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

God Created You to be a Superhero | alyssajhoward.com

God Created You to be a Superhero

Have you ever envisioned yourself as a superhero? Perhaps as a kid you put on the cape and pretended to fly around the room. Or maybe you’ve given thought to what superhuman skill you’d like to have. (I would love to be able to make myself invisible in case you were wondering!) Unfortunately, adulthood brings its share of challenges – so many in fact that it’s easy to allow reality to take the place of childish superhuman dreams. Continue Reading

When Your Crown Falls Off: What It Means to be Royal in the Eyes of God | alyssajhoward.com

When Your Crown Falls Off: What It Means to Be Royal in the Eyes of God

My daughters love to play dress up… especially my youngest. Every morning we stare at the closet trying to pick out the princess dress she wants to wear that day. And let me just say that if her outfit does not include an enormous tutu, there will be tears! But it doesn’t stop with the dress. My daughters are regularly adorning themselves in play jewelry, tiaras, and sparkly shoes. They love to look like beautiful princesses; and as their mom, I love to see them twirl around the house feeling beautiful and confident.

Growing up changes us. Somewhere along the way we exchange our tiaras and Superman capes for reality. And I’m not so sure this is a good thing… Continue Reading

Dare to Be Bold: 3 Truths That Will Change the Way You Live

I’ve always been a little shy. Perhaps that’s why I enjoy writing so much. I’m able to say what is on my heart without fear or inhibition. But as I was sitting in my Bible study small group this morning, I felt that little nudge from the Holy Spirit. “Stop thinking that you’re shy. You’re bold because you have Me living within you.” I was instantly convicted. Continue Reading

Identity Theft: 3 More Reasons to Guard Your Identity in Christ

There’s nothing more important than our identity. Understanding who we are is crucial to comprehending who God is and what He ultimately did for us on the cross. In a previous post, we addressed two very important reasons to guard your identity against the enemy – the ultimate identity thief. The Bible tells us that he comes to “steal, kill, and destroy,” and as we’ve learned from our modern culture, identity theft is one of the most harmful crimes to commit. Continue Reading

Identity Theft: 2 Reasons to Guard Your Identity in Christ

Who do you think you are? Our culture is currently obsessed with this question. We’ve tried to define ourselves in so many different ways over the years, all in an attempt to “find ourselves.” Honestly, it’s something that the entire human race has in common. We all want to know and understand our identity. We crave to know who we are, where we come from, and what we are destined to become. Continue Reading

Rethinking Spiritual Warfare: Understanding Our Battle | alyssajhoward.com

Rethinking Spiritual Warfare: Understanding Our Battle

Spiritual warfare is a common phrase in most Christian circles. It’s used to describe the battle between the enemy and the people of God. We often think in terms of Satan’s “fiery darts,” putting on our spiritual armor, and coming against the enemy with the truth of God’s Word just like Jesus did when He was tempted in the wilderness for forty days. It’s the understanding that there is a spiritual battle and we, as Christians, are soldiers in this war. Continue Reading

What Does It Mean to Die to Self? (and is it worth it?) | alyssajhoward.com

What Does It Mean to Die to Self? (and is it worth it?)

What does it mean to die to self? From the time we are born, we are inclined to rebel. Our sinful, human nature longs to be independent of any form of rule or authority. We want to do our own thing – do what makes us happy. I see this with my daughters. The second they could speak, I heard the word ‘no.’ My youngest sees me holding her pajamas at bedtime and her first instinct is to run as far away from me as she can. And then I practically have to tackle her before I can get her to stand still long enough to get her ready for bed!

I suppose this is what Jesus meant when He asked us to pick up our cross daily and follow Him. His victory on the cross meant our freedom, and with that freedom, we choose to give each day back to Him. It’s a life of surrender. 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

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

God is Painting a Masterpiece (and that masterpiece is you!)

Have you ever struggled to stay positive? Maybe there’s a difficult circumstance in your life that keeps you awake at night. Perhaps you’ve been battling a chronic illness or even depression. Or maybe you’ve been dealing with tragedy and aren’t sure how much more you can take. Regardless, we’ve all been there. We all deal with things we’d rather not have to deal with. Continue Reading

The Power of Sin: An Honest Look at the War Within | alyssajhoward.com

The Power of Sin: An Honest Look at the War Within

Sin is such an ugly word. Many of us live our lives believing that we will always struggle with sin – that the power of sin still has some kind of hold on us. It’s all around us, and we are constantly being tempted by the world.

Did you know that not one time in the New Testament is a believer called a “sinner”? God’s Word defines a sinner as someone who still walks in their old sinful nature. They choose to live apart from God and reject His Son. We were sinners, but that is no longer the case. In God’s eyes, we are now righteous. We are holy. We are perfect. Continue Reading

What's in a Name? {How Our Names Shape Our Identity} | alyssajhoward.com

What’s in a Name? {How Our Names Shape Our Identity}

The moment I found out that I was pregnant, it began – the name game. It took a while for me and my husband to agree on names (for both our girls); but once we gave them their names, that was it. They became their names. We talked about them and to them by name before they were born. Even during labor, my midwife would call my daughters by their names.

Names are important. If they weren’t, parents wouldn’t spend so much time agonizing over the perfect names for their children. They will be called by that name for their entire existence. Continue Reading