Born of the Spirit: What It Means to Be Adopted by God | alyssajhoward.com

Born of the Spirit: What It Means to Be Adopted by God

Adoption is a beautiful thing. As a parent, you are able to experience the joy of bringing a new family member home for the first time. As a child, you are adopted into a forever family. No longer on your own, you have a family you can rely on who loves you. Some children come from difficult circumstances; and for these kids, in particular, adoption means new life. It’s a chance to start fresh and never again face abuse or neglect. Continue Reading

How to Combat Resentment Before It Takes Root | alyssajhoward.com

How to Combat Resentment Before It Takes Root

We all know that forgiveness is a good thing. And not just for Christians. Even non-believers recognize the need to forgive and move forward with one’s life. But what about resentment?

While forgiveness isn’t easy, it’s usually easy to identify a problem. Resentment, however, has a way of sneaking up on you. It’s not so easily recognized. But if left to take root, resentment can grow into something that destroys you from the inside out. Continue Reading

Why My Christian Family Chooses to Embrace Santa Claus | alyssajhoward.com

Why My Christian Family Chooses to Embrace Santa Claus

I never believed in Santa Claus. Sure, my mom would occasionally write “from Santa” on a few of our gifts, but it was always done in fun. I never once believed the gift was actually from the big guy himself. Do I feel deprived of a magical childhood Christmas? Not one bit. In fact, I somewhat enjoyed knowing that my gifts came from people I loved, rather than some jolly man who found a way to shimmy down my non-existent chimney. Continue Reading

10 Bible Verses to Consider When You’re Making Big Decisions

Making big decisions can be stressful. And more often than not, the Bible doesn’t have much to say regarding our specific situations. Is it the right time to get married? Do I have the finances to buy my first home? Should we start having kids or enjoy being “just the two of us” for a bit longer? What about my career? Is it time for a change? When it comes to decisions like these, we have to trust that God will lead in the right direction. We don’t have specific answers in the written word, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t ready and willing to guide us as we make difficult choices. Continue Reading

How to Respect Authority When You Disagree | alyssajhoward.com

How to Respect Authority When You Disagree

What do we do when we don’t agree with the government on a particular issue? Do we respect authority? Do we rebel? Sadly, according to everything I read online, we speak out. We slander politicians, make fun of them and create a division with everyone who doesn’t agree with our viewpoints. We don’t simply discuss politics, we argue about them.

In light of our current political state, I’m seeing far more slanderous posts and articles than usual; and I’m beginning to wonder if we’re causing more harm than good by speaking out. Continue Reading

10 Bible Verses for When You Get Offended | alyssajhoward.com

10 Bible Verses for When You Get Offended

How often do you get offended? Offense is an emotional response – one that initially we can’t help but feel. Someone said or did something to hurt us or perhaps they forgot to do something or neglected us in some way. It is only natural to feel hurt by that – right? Continue Reading

You Have The One Thing the World Needs Most

What the world needs most right now is not more preachers, churches, or Christians preaching judgment and hell. No. What the world really needs is the light. We need Christians who are not afraid to shine brightly in the darkest of places. Christians who aren’t ashamed to be different – to stand out. Continue Reading

How to Honor Your Parents as an Adult (and why you should) | alyssajhoward.com

How to Honor Your Parents as an Adult (and why you should)

Family relationships are important to God. This is made clear all throughout His Word. I’ve always believed that our earthly relationships were put into place to demonstrate our spiritual relationships. For example, God is referred to as our Father. His role in our lives is very similar to that of parents and their children. He provides for us, protects us, guides us, nurtures us, etc. And as His children, we are called to obey Him for the same reason a child obeys their earthly father – He loves us enough to say ‘no’ when we need to hear it. Continue Reading

6 Ways We Sabotage our Role as Ambassadors for Jesus | alyssajhoward.com

6 Ways We Sabotage our Role as Ambassadors for Jesus

Most of us associate the word “apostle” with the New Testament disciples, but the term actually originated before Christianity. It stems from the Greek word apostolos meaning “one who is sent away” or “messenger.” You see, the Romans had a much higher goal in mind than simply to conquer the world. They desired to make the whole known world Roman, and one of their many methods of bringing Roman culture to the world included sending out an apostolos.” Similar to our modern-day ambassadors (who are sent with a purpose), they were well-equipped and given authority by the government to demonstrate what it truly meant to be Roman.

Needless to say, it was a term that Jesus used to describe His disciples for a reason. Continue Reading

4 Reasons to Never Get Offended (even when someone offends you) | alyssajhoward.com

4 Reasons to Never Get Offended (even when someone offends you)

When was the last time you were offended by something or someone? Most of us don’t see a whole lot of harm in being offended. After all, it’s a natural reaction. Someone says something that is cruel or just doesn’t sit right with you. Or maybe someone you thought was a friend completely ignores you. We’ve all been offended, and I’m sure we’ve all done our fair share of offending.

But is getting offended the right way to handle things? Sure, it’s a natural reaction, but should it be our reaction as children of God? Continue Reading

3 Ways Motherhood Made Me Crazy (and how God taught me to embrace it) | alyssajhoward.com

3 Ways Motherhood Made Me Crazy (and how God taught me to embrace it)

Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of one day being a mom. I had no idea what that actually meant as a child, but I knew that I had it in me. And I didn’t just play with my baby dolls… I loved them and took care of them. It wasn’t until I officially entered motherhood that I realized the gravity of taking care of another human being. It’s a lot of work! Continue Reading

How to Build the Kingdom in Your Everyday Life | alyssajhoward.com

How to Build the Kingdom in Your Everyday Life

Throughout His ministry on earth, Jesus gave the disciples a grand mission. They were called to build the Kingdom…

 

One of my favorite things to do as a kid was playing with Legos. And now with two preschoolers, I’m privileged to relive my childhood once more. I’m amazed at how far Legos have come since I was young. You can literally build just about anything! Every time my daughters begin a new Lego project, I ask them one question, “What are you building?”

Sometimes they know exactly what they’re working on. They have a distinct image in their minds of what they desire the end result to be. Other times, they are simply building to build. Either way, they build piece by piece, brick upon brick. And they hope that whatever they are building will be awesome (and that their sister doesn’t come and knock it down!) Continue Reading

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

Serving Your Spouse: The Secret to a Successful Marriage

We’ve all heard the statistics. Over fifty percent of marriages fall apart, and that number increases for subsequent marriages. We cite a plethora of reasons for our divorces. We fall out of love. We desire to be with someone more “compatible” or who better meets our needs. There’s too much fighting. We simply aren’t happy. We deserve better. They are no longer the person I married. With every reason, we feel justified in walking away. It simply isn’t working anymore… right? Continue Reading