“And I will give them one heart and one purpose:
to worship me forever,
for their own good
and for the good of all their descendants”
(Jeremiah 32:39 NLT).
There’s beauty and grace when you meet someone following hard their dream who invites you along and encourages the development of your dream. Alisa Hope Wagner is one of those people.
I found her blog about 12 years ago, The Granola Bar Devotionals, a daily devotional with contributions from women all over the world. “Alisa said, “I wanted to start a book club for my church in 2006, but my friend, Sunny Reed, suggested I start a devotional writing club. Wow! I’m so glad I listened to my friend’s advice.”
Alisa invited me and my blue cotton blanket to be in her e-magazine, Sanctified Together. As a new blogger, I cannot express how that invitation was water to a seed dream God had planted long ago. She invited me to write again for the next edition.” You chose the topic,” she said. I felt like a kid asked to sit at the grown-up table as though I belonged.
The post I submitted to Alisa had me shaking in my soul shoes. I remember questioning God: “Really? Are you sure?” You see, I needed the message in that post. I was encouraging my mother’s heart. I questioned whether the content would be too much real-life mess, even if God is in it. So many people, church people included, don’t like too much real, too much revealing of the answer to “How are you doing?”
Friends, that post was a defining moment. I believe if I hadn’t sent it to Alisa, I wouldn’t be writing here today. Was I going to hide the talents God gave me under a rock and it produce no profit? It was a parable-come-alive moment (Matthew 25: 14-30) That post? A Mother and her Masks: the Story of the Mother of the Prodigal.
Twelve years later, Alisa has continued followed her dreams, growing from magazines to books (check it out here). Her generosity of spirit is still thriving, too, nurturing others by creating opportunities to grow those parable-talents – and ensuring those talents are used to glorify God, not just on-line, but in the mission field.
There are so many writers who have impacted me through their messages in these 12 years within these two books – Lynn Mosher, Susan Chamberlain Shipe, Alene Snodgrass, Christina Downing, Ifeoma Samuel, to name a few.
You’re probably asking what’s the message and what’s the purpose to these devotionals. It’s a two-fold purpose: to encourage women in their faith and inspire each reader to claim the purposes that God designed for each life before time began.
Enliven Devotionals‘ twin anthologies, A Movement of Hearts and a Testimony of Voices, a collection of devotionals by writers from all different backgrounds, uniting together as one heart to declare the goodness of God and salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, is also helping The dream Center in Mombasa, Kenya.
Tammy Shaffer Andrus and her husband, Wayne, have been missionaries in Africa since 2011. The Dream Center is designed to do what Alisa is so very good at – Encouraging others to realize their God-designed purpose and dreams and giving them a way to turn the dream into a reality: “The Dream Center is a place to empower the community through education–library, parenting classes, addiction support, bible studies, tutoring, etc. We hope to bring healing from trauma through the gospel, using camps, and offering sports, drama, music, and art. Our prayer is that this place will be filled with life, healing, and learning, and, that it will be so filled with the love of Jesus, that it will pour-out into the community of orphans, widows, mothers, and fathers.” (The Dream Center Website, Go.Send.Join.Us. You can also learn more about them on their Facebook page: Andrus Family Mission Inc.
Thank you Alisa for inviting me along on the Enliven Devotional Project! It is an honor and blessing to be on this journey with you!
“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony…”
(Revelation 12:11 NIV).
Remember Me Monday: #45 & Linky
“I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings,
all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God,
his great goodness to the family of Israel—
~ Isaiah 63:7, The Message
In the Old Testament, God repeatedly, quietly and loudly, tells his children, “You have forgotten me!” (Jeremiah 3:32, Ezekiel 22:12, to name a few). It’s a heart cry from a father to a child who has forgotten all the love, all the saving, helping, little and big blessings – and it leaves me stunned when I realize our Father, the creator of the universe, who knows things I cannot begin to fathom, who authors storylines that leave me amazed, delights in all of us so much, He cries out, “Remember Me.”
While every day is a Remember God Day, I am inviting you to join me on Monday mornings to come by and remember what God has done for you, for your family. Maybe God sent a cardinal darting out in front of you, as if to tell you, “I’m here,” or broke a child’s fever after you laid it all down at His feet in a 2 a.m. bedside vigil. Maybe He stood with you in the wait of a prayer sent out, or brought someone you loved to Christ. Maybe He healed your broken heart, gave your courage, or you gave Him your dreams as a love offering only to have Him give them back in an unimaginable way. Maybe God helped you survive to bedtime after a crazy Monday, or forgive yourself for missing it with your kiddos –– Whatever it is, let’s Remember Him. . . in a “Remember Me Monday” love letter.
“My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
Of your salvation all the day long,
Though I know not its measure.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord”
~ Psalm 71:15-16.
Let us delight in Him by telling the stories of what He’s done! If you wrote a blog post remembering what He’s done for you, join the linky. If you didn’t but still want to praise Him for what He’s done – write it in the comment section. Then visit a comment before or after yours! One of the beautiful things about the blogging community is the relationships it builds!
Rules? Write long or short, a list or a story, include photos or not. Just Remember Him and what He has done, and let the gratitude of your heart guide you. Let’s make Monday so Rejoice, that the goodness of God spills into the rest of the week!