Lessons from War: How to Stand Firm in Faith and Victory | alyssajhoward.com

Lessons from War: How to Stand Firm in Faith and Victory

The victory is won. Sin and death have been defeated. Jesus has defeated the enemy. The New Testament speaks often of our victory in Christ. We are told stand firm in faith and victory because Jesus has already won the war! But what does all of this really mean for us as Believers? If the war is already won, why does Paul instruct us to wear spiritual armor in Ephesians 6? And why is it that life still feels like a constant battle sometimes? Continue Reading

A Practical Guide to Standing on the Word of God | alyssajhoward.com

A Practical Guide to Standing on the Word of God

We’ve all been there. Face to face with something we can’t handle on our own. Caught between a rock and a hard place with nowhere to look but up. To say that I’ve been there would be a serious understatement. And I’ve been told many times by trusted (and wise) individuals to stand on the truth of God’s Word… even when my circumstances were less than ideal. But how does standing on the word of God change things? And where do I begin exactly? Continue Reading

How to Stand in Faith for Your Children | alyssajhoward.com

How to Stand in Faith for Your Children

The moment my little girls were born, I was overwhelmed. I never knew it was possible to feel so many different emotions all at once. But I found myself mesmerized by their innocence and purity. Sure, they cried a lot, but they were so incredibly… perfect and untainted. I wanted to protect them at all costs, but I didn’t know where to start. Our culture is far from perfect. My children are growing up in a world with reasons to fear at every corner and sin so readily available. I knew I needed to learn how to stand in faith for my girls. 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

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

Trust vs Worry: 4 Practical Ways to Rid Yourself of Worry | alyssajhoward.com

Trust vs Worry: 4 Practical Ways to Rid Yourself of Worry

Why do we worry so much? Honestly, I worry about the craziest things sometimes. I worry about my relationships, my safety, my finances, what to make for dinner… I seriously don’t know why I devote so much of my time and attention to worry. Well… maybe I do know. Worry is simply a lack of trust.

 

There are certain things my children never worry about. They never worry if they’ll have food to eat for breakfast or if they will have clothes to wear tomorrow. They never worry about finances or getting good grades in school. At 3 and 5 years old, they have no idea what it’s like to worry about these things. Why? Because they trust. They trust that mommy and daddy will take care of them. And if they experience sadness or they fall and hurt themselves? We are there to pick them up and nurture them back to health, both physically and emotionally.

 

As adults, we worry much more than our children. We suddenly have responsibilities. We have bills to pay and mouths to feed. After experiencing heartache and brokenness of our own, we learn that sometimes people can’t be trusted. We’ve been let down, and we ourselves have let others down as well. So needless to say, there’s much more to worry about. Continue Reading

Praying for a Baby: A Story of Refinement | alyssajhoward.com

Praying for a Baby: A Story of Refinement

A big thank you to my amazing mother for sharing her heart in this guest post. I knew for most of my life that my parents longed for another baby. I remember the journey well, and I can honestly say that my entire family grew in the process. Thank you, Jesus, for refining each member of my family as we learned to seek You first in all things.

 


 

I was a young mother, marrying my husband at the tender age of 19 years old.  Our family was started immediately with a baby girl born 1 month after our first wedding anniversary, and a baby boy to join her 17 months later.  What more could I ask for?  Two perfect healthy children, relatively easy pregnancies, I was content.  My husband and I also had another daughter from his previous marriage that was 5 years old when we started our own little family.  Life was busy and full.

 

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Armor of God: The Shield of Faith | alyssajhoward.com

Armor of God: The Shield of Faith

When it comes to armor, the shield is an extremely vital piece – something I definitely wouldn’t want to go into battle without. Sure, I may be wearing body armor, but it’s my shield that allows me to protect the most vulnerable parts of me. I can maneuver it to guard me from all angles. And while my body armor can prevent me from being injured in an attack, my shield can keep me from getting hit in the first place.

 

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When God Proves Who He Is: The Power of Your Story

Does Christianity have a future? I recently read an article asking that very question. Our world is rapidly changing. We are taught to question everything. And everyone wants proof. Does God exist? Are the stories of the Bible real? Was Jesus truly who He claimed to be?

Unfortunately, tangible proof is hard to come by when it comes to Christianity. Our faith is just that – faith. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of historical evidence for Christ, the Bible, the early church, etc. But there is also a lot of controversy. This also doesn’t take into account the very existence of God. For many, the God of the Bible is simply a fairy tale. Everyone has their reasons for skepticism, but in the end it usually comes down to a lack of proof. We can’t prove beyond reasonable doubt that God exists. (On the flip side of that, we also can’t prove that He doesn’t…)

 

When God Proves Who He Is: The Power of Your Story | alyssajhoward.com Continue Reading

Victory at the Finish Line: Building Endurance in Our Faith

One of my favorite things about running is that the results are tangible. Growth can easily be measured by time and distance. Just five months ago, I competed in my first half marathon. This weekend, I will be racing in my second. I can’t begin to tell you how different it is training for this race versus my last one.

In my first half marathon, my goal was simply to finish. When beginning my training, 13.1 miles seemed like an incredible distance…one that seemed nearly impossible. I achieved my goal, but not without my fair share of physical and mental exhaustion. It was hard. Not to say that training for my second half marathon has been easy, but it has certainly proven to be less exhausting. 13.1 miles doesn’t seem quite as daunting this time around. Continue Reading

When You Feel like a Grasshopper in a World Filled with Giants | alyssajhoward.com

When You Feel like a Grasshopper in a World Filled with Giants

No one enjoys feeling weak or vulnerable, yet it is inevitable to feel this way at some point in our lives. We all feel small at times…especially when it seems like the cards are stacked against us. When it came time for the Israelites to finally enter into the Promised Land, God commanded Moses to send 12 spies into the land to survey the scene. After forty days, the men brought their reports back to the Israelites. Needless to say, there were mixed reviews.The land was exactly as God had promised. It truly flowed with milk and honey, and it was everything the Israelites could ever need or want. There was just one problem…they would have to fight for it.

 

When You Feel like a Grasshopper in a World Filled with Giants | alyssajhoward.com

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Wasted Years: A Lesson in How God Lets Nothing Go to Waste | alyssajhoward.com

Wasted Years: A Lesson in How God Lets Nothing Go to Waste

What comes to mind when you think of Moses? Maybe the phrase “let my people go” comes to mind. Or perhaps you recall how he parted the Red Sea so that the Israelites could cross over to safety. We remember the great moments of his life, but what about the not so great moments? Moses wasn’t always the great leader of the Israelites that we remember. He began his life just like you and me, and he had his fair share of ups and downs. Continue Reading

Faith is a Verb: Putting Our Beliefs into Action | alyssajhoward.com

Faith is a Verb: Putting Our Beliefs into Action

As Christians, we hear a lot about faith. But what is faith exactly? Many of us equate it with belief. I have faith when I believe in something or someone. But I have to think that perhaps faith is more than simply believing in something. The Bible tells us that we are called to walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) It isn’t a feeling or an emotion; it’s a way of living. Continue Reading

Training for the Hills: When Life Feels Like an Uphill Battle

As a runner, it is important to never give up on the hills. Stay steady, maintain your form, and you will reach the top. The same is true in life.

Hill training can be very intimidating for the novice runner. Because I spend most of my time running indoors on a treadmill, I sometimes forget about hill training altogether. Training is essential, however, when it comes to tackling hills. Whether going uphill or downhill, both present a new set of challenges. And these challenges help us to grow as athletes – both mentally and physically. Continue Reading