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The Attitude and Action of Thanksgiving

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

Thanksgiving: Time for Family and Friends

The day before Thanksgiving, an elderly man in Phoenix called his son in New York and said to him, “I hate to ruin your day, son, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing. 45 years of misery is enough. We’re sick of each other, and so you can call your sister in Chicago and tell her.”

Frantically, the son called his sister, who exploded on the phone. “They are not getting divorced,” she shouted. “I’ll take care of this.”

She called Phoenix immediate, and said to her father, “You are NOT getting divorced. Don’t you do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother back, and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t do a thing. DO YOU HEAR ME?”

The man hung up the phone, smiled and turned to his wife. “Okay, honey. The kids are coming for Thanksgiving and paying for their own flights.”

Thanksgiving: A Time to Love One Another

For most of us we look forward to Thanksgiving Day with joy to see family members that we may not get to see often. It’s a time for those who’ve moved a way to come home and see their loved ones. We get together, eat, laugh, watch football, catch up with one another, and have a good time. As we celebrate Thanksgiving we demonstrate love to one another.

Wait! Love one another? Even the cranky busybody? What about that person that made us mad earlier in the year and we stopped talking to them? What about the mother-in-law that constantly criticizes? Jesus said in John 13:34-25, “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” So yes! We have to love all our family members, just as Jesus loved us. Loving one another is always better than fighting, bickering, and hating.

Particularly as COVID continues to claim lives, there will be many families with an empty seat at the Thanksgiving dinner table this year. So, if you are fortunate enough to be with family, thank God and love even the most difficult of family members.

Thanksgiving: A Time to Recognize How Rich We Are in Blessings

It is said that Arnold Schwarzenegger is worth about $800 million dollars. It is also said that he loves his toys. He smokes $4000 cigars, wears shoes that cost as much as $5000 a par, wears $3000 Italian suites and has a $12.5 million Gulfstream Jet. He and his family cruise in style on a $4.5 million 88 foot yacht. Arnold also is fond of Hummers and has a total of 9 of them. Each one cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 for total worth of $1 million. The first one he purchased at a cost of $117,000.

It can be easy to allow ourselves to become jealous and wish we had more than we do – more money, a bigger home, a nicer car, etc. But we seldom acknowledge just how rich we are in the blessings that God has given us. Being rich isn’t always about money or possession. 2 Corinthians 8:9 says, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: Though He was rich, for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich.”

We Can Celebrate Thanksgiving Because The Richest became the Poorest for Our Sakes

Jesus as the pre-incarnate Son of God had everything. He was rich in power. He could do anything with the universe He had created. And He was rich in glory which He had with the Father (John 17:5). The angels were “constantly bowing down” to worship Him and crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts” (Isaiah 6:3). As the Son of God, the Second Person of the Godhead, Jesus was rich in “the actual and constant possession of all divine prerogatives” (Charles Hodge). Even though in Him was the fullness of the Godhead with all of its rights and possessions, He chose on His own to become poor. It was His own volitional choice. He chose to do the Father’s will.

Jesus gave it all up. Instead of being worshipped, “He was despised and rejected by men . .. we esteemed Him not… he was stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:3-4). Jesus was obedient to death. There were “no reserves, no half-measures, no conditions, no holding back.” Jesus gave His all. Jesus poured out everything He had in a demonstration of His love for the sinner. It was a demonstration of His love for His enemies. He freely gave all that He had, not expecting anything in return. He descended from highest heaven to the grave. No one was richer than He was; none became poorer than He did.

Why did Jesus give up all the glory of heaven to come to earth to die for us? John 3:16 is the answer: “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” He did it for you. So no matter our circumstances this Thanksgiving, we can give thanks to Jesus who gave his life for ours.

America is a nation rich in blessings with much to be thankful for at Thanksgiving

America is truly a nation that has seen blessing after blessing. To many other nations, we are a rich nation yet instead of being thankful and sharing our abundance with others, we turn our eyes away from those who are starving, homeless, and alone.

Jesus told a parable in Matthew 25 and in verses 35-36, he said, “For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat;
I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; and I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you took care of Me; I was in prison and you visited Me.” Then as he explained the meaning of the parable, we find that he said in verse 40, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.”

Perhaps that starving, homeless, lonely person you encountered was placed in your path because Jesus wanted you to meet their need out of the abundant of blessings He gave to you. In verses 41-45 of the parable, Jesus plainly says that when we ignore these people, we are ignoring him. When we refuse to feed them, clothe them, or meet their needs, we do the same to Jesus.

The Attitude and Action of Thanksgiving

So some will dread spending time with family at Thanksgiving or any other holiday or family gathering. They will be miserable, complaining people who make everyone else miserable. Instead of being thankful for everything in front of them, they will not even consider the people who will go hungry. Thanksgiving has both and attitude and an action that should be a part of our lives – not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us that we are to be joyful, pray always, and give thinks. This is both the attitude and action of Thanksgiving.

Joyful: The attitude of Thanksgiving

A thankful person is a joyful person and a joyful person is generally a thankful person. Joy is a short word that packs a lot of punch. Dictionary.com defines joy in this way: the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying. When I consider that definition and others that are similar it makes me wonder if this is what it means to have true joy or did God have something different in mind? If you will indulge me let’s unpack this whole idea of what it means to have true joy not from how the world sees it but from how God defines it.

There is a story of two old friends who bumped into one another on the street one day. One of them looked forlorn, almost on the verge of tears. His firend asked, “What has the world done to you, my old friend?”

The sad fellow said, “Let me tell you. Three weeks ago, an uncle died and left me $40,000 dollars.”

“That’s a lot of money, his friend replied.

The said man then said, “But, two weeks ago, a cousin I never even knew died, and left me $85,000.”

The friend, still confused over why the man was so said said, “Sounds like you’ve been blessed.”

“You don’t understand!” he interrupted. “Last week my great-aunt passed away. I inherited almost a quarter of a million.”

Now his friend was really confused. “Then, why do you look so glum?”

“This week… nothing!”

This is often the way we are. We are blessed in certain ways and expect more all the time. No matter what blessings come our way, our attitude is still, “What? Nothing this week!” We’re not as joyful as we should be and that’s because we don’t recognize what we’ve already been given.

Paul wrote in I Corinthians 4:7 “For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?”

Everything we have we received from God. Our jobs, incomes, cars, houses, land, food, clothing, you name it. We have no right to boast as if we provided everything for ourselves. EVERY GOOD GIFT IS FROM ABOVE! There should be no boasting or indifference on our part. Never. Instead we should count our blessings, name them one by one, and be joyful to see everything that God has done for us.

Counting Your Blessings

Theologian Leslie Weatherhead told about eating with a couple in northern England right after WWII. Food was still scarce, but the wife managed to prepare a fine meal of fresh trout from a nearby stream and some fresh vegetables cooked in a delightful way.

He enjoyed the meal greatly and when it was over, he thanked his hostess for it. She blushed rather shyly and said, “Oh sir, my husband never thanks me when I prepare a fine meal for him.”

Weatherhead said that he felt a little embarrassed for the husband. But he discovered that the husband was not embarrassed at all. He said that he could still see the man sitting there, saying, “Hey, Love. I would have told you if I didn’t like it.”

Isn’t that the way we are so much of the time? Instead of being humbled, thankful and appreciative, we are quicker to complain if our blessings are not just the way we want them or the amount that we want.

Similarly, a young man was feeling very proud of himself. As a brand-new college graduate he had taken the C.P.A. Exams and passed with flying colors. Now he was a full-fledged Certified Public Accountant. His father, however, had been an immigrant to the U.S. and now owned his own little business.

Filled with self-importance, the young man began to criticize his father’s way of keeping books. He said, “Dad, you don’t even know how much profit you’ve made. Over here in this drawer are your accounts receivable. Over there are your receipts and you keep all your money in the cash register. You don’t have any idea how much you’ve made.”

The father answered, “Son, when I came to this country the only thing I owned was a pair of pants. Now, your brother is a doctor, your sister is an art teacher, and you are a C.P.A. Your mother and I own our home. We have a car and we own this little business. Now add that up, subtract the pants, and all the rest is profit.”

Adding Up Your Blessings

ADD IT UP. That’s exactly what we need to do at Thanksgiving. Add it all up. We came into this world with nothing but the eternal soul that God gave us. Everything else is profit. We all have profited quite well. BE JOYFUL.

Joy is different than happiness. Happiness is based on your circumstances and what is happening around you, but the Bible tells us that joy comes from the Lord! We can be joyful even in the hard times when God fills us with His joy!

Paul wrote in Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

In Nehemiah 8:10, “Nehemiah said, ‘Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’”

The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 19:8, “The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.” And in Psalm 33:1, he said, “Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.” Psalm 71:23 says, “My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to You because You have redeemed me.” And in Psalm 126:5, we find that “those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.”

Solomon tells us in Proverbs 10:1 that “A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.”

Jeremiah tells us, “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and heart’s delight.” (Jeremiah 15:16)

James tells us to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind.” (James 1:2)

Joy is accepting what God has blessed you with and living for him. Someone that possesses joy, is kind and loving. They look at life as a mission field to tell others about God.  Joy flows from the inside out. Something inside you bubbles up and it flows or erupts out of your heart.

Based on what the Bible says about joy, we can create a new Biblical definition of joy: an internal reservoir or well that bubbles up inside you eventually expressing itself in shouts of song, praise, and great delight. This kind of joy cannot be contained. It will spill over and spread to all those you come in contact with.

Pray Always: Both and Attitude and Action of Thanksgiving

Prayer is an attitude of our hearts. When we pray, do we realize we are approaching the Creator and Lord of the Universe? Or do we treat our prayers casually, as if we were simply talking to a neighbor? Perhaps our prayers treat God as a genie in a bottle that grants our every wish.

Do we truly realize the great privilege God has given us by allowing us to come into His presence — a privilege that cost God His only Son? And because Jesus gave his life for us, we can joyfully but reverently come into His presence as we pray. The Bible says, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

Attitudes of Prayer:

As we examine the Scriptures we can find the following attitudes that we should have when we pray:

  1. Acceptance. Let us pray in acceptance that God knows better than we do what our needs are ( Matthew 6:8, Romans 8:26, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
  2. Faith. James 1:5-7 tells us to pray without doubting. We can trust in the inerrancy of the Scriptures and trust what they say.
  3. Persistence. We are to keep on asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking (Matthew 7:7-8). And in Luke 18:1-8, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, and Acts 16:23-25, we are to pray and not give up.
  4. Right Motives. “You ask and do not receive because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:1-3). They were not wrong to ask, but their asking was wrongly motivated. Example of wrong motives, James and John (Mark 10:35-37). Example of right motives, young Solomon (1Kings 3:3-15).
  5. Harmony with God’s Will. 1 John 5:14 tells that that if we pray anything according to God’s will he hears us and grants that prayer. So when God clearly reveals His will, we can have confidence in the answer. However, when God’s will has not been revealed, we can pray like Jesus, “If it be possible…nevertheless not my will but Your will be done.” (Matthew 26:39)
  6. Desire to Obey. Only “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful” (James 5:16). We receive from God what we ask only when we show ourselves willing and eager to keep God’s commandments and do the things that please God (1John 3:22).
  7. Thanksgiving. We are to make all our requests to God with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6). God loves the grateful soul. He is not much interested in whiners (Daniel 2:23, Hebrews 13:15, Colossians 4:2, Ephesians 5:20).

Action of Prayer

In Luke 18:1, Jesus said, “men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” During World War II, when the bombing was so intense on the city of London, a sign appeared in front of one of the churches in London that read, “If your knees knock together, kneel on them!” That is practically a restatement of what our Lord has said, “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”

It is the same thought that Paul put a little differently, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). This does not mean you are to go to an all-day or all-night prayer meeting. Prayer is not only an attitude; it is also an action of the lips. Remember that Paul said to the Romans, “…the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26). That is, they cannot be put into our words. And many times we do not have the words to pray, but we are praying nonetheless. And it is the entire life that is behind the words which are spoken that makes prayer effective.

There was a famous preacher, years ago in the state of Georgia, who had many very unusual expressions. One of them was this, “When a man prays for a corn crop, God expects him to say Amen with a hoe.” You can’t just stay on your knees all the time and pray for a corn crop. That’s pious nonsense. But to pray for the corn crop and then go to work is the thing our Lord is talking about in days when men’s hearts are failing them. “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”

With prayer, there is also action.

Give Thanks: The Action of Thanksgiving

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” A thankful person is quick to give thanks to God in all circumstances.

One day, a lady pulled up to the drive-in window at a bank. The teller inside was facing the hot afternoon sun, so he pulled down the large window shade, making it impossible for his customers to see him through the window. He could see out but they couldn’t see in.

As this lady pulled up to the window he pushed the button and the drawer moved out to meet her. She put in her deposit and the drawer withdrew. A few moments later the drawer came back out again with her deposit slip and the money she had requested. She counted it and then put the money in her purse.

She looked at the window, but unable to see anyone inside, said, “I suppose you’re totally automated, but I just feel I ought to say `thank you’ anyway.” Today, it is rare that people say think you, even when you can see them. More of us should be like the lady in the drive-in window at the bank. We should be thankful to God and to all people who bless us in life. We should be thankful to God for those who serve us even though we may not know them or see them.

1 out of 10 were Thankful

Jesus went about doing good wherever he went. He made the lame to walk, the blind to see, and he fed multitudes with only 5 loaves of bread and two fish. On one day, Jesus encountered 10 lepers. Let’s read the story in Luke 17:11-17.

“While traveling to Jerusalem, He passed between Samaria and Galilee.  As He entered a village, 10 men with serious skin diseases met Him. They stood at a distance  and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He told them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And while they were going, they were healed. But one of them, seeing that he was healed, returned and, with a loud voice, gave glory to God. 16 He fell facedown at His feet, thanking Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus said, “Were not 10 cleansed? Where are the nine? Didn’t any return to give glory to God except this foreigner?”  And He told him, “Get up and go on your way. Your faith has made you well.”

Holman Christian Standard Bible

It’s important to note that the only one who returned to say thankful was a Samaritan because in Jesus’ day, the Jews had nothing to do with the Samaritans. They were the hated, outcasts. After Israel’s fall to the Assyrians, they began to intermarry with the Assyrians, which went against God’s commands in Deuteronomy 7:3-5. So the Jews saw the Samaritans as unclean dogs. But of all 10 that were healed, this is the only one who returned to say “thank you.”

As we prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday this year, will you be the one to say “Thank you” to God, or will you be one of the 9 that never returned?

Give thanks in all circumstances

The apostle Paul didn’t say to give thanks “for” all circumstances, but “in” all circumstances. All our circumstances in life are not good, but there will always be something in those circumstances for which to give thanks.

When Robinson Crusoe was shipwrecked on a lonely island he thought of both the good and the bad. He was cast onto a desolate island, but he was still alive, not drowned as all of his ship’s company was. He was divided from mankind, but he was not starving. Robinson had no clothes, but he was in a hot climate where he didn’t need them. He was without means of defense, but he saw no wild animals. He had nothing to speak of, but God had sent the ship so near to the shore that he could get out of it all things necessary for his survival. So he concluded that there was not any condition in the world so miserable but that there was something positive for which to be thankful.

That’s the attitude that we need to have. Crusoe could give thanks in all circumstances. He found some things for which to give thanks and we can too, no matter how bad our situation or circumstances might seem to be.

We Can be Thankful Because we have Everything

A little eight-year-old named Christina had cancer of the nervous system. When asked what she wanted for her birthday, she thought long and hard and finally said, “I don’t know. I have two sticker books and a Cabbage Patch doll. I have everything!”

My friends, we all have that great cancer of the soul called sin, but when we asked Jesus to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, He took our sin away. He removed it as far as the east is from the west. Because of him, we have forgiveness of sins. We have eternal life. WE HAVE EVERYTHING BECAUSE OF HIM!

So this Thanksgiving, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

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Make His Praise Glorious

Praise God at all Times

It’s easy to praise God when we see Him doing great things in our lives. It’s easy to praise Him when life is going well. But what about the times that are difficult or sad or those moments when God seems slow to answer prayer or when we wonder if God has forgotten us (which He hasn’t). How much different would our lives and our world be if we praised God at all times? If we look hard enough, we can always find something to praise God for – even if our praise is a statement of faith for God’s goodness and faithfulness in our lives, no matter what we are going through.

In Psalm 34:1, the psalmist wrote: “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we learn that we are to “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” And in Psalm 150:6, the psalmist wrote: “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” So if you are still breathing, you need to be praising the Lord.  (Click to tweet)

What does it mean to Praise God?

Praising God simply means that we are showing Him our admiration and that we are exalting Him. It’s taking the time to celebrate God and boast about who He is: His greatness and the ways He has worked in our lives. There is always something we can praise Him for and if we can’t find something in a particular moment, then we can praise Him for what He’s done in our lives in the past and for his faithfulness, mercy, and love.  (Click to tweet) We can praise Him because He never changes and He always keeps His promises. We can praise Him for forgiveness of sin. And we can praise Him that He will never leave or forsake us. Whatever attribute of God that comes to mind – praise Him for it.

Praise Can’t Occupy the same space as negative emotions

Even when we are feeling depressed, hurt, betrayed, worried, or ill, we can still praise God. In fact, if we spend more time praising God in the bad moments rather than grumbling and complaining, it becomes very difficult to stay in those negative moods and mindsets. It’s almost as if praising God and depression (or other negative emotions) can’t occupy the same time and space. The reason is when we are praising God our focus is on Him (where it should be), rather than on our circumstances  (Click to tweet)   and as we recall how God has been faithful to us in the past, it gives us assurance that He will do so again. So when the negative emotions threaten to take over, start writing a list of everything you can think of to praise God for and then start praising Him.

Ways to praise God

If God expects us to praise Him in all things, then what are some ways that we can praise Him? We praise God in many different ways. Some will belt out their praise before God in voices loud and strong. Others do so within the quietness of their hearts. We praise God as we sing worship songs that magnify Him. As we go through our day-to-day lives, we should be offering praise to God, whether it’s at home, work, church, school, grocery store, bank, or dentist’s office.

In the Bible, we can learn that praise was offered to God in several ways:

Praise through the use of musical instruments and singing.

Psalm 150:3-5 says, “Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.” And in Psalm 98:4-6 the psalmist writes: “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn – shout for joy before the Loke, the King.”

Praise with clapping of hands and shouts of joy.

“Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth!” (Psalm 47:1-2)

Praise in an assembly of believers.

“The whole assembly bowed in worship, while the singers sang and the trumpeters played.” (2 Chronicles 29:28)

Psalm 22:22, “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.”

Praise when we are alone.

Psalm 71:8 “My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day.”

Psalm 34:1 I will praise the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.

We can praise God in any position we are in.

In Acts 2:1-2, they were sitting. In Psalms 95:6, we see an invitation to kneel before the Lord our Maker. And in Exodus 33:10, the people stood and worshiped. In 1 Kings 18:39, the people “fell prostrate” (they laid down). In Nehemiah 8:6, they lifted their hands and bowed down with their faces to the ground. And in 2 Chronicles 29:30, they sang praises with gladness and bowed their heads and worship. In Psalm 63:4, the psalmist declared that he would lift up his hands to praise God for as long as he lived. And in Psalm 149:3, they were dancing and making music as a form of praise.

We can praise Him with our words.

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer sacrifice of praise to God, that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” (Hebrews 13:15) We also praise Him with our words as we tell others about the great things God has done for us.

In Heaven, there is continual praise offered to God

In Revelation 19: 5-7 we see that there is continual praise being offered to God.

“And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.”

There really isn’t a right or wrong way to praise God. What matters is that your praise be pure, heartfelt, genuine, and sincere. Going through the motions at church because everyone else is doing the same thing, is not praise – it’s just being a copy-cat – and God knows the motives of our heart. (Click to tweet) Don’t worry about what others are doing. Praise God in your own way for what He has personally done in your life and how your have experienced Him.

If you need something to get you started praising, read the lyrics to Eddie James’ song, “You Are Worthy.” You can also hear the song performed by the Prestonwood Choir on YouTube at the link below the lyrics.

You are Worthy

You are worthy, You are worthy, You are, yes!
Only You are worthy, You are worthy to be praised.

Holy, Righteous, Rock of Ages
Most High, yes! Only you are worthy.

Faithful teacher, Promise keeper
Savior, yes! Only You are worthy.

Shepherd, Father, My strong tower.
Comfort, yes! Only You are worthy.
You are worthy to be praised.

From the rising of the sun
Until the going down of the same
You are worthy, You are worthy.
You are, yes! Only You are worthy

I will lift my voice And I will praise your holy name.
You are worthy, You are worthy
You are, yes! Only You are worthy.
You are worthy to be praised

Mighty Warrior, Great Jehovah,
Victor, yes! Only you are worthy

Awesome helper, My redeemer,
Healer, yes! Only you are worthy

Sovereign Master, My creator,
GOD YES! Only you are worthy.
You are worthy to be praised

Stricken and beaten, Crucified On Calvary
Only you are worthy.

Bled, Died, Buried in a
Borrowed tomb.
Only you are worthy.

With all power In your hands
You rose again. Only you are worthy.
You are worthy to be praised

From the rising of the sun
Until the going down of the same
You are worthy, You are worthy.
You are, yes! Only You are worthy.

I will lift my voice, And I will praise your holy name
You are worthy, You are worthy.
You are, yes! Only You are worthy.
You are worthy to be praised

We Praise You, We Lift You Up!
We Honor You! Magnify You!

Excellent! Incredible!
Omnipotent! Infallible!

We Praise You, We Lift You Up!
We Honor You! Magnify You!

Excellent! Incredible!
Omnipotent! Infallible!

You are worthy to be praised

Offer your Praise to God

Whom do we praise? The Lord alone (Psalm 148:13). How do we praise Him? With singing (Psalm 149:1), with dancing (verse 2), with musical instruments (Psalm 150:3), with our words (Psalm 35:28), with our actions (Colossians 3:17), with our uprightness (Psalm 119:7), and with all our hearts (Psalm 86:12). When should we praise the Lord? All the time (Psalm 34:1). We should express our adoration, approval, thanksgiving, and celebration to the One who created and redeemed us. “How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!” (Psalm 147:1).

What is your favorite way to praise God? What can you praise Him for right now? Take a moment now to offer your praise to God – and make His praise glorious.

click here to listen to our daily devotions on Spotify and be sure to follow us.

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

We’re offering 15% off our speaker fees if you book by July 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: SUMMER2021.

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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At the name of Jesus, one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord of lords and King of kings.

Every Knee Will Bow

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


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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.

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2 Thessalonians 3:3. Great is Thy Faithfulness

by Julia Bruce

2 Thessalonians 3 3

On an employee bulletin board someone in management posted a flyer that said, “In case of fire, flee the building with the same reckless abandon that occurs each day at quitting time.” Thankfully in the “fires” of our life, Jesus doesn’t leave us with reckless abandon to handle it on our own. Instead, His great faithfulness gives us strength and he acts as protection to us against the evil one (Satan).

In the Bible, an Old Testament poet writes of his own struggles of learning about God’s faithfulness. Because of Israel’s sin, God had predicted through the prophet, Isaiah, that the nation would be conquered and the people carried off. What was left behind was a destruction so devastating that it was hard to believe it had been caused by mere humans. The strong, fortified city walls laid in ruins. Buildings, great and small, had been toppled and lay scattered on the ground. Everywhere, there was death and mangled bodies. The few not dead yet, moaned in pain from their injuries. Others would be dead soon. From this scene, we find our poet staggering out. As he looks around him, the utter horror and devastation he sees is clearly etched in his face. Everything he has ever known in life is gone. He sinks to his knees as gut wrenching sobs pour forth from the deepest part of his soul. As the small remnant of people still alive and able to move begin emerging from their hiding places, more sobs fill the air.

When people seek counseling, therapists often will encourage them to journal their thoughts to help them process what has happened to them. Our poet doesn’t have a therapist, but he begins to process his emotions as he puts his thought in writing in the form of a letter to the other survivors. In it, he expresses his grief, attempts to work out his thoughts about God, and tries to make sense out of what has happened to them all. In Lamentations 3:1-20 you can hear his utter heartbreak, but you will also learn that he is a believer who told others about God even though they laughed at him. In total honesty, he writes of his own disillusionment with God and acknowledges that what had happened to them was the work and hand of God. God didn’t just allow it to happen – he had planned it. Orchestrated it. Caused it to happen. It was his judgement on a nation that chose idolatry and worship of false gods while turning their back on the One true God who had called them out and chosen them for His very own.

The hurt and devastation for our poet doesn’t end there. He also feels that God is angry at him and against him. As a result, he feels he has nothing left to pin his hopes on for a future different from his new reality. He is depressed and he is in shock. What’s more, our poet is none other than one of God’s own prophets – Jeremiah – and his letter has been persevered as the book of Lamentations in our Bible.

Maybe at some point in your life you have been able to relate to Jeremiah. Maybe your are there now. As a resident of Florida with our share of hurricanes, many have seen destruction such as Jeremiah did. I think of how just a few months ago Dorian sat over the Bahama Islands and the photos that began to appear on the news of the destruction that hurricane left behind.  Those photos, to me, represent the utter destruction that Jeremiah saw in his day. Maybe the utter destruction you have faced wasn’t a physical one, but an emotional one – such as a cancer diagnosis or the accidental death of a child.  Maybe for you, it was several things in your life back to back that left you wondering if God was angry with you. Whatever, your utter destruction is, the effects are the same and your emotions and feeling are/were probably very similar to Jeremiah’s.

18 cttDespite it all, Jeremiah kept his focus on one truth that kept him going even in the darkest moment of his life. This truth became his weapon against depression and despair. He held nothing back in his letter of how he felt. He expressed anger, grief, and shock and then he writes Lamentations 3:21-23:

“Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!”

These verses can become your weapon against the emotions that threaten to drown you too. Fear, anxiety, depression, hopelessness. None of them can stand up against God’s mercy and faithfulness. It never runs out.

The Thessalonican church in Paul’s day was birthed in the midst of Christians being persecuted. Paul wrote to them knowing, they of all people, would understand how he was being persecuted. He asked them to pray for him so the the Lord’s message would spread rapidly and be honored. He also asked them to pray that he would be delivered from the wicked and evil men who intended to do him harm. This request was then followed by the following words of encouragement to the Thessalonian church:

“But the Lord is faithful; He will strengthen and guard you from the evil one.”

When we go through trials, persecution, or difficulties, it can be easy to forget all the times that God has been there for us in the past. Our mind is so focused on the “right now moment”, the pain and suffering that we feel, the grief and sorrow, the fear and anxiety, the uncertainty in the midst of it all, that it can’t recall God’s faithfulness. (Click to tweet) It can be helpful to keep a journal of all the times that God has been faithful to us in the past.

If you have ever sung the old Hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, then you are familiar with the following lyrics: “here I raise my Ebenezer.” But what’s an Ebenezer? Samuel recognized the importance of being able to recall God’s faithfulness. In 1 Samuel 7, he takes a stone and set it upright between Mizpah and Shen and then he named it Ebenezer and said, “The Lord has helped us to this point.” From that moment forward, every time he or the people saw the stone, they were reminded of God’s faithfulness to them.

By keeping a journal of the times God has been faithful to you, it can help you remember his faithfulness to you when your mind is so devastated and torn by grief that it can’t recall it. As you pull out the journal in those moments and read through your entries, you can find peace and comfort and know that God will be faithful again. You will also find reassurance that He’s also right now working in the present situation…even if you can’t see it right now. So praise Him through this storm too, know that He is in control and He’s right now working all things out for your good and for His best plan for you.

Take a moment and think about the lyrics to the 1923 Hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness (© 1923. Ren. 1951 Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188. www.hopepublishing.com):

Great is Thy faithfulness
O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not
Thy compassions they fail not
As Thou hast been
Thou forever will be
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
And all I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness
Lord unto me
Pardon for sin
And a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer
And to guide
Strength for today
and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Lord every morning new mercies I see
And all I have needed Thy hands hath
provided
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Lord unto me

Take some time to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to recall the previous times where you’ve seen God’s faithfulness to you…where He has given you strength when you didn’t think you had any left…where He’s protected you. Where He has provided for you. Where He has healed you. Start your own Faithfulness Journal and write each remembrance down. Now take a few moments and praise him for his faithfulness, protection, and strength.

ctt verse of the day

#verseoftheday #greatisThyfaithfulness #Ebenezer #merciesneweverymorning #WCM

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If you would like to be a part of the God-sized dream we call Wellspring Christian Ministries, you can help with your one-time or monthly tax-deductible contribution. Now, with two ways to give, you can help us grow and expand our ministry. To donate to our general ministries, you can now make a contribution through our website. We are also seeking the perfect 200 (or more) acres of land on which we will build and do the various ministries God is leading us in. To make a donation towards Phase 1 of our Land and Building campaign, you can give at buymeacoffe.com. We like to think of ourselves as “Distributors of Living Water” …and for just the cost of a copy of coffee, you can be one too through your contribution that will have an eternal impact as we lead others to Christ, help Christians develop passionate relationships with God, and help couples connect and reignite their marriages. Who knew the cost of a cup of coffee could do so much? Donate today to become a Living Water Distributor

You can also make a contribution to our general ministries as we grow and expand our ministry as God leads through our website. To donate to our ministry expansion, click here.

  • Every gift will be acknowledged on our “Donor Wall” on our website. Just  leave your name the way you wish it to appear in the message box as you make your gift.
  • Every $50 will receive a free signed copy of Julia’s book, “God, Love & Marshmallow Wars”
  • Every $500 or more gift will receive the “God, Love & Marshmallow Wars” Couple Event for their church with Julia’s speaker fees waived (host site is still responsible for travel expense and other costs of the event).

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Wellspring Christian Ministries is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization.
Thank you for helping us grow!

#growingintoourfuture #fundraiser #buymeacoffee #WCM

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This event helps couples understand why the daily activities found in the book will equip them to build a stronger marriage and the book provides them with 365 intentional activities to take what they learn at the event and apply it on a daily basis. Through the event, couples will discover the Biblical “why” behind the categories of activities found in the book and the “how” these activities are important to building a stronger marriage. Focus points of the event includes :

  • How memorizing scripture together and studying God’s Word together as they study, meditate and apply scriptures related to marriage and life issues will help them develop marriages that honor God.
  • Why utilizing fun conversation starters that spark meaningful conversations will keep interest alive as they continually learn new things about each other.
  • Why keeping romance alive is essential to intimacy and connectivity.
  • How making memories and working together builds relationship investment bonds and how these investment bonds can become the knots that keeps them together through the tough times.
  • How they can understand what they are or are not contributing to the marriage as well as how they might be contributing to problems or potential problems within the relationship through the use of targeted, intentional personal reflections
  • Why it is important that couples never stop dating and how group dates with Christian friends can be both an encouragement and accountability to their own relationship.

During the event, couples will be given an activity from each focus point to do together, making this event an interactive, fun, and engaging event with practical, hands-on learning. Unlike other couple events that are over when the event ends, couples who attend the GLMW event will be able to apply what they learn when utilizing the book on a daily basis for a year. Since the book is not dated, couples are able to reuse the activities year after year to continue being intentional in strengthening their relationship with each other and with God as they strive to live out God’s design for marriage every day.

Learn more about hosting this event at your church or conference site by clicking here.

About the book: The GLMW book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble

#GLMWcouplesevent #GLMWbook #intentionalmarriage #Godlymarriage

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T-shirt Fundraiser: We have a new product line of Christian apparel and accessories available in our Teespring Store and our new Spreadshop Store. You’ll find tee shirts, hoodies, tanks, socks, leggings, tote bags, mugs, iphone cases and more.

All proceeds go to the advancement of Wellspring Christian Ministries.
Thank you for helping us grow!

Click here to view the Teespring store. 

Click here to view the Spreadshop Store 

#fundraiser #tshirt #teespring #spreadshop

004

Looking for a speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is now booking for 2019 and 2020 Christian events for women’s and couples’ ministries for both small and large events.
Book with us now.

Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.

Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.

With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities, regardless of size.

Image result for form pngTo request more information or a booking, 
fill out the online form here.

Or call us at 904.524.8073

#JuliaBruce #speaker #keynote #author

Affiliate links for The Case for Christ by Lee Stroble:

350034: The Case for Christ, Updated and Expanded, Mass Market The Case for Christ, Updated and Expanded, Mass Market

By Lee Strobel / Zondervan

If you were a journalist, how would you investigate the top story in human history? Join the award-winning former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune as he cross-examines scholars to uncover incontestable evidence supporting Jesus’ claims. Includes updated archaeological material, an interview with Strobel, and more. A powerful defense of the Christian faith! 464 pages, softcover from Zondervan.

The Case for Christ, Blu-ray/DVD/CD Combo   - The Case for Christ, Blu-ray/DVD/CD Combo

By Pure Flix Entertainment, LLC

A hard-driving journalist, Lee Strobel was exactly where he expected to be at work: on top. His award-winning investigative reporting recently earned him a promotion to legal editor at the Chicago Tribune. But things weren’t going nearly as well at home where his wife Leslie’s newfound faith in Christ went against everything Lee believed&mdash;or didn’t believe&mdash;as an avowed atheist.

Utilizing his journalistic and legal training, Lee begins a quest to debunk the claims of Christianity in order to save his crumbling marriage. Chasing down the biggest story of his career, Lee comes face-to-face with unexpected results that could change everything he knows to be true.

Starring Mike Vogel (The Help, Cloverfield), Erika Christensen (Parenthood, Flightplan), Faye Dunaway (The Thomas Crown Affair, Chinatown), and Robert Forster (The Descendents, Jackie Brown). Rated PG. Approx. 113 minutes.

Includes Blu-ray, DVD and CD

Features:

  • “The Heart of The Case for Christ” Featurette
  • Intro to the Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC
  • 11 Music Videos from “The Case for Christ” Album
  • Interviews with Lee &amp; Leslie Strobel, Cast, and Crew
  • Deleted Scenes
  • English and Spanish subtitles

Bonus CD included:

  • The Case for Christ – Songs Inspired by the Original Motion Picture

 

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1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Be Joy-filled.

by Julia Bruce

1 Thessalonians 5 16-18If we were created with a joy meter of some kind and everyone could see just how joy-filled we are, where would your level be? Overflowing? Maybe it needs topping off? Half full? Running on empty? Or just totally drained? Often we allow our circumstances to determine how “joy-filled” we are. (click to tweet) It’s the logical thing to do. We get impatient and aggravated when traffic is backed up and we’re late. Something goes wrong at work and we grumble and complain. We feel we are treated unjustly at work or school and get hurt or angry. A friend betrays us and we are deeply hurt. A child becomes rebellious and our heart breaks. Our spouse has an affair and every negative emotion in the book comes into play.

Emotions are a gift that God gave us when he created us and there is nothing wrong with emotions. In fact, since we are made in His image, we can know that God has emotions also. At the baptism of Jesus, he’s the proud father who is well pleased with His Son. When the Israelite nation reject Him for idols, he was angry. The Bible tells us the Jesus wept. He also felt a natural anxiety about facing the cross, so much so He “sweated drops of blood.” In Ecclesiastes 3, King Solomon wrote: “To every thing there is a season, a time to every purpose under the heaven (vs 1)” He goes on to say in verse 4, “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and time to dance.” However, sometimes our verbal response and how we act out negative emotions can get us into trouble. God did not create us to or expect us to go around with a fake smile when things are not good. However, as Christians, even when things seem to fall apart around us, we have something that the world does not have…the joy of Christ living in us. We also have the promises of God throughout the Bible and the freedom to bring all of our concerns to Him in prayer.

17 cttThe Apostle Paul wrote “Always be full of joy. Pray constantly, Give thanks in everything for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) Regardless of our circumstances, Paul gives us three instructions:

  1. Always be full of joy. Even when life seems to be attacking us on all sides, we can be full of joy knowing that God has everything under control. The Bible is full of promises that we can claim such as: “For I know the plans I have for you,” saith the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm, plans to give you a hope and future.” (Jer. 29:11). James tells us in his book that we are to “count it all joy.” Philippians 4:4 says we should “rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say rejoice” and verse 11 says, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Romans 8:28 tells us, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Over in the Old Testament book, Habakkuk, we read, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 3:17-18) For us today, it would be like saying, “Though there is no food in the house, the electricity has been cut off, no gas in the car and the bank is coming to take the house, I will rejoice in the Lord and be joyful in God my Savior.” That would be extremely hard to do, yet I can choose joy and to rejoice in a God that loves me and has a plan and purpose for my life and that he is busy working all things out for my good and for his glory. The joy that He gives, comes from deep within and from a peace that only God can give. Joy can co-exist with grief, hurt, and disappointment. We have joy, even in difficult times, because of our salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. We have joy because we have eternal life. We can have joy because we have surety and are eternally secure in Christ. Once we are saved, no one can pluck us out of his hand (John 10:28). And we can have joy because Christ is our fortress … our hiding place…our place of safety. And we can rejoice because God gives us strength to endure any trail.
  2. Pray constantly. Living joyful in difficult times is not easy! I think this is one reason why Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6, “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God.” No matter what our circumstances are, God cares about them and He hears us when we take them to Him in prayer. In Matthew 6:25-29, Jesus teaches, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” God cares about every minute little detail of your life. When we “pray constantly,” it means that we go through life with a constant attitude of prayer, fully conscious of God and totally surrendered to him each minute of the day. From the time we wake up until our eyes close in sleep we should have an awareness that God is right there with us and he is an active participate in whatever we are facing in life….good or bad. It means that we have a constant participant in life and we should keep him in our every thought. When we do, then our actions will reflect it. Joshua 1:9 reminds us that God has promised, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” With a constant attitude of prayer, when difficult situations occur in life, we are able to cry out with a “Mayday Prayer.” If you’ve seen the movie, “Fireproof” then you’ve seen a mayday prayer in action. Kurt Cameron plays the role of a firefighter and while putting out a house fire, he rescues a little girl and when the home becomes engulfed, he takes his axe and makes a hole in the floor and he and the little girl escape by going under the house. Still smoke and sparks from the fire and dropping around them and he calls out, “God! Get me out of here!” That’s a mayday prayer – and sometimes that all you have time to get out and other times that all the strength you have to get out. But God answers our mayday prayers just as well as He does and long, carefully thought out prayers. So even if all you have is a mayday prayer – be constantly in prayer.
  3. Give thanks in everything. When times get tough, it can be hard to give thanks and praise God. Yet, if you look hard enough there is always something you can give God thanks for. There will always be something for which you can praise Him. If your frustrated and stuck in traffic, thank Him that you are safe and not in an accident, that you have a car and not riding public transportation. If you have experienced the betrayal of a friendship, give thanks for God’s forgiveness for the times you have failed Him and then look to extend that forgiveness to your friend. When money is tight, think about the times when God has provided before and thank Him for those times. If your boss is hard and unfair, thank God for giving you a job that provides for your needs….and look for ways to show Christ to your boss through your actions and dealings with him or her. And for the times when you can’t think of anything else to praise Him for, praise Him for the gift of Salvation. If the words of praise just won’t come, put some praise music on and sing along. Even if it isn’t in your heart at first, your heart will soon catch on to the lyrics you sing.

What an opportunity you have to present your life as a testimony to God when the world sees you full of joy, always praying, and giving thanks in everything.

ctt verse of the day

#verseoftheday #choosejoy #praywithoutceasing #maydayprayer #WCM

October divider

news and events

growing into our future tree

If you would like to be a part of the God-sized dream we call Wellspring Christian Ministries, you can help with your one-time or monthly tax-deductible contribution. Now, with two ways to give, you can help us grow and expand our ministry. To donate to our general ministries, you can now make a contribution through our website. We are also seeking the perfect 200 (or more) acres of land on which we will build and do the various ministries God is leading us in. To make a donation towards Phase 1 of our Land and Building campaign, you can give at buymeacoffe.com. We like to think of ourselves as “Distributors of Living Water” …and for just the cost of a copy of coffee, you can be one too through your contribution that will have an eternal impact as we lead others to Christ, help Christians develop passionate relationships with God, and help couples connect and reignite their marriages. Who knew the cost of a cup of coffee could do so much? Donate today to become a Living Water Distributor

You can also make a contribution to our general ministries as we grow and expand our ministry as God leads through our website. To donate to our ministry expansion, click here.

  • Every gift will be acknowledged on our “Donor Wall” on our website. Just  leave your name the way you wish it to appear in the message box as you make your gift.
  • Every $50 will receive a free signed copy of Julia’s book, “God, Love & Marshmallow Wars”
  • Every $500 or more gift will receive the “God, Love & Marshmallow Wars” Couple Event for their church with Julia’s speaker fees waived (host site is still responsible for travel expense and other costs of the event).

give now

give now tree
Wellspring Christian Ministries is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization.
Thank you for helping us grow!

#growingintoourfuture #fundraiser #buymeacoffee #WCM

Cover_mBOOKING NOW to be a host site for the NEW God, Love & Marshmallow Wars Book Tour & Couples Conference:

This event helps couples understand why the daily activities found in the book will equip them to build a stronger marriage and the book provides them with 365 intentional activities to take what they learn at the event and apply it on a daily basis. Through the event, couples will discover the Biblical “why” behind the categories of activities found in the book and the “how” these activities are important to building a stronger marriage. Focus points of the event includes :

  • How memorizing scripture together and studying God’s Word together as they study, meditate and apply scriptures related to marriage and life issues will help them develop marriages that honor God.
  • Why utilizing fun conversation starters that spark meaningful conversations will keep interest alive as they continually learn new things about each other.
  • Why keeping romance alive is essential to intimacy and connectivity.
  • How making memories and working together builds relationship investment bonds and how these investment bonds can become the knots that keeps them together through the tough times.
  • How they can understand what they are or are not contributing to the marriage as well as how they might be contributing to problems or potential problems within the relationship through the use of targeted, intentional personal reflections
  • Why it is important that couples never stop dating and how group dates with Christian friends can be both an encouragement and accountability to their own relationship.

During the event, couples will be given an activity from each focus point to do together, making this event an interactive, fun, and engaging event with practical, hands-on learning. Unlike other couple events that are over when the event ends, couples who attend the GLMW event will be able to apply what they learn when utilizing the book on a daily basis for a year. Since the book is not dated, couples are able to reuse the activities year after year to continue being intentional in strengthening their relationship with each other and with God as they strive to live out God’s design for marriage every day.

Learn more about hosting this event at your church or conference site by clicking here.

About the book: The GLMW book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble

#GLMWcouplesevent #GLMWbook #intentionalmarriage #Godlymarriage

teespring spreadshop logos

T-shirt Fundraiser: We have a new product line of Christian apparel and accessories available in our Teespring Store and our new Spreadshop Store. You’ll find tee shirts, hoodies, tanks, socks, leggings, tote bags, mugs, iphone cases and more.

All proceeds go to the advancement of Wellspring Christian Ministries.
Thank you for helping us grow!

Click here to view the Teespring store. 

Click here to view the Spreadshop Store 

#fundraiser #tshirt #teespring #spreadshop

004

Looking for a speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is now booking for 2019 and 2020 Christian events for women’s and couples’ ministries for both small and large events.
Book with us now.

Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.

Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.

With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities, regardless of size.

Image result for form pngTo request more information or a booking, 
fill out the online form here.

Or call us at 904.524.8073

#JuliaBruce #speaker #keynote #author

Affiliate links for The Case for Christ by Lee Stroble:

350034: The Case for Christ, Updated and Expanded, Mass Market The Case for Christ, Updated and Expanded, Mass Market

By Lee Strobel / Zondervan

If you were a journalist, how would you investigate the top story in human history? Join the award-winning former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune as he cross-examines scholars to uncover incontestable evidence supporting Jesus’ claims. Includes updated archaeological material, an interview with Strobel, and more. A powerful defense of the Christian faith! 464 pages, softcover from Zondervan.

The Case for Christ, Blu-ray/DVD/CD Combo - The Case for Christ, Blu-ray/DVD/CD Combo

By Pure Flix Entertainment, LLC

A hard-driving journalist, Lee Strobel was exactly where he expected to be at work: on top. His award-winning investigative reporting recently earned him a promotion to legal editor at the Chicago Tribune. But things weren’t going nearly as well at home where his wife Leslie’s newfound faith in Christ went against everything Lee believed&mdash;or didn’t believe&mdash;as an avowed atheist.

Utilizing his journalistic and legal training, Lee begins a quest to debunk the claims of Christianity in order to save his crumbling marriage. Chasing down the biggest story of his career, Lee comes face-to-face with unexpected results that could change everything he knows to be true.

Starring Mike Vogel (The Help, Cloverfield), Erika Christensen (Parenthood, Flightplan), Faye Dunaway (The Thomas Crown Affair, Chinatown), and Robert Forster (The Descendents, Jackie Brown). Rated PG. Approx. 113 minutes.

Includes Blu-ray, DVD and CD

Features:

  • “The Heart of The Case for Christ” Featurette
  • Intro to the Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC
  • 11 Music Videos from “The Case for Christ” Album
  • Interviews with Lee &amp; Leslie Strobel, Cast, and Crew
  • Deleted Scenes
  • English and Spanish subtitles

Bonus CD included:

  • The Case for Christ – Songs Inspired by the Original Motion Picture

 

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Psalm 66:1-2 Make His Praise Glorious

Aug 01 Psalm 66 1-2

It’s easy to praise God when we see Him doing great things in our lives. It’s easy to praise Him when life is going well. But what about the times that are difficult or sad or those moments when God seems slow to answer prayer or when we wonder if God has forgotten us (which He hasn’t). How much different would our lives and our world be if we praised God at all times? In Psalm 34:1, the psalmist wrote: “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we learn that we are to “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” And in Psalm 150:6, the psalmist wrote: “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” So if you are still breathing, you need to be praising the Lord. click to tweet (Click to tweet)

Praising God simply means that we are showing Him our admiration and that we are exalting Him. It’s taking the time to celebrate God and boast about who He is: His greatness and the ways He has worked in our lives. There is always something we can praise Him for and if we can’t find something in a particular moment, then we can praise Him for what He’s done in our lives in the past and for his faithfulness, mercy, and love. click to tweet (Click to tweet) We can praise Him because He never changes and He always keeps His promises. We can praise Him for forgiveness of sin. We can praise Him that He will never leave or forsake us. Whatever attribute of God that comes to mind – praise Him for it.

Even when we are feeling depressed, hurt, betrayed, worried, or ill, we can still praise God. In fact, if we spend more time praising God in the bad moments rather than grumbling and complaining, it becomes very difficult to stay in those negative moods and mindsets. It’s almost as if praising God and depression (or other negative emotions) can’t occupy the same time and space. The reason is when we are praising God our focus is on Him (where it should be), rather than on our circumstances click to tweet (Click to tweet)   and as we recall how God has been faithful to us in the past, it gives us assurance that He will do so again. So when the negative emotions threaten to take over, start writing a list of everything you can think of to praise God for and then start praising Him.

If God expects us to praise Him in all things, then what are some ways that we can praise Him? We praise God in many different ways. Some will belt out their praise before God in voices loud and strong. Others do so within the quietness of their hearts. We praise God as we sing worship songs that magnify Him. As we go through our day-to-day lives, we should be offering praise to God, whether it’s at home, work, church, school, grocery store, bank, or dentist’s office.

In the Bible, we can learn that praise was offered to God in several ways:

  • Through the use of musical instruments and singing. Psalm 150:3-5 says, “Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.” And in Psalm 98:4-6 the psalmist writes: “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn – shout for joy before the Loke, the King.”
  • With clapping of hands and shouts of joy. “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth!” (Psalm 47:1-2)
  • In an assembly of believers. “The whole assembly bowed in worship, while the singers sang and the trumpeters played.” (2 Chronicles 29:28)
  • When we are alone. Psalm 22:22, “I will declare your name to by brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.”
  • We can praise God in any position we are in. In Acts 2:1-2, they were sitting. In Psalms 95:6, we see an invitation to kneel before the Lord our Maker. In Exodus 33:10, the people stood and worshiped. In 1 Kings 18:39, the people “fell prostrate” (they laid down). In Nehemiah 8:6, they lifted their hands and bowed down with their faces to the ground. In 2 Chronicles 29:30, they sang praises with gladness and bowed their heads and worship. In Psalm 63:4, the psalmist declared that he would lift up his hands to praise God for as long as he lived. And in Psalm 149:3, they were dancing and making music as a form of praise.
  • We can praise Him with our words. “Therefore by Him let us continually offer sacrifice of praise to God, that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” (Hebrews 13:15) We also praise Him with our words as we tell others about the great things God has done for us.

In Revelation 19: 5-7 we see that there is continual praise being offered to God.

“And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.”

There really isn’t a right or wrong way to praise God. What matters is that your praise be pure, heartfelt, genuine, and sincere. Going through the motions at church because everyone else is doing the same thing, is not praise – it’s just being a copy-cat – and God knows the motives of our heart.click to tweet (Click to tweet) Don’t worry about what others are doing. Praise God in your own way for what He has personally done in your life and how your have experienced Him.

If you need something to get you started praising, read the lyrics to Eddie James’ song, “You Are Worthy.” You can also hear the song on YouTube at the link below.

You are worthy
You are worthy
You are, yes!
Only You are worthy
You are worthy to be praised

Holy
Righteous
Rock of Ages
Most High, yes!
Only you are worthy

Faithful teacher
Promise keeper
Savior, yes!
Only You are worthy

Shepherd
Father
My strong tower
Comfort, yes!
Only You are worthy
You are worthy to be praised

From the rising of the sun
Until the going down of the same
You are worthy
You are worthy
You are, yes!
Only You are worthy

I will lift my voice
And I will praise your holy name
You are worthy
You are worthy
You are, yes!
Only You are worthy
You are worthy to be praised

Mighty Warrior
Great Jehovah
Victor, yes!
Only you are worthy

Awesome helper
My redeemer
Healer, yes!
Only you are worthy

Sovereign Master
My creator
GOD YES!
Only you are worthy
You are worthy to be praised

Stricken and beaten
Crucified
On Calvary
Only you are worthy

Bled
Died
Buried in a
Borrowed tomb
Only you are worthy

With all power
In your hands
You rose again
Only you are worthy
You are worthy to be praised

From the rising of the sun
Until the going down of the same
You are worthy
You are worthy
You are, yes!
Only You are worthy

I will lift my voice
And I will praise your holy name
You are worthy
You are worthy
You are, yes!
Only You are worthy
You are worthy to be praised

We Praise You!
We Lift You Up!
We Honor You!
Magnify You!

Excellent!
Incredible!
Omnipotent!
Infallible!

We Praise You!
We Lift You Up!
We Honor You!
Magnify You!

Excellent!
Incredible!
Omnipotent!
Infallible!

You are worthy to be praised

What is your favorite way to praise God? What can you praise Him for right now? Take a moment now to offer your praise to God – and make His praise glorious.

August divider 2

 

teespring spreadshop logos

We have a new product line of Christian apparel and gifts available in our Teespring Store and our new Spreadshop Store. You’ll find tee shirts, hoodies, tanks, socks, leggings, tote bags, mugs, iphone cases and more. All proceeds go to the advancement of Wellspring Christian Ministries. Thank you for helping us grow!

Click here to view the Teespring store. 

Click here to view the Spreadshop Store which has a 15% discount through August 9, 2019

Cover_m God, Love and Marshmallow Wars: This book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel

 

book now summer and fall

Looking for a speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is now booking for 2019 and 2020 Christian events for women’s and couples’ ministries for both small and large events.
Book with us now.

Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.

Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.

With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities.

Image result for form pngTo request more information or a booking, 
fill out the online form here.

Image result for phone clipart png
Or call us at 904.524.8073