Teaching Our Children to Love God for Who He Is

Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing my absolute best as a mother. I want my girls to grow up knowing right from wrong – to be smart and to dream big. I want God’s best for them, and I desire that they succeed in all that they set out to do.

As parents, we have an amazing responsibility to our young ones. We do all that we can to raise them well. We teach them to share, to be loving and kind, and to stand up for what they believe in. But is this enough? Is it enough to be educated and successful? Is it enough to be a good person with integrity? In all of our efforts to raise well-rounded children, are we really teaching our children anything that matters in the end?

 

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The Power of a Good Story: Spreading the Message of Hope to the World

We all enjoy a good story. Books, television, and movies all prove this point. Whether it be romance, science fiction, drama, etc. – as long as the story is good, we generally enjoy getting to know the characters and the plot. Perhaps we love stories because we can identify with them. Or maybe we simply enjoy being entertained by them. Either way, a good story will draw us in.

 

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Are We Desensitized to the Things of God? | alyssajhoward.com

Are We Desensitized to the Things of God?

When the early Christian church was expanding after Jesus ascended into heaven, amazing things were taking place. Thousands were coming to know Christ as their Savior and the message of the gospel was being preached throughout the known world. These new believers were passionate about their new faith as well as the expansion of the Good News.

At the time, however, they were also being intensely persecuted. I find it interesting to think that while Christians everywhere were dying for their faith, somehow the church was still expanding. The message was getting out there, and people were responding by surrendering their lives to something that could potentially get them killed.

 

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Armor of God: The Sword of the Spirit

Every warrior knows that in order to succeed in battle, one must be prepared both offensively and defensively. Without one or the other, we are doomed to failure. At first glance, the armor of God is all about defense. We do, however, have one offensive weapon – the sword of the Spirit.

The Word of God is our sword – our only offensive weapon against the enemy.

 

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Armor of God: The Helmet of Salvation

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul presented a metaphor that would shape the way Christians view spiritual battle – the act of putting on spiritual armor. Ephesians 6:17 tells us to put on the helmet of salvation. The helmet is often the final piece of armor a soldier puts on before marching out into battle. Yet without it, the rest of the armor seems somewhat pointless. If your head is unprotected, it will only be a matter of time before the enemy takes you down.

 

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Armor of God: The Shield of Faith | alyssajhoward.com

Armor of God: The Shield of Faith

When it comes to armor, the shield is an extremely vital piece – something I definitely wouldn’t want to go into battle without. Sure, I may be wearing body armor, but it’s my shield that allows me to protect the most vulnerable parts of me. I can maneuver it to guard me from all angles. And while my body armor can prevent me from being injured in an attack, my shield can keep me from getting hit in the first place.

 

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The Church is Full of Hypocrites (and I am one of them) | alyssajhoward.com

The Church is Full of Hypocrites (and I am one of them)

“Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian.” This was a phrase I heard a lot growing up. I was taught that it’s about the choices you make – how you live your life.

The church is full of hypocrites – people who claim God as their Savior but never their Lord. We want to be rescued. We want to be saved. But don’t tell us what to do or how to live our lives.

The church is full of hypocrites. And I am one of them.

 

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How to Experience True Financial Security: A Lesson in Relying on God

Save for retirement. Be financially secure. Work hard now so you can play later. I’ve been bombarded by these messages lately. There’s technically nothing wrong with them. In fact, it’s smart to save and have a long-term plan. So as I sit here and plan for my family’s future, I have to ask myself one question – where does God fit into all of this?

 

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Judge Others the Way You Want to be Judged | alyssajhoward.com

Judge Others the Way You Want to be Judged

“Don’t judge me!” This is a common phrase in the world today. No one wants someone telling them how to live their lives. Most people are aware of the fact that the Bible teaches us not to judge others. Jesus clearly taught this throughout His ministry, yet Christianity has a reputation for being a judgmental religion.

 

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Lukewarm Christianity: 8 Ways We Can Avoid It | alyssajhoward.com

Lukewarm Christianity: 8 Ways We Can Avoid It

Lukewarm Christianity. It was a phrase I heard often growing up in the church. It’s described in the book of Revelation where God speaks to the church of Laodicea:

“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.”Revelation 3:15-17 (NLT)

 

He goes on to tell them that true wealth, health and happiness come from Him alone – rather than things of this world.

 

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Living a Life of Purity in an Impure World

Purity is almost a laughable trait in today’s world, yet the Bible commands us as believers to live a life of purity and holiness as we strive to serve God. How does one remain pure when the world’s standards are so contrary to Scripture? It almost seems impossible, but there is hope when we allow God to transform our hearts and minds.

 

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Is Divorce the Unpardonable Sin? | alyssajhoward.com

Is Divorce the Unpardonable Sin?

Divorce has long been a difficult topic in the church. In our culture today, nearly everyone has been affected by it one way or another. We all know someone, whether it be a family member or close friend, who has experienced the pain of a broken marriage. Or maybe you have experienced divorce first-hand. If so, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how messy and hurtful it can be.

 

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I Am the Lord Your God Who Has Done Amazing Things

I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.

When the Lord would address His people, He would often remind them of all He had done for them. The phrase, “I am the Lord your God who…” is repeated countless times in the Old Testament. The Israelites didn’t simply know Him as “God.” They knew Him as the God who had rescued them, who had been merciful to them, who had provided for them in the desert, and who had conquered their enemies.

 

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