10 Bible Verses That Will Strengthen Your Faith | alyssajhoward.com

10 Bible Verses That Will Strengthen Your Faith

So much of our Christian faith is just that… faith. And let’s be honest, trusting God in a culture that believes nothing to be true that can’t be studied or examined using our five senses can be difficult. Some may think we are crazy for praying to an “invisible” God and believing that Jesus is King of kings. But those of us who know the truth, know it because God has revealed Himself to us in some way. He has proven Himself to be real and true in our lives. Continue Reading

When God Does the Impossible and Shocks the World

How does the world respond when God does the impossible? More importantly, how do you respond? We live in a culture that emphasizes science and believing only in what you can experience with your five senses. When the miraculous occurs, we try to find a logical or scientific way to explain it. And when we can’t? We call it coincidence, fate, or destiny. But throughout history, God has done the impossible. He has performed miracles that can’t be explained with science… things so shocking that they couldn’t possibly be a coincidence. Continue Reading

4 Things Freedom is Not: What It Means to be Free

This week we celebrate the birth of our grand nation and the freedom we enjoy because of the many men and women who fought and sacrificed to win that freedom for us. May we never forget the fact that their sacrifices paid for many of the freedoms we enjoy (and often take for granted) today. But for some, the definition of “freedom” has evolved since the early days of this country. And a distorted view of freedom will shape the way you see yourself, the way you live your life, and the way you treat others. It can also distort the way you view your freedom in Christ… Continue Reading

Praying for Wisdom: Truth from the Life of King Solomon | alyssajhoward.com

Praying for Wisdom: Truth from the Life of King Solomon

Do you ever find yourself praying for wisdom? Making major life changes and decisions can be tough. And it’s often in these moments that we come to God for His wisdom. But what about wisdom in our every day lives? Do we pray for wisdom when it comes to how we interact with our children? Do we rely on His wisdom when having simple day-to-day conversations with friends and loved ones? If you’re anything like me, you’ve gone to God for wisdom when facing big, life-altering decisions. But the truth is that He longs for us to walk in His wisdom in every life circumstance… big and small. Continue Reading

What We Learn About Jealousy, Fear, and Love in the Life of David | alyssajhoward.com

What We Learn About Jealousy, Fear, and Love in the Life of David

The life of David was both exciting and complex. He was a man after God’s own heart, yet he dealt with his fair share of ups and downs. An artist at heart, he wrote poetry and songs to God pouring out his heart in an intimate way. But David was far from perfect. He dealt with sin, struggles, jealousy, pride, and hatred… both within himself as well as with the people around him. But through it all, God never left his side. In fact, it would be through David’s bloodline that Jesus would be born. Continue Reading

10 Bible Verses that Proclaim Your Freedom in Jesus | alyssajhoward.com

10 Bible Verses that Proclaim Your Freedom in Jesus

Do you ever feel stuck or trapped in your circumstances? We all crave freedom in our lives. In fact, it was the desire for freedom that inspired the beginnings of our great nation. But freedom goes beyond our rights to worship and free speech. Jesus died to set us free from sin, death, and the corruption of this world. And when you surrender your heart to Him, your freedom in Jesus is secure for all eternity. Continue Reading

3 Ways to Set Your Mind on Things Above

Set your mind on things above… Growing up in the church, this was something I commonly heard. But what does it mean to think about things above? Are we called to think about God? Or heaven? Our future in Him? Or is there more to it than that? Continue Reading

David and Goliath: When You Feel Insignificant in World Full of Giants

Do you ever feel insignificant in this world? Do you wonder about your place in it all? There are many things in this world that can overwhelm us… relationships, finances, careers, health issues… it’s easy to feel small sometimes in the midst of it all. Many of us know the story of David and Goliath. In this story, David didn’t just feel small… he WAS small. He faced a giant that was very apparently bigger than him. It was a battle he should have lost, but God gave him the victory.

Continue Reading

Samuel and the Call of God: Paving the Way to the Messiah | alyssajhoward.com

Samuel and the Call of God: Paving the Way to the Messiah

Samuel is one of the most well-known prophets in the Bible. And while there is no written record of him prophesying a future Messiah, Peter describes him as being the first prophet to speak of the days when a Messiah would come. (Acts 3:24) He was the last of the judges in Israel and would anoint its first two kings – Saul and David. God used Samuel in many ways to lead the nation of Israel during a time of transition. And his life would also foreshadow the biggest transition of all for God’s people… the beginning of the Kingdom of God. Continue Reading

Lessons from the Faith of Rahab, an Unlikely Hero | alyssajhoward.com

Lessons from the Faith of Rahab, an Unlikely Hero

Rahab was a prostitute. She worshipped false gods and was a liar. Her nation was also doomed to destruction. Yet, her name is known to this day. To say that she was an unlikely hero is an incredible understatement. But the faith of Rahab changed the course of her life forever, and God used her in a mighty way. Continue Reading

What Do the Ten Commandments Have to Do with Jesus? | alyssajhoward.com

What Do the Ten Commandments Have to Do with Jesus?

One of the most well-known stories in the entire Bible centers around Moses receiving the Ten Commandments. It’s one of those elements of Scripture that nearly everyone knows about… even if they haven’t read the Bible. Some Christians post these commandments on the walls of their homes, and they serve as a basic moral law for many. But where did the Ten Commandments come from exactly? What was their purpose? And most importantly, what do they have to do with Jesus? Continue Reading

10 Bible Verses That Declare the Joy of the Lord!

When times are tough, it can be hard to declare that the joy of the Lord is your strength. Trust me. I’ve been there. When facing sorrow, struggle, or tragedy… the last thing you naturally feel is joy. But Paul reminded us in his letter to the Philippians to “rejoice in the Lord always.” Not sometimes. Not when we feel like it or when things are going our way. Always. But the one things we must remember about God-given joy is that it truly is just that… God-given. His joy transcends our circumstances and allows our hearts to experience His peace beyond all earthly understanding. Continue Reading

The Difference Between Truth and Theology (and why it matters)

Growing up, I learned a lot about God’s truth. I also learned that the Bible is filled with His truth and can be trusted fully. In my mind, “truth” was anything pertaining to my faith in God. Then I went to seminary to study theology, and what I learned was a bit life-shaking. Some of the biblical “truths” I had come to rely on weren’t as firmly planted in Scripture as I thought. Now before I get ahead of myself, I should make one thing clear. The Bible is fully true. I believe that with all of my heart.

But just because something is fully true… doesn’t necessarily mean we fully understand it. Continue Reading

Let My People Go: Victory, the Cross, and Freedom in Jesus

Let my people go! I’m sure we can all imagine Moses shouting this phrase to Pharaoh with his fist raised high demanding freedom for the children of Israel. Ten plagues later, they were finally free to go. (Well, sort of… Pharaoh decided to go after them, God parted the waters of the Red Sea… you know the rest of the story.)

Interestingly enough, Moses didn’t demand their freedom simply for freedom’s sake. He wasn’t claiming injustice… although he certainly could have considering they were overworked and mistreated as slaves. When speaking to Pharaoh he simply proclaimed, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, that they may serve Me.‘” Continue Reading

4 Powerful Lessons to be Learned from the Life of Joseph | alyssajhoward.com

4 Powerful Lessons to be Learned from the Life of Joseph

If I had to pick a favorite Old Testament Bible story, it would undoubtedly be the life of Joseph. From beginning to end, his life is both compelling and inspiring. One of twelve sons, Joseph was the favorite of his father Jacob. And because of that, his brothers were more than jealous of him. In their bitterness and rage, Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt. And God used this seemingly hopeless situation to change the course of history. Continue Reading