Identity Theft: 2 Reasons to Guard Your Identity in Christ | alyssajhoward.com

Identity Theft: 2 Reasons to Guard Your Identity in Christ

Who do you think you are? Our culture is currently obsessed with this question. We’ve tried to define ourselves in so many different ways over the years, all in an attempt to “find ourselves.” Honestly, it’s something that the entire human race has in common. We all want to know and understand our identity. We crave to know who we are, where we come from, and what we are destined to become.   The world has filled this need for identity with plenty of labels. In fact, there are so many labels to choose from these days, that it’s easy …Read More

10 Bible Verses for the Brokenhearted | alyssajhoward.com

10 Bible Verses for the Brokenhearted

We’ve all experienced loss. We all know what it’s like to grieve or to have a broken heart. In the midst of hurt and struggle, it can be difficult to see God’s purpose in it all. And while I don’t believe God ever causes heartbreak in our lives, I do believe that He never allows our suffering to go to waste. And He certainly promises to comfort us and give us His peace through the storms of life.   He works all things together for the good of those who love Him – even when we make mistakes that lead …Read More

3 Lies We Believe About Repentance | alyssajhoward.com

3 Lies We Believe About Repentance

Repentance is a big part of being a Christian. Lately, I’ve been trying to teach my preschoolers about what it means to say “I’m sorry,” but I’m still not sure they completely understand the concept. They sometimes say it to avoid getting into trouble. (Didn’t we all as young children?) Or better yet, they will say it and go right back to doing what they were apologizing for in the first place. As Christians, I think we all desire to have a repentant heart. We long to please God and it begins with the realization that we all sin and fall …Read More

What Does It Really Mean to Respect Authority? | alyssajhoward.com

What Does It Really Mean to Respect Authority?

So what do we do when we don’t agree with the government on a particular issue? Do we respect authority? Do we rebel? Well according to everything I read online, we speak out. We slander politicians, make fun of them, and create a division with everyone who doesn’t agree with our view points. We don’t simply discuss politics, we argue about them. With the upcoming election, I’m seeing far more slanderous posts and articles than usual, and I’m beginning to wonder if we’re causing more harm than good by speaking out.   As a Christian, I completely understand the need …Read More

10 Bible Verses to Help You Overcome Sin and Temptation | alyssajhoward.com

10 Bible Verses to Help You Overcome Sin and Temptation

Do you ever feel like you’ll never overcome sin and temptation in you life? Sin is something we all have in common. All have sinned. All face temptation. The Bible tells us that apart from Jesus, we are actually slaves to sin. In other words, it controls our lives and holds a great deal of power. Seeking worldly pleasures, making ourselves happy at the expense of others, lying or cheating to get ahead – without Christ, we can’t help but strive to please ourselves first and foremost. We literally become enslaved to it. But Jesus… He broke the power of sin …Read More

Is It Okay to Spread an Attractive Gospel? | alyssajhoward.com

Is It Okay to Spread an Attractive Gospel?

I recently read an article about the dangers of trying to share an attractive gospel. The author claimed that we spend too much time as Christians today “dressing up” a message that doesn’t need to be dressed up… so much so that the meaning behind the message has been lost. And while he certainly made a few good points, I wasn’t sure how to feel about it all. So I looked to God’s Word and Jesus’ ministry for answers.   How would you personally define an attractive Gospel?  Is making the Good News attractive something we should strive to do as Christians, or …Read More

Are You Willing to Let Go for God? | alyssajhoward.com

Are You Willing to Let Go for God?

What are you willing to let go of for God? This past week, my daughters and I were studying about the time Jesus fed 5,000 people with just 5 loaves of bread and two fish. It’s a story I’ve heard a million times, but because I was teaching it to my preschoolers, I was able to see it through new eyes. My four-year-old pointed out to me that the little boy in the story actually gave up his lunch. It was such a simple truth – one that I spent the rest of the day pondering.   One of the …Read More

10 Bible Verses for When You Get Offended | alyssajhoward.com

10 Bible Verses for When You Get Offended

How often do you get offended? Offense is an emotional response – one that initially we can’t help but feel. Someone said or did something to hurt us or perhaps they forgot to do something or neglected us in some way. It’s only natural to feel hurt by that right?   Offense is never a good thing, however. God’s Word tells us to unconditionally love, always forgive, and do everything within our power to be at peace with everyone. Offense severs relationships. And if the world is supposed to know we are followers of Jesus by our love for one another, we can’t …Read More

Spiritual Battles: More Common Lies of the Enemy | alyssajhoward.com

Spiritual Battles: More Common Lies of the Enemy

The enemy is called the Father of Lies, and as I pointed out in a previous post, one of his favorite tactics to use in spiritual battles is to take truth and distort it. Why? Because half-truths sound like the truth. They seem like truth on the surface so we buy into them easily not realizing that we’re being deceived. This is why it is so important for us to understand the whole truth of God’s Word. It’s the only way we’ll be able to recognize these half-truths the enemy tries to use against us. Feel free to click here …Read More

Common Lies of the Enemy (and how we combat them) | alyssajhoward.com

Common Lies of the Enemy (and how we combat them)

The Bible tells us that the enemy is a liar – in fact he is referred to as the father of lies. And the best way to combat a lie is with the truth. That is why it is so important for believers to be well-grounded in the truth of God’s Word. If we know the truth well, we will be able to easily recognize these lies of the enemy. As a manipulator of the truth, the enemy enjoys using half-truths (which I believe to be more damaging than a full on lie) to keep believers from living out the call …Read More

10 Bible Verses for When You Face Anxiety | alyssajhoward.com

10 Bible Verses for When You Face Anxiety

Anxiety is something we all face from time to time. Our worries eat at us, keep us awake at night, and steal hours (or days) of joy from our lives. Needless to say, it isn’t good for us to be worried all the time. (And medical science would agree with me.) Anxiety hinders our relationship with God. When we’re worried about our daily lives, we become ineffective for the Kingdom. We grow so focused on ourselves that demonstrating selfless love towards others becomes an impossible task. Not only that, but anxiety demonstrates a lack of trust in God to take care of …Read More

Rethinking Spiritual Warfare: Understanding Our Battle | alyssajhoward.com

Rethinking Spiritual Warfare: Understanding Our Battle

Spiritual warfare is a common phrase in most Christian circles. It’s used to describe the battle between the enemy and the people of God. We often think in terms of Satan’s “fiery darts,” putting on our spiritual armor, and coming against the enemy with the truth of God’s Word just like Jesus did when He was tempted in the wilderness for forty days. It’s the understanding that there is a spiritual battle and we as Christians are soldiers in this war. I’ve been taught so many concepts regarding spiritual warfare, but it wasn’t until recently that I began seriously studying everything the …Read More

4 Christian Terms That Are Often Misunderstood: Sin | alyssajhoward.com

4 Christian Terms That Are Often Misunderstood: Sin

In the final post of my series, I want to deal with one last Christian term: sin. This particular word may seem easy to define on the surface, but I worry that the concept of sin itself has become distorted. Sure we can all define the word. Isn’t it  simply disobedience to God? The truth is that the definition isn’t generally something we struggle with, but rather its our relationship with sin that has become a bit distorted. Let me explain…   Sin and the Believer:   No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not …Read More

10 Bible Verses for When You're Afraid | alyssajhoward.com

10 Bible Verses for When You’re Afraid

Are you ever afraid?  Fear is a common problem for man – so much so that the phrase “do not fear” is mentioned hundreds of times throughout Scripture. Much of our lives, our world, and our culture are beyond our control or understanding. But if you consider yourself to be a child of God, then fear should be a thing of the past because we have a sovereign Father who holds the world in His hands. Speaking from experience, learning how to trust God and not live in fear is a process – one that I personally have to work on daily. The good news …Read More

4 Christian Terms That Are Often Misunderstood: Saved by Grace | alyssajhoward.com

4 Christian Terms That Are Often Misunderstood: Saved by Grace

There are certain words and phrases that are thrown around quite a bit in the church. Righteousness of God, justified by faith, saved by grace… if you’ve been a Christian for long, you’ve undoubtedly heard these and more. Some Christian phrases have been used so much, however, that I worry they’ve lost their power – or worse yet, we’ve started using them incorrectly.   In a previous post, I talked about two Christian terms that may have actually lost their significance since they were introduced more than 2000 years ago. (You can read that post here.) As promised, I’d like …Read More