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Be a Guard

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

Week 1 of Advent: Preparation for our Savior

The lyrics of a popular, secular Christmas song says, “You better watch out, you better not pout, you better not cry, I’m tellin’ you why – Santa Clause is coming to town.” We need to watch out and be ready – to be on guard – , because Jesus is coming to town. We often look at preparation as the process of getting ready for something. But the prophet Ezekiel, gives us something a little bit different to think about as we prepare for the coming of Christ. In Ezekiel 38:7, he wrote:



“Be ready and keep ready, you and all your hosts that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them.

Be ready

In the prophecy against Gog, the people are told to be ready. Back in the book of Exodus when God used Moses to bring the Israelites out of Egypt, they were told to be ready. We always need to be ready for when God is ready to move in our lives. Being ready means we’ve already made the necessary preparations. Exodus 12:11 says, “In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste.” The idea was to be ready to go the moment Pharaoh told them to leave. Being ready even before God is ready to act demonstrates faith that God will do what He says He will do.

Keep Ready

Sometimes God gives us direction and we get excited and start planning and getting ready – but then it feels like we just got ready to sit and wait. God’s timing doesn’t always match our timing, so once we’re ready, we need to keep ready. That means we keep everything ready that’s needed for what God is asking us to do – no matter how long God takes before He acts. Staying ready means we keep on believing God by faith and waiting on Him.

If the Israelites had gotten everything ready to leave but after the first plague Pharaoh didn’t let them leave and they quit believing in what God said and just sat back enjoying their meal, kicked off their shoes and relaxed, then by the time they got everything ready again, Pharaoh could have changed his mind and not let them leave. Or perhaps all the Egyptians would have had time to become angry over losing all their first born children and came in to massacre the Israelites.

God wasn’t just giving Pharaoh a hard time or paying him back for his cruelties to the Israelites. He was also teaching the Israelites about who He was and His power. It should have been a lesson to prepare them to trust Him in the dessert and to know He would lead them into the Promised Land. But as we know, they only had to get to the Red Sea before they began to doubt God. Perhaps this is why Ezekiel also said to be a guard.

Be a Guard

A guard protects. He stands between the vulnerable and danger. He warns of coming danger. A guard fights for those who can’t fight for themselves. He protects the assets. The guard stays diligent – always looking out for any possible danger. He doesn’t sleep through the night. He doesn’t sit around playing cards or scrolling social media. He’s guarding what is most valuable to him.

Guarding your heart

This isn’t about protecting yourself from someone hurting you. Solomon was talking about your spiritual heart in Proverbs 4:23-27. He thought that guarding your heart was more important than anything else. He wrote:

Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life. Don’t let your mouth speak dishonestly, and don’t let your lips talk deviously. Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead. Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established. Don’t turn to the right or to the left; keep your feet away from evil.

Guarding your heart is important because if you’ve not first protected it from temptation, then you will not be able to guard your mouth, eyes, or feet. Why? Jeremiah 17:9 tell us, “The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable.” The heart will make us believe that what our mouth, eyes, and feet want to do is ok. It will come up with all kinds of excuses until we rationalize why it would not be wrong to do whatever we are being tempted to do. So we must guard our heart and we do that through memorizing Scripture, studying God’s Word, and spending time praying – without ceasing. If we do not guard our hearts, we will not be able to guard anything else.

Guard the host assembled about you

Ezekiel also said we are to guard the host assembled around us – that’s your family. Your spouse, your children. If you are a married man, God has called you to be a spiritual leader in your home and part of that responsibility is guarding your wife and children. Not only in a physical sense, but also in a spiritual sense. You guard them by praying for them, by being a Godly role model for them, teaching them God’s Word through family devotions, training them in the ways of God, taking them to church, and teach them how to love God with all their hearts, minds, and soul. Are you guarding the host assembled about you?

How ready are you?

Before Jesus’ birth the Israelites’ Advent was preparing expectantly for the coming Messiah. But when He came, they had no idea that He walked among them. They created in their own minds what the Messiah would be – a King who would overthrow their oppressors. They were not expecting a baby born low income parents who would lay Him in a manger.

Today, our Advent is the second coming of Jesus. In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul wrote, “For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.” We will not know before hand when He will come again, so we must be on guard and always ready. We need to have the expectancy that He could come again in any moment and live so that we would not ever be ashamed if He returned and caught us doing something we shouldn’t. And we need to live with the urgency that if He came right now, how many people would not be ready? What are we doing to help others be ready?

Be Ready and Be on Guard

As we are preparing our hearts for Christmas, take time alone with the Holy Spirit and ask Him how ready you are for the second coming of Christ. How ready are you for God to do the next thing in your life? How well are you guarding your heart, your spouse and children? What do you need to do to be ready, keep ready, and to guard the host assembled around you?


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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:

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  • Conversation Starters.
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  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

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Be a Guard

Week 1 of Advent: Preparation

The lyrics of a popular, secular Christmas song says, “You better watch out, you better not pout, you better not cry, I’m tellin’ you why – Santa Clause is coming to town.” We need to watch out and be ready, because Jesus is coming to town. We often look at preparation as the process of getting ready for something. But the prophet Ezekiel, gives us something a little bit different to think about as we prepare for the coming of Christ. In Ezekiel 38:7, he wrote:



“Be ready and keep ready, you and all your hosts that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them.

Be ready

In the prophecy against Gog, the people are told to be ready. Back in the book of Exodus when God used Moses to bring the Israelites out of Egypt, they were told to be ready. We always need to be ready for when God is ready to move in our lives. Being ready means we’ve already made the necessary preparations. Exodus 12:11 says, “In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste.” The idea was to be ready to go the moment Pharaoh told them to leave. Being ready even before God is ready to act demonstrates faith that God will do what He says He will do.

Keep Ready

Sometimes God gives us direction and we get excited and start planning and getting ready – but then it feels like we just got ready to sit and wait. God’s timing doesn’t always match our timing, so once we’re ready, we need to keep ready. That means we keep everything ready that’s needed for what God is asking us to do – no matter how long God takes before He acts. Staying ready means we keep on believing God by faith and waiting on Him.

If the Israelites had gotten everything ready to leave but after the first plague Pharaoh didn’t let them leave and they quit believing in what God said and just sat back enjoying their meal, kicked off their shoes and relaxed, then by the time they got everything ready again, Pharaoh could have changed his mind and not let them leave. Or perhaps all the Egyptians would have had time to become angry over losing all their first born children and came in to massacre the Israelites.

God wasn’t just giving Pharaoh a hard time or paying him back for his cruelties to the Israelites. He was also teaching the Israelites about who He was and His power. It should have been a lesson to prepare them to trust Him in the dessert and to know He would lead them into the Promised Land. But as we know, they only had to get to the Red Sea before they began to doubt God. Perhaps this is why Ezekiel also said to be a guard.

Be a Guard

A guard protects. He stands between the vulnerable and danger. He warns of coming danger. A guard fights for those who can’t fight for themselves. He protects the assets. The guard stays diligent – always looking out for any possible danger. He doesn’t sleep through the night. He doesn’t sit around playing cards or scrolling social media. He’s guarding what is most valuable to him.

Guarding your heart

This isn’t about protecting yourself from someone hurting you. Solomon was talking about your spiritual heart in Proverbs 4:23-27. He thought that guarding your heart was more important than anything else. He wrote:

Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life. Don’t let your mouth speak dishonestly, and don’t let your lips talk deviously. Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead. Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established. Don’t turn to the right or to the left; keep your feet away from evil.

Guarding your heart is important because if you’ve not first protected it from temptation, then you will not be able to guard your mouth, eyes, or feet. Why? Jeremiah 17:9 tell us, “The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable.” The heart will make us believe that what our mouth, eyes, and feet want to do is ok. It will come up with all kinds of excuses until we rationalize why it would not be wrong to do whatever we are being tempted to do. So we must guard our heart and we do that through memorizing Scripture, studying God’s Word, and spending time praying – without ceasing. If we do not guard our hearts, we will not be able to guard anything else.

Guard the host assembled about you

Ezekiel also said we are to guard the host assembled around us – that’s your family. Your spouse, your children. If you are a married man, God has called you to be a spiritual leader in your home and part of that responsibility is guarding your wife and children. Not only in a physical sense, but also in a spiritual sense. You guard them by praying for them, by being a Godly role model for them, teaching them God’s Word through family devotions, training them in the ways of God, taking them to church, and teach them how to love God with all their hearts, minds, and soul. Are you guarding the host assembled about you?

How ready are you?

Before Jesus’ birth the Israelites’ Advent was preparing expectantly for the coming Messiah. But when He came, they had no idea that He walked among them. They created in their own minds what the Messiah would be – a King who would overthrow their oppressors. They were not expecting a baby born low income parents who would lay Him in a manger.

Today, our Advent is the second coming of Jesus. In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul wrote, “For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.” We will not know before hand when He will come again, so we must be on guard and always ready. We need to have the expectancy that He could come again in any moment and live so that we would not ever be ashamed if He returned and caught us doing something we shouldn’t. And we need to live with the urgency that if He came right now, how many people would not be ready? What are we doing to help others be ready?

Be Ready and Be on Guard

As we are preparing our hearts for Christmas, take time alone with the Holy Spirit and ask Him how ready you are for the second coming of Christ. How ready are you for God to do the next thing in your life? How well are you guarding your heart, your spouse and children? What do you need to do to be ready, keep ready, and to guard the host assembled around you?


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Here’s some of our recent posts.

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

This book 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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Romans 13:11-14. Now is the Hour to Wake up from Sleep

December 03 Romans 11 13-14Besides this, knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk with decency, as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires. 

Today as we consider during this first week of Advent what it means to prepare for the second coming of Christ, and Romans 13:11-14, we want to examine the impact of a lost world trapped in the darkness of sin and that part of preparing for Christ’s coming again is to bring the light of the world into the darkness – because dawn is coming – the moment when Jesus steps out of the realms of heaven and calls His children home. We should not only be preparing ourselves for the moment we meet Jesus, but also those who do not yet know him. Night is nearly over where the darkness of the world rules. Dawn is coming where light dispels the darkness. And yet millions are still trapped in the darkness of their sins.

Do you consider yourself a morning person or a night person? I am definitely a night owl. In fact, when Brian asked me to marry him I tried to warn him. I told him he needed to know two things about me before he thought he wanted to marry me: I’m expensive and I don’t do mornings. He found both were true very quickly. I have three alarms set on my phone because I know I will ignore the first two, pull the covers up over my head, and go back to sleep. On the other hand, I have a niece who has always been a morning person. If the sun is up even just a peek then she is wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to go. Bless her heart.

I know me well enough to know not to schedule complex or difficult task in the morning hours if at all possible. Naturally, I can’t always save them for later in the day, but I know I will be much more successful with those kind of tasks after I’ve been up a while. It’s just that my brain isn’t on the same rotation schedule as the sun and it lags a few hours behind. Once I get going, I’m full steam ahead.

Most of us know when our most productive time of the day is and if you’ve done any training in time management, then you’ve been taught to schedule your complex and difficult tasks during your peak performance times slots as much as possible. In Romans 13, Paul says that Christians are “morning people” (doesn’t God have a great sense of humor?). As a child of God, I shouldn’t need a few hours to get going in living my spiritual life. Paul says that the time is just before dawn. Can you hear the urgency in his writing of Romans 13:11-14? The darkness of night battles with the beginning rays of the sun – fighting to continue covering the earth in it’s inky blackness of sin. But as the sun rises, darkness is defeated.  As the sun comes up, we get a new start to a new day, another opportunity to serve God with the gifts and talents He has given us. It’s another day to tell the good news of His birth and what Christ has done for you. It’s another opportunity for the lost person to come to the Light of the World, but that lost person is dependent on us to bring them to the Savior.

But, many Christians live – well – basically like me in the morning. Grumpy, not focused, slow, just longing to pull the covers up over my head for another 30 minutes. When we look around our world today, it’s easy to see that Christians have been asleep for far too  long. The moral decay is putrefying our world. We have sat back and allowed prayer to be removed from schools, for marriage to be redefined, to allow abortions to be legal, and to even define gender as each individual chooses. Murder, violence, and crime is at alarming rates. Humanity is tainted with greed and selfishness. Anger and bitterness is in abundance. Crime rates are always higher at night because the darkness of night helps to hide their actions. And Christians seem to be sleeping through it all. Paul calls for Christians to wake up. He tells us to discard the deeds of darkness. Paul lists six “deeds of darkness” that we are to discard: carousing, drunkenness, sexual impurity, promiscuity, quarreling, and jealousy. If we are living like the world, they will never see Christ in us. If they see nothing different about us, why would they need a Savior? Wake up. Discard the deeds of darkness.

Once we wake up, it’s time to get dressed and start our day. Paul calls for Christians to put on the armor of light and to walk with decency, as in the daylight. In John 8:12, Jesus said, I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” Paul also tells us to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” If we have put on the Light of the World, then His light should radiate around us bringing light to the darkness of the world and chasing the darkness away – just as the sun chases away the night every morning. In Matthew 5:14-15, Jesus says, “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Over in Galatians 3:27, Paul wrote, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” But what does it mean to “put on” a person? It’s a theatrical term that refers to playing the role of a character in such a way that you lose your own identity and become the identity of the person you are portraying. You are so intensely caught up in being the other person that your own identity almost ceases to be and instead you live and breathe the person of your role and your identity becomes that of the character role you are portraying. So if we have put on the armor of Light and Jesus is the Light of the World, and Paul tells us to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, then the child of God’s identity becomes the identity of Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:53 says, “This perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the moral puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.” The lost person’s victory over death is dependent on us.

Wake up. Get dressed. Discard the deeds of darkness. Put on the armor of light. Walk in decency as in the daylight. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Let your light shine. 

But why does Paul use the word armor? First, armor is protective. When Satan hurls the fiery darts of sin and temptation our way, we are able to deflect them with the proper armor so that we have nothing to hide. When there is nothing to hide, we don’t have to worry about the light revealing our motives and actions. When we put on the armor of light, we are to satisfy God’s will for us rather than satisfying our own desires. When we put on the armor of light, we are alert to what God is doing in this world and we will be alert to those whom He puts in our path to be a witness to. We need to live with the revealing light of God shining brightly on our thoughts, motives, behaviors, words, attitudes, and lifestyles so that there is no darkness in us. 1 John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” The antithesis to this verse would be that if we walk in darkness then we do not have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus does not cleans us from sin.

Wake up. Get dressed. Discard the deeds of darkness. Put on the armor of light. Walk in decency as in the daylight. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Let your light shine. Walk in the light.

Armor is also used in battle and as Christians, we are constantly in a spiritual battle. It’s almost dawn and we’re in deep sleep but the bugler sounds Reveille to muster God’s soldiers for roll call. Suddenly we are awake and we look around the military encampment. Everyone is scurrying around getting ready for battle. The soldiers are putting on their armor and gathering their weapons. Who’s the enemy? Satan and his demons. In Ephesians 6:10-20, Paul tells us our enemy is not flesh and blood, but principalities, powers, rulers, authorities, world powers of darkness, and spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. We are constantly right smack in the middle of conflict so we need to put on the armor of light. If we are going to stand and fight, than we need to be ready. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:13-17 about the armor we need to put on:

This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. (Ephesians 6:13-17)

Wake up. Get dressed. Discard the deeds of darkness. Put on the armor of light. Walk in decency as in the daylight. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Let your light shine. Walk in the light. Put on the full armor of God. 

Our world today, and in Paul’s day, is still dark. The battle still rages – and fiercer than ever. But that’s how night works. Each hour is darker than the one before it but then dawn comes and a ray of light peeks through the darkness bringing light to the world. Our dawn will come will Jesus comes again. The thing about darkness and dawn is that the darker it gets, the closer we are to dawn. Paul says that we know the time  — it’s time for us to Wake up. Get dressed. Discard the deeds of darkness. Put on the armor of light. Walk in decency as in the daylight. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Let your light shine. Walk in the light. Put on the full armor of God. Bring the Light into the world.

The dawning of a new day is coming when Christ will return triumphantly. What does that mean for those trapped in the darkness of the sin and the world? They have hopelessly lost their way in the darkness of sin with nothing but eternal separation from God and eternity in Hell awaiting them. Their souls hunger for Bread of Life. They are desperate for the Living Water. They need the precious Redeemer and Friend to rescue their soul. They need to meet the Resurrection and the Life. They need to find the Way, the Truth, and the Life. It’s urgent that we act now! So, yes! Wake up, dear Christian. The bugler is sounding Reveille. God is calling us to battle. Put on the armor of light and the Lord Jesus Christ. The battle becomes fiercer as the night gets darker.  Those lost in their sin are eternally dependent on us to show them the light.

Wake up. Discard the deeds of darkness. Put on the armor of light. Walk in decency as in the daylight. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Let your light shine. Walk in the light. Put on the full armor of God. Bring the Light into the world. Stop sleeping, O Christian! The dawn is coming. 

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We hope you have a holly, jolly Christmas this year – and to help you celebrate, here is the another one of our Christmas designs:

Country Christmas

Country Christmas
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Christmas trees in red buffalo plaid, reindeer pattern, and red/gray/white plaid with message of “Merry Christmas.”

This design comes in men’s, ladies’, kids’, and infants’ in tees, long-sleeved tees, sweatshirts, and hoodies. There are also several accessories, including mugs, bags, pillow covers, and more. Visit the stores to see all the options. Remember Spreadshirt’s 15% off all products ends December 1. 
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Cover_mBOOKING NOW! 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

#GLMW #couplesevent #GLMWbook #intentionalmarriage #Godlymarriage

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004

Looking for a keynote 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. Today, 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

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Image result for Christian book distributors logoChristmas Items at Christian Book Distributors:

Here are a sample of items from CBD. We are an affiliate of CBD and receive an 8% commission on any product you purchase through these links which we then use to advance our ministry. If you need a Christian gift or looking for Christian Christmas decorations, go to CBD through any link below and search their website for books, Bibles, gifts, decor, and more.

092544: Expecting Christmas: Daily Readings for the Season of Joy Expecting Christmas: Daily Readings for the Season of Joy

By Iron Stream Media

Ever wonder what could happen this Christmas if you were truly centered on Christ’s coming? Immerse yourself in this series of devotional readings to help fix your heart on the Savior. Encounter joy as the real reason for the hope within us that comes to fruition, and celebrate his birth anew! Reflection questions included. 127 pages, 4″ x 6.25″ softcover from New Hope.

495648: Nativity Advent Wreath Nativity Advent Wreath

By Wendy Wiinanen / Demdaco

Christmas Journey Collection Advent wreath in earthenware, 8″ x 2.5″ with space for four taper candles

  • Christmas Scripture quote is displayed in the center “I am the light of the world. John 8:12”
  • Space in the center if you wish to add a pillar candle
  • Please purchase candles separately since they are not included
  • Explore the biblical story of Christmas with your family and guests as you light the candles each week of Advent
  • Molded relief design in dimensional detail shows the Nativity scene in amazing detail
  • Please be aware this should be washed by hand only
  • Christmas and table
  • Designed by artist WWendy Wiinanen
959072: Foundations, Holy Family LED Figure Figurine Foundations, Holy Family LED Figure Figurine

By Karen Hahn / Enesco Corporation

Holy Family figurine is designed by Karen Hahn for her Foundations Collection

  • One-piece figurine of Joseph and Mary embracing the Christ child
  • Crafted of smooth stone resin in gentle pastels
  • Lavishly embellished with textured fabrics, crystal trims, linen texture, and intricate details
  • Note the loving expressions as Joseph and Mary share this sweet moment together with the newborn Savior
  • Christmas star casts a soft glow over them, illuminated with soft white LED lighting.
  • Figurine is just over 10″ tall; button cell battery is included
  • An heirloom quality keepsake Christmas figurine to treasure
97179: Lighted Silhouette Nativity Wreath Lighted Silhouette Nativity Wreath

White wood nativity wreath with LED lighting, layered dimensional design

  • Intricate laser cut border of snowflakes and stars
  • The soft LED string of lights inside casts just the right amount of glow to showcase the Holy Family and Christmas star in silhouette
  • Wreath is lightweight and easy to hang; operates on three AA batteries which are not included.
  • 12″ diameter x 1″
  • A unique Christmas accent; above your mantell, on your door; at home or at church
97246: O Holy Night, Lighted Ceramic Decoration O Holy Night, Lighted Ceramic Decoration

Tabletop ceramic Christmas decoration, LED star, with gold lettered sentiment O Holy Night

  • Star with five diamond openings to let the light shine through.
  • 3.75″ x 3.75″; operates on two button-cell batteries which are included.
  • On/off switch on the bottom
  • Creamy ceramic in glossy finish; small space decor; tabletop, shelf, or mantel – a light-up accent; Christian Christmas
340591: The Case for Christmas: A Journalist Investigates the Identity of the Child in the Manger The Case for Christmas: A Journalist Investigates the Identity of the Child in the Manger

By Lee Strobel / Zondervan

Who was in the manger that first Christmas morning? Some say he would become a great moral leader. Others, a social critic. Still others view Jesus as a profound philosopher, a rabbi, a feminist, a prophet, and more. Many are convinced he was the divine Son of God.

Who was he really? And how can you know for sure?

Consulting experts on the Bible, archaeology, and messianic prophecy, award-winning legal journalist Lee Strobel searches out the true identity of the child in the manger. If Jesus really was God in the flesh, then there ought to be credible evidence, including:

  • Eyewitness Evidence – Can the biographies of Jesus be trusted?
  • Scientific Evidence – What does archaeology reveal?
  • Profile Evidence – Did Jesus fulfill the attributes of God?
  • Fingerprint Evidence – Did Jesus uniquely match the identity of the Messiah?

The Case for Christmas invites readers to consider why Christmas matters in the first place. Somewhere beyond the traditions of the holiday lies the truth. This little book is perfect as a gift or for use in ministry during the Christmas season or any other time of the year.

687569: A Baxter Family Christmas A Baxter Family Christmas

By Karen Kingsbury / Howard Books

The Baxters always spend Christmas together. Each family member struggles with their father’s decision to invite the new owner of their sister’s heart to such a joyous occasion. They may miss out if they choose not to go. Forgiveness doesn’t come easy when it’s yourself you must forgive.

159224: Maggie Maggie’s Christmas Miracle, DVD

By Karen Kingsbury / Hallmark

A single mom, Maggie tries to balance devotion to her son, Jordan, with her career. Then she meets Casey, a tutor who’s becoming more of a father figure to Jordan. With the help of faith and fate, will Maggie discover that anything is possible at Christmas—even finding happiness and love again? Based on the novel by Karen Kingsbury. English subtitles. Closed-captioned. Approx. 85 minutes.

464700X: Real Life Nativity Set, Complete Collection, 10.25-inch size Real Life Nativity Set, Complete Collection, 10.25-inch size

Traditional and elegant Real Life Nativity Complete set is truly lifelike in color, design, facial expression, and detail. Set includes 15 figures and lighted stable; figures range to 10.25″ tall.Mary kneels in loving adoration beside the Christ child and Joseph’s expression reflects love and joy. The baby Jesus can be held in Mary’s arms or swaddled in the manger. Kneeling Mary figure is 6″ tall; manger is 2.5″ high and baby Jesus figure is 2.75″ long.

Also included: shepherds and angel three-piece set, three kings with gifts of gold,frankincense, and myrrh; pedestal star; four animalsand lighted stable in which to display the Nativity Scene.

Crafted of resin, museum quality, heirloom nativity set in representation of the birth of Jesus Christ.

930895: Foundations, Nativity with Creche Set Foundations, Nativity with Creche Set

Foundations Collection by Karen Hahn Nativity Set with light-up stable and seven figures. The snow-trimmed roof of the stable is inscribed with Bible verse quote For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.Each figurine is inscribed with Bible verses of the Christmas story from the gospels.

9101851: Nativity Set, Sparkle Frost, 11 Pieces, 5 Inches Nativity Set, Sparkle Frost, 11 Pieces, 5 Inches

Nativity Set 11 pieces, cast in resin, ranging to 5″ high.What makes this unique?
Full color figures; rich detail on all garments and accessories; each piece is coated with a permanent sparkle frost finish.

Set includes Holy Family, angel, three kings with gifts, and shepherd with sheep, plus three animals.

In the joy of holiday celebrations and family get-togethers, it’s easy to overlook the true meaning of our Christmas. The nativity set turns us to the arrival of the promised Savior, the Messiah, Emmanuel. God with us. In vivid imagery and detail, we see the Christ child in a stable, the Savior of the world has come.

496232: All is Calm All is Bright Pillow All is Calm All is Bright Pillow

Decorator Christmas pillow, 16″ x 16″

  • Lovely Christmas Collection by Lori Siebert
  • Polyester fiber; panel inset with soft touch greenery design and artisan lettering all is calm. all is bright
  • Wipe clean with damp cloth
  • Soft green
001156: Prince Of Peace Table Runner Prince Of Peace Table Runner

Prince of Peace Christmas table runner features chalkboard style design with Scripture verse in Christmas tree shaped typography. Cotton canvas runner; 12″ x 72″.His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, Price of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

959072: Foundations, Holy Family LED Figure Figurine Foundations, Holy Family LED Figure Figurine

Holy Family figurine is designed by Karen Hahn for her Foundations Collection

  • One-piece figurine of Joseph and Mary embracing the Christ child
  • Crafted of smooth stone resin in gentle pastels
  • Lavishly embellished with textured fabrics, crystal trims, linen texture, and intricate details
  • Note the loving expressions as Joseph and Mary share this sweet moment together with the newborn Savior
  • Christmas star casts a soft glow over them, illuminated with soft white LED lighting.
  • Figurine is just over 10″ tall; button cell battery is included
  • An heirloom quality keepsake Christmas figurine to treasure
427991: The Wonder of the Greatest Gift--An Interactive Family Celebration of Advent The Wonder of the Greatest Gift–An Interactive Family Celebration of Advent

A Family Advent Activity that can be used year after year!

Reclaim the wonder of Christmas as you open up this book and watch the tree pop-up! Every day of December, open the enclosed booklet and read your daily love letter from The Greatest Story ever told, right from our beginning in Genesis to our King’s coming under Bethlehem’s star. Know that His love has always, always, always been coming for you!

After the day’s reading, fling open the one of the 25 advent doors – and discover that day’s Biblical ornament to hang on your very own tree that will end up telling the grandest Gospel story, from the Beginning to Bethlehem!

Features:

  • Beautiful 360°, 14″ Pop-Up Tree
  • Daily Family Devotional Booklet
  • 24 Full-Color Ornaments
  • Star-Shaped Tree Topper
085087: Waiting Here for You: An Advent Journey of Hope Waiting Here for You: An Advent Journey of Hope

By Louie Giglio / Thomas Nelson

This year, anticipate the busy season of Advent and Christmas with hope rather than dread. Join Passion conference founder and pastor Louie Giglio as you take hold of God’s great promise embodied in the 24-day countdown to Christ’s birth. Discover that waiting is not wasting when you’re waiting on the Lord. You’ll come away with peace and encouragement for your soul! 112 pages, paperback.

810384: Merry Christmas Platter Merry Christmas Platter

Oval Merry Christmas platter with Bible verse quote from John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Creamy ivory ceramic platter is 12″ x 9″ with recessed center and raised beaded design border. A festive accent for your Christmas table or party, and on display it’s a timeless Christmas message of hope.

Upscale font design; snowflake accent trim. Dishwasher and microwave safe. You’ll want one for yourself, and what a meaningful Christmas gift to give.

966396: Merry Christmas Pallet Art Merry Christmas Pallet Art

Christmas wall art, pallet decor

  • 17″ x 17.5″
  • Artisan font Merry Christmas surrounded by painted wreath of greenery and poinsettia
  • Handcrafted in the heart of Amish country USA
  • Authentic pine slats, kiln-dried
  • Rustic, natural, complete with wood grain irregularities and knots; sure to add to your country Christmas look
108796X: Nativity Ornament Nativity Ornament

Christmas ornament in elegant marquise shape, is crafted of wood and beautifully displays the true story of Christmas, the birth of Christ in museum quality artwork and design. 5″ x 3.25″, with quote from Isaiah 9:6 Wonderful, Counselor….Prince of Peace. Artwork by Jon McNaughton.Trim the tree, or give as a meaningful Christmas gift. Flat wood ornament with Scripture verse.

698937: Merry Christmas Door Mat Merry Christmas Door Mat

Seasonal doormat for Christmas

  • Outdoor/indoor
  • Thick, non-slip rubber backing
  • 17″ x 29″
  • Polyester top; permanent print; fade and mildew-resistant
  • Printed in the USA
  • Poinsettia and greenery design
  • Merry Christmas
489618: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Confetti, Platter Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Confetti, Platter

By Lori Siebert / Demdaco

670372: Joy to the World Light Box Joy to the World Light Box

By Carson Home Accents

Add warmth to your room decor with plug-in light box framed design

  • Box is 6″ x 7.5″ x 3″
  • Insert image is 5″ x 7″ approximately
  • Electrical cord with handy on/off switch; includes 7-watt bulb
  • Illuminated accent
  • Seasonal Christmas theme
  • Joy to the World with dazzling ornaments and gifts.

Fisher-Price Little People Nativity Set   -

Fisher-Price Little People Nativity Set

Little hearts will love the Fisher-Price ® Little People ® Nativity Set! Engage your toddler in the joy of celebrating the true meaning of Christmas with their own nativity set, complete with chubby, child-friendly figures and all the key characters that bring to life the story of Baby Jesus’ birth.

Celebrate the joy of Christmas with family-friendly Fisher-Price Nativity, an interactive playset that focuses on the first Christmas. Colorful, durable Little People include figures of Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus, plus the Christmas angel, wise men, animals, accessories and a stable, with light-up Christmas star! Includes 18 pieces altogether. Push the sound button to hear Away in a Manger softly play. On/Off switch for sound and light is in the back; requires 3 AA batteries (not included).

Kids can enjoy assembling the characters and retelling the story all through December.

Trusted toy design from Fisher-Price to teach the best Christmas story ever, for children and toddlers, Sunday School and nursery, baby shower and early Christmas gift idea.

Recommended age for play is 12 months to 4 years.

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Ecclesiastes 5:1-2. Be ready to hear

by Julia Bruce

Ecclesiastes 5 1-2

What is your purpose for going to church? If someone raises their hands or stands up in heartfelt worship do you follow suit because they did it? If your purpose is anything less than worship, then it’s nothing more than church attendance that is unreal, empty and fruitless – or for Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes, it is “vanity.” In Ecclesiastes 5:1-2, Solomon writes about religious behavior and warns us against trying to impress God. God wants genuine worshipers who are ready to hear from Him. Not fakers who are more worried about what man things of them than what God does.

In these two verses we can see the kind of religious behavior that God accepts and expects when we come to church to worship. First, we find that worship begins before we ever get to church. Verse 1 starts out “Guard your steps when you go to the house of the Lord.” We should be preparing ourselves for worship deliberately, thoughtfully and prayerfully so that we are poised and ready to draw near and be obedient to what the Holy Spirit is communicating to us.

If all we are interested in when we get to church is comparing dresses or shoes or the newest gossip, the headlines in the news, or the latest political fiasco, are we honestly ready to worship? Are we ready to hear God speak to us? (Click to tweet) In Exodus 19, God calls the people of Israel to prepare and get ready to come into His presence. In verses 10-11, it says, “Then the LORD said to Moses, “God to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the LORD will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.” God wanted His chosen people to get ready to come near to Him and to prepare their hearts for an encounter with Him. Although it would be Moses that would go on the mountain and speak with God, the people were to only come near, but they still stood in the presence of God and witnessed the thundering and lightning, the thick cloud on the mountain, and the sound of the trumpet that was so loud they all trembled. In Verse 17, it says, “And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.”

How different would we approach going to church if we knew that God would physically be there to meet with us? (click to tweet) Most of us would have quite a bit of confessing to do before meeting with God. The emotions we would feel would be everything from the greatest excitement to the greatest fear. We probably wouldn’t sleep at all. There would be a million questions, like “Why would God want to me with me? What did I do that He is physically coming here?” But each one of us would do everything we could to prepare ourselves for meeting the Almighty God.

While God may not physically show up at out church next Sunday, He is there. He hears the conversations, knows our innermost thoughts and motivations and I wonder if He is disappointed week after week as He examines our hearts only to see that we were more interested in the mistakes the soloist made, whether we sang the old hymns or contemporary music, if the pastor preached from a Bible or his ipad, or if the honored pulpit was removed in favor of a smaller stand. (click to tweet) God stands in His own house to hear His children squabble over the color of the carpet, to hear them complain and mock the pastor who He called to shepherd His children, and to hear them talk about the latest sports game more excitedly than they are to hear from God. Then we as Christians wonder why we never hear from God. Could it be that we need to take time before coming to church to guard our steps and prepare our hearts so that we can truly worship our Heavenly Father? If we do not come with hearts that are prepared that we are no better off than the “fool” that through their own ignorance offers sacrifices wrongly. If we are going to truly offer sacrifices of praise and worship and come into the presence of God, we must prepare and consecrate ourselves before coming into His presence. (click to tweet) 

The second behavior of appropriate worship involves our communication with God – our payers. In verse two we find, “Do not be hasty to speak, and do not be impulsive to make a speech before God.” Communication involves to people who are taking turns at talking and listening. Without listening there is no communication – just a lot of noise. If when we approach God in prayer we are doing all the talking and not listening for His voice we will miss what He has to say to us. Instead, we need to take time to invite God to speak as we quietly listen. (click to tweet)  If He calls us to serve Him, we do not need to impulsively make excuses for what we can’t, but be ready with an obedient, “Yes, Lord.” If He calls out sin in our life, we do not need to impulsive offer a defense. Instead, we need to kneel before Him with a repentant heart and seek His forgiveness. If He prompts us to forgive someone who has wronged us, we don’t need to impulsively give Him the “But God….” speech. Instead we need to remember that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us and He stands ready to forgive us every time we sin against Him so we ought to always be ready forgive others. If we are constantly talking when we bring our petitions to Him, we will miss out on hearing God’s answer and direction. So be slow to speak. Listen more than you talk because the Creator of the universe has something He wants to say to You and when you have taken the time to prepare your hearts and come to Him with a heart ready for worship, you’ll be in a position to hear what He has to say. (Click to tweet)

ctt verse of the day

#preparetoworship #worship

 

September divider

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

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