6 Ways We Sabotage our Role as Ambassadors for Christ | alyssajhoward.com
Most of us associate the word “apostle” with the New Testament disciples, but the term actually originated before Christianity. It stems from the Greek word apostolos meaning “one who is sent away” or “messenger.” You see, the Romans had a much higher goal in mind than to simply conquer the world. They desired to make the whole known world Roman, and one of their many methods of bringing Roman culture to the world included sending out an “apostolos.” Similar to our modern-day ambassadors (who are sent with a purpose), they were well-equipped and given authority by the government to demonstrate what it truly […]

6 Ways We Sabotage our Role as Ambassadors for Christ

God is Painting a Masterpiece (and that masterpiece is you!) | alyssajhoward.com 10
Have you ever struggled to stay positive? Maybe there’s a difficult circumstance in your life that keeps you awake at night. Maybe you’ve been battling a chronic illness or even depression. Or maybe you’ve been dealing with tragedy and aren’t sure how much more you can take. Regardless, we’ve all been there. We all deal with things we’d rather not have to deal with.   My mom has been battling chronic illness. In all honesty, doctors aren’t even sure what to call her “illness.” All she knows is that it is draining and painful. Not knowing the cause or the […]

God is Painting a Masterpiece (and that masterpiece is you!)

4 Reasons to Never Get Offended (even when someone offends you) | alyssajhoward.com 4
When was the last time you were offended by something or someone? Most of us don’t see a whole lot of harm in being offended. After all, it’s a natural reaction. Someone says something that is cruel or just doesn’t sit right with you. Or maybe someone you thought was a friend completely ignores you. We’ve all been offended, and I’m sure we’ve all done our fair share of offending.   But is getting offended the right way to handle things? Sure, it’s a natural reaction, but should it be our reaction as children of God?   Here are four […]

4 Reasons to Never Get Offended (even when someone offends you)

The Power of Sin (or lack thereof) | alyssajhoward.com 2
Sin is such an ugly word. Many of us live our lives believing that we will always struggle with sin – that the power of sin still has some kind of hold on us. It’s all around us, and we are constantly being tempted by the world. Did you know that not one time in the New Testament is a believer called a “sinner”? God’s Word defines a sinner as someone who still walks in their old sinful nature. They choose to live apart from God and reject His Son. We were sinners, but that is no longer the case. In […]

The Power of Sin (or lack thereof)

Honoring the Sabbath Rest | alyssajhoward.com 3
This is the final part of a series I am working on about honoring the Sabbath and what it means for believers today. Feel free to catch up by reading part 1, part 2, and part 3.   I distinctly remember learning the Ten Commandments as a little girl in Sunday school. Every one of them made sense to me except for one… honoring the Sabbath. What did that even mean anyway? Did going to church on Sunday mornings count?   As an adult, this topic only grew more confusing. In the Bible, the Sabbath was always Saturday. God rested from His work at Creation on […]

Honoring the Sabbath Rest

Did Jesus Break the Sabbath? | alyssajhoward.com
This is part 3 of a series I am working on about God’s Sabbath rest and what it means for believers today. Feel free to catch up by reading part 1 and part 2. Now to answer the question… Did Jesus break the Sabbath?   The Sabbath was a controversial issue between Jesus and the religious leaders of His day. They constantly accused Him of breaking the Law by breaking the Sabbath. But did Jesus break the Sabbath? Some would say no. Some say that He simply broke the religious (and often ridiculous) rules that the Pharisees had assigned to the day. Others say, however, that […]

Did Jesus Break the Sabbath?

The Purpose Behind God's Sabbath Rest | alyssajhoward.com 5
This is part 2 of a series I am working on about God’s Sabbath rest and what it means for believers today. You can read part 1 here.   If you’ve been around Christianity a while, then you’ve probably heard about how often Jesus spoke to the Pharisees regarding the Sabbath day. These religious leaders had taken what God had intended to be a holy day of rest, and transformed it into nothing but work, stress, and rule following. Essentially, they had missed the entire purpose behind the Sabbath.   In the Old Testament, the Sabbath was all about one thing – rest. […]

The Purpose Behind God’s Sabbath Rest

What Does It Mean to Honor the Sabbath Day? | alyssajhoward.com 12
When it comes to the Ten Commandments, eight out of ten begin with the phrase “you must not.” There are two, however, that don’t begin that way. They tell us what to do rather than what not to do. The first of those two commandments speaks of the Sabbath day.   “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This […]

What Does It Mean to Honor the Sabbath Day?

Motherhood Made Me Crazy (and why I'm okay with it) | alyssajhoward.com 1
Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of one day being a mom. I had no idea what that actually meant as a child, but I knew that I had it in me. I didn’t just play with my baby dolls… I loved them and took care of them. It wasn’t until I officially entered motherhood that I realized the gravity of taking care of another human being. It’s a lot of work!   With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my journey as a mother….   Stress – Motherhood brings with it […]

Motherhood Made Me Crazy (and why I’m okay with it)

8 Reasons to Trust God Even When Things Are Up in the Air | alyssajhoward.com 1
I’m a worrier. I’ll admit it. When faced with a problem or uncertainty, I will keep myself awake at night analyzing every detail… especially when I have no control over the issue. Why do I do this to myself? Why can’t I just trust God like I’m supposed to?   My husband and I are in the process of selling our home and buying a new one. Everything… and I mean everything is up in the air and out of our control. We found a buyer and our “dream” home, but anything can fall through at a moment’s notice. That’s a […]

8 Reasons to Trust God Even When Things Are Up in the Air

What's in a Name? There is Power in the Name of Jesus | alyssajhoward.com
I’ve heard it said that people don’t mind talking about “God” but the name of Jesus makes them uneasy. And honestly, I have found this to be true. Many claim to believe in a distant God or creator, but there’s a significant difference between believing in God and bowing the knee to Jesus. As a kid, I remember listening to a song called “What’s in a Name.” As I have worked on this mini-series of posts about the power behind the name of God (you can find the other two posts here and here), this song has been in my mind […]

What’s in a Name? {There is Power in the Name of Jesus}

Law vs Grace: How Does God's Law Apply to Us Today? | alyssajhoward.com 1
Many Christians today struggle with the concept of law vs grace. Some churches teach that we are “under grace” and no longer have to obey God’s laws (which leads a lot of Christians to claim Jesus as Lord while still living lives filled with sin). But on the opposite side of the debate, we have those who teach that we are still called to obey the Law (apart from the animal sacrifices of course). But this often leads to religious obedience and rule-following rather than a personal, loving relationship with our heavenly Father. So which is it? Do we still have […]

Law vs Grace: How Does God’s Law Apply to Us Today?

What's in a Name {Keeping the Name of God Holy} | alyssajhoward.com 2
The name of God is thrown around quite a bit these days. Our “OMG generation” barely pays attention to the fact that they are saying God’s name every time they use that expression. But does it really matter? It’s just a common expression – right?   In ancient Jewish culture, God’s name was much more than simply what they called Him. His name defined Him. It described the details of His history and His character. The truth is that God has multiple names – most of which describe His character and faithfulness to His people.   Blue Letter Bible (one of my favorite […]

What’s in a Name? {Keeping the Name of God Holy}

What's in a Name? {How Our Names Shape Our Identity} | alyssajhoward.com 3
The moment I found out that I was pregnant, it began – the name game. It took a while for me and my husband to agree on names (for both our girls); but once we gave them their names, that was it. They became their names. We talked about them and to them by name before they were born. Even during labor, my midwife would call my daughters by their names. Names are important. If they weren’t, parents wouldn’t spend so much time agonizing over the perfect names for their children. They will be called by that name for their […]

What’s in a Name? {How Our Names Shape Our Identity}

Idolatry in Today's Culture | alyssajhoward.com 6
Growing up in Christian education, I remember learning about idolatry. I was taught that in the Bible, people would carve images or statues, and then bow down to worship the idol they had just made. As a child, it made perfect sense to me why this was wrong. Obviously, the statue wasn’t a god. It seemed so simple.   In His second commandment for the Israelites, God speaks of idolatry. In that day and age, idolatry was all the rage. Every pagan nation had multiple (even hundreds) of idols that they worshipped. So this command from God would have struck […]

Idolatry in Today’s Culture