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Peace in the Midst of Chaos

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

It’s a cray-cray world full of chaos

It seems to me that each day that goes by, the world gets a little crazier and a little crazier. We long for world peace, but it really shouldn’t be a surprise to any of us that our world is full of chaos since God warned us this would happen in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Paul wrote to Timothy under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: “But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power.

It’s a problem of complacency

I think this is a pretty accurate description of our world today — regardless of who is in the White House, Congress, House of Representatives, Supreme Court, or any other political office. While we know that Satan roams the earth bring destruction wherever he goes, I believe that Christians have — at least in part — a level of responsibility for the state we are in. We have been comfortably complacent within the walls of our churches and as long as the “way of the world” doesn’t upset the bubble we live in, we shake our heads and say, “Well, bless their hearts!”

We have not stood up for the cause of Christ like we should. How does Jesus feel about complacent Christians? Hear his words to the church in Laodicea found in Revelation 3:15-16: “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” And to the church at Ephesus, we find in Revelation 2:4 that Jesus said, “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.

Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:17-19, “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.” When we become complacent, we become callous to what is going on in the world and we are in danger of joining the world in its sin.

As the Days of Noah…

It is both sad and scary to see the moral decline of this world. Yet this isn’t the first time the world has reached this point. In the days of Noah, the world was so full of sin that God destroyed the world with a flood. For 120 years Noah built and prepared the ark as God instructed, all while the people mocked him. In fact, Jesus said “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:37-29).

Just as they did in Noah’s day, people today go on with their everyday lives ignoring the signs that God gave us in the Bible and they will continue to do so until it is too late. They mock God and choose to live their own way.

Finding hope and peace

Even though our world is fulfilling the words of Paul, as a Christian we can find hope and peace…even in the midst of the chaos around us. Isaiah 46:10 tells us God is in control, from the very moment He created the world until it’s very last second of existence. “I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will.” Satan may have a grand time making the world run amuck, but God will see that His will wins in the end.

In Psalm 37:18, the Bible says, “The Lord watches over the blameless all their days, and their inheritance will last forever.” In John 14:27, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world give do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Peace, as defined by the world is the “freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility, freedom from or the cessation of war or violence.” If that’s the definition of peace, then we can pretty much bet on never experiencing it in this life.

A different kind of peace

Jesus offers a different kind of peace, one that quiets our hearts no matter what the circumstances. It’s the peace in the midst of a storm that lets us know that God is with us and He will never leave us. This kind of peace is a gift from God and one aspect of who He is. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Paul writes, “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Since God is peace, we can experience the peace that Jesus spoke of only when we take time to quiet our hearts, bask in His presence, and draw close to Him. The more time we spend with Him, developing a relationship with Him, the more we know of His deep love for us and we are able to trust Him even in the midst of the chaos around us. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Peace is found in the perfect love of Jesus

As children of God, we do not need to cower in fear. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” Perfect love is only found in Jesus. So if we are going to find peace, the opposite of fear, we need to continue to worship God, to seek His face, to humbly repent, and to pray for ourselves and our world.

My friends, Jesus gives peace and He is our only hope for peace. The Lord is our refuge and no matter what happens, we can run to the arms of God and draw on that peace, receive His strength, and trust Him even when it makes no sense to us. Psalm 91:1 says, “He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Without a change in the current moral trajectory of this world, many more difficult days lie ahead. We, as Christians, should feel an overwhelming burden for the moral decay and the eagerness to stamp God out of the world He created. Our hearts should be broken for the lost and the sin that runs rampant around us. It should cause us to fall on our knees, weeping before our God with broken and repentant hearts. Will you join me in praying for a revival to sweep across our nation and our world…we desperately need it!

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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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What Satan Does Not Want You To know

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

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Stress Journal

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

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2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

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

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The Path to Sin

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

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One Year Bible Reading Plan

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

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Self-Care Wheel

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

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

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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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Mark 9:35. Eleven Qualifiers for being the Greatest

March 03 Mark 9 35

Think for a moment about who you consider to be the greatest person in the following categories:

  • The greatest singer
  • The greatest musician
  • The greatest teacher
  • The greatest football player
  • The greatest actor/actress
  • The greatest pastor
  • The greatest boss/leader

Most of us can easily identify a person in each of these categories. My opinion about the greatest one in each of them could be very different from yours. It would all be based on the qualifiers you have in your mind that would make someone the “greatest.” For example, if I said that the greatest singer is Josh Groban but you do not like his style of music then you would greatly disagree. Or if I said the greatest musician is Kenny G, but you prefer piano music, then you’d might list someone else as the greatest musician, even if you thought Kenny G was the best soprano saxophone player. Since you probably had different teachers than I did, it is very likely we would not agree on the greatest teacher. So if we are going to answer the question, “Who is the greatest?” then we need to have some qualifiers upon which we will identify who is the greatest. Jesus gives us those qualifiers in Mark 9:35 and the list is very short – just 2: humble and servant.

In our world today, humble and servant are probably not the qualifiers most of us would assign to the greatest person. Instead we identify them based off appearances, accomplishments, successes, possessions, abilities, personality, etc. In the world’s point of view, a great person is easily identified because that person doesn’t stop pointing out his own greatness. The two biggest words in his/her vocabulary is “I” and “me.” Most of hte people the world would identify as the greatest are full of pride. He is egotistical and self-made. He’s the person sung about in Frank Sinatra’s “I Did It My Way.” He doesn’t need anyone else’s help or guidance. He’s a self-made man.

But Jesus identifies the greatest in a very different way and pride has no room at all in the life of a person that Jesus considers to be the greatest. Instead, Jesus says the person that is greatest is last – or in other words, it is the man or woman who is humble. C.S. Lewis said, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” So what does the humble man or woman look like?

  • Not boastful. Even if he or she earned “boasting rights”, you won’t find the humble person bragging. When he does speak about his accomplishments, he will point out the people that helped him get there so that the spotlight is on them rather than himself. He will also give God the glory and credit.
  • A listener. It has been said that God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth so that we could listen twice as much as we speak. The humble man or woman is an active listener with a genuine concern for what the other person is saying and/or feeling.
  • Follow’s God’s lead. The humble person isn’t leading God along in her own personal plans for her life, rather she allows herself to be led by God and obediently follows His plan for her life.
  • Doesn’t give up. Humble people are able to keep trying no matter how many times they fall down. Prideful people fall and they will get up but then give up out our fear of falling again and people witnessing it. Humble people understand that everyone makes mistakes but they acknowledge it, learn from it and then get up and try again. When inventing the light bulb, Thomas Edison had many failures before finding success. He said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” He was also quoted as saying, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
  • In control. It takes much more effort and control to live humbly than with egotistical pride. Living humbly takes a consistent effort to choose humility over pride. People who “fly off” in a fit of rage are not humble people. Instead, those people allow their pride to control them and when pride is in control, the person has no control. But when humility wins the battle, the person has control of his words and actions.
  • A leader. Vince Lombardi said, “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” But there is a difference between a humble leader and a prideful one. Prideful leaders are, in fact, not leaders at all – they are bosses. They boss people around, telling them what to do and enforcing their will on others. Most often what they makes others do, they refuse to do themselves. The humble leader, however, works in the trenches alongside of those whom he leads – whether the task is dirty and hard or fun and exciting. When the hard, difficult task needs to be done, you’ll find the humble leader doing it himself rather than getting others to do it while he goes out for a round of golf.
  • Willingly serves others. Not only did Jesus say the greatest person is humble, but that they also servant of all. Jesus demonstrated this by washing the disciples feet. If you know anything at all about Jewish customs, then you know that foot washing was the task of the lowest of the low ranking servants. Yet the Son of God, King of kings humbly knelt down and wash the feet of His disciples. In Jesus’ qualifiers for the title of “Greatest”, we should follow His example and be willing to serve others in whatever capacity is needed. The humble person doesn’t care if serving others receives recognition. They aren’t doing it for what they can get out of it, but for what they can give to someone else. It brings him joy to serve others so there is no grumbling or complaining. He sees serving others and an opportunity rather than duty or obligation.
  • Loves others. Let’s face it – not everyone is easy to love. But Jesus said the 2nd greatest commandment was to love others as we love ourselves. The humble person loves others regardless of who they are, where they come from, what color of skin they have, what they smell like, what their mental capacity is, what their annual income is, what their employment position is – they simple love others. Prideful people love people who fit into their criteria as loveable. Humble people recognize that because of sin, none of us a loveable, but God chose to love us even while we were yet sinners and sent Jesus to die for us as the payment for our sin. They then share the love of Christ with others – even with the most “unlovable.”
  • Tenderhearted and forgiving. Tenderhearted is the capacity to be kind and gentle. It doesn’t mean he allows others to “walk over” him or take advantage of him, but that even when he needs to be firm it is done with kindness and gentleness. The humble person is also willing to forgive others because she knows that she has made her own share of mistakes and is grateful of Christ’s forgiveness towards her so she is then able to extend forgiveness towards others.
  • Correctable. People who are full of pride do not accept correction from others. They will pass the blame elsewhere or have a million excuses but they won’t accept their own fault. They are defensive and argumentative as they try to convince others they are right. The humble person is teachable. When he recognizes a mistake or someone points out a mistake, his response is, “teach me.” He has a genuine desire to learn from his mistakes and knows that as he learns, he’s another step closer to success.
  • Christ follower. Humility is impossible if we are not following Christ because it is only then that we recognize God’s greatness and realize just how “fallen” and “broken” we are. The more we know about God, the more we are able to realize just how sinful we are. As a follower of Christ, we strive to be like Him so that all we do and say points people to Him – not to our self.

Jesus’ teaching about who is the greatest reverses the world’s concept of being the greatest. He taught that being “first” did not come through aggressiveness and privilege, but through a humble heart and a willingness to love and serve others. But He didn’t just teach it with words, he modeled it in his life. Based on Jesus’ value system, would He say you are one of the greatest?

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#whoisthegreatest #humble #servant

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Don’t forget to learn this week’s memory verse:

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Don’t forget to learn this week’s memory verse:

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1 Chronicles 28:9

Know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him.

 

Meditate and apply:

Will you commit to praying with us in 2020 that God will revive His people, renew our faith, and redeem our land? We feel such an urgency and desperation for revival. If God is moving your heart for revival, write your revival prayer in the comments along with your state or country. 

#knowGod #headknowledge #heartknowledge #revivalinAmerica #revivalin2020 #WCM

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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

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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.

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Or call us at 904.524.8073

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230472: Faith Like a Mustard Seed, Matthew 17:20 Bracelet Faith Like a Mustard Seed, Matthew 17:20 Bracelet

By Finesta Corporation

Chunky fashion bracelet of purple and silvertone beads with mustard seed cross charm and engraved Scripture tag If you have faith as small as a mustard seed…Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20.Textured and engraved beads add style on stretch bracelet with toggle clasp; 7″ stretch bracelet designed to fit the wrist of most women; A unique and beautiful Christian jewelry design to encourage you to trust God.

Please note: the faceted stones on this topselling bracelet may vary in shading depending on the light in which they are photographed.

935951: Finding God Faithful, Bible Study Book Finding God Faithful, Bible Study Book

By Kelly Minter / Lifeway

Trace the path of Joseph’s life in the Book of Genesis to observe how God’s sovereignty reigns, even in our darkest moments. Learn to recognize when God is working during periods of waiting, trust God’s plan when life doesn’t make sense, and rest in the sufficiency of His presence in every circumstance. His provision is enough, His presence is constant, and His purpose is unstoppable. (8 sessions)

Features:

  • Leader helps to guide questions and discussions within small groups
  • Personal study segments to complete between 8 weeks of group sessions
  • Interactive teaching videos, approximately 35 minutes per session

Benefits:

  • Place your hope in the God who is with you.
  • Learn to trust God’s purposes when life doesn’t make sense.
  • Recognize how God is working in your waiting.
  • Rest in the sufficiency of God’s presence in every circumstance.
954114: Better: A Study of Hebrews, Bible Study Book Better: A Study of Hebrews, Bible Study Book

By Jen Wilkin / Lifeway

088811: Ever Faithful: 365-Day Devotional Ever Faithful: 365-Day Devotional

By David Jeremiah / Thomas Nelson

Embrace a stronger understanding of God’s nature—and transform your faith into a living, breathing relationship with him! Jeremiah’s daily devotions feature Scripture; a brief meditation on topics including trusting in God’s faithfulness, the Lord’s plans for his children, and how to live in his peace; and insightful questions for reflection. Includes a ribbon marker. 400 pages, hardcover from Nelson.

0108085: Follower: Becoming More than Just a Fan of Jesus Follower: Becoming More than Just a Fan of Jesus

By Kyle Idleman / Zondervan

Jesus calls us to chase after him—not cheer for his cause! Idleman invites you to take an honest look at your relationship with the Lord. He believes Christian faith isn’t about walking a comfortable and reassuring path, but stepping into a new identity as a follower of Christ. Based on his bestseller Not a Fan. 160 pages, hardcover from Zondervan.

019421: Don"t Give Up: Faith That Gives You the Confidence to Keep Believing and the Courage to Keep Going Don’t Give Up: Faith That Gives You the Confidence to Keep Believing and the Courage to Keep Going

By Kyle Idleman / Baker Books

There are times in life when the giants seem too big and the game gets too intense. We want to throw in the towel, preserve ourselves, and hide. But we are called to more!

In Don’t Give Up, Kyle Idleman explores the seasons of life where we feel as if we are hanging by a thread. Through relatable stories and Biblical encouragement, he encourages us to cast our concerns on God, trust in his love and timing, pray for patience and strength, and seek out support in the family of God.

218125: Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads

By Suzanne Eller / Bethany House

It’s the ultimate invitation! Christ is calling you to a lifetime of unpredictable adventure. Now you must decide whether to accept. As you study the stories of Jesus’ disciples, you’ll be challenged to step back from your day-to-day worries and “to do” list; and move toward the One who promises to delight and surprise his people.

230755: Only Jesus: What It Really Means to Be Saved Only Jesus: What It Really Means to Be Saved

By John MacArthur / Thomas Nelson

What does Jesus mean by “Follow me”? Your answer is crucial to your understanding of the Christian gospel! MacArthur explores what the Bible says about who this Galilean is, defines saving grace, clarifies why Christ must be savior and lord of your life, and more. An update and abridgment of The Gospel According to Jesus. 173 pages, 4.5″ x 7.25″ hardcover from Zondervan.

088590: Moving Mountains: Praying with Passion, Confidence, and Authority Moving Mountains: Praying with Passion, Confidence, and Authority

By John Eldredge / Thomas Nelson

Is there a right way to pray? Why doesn’t God always say yes? Is he listening? Countering the idea that prayer’s purpose is to seek divine intervention, Eldredge shows that it’s actually about partnering with God. Discover your role in breaking sin’s strongholds, bringing about healing, and more as you claim your authority as God’s child! 256 pages, softcover from Nelson.

202904: Walking With God: Talk to Him. Hear from Him. Really. Walking With God: Talk to Him. Hear from Him. Really.

By John Eldredge / Thomas Nelson

Walking with God moves through a year in the life of John Eldredge, showing and teaching what an intimate relationship with God looks like day-to-day. Among other important points, it will teach you how to make decisions aligning with God’s will, understand barriers and “agreements” keeping you from the life God intends, and how to fight spiritual battles for yourself and others. Learn how walking with God intimately can be a normal part of the Christian life.

Experiencing the Power of Life-Changing Faith-Romans    -     By: Kay Arthur

Experiencing the Power of Life-Changing Faith-Romans

By Kay Arthur / Harvest House Publishers

* Discover the truth of God’s Word for yourself! The Book of Romans is Paul’s clearest presentation of the gospel—and includes answers to some of life’s most important questions. How can I have peace with God? How can I know God’s will? Does being religious make me a Christian? For personal or group study. 144 pages, softcover from Harvest.

350601: Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire

By Jim Cymbala with Dean Merrill / Zondervan

Every Tuesday night the Brooklyn Tabernacle is standing room only—for a prayer meeting! In this expanded edition, Pastor Cymbala shares updated stories of what God continues to do there. You’ll be led on your own journey to spiritual awakening; and be inspired to listen more closely for his voice and pray with utter dependence on him. 224 pages, softcover from Zondervan.

Cover_mGod, Love, and Marshmallow Wars: 365 Daily Challenges to Grow Your Marriage

By Julia M. Bruce / WestBow Press
There’s no doubt that marriage is hard work. Yet it can also be one of the most fulfilling relationships you can experience, outside of your relationship with God. However, many marriages leave God outside of the relationship. Godly marriages do not happen without cultivating it, investing in it, and putting God first in your individual lives and in your marriage.
This book includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a 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

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Genesis 7:1. The Danger of Hard Hearts and Dull Ears

genesis 7 1 corrected

In Genesis 6:9, the Bible tells us that Noah was a just man, perfect in his generation and that he walked with God. We also learn in verses 5-6 that “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” so much so that God was greatly grieved. Although God found Noah “perfect in his generation,” it does not mean Noah was sinless. Rather he could be said to be wholesome, godly, and honorable, obedient to God. And God found him as righteous. But for the people in Noah’s day, not so much.

The entire time the Noah built the ark, he preached of God’s coming judgment. However, the people were so totally depraved that they were not at all concerned. They did not believe Noah and they were content to continue living in their wickedness and idolatry. They had hard hearts and dull ears. They heard Noah warning them of God’s coming judgement. But they just laughed at him.

“Hey! Old Man!” someone shouted as they passed by. “What are you building?”

Noah says, “A boat.”

The passerby is silent. He looks around left…and to the right. Maybe he heard wrong. “A what?”

“A boat.”

“Did you say a boat?”

“Yes. A boat.”

“Do you see water around here?”

“No. Do you?”

“No. So why are you building a boat?”

“Because God is going to flood the earth.”

“What’s a flood?”

“God said He is disappointed in the human race he created and He’s fed up with the sin so He is going to destroy the entire human race along with all the animals by sending rain.”

“We’ve never seen rain. Have you ever seen rain?”

“No. I’ve never seen rain.”

“What is rain supposed to be?”

“Water that falls from the sky.”

The passerby laughs. “Old man, you’ve out in the sun too long. Water doesn’t fall from the sky and even if it did, how can water destroy everyone?”

“All I know is God said He was sending rain that would cause the earth to flood and everyone would perish. He told me to build a boat and that my sons and I and our wives would enter the boat along with two of each species of animals and all else would perish. But it’s not too late. You can turn to God and He will save you. Just repent of your sins.”

The passerby laughs harder. “You’re one crazy old man. There is no such thing as rain and never has there been a flood before.”

The man continues on his journey laughing as he walked along. A little ways down the road a pair of elephants walk passed him. He thought about what the old man had said about two of every animal getting on the boat and hesitated for just a second. Then laughed again and continued on.

None of them repented. Not one person had any desire to seek God. They simply continued on living the way they wanted and made fun of the old man building a large boat where there was no water in which to launch it. Day after day. Yet Noah was obedient to what God told him to do.

In Matthew 25:31-33, we find that Jesus also warns us and says that the world will once again be like the days of Noah before He comes to earth again. In 2 Timothy 3:1-4, we get a description of what the world will be like:

But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,   unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

Doesn’t this sound like the world we live in today? If you have any doubts, you only need to watch the news feeds alerts on your phone or turn on the evening news. The question we need to ask ourselves is, “Would God say that He has seen me righteous before Him in this generation?” Or would He find us with the same hard hearts and dead ears as the people in Noah’s day?

Lord, revive the hearts and ears of your people – the ones who are called by your name – the children of God. May we seek you with all our hearts – and find you. May we be obedient to your word and your will. Break our hearts for what breaks yours. May we come to you in repentance and total surrender. Lord, we are desperate for you and long to see you pour out the Holy Spirit across our land. 

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2020 new year

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T-shirt Fundraiser Event: If you missed getting one of our Christmas designs, be sure to check out all the other designs. We have some great Christian designs based on popular Scriptures that can be a testimony of your faith and a witness to the lost.

All Things New

New Year’s Day is just around the corner. Revelation 21:5 says that God makes all things new. You can get this shirt for New Year’s Day now. (Click the shirt to go to the store).

All proceeds go to the advancement of Wellspring Christian Ministries.

Thank you for helping us grow!

Click here to view the Teespring store. 

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#fundraiser #tshirt #WCM #teespring #spreadshop #Revelation21:5 #allthingsnew

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FundlyBecome a distributor of Living Water with us by joining our fundraising campaign as we grow and expand our ministry. Click here to make your secure tax-deductible contribution.

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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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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224984: Overcomer, Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Overcomer, Blu-ray/DVD/Digital

By Provident Films

From the creators of War Room, Courageous and Fireproof. Basketball coach John Harrison’s high school team is crushed by the closing of the town’s largest employer. Hundreds of families move, leaving him running a struggling cross-country program. But then he meets Hannah and begins helping this unlikely runner attempt the impossible in the year’s biggest race. Starring Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, and Aryn Wright-Thompson. Rated PG. Dove approved (12+). Approx. 119 minutes.

Blu-ray Exclusives:

  • The Heart of Overcomer
  • Creating the Opening Drone Shot
  • Working with the Kendricks
  • Post-Production Behind-the-Scenes: Editing, Scoring, Coloring, and Sound Design
  • “Enough” (Lyric Video) Featuring Koryn Hawthorne
  • Don’t Mess with the Editors

Special Features:

  • The Making of Overcomer
  • Bloopers
  • 10 Minutes of Additional Scenes
  • Commentary with Director Alex Kendrick and Producer Stephen Kendrick
  • Overcomer in 60 Seconds
  • The Theme of Identity
  • The Power of Forgiveness
  • “Overcomer” (Lip Sync Music Video) Featuring Mandisa and More!

Other Features:

  • Audio: English, French (PAR), Spanish, Thai
  • Subtitles: English, English (SDH), Spanish, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Tagalog, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese
794037: Waiting on God Waiting on God

By Charles F. Stanley / Howard Books

Are you waiting for God to answer your prayers? Does time tick by without any hint that things will change? You’re not alone! Drawing on personal experiences and biblical principles, Stanley offers a practical and encouraging guide to making the most of the “delays” and following God’s lead to the blessings he has planned for you.

776585: Letters to the Church Letters to the Church

By Francis Chan / David C Cook

If God had it His way, what would our churches look like?

In his most powerful book yet, Pastor Francis Chan digs deep into biblical truths, reflections on his own failures and dreams, and stories of ordinary people God is using to change the world.

As Chan says, “We’ve strayed so far from what God calls Church. We all know it. We know that what we’re experiencing is radically different from the Church in Scripture. For decades, church leaders like myself have lost sight of the inherent mystery of the Church. We have trained people sitting in the pews to become addicted to lesser things. It’s time for that to change.”

When Jesus returns, will He find us caring for His Bride-even more than for our own lives? Letters to the Church reminds us of how powerful, how glorious the Church once was … and calls us to once again be the Church God intended us to be.

Bonus Videos: The 4 videos from Francis Chan’s BASIC Study series (Fellowship, Communion, Teaching, Prayer) are included here as additional material for you to feel free to use in your church. They are not part of the “Letters to the Church” series.

537264: A Hunger for God: Desiring God Through Fasting and Prayer A Hunger for God: Desiring God Through Fasting and Prayer

By John Piper / Crossway

Is your soul so stuffed with worldly desires that you have little room left for God? Piper invites you to turn from materialism and sharpen your appetite for God through prayer and fasting. His exploration of fasting will help you understand how this ancient biblical practice can nourish your spiritual life and satisfy your longings. 201 pages, softcover from Crossway.

407250: Erasing Hell: What God Said About Eternity, and the Things We"ve Made Up Erasing Hell: What God Said About Eternity, and the Things We’ve Made Up

By Francis Chan & Preston Sprinkle / David C Cook

In Erasing Hell, Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle take on the topic of hell and our eternal destiny, with a sense of humility and a deep respect for the inspired Word of God. They will address questions such as “Will everyone be saved?” and “Does God Get What He Wants in the End?” as well as reviewing in depth, everything Jesus said about Hell. Chan and Sprinkle lay all the evidence on the table and present all the facts from Scripture, so that people can decide what to believe for themselves.

291119: Double Blessing: How to Get It. How to Give It. Double Blessing: How to Get It. How to Give It.

By Mark Batterson / Multnomah

New York Times bestselling author and pastor Mark Batterson believes the key to radically increasing your faith, joy, and abundance can be found in these three words:

Flip the blessing.

His discovery started with a simple experiment. Whenever he received a blessing, he would give a similar blessing away. If someone paid him a compliment or gave him a gift or went out of their way to help him, he would return the favor by doing something similar for someone else.

We flip the blessing by blessing others in the way God has blessed us. That’s how the blessing becomes a double blessing. It turns giving into a game–one we can’t win because God will always outgive us! It’s an ancient truth found within the Abrahamic covenant: “I will bless you…and you will be a blessing.”

In other words, we are blessed to bless. In a day and age where the idea of blessing has been reduced to a hashtag (#blessed), Batteron challenges readers to pursue true, God-glorifying blessing and experience an exponential impact by participating in the double blessing. Don’t settle for half of what God offers. Discover how you can both get it and give it.

632024: Not Safe: Discovering God"s Dangerous Plan for Your  Life Not Safe: Discovering God’s Dangerous Plan for Your Life

By Mark Batterson / Zondervan

As believers, we may feel tempted to “play it safe”—but God wants to make us dangerous on his behalf! In this inspiring message based on his book All In, Batterson explains that “holding the fort” was never Jesus’ plan for his followers. Instead, he dares you to choose a radical life of spiritual surrender—beginning today. 160 pages, hardcover from Zondervan.

291089: Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God

By Mark Batterson / Multnomah

God still speaks today. His voice and guidance wasn’t only for the saints and prophets of old, but for followers of Jesus now. In Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God, author and pastor Mark Batterson shares seven ways that God communicates with His followers, if they’ll stop to listen. Through the tools of Scripture, Doors, Dreams, People, Promptings, and Pain, God weaves divine messages of love, encouragement and insight, into our lives every day. Hardcover.

588788: Zondervan"s 2020 Church and Nonprofit Tax & Financial Guide Zondervan’s 2020 Church and Nonprofit Tax & Financial Guide

By D. Busby, V. Laue, M. Martin & J. Van Drunen / Zondervan

One of the few resources offering advice to churches and nonprofit organizations on issues of financial accountability, receiving and maintaining tax-exempt status, and charitable gifts. Also includes a thorough description of tax laws, sample policies and procedures with easy techniques for simplifying them, insights on medical expense reimbursements, sound compensation planning, and examples of required IRS filings. 224 pages, softcover.

588795: Zondervan"s 2020 Minister"s Tax and Financial Guide Zondervan’s 2020 Minister’s Tax and Financial Guide

By D. Busby, V. Laue, M. Martin & J. Van Drunen / Zondervan

If you find April 15 taxing in more ways than one, let this easy-to-follow manual come to the rescue! The 2020 edition features a line-by-line explanation of Form 1040 and recent changes in the tax code—with valuable hints about how to reduce next year’s bill. Also includes guidance on compensation, retirement, and ways to maximize business expense reimbursements. 192 pages, softcover.

196846: 2020 Multiple Blessings Create It Planner 2020 Multiple Blessings Create It Planner

By Caroline Simas Simas / Perfect Timing Inc

Multiple Blessings Create-It Planner lets you plan out your schedule the way you want with pages for reminders, lists, monthly goals and special dates. Blank calendar grids in a perpetual 12-month format lets you start on any month you choose in weekly and monthly views. Includes additional space for project tracking, contact and password info, and drawing make this all-in-one planner a must-have!

Details:

  • Colorful art design by Caroline Simas
  • 120+ coordinating stickers
  • Color-coordinating elastic band closure
  • 218 pages of premium paper.
  • Spiral bound, Linen-embossed hardcover
  • Measures 7″ x 9″
520377: 2020 Planner Too Blessed to be Stressed 2020 Planner Too Blessed to be Stressed

By Debora Coty / Barbour Publishing

Ideal for personal or home use, the 2020 Too Blessed to be Stressed 15-month engagement planner, features memorable quotes from Debora M. Coty’s heartwarming devotional, Too Blessed to be Stressed, as well as specially selected Scripture quotations.

Other features include:

  • Weekly, monthly, and year-at-a-glance calendars
  • 17 months of inspiring readings from inspirational humorist Debora M. Coty
  • Pages for monthly goal-setting
  • 17 months of planning – August 2019 – January 2021
  • Address book for frequent contacts
  • Color coordinating pages
  • Elastic belly band to all your notes contained
  • Scripture from various translations
  • Hardcover
  •  4.375” x 7.25”
354789: 2020 Mornings with Jesus 2020 Mornings with Jesus

By Zondervan

Begin each day with Jesus . . . and get to know him as your Redeemer, Friend, and Faithful One! Designed to take just five minutes every morning, these 365 engaging readings include Scripture verses, meditations from 13 different authors, and challenging “Faith Steps” meant to inspire and encourage you in your daily walk. 379 pages, softcover from Zondervan.

866054: One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land, Member Book One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land, Member Book

By Priscilla Shirer / Lifeway

One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land – Member Book by Priscilla Shirer provides a personal study experience five days a week plus viewer guides for the group video sessions of this discussion-driven women’s Bible study. Priscilla encourages participants to fully engage in the abundant life God has waiting for those who will allow Him to take the lead in daily living. One in a Million is an opportunity for you to experience your deliverance from strongholds, to conquer your wilderness living, and to claim your God-given inheritance. 6 Sessions. Includes Leader Guide.

12334X: Before Amen: The Power of Simple Prayer (Study Guide) Before Amen: The Power of Simple Prayer (Study Guide)

By Max Lucado / Thomas Nelson

In Before Amen, Max Lucado, a self-professed “recovering prayer wimp,” reveals his personal struggles with prayer. He will show you how he discovered that prayer is not a privilege for the pious or the art of a chosen few but a simple tool all believers have been given to have a conversation with God. Through the use of a simple, easy-to-remember, pocket-sized prayer that he distilled from the prayers in the Bible, he will lead your church members in building a prayer life that is stronger, better and deeper.

Designed to be used with the Before Amen 4-session small group DVD study, this study guide includes leader helps, discussion questions, conversation starters, and between-session activities to enhance your understanding and application of Max’s teaching.

First Lesson Free! PDF Study Guide

God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars: 365 Daily Challenges to Grow Your Marriage  -     By: Julia M. Bruce God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars: 365 Daily Challenges to Grow Your Marriage

By Julia M. Bruce / WestBow Press

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