5 Ways to Treat (And Cure) the "I'll Be Happy When..." Syndrome | alyssajhoward.com

5 Ways to Treat (And Cure) the “I’ll Be Happy When…” Syndrome

We all do it to some extent. We set goals for ourselves. We plan and prepare for the future. And we work towards new and exciting things in our lives. It’s never a bad thing to have dreams and aspirations. I truly believe that God wants us to dream big dreams because, in Him, anything is possible! But what happens when we allow these dreams to become idols? We come down with a case of the “I’ll be happy when…” syndrome. This disease is like a cancer that invades, spreads into every aspect of our lives, and steals our joy. We become discontent with the place God has us for the moment. 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

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 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

When You Face the Impossible: Faith is Worth the Risk | alyssajhoward.com

When You Face the Impossible: Faith is Worth the Risk

No one likes bad news. I don’t know about you, but I don’t particularly enjoy hearing about something negative on the horizon. But the truth is that we all face the impossible at some point in our lives. Maybe it’s a job situation or a financial struggle. Or perhaps you’re facing an illness of some kind. Regardless of the situation, we’ve all felt like David facing Goliath… a seemingly hopeless battle. Continue Reading

It's in the Moments: Learning to Enjoy All of God's Blessings | alyssajhoward.com

It’s in the Moments: Learning to Enjoy All of God’s Blessings

My husband and I just returned from a much needed long weekend away. And I’m sure I’m not the first to say that a break from the norm is necessary from time to time. We all need rest…. so much so that God established a day of rest at Creation. Resting was part of the Ten Commandments and the old Mosaic law. And now we as believers are told to find rest in Christ Jesus. All work and no play was never God’s intention for His creation. Continue Reading

It's Your Move: When God is Waiting on Us | alyssajhoward.com

It’s Your Move: When God is Waiting on Us

Today’s post is written by none other than my amazing mother. She recently shared this story with me, and I just knew it needed to be shared! When God has placed a desire in our hearts and made a way where there was no way, it’s often up to us to make the next move in faith.

 


 

Years ago I heard a well-known Bible teacher say that there are times that God will place a desire for something in your heart so that you will pray for it. Once you pray for it, He will then answer your prayer and bring about what He desired for you all along. This was an interesting concept, but I didn’t realize at the time that I was about to experience it personally. Continue Reading

Jesus and the Man Born Blind: How to See With Your Spiritual Eyes

A man is healed by Jesus who was born blind. It was not only the Sabbath day but since the man was blind from birth, the Jewish people believed that he was blind because of sin. At some point, his parents must have sinned to cause such a great handicap in their son’s life – right? This miracle was astounding, to say the least, and it caused quite the controversy. I have to wonder, would we respond today the way this man’s friends and family responded? Would we doubt and question what really happened or would we be able to see the truth through spiritual eyes? Continue Reading

How to Have a New Beginning (and never look back)

It’s that time of year again. A new beginning. A fresh start. And resolutions to make positive changes to our lives. Sure, we can create for ourselves “new beginnings” throughout the year (and many of us do), but there’s something special about turning the calendar page to January 1st. We ring in the new year and say things like, “From this day forward, I will…” Continue Reading

When God Closes a Door and You've Lost Your Hope | alyssajhoward.com

When God Closes a Door and You’ve Lost Your Hope…

When God closes a door, He opens a window. I think I’ve heard this quote a million times. Well… maybe not a million, but it certainly feels that way sometimes. We’ve all been there. We are moving along, everything seems fine and then it happens. Bamm! Door shut. Sometimes we see it closing. We know it’s coming. But more often than not, closed doors take us by surprise. We think, “How did I get here?” Our hope is gone and we have no idea what to do or how to move forward. Continue Reading

10 Reasons Why Trusting God is Better than Worrying | alyssajhoward.com

10 Reasons Why Trusting God is Better than Worrying

We’ve all been there. We worry. Finances, kids, careers, relationships, major life changes, health… we’ve all experienced our fair share of stressful circumstances. As a Christian, I’ve heard many sermons about trusting God, but when I’m lying in bed worrying about the next day… it can be hard to put my trust in God the way I’ve been taught.

So I’d like to offer some encouragement. To be honest, this list is just as much for me as it is for you. I needed to be practical, and I needed to remind myself that worry is essentially useless. Trusting God isn’t just commanded of us in Scripture, it’s the best thing for us to do for many reasons. Continue Reading

8 Reasons to Trust God Even When Things Are Up in the Air | alyssajhoward.com

8 Reasons to Trust God Even When Things Are Up in the Air

I’m a worrier. I’ll admit it. When faced with a problem or uncertainty, I will keep myself awake at night analyzing every detail… especially when I have no control over the issue. Why do I do this to myself? Why can’t I just trust God like I’m supposed to?

 

My husband and I are in the process of selling our home and buying a new one. Everything… and I mean everything is up in the air and out of our control. We found a buyer and our “dream” home, but anything can fall through at a moment’s notice. That’s a scary place to be for a worrier like myself! Continue Reading

Trust the Unseen: How to Live in Spirit and Truth

For many, this physical world is all there is. Angels and demons are nothing but a myth. Some would even call them “ghost stories.” But there is certainly a preoccupation with the unseen world that can’t be denied. There are numerous television shows, movies, and books that describe worlds beyond what we can physically see with our eyes. Why are we so fascinated by the unseen and the supernatural? Continue Reading

7 Reasons to Rejoice in Suffering | alyssajhoward.com

7 Reasons to Rejoice in Suffering

The book of James tells us to rejoice in suffering. I don’t know about you, but my first instinct when I’m face to face with struggle has nothing to do with joy. I’m angry, sad, frustrated, confused… but never happy it. Continue Reading

8 Lessons I Learned in Seminary About the Christian Faith | alyssajhoward.com

8 Lessons I Learned in Seminary About the Christian Faith

For those of you who don’t know this about me, in 2008 I began (and completed) two years of seminary at Liberty Baptist Theological seminary earning a Master of Arts degree in theological studies. During this time, my Christian faith was tested in ways I could have never imagined, and I had a few surprising revelations.

 

8 Lessons I Learned in Seminary About the Christian Faith | alyssajhoward.com Continue Reading