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

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

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

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

Are You Walking in the Victory Jesus Gained on the Cross? | alyssajhoward.com

Are You Walking in the Victory Jesus Gained on the Cross?

There have been many times in my life when I have felt defeated. Beat up. Broken down. Overcome with pain or grief. These feelings come with the territory when it comes to being human. We all know what it’s like to feel like you’ve lost. But there’s a difference between feeling defeated and actually being defeated. Looking back at my own life, I’ve certainly experienced feelings that weren’t an accurate depiction of the truth.  On the surface, Jesus may have seemed defeated on the cross. But what appeared to the world to be Jesus’ ultimate defeat was truthfully His greatest victory. Continue Reading

The Search for True Happiness: 4 Truths About the Joy of the Lord | alyssajhoward.com

The Search for True Happiness: 4 Truths About the Joy of the Lord

Follow your heart. Do what makes you happy. Make your dreams come true. For many of us, the search for true happiness begins at an early age. My preschool daughters are already bombarded with these cultural messages on a daily basis. But what does true happiness look like? Is it prince charming? The happily ever after? The perfect career or ideal family? These things can certainly make you feel happy for a moment, but what happens when the “feeling” fades? Does happiness go away when imperfection comes? Continue Reading