Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: New Year 2020 edition with new writers!

Dear Reader Friends,

Tomorrow (Jan. 1, 2020) marks the start of a New Year!

And it also begins another part of our devotional journey!

I am excited to announce that this year, we have 7 NEW regularly scheduled writers, 8 original writers from 2019 who are continuing to write devotionals this new year, and three back-up writers contributing to my blog's tri-weekly series, "Devotionals for the Heart!"

This is the introduction post! Scroll down to see pictures of ALL of my writers (new and old) then read their author bios and starting tomorrow, read the first NEW devotional for this year! :)

Note: My backup writers will only contribute their original devotionals in emergency cases when my regularly scheduled writers for this year cannot meet their deadline. God willing, a new devotional will be published every Monday/Wednesday/Friday of every week for all of this New Year 2020.

I hope and pray that God blesses you this New Year with His Peace, Hope and Love!

May this devotional series bless your heart too.


Alexis A. Goring
Founder of "God is Love" blog

Read on for the author bios and photos of my NEW devotional writers for this year...

Author Bio:
Alexis Newlin is a 36-year-old lover of Jesus, loose leaf tea, roller coasters, writing stories and going on adventures. Originally from Marietta, GA, Alexis now resides in Fresno, CA. 

You can always find Alexis outdoors enjoying a walk in her neighborhood, scoping out the newest food truck, hanging out with friends or planning her next trip.

Her church, The Revival Center, and family mean the world to her. They have supported her through the loss of her mother and her own cancer diagnosis.

Alexis enjoys encouraging others by reminding them not to look at what they see, but to always look to God, who is working in the unseen.

Alexis currently writes for several online ministries and hopes to launch her first podcast – The Brave Podcast – in January 2020.

Author Bio:

Amy Odland has been serving in church ministry as a volunteer leader for over 16 years, in various worship, prayer and women’s ministry roles. Her passion for helping women stems from her own struggles and lessons learned in her journey as a Christian since first deciding to follow the Lord in 1994. 

Amy’s priorities after her faith include her family — husband Rick and their four kids — as well as extended family who all live close in proximity and the many friends she’s made over the years.

In addition to a love of teaching and helping her husband with the bookkeeping for their many businesses, Amy has recently expanded her stay-at-home work to include leading author’s book launch teams for publishing companies like Baker, Revell, Barbour, and Lifeway.

She also enjoys teaching new authors about platform building, self-launching, and online marketing.

Author Bio:

My name is Julia Wilson but I also go by Christian Bookaholic. 

I live with my husband and five cats in a small town in Worcestershire on the banks of the River Severn (England). We have four grown up children and three granddaughters.

I have always loved reading and have always been surrounded by books. I used to work as a teaching assistant for special needs in the local high school. Ill health forced me to stop working in December 2015. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (known as M.E.) and fibromyalgia. I now have plenty of time to read and review books!

Our eldest son set up my Christian Bookaholic blog. I review every book I read. I read over 300 books a year. I read Christian and mass market. I prefer stories set from 1850 onwards. My favorite type of books to read are stories set in WWI and WWII, and Russia under Czar Nicholas II.

I am a historian, having a Combined Humanities degree where I majored in History and minored in English. I also love swimming. I only learned how to swim in 2017 and go swimming four mornings a week for 90 minutes before breakfast. It keeps my joints going.

I am also a crazy cat lady. I absolutely love my cats. I have grown up with cats and cannot imagine life without them. My dream is to own an old fashioned seal point Siamese … but not while we have our young rescue cat as she hates other cats!

I love God and love going to a large, lively church called Lifecentral. I cannot imagine life without God. He gives a peace even when life does not. He guides my life. He is my Rock.

Author Bio:

Karen Marstaller is a retired high school teacher who spent most of her career challenging creative students to write. Her heart is for her readers. 

She writes to encourage them, to make them laugh, to show them that life is a beautiful journey, and regardless of their past, to show them that there is joy ahead if they will just keep looking.

Karen and her husband live in central Texas in a sweet little home that they completely remodeled. They enjoy spending time with their family, which includes seven precious grandchildren.

Most of all, Karen writes in obedience to the command to love your neighbor, to offer a cup of water to those who are dying of thirst, and to comfort others with the comfort she has received from God.

Author Bio:

Malinda Fugate writes from the heart. 

Though she serves full time as the Children’s Education Director at a church in Southern California, she is also a crafter of words, including The Other Three Sixteens (her book that is scheduled to release in 
May 2020 with Ambassador International), Bible Time for Active Kids (which is an activities-based devotional that is available for purchase on Amazon.com), and The Pen and the Sword: Connecting With the Word of God (which is an interactive creative writing journal). 

Malinda earned a communications degree with a theatre emphasis from Azusa Pacific University, then worked behind the scenes at the Los Angeles Salem radio stations, including The Fish and KKLA.

Her writing includes children's faith resources, commercial copywriting, and various faith-based stage and screenplays. Malinda lives by the beach with her pup, Yoshi.

When she's not writing or working at church, she might be creating art, reading, or exploring the many adventures to be found in the Los Angeles area.

Author Bio:

Writing stories that take the reader on a journey to parts unknown has been a lifelong love for Tema Banner. She enjoys all history and continues daily to hone both her knowledge of history and her writing skills. 

God is her guiding light and the reason for every endeavor in her life. She is a member of the South Carolina ACFW chapter as well as an active member of her local RWA chapter, Carolina Romance Writers.

Tema has served as past President and Secretary as well as holding various chair positions. She is the honored recipient of the Harold Lowery Service Award, presented by the Carolina Romance Writers.

God has gifted her with a loving husband, two children and three grandchildren who are the delight of her life.

In her spare time, she gardens and digs into genealogy for nuggets to use in her stories.

Author Bio:

Wade Webster is a farm boy turned city slicker, heathen turned born-again Christian, truck driver turned writer doing his best to point folks to his best friend, Jesus Christ.

He currently lives in Plano, Texas. He's the author of 100 Prayers of a Writer, a book that didn't begin as a book, just weekly prayers to a group of writer friends. 

He enjoys spending time in nature, running for exercise and dark chocolate, though not necessarily in that order. Apart from driving 18-wheelers for a living, he has a part-time job painting houses on the side ... and the front and back and inside.

As a teenager, he told his friends he never wanted to be considered normal. So far he's done a pretty good job of living up to that aspiration.

Read on for the author bios and photos of my OLD devotional writers returning this year...

Author Bio:
A very early reader and lover of the written word, Allison M. Wilson has been writing since the age of 8 with the heart to impart stories and God's truth. 

She has judged countless contests for the last 25 years, reviewed for several online publications, professionally edited, and written articles and devotionals.

Wife, mother, writer, editor, teacher, mentor, and mompreneur, God keeps her busy while living in east central Florida with her family.

Author Bio:
Chaplain Anderson served for 20 years as a U.S. Navy chaplain. Over 26 years of active duty, he was promoted through the ranks from Seaman Apprentice (E2) to his final rank as Commander (O5) in the Chaplain’s Corps.

Prior to his Naval career, Chaplain Anderson pastored in the Allegheny East and Potomac Conferences of Seventh-day Adventists. His undergraduate preparation for ministry was completed at Washington Adventist University (WAU) in Takoma Park, Maryland.

He has subsequently earned four graduate degrees–a Master of Divinity from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan; a Master of Education in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland; and a Masters of Sacred Theology in Religion and Culture from Boston University. His Doctor of Ministry degree was conferred by Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

Chaplain Anderson also completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He also holds certifications in Suicide Awareness and Prevention, Civil Mediation, Alternative Workplace Dispute Resolution, Temperament Analysis, Marriage Enrichment, Workforce Diversity, and is a certified Life Coach.

Author Bio:
Christa MacDonald is a 2017 Carol Award finalist for contemporary Christian fiction. She began her writing career at the age of eleven, filling a sketchbook with poems and short stories. 

After publishing a few short pieces in her college's literary magazine she took a long hiatus during which she embarked on a few different careers, got married, had three kids, and renovated an old barn masquerading as a house.

Sweet River Redemption is her three-book Contemporary Christian Romance series published by Mountain Brook Ink.

When not working or writing, Christa can be found ferrying her kids around, reading, or attempting something crafty. She and her family live along the coast of New England.

Author Bio:

Glynis Becker enjoys writing devotions, inspirational short fiction, novel-length fiction, and screenplays. Her film Sinking Sand is available for streaming on Amazon.com, TubiTv, and on DVD. 

She spent her childhood traveling the country as an Air Force brat, until she decided to attend college at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

Once she got her mechanical engineering degree, she decided she couldn’t leave, so she has made her home for the last thirty years in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota with her photographer husband, their almost-grown two children, and one very cat-like poodle. She has worked as a software engineer for a defense contractor, an adult ministries director at a church, and currently does paperwork and intake for an adoption agency.

When she’s not writing, working or volunteering, you’ll find her reading everything from Christian fiction to epic fantasy novels, watching TV or cheering for her favorite sports team, the Minnesota Vikings.

Author Bio:
Jessica Brodie is an award-winning Christian journalist, author, blogger, editor, and devotional writer. She is the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism, which has won 113 journalism awards during her tenure. 

She is the author of Feed My Sheep: A 40-Day Devotional to Develop a Heart for Hunger Ministry (2019) and More Like Jesus: A Devotional Journey (2018) and editor of Stories of Racial Awakening: Narratives on Changed Hearts and Lives of South Carolina United Methodists (2018), all from her newspaper’s Advocate Press.

She is a seasoned speaker and contributor to Thrivent Magazine, Crosswalk, and the United Methodist News Service, among many others. She has a weekly faith blog called "
Shining the Light" that is published on her website, www.JessicaBrodie.com and is part of the team at Wholly Loved Ministries. 

Her novel Tangled Roots won a third place Foundation Award in Contemporary Romance at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in 2019. An earlier unpublished novel, The Memory Garden, won the 2018 Genesis Award for Contemporary Fiction from American Christian Fiction Writers.

Married, Brodie has four children and stepchildren and lives in South Carolina.

Author Bio:

Mirachelle Canada is a writer, playwright, screenwriter, and theatre director/producer from Northern Virginia, where she teaches television production at her high school alma mater. 

She earned her Master of Fine Arts in Script & Screenwriting from Regent University and is an alumnus of Act One: Hollywood Film & Television Writing Program, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, American Fiction Writers Virginia Chapter, The Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, and Your Novel Blueprint.

Mirachelle is currently working on her first historical fiction novel set during WWII.

Author Bio:

Sharon Musgrove is a self-proclaimed sociologist. The opportunities opened to her over the years, have led her on a fascinating journey observing human behavior. 

She has a diverse background in business, fitness and health industries. This background led her to a unique position writing curriculum and teaching for two private, Christ-based, residential recovery programs. Both recovery programs served women primarily from the homeless community.

Sharon has traveled multiple times to Kenya, serving on medical teams and teaching in the rural Maasai communities. She's been privileged to participate in Leadership camps for maturing young women. These annual camps have a mission of encouraging and empowering the impoverished, underprivileged, and often abused young Maasai girls.

Easily identifying personally with the brokenness of the women she's served, Sharon now sees all people as needing more encouragement regardless of cultural or socioeconomic status. Within these ministries, Sharon has witnessed the transformative power of loving words spoken to the broken-hearted. Sharing God’s love and witnessing its transformative power has become her passion.

In her leisure time, Sharon enjoys her garden, health food, travel and a good story. She and her husband, Jeff, make their home in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. They have two grown children. Currently, Sharon is writing her first Christian historical fiction novel utilizing her study, experience, and understanding of self-destructive behaviors.

Author Bio: 

Temeka Borden, better known by her pen name “Positivity Inspires,” is an author, speaker, minister, PharmD, multi-state licensed pharmacist, founder and owner of Positivity Inspires, LLC, and most importantly, a servant of the Lord. 

She was introduced to Christ at a very early age and was raised in the church. Her ministry focuses on encouraging Christians to love God first, to love all people, to continually strengthen their bond with Christ, and to study His Word, and live His Word daily.

Dr. Borden has been blessed with a variety of gifts, and she has gained much professional experience in a variety of settings. She also has served in administrative roles in the professional and church settings. In addition to obtaining her PharmD, she also obtained her bachelor's degree in biology (minor in English), and she is working on her third degree. What's more, as stated in her words, “I completed a specialty pharmacy residency that prepared me for the workforce and made me a force to be reckoned with.” She is a long-distance runner, a drummer, a singer, and she has a strong “fashion sense.” She also can read and type at almost supersonic speed in some instances.

Dr. Borden loves to learn and is constantly looking for new ways to challenge herself.

She loves God and she loves people. She is “crazy about her family,” and she adores her friends. She strongly encourages others to show kindness, respect, and love to everyone. She loves and welcomes diversity and flourishes in culturally diverse environments.

Dr. Borden loves to laugh and loves to make other people laugh. She also is passionate about giving back to the community. Her favorite sayings are “Speak Up!” and “Watch God Work!”

Read on for the author bios and photos of my backup devotional writers for this year...

Author Bio:

Erin Mifflin lives in the beautiful Missouri Ozarks.

She works as a one-on-one tutor with grades 6-12 at a Christian school. 

As a lifelong lover of words, she is passionate about stories and has been a book blogger since 2010. She's always written in one form or another, and in recent years has begun to develop this gift more seriously. 

Her nonfiction articles have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, as well as various Christian magazines and blogs.

She's hard at work on a historical fiction manuscript as well. Erin is a homeschool graduate and comes from a large family, which now includes nearly 20 nieces and nephews.

She's active in her church as a Sunday School teacher, choir member, and church officer.

When she has a spare moment, she enjoys cooking, decorating cakes, watching British period dramas, and helping care for her large and crazy family.

Author Bio:

Kathleen Rouser is a multi-published author who has won the 2017 Bookvana Award for her first novel Rumors and Promises, which is about the people of fictional Stone Creek, Michigan. She also wrote its sequel, Secrets and Wishes, as well as a few anthologies. 

Kathleen is a longtime member in good standing of American Christian Fiction Writers. 

She has loved making up stories since she was a little girl and wanted to be a writer before she could even read. She longs to create characters who resonate with readers and realize the need for a transforming Savior in their everyday lives. 

A former homeschool instructor, mild-mannered dental assistant, and current Community Bible Study kids’ teacher, Kathleen lives in Michigan with her hero and husband of thirty-some years and their two sweet kittens. 

She is still on the quest to brew the perfect cup of coffee to drink while she’s writing.

Author Bio:

Wendy Wilson Spooner is a professional Genetic Genealogist by day, a writer by night, and an artist in between.

Her first book, Once Upon an Irish Summer, is a YA crossover historical fiction novel. It is the first in a trilogy, traditionally published by Ambassador International and set to release April 3, 2020 in five countries.

Wendy’s love of history compels her to write the true stories that she unearths during her research, and she’s found that truth is indeed, stranger, and way more exciting than fiction. 

Wendy writes about family, faith, grief, art, and overcoming the obstacles in life by coming to know who we really are—a child of God, and, the descendant of incredible people who paved the way for us to have the lives we have now—even if they really struggled. She believes in learning from ancestors, honoring them, and then standing on their shoulders to become someone even better.

Wendy is an award-winning author of professional articles and poems. She turned to novel writing to share what she knows with more people.

~The End ~

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