When God Proves Who He Is: The Power of Your Story

Does Christianity have a future? I recently read an article asking that very question. Our world is rapidly changing. We are taught to question everything. And everyone wants proof. Does God exist? Are the stories of the Bible real? Was Jesus truly who He claimed to be?

Unfortunately, tangible proof is hard to come by when it comes to Christianity. Our faith is just that – faith. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of historical evidence for Christ, the Bible, the early church, etc. But there is also a lot of controversy. This also doesn’t take into account the very existence of God. For many, the God of the Bible is simply a fairy tale. Everyone has their reasons for skepticism, but in the end it usually comes down to a lack of proof. We can’t prove beyond reasonable doubt that God exists. (On the flip side of that, we also can’t prove that He doesn’t…)

 

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Happily Ever After: When Jesus is Your Prince Charming | alyssajhoward.com

Happily Ever After: When Jesus is Your Prince Charming

Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl who dreamed of becoming a princess. She had a good heart and was kind to all. As fate would have it, she unexpectedly discovered a handsome prince. Upon meeting, they fell in love and lived happily ever after. The end.

I am the mother of two beautiful little girls. Needless to say, our home is filled with all things princess. They know these stories forwards and backwards. On the surface, the fairy tales seem pretty innocent. They can even be empowering. They teach young girls that kindness and love pay off in the end, that true beauty comes from within, and that every girl can indeed become a princess. These are all good things – right?

 

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Learning to Value Others When You Want to Shout "But It's Mine!" | alyssajhoward.com

Learning to Value Others When You Want to Shout “But It’s Mine!”

What is it that makes us feel entitled? We must be born with this tendency. This past week, my toddlers have gone out of their way to try to prove this point. The word “mine” is literally ringing in my ears. They both feel that everything belongs to them personally and that they are free to do as the wish with their things. If they want or need something, they expect the world to stop and cater to them. I would like to say that this type of behavior is something we all eventually outgrow, but I fear that we as adults simply find new “socially acceptable” ways of acting like toddlers.

 

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Victory at the Finish Line: Building Endurance in Our Faith

One of my favorite things about running is that the results are tangible. Growth can easily be measured by time and distance. Just five months ago, I competed in my first half marathon. This weekend, I will be racing in my second. I can’t begin to tell you how different it is training for this race versus my last one.

In my first half marathon, my goal was simply to finish. When beginning my training, 13.1 miles seemed like an incredible distance…one that seemed nearly impossible. I achieved my goal, but not without my fair share of physical and mental exhaustion. It was hard. Not to say that training for my second half marathon has been easy, but it has certainly proven to be less exhausting. 13.1 miles doesn’t seem quite as daunting this time around. Continue Reading

When You Feel like a Grasshopper in a World Filled with Giants | alyssajhoward.com

When You Feel like a Grasshopper in a World Filled with Giants

No one enjoys feeling weak or vulnerable, yet it is inevitable to feel this way at some point in our lives. We all feel small at times…especially when it seems like the cards are stacked against us. When it came time for the Israelites to finally enter into the Promised Land, God commanded Moses to send 12 spies into the land to survey the scene. After forty days, the men brought their reports back to the Israelites. Needless to say, there were mixed reviews.The land was exactly as God had promised. It truly flowed with milk and honey, and it was everything the Israelites could ever need or want. There was just one problem…they would have to fight for it.

 

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Love Defined: How to Experience True Love That Is Unshakable

I believe with all of my heart that the greatest love story ever told is the one between God and man. It amazes me that an all-knowing, perfect God would go through such great lengths to be with me. God chose to look beyond my mess to see who I could become in Him. He endured the cross, even as I was unfaithful and lost in sin. In my own human strength, I could never imagine loving someone as unconditionally as God loves me. But God’s Word tells me that I can love others because God (who is love) lives in me. Continue Reading

Love Defined: Loving Others the Way God Loves Us

Everything God does is for our own good, and the Bible says that He is quick to forgive. We live in a culture, however, that is self-absorbed, loves to argue, and is quick to burn bridges when it comes to hurt and offense. So when Jesus taught us to love others the way He loves us, He was calling us to something radical, something completely counter-cultural. Continue Reading

Love Defined: Four Things That Will Destroy Love

Paul begins his definition of true love in 1 Corinthians 13 by telling us what love is…patient and kind. He goes on to tell us, however, what love isn’t. There are four things can and will destroy love if given the chance. Allowing these “weeds” to take root in our hearts and minds may not seem like a big deal, but they can easily become major problems in our lives if we allow them to grow. Continue Reading

Why Christianity Will Never Make Sense to the World

Christianity has become so controversial in our day and age. We are often seen as judgmental and hateful by the rest of the world. I find it interesting that our culture preaches tolerance when it comes to every walk of life except for Christianity… but then again, didn’t the Bible tell us it would be this way? Continue Reading

Love Defined: Choosing Patience When You Want to Complain | alyssajhoward.com

Love Defined: Choosing Patience When You Want to Complain

My 3-year-old broke her arm this week. I must say that she is one tough kid. Not only did she barely cry, but she went on playing as if nothing had happened. It wasn’t until the next morning that I even noticed she was favoring that arm. No swelling. No bruising. I took her in to get an x-ray and sure enough, it was broken.

What surprised me most about my daughter through all of this was her calmness about the whole thing. She has not complained once about her cast. In fact, she’s quite proud of it.

As I sat down and prepared for today’s post on patience and kindness, I couldn’t help but think about my daughter and her patience through this entire process. Continue Reading

Love Defined: It's More than a Feeling | alyssajhoward.com

Love Defined: It’s More than a Feeling

Love is such a cliché word these days. I can love God, love my family, love my life, and so on. But I can also love shopping, cooking, and being extremely organized. In all honesty, the word “love” is seriously overused in our American culture today. Continue Reading

From This Day Forward: Our Chance at a New Beginning | alyssajhoward.com

From This Day Forward: Our Chance at a New Beginning

I love the beginning of a new year. It is such a motivation to start fresh. I find that I am suddenly motivated to start living better, and I know I’m not the only one. The start of a new year brings about New Year’s resolutions. Whether it’s eating better, losing weight, or simply being a better person, the new year is a perfect motivation to make goals and begin again. Continue Reading

What Being a Parent Has Taught Me about God | alyssajhoward.com

What Being a Parent Has Taught Me about God

God is often described as our “heavenly Father.” Growing up, I thought I knew what that meant. It was easy for me to relate to being a child to a loving father because I was fortunate to have an amazing earthly father of my own. I understood what it meant to be a child. When I became a mom, however, my perspective changed. Continue Reading

Unshakable: How Secure is Your Foundation? | alyssajhoward.com

Unshakable: How Secure is Your Foundation?

Many of us like to believe that we’re unshakable. We like to think that we are strong enough to handle anything life throws our way. The truth is, however, we all have our breaking points. We all experience problems that seem to be bigger than life itself. It’s times like these when we begin to realize that we’re not as unshakable as we once thought. Continue Reading