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 seeking to destroy God’s plans and His people. (Although, we know as Believers that he won’t succeed!)  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 | alyssajhoward.com

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. Have you ever wondered why are we so fascinated by the unseen and the supernatural? Continue Reading

Identity Crisis: The Labels We Accept and Reject | alyssajhoward.com

Identity Crisis: The Labels We Accept and Reject

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

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

Storms in Paradise: A Lesson in Perspective | alyssajhoward.com

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

7 Reasons to Rejoice in Suffering | alyssajhoward.com

7 Reasons to Rejoice in Suffering

The book of James tells us to rejoice in suffering. I don’t know about you, but my first instinct when I’m face to face with struggle has nothing to do with joy. I’m angry, sad, frustrated, confused… but I’m never happy it. So how do we do it? How do we rejoice in our suffering as believers? Continue Reading

4 Truths About Suffering (and how we can rejoice in the midst of it) | alyssajhoward.com

4 Truths About Suffering (and how we can rejoice in the midst of it)

Suffering isn’t generally a topic we like to talk about (or read about), but it’s something that is common to all of us. We all endure suffering at some point in our lives. We all have endured pain and heartbreak. For that reason, I think it’s important to understand why we suffer. And more importantly, how we can endure life’s trials and find God’s peace through it all. Continue Reading

Not Guilty: There is No Condemnation in Jesus | alyssajhoward.com

Not Guilty: There is No Condemnation in Jesus

There is no condemnation in Jesus. Many of us have heard this truth as believers, but what does it mean to walk in it? I can know that I’m forgiven by God, but how do I reconcile that with the fact that I sometimes struggle and I still mess up from time to time?

If you’re anything like me, you beat yourself up for every little stumble. But is this how God meant for us to live? Continue Reading

4 Characteristics That Define the Grace of God | alyssajhoward.com

4 Characteristics That Define the Grace of God

I have been a ballet dancer for nearly 21 years and an instructor for 15 of those years. Throughout my time in the dance world, I learned a lot about what it means to be “graceful.” I can tell you from experience that grace is far more than beauty and refinement. To be a graceful dancer means to be driven by both elegance and self-control. Ballet dancers long to be magnificent and polished in their abilities. Their movements are defined by strength; yet to those watching, it appears to be effortless. Continue Reading