart.
Kathy: Yes. One of my favorite verses is about making a choice: “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve … But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15.
Dawn: Thank you for sharing with us today, Kathy.

For more information about Kathy, check out her website and blog.


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