Why You Should Study the History of the Christian Faith

I loved history when I was in school. So naturally, church history was one of my favorite courses in college. But I never could have imagined that studying the history of the church would be so impactful to my theology and worship. My thinking changed, and I developed a deeper understanding of what it truly means to be a Christian. Continue Reading

How to Study the Bible Like a Theologian | alyssajhoward.com

How to Study the Bible Like a Theologian

I have studied the Bible my whole life. I grew up in a Christian home and attended a Christian school for most of my childhood. So when God put it on my heart to attend seminary, I assumed I knew what to expect. Obviously, I would study the Bible more thoroughly than ever before, but nothing could have prepared me for how I would be challenged both mentally and spiritually. I would learn how to study the Bible in a whole new way… Continue Reading

How to Rekindle Your Love for Your Spouse | alyssajhoward.com

How to Rekindle Your Love for Your Spouse

Let’s face it. Deep down you love your spouse. Even on their worst days, you care about them deeply. But if we’re being totally honest with ourselves… romance has a way of… coming and going. While we would do nearly anything for our significant others, sometimes we lose the “loving feeling” so to speak. So what do we do when the feelings aren’t there? When marriage feels more like work than romance? How do you rekindle your love? Continue Reading

How to Stand in Faith for Your Children | alyssajhoward.com

How to Stand in Faith for Your Children

The moment my little girls were born, I was overwhelmed. I never knew it was possible to feel so many different emotions all at once. But I found myself mesmerized by their innocence and purity. Sure, they cried a lot, but they were so incredibly… perfect and untainted. I wanted to protect them at all costs, but I didn’t know where to start. Our culture is far from perfect. My children are growing up in a world with reasons to fear at every corner and sin so readily available. I knew I needed to learn how to stand in faith for my girls. Continue Reading

What to Do When God Calls You out of Your Comfort Zone | alyssajhoward.com

What to Do When God Calls You out of Your Comfort Zone

Has God ever called you to something completely out of your comfort zone? Something that stretched you so much that you questioned if it was even God? Why would He ask you to do the impossible? How could He expect you to step forward when common sense says you shouldn’t? But the truth is that this is often how God works in our lives. Why? Because He’s the God of the impossible. What better way to prove Himself than to miraculously bring about the impossible in our own lives? Continue Reading

Life is full of trials and difficult circumstances. No person is immune. So what are we as Christians to do when life seems to be spinning out of control?

When Your Life Is Spinning Out of Control

The perfect storm… it’s a term we use to describe a storm that is so beyond destructive, so meticulous in its design, that it is nothing short of perfection. This is not exactly the term you would want to use to describe your life. But unfortunately, many of us have been there. We look around at our lives and see a whirlwind of problems threatening to destroy us. So what are we as Christians to do when our life seems to be spinning out of control? Continue Reading

The True Definition of What It Means to be Free | alyssajhoward.com

The True Definition of What It Means to be Free

As an American, you live in the land of the free and home of the brave. But what does it really mean to be free? One look at the media, and it’s clear that our culture has a warped view of the term. Freedom once meant that you were no longer a slave to some form of bondage, but now it means that you are “free” to do whatever you like without restriction or consequence. You can say what you please, do as you wish, and be whoever you want to be… you seek your own happiness at any cost. But this is not what it means to be free. Continue Reading

4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Church

We all have different methods of finding a local church to attend. Some of us go where we have the most friends. Others pick churches for their amazing worship team or inspiring sermons. Some of us like a more traditional feel, while others prefer a more contemporary vibe. Truth be told, many of us will attend several different churches throughout our lifetime. Our personal preferences change, we move to new cities, we get married, etc. We all have our reasons for attending a new church. So is there a “right” way to go about choosing a church to attend? Continue Reading

3 Ways to Protect Your Heart from Offense | alyssajhoward.com

3 Ways to Protect Your Heart from Offense

In our politically correct culture, offense is the name of the game. We get offended over every little thing. And I mean every. little. thing. But should offense be a part of the Christian life? The truth is that the Bible calls us to forgive the way Jesus forgave us. That means always and for everything. So if we’re being honest with ourselves, being offended is the exact opposite of that command. Continue Reading

5 Things God Will Use in Your Life to Produce Spiritual Growth | alyssajhoward.com

5 Things God Will Use in Your Life to Produce Spiritual Growth

Do you crave spiritual growth? Do you long to mature in your faith? As Christians, we are called to aim for growth. We make efforts to grow closer to God by praying, reading our Bibles, attending church, etc. But what I find interesting is that the New Testament claims that true spiritual growth occurs when we endure trials. Can we grow by spending more time with God? Of course, we can! But truth be told, more growth happens in times of difficulty than any other time of our lives. Continue Reading

How to Stand in Faith When Things Don’t Seem to Change

Are you battle weary? Is your shield becoming heavy as you continue to stand in faith for what God has promised?  You’ve searched the scriptures, and you’re certain that what you are praying for is His heart for you.  He has made it clear that it’s His promise, yet as the weeks, months, and even years pass you are yet to see the manifestation of it.  Does it seem like some prayers are answered with no wait at all and others must be contended for?

I understand. I’ve been there.  I’m there right now, in fact.  If you’ve been a Christian very long you’ve probably experienced this in your own life by now.  How do you keep going when it seems like your answer is nowhere in sight? Continue Reading

Ruth: Grace, Destiny, and Purpose in the Midst of Sorrow

Do you ever feel under qualified, inadequate, or too broken to be used by God? The enemy likes to make us believe that we aren’t good enough to accomplish God’s best for our lives. But unfortunately for him, the Bible is filled with stories about people who by worldly standards weren’t adequate enough for the task at hand… but God chose to give them an amazing destiny in Him. Continue Reading

How to Rid Your Mind of Stress: Trusting God with the Day-to-Day | alyssajhoward.com

How to Rid Your Mind of Stress: Trusting God with the Day-to-Day

When I was a freshman in college, I was required to take a class called “stress management.” I learned one important truth: if you desire to rid your mind of stress… good luck! Instead, I was taught how to manage my stress because truth be told, stress is a part of life. The sooner I accepted that fact, the better off I would be in managing it. There was just one problem with this particular class… God wasn’t a part of the equation. The Bible tells us that stress, fear, anxiety, and worry are all a part of our lives before Christ.

Perfect love casts out all fear… and Jesus is the very definition of perfect love. Continue Reading

How to Be Intimate with God: Relationships Are a Two-Way Street | alyssajhoward.com

How to Be Intimate with God: Relationships Are a Two-Way Street

The entire purpose of Christianity is for God to be intimate with His creation. I know that may seem like a bold claim, but it’s true. In the Garden of Eden, God walked with Adam and Eve. They had a relationship unlike any other. They were intimate with God. But when sin entered the world, all that changed. Ever since that infamous day in the Garden, God has been at work making all things new. He’s restoring what once was… all so that He could walk with us once again. Continue Reading

Gideon: A Lesson in the Courage and Strength Only God Can Provide | alyssajhoward.com

Gideon: A Lesson in the Courage and Strength Only God Can Provide

Have you ever been asked to do something crazy? Throughout the Bible, God called His people to carry out seemingly impossible (and often ridiculous) tasks. For example, God called Moses to go before Pharoah and demand that he allow millions of his slaves to go free. And let’s not forget Joshua. God asked him to take his men into a battle that involved nothing more than marching around the city walls for seven days. Then there was Gideon…. Continue Reading