Learning to Speak Life: Do Your Words Build or Destroy? | alyssajhoward.com

Learning to Speak Life: Do Your Words Build or Destroy?

Our words hold more power than we realize. Words can heal. They can restore. They can breathe life. But they can also destroy. They can make us feel unnecessary guilt or pain. They can destroy a person’s confidence and sometimes even their faith. The Bible tells us that our words hold the power of life and death. So are we building up? Or are we tearing down? Continue Reading

Love as Jesus Loved: The Prayer of Christ

Easter is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s resurrection day! For believers, it’s not just about bunnies, eggs, and chocolate; we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. Jesus loved us so much that He died on a cross. He conquered the grave and defeated death making it possible for us to inherit eternal life and to be transformed into new creations. Greater love has no one than this… Continue Reading

God Changes Hearts: Leading Our Loved Ones to Jesus | alyssajhoward.com

God Changes Hearts: Leading Our Loved Ones to Jesus

As Christians, we are called to spread the Gospel. Before ascending into heaven, Jesus gave us the famous great commission calling us to share the Good News with all who would hear. Preachers, evangelists, and pastors all do their part to share the message of salvation with the world; but where does that leave the rest of us? We all have loved ones who are in desperate need of Jesus’ love, and His intention was for all of us to be a part of sharing the Gospel. But the truth is that leading our loved ones to Jesus isn’t always easy. Continue Reading

Love Came First: Loving the Way Jesus Loved | alyssajhoward.com

Love Came First: Loving the Way Jesus Loved

In recent years, the secular world has been painting a picture of Jesus as a man who embraced all people with no questions asked. He dined with the sinners of His day and did not judge based on sin. They proclaim that Jesus was a minister of love who was all about accepting people for who they are.

The truth is that Jesus did expect repentance. He spoke often of the cost to follow Him. But throughout His ministry, His love came first. Jesus knew that once a person experienced the true love of God, they would never be the same. Continue Reading

When You're Struggling to Share Each Other's Burdens | alyssajhoward.com

When You’re Struggling to Share Each Other’s Burdens

When it comes to hardships and the burdens of this life, many of us strive to keep our problems to ourselves. In fact, it’s almost seen as a virtuous trait to be “independent” and not need the help of others. Even as Christians, we often have this idea that our faith is solely between us and God – that relationships are a good idea, but they’re not a mandatory part of our Christian walk. We are okay with the idea of giving our burdens to God, but we aren’t so keen on sharing them with those around us. Continue Reading

The Burning Building: A Matter of Life or Death

Let’s pretend for a moment. You are in a room with every person in your life that you care about most. There’s just one problem – this room happens to be in a building that is about to burn to the ground. The fire is closing in, and you know it’s only a matter of time before the whole building goes down in flames. You look around at the people you love. Your spouse, your children, your grandchildren, your closest family and friends – in a short amount of time, it will all be gone.

 

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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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Learning to Value Others When You Want to Shout "But It's Mine!" | alyssajhoward.com

Learning to Value Others When You Want to Shout “But It’s Mine!”

What is it that makes us feel entitled? I have to wonder if we’re born with this tendency. When they were younger, my toddlers went out of their way to try to prove this point. The word “mine” would literally ring in my ears. They both felt that everything belonged to them personally and that they were free to do as they wished with their things. If they wanted or needed something, they expected the world to stop and cater to them. I would like to say that this type of behavior is something we all eventually outgrow, but I fear that we as adults simply find new “socially acceptable” ways of acting like toddlers instead of learning how to value others the way we should. Continue Reading

Love Defined: How to Experience True Love That Is Unshakable

I believe with all of my heart that the greatest love story ever told is the one between God and man. It amazes me that an all-knowing, perfect God would go to such great lengths to be with me. God chose to look beyond my mess to see who I could become in Him. He endured the cross, even as I was unfaithful and lost in sin. In my own human strength, I could never imagine loving someone as unconditionally as God loves me. But God’s Word tells me that I can love others in the same way because God (who is love) lives in me. Continue Reading

Love Defined: Loving Others the Way God Loves Us

Everything God does is for our own good, and the Bible says that He is quick to forgive. We live in a culture, however, that is self-absorbed, loves to argue, and is quick to burn bridges when it comes to hurt and offense. So when Jesus taught us to love others the way He loves us, He was calling us to something radical, something completely counter-cultural. Continue Reading

Love Defined: Four Things That Will Destroy Love

Paul begins his definition of true love in 1 Corinthians 13 by telling us what love is… patient and kind. He goes on to tell us, however, what love isn’t. There are four things that can and will destroy love if given the chance. Allowing these “weeds” to take root in our hearts and minds may not seem like a big deal, but they can easily become major problems in our lives if we allow them to grow. Continue Reading

Love Defined: Choosing Patience When You Want to Complain | alyssajhoward.com

Love Defined: Choosing Patience When You Want to Complain

My 3-year-old broke her arm this week. I must say that she is one tough kid. Not only did she barely cry, but she went on playing as if nothing had happened. It wasn’t until the next morning that I even noticed she was favoring that arm. No swelling. No bruising. I took her in to get an x-ray and sure enough, it was broken.

What surprised me most about my daughter through all of this was her calmness about the whole thing. She has not complained once about her cast. In fact, she’s quite proud of it.

As I sat down and prepared for today’s post on patience and kindness, I couldn’t help but think about my daughter and her patience through this entire process. Continue Reading

Love Defined: It's More than a Feeling | alyssajhoward.com

Love Defined: It’s More than a Feeling

Love is such a cliché word these days. I can love God, love my family, love my life, and so on. But I can also love shopping, cooking, and being extremely organized. In all honesty, the word “love” is seriously overused in our American culture today. Continue Reading

Divisions in the Body of Christ: 3 Ways to Handle Our Differing Beliefs | alyssajhoward.com

Divisions in the Body of Christ: 3 Ways to Handle Our Differing Beliefs

For those of you who don’t know this about me, I love to do research and analyze my findings. Those who are close to me know this “flaw” of mine firsthand. I get stuck on a theological topic (usually controversial in nature), research it for days, and then share my conclusions with those around me until they are sick and tired of hearing about it! I’m not exactly sure why I do this, and I usually know full well when I’m doing it. I just can’t help myself sometimes. I get so caught up in the debate over differing beliefs. It’s fun for me! Continue Reading

They Will Know Jesus by Our Love for One Another | alyssajhoward.com

They Will Know Jesus by Our Love for One Another

Religious freedom gives us the right to worship as we choose. And I am so thankful to have religious freedom in this country! But what happens when we all disagree on how (or who) to worship?

Nothing demonstrates the vast array of religious beliefs in this country like the comment section of an online news article…especially when it is dealing with a religious issue. Sadly, it’s usually a lot of bickering and complaining. It’s interesting how we feel the freedom to slander one another when we’re not face-to-face.

I have to be honest, there have been numerous times where I have genuinely been embarrassed by the some of the comments self-proclaimed Christians chose to leave for others. Aren’t we supposed to be the ones who demonstrate Christ’s love? Continue Reading