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Be Steadfast, Immovable

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

As with any soldier, warfare is hard work – physically and emotionally. Every soldier has times of exhaustion or emotional drain. The same is true for the Christian soldier. There are times when we find that our “steadfast, immovable” washes away like the tide leaving the shore. We stand, but it feels as if the sand underneath us washes away with the tide. We stand on wobbly legs, weak from fighting. And we have no strength left to hold up the shield of faith or to wield our sword. We don’t even have what it takes to tie on the gospel of peace shoes. The weight of the helmet of salvation seems to be sinking us to our knees (which is exactly where we need to be!). We’re worn down. We’ve given our all. And all that’s left is to fall on our knees before God and weep in exhaustion.

You are not steadfast if you are questioning your calling

In these moments, we might find ourselves in a place of questioning the call. Did we hear God right? If this ministry is truly what God has called me to do, then why is it so hard and why isn’t God blessing it? Why isn’t He provided the resources? Why do others not support me in this calling?

As I began launching the ministry I knew God was calling me to do, I found myself often asking these very questions and more. Satan has fought from the very beginning to stop this ministry before it even got off the ground. Those that I thought would be by biggest supporters were the ones that didn’t believe that God could choose to use someone like me – not with my story and what I have been through.

Yet, it was in the hurt and disappointment of those people not believing in me that the soft whisper of the Holy Spirit replied, “I believe in you. I have called you. I have gifted you with exactly what you need for the ministry I have set before you. The more I am at work in you, the harder Satan fights. Stand firm. I am greater in you than he that is in the world.” It was the whisper I needed to keep pressing forward toward the goal. The only stamp of approval I needed was God’s. And it is the only approval you need for your ministry.

The more steadfast and obedient we are, the fiercer the battle

My friend, we can know that the more we are obediently following God’s plan and serving Him, the fiercer the battle with the enemy will be. The very fact that the enemy is attacking you so hard is precisely the proof that God is blessing your ministry. If you are in a battle today (and I am assuming that you are since you are reading this book), be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work because you can be sure that when we labor in the Lord, it is never in vain. Suit up soldier! Get on your knees and fight!

When Satan drives you to your knees, be steadfast in prayer

If Satan drives you to your knees in the battle, then fight on your knees as you pray.  As Phil Wickham reminds us in his song, “Battle Belongs”, the battle belongs to God and we do our best fighting when we are on our knees, praying, and allowing God to fight for us.

After the Israelites left Egypt, they found themselves right smack in the middle of pressure and trouble. In front of them was the pressure of how to cross the Red Sea. Behind them was the trouble of a very angry Egyptian army. And the Israelites did what every human being would do – they panicked.

Moments earlier they were standing at the bank of the Red Sea while the idea of freedom from slavery kicked in. I’m sure in the mix of the crowd there was a certain group who stood at the bank of the Red Sea wondering how they would get all the people across to the other side. But as they stood around problem solving, someone stopped and listened. Then he began to quiet the others. “Shhh. Listen.” They heard it too. The turn around and off in the distance was a terrifying sight. The Egyptian army riding hard and fast towards them, a cloud of desert sand stirring up around them. Slowly more and more of the people get quite and they look. Before long there is full-blown panic. They are trapped. There is no where to go. They began blaming Moses.

Stand firm! The Lord will fight for you!

Moses responded to them: ““Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation He will provide for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet.” (Exodus 14:13-14) If you are experiencing pressure and trouble, Moses calmly and quietly says to you, “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation. The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet.”

When Satan drives you to your knees, you are not defeated – you’re just starting to win the battle. In fact, you don’t even have to wait for him to drive you to your knees. As soon as an attack begins is the time to get on your knees. That is where we fight spiritual battles!

Click here to listen to our daily devotions on Spotify – and be sure to follow us on Spotify

7 FREE Downloadable Resources

Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

[Download not found]

What Satan Does Not Want You To know

This trifold document includes Scripture verses that Satan does not want you to know about. As you hide these verses in your heart, you’ll be able to defeat the lies of Satan when he tries his wiles and schemes on you.

[Download not found]

Stress Journal

We all face stress. How we handle stress, however, has many variables. Learning how to recognize stress, coping with stress, and creating a self-care plan during times of stress can begin by journaling. Taken from our series on Biblical self-care for people in ministry, we’ve created this free download to help you through the things that cause you stress.

[Download not found]

2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.

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The Path to Sin

Satan is constantly trying to trip us up and he doesn’t even play fair because he uses our own desires as bait to get us to sin. James tells us the five steps that lead us down the path to sin in James 1:14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” This download helps you identify your desires so that you can better recognize when Satan is baiting you and you can avoid falling into sin. When used along with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to identify the desires that Satan baits you with, you can then ask the Holy Spirit to help you not become a victim to the bait of your desires. Download the worksheet today.

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Bible Reading Plan Download

One Year Bible Reading Plan

With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out!

[Download not found]

Self-Care Wheel

The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position (paid staff or volunteer) and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.

[Download not found]

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The Dangers of Ministry

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

Any person who works in any type of ministry profession is in danger. Real danger. Paul put it this way in 2 Corinthians 4:8: “We are pressured in every way…” (HCSB). The King James words it, “We are troubled on every side.” Pressured and troubled.

I bet when you said that obedient yes to God when He called you into your area of ministry you didn’t imagine that you were signing on for pressure and trouble. Too often, when we are serving God, we believe that everything we do in His name will blessed and we’ll be happy. However, it doesn’t take too long before we realize that’s not what ministry is like. Ministry work is pressure and trouble.

There is a reason that serving God includes pressure and trouble, but God can use those times to refine us, grow our faith, and make us better Christian soldiers who reflect His image and glory, or we can cave into the pressure and trouble and leave the calling that God has given us.

Most likely, you understand that as a part of ministry you are constantly fighting spiritual battles, but perhaps you need a reminder or to see your pressures and troubles through a different perspective. Either way, let’s examine why ministry work is about pressure and trouble.

Ministry work draws unwanted attention

As we begin to serve broken people who are sinners[1] that belong to the devil, we draw the unwanted attention of our adversary, Satan. Some of those broken people have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus, but they too are fallen, broken human beings. And so are we. The point is none of us are perfect. So, we who are broken and imperfect, are called by God to serve and minister to more broken and imperfect people.

Our calling – whatever the ministry is – is about winning the lost, growing disciples, proclaiming the good news of Jesus and to keep people out of hell. But Satan – who knows that hell awaits him – wants to take as many people as he can with him and we, through our ministry, are working in complete opposition with him. So, we become target practice for His fiery darts and the pressures and troubles begin to abound – relentlessly, at times.

Satan’s fiery darts

Satan’s fiery darts of pressure and trouble take on many different shapes and sizes, but if Satan can get us to quit the ministry to which we have been called, then our impact in God’s kingdom is affected. The moral state of our nation is impacted. And the world around us is impacted. We must remember that Satan is the ruler of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4 [2]) and when we are serving God, we’re serving Him in Satan’s territory. We are encroaching behind enemy lines.

Thankfully, Satan is not always successful in getting us to quit the ministry we have been called to. There are faithful Christian soldiers who continue to fight the good fight, and I hope that one of those soldiers is you. But if you feel like you have lost your effectiveness, then I want you to recognize that Satan will use pressures and troubles to keep us so busy putting out the skirmishes that our ministry effectiveness is hindered.

If you are considering quitting your ministry or if you feel like you are no longer effective, I want you to know that you are not alone, and I want you to see how Satan is at work to get you to the point of giving up. You probably already know this, but sometimes we need a reminder that what is going on around us in our ministry – those pressures and troubles – is about fighting the good fight and we must not give up.

Ministry is a Battlefield

Ministry is hard. It is a battlefield. And often, it is us who stand with feet firmly planted, with our shields raised high to protect the ones to whom we minister from the fiery darts of Satan. At the same time, our own backs are littered with numerous fiery darts and not just the ones where we were the intended target, but also the ones where the targets were the people to whom we minister to every day. We can not protect them 24/7 and they end up with numerous fiery darts well planted into them too, but when people who serve in ministry serve and protect those God has placed before us and we take on some of the arrows intended for them, as well as our own.

The assaults from our enemy are relentless and they are fierce. We are pressured and troubled in every way and on every side. Why? Because ministry is a battlefield, and we are soldiers sent in to fight the good fight. And if we are going to finish our race, we need to recognize when we need self-care, understand Biblical self-care, and take the time to practice self-care.

Jesus knows when we need to practice self-care

If the ministry in which you serve feels like pressure and trouble, then hear Jesus say to you the same words he said to the disciples in Mark 6:31, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” Jesus knew it was time for His disciples to practice some self-care. He understood that when we are continually pouring into others, we eventually become empty, and we need time alone with Him to recharge and fill back up again so that we can continue to pour into others.

Think about it this way. Jesus said He is the vine, and we are the branches. Apart from Jesus we can do nothing. In fact, in John 15:2, Jesus says, “Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit.” Pruning is never easy – but it produces more fruit. So, pruning is necessary.[3] Pruning is the act of cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems with the result of increasing fruitfulness and growth. So now we have pressure and trouble and pruning. Sounds like about as much find as playing volleyball in the middle of a giant swarm of bees!

Pruning to be Fruitful

In a spiritual sense, pruning is about Christ cutting away the parts of us that do not glorify Him so that He can produce more of the Fruit of Spirit within us, so we are more fit to do the ministry He entrusted to us. But for that fruit to be healthy and vibrant, it needs to be nurtured. The branches get all they need for life from the vine. But apart from the vine, we whither and die. Apart from the vine we are not nourished. And if we are empty ourselves, we have nothing left to give to anyone else or to the task to which God has called us.

As servants of God, Jesus sends us out, just as He did His disciples, to fight the good fight and to do good work so that the Father in Heaven is glorified. If you’ve ever asked, “What is God’s will?” This is it. We are sent out to do good work so that God is glorified. But we all must continually come back to the Vine so we can fill up and then go out and pour the living water of Christ into others. Biblical self-care is about staying connected to the Vine, so we do not become empty, unnourished, and wither and die in our ministry calling.


Footnotes:

[1] Just as a reminder, we too are broken people who are sinners that once belonged to the devil. Don’t ever lose sight that before you were redeemed and made new, Satan was your father, too.

[2] In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4, ESV)

[3] I bet you never willingly went to the “vine pruning line.” But it is here that God cuts away at the areas of our lives that need growth so that we are better equipped for His plans for us. Don’t avoid the pruning line. It won’t be fun, but the end results will bring more glory to God.

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See our Canvase prints in the Teespring Store: All Things New

All Things New

We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store. These prints make great gifts or for decor in your home.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

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7 FREE Downloadable Resources

Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

[Download not found]

What Satan Does Not Want You To know

This trifold document includes Scripture verses that Satan does not want you to know about. As you hide these verses in your heart, you’ll be able to defeat the lies of Satan when he tries his wiles and schemes on you.

[Download not found]

Stress Journal

We all face stress. How we handle stress, however, has many variables. Learning how to recognize stress, coping with stress, and creating a self-care plan during times of stress can begin by journaling. Taken from our series on Biblical self-care for people in ministry, we’ve created this free download to help you through the things that cause you stress.

[Download not found]

2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.

[Download not found]

The Path to Sin

Satan is constantly trying to trip us up and he doesn’t even play fair because he uses our own desires as bait to get us to sin. James tells us the five steps that lead us down the path to sin in James 1:14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” This download helps you identify your desires so that you can better recognize when Satan is baiting you and you can avoid falling into sin. When used along with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to identify the desires that Satan baits you with, you can then ask the Holy Spirit to help you not become a victim to the bait of your desires. Download the worksheet today.

[Download not found]
Bible Reading Plan Download

One Year Bible Reading Plan

With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out!

[Download not found]

Self-Care Wheel

The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position (paid staff or volunteer) and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.

[Download not found]

Need some music to get you through the day? Check out one of our Playlists on YouTube

Click here for the Contemporary Christian Playlist
Click here for the Southern Gospel Playlist
Or Click here for the Hymns Playlist

You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel


God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
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Stress Management: A Physical Solution

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

While a spiritual solution is important, there are also mental and physical solutions that can make us proactive in both reducing and managing stress. For example, as we understand how the body’s natural fight-or-flight response system operates, we can better cope with stress. Emotional intelligence allows us to use and manage our emotions in positive and constructive ways. Self-evaluation can help us become aware of when we are feeling tense, on edge, and stressed out. Self-awareness enables us to recognize the impact our emotions and actions have on a situation. Knowing ways that help the body relax and calm down can help lower stress and be more effective for finding solutions to our stressors. Let’s look at these in more detail.

 The Fight or Flight Response System

We typically react to a stressor that is threat in a different way than one that is a challenge. Threats tend to elicit a greater stress response from us and create greater levels of anxiety. Stressors that are perceived as a threat, whether real or imaginary, will initiate our “fight or flight” response system and create a greater sense of anxiety. The purpose of this system is to trigger the release of hormones that will prepare your body to either stay and fight the threat or to run away from it and find safety. It prepares your body to respond to the danger.

In Genesis 3, at the fall of man, Satan deceived Eve and created distrust. Through his wiles and schemes, he seduced Adam and Eve away from trusting God – the most wonderful, loving, giving, caring, sensitive, helpful being who created them. Believe it or not, Satan convinced them that God could not be trusted, and our world has not been the same since. As a result, distrust is born and it is impossible for there to be both distrust and faith at the same time. When distrust creeps in, so does fear anxiety, and depression. We instantly feel as if our personal safety is at risk and the “fight or flight response system kicks in.

The Body’s response to the fight or flight response system

When this happens, your heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, and breathing becomes faster. Your body becomes tense, ready to take immediate action. The increased heart rate and breathing rate gives you energy and oxygen. Your skin will become pale or flushed as blood flow to the surface areas of the body is reduced so that more blood flow is sent to your muscles, brain, legs, and arms. Additionally, your body also increases its ability to clot blood to prevent excess blood loss. Your pupils will dilate so that you can be more aware and observant of your surroundings while also allowing more light into your eyes giving you better vision. As your muscles prepare for action, they will become tense which can result in trembling or shaking.

Your fight or flight response system can be activated by any real or perceived threat. For eustress, this system will help you perform better. For distress, it can help you survive.  When this response becomes severe, it leads to panic attacks. However, once activated, it can take anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes after the threat is gone for your body to return to its pre-threat state.

Emotional Intelligence

We all know of a time in our lives when we let our emotions get the best of us. They can override our objective mind, make mountains out of molehills, and make the possible impossible. Our emotions can influence our personal lives, our relationships, or careers, our families, friends, and our ministries. When our thought processes and emotions become irrational, they become an obstacle that creates stress.

Emotional intelligence is a term used to refer to the ability one has to identify and manage his or her own emotions, as well as recognizing the emotions of others. It includes a sense of emotional awareness that allows someone to identify and name their own emotions. In other words, they can identify they are angry, sad, depressed, frustrated, happy, ecstatic, etc. However, being able to put a name to emotions isn’t enough. One must also be able to harness these emotions and apply them to tasks such as problem solving.

Finally, emotional intelligence includes managing emotions so that a person can regulate those emotions when necessary for themselves or to have the ability to cheer up or calm down someone else. A person that has a strong emotional intelligence would be better equipped to handle stress because such a person would be able to notice when they are becoming stressed and begin to calm themselves before they react to the stress at an unmanageable level. Additionally, the empathy and social skills of someone with a well-develop emotional intelligence would be more effective in both expressing themselves and avoiding saying something that might create a stressful or hurtful situation.

Self-evaluation

We need to have an understanding that too many challenges, whether they are eustress or distress, can lead to chronic stress, which then leads to burnout. It becomes important for us to self-evaluate and know what our own limitations are and how to create a healthy balance. Boundaries are important and we must learn to set and adhere to boundaries in our time management, relationships, finances, tasks, and every part of life.

While threats can be scary, challenges can be exciting opportunities to prove ourselves. Challenges can be enjoyable to overcome. They can be opportunities to learn just what we can accomplish when we give it our all. But they can also be stressors as we navigate through the challenges.

Self-evaluation helps us recognize what our natural coping skills are and determine whether they are positive or negative coping skills. Any time we complete a self-evaluation, we are looking at the progress, development, and learning that has taken place in a certain situation and deciding what has improved and what areas still need growth.

Our self-talk plays a big role in this. Often, we set ourselves up for failure as soon as stress hits us simply by what we tell ourselves about the stressor.  We can tell ourselves how bad, scary, impossible, and horrible something is, or we can tell ourselves that through the power of God’s help we can overcome. When you are faced with stress what is your typical self-talk? What do you typically tell yourself when faced with stress?

Self-awareness

Self-awareness enables us to understand ourselves and what drives our needs, feelings, and habits. It helps us figure out what is behind our emotions and identify their root cause. Psalm 139:14 says, “I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well.” Each one of us is a unique artwork, created by God. Because of that uniqueness we can’t look to how others respond to stress and life. We need to understand how we uniquely respond to it. We can start with asking, “Why do I feel this way?”

Developing self-awareness

Whenever we begin to explore our self-awareness, a good place to start is keeping a journal on what you are trying to learn about yourself. By keeping a journal about the areas that cause you stress you can identify reoccurring stressors in your life and the way you currently deal with them. You can then evaluate if the way you deal with them is healthy or not.

To start your stress journal, write down each time you feel stress and then look for patterns or common themes. Each time you feel stressed, write down what caused the stress or if you are having trouble identifying the stressor, make a guess. You can correct it later if you need to.

Underneath the stressor, write about how you felt physically and emotionally. Then write about how you reacted to the stressor. Note if it was a healthy or unhealthy reaction. Next, write about what you did to make yourself feel better, which is your natural coping strategy. Was this healthy or not, and why? Now, plan for the next time you experience this stressor. Lastly, spend some time in God’s Word and find a Bible verse that you can begin to memorize that relates to the stressor. Write the verse at the end of your journal page and begin memorizing now.

Here is a free template you can model in your journal:

[Download not found]

Benefits to Journaling

The benefits to journaling your way to self-awareness include:

  • finding new ways or better ways to deal with your stress
  • being able to determine if a change in circumstances is needed
  • being able to determine if your reaction to the stressor was positive or negative, healthy or unhealthy
  • identifying unnecessary stress that you can eliminate from your life.
  • discovering appropriate boundaries and personal limitations so you are better prepared to say “no” when necessary
  • setting priorities that will help eliminate stress
  • discovering and remembering God’s plan that will get you back on track to what He’s called you to do.
  • Identifying people that causes us stress

Understanding the flight-or-fight response, emotional intelligence, self-evaluation, and self-awareness is the first step to finding solutions to what stresses us. People, our environment, busy schedules, circumstances, personal differences and priorities bring stress.

­                 .

Click here to listen to our daily devotions on Spotify – and be sure to follow us on Spotify

Do you have an event on the calendar and need a speaker?

We’re offering 30% discount on our speaker fees if booked by October 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: FALL2021.

We’re excited to be a part of your ministry and can’t wait to see you – no matter what size your event.

904.239.8937


Help support our ministry:

One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

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Make a monthly donation

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Our Newest Download! The Path to Sin Worksheet

Satan is constantly trying to trip us up and he doesn’t even play fair because he uses our own desires as bait to get us to sin. James tells us the five steps that lead us down the path to sin in James 1:14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” This download helps you identify your desires so that you can better recognize when Satan is baiting you and you can avoid falling into sin. When used along with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to identify the desires that Satan baits you with, you can then ask the Holy Spirit to help you not become a victim to the bait of your desires. Download the worksheet today.

[Download not found]

Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

[Download not found]

Download our Free 2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.

[Download not found]
Bible Reading Plan Download

Download our Free 2021 Daily Bible Reading Plan

With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out!

[Download not found]

Download our Free Self-Care Wheel

The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.

[Download not found]

<<<NEW>>> In the Spreadshop Store:

Here in Florida, it does not feel like fall yet, but September is here and that means we are growing our fall line of t-shirt designs. Check out these two new designs:

Thankful, Grateful, Blessed

Thankful Grateful Blessed

Count Your Blessings

Count Your Blessings

Here are some of our other fall designs

Autumn Vibes
Autumn Vibes-fall leaves
Autumn Vibes with pumpkin
Thankful plaid pum[kin
Fall for Jesus – He never leaves
Happy Pumpkin Spice Season
Hello Fall!
Happy Fall Yall
Cutest ‘lil pumpkin in the patch

The slide show below highlights some of our favorite Christian Tees designs available in our Spreadshop and Teespring stores.

  • Revive Us Again, Lord

See our Canvase prints in the Teespring Store: All Things New

All Things New

We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store. These prints make great gifts or for decor in your home.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

To see the collection of Canvas and Poster Prints


Need some music to get you through the day? Check out one of our Playlists on YouTube

Click here for the Contemporary Christian Playlist
Click here for the Southern Gospel Playlist
Or Click here for the Hymns Playlist

You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel


God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

WestBow Press logo

Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

Christianbook Distributors logo
Everything Christian for less!

Looking for a Bible Study, Bible, book or Christian gift? We are an affiliate with Christianbook Distributors and receive an 8% commission on any item purchased through one of our links. However, the commission never increases your cost of any item. View some of our favorite items by clicking on the logo and thank you for supporting our ministry.

Christianbook Distributors Search:
Christianbook.com

Wellspring Christian Ministries receives an 8% commission on any purchased made from Christian Book Distributors through any affiliate link on this site. Your price for any item is the same as purchasing from CBD directly.


Here’s some of our recent posts.

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Stress Management: A Spiritual Solution

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC
CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

God will provide a way for what causes you stress

The most important perception to any stress is on a spiritual level. When we look at 1 Corinthians 10:13, Paul writes: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.”

Stress management begins with identifying what your stressors are, which you have done in the previous posts and you may have been editing them as you learned more about eustress and distress. Take a moment to review your list and add any new stressors that have come up since then or cross through ones that are no longer in the picture. For stressors that have been solved, write out how God provided for that situation and take times to give Him praise. If you are new to our self-care series, make a list of the things that cause stress in your life.

What will you do with your stressors?

Now that you have a good picture of what your current stressors are, you must choose what you will do with them. You can either choose to gripe, complain, and struggle beneath their weight or we can take a Biblical perspective and allow our stress to become something God can use to grow us and draw us closer to Him. If we want the result of our stress to be something that honors God, our first step to stress management is to remember that no matter what we are going through we can take it to God. He does not want us to live a life full of worry, stress, and anxiety. Philippians 4:6 tells us to make our requests known to God.

Certainly, we want to pray about the things that bring stress and seek God’s best answer to how to deal with the stressor. However, we can also pray that God would give us the wisdom we need to understand ourselves, the stressor we are dealing with, and how to resolve it.

We can ask Him to help us take responsibility for any role that we might have played in contributing to the stress.

We can ask Him to help us know where our limitations are and where we need to bring about a healthy balance in our lives in the areas where we have overextended ourselves.

Also, we can ask Him to help us learn habits that will increase resilience.

We can ask Him to give us courage to say no when we are asked to take on yet another ministry when that ministry is not God’s plan for us.

And we can look for the ways that God is using the stress in our lives as an opportunity for growth that will prepare us for the next mission He has for us.

Seek God’s Wisdom

Because God loves us and He is faithful, God will give us the grace we need to overcome any situation. We need to first seek God and His wisdom. We need to ask for His grace for the situation. Remember that God has already equipped us for the ministry He has called us to, so, we can ask Him to show us the skills and abilities He has given us to handle the situation. We need to ask Him about what He is trying to teach us in the situation. How might He be trying to grow us through it or teach us something new about Himself? We need to ask ourselves how much we trust God to help us overcome, work through, and give us the grace to endure.

As people in ministry, this begins with prayer and seeking God’s will. If something is not His will or part of His plan for our life or the ministry He has called us to, then there needs to be some pruning that takes place and cut out the obligations you’ve committed to that are outside His will and plan. Learn to become comfortable with saying “no” to any activity that does not align with God’s plan. Then you will have more time and energy to focus on His perfect plan for you and the ministry He has called you to.

Stress can have a purpose

Colossians 1:16 says, “For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible, and invisible,…everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him” (MSG). Stress can have a purpose. That thing or person causing you stress has a purpose. That crowd of church members opposing you has a purpose. That financial debt has a purpose. The difficult child has a purpose. That troubled marriage has a purpose. That health crisis has a purpose. What’s the purpose? To bring honor and glory to God. That honor and glory can manifest itself in multiple ways, such as bringing the lost to God, or growing our faith, deepening our relationship with God, teaching us to humbly wait and depend on Him. God can work through all things for our good (Romans 8:28).

When we look at the world, it’s like looking from the sidelines of life. But God is all knowing, all sovereign. There are no surprises for Him. He sees yesterday. He sees today. And He sees tomorrow. God sees the circumstances. He sees what Satan is up to the spiritual realm. He sees and knows what we do not. Therefore, we can know that when we allow God to work through our stress, He can use it to effectively shape us, grow us, and bring Him glory in the process.

Is God trying to get your attention?

At times, we hear God, but we don’t listen and God needs to get our attention. We can sense that maybe this isn’t the direction we need to go, but we think it’s what we want, so we go. God can use the stress we experience when we step out of His plan to get us back on track. The path may not have been a bad path, but it wasn’t His absolute best for us. He can use stress to draw us back to His best plan for us. Therefore, when we are feeling stress we need to stop and ask God if He is trying to get our attention.

Stress caused by misplaced priorities

Some stress in our lives is the result of misplaced priorities and God can use the stress to help us rediscover and align our priorities in a way that honors Him.  God is clear in His Word that He should always be our top priority (Deuteronomy 6:5). If you are married, your second priority should be to your spouse and the third to your children. We definitely need to spend some time with God asking Him if we have our priorities in the right order and if they are in line with what He wants for us. God warned the Israelites in Haggai 1:5-11 to “give careful thought to your ways.” How might God want you to move things around so that your priorities are in line with His?

God can use our stress to draw us closer to Him

Another way that God uses stress, is to draw us closer to Him. When life is great and we are coasting along without any problems, we tend to become independent and self-reliant. Stress causes us to call on God, to seek Him, and find Him. Psalms 18:6 says, “In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.” Over and over in the Old Testament we see where the Israelites would stray away from God and then “when they turned to the Lord God of Israel in their distress and sought Him, He was found by them” (2 Chronicles 15:4, HCSB). Stress causes us to seek God and therefore we draw closer to Him.

Stress can be the result of God’s discipline

No one likes to be disciplined, but stress can also be one of the ways that God disciplines us. Hebrews 12:5-7 says, “And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons: My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly or faint when you are reproved by Him, for the Lord disciplines the one He loves and punishes every son He receives. Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline?” (HCSB) So we need to examine if the stress we are experiencing is due to stepping out of God’s will and could He be disciplining us as a result.

God can use our stress to grow our faith and prepare us for His plans

Lastly, God can work through the stress in our life as a way to strengthen our faith and prepare us for what He has planned for us in the near future. In 1 Peter 1:7, we learn that trials are brought into our lives “so that the genuineness of your faith – more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (HCSB) Our faith is like a muscle. The only way a muscle grows is through exercise. As exercises put stress on the muscle, it will grow. Stress is the exercise that helps our faith grow. Therefore, we need to take time to pray and ask God how He might be working through the stress to help our faith grow and how He is preparing us for his perfect plan.

Commissioned and Sent – but not on your own power

Let’s look back at Mark 6 once again where in verse 7 Jesus commissioned the twelve and sent them out. The Bible tells us that Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority and then He sent the out. He didn’t send them out under their own power. He gave them His power. Whatever ministry God has called you to, He has given you His power to successfully complete the mission to which you have been called. But you must choose to tap into the power source and use it.

If the disciples went out afraid that God’s power was only meant for Jesus or were too scared that they would fail, how many lives would have missed out on being changed? What experiences would the disciples have missed out on? What kind of accounting would they have had to give to Jesus when they returned? Just as Jesus did not send the disciples out on an assignment without empowering them for the task, God will not send you out into ministry without giving you the power you need to accomplish His plan.

You’re invited to rest with Jesus

Let’s skip down to verse 30 of Mark 6. The disciples are now returning to Jesus and told Him everything they had done and everything they had taught. Can you imagine the scene? They are so excited, and they are all talking over one another. Thankfully, our sovereign Savior hears every voice as if it was the only one speaking. They are pumped up and have been running on the power that Jesus gave them. In fact, they had been so busy that verse 31 tells us they had not even had time to eat. Can you imagine being that busy? I personally find that there is always time for pizza and Dr. Pepper! Yet, even in their excitement, Jesus knew they were exhausted and hungry. So, Jesus invites them to come away with him for a time of rest.

Did you catch that? Jesus invites them to come away with him for a time of rest. Jesus doesn’t tell them to take a vacation or to go get a nap. He doesn’t send them away and say, “Hey guys, I can tell you’re really tired right now. Why don’t you go home and get some rest then come back when you are refreshed and ready to do more ministry.” No. He tells them to come away with him.

Certainly, there are times when we need to take a vacation and take some time to rest, refresh, and renew ourselves physically and spiritually. But when we do, don’t do it without Jesus. Psalm 62:5-8 says, “Yes, my soul, finds rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your heart to him for God is our refuge.”

ISO: True rest

Do you ever lay down at night and try to sleep, but you simply cannot fall asleep? Your mind spins with whatever is causing you stress. Or you are busy planning out all the task that need to be accomplished tomorrow. Perhaps you make mental checklists of the meetings and appointments you have tomorrow. You spend hours – maybe even all night – in search of true rest. Sometimes the elusive physical rest we need escapes us because we need to first find spiritual rest.

Whatever it is that keeps you awake at night, you will never find true rest apart from Jesus. Only when we get alone with Jesus will we find the place where we can renew our strength. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” We won’t find it fretting and worrying about what stresses us. We won’t find it in frantically trying to solve the problem on our own power. Rest comes when we get alone with God, be still, and bask in His presence. When we find true rest in His presence and trust Him to work out our problems, cares, and concerns for our good, then our minds will relax and we will be able to sleep and find physical rest.

Just when you think there is time for rest – their is more ministry to do

So, the disciples go away with Jesus, looking forward to some much needed rest. Can you imagine, then, as they get to this place of rest that there is a multitude of people there waiting for them? Can you see them each looking around and asking, “I thought He said we’d get away to rest? Yet – here is another multitude of people.”

Because Jesus is God, he already knew the multitude would be there waiting for them. He was not surprised by it. But Jesus promised the disciples a time of rest, renewal, refreshment. So if Jesus knew the multitude would be there and this is where Jesus took his disciples for rest, what was it about the multitude of people that would meet the need the disciples had?

Because of their hunger and exhaustion, the multitude was a very big stressors through the eyes of the disciples. But through the eyes of Jesus, the multitude would meet a need. The multitude had a physical need of hunger. The disciples were hungry also, but they also had a need of spiritual hunger. As Jesus met the physical need of the multitude, he would also meet the spiritual need of his disciples.  And, in doing so, Jesus will teach the disciples yet another lesson that will equip them and prepare them for spreading the gospel once Jesus is no longer with them.

When rest is elusive, all you see is the stress

As the exhausted, hungry disciples look out over the multitude, probably with also some feelings of disappointment that that elusive rest Jesus promised is not quite yet coming, all they see is a problem – the people are hungry and there is nothing they have that could feed them all. They tell Jesus to send them away. Don’t we do that with our stressors? We pray and ask Jesus to remove the stress from our lives. The disciples just walked right up to Jesus and said, “Send them home, Jesus. They are all hungry.” (They were probably also thinking, “And so are we!”) But Jesus had a plan for them and for the multitude.

Jesus tells the disciples, “You feed them.” Can you imagine their stunned faces? As they survey the crowd to see what food was around, all they found was five loaves of bread and two small fish. They inform Jesus of what was available. Jesus tells them to have the people sit in groups of about fifty people each. So, they get the people to sit down. Jesus blesses the food and begins to break it apart. Every single person there had not just something to eat – they ate until they could eat no more and when they were done, they took up twelve baskets of leftovers.

Stress with a spiritual lesson

What was the spiritual lesson for the disciples, and us, to learn? That our “available little bit” is more than enough when it is placed in the hands of Jesus. Like the disciples you have been supernaturally equipped for Your calling. Like those seated on the grassy plain were empty and hungry, when we are stressed out, we are also empty and hungry, spiritually. Just as Jesus fed the multitude of people with five loaves of bread and two fish, along with 12 baskets of leftovers, Jesus stands ready to fill you today, along with leftovers to carry you through to the next battle you face.

When it comes down to it, every single one of us who profess to be a child of God, is in ministry. You have been equipped and called to serve God and to minister to the lost. Every single one of us have an assignment, a battle mission, and there will come a day for when we must give an account for what He has called us to do. Will Jesus say “well done”? The key to avoiding stress, burnout and compassion fatigue is getting alone with Jesus and placing our “little bit” in the palm of his hand and watch the miracle that Jesus will do with it.

­                 .

Click here to listen to our daily devotions on Spotify – and be sure to follow us on Spotify

Do you have an event on the calendar and need a speaker?

We’re offering 30% discount on our speaker fees if booked by October 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: FALL2021.

We’re excited to be a part of your ministry and can’t wait to see you – no matter what size your event.

904.239.8937


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Your contribution is appreciated and will help us grow and expand our ministry. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

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Our Newest Download! The Path to Sin Worksheet

Satan is constantly trying to trip us up and he doesn’t even play fair because he uses our own desires as bait to get us to sin. James tells us the five steps that lead us down the path to sin in James 1:14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” This download helps you identify your desires so that you can better recognize when Satan is baiting you and you can avoid falling into sin. When used along with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to identify the desires that Satan baits you with, you can then ask the Holy Spirit to help you not become a victim to the bait of your desires. Download the worksheet today.

[Download not found]

Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

[Download not found]

Download our Free 2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.

[Download not found]
Bible Reading Plan Download

Download our Free 2021 Daily Bible Reading Plan

With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out!

[Download not found]

Download our Free Self-Care Wheel

The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.

[Download not found]

<<<NEW>>> In the Spreadshop Store:

Here in Florida, it does not feel like fall yet, but September is here and that means we are growing our fall line of t-shirt designs. Check out these two new designs:

Thankful, Grateful, Blessed

Thankful Grateful Blessed

Count Your Blessings

Count Your Blessings

Here are some of our other fall designs

Autumn Vibes
Autumn Vibes-fall leaves
Autumn Vibes with pumpkin
Thankful plaid pum[kin
Fall for Jesus – He never leaves
Happy Pumpkin Spice Season
Hello Fall!
Happy Fall Yall
Cutest ‘lil pumpkin in the patch

The slide show below highlights some of our favorite Christian Tees designs available in our Spreadshop and Teespring stores.

  • Revive Us Again, Lord

See our Canvase prints in the Teespring Store: All Things New

All Things New

We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store. These prints make great gifts or for decor in your home.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

To see the collection of Canvas and Poster Prints


Need some music to get you through the day? Check out one of our Playlists on YouTube

Click here for the Contemporary Christian Playlist
Click here for the Southern Gospel Playlist
Or Click here for the Hymns Playlist

You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel


God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

WestBow Press logo

Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

Christianbook Distributors logo
Everything Christian for less!

Looking for a Bible Study, Bible, book or Christian gift? We are an affiliate with Christianbook Distributors and receive an 8% commission on any item purchased through one of our links. However, the commission never increases your cost of any item. View some of our favorite items by clicking on the logo and thank you for supporting our ministry.

Christianbook Distributors Search:
Christianbook.com

Wellspring Christian Ministries receives an 8% commission on any purchased made from Christian Book Distributors through any affiliate link on this site. Your price for any item is the same as purchasing from CBD directly.


Here’s some of our recent posts.