Many of us have heard the phrase “silence is golden.” But did you know that silence can also be power? I was watching an episode of one of my favorite Netflix dramas last night. In the episode, several high school girls received their SAT scores and were comparing with one another for bragging rights. One girl, however, decided not to share, rather she chose to keep it personal and private. She officially held the power at her lunch table. She had amazing scores and could have wowed her friends, but she chose to be silent… which in the end, spoke volumes.
I absolutely love the holiday season. We get to celebrate, drink hot chocolate, decorate, shop ’til we drop, and spend time with family and friends. And did I mention Christmas carols? With so much to enjoy, it’s easy to take it all for granted. This season can be the “most wonderful time of the year,” but it can also be the most stressful. Peace on earth, good will to men. I was thinking about this common phrase we sing around Christmas time, and I couldn’t shake it from my mind.
Have you ever been so angry that you didn’t know how to handle yourself? I’d like to say that I always keep my cool – that I never lose my temper. But that would be a lie. To say that this week has been a test of my “self-control abilities” would be an understatement. Without discussing all of the details, I had every reason to be mad. Most would probably tell me that my anger was justified and that raising my voice in disapproval would have been appropriate in my circumstance. So why do I feel so badly about it all? …Read More
My daughters love to play dress up… especially my youngest. Every morning we stare at the closet trying to pick out the princess dress she wants to wear that day. And let me just say that if her outfit does not include an enormous tutu, there will be tears! But it doesn’t stop with the dress. My daughters are regularly adorning themselves in play jewelry, tiaras, and sparkly shoes. They love to look like beautiful princesses; and as their mom, I love to see them twirl around the house feeling beautiful and confident. Growing up changes us. Somewhere along the …Read More
I’ve always been a little shy. Perhaps that’s why I enjoy writing so much. I’m able to say what is on my heart without fear or inhibition. But as I was sitting in my Bible study small group this morning, I felt that little nudge from the Holy Spirit. “Stop thinking that you’re shy. You’re bold because you have Me living within you.” I was instantly convicted.
Before seminary, I never gave much thought to theology. In fact, I left most of the “theological thinking” to greater minds than my own. I thought of pastors and teachers as people of God who would take deep theological concepts and “dumb” them down so that my average Christian mind could comprehend them. (Silly… I know.) Now I know this isn’t how all people perceive theology, but I do find that many of the Christians I encounter on a day-to-day basis don’t study theology in-depth. We talk about God, the Bible, basic spiritual principles, the Holy Spirit… but unless we’re academically …Read More
Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you thought to yourself, “If I can just get through this, I’ll be okay”? I have. More than once. Sometimes the trials were work-related. I took on a project that was too much to handle. Or I was thrown into a situation that I felt was beyond my ability. (My first six weeks of motherhood comes to mind!) Other times my trials were thrust upon me by circumstances beyond my control. Hurt feelings, sickness, the loss of someone close… Have I mentioned that life can be hard?
So here we are at the end of our journey. 31 days completed. Throughout the process of writing for this series, I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs. In all my research and planning, I found myself being challenged by the things God was laying on my heart to share. Having a renewed mind isn’t just a suggestion found in the Bible, it’s the very foundation of Christian living. You can’t truly live for God without surrendering your mind to Him. Renewing your mind is more than surrender, however. It requires action on our part. Yes, the Holy …Read More
Did you know you were created for love? In the beginning, God made man in His image. All was perfect. The garden was perfect, man was perfect, and God’s relationship with man was perfect. But then the enemy stepped in and deceived them into thinking that God was hiding something from them. He caused them to question God and His character, and in doing so, he managed to tempt Eve to take a bite from the forbidden tree. The consequences of that decision were severe, to say the least. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. …Read More
Are we united as Christians? It’s a simple question. Yes or no. But the truth is that it’s not necessarily that simple. Okay… maybe it is, and we just don’t like the answer. For one thing, a quick Google search reveals that we have over 34,000+ denominations. (My jaw actually dropped when I read this!) I understand the need to attend a church that views certain particulars of Scripture the way you do, but is this what Jesus wanted when He prayed in the garden that we would be united as believers? (John 17:20-23) Is this what Paul meant when he …Read More
“Little ones to Him belong; they are weak but He is strong.” I remember learning these words to Jesus Loves Me as a child. (I can still remember the arm motions.) From an early age, I learned that even in my weakness, He is strong – a concept that I’m still working on putting into practice today. But I have learned one crucial detail in my adult years that goes beyond what I learned as a child. I may be weak, but God doesn’t intend on me living my life as a weak person. I can’t keep walking around declaring how weak …Read More
Both trials and temptations give us a chance to grow. Every time we say ‘no’ to temptation, we grow stronger in our ability to do so. And the more we declare truth when the enemy tries to lie to us and deceive us, the better we are at recognizing His lies in the first place. Trials help us to grow as well, but they are much different than temptations. Trials must be endured, and unlike temptations, God doesn’t always provide a “way out.”
Temptations. We all face them. Even Jesus faced His share of temptation. Throughout the Bible, we see people give in to temptation and others who remain strong. We see the repercussions of sin as well as the rewards for saying no to it. As Christians, we know and understand fully that sin is never good for us. It’s always better to say no to temptation. But unfortunately the enemy likes to deceive us into thinking otherwise. The Bible has quite a bit to say about sin and temptation. Here are four biblical truths: If left unchecked, temptation can lead us into …Read More
I’ve always been a worrier. I’ll admit it. My thoughts often get the best of me. Maybe it’s the fact that like to have everything planned out. I need to know what’s going to happen and when. And even though I say I like surprises, I actually don’t handle them well. Why? Because I’m a bit of a control freak. Yes, I said it. I, Alyssa J Howard, like to be in control. I’ve always known that I shouldn’t worry. After all, the Bible says so – right? But I don’t think it really hit me until I saw some of …Read More