Dear Reader Friends,
Tomorrow (Jan. 1, 2023) 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 a total of 23 writers who have agreed to write devotionals for my blog's tri-weekly series, “Devotionals for the Heart”!
This is the introduction post.
As always, we have writers who will contribute original devotionals on a monthly basis and a quarterly basis. We also have a team of backup writers who will fill in when one of my regularly scheduled writers cannot meet their deadline on time. Scroll down to see pictures of ALL of my writers (new and old) then read their author bios and starting on the first Monday of January 2023, read the first NEW devotional for this year!
God-willing, a new devotional will be published every Monday/Wednesday/Friday of every week for all of this New Year 2023.
I hope and pray that God blesses you this New Year with His Peace, Hope, Joy and Love!
May this devotional series bless your heart too.
Alexis A. Goring, MFA
Founder of "God is Love" blog
Read on for the author bios and photos of my NEW devotional writers for this year...
The only child of a single parent, Aubrey Taylor filled her younger years by creating characters and writing stories. This ended around age sixteen when music, friends and part-time jobs began to fill her time. After that came college, work, marriage, and children.
It wasn’t until the world was beginning to come out of the COVID pandemic that God led her back to her love for writing, coupled with a passion she’d always had for history. It was time to start a new adventure! Her current long-term project is Gott Mit Uns, a German-perspective 20th century historical fiction series.
Aubrey lives in Upstate New York with her husband and three children. She’s busy keeping the home, caring for her family, doing research for and writing her books.
Aubrey enjoys music and is involved with the worship ministry at her church as well as a German choral group. She also plays gigs occasionally with friends as a singer and acoustic guitarist. After all that, she finds time to sketch, craft, and hike.
She is a lover of Jesus Christ, The Holy Bible, history, German culture, tea, and cats.
Aubrey has a special heart for those who struggle with severe anxiety, depression and PTSD.
Casey Wayne is a wife and mother of two children.
She enjoys time with her family doing simple things like movie nights and cooking together.
As a devotional writer, Casey strives to share her story with relatable honesty, showing how God is faithful throughout the big and small moments of life.
She has a heart for encouraging the faith walk of other moms, praying they gain a deeper connection with our Heavenly Father.
Her family lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia.
Essie Taylor is an author, educator, minister, youth advocate, recording artist, podcaster, and improviser. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Rockford College.
She is a veteran educator of Bilingual Education, English as a Second Language, and Spanish Language Acquisition with National Board Teacher Certification. She is an advocate of lifelong learning, language learning, and multiculturalism.
Essie is the CEO of KenMar Press, an author agency, and The Essie Faye Collection. Essie is the author of Finding the Love You Deserve: 30 Lessons in Self-Love & Acceptance, and Finding The Love Your Deserve: A 60-Day Healing Journal For Women of Faith.
She is deeply committed to motivating minorities, women, and youth to pursue God while chasing their dreams and carving out their life’s path. She loves God, people, and helping others.
Essie has been a Christian for nearly all of her 39 years. She was born again at 15 years old. She has been a bilingual worship leader and interpreter for 10+ years. By the grace of God, Essie helped to establish bilingual ministries at five churches in her young life. She is a survivor of domestic violence (verbal and emotional abuse) and marital abandonment in a prior marriage.
Essie is a Chicago native. She lives in Chicago with her husband Donald Taylor II.
Hannah Benson is a Jesus-follower who’s passionate about sharing the love of Christ with others.
From the time she could hold a pen, she was writing. But it wasn’t until she was sixteen that she began to seriously follow God’s calling to write a novel. Hannah is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and has at least four novels in the works. For the past five years, she has been involved with her local Biblical theater company. She wants to show others the love of Jesus through the creative arts.
When she’s not acting or working on her upcoming novel, you can find Hannah laughing with her siblings, cuddling her little fluffy dog, or reading books (usually historical fiction or fantasy stories). You can read more of Hannah’s writings on her blog or on her Instagram where she strives to write content that leaves others feeling encouraged.
Read on for the author bios and photos of my OLD devotional writers returning for this year…
Angela Anderson was born in Brooklyn (New York) and raised in New Jersey.
She started writing at an early age and realized in elementary school that it was both a strength and a passion. She continued writing through high school, college, and into adulthood.
Angela is the author of a devotional book titled Just When I Thought I Knew God, and she is currently working on another devotional book that will be introduced in 2023.
This is Angela's third year as a devotional writer for Alexis A. Goring’s “God is Love” blog. In 2021, Angela was a winner of a devotional writing contest where the entry is featured in a book published by Proverbs 31 Ministries. The book is titled, Hope When Your Heart is Heavy. The following year, another one of Angela’s devotionals was published in another publication from Proverbs 31 Ministries, called Living Unbroken.
Angela has a passion for inspiring and impacting others through her writing and speaking.
Angela is a Mom Life Coach. She empowers mothers who want to identify their God-given purpose and live it fully while taking care of their family. Angela develops mothers into mompreneurs by providing them with the necessary tools to be successful and fulfilled in life. These tools equip them to see their value, understand their importance, and reclaim their identity.
Angela has been married to the love of her life, Duane Anderson for 18 years. Together they have two sons: Thomas (age 10) and Ryan (age 5). Angela’s favorite pastime is journaling.
She treasures spending quality time with her family.
Chaplain Paul 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 Columbia Union College (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.
Dr. Jessica B. Turner is a wife, mom, and LSU graduate with a degree in veterinary medicine.
After practicing small animal medicine for six years, she traded in her stethoscope to become an online wellness coach, motivational speaker, and writer with a passion for mental health advocacy. This major life change was sparked after Jessica struggled with postpartum depression soon after she birthed her twin girls.
Along with Jessica’s career change came the discovery of who Jesus Christ really is and how He was the missing piece for her to be able to move forward in past trauma that she had suppressed for decades. Jesus walked alongside Jessica as she underwent a transformation like none other.
God transformed Jessica’s life from a broken mom who struggled with depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and PTSD from witnessing an attempted suicide, to using her experiences to make her a powerful vessel for Him. To this day, God enables Jessica to touch the lives of others through her often unfiltered, yet inviting form of storytelling.
Throughout this process of refinement, Jessica has shared her life story with the world through her social media platforms, in-person events, blog posts, and podcasts. She values the gift of transparency and has discovered that what so many people need to know is that they are not alone. Jessica has walked in their shoes, and she wants the world to know that Jesus is walking with them as well.
Jessica Brodie is an award-winning journalist, author, blogger, editor, writing coach, and devotional writer with thousands of articles to her name.
Since 2010, she has served as the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism, which has won 123 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 the editor of a number of other books from her newspaper’s Advocate Press, which she helped found in 2017.
She has won more than 100 writing awards and is a seasoned speaker and frequent contributor to Crosswalk.com, Christianity.com, and BibleStudyTools.com, among many others. She has a weekly faith blog at JessicaBrodie.com and is part of the team at Wholly Loved Ministries, with her work included in many of their devotionals and Bible studies.
Brodie holds a Master of Arts in English, and she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in communications/print journalism from Florida International University. Born and raised in Miami, Brodie now lives in Lexington, South Carolina, just outside Columbia. She has also lived in Ohio and in the mountains of western North Carolina. She and her husband, Matt Brodie, have a blended family of four teenage children and stepchildren.
Brodie has written several novels and is actively seeking publication through her agent Bob Hostetler of The Steve Laube Agency. Her novel The Memory Garden won the 2018 Genesis contest for Contemporary Fiction from American Christian Fiction Writers, and her novel Tangled Roots won a third place Foundation Award in Contemporary Romance at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in 2019.
She is finishing the third in the series, Hidden Seeds, now.
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.
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.
As a wife and Marmee to three adult children and one brand new daughter-in-love, Kerry Sue Teravskis's life is very full. She met her husband in college and served in the mission field with him for a few years before settling down back in the United States of America to raise their family.
Kerry Sue’s family was a homeschooling family for 20 years and they enjoyed it immensely. For the last 23 years they have lived on a small farm in Northern California where they have raised many farm animals, along with growing and preserving their food. Kerry Sue’s family farm has been a great source of enjoyment and a place to host many family gatherings. She maintains an open-door policy for dear friends—old and new.
Following and serving Jesus Christ is an integral part of Kerry Sue’s life as well as her family’s.
Whether it’s singing in our church choir, teaching children or leading and lecturing at a women’s Bible study, Kerry Sue loves to demonstrate her love for Jesus by giving to Him in service. She’s been a blogger for more than eight years, a Bible study writer for two years, and a devotional writer for about one year.
Kerry Sue writes about finding God’s Sovereignty in our pain and suffering.
Sarah Cole’s interest in writing began in grade school when her poem was published in the local paper. As she got older, her mother’s chronic illness inspired her to design a line of greeting cards. Since then, she has written for her college newspaper and two community newspapers where she wrote restaurant reviews and articles for their “Best of” spread.
Her experience as an administrator in the marketing field gave her the opportunity to write ads for a local business journal.
After a 20-year detour and a three-year season of adversity, God reignited her passion to write. Two divine appointments later, the short story she wrote about her father appeared in the St. Paul Almanac, and a short story about Gigi (her Cocker Spaniel) was published in Guideposts (magazine) Mysterious Ways. She believes her adversity was worth the lessons God taught her.
Since 2022, Sarah’s devotionals have been published in The Secret Place by Judson Press, as well as David C. Cook’s Devotions and The Quiet Hour. To this day, she smiles, pinches herself and gives God all the glory.
When she’s not writing, Sarah enjoys watching cooking shows, designing cards and mugs, and taking day trips.
Tessa Huckstep grew up in rural Illinois. She was born to Christian parents and has known Jesus Christ personally since the age of five.
Currently, Tessa is attending community college and majoring in elementary education. In the future, she plans to teach in the public school system, hoping to bring the love of God with her.
Tessa enjoys being active in her local church. She serves as a co-teacher for the two-to-five year old class where there is never a dull moment.
It is Tessa’s passion to be a girl after God’s own heart and through her studying of God’s Word, Tessa longs to draw closer to her Savior. Through her writing, she longs to take others with her on this journey of faith.
Tessa loves all things Regency, needlework, and dainty teacups of every size.
When she isn’t writing or studying for exams, she can be found in the kitchen with more flour in her hair and on the floor than in the bowl, though the mess is always half the fun!
Heidy De La Cruz is daughter of Jesus Christ, a wife, and a mother.
She writes poetry and encouraging spiritual blog posts.
Heidy shares her faith and life in hopes of encouraging women. She hosts the podcast, "The American Dream in The Eye of Immigrants" where immigrants share their stories about moving to the United States of America.
Heidy holds a master's degree in Healthcare Administration and bachelor's degree in Psychology. She works as a Medical Coding Specialist.
In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, watching movies, and spending time with her husband and two kids.
Monique M. Anderson is a writer, creator, wife, and bonus mom. She was born and raised in Mount Vernon, NY, where she still resides. She released her always present yet hidden talent of writing to the masses in June 2019.
Monique always felt like God was chasing after her but was never ready to surrender. Finally, she reached a point in her life when things started going left, and she no longer felt in control. At this point, she was ready to hand over the reins to God. After forming her relationship with God, she always felt compelled to share the revelation’s that His Word gave her. She felt The Holy Spirit prompting her to write but was afraid of what people might think. So, her writing started in her journal. The journal turned into a book and the book into a blog.
Her obedience provided more opportunities. In late 2021, Monique became a partner with the notable YouVersion Bible App as a Content Creator. With her first Bible plan debuting in December of 2021, she will continue to provide content for the app as long as God allows her to.
In 2021, God revealed her prophetic gift and how He wants her to use it. Monique always felt compelled to pray for others but had no idea God would use her in this way. Through this gift as a prophetic intercessor, she’s not just writing about what God can do but showing what God can do.
Since God has shown her who He created her to be, she now feels it is her life’s work to help those taking their first steps in their walk with Jesus Christ. She is doing so through her blog, prayer, and soon-to-be-published works. She is excited to extend her reach to YouTube, podcasts, and speaking engagements soon.
Her blog is the stepping stone to fulfilling the vision God gave to her: “Sharing God’s revelations so we can all better reflect his image and fulfill His purpose.”
Patricia Russell is a worship leader, songwriter, speaker and compiler of her 2020 best-selling anthology Stronger Resilience: Stories to Empower the Mind, Body and Spirit, as well as Lord, I Trust You: Words of Encouragement, to encourage readers and share life lessons during her cancer journey.
Patricia writes, speaks, and teaches on the power of God’s Word to heal and empower you to become all that you are purposed for. She has travelled internationally and shared her gifts with audiences to encourage, empower and share life lessons through word and song. Patricia has sung on national television broadcasts and shared the stage with several respected speakers including Anne Graham Lotz and Rev. E.V. Hill.
Her greatest joy is being married to her husband, Wayne, for 33 years. Together, they serve the community through their local congregation in various capacities. They have two adult children, Raquel and Benjamin. As a two-time breast cancer overcomer, Patricia coaches others to develop resilience and live life to their fullest.
Patricia has released two gospel music recordings: “Draw Me Nearer” and “Lord, I Trust You”. In March 2022, she launched her podcast “Becoming Resilient” which can be downloaded wherever you get your podcasts and watched on YouTube.
When not reading or studying, Patricia loves to eat Thai food and spend time with “Lucy”—her daughter’s Yorkie-poo who has taken up room in her heart.
Read on for the author bios and photos of my backup devotional writers for this year...
Anthea Kotlan is a recovering perfectionist with a passion for coffee and tea.
For almost a decade, she have served in the Diocese of the Western Gulf Coast as a women’s ministry leader. Recently, she became part of a team serving women at the Provincial level (the Women’s Leadership Network part of ACNA’s Next Generation Leadership Initiative).
Anthea writes and blogs about soul tending and discipleship, focusing on the psalms on her blog/website.
She is a mom to two amazing adult daughters, a wife of a bi-vocational Anglican priest, and Gran to two grandbabies with another on the way. Recently, Anthea worked with her husband to help plant All Saints, Conroe, which is a brand-new Anglican church plant in Conroe, Texas.
Cherie Mendez is a New York-based actress and model. Network appearances include Blue Bloods and Bull (CBS), Power (STARZ), and Hunters (Amazon).
She got her start in modeling at the age of 18 when she was offered a contract to work with an agency in Paris. Over time, she worked for clients such as Mary Kay Cosmetics, Clarins Skincare, Garnier, Lancôme, and Wella.
In recent years, Cherie has been sharing about her faith in God on Instagram where she has an audience of over 30k followers. She is compelled by love to encourage women to understand their identity in Jesus Christ.
It is her goal to bring to light what God’s Word says about our self-worth. She does this by sharing encouraging stories on how she overcame the many struggles that models and actresses typically face.
Some of the topics Cherie loves to write about are:
· Coping with rejection
· Finding your purpose and using your talent for God’s glory
· How God always looks at the heart and the meaning of inner beauty
· Understanding that we are all a work in progress and God is not done with us yet
Cherie and her husband Jimmy live in Upstate New York. They are thankful to have been married for 30 years.
Janis Van Keuren has been captivated by the heartbeat of people’s stories since her early years as a writer. Working in the professional field, she developed skills to weave those narratives in a way that intrigued readers.
Janis garnered an award of excellence as a journalist while employed in public relations for a major company in Los Angeles. The tug to stay home and cultivate a family pulled her from a professional life. However, shortly after that, the Lord called her to launch a publication for a small Christian community with a focus on His work in people’s lives.
After Janis worked in education for several years, the Lord drew her back into writing for the Christian publication, 4Tucson. In addition, her inspirational articles and devotions have appeared in various Christian publications, including a Guideposts compilation, Divine Interventions: Heartwarming Answers to Prayer, and a story in their upcoming publication, In His Time.
Janis taps into her deep faith in Jesus Christ to reach hearts for Him. She leverages her decades of communication experience, both in speaking and writing, to minister to women and bring clarity to her projects as an author.
She and her husband gather joy when surrounded by their family and traveling through God’s creation.
Janis can be found writing inspiration and stories on her website.
Kathleen Rouser is the award-winning author of Rumors and Promises, her first novel about the people of fictional Stone Creek, Michigan. She is also a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance written for the Christian fiction book market. She is a longtime member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and My Book Therapy’s Novel Academy.
Kathleen has loved making up stories since she was a little girl and wanted to be a writer before she could even read. She’s in the grip of God’s grace and is a fan of the three Cs: cats, coffee, and chocolate.
She is mother of three adult children and a former homeschool instructor. Kathleen has worked as a mild-mannered dental assistant and a Community Bible Study kids’ teacher. She lives in southeast Michigan with her hero who is her husband of over 40 years. They have two sweet cats who found a home in their empty nest.
Kathleen is represented by Linda S. Glaz of the Linda S. Glaz Literary Agency.
Michelle Medlock Adams is a best-selling author and an award-winning journalist, earning top honors from the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Hoosier State Press Association.
Author of over 100 books with more than 4 million books sold, Michelle is also a New York Times Bestselling ghostwriter and has won more than 70 industry awards for her journalistic endeavors, including the prestigious Golden Scroll for Best Children’s Book in 2020, 2019 and 2018 for How Much Does God Love You?, Dinosaur Devotions, and My First Day of School.
Since graduating with a journalism degree from Indiana University, Michelle has written more than 1,500 articles for newspapers, magazines and websites; acted as a stringer for the Associated Press; written for a worldwide ministry; hosted “Joy In Our Town” for the Trinity Broadcasting Network; blogged twice weekly for Guideposts from 2013 to 2015; written a weekly column for a Midwest newspaper; and served as an adjunct professor at Taylor University three different years.
Today, Michelle is Chairman of the Board of Advisors for Serious Writer, Inc.; an online instructor for the Serious Writer Academy; and a much sought-after speaker at writers conferences and women’s retreats all over the United States.
When not working on her own assignments, Michelle ghostwrites articles, blog posts, and books for celebrities, politicians, and some of today’s most effective and popular ministers.
Michelle is married to her high school sweetheart, Jeff, and they have two daughters, Abby and Allyson, two sons-in-law, two granddaughters and two grandsons.
She and Jeff share their home in Southern Indiana with a miniature dachshund, a rescue Greyhound/Lab mix, and two cats.
When not writing or teaching writing, Michelle enjoys bass fishing, cheering on Indiana University sports teams and the Chicago Cubbies, and all things leopard print.
Mirachelle Canada is a writer, playwright, screenwriter, and theatre director/producer. She resides in Northern Virginia with her feline Shiloh and loves hiking through Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Forest.
She earned her M.F.A. in Script & Screenwriting from Regent University and is an alumnus of Act One: Hollywood Film & Television Writing Program. Mirachelle is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW)'s National Chapter and Virginia Chapter where she serves as the treasurer. She hones her writing skills through The Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild and Your Novel Blueprint.
Along with her devotional contributions and occasional novelettes, she is working on her first historical fiction novel set in pre-WWII London, about an American vocal prodigy caught up in espionage, secret musical codes, and double agents disguised as friends.
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 programs primarily served women in 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.
Identifying personally with the brokenness of the women she’s served, Sharon 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, divide their time between Oregon and Hawaii. They have two grown children.
Currently, Sharon is encouraging others via her inspirational blog, but prefers sharing face to face. Additionally, she is studying Christian fiction writing.
Writing stories that take the reader on a journey of discovery into a deeper relationship with God through His Son (Jesus Christ), has been a lifelong goal for Tema Banner. She enjoys history and continues honing her knowledge of history and writing skills to create those stories.
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 a former member of her local Romance Writers of America (RWA) chapter, Carolina Romance Writers.
Tema has served as president and secretary of her local RWA Chapter, Carolina Romance Writers. 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 four 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.
~ The End ~