10 Bible Verses for When You Need the Peace of God | alyssajhoward.com

10 Bible Verses for When You Need the Peace of God

We all crave peace in our lives. No one enjoys chaos and unrest. So we attempt to find it any way we can. We try to make some alone time for ourselves, take warm bubble baths, minimize our schedules, take vacations, etc. But in the end, do we really feel any more at peace? And what happens when life throws us a curve ball? Everything we do to try to find peace in our lives only lasts for so long. Sooner or later, that “peace” runs out and we are off trying to find peace some other way. The truth is that we need the peace of God in our lives. Only His peace surpasses all understanding. And only in Him can we be at peace even in the midst of trying times.

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4 Reasons Why Studying the Old Testament is Crucial to Our Faith

I love the stories found in the Old Testament. Growing up, I remember learning all about Noah and the flood, Jonah and the whale, David and Goliath, and Daniel in the lions’ den. But while the pages of the Old Testament are filled with courageous stories that inspire us to trust God in all things, there are also some difficult aspects to consider. The Old Testament contains the Law of Moses, biblical prophecy, and many difficult (and often controversial) passages. So as a child, my Bible studies skipped over a lot of these elements. I studied the individual stories, but the controversial pieces were kept to a minimum.

The problem with studying the Old Testament the way I did as a child is that it feels very disconnected. How do these men and women relate to one another? How do they relate to God’s Law and covenants? And most importantly, how do they relate to Jesus and our salvation? Continue Reading

3 Reasons Why You May Be Lacking Contentment in Your Life | alyssajhoward.com

3 Reasons Why You May Be Lacking Contentment in Your Life

If only I had a better paying job, I would feel better about my finances. If only my children would learn to listen more, I could be a better mom. And if only my spouse would pitch in more with the day-to-day chores, I would feel less overwhelmed. There are many reasons why some of us may be lacking contentment in our lives, but the truth is that most of them aren’t valid. We have a tendency to blame everything (or everyone) around us for the fact that we simply don’t have it.

But truth be told, a lack of contentment has nothing to do with the people around us or our circumstances. Continue Reading

What to Do When You're Feeling Stressed About Finances | alyssajhoward.com

What to Do When You’re Feeling Stressed About Finances

Money isn’t generally something we talk about, yet it’s safe to say we all think about it on a regular basis. It’s a part of our lives, whether we like it or not. And being stressed about finances happens to every single one of us at some point. We know the basics… saving money is good. Overspending is bad. But what if you’re just trying to make ends meet? How do we cope with the stress of simply trying to make everything happen financially that needs to happen? Continue Reading

Let There Be Light: The Day Darkness Lost the War | alyssajhoward.com

Let There Be Light: The Day Darkness Lost the War

Let there be light… When creating the world, God spoke light into this world. But in one moment, everything changed. Man ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and as a result, death and darkness would reign. But God had a plan… one that He put into motion in the Garden of Eden. He would restore the light through His promised Messiah. And everything that happened as result of sin, would be overturned. Continue Reading

10 Bible Verses About the Love of God

The love of God is… How would you finish that sentence? Perhaps you would quote a Scripture verse from the Bible or maybe you would describe it as amazing or endless. But if you’re anything like me, you probably need to be reminded from time to time just how awesome God’s love truly is. We know it in our heads, but we often fail to let it impact our hearts on a day-to-day basis.

When it comes to verses about the love of God, the Bible is full of them. Because in the end, He IS love. It is the essence of who He is and all He has done on this earth for mankind. Continue Reading

In the Beginning... What Was the Result of Our Sin? | alyssajhoward.com

In the Beginning… What Was the Result of Our Sin?

In the beginning… God created the world and everything in it. He placed Adam and Eve in a spectacularly perfect garden and gave them one simple rule. Don’t eat from the forbidden tree. Most of us know the story well. The serpent arrives on the scene and challenges Eve to question God. In those infamous moments, the first two humans make a decision that would change everything for all of mankind. The result of our sin on that fateful day would have dire consequences… consequences that only a Savior could fix. Continue Reading

10 Bible Verses for When You Need a New Beginning | alyssajhoward.com

10 Bible Verses for When You Need a New Beginning

It’s a new year, and the time has come for new year resolutions! To be honest, I love this time of year. There’s something truly inspiring about starting a brand new year. And I’m not just talking about your “normal” new year’s resolutions like eating healthier and exercising. God is in the business of giving us new beginnings. So do you need a new beginning in your life? If so, today is the day! Continue Reading

Reckless Abandon: Throwing Worldly Caution to the Wind | alyssajhoward.com

Reckless Abandon: Throwing Worldly Caution to the Wind

Do you trust God? I mean REALLY trust Him? Do you serve Him with reckless abandon?

What if He asked you to do something that seemed utterly crazy to the people around you? What if following His lead meant taking a risk? How would you feel if trusting Him in an area of your life meant turning your world upside down? The Bible is full of stories of men and women of God who did just that. I think of Gideon who told a majority of his army to go home when he was about to face one of the greatest armies in the world at that time. Everyone must have deemed him a fool. But he trusted God and was given a mighty victory. Continue Reading

When God Gives You a Present (and He gives the best gifts!) | alyssajhoward.com

When God Gives You a Present (and He gives the best gifts!)

To say that gift giving is a big part of Christmas is an understatement, to say the least. Our modern culture is all about the holiday shopping season, and I must admit that buying Christmas presents is something I truly enjoy. Historically speaking, the giving of gifts during the month of December actually pre-dates Christmas itself. Slowly as Christmas traditions began to take shape, gift giving became a major holiday tradition. For many Christians, we give gifts in order to honor the gifts given to Jesus by the magi. We are also remembering the best gift of all, one that was given to all of mankind… the presence of our King and Savior.
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When You Are in Need of a Christmas Miracle | alyssajhoward.com

When You Are in Need of a Christmas Miracle

For many of us, Christmas is one of the best times of the year. But for others, it can be one of the hardest. The holiday season has a way of bringing up emotions in a way that nothing else can. We can feel joy, love, peace, and contentment… or we can feel great sadness, loneliness, stress, and unrest. The term Christmas miracle is often used this time of year. It’s a phrase used to define a miraculous event that is so amazingly spectacular it could have only happened at Christmas. Are you in need of a miracle this holiday season? Continue Reading

15 Interesting Facts About Angels That May Surprise You | alyssajhoward.com

15 Interesting Facts About Angels That May Surprise You

I’ve always been fascinated by angels. The Bible frequently speaks of them… over 270 times to be exact. And as we approach the holiday season, we will once again be speaking of angels. An angel appeared to Mary to give her the news of her pregnancy. The shepherds encountered a heavenly host of angels praising God. Yes, angels are embedded in the Christmas narrative, but the truth is that they are still at work today. Continue Reading

4 Ways the Grace of God Makes You a Superhero

What comes to mind when you think of the grace of God? Grace is often defined as “unmerited favor.” And while this is an entirely accurate definition of the Greek word charis (the word from which “grace” is translated in the New Testament), it may not be the full definition of God’s grace. You see, Jesus was described as being full of God’s grace (charis), and the words that flowed from His mouth were described using the same Greek term. (Luke 2:40 and 4:22) Jesus certainly deserved God’s favor. So while grace is freely bestowed upon us by God even though we don’t deserve it, its definition seems to be much greater than simply His unmerited favor. Continue Reading

10 Ways to Be Like Mary (not Martha) this Holiday Season | alyssajhoward.com

10 Ways to Be Like Mary (not Martha) this Holiday Season

For a holiday that speaks of “peace on earth,” Christmas has a way of being anything but peaceful. We shop ’til we drop, decorate and clean, prepare for guests, attend multiple holiday festivities, and bake until we can bake no more. As a wife and mom, I get it. We want to make Christmas special for our loved ones and give our children memories to last a lifetime. So we make to-do lists and shopping lists a mile long and brace ourselves for the craziness. We know this isn’t God’s best for us. He longs for us to focus on Him and not stress about the things of this world. So how do we be like Mary and choose to sit at our Savior’s feet when it comes to a holiday designed for a detail-oriented Martha?

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How to Put on the Garment of Praise When Your Spirit Is Weak | alyssajhoward.com

How to Put on the Garment of Praise When Your Spirit Is Weak

The Bible speaks often of God’s strength in our weaknesses. As Christians, we know that it’s crucial to lean on Him in times of heartache, unrest, and uncertainty. As we approach the holiday season, I have been pondering Isaiah 61:3. This verse reminds us that God gives us a garment of praise in exchange for our “faint spirit.”

But what does praise have to do with finding strength? Continue Reading