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

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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7 Ways That Jesus Meets All of Our Needs | alyssajhoward.com

7 Ways That Jesus Meets All of Our Needs

Have you ever found yourself in need of a shoulder to cry on? What about guidance for an upcoming decision? Or perhaps you’ve needed help overcoming a difficult situation. When you are in need, Jesus is there. As cliché as that may sound, it’s the truth. I can’t tell you how many times in my life that I’ve tried to handle things on my own when God desperately wanted to be there for me. And He longs to be there for you too. Will you allow Him to be your strength?

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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

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

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

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 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

It’s Okay to Grieve: A Biblical Look at Losing a Loved One | alyssajhoward.com

It’s Okay to Grieve: A Biblical Look at Losing a Loved One

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was at a concert with friends when I received the call that my grandpa had died. It wasn’t a total surprise. My parents were actually there visiting him in the hospital because we knew his time was short. But none of that mattered. It was still just as hard. It was difficult finding out in front of my friends. I didn’t feel like I could grieve his loss. It wasn’t until later that I was able to let my guard down and cry. Continue Reading

Jesus, What Should I Do? 5 Ways to Know You're in the Will of God | alyssajhoward.com

Jesus, What Should I Do? 5 Ways to Know You’re in the Will of God

Have you ever come face to face with a dilemma and you had no idea how to proceed? There are certain areas of life where understanding the will of God is easy. We know it’s His will that we share the Gospel with the world, and we know that it’s His will for us to walk in obedience. But what about the “grey” areas? What about the choices we make on a daily basis that aren’t outlined in Scripture? What then? Continue Reading