Do you ever feel like your days are non-stop go, go, go until bed time? Oh my goodness! How I feel this way on most days! We have our to-do lists that are a mile long. House cleaning, cooking, homeschooling, kids’ activities, family time… we all have our “stuff” that keeps us busy. But is this the way God intended for us to live our lives? Continue Reading
Marriage is bound to have moments of unrest. It doesn’t take long after the wedding day to figure out that marriage can have its difficulties. It’s inevitable for every couple to disagree or argue. But what if I told you that peace was indeed possible in your marriage? Continue Reading
One thing we all have in common as human beings is our desire for happiness. Sure, we may go about it differently. Some of us try to find it in relationships, while others look to a career or financial security to provide happiness. Either way, we all want to be happy. But did you know that peace and joy go hand-in-hand? Think about it this way. If you are uneasy or stressed it is much harder to be truly happy. More often than not, joy and contentment work together in our lives. Continue Reading
If I were to ask you what it takes to accomplish your destiny, what would you say? What first comes to mind? Hard work. Dedication. A plan of action. What about peace? Does peace even come to mind? Probably not. But the truth is that God’s peace is an essential part of walking in our God-given identities. And if you’re not walking in your true identity, accomplishing much for the Kingdom will be extremely difficult… if not impossible. Continue Reading
Do you long to experience God’s peace? I think it’s safe to say that we all desire peace in our lives… but peace beyond understanding is something entirely different. God’s peace is beyond understanding because the world can’t understand how we can be at peace in the middle of a storm. And let’s face it. Storms happen. There’s no such thing as a life without hardships and struggles. So when God promises us peace in the midst of these trials, it’s a promise that seems almost too good to be true. Continue Reading
So here we are at the end of our journey. 31 days completed. Throughout the process of writing for this series, I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs. In all my research and planning, I found myself being challenged by the things God was laying on my heart to share. Having a renewed mind isn’t just a suggestion found in the Bible, it’s the very foundation of Christian living. You can’t truly live for God without surrendering your mind to Him.
Renewing your mind is more than surrender, however. It requires action on our part. Yes, the Holy Spirit transforms us, and we have His power and guidance as we grow. But we are the ones who must make the effort to change our thinking. We have to be ready and willing to submit to the Holy Spirit, take every thought prisoner, and intentionally guard our minds against the schemes of the enemy. It’s a daily process of learning how to walk in our new God-given identities. We have the mind of Christ, but it’s up to us to use it. Continue Reading
Did you know you were created for love? In the beginning, God made man in His image. All was perfect. The garden was perfect, man was perfect, and God’s relationship with man was perfect. But then the enemy stepped in and deceived them into thinking that God was hiding something from them. He caused them to question God and His character, and in doing so, he managed to tempt Eve to take a bite from the forbidden tree. The consequences of that decision were severe, to say the least. Continue Reading
Are we united as Christians? It’s a simple question. Yes or no. But the truth is that it’s not necessarily that simple. Okay… maybe it is, and we just don’t like the answer. For one thing, a quick Google search reveals that we have over 34,000+ denominations. (My jaw actually dropped when I read this!) I understand the need to attend a church that views certain particulars of Scripture the way you do, but is this what Jesus wanted when He prayed in the garden that we would be united as believers? (John 17:20-23) Is this what Paul meant when he reminded us that we have the mind of Christ and that we should be united by this fact?
If I’m being honest, it’s not the number of denominations that bothers me. It’s the way we treat each other. Continue Reading
“Little ones to Him belong; they are weak but He is strong.” I remember learning these words to Jesus Loves Me as a child. (I can still remember the arm motions.) From an early age, I learned that even in my weakness, He is strong – a concept that I’m still working on putting into practice today.
But I have learned one crucial detail in my adult years that goes beyond what I learned as a child. I may be weak, but God doesn’t intend on me living my life as a weak person. I can’t keep walking around declaring how weak I am; rather, I need to learn to be strong in Him. Continue Reading
Both trials and temptations give us a chance to grow. Every time we say ‘no’ to temptation, we grow stronger in our ability to do so. And the more we declare truth when the enemy tries to lie to us and deceive us, the better we are at recognizing His lies in the first place. Trials help us to grow as well, but they are much different than temptations. Trials must be endured, and unlike temptations, God doesn’t always provide a “way out.” Continue Reading
Temptations. We all face them. Even Jesus faced His share of temptation. Throughout the Bible, we see people give in to temptation and others who remain strong. We see the repercussions of sin as well as the rewards for saying no to it. As Christians, we know and understand fully that sin is never good for us. It’s always better to say no to temptation. But unfortunately the enemy likes to deceive us into thinking otherwise. Continue Reading
I’ve always been a worrier. I’ll admit it. My thoughts often get the best of me. Maybe it’s the fact that like to have everything planned out. I need to know what’s going to happen and when. And even though I say I like surprises, I actually don’t handle them well. Why? Because I’m a bit of a control freak. Yes, I said it. I, Alyssa J Howard, like to be in control.
I’ve always known that I shouldn’t worry. After all, the Bible says so – right? But I don’t think it really hit me until I saw some of the same “worry” traits in my oldest daughter. She’s always been that way for as long as I can remember. As a young toddler she would organize her toys by color and size (which was very cute at the time!) But now that’s she’s older, her toys must be organized and in their place or she can’t fall asleep at night. She gets that from me. Watching her worry about such small details made me realize that I needed to change. Continue Reading
The New Testament reminds us quite often that we are in a battle. The enemy is a liar and his goal is to take you down. Now he certainly can’t steal you away from God, but he can hinder your walk. If you believe his lies, he can keep you from advancing the kingdom, living the call on your life, and from being all that God intended you to be here on earth. I truly believe this is why God calls us to renew our minds daily in Him. Because when all is said and done, the real battlefield – the place where we fight the enemy and his lies – occurs in the mind. Continue Reading
Our new identity in Christ is something I am very passionate about. In our church today, I hear so many Christians speak poorly about themselves, and it truly saddens me. I must admit that I used to be one of them. I used to believe that I was a lowly, undeserving sinner. How could God possibly want me? How could He use someone like me? Weren’t there people out there who were more “qualified” in the eyes of God?
And then I started learning about my identity as God’s child. You see, I used to be a sinner, but I’m not a sinner anymore. I’m a child of the living God. And if you’re a believer, the same is true of you. Continue Reading
Let me ask you a question: Was Jesus humble? Did He exhibit pride in any of His behavior? I think we can all agree that Jesus is our perfect example of true humility. Paul certainly agreed in his letter to the Philippians:
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. – Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)