10 Bible Verses for When You’re Afraid

Do you ever find yourself afraid?  Fear is a common problem for man – so much so that the phrase “do not fear” is mentioned hundreds of times throughout Scripture. Much of our lives, our world, and our culture are beyond our control or understanding. But if you consider yourself to be a child of God, then fear should be a thing of the past because we have a sovereign Father who holds the world in His hands. Continue Reading

10 Bible Verses for When You’re Emotionally Drained

Have you ever been emotionally drained or tired? As the mom of two preschoolers, I’ve been there. (And if I’m being honest, the phrase “emotionally tired” is often a serious understatement!) Going to God for strength is something I need to do on a daily basis. But if I have learned anything, it’s that He is ALWAYS faithful! I am so thankful to serve a God who will exchange my weaknesses for His strength.

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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

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

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

Unseen Enemy: The Truth About the Father of Lies | alyssajhoward.com

Unseen Enemy: The Truth About the Father of Lies

Satan. Lucifer. Devil. He has many names, but one identity. We know him as an enemy of God. He tempts the world into sin. He’s deceptive. He’s a liar. And he’s out to destroy God’s plans and His people. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that he “prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” But the Bible doesn’t limit the enemy to one spirit or being. There are “evil rulers and authorities.” The Bible actually defines Satan as having an unseen kingdom. Continue Reading

Trust the Unseen: How to Live in Spirit and Truth

For many, this physical world is all there is. Angels and demons are nothing but a myth. Some would even call them “ghost stories.” But there is certainly a preoccupation with the unseen world that can’t be denied. There are numerous television shows, movies, and books that describe worlds beyond what we can physically see with our eyes. Why are we so fascinated by the unseen and the supernatural? Continue Reading

Identity Crisis: The Labels We Accept and Reject

How important are labels? If we’re honest, we know that they can literally make or break you. How you view your identity shapes every decision and action you make – both consciously and subconsciously.

If someone were to ask you today who you are, what would you say? Continue Reading

Storms in Paradise: A Lesson in Perspective

My husband and I just recently returned from a second honeymoon of sorts. We cruised to the Bahamas (just the two of us… no kids) and had an amazing time! We sailed away to a private island (owned by our cruise line) and were in awe of the beauty. The beaches were incredible to say the least.

And then it happened… a storm cloud. Continue Reading