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Lead Me to the Rock

Pressure, Stress, Burnout, Compassion Fatigue

Life is filled with pressure and stress. Stress to meet deadlines, stress to get the bills paid, stress in learning a new job, stress to handle the amount of work on your desk, stress caring for a loved one with an illness. Pressure to be liked by your peers, pressure to make the team, pressure to get the next promotion. Sooner or later we come to a boiling point where we feel berried beneath the weight of the stress and pressure. Things are just more than we can handle. At times, we even feel defeated by it. We throw up our hands and cry out, “I don’t know what to do!” or “I can’t go on like this!”

Burnout and Compassion Fatigue are real and we experience these in those moments when we cry out, “I can’t take another step!” In that moment we either experience our greatest tragedy or our greatest victory. It just depends on where turn for help. David turned to his Rock, his Fortress. Where do you go in these moments?

I’m well familiar with pressure, stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue. Not only do I keep up this blog and I’m CEO of this ministry. But this is what I do “part-time.” I also wear the title of Senior Director of Foster Care for a statewide agency and in that role, I oversee thirteen staff in 22 counties. I’m also currently writing two books and mentoring curriculum for an organization in which I serve on the Board of Directors. And if that wasn’t enough, I have a husband with some significant medical needs that keeps me on my toes.

Seeking Relief

For some they seek relief in alcohol or drugs. Some seek relief in pornography. Some seek relief in sexual relationships. Others seek relief in sports, hobbies, or video games. And in today’s world, it can even be sought in virtual reality. Even if one find distraction in these things for a short while, there is no security or strength found in them to help us through the situation. In fact, most of these things only bring more problems. More tragedy.

Tragedy can also happen when we are overwhelmed when we attempt to make a major decision while we are feeling stress and pressure. Often, when we attempt to make decisions at this time, we make the wrong decision or one that is irreversible. These might be something like the decision to drive a car after drinking or getting high, choosing to cheat on your spouse, choosing to get married or divorce, deciding to buy an expensive item you can’t really afford.

Me Power

We are not meant to do life in our own power. How do I know when I’m relying on myself? When I begin to feel overwhelmed, discourage, afraid. When I begin to feel like I can’t take another step in the calling God has given me and I’m ready to throw in the white flag. Or when the passion I have for my ministry feels more like a burden. God wants us to depend on Him and live life through His power. When we live in His power, He gets the glory as others see Him at work in our lives. When we have nothing left to give, we need to let go of the reigns and follow David’s example by crying out to God, “Lead me to the Rock!”

Lead Me to the Rock

So then, when we feel overwhelmed, what should we do? David prayed in Psalm 61:2, “I call to You from the ends of the earth when my heart is without strength. Lead me to a rock that is high above me.”  In 2 Samuel 22 David said, “The Lord is my Rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my mountain where I seek refuge. My shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold, my refuge, and my Savior.”

In the Bible, a rock is a symbol of strength and security and in the moment that David wrote Psalm 61:2, he needed the stability and security of a rock strong enough to stand against the circumstances that caused him to feel overwhelmed. He needed a Rock that is higher than him – a place above his own wisdom and abilities. Jesus is “higher than us” in His deity, knowledge, and power. He is higher in that He is worthy of our praise and worship. He is higher in that He is the only way to salvation.

David also needed God to lead him to that rock. Often when we are feeling overwhelmed, we just are not able to see the path that leads to the Rock because we are too focused on the problem and become blinded to way to get there. He knew he didn’t have the strength on his own to get to the Rock in that moment. Instead he cries out to God to lead him to the Rock.

Making overwhelming moments victorious moments

Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, depressed, fatigued, afraid, uncertain, worried, or have anxiety, we have a Rock that is higher than us. A strong fortress in which we can hide. We have the arms of our Savior waiting to embrace us, strengthen us, love us, encourage us and give us just what we need for one more step forward. When we run to the Rock, take time out to abide there. Spend time in His presence. We can find both strength and security for all of life’s overwhelming moments. So when you are feeling overwhelmed, follow David’s example and ask God to lead you to the rock that is higher than you. When we do, our moments of feeling overwhelmed can become a greatest victories.

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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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Come Away and Rest

Jesus had been performing miracle after miracle. He had been teaching crowds, defending himself against the Pharisees, and now recently, his cousin, John the Baptist had been beheaded. And everywhere He went, he had the disciples in tow, teaching them everything He possible could for the time after He would return to heaven and the gospel message would be placed into their hands to spread throughout the world. They stood by observing, soaking everything in and miracle after miracle, they were left in speechless awe. Some of them probably wished they could do some of the miracle Jesus had done. And then, in Mark 6, Jesus sends them out to the villages nearby to do just that. It was time to put what they had been learning into action. When they return, they are exhausted and Jesus invites them to come away and rest.

An interlude

Then, the story changes scenes as Mark inserts the interlude story of John the Baptist being beheaded. In the gospel of Matthew, we find that this incident is connected to Jesus deciding to get away for a while for some rest. We all need rest from time to time, even when we are busy doing the Lord’s work and serving Him through ministry. Since God created us, He knows more than anyone else that our bodies need adequate rest. In fact, He established for Israel the Sabbath day as a day of rest. He also set the example for us in the creation story where we see that on the seventh day, God rested from all His work – not because He was tired, but because the work was finished.

Because Jesus, the Son of God, came to dwell among us in a flesh and blood body, he experienced being tired. In John 4:6, we find Jesus worn out from His journey and sat beside the well where he would encounter the Woman at the Well. Without rest, we are not fully able to accomplish the tasks he has called us to do. When we become so tired that we don’t know how we can keep going, Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Follow Jesus’ Example

The Greek word for “come” is deute and means to “come hither” or “follow.” Jesus calls us to himself and to follow His example. He calls us to experience Him in an up-close-and-personal kind of way. He longs to bring us into close proximity and into an intimate fellowship with himself. Jesus wants us to take whatever circumstance we are in and He says, “Give them to Me.” He longs for us to give Him every burden and problem in total surrender and dependence on Him. As we learn to trust him, we are then able to find peace and rest. In 2 Chronicles 20:17, God tells his people to “position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. He is with you.”

Heavy-laden and weary?

Sometimes we get so caught up in hurrying from one to-do item to another that we barely have time to breathe. We end up heavy-laden with burdens and become weary. The Greek word for “weary” is kopiao and means “to labor, toil, expand great effort in hard and disagreeable work,” “to grow weary, tired; labor to the point of exhaustion.” Doesn’t this sound like us? But instead of taking time to rest, we just grab some caffeine or one of those very unhealthy energy drinks and just keep going. The result shows in both our physical health and emotional health. What we really need, is rest.

Refresh and Rest Up – Cease from Labor

“Rest” is the Greek word anapauo which means “to refresh, rest up,” or “to cease from labor.” In Ecclesiastes, the wisdom of Solomon tells us that there is a time for everything – a time to work, a time to clean, time to spend with friends and family. But too often we neglect the time to come away with Jesus and rest for a while. God created our need for rest…a pause from life…for our own good.  A pause to cease from the hustle and noise of life so we are able to:

  • seek His will and determine our steps
  • spend time with God so we are able to listen to Him
  • re-energize
  • avoid burnout
  • to keep serving Him in whatever capacity we have been called

Without rest, we are on the path to burnout

At times, we allow ourselves to get so caught up in life and say “yes” to too many things (sometimes, even ministry areas in the church) until we become burned out. But when we take a pause and seek His will, He will give us insights and let us know His will so that we don’t overextend ourselves to the point of becoming exhausted. We can protect ourselves from being involved in too much if we take the pause to determine His will. However, even when we are following His will, we become weary and need to take a pause. It then becomes a time of re-evaluation and we need to eliminate unnecessary things from our lives so that we have the energy and time to do what He has called us to do.

Time to pray

Sometimes, as we do the will of God, Satan fights against it and we feel as if we are rowing a boat upstream without a paddle. Taking a pause to spend time with God and pray over the task we’ve been given will send the angel armies our way. Daniel is an example of this.

In Daniel, chapter 9, he is praying for the Lord to hear him. Verses 20-23, Daniel pleads to God and in his weariness, Gabriel comes to him. Daniel wrote in these verses, “While I was speaking, praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my petition before Yahweh my God concerning the holy mountain of my God- while I was praying, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the first vision, came to me in my extreme weariness.” Then in Chapter 10, verses 12-13, Daniel receives another visit. In these verses we read, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel,” he said to me, “for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your prayers were heard. I have come because of your prayers. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me after I had been left there with the kings of Persia.”

God had heard Daniel’s prayers and sent his messenger to Daniel, but the prince of the kingdom of Persia stood in the way opposing the messenger. Daniel was completely unaware of the spiritual warfare his prayers were stirring up. Yet Daniel continued to pause and seek God until the messenger arrived.

Pause and Listen

Another reason to pause and rest is so we are able to listen to the voice of God. 1 Kings 19:12 is the only verse in the Bible that talks about God speaking in a whisper. Because we have the Spirit of God dwelling within us, the way God speaks to us today is the soft whispers across our heart as we are reading His Word or as the Holy Spirit recalls a verse of scripture to our minds. Sometimes it comes to us as our pastor is preaching or in a conversation with a friend. These soft, quiet impressions are easy to get lost in the loud bustle of everyday life. If we want to hear the voice of God, we need to quiet ourselves and listen with expectation. He longs to speak to us. But we have to ask ourselves, do we really want to hear His answer?

Too often our prayer lives become a one-sided conversation where we tell God what we want Him to do in our lives then jump up and go on about our day. There are things God would love to say to us, but we have to quit talking long enough for Him to get a word in. If you feel as if God never speaks to you, then perhaps it’s time to take a pause and rest in His presence….quietly before Him and give Him a chance to speak as we sit silently and listen expectantly.

Rest to re-charge

Taking a pause also gives us the change to re-charge. Just as your car runs out of gas, so do our bodies run out of energy. We reach a point where we feel that we have nothing left to give and yet people are still demanding more from us. In Matthew 14:23, Jesus found the need to have some alone time. “After dismissing the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone.” Did you notice what he did on the mountain, he prayed. Our help and our strength to keep keeping on comes from God. In Psalm 121:2, the psalmist wrote, “My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” In Psalm 28:7, he wrote, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices, and I praise Him with my song.” If you feel as if you energy tank is running on low, when was the last time you had some meaningful time along with God?

Do not neglect your physical rest…or spiritual rest

While we also need to take time to get plenty of physical rest each night, we cannot neglect the rest our souls need if we are going to be spiritually healthy. So as we go about doing the various tasks that need to be done today, let’s also take time to rest, pause, and recharge so that our labors tomorrow hold new energy, ready to continue in the tasks that God has called us to…whether it’s a ministry related job, real estate, medical, education or any other field where work.

Jesus recognizes our need for rest

In Mark 6, Jesus recognized the disciples’ need for rest, and He recognizes ours as well. It is under these circumstances that He invited His disciples to…

  • come away with him
  • by themselves
  • to a quiet place
  • and get some rest.

Come Away with Jesus

Sometimes getting the rest you need requires you to get away. Maybe you need to get physically away from all the distractions and just rest. Sometimes the rest we need is spiritual and we need to get away with Jesus. Either way, remember that our Savior knows when we need rest and in those moments He invites us to get away with Him. He wants to lead you away from the crowds and the busyness of life to just bask in the His presence. To lean on Him. To draw from His strength. And to be renewed and refreshed. What will it take for you to actually get away with Him for the rest you need?

Come away by yourself

Have you ever taken a vacation and when you get back you feel as if you need a vacation from your vacation? Sometimes our vacation are so jammed backed with activities that we come back more exhausted than before we left. When Jesus invited the disciples to come by themselves, it was a time for the ministry team to relax and recover. Mark 6 tells us that the disciples had been in such high demand in the villages where they went that they hadn’t even had time to eat. Whether you serve in a ministry of some sort, are a stay-at-home-mom, a corporate executive, or a day laborer, we can become so busy that we don’t take time to stop an eat or see to the basic needs of life. Jesus invited his ministry team to take some time just for themselves – where they were not in demand, where they were not healing or preaching or casting out demons. Jesus wanted to invest in them relationally. He was also teaching them the importance of rest so they could keep on serving.

Come away to a quiet place

Not only did Jesus invite them to come with him to get away be themselves, but he also wanted them to find a quiet place. Have you ever noticed how uncomfortable it can be when everything is quiet? If we are with others, the silence often feels awkward. Some of us even need the hum of a fan just to go to sleep. Whenever I travel and stay in hotels, the hardest part of getting to sleep is how quiet the room is. The truth is, we simply are not used to quiet.

However, Jesus challenges you to find it. It is in the quiet where we can here Jesus say, “Be still and know that I am God.” He wants us to just be still and rest. He knows the demands that have been placed on us. He knows the ministry He has called us to. And He knows the problems you are struggling with. He knows. And He’s inviting you to come away with Him and rest.


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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.

[Download not found]

Download our Free 2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

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

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Bible Reading Plan Download

Download our Free 2021 Daily Bible Reading Plan

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

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Jeremiah 29:13

For America to see revival, 2 Chronicles 7:14 says we are to seek God’s face. Jeremiah tells us that we will find Him when we search for Him with all our hearts.

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

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

You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel


God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

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

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

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

WestBow Press logo

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

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The Engulfing Flames of Burnout

Self-care to avoid burnout in ministry

“Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast,
immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work,
knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

— 1 Corinthians 15:58 (HCSB)

Even if you have not yet reached a place in ministry where burnout has engulfed you, learning how to practice self-care now, can help you avoid possible burnout in the future. If you are new to the ministry or at a place where you are excelling and seeing God work in mighty ways, you might think a series of blogs on revolutionizing your ministry through self-care practices are not needed. However, statistics paint a sobering picture.

What research says

In an online article from LifeWay Research, Lisa Cannon Green reported on a survey of 1,500 pastors of evangelical and historically black churches in which pastors stated that their professional roles are difficult. From that research, it was found that eighty-four percent of pastors say they’re on call 24 hours a day. Eighty percent expected conflict in their church. Fifty-four percent found the role of pastor frequently overwhelming. Fifty-three percent are often concerned about their family’s financial security. Forty-eight percent often feel the demands of ministry are more than they can handle. Twenty-one percent feel their church has unrealistic expectations of them (Green, 2015).

Burnout in other types of ministry

If the pastorate is this hard, imagine for a moment the added stressors that missionaries face: living in a different country or continent from their friends and family members, dangers they face if working in a place where proclaiming the gospel could cost them their lives, facing illnesses in third world countries with limited medical help, just to name a few.

Christian counselors are constantly bombarded emotionally with the life-stories of their clients. As a result they often face secondary trauma, a trauma caused by the trauma of people with whom they are counseling. They constant stories they hear can lead to burnout.

Even if your ministry is leading a small group, mentoring, or providing care in the church nursery, the demands on your time, emotions, and energy can become overwhelming at times. It doesn’t matter if your ministry is full-time, part-time, or volunteer. At some point, you will experience some level of stress, burnout, or compassion fatigue. The simple truth is that when stress, burnout and/or compassion fatigue become your norm, then you have reached a place where your tanks are empty and you cannot pour from an empty tank. Your energy and emotions that fuel you to serve God have been burned up and you are burned out.

Who ministers to the minister?

Every Sunday, church members file into their favorite pew to hear God speak to their hearts and souls through the pastor’s sermon which renews, recharges, and sends them out to face the next week ahead. They sing the worship songs with hands raised and tears running down their cheeks as they worship the God they love. And when they leave (hopefully) they say, “It was good to be in the house of the Lord today!” But who ministers to the minister?

As ministers, in whatever calling you are serving in, people come to us, expecting us to fill their tanks. But where do we go when our tank is empty? How do we stay filled? How do we stay charged up and ready to stand firm on the battlefields we face day after day?

As a Christian, the immediate and most obvious response would be that we stay filled through Bible reading, devotion, and prayer. Others might add that they listen to sermons on the radio. Some might add that they read spiritual growth books, blogs, and articles. Some will add in worship music. But we must realize that the spiritual battlefield is only one of six battlefields we fight on day after day. We must also realize that if we do not tend to our spiritual self-care first, we won’t stand a chance at self-care in the other five areas.

Self-Care reignites vision and passion

Thom Rainer wrote a blog post in 2013 entitled, “From Burnout to Vision: Twelve Ways Pastors Went from Burnout to Vision.” Mr. Rainer talked with seventeen pastors who had experienced burnout and asked them, “What did you do to reverse the dark spiral of burnout?” He summed up their responses into twelve responses and ranked them in order of frequency. The responses included:

  • spent more time in prayer and the Word
  • dreamed again
  • stopped comparing
  • developed relationships with non-Christians
  • moved my focus from the negative to the positive
  • learned to have fun
  • ended draining relationships
  • expressed gratitude regularly
  • spent more time doing things that energized me
  • got in better physical shape
  • made a commitment to have a greater servant spirit
  • began to pray for my community (Rainer, 2013)

The sum of these responses is that they found a way to practice self-care. Self-care allows us to find a new vision. It renews our passion to minister and serve others. It keeps us on the spiritual battlefield.

Self-Care isn’t selfish

Self-care isn’t selfish. Rather, it allows us to refuel the empty tanks in our lives so we can continue to pour into those whom God places in our lives to minister to. Refusing to practice self-care is what is selfish because eventually, we will give up and stop doing the work we’ve been called to do. Then those whom we are to minister to do not receive from us what God would give to them through us.

The more difficulties we face in ministry, the more vitally important practicing self-care becomes. When things are great, we may not need as much self-care as when ministry becomes a raging storm. However, practicing self-care even in the good times ensures that when the storm hits we are fully fueled up in every area, ready to face the battle.

#selfcare #burnout #ministry

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Everything Christian for less!

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

Christianbook Distributors Search:
Christianbook.com

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, Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

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 Join the community of couples on Facebook who are committed to intentionally growing their marriage and learning how to have a marriage that honors God. Here you can post photos of the different activities as you do them, ask questions of other couples, share how God is using this book to strengthen your marriage, and grow with other Christian couples. We’ll see you in the community.

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Booking for Fall, Winter and 2021 Events

Need a speaker for your next event?We’re booking for church and ministry events. (Due to COVID-19, we are only tentatively booking speaking engagements for events after September 2020 based on the recommendations as issued by the CDC and our government officials.)

Julia Bruce is an engaging and interactive speaker, CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, and author of God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars. Julia’s book is for Christian couples who seek a closer relationship with each other and with God. The book contains 365 activities for couples to work through together for a year of intentionally growing their relationship. The activities include scripture memory, conversation starters, personal reflections, guided Bible studies, romance builders, relationship builders and date night ideas. The book started out as daily posts on Wellspring’s website to encourage couples to develop Godly marriages and they quickly became the most viewed pages of the site. Julia feels God led her to organize the collection of posts into a book format that couples would be able to work through year after year. She enjoys going to churches and ministry events to talk about how the activities in the book will develop stronger marriages that are centered in Christ, which will then create stronger families. As an interactive speaker, she engages the audience utilizing some of the activities from the book for an evening of fun and time for couples to reconnect, relight the spark, and be reminded that a covenant, Christian marriage takes three people.

Julia is finishing her second book, entitled: Help! No one said ministry was about spiritual battles and difficult people! In this book Julia uses her studies in psychology and professional counseling to take a Biblical approach to self-care to help people serving in the ministry not burn-out, give-up, and walk away from the call God placed on their lives. Whether your ministry position is janitor, volunteer, or the senior pastor, this book will help you recognize the areas in your life that are depleted and need a little GLC (God’s Loving Care) so you can keep doing what God has called you to. You’re assignment in the Kingdom of God is vitally important! Keep an eye out for this book when it is released and see how Biblical self-care can keep you in the ministry to which you have been called.

Julia can bring the Biblical self-care concepts to your next ministry staff retreat to help your ministry team refill, recharge, and renew their hearts for their area of ministry. In this event, the audience will:

  • discover Biblical principles for self-care.
  • gain a Biblical understanding of why self-care is needed
  • learn the difference between stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue
  • take a highly sophisticated and scientific undefined test to determine their stress level (or maybe not so much sophisticated and scientific)
  • understand the benefits of practicing self-care
  • learn to recognize when self-care is needed
  • experience hands-on practice of self-care principles in the six areas of life that can become burned out, stressed out, exhausted, and experience compassion fatigue
  • network with other participants to share experiences from their ministry
  • gain an understanding of how their ministry position (whether cleaning the bathrooms, volunteering in the nursery, or filling the pulpit) is vitally important and necessary for the kingdom of God
  • return to the moment where God called them to serve and reignite the passion and zeal for ministry
  • and join together to pray for each person and ministry in the room.

After years of envisioning the idea and concept of Wellspring Christian Ministries, Julia decided to take a leap of faith and merge her vocational, collegiate, and life experiences and make the dream God put on her heart a reality.  Today we reach people world-wide through blog posts, speaking events, and devotionals. With a strong burden for our nation, Julia has a passion to see a revival sweep across our land and many of her writings and speaking events have a theme of calling God’s people to humble themselves and pray, and seek God’s face as they repent of sin and tune their hearts to following God’s will and His commandments.

Her message will engage individuals, inspire teams and transform the heart that is prayerfully seeking to live a God-first life. As the Holy Spirit speaks through her messages, He will work in every willing heart to create a life that is wholly sold out to God.

We are eager to be a part of your next church or ministry event – regardless of size. We can bring one of our ministry programs to your church, or we can tailor a message to your event theme. To request more information or schedule a booking, fill out the online form below. Or call us at 904.239.8937.

Please note: We are not taking bookings for any event before September 1 or until after the COVID-19 danger has passed. If you have a fall, winter, or 2021 event, we can tentatively book based on being able to travel and be social again. 

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904.239.8937
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Genesis 37:3 Taking Time to Pause

matt 11 28

Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” And 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” While it is important to honor God, do our best, and celebrate our successes, it is equally important for us to take time for rest. Since God created us, he knows more than anyone else that our bodies need adequate rest. Because Jesus, the Son of God, came to dwell among us in a flesh and blood body, he experienced being tired. In John 4:6, we find Jesus worn out from His journey and sat beside the well where he would encounter the Woman at the Well. Without rest, we are not fully able to accomplish the tasks He called us to do. When we become so tired that we don’t know how we can keep going, Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

The Greek word for “come” is deute and means to “come hither” or “follow.” Jesus calls us to himself and to follow His example. He calls us to experience Him in an up-close-and-personal kind of way. He longs to bring us into close proximity with Him and into an intimate fellowship with himself. He wants us to take whatever circumstance we are in and give them to Him is total surrender and dependence on Him. As we learn to trust him, we are then able to find peace and rest.

In 2 Chronicles 20:17, God tells his people to “position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. He is with you.” Sometimes we get so caught up in hurrying from one to-do item to another that we barely have time to breathe. We end up heavy-laden with burdens and become weary. The Greek word for “weary” is kopiao and means “to labor, toil, expand great effort in hard and disagreeable work,” “to grow weary, tired; labor to the point of exhaustion.” Doesn’t this sound like us? But instead of taking time to rest, we just grab some caffeine or one of those very unhealthy energy drinks and just keep going. The result shows in both our physical health and emotional health. Before long, we are exhausted, burned out, and ready to quit.

An important part of self-care is getting enough rest so that we can keep on doing whatever God has called us to do. “Rest” is the Greek word anapauo which means “to refresh, rest up,” or “to cease from labor.” God created our need for rest…a pause from life…for our own good.  A pause to cease from the hustle and noise of life so we are able to:

  • Seek His will and determine our steps
  • spend time with God so we are able to listen to Him
  • re-energize, refresh, renew so we can continue serving Him

At times, we allow ourselves to get so caught up in life and say “yes” to too many things (sometimes, even ministry areas in the church) until we become burned out. But when we take a pause and seek His will, He will give us insights and let us know His will so that we don’t overextend ourselves to the point of becoming exhausted. We can protect ourselves from being involved in too much if we take the pause to determine His will. However, even when we are following His will, we become weary and need to take a pause. It then becomes a time of re-evaluation. A time for us to eliminate unnecessary things from our lives so that we have the energy and time to do what He has called us to do.

Sometimes, as we do the will of God, Satan fights against it and we feel as if we are rowing a boat upstream without a paddle. Taking a pause to spend time with God and pray over the task we’ve been given will send the angel armies our way. Daniel is an example of this In Daniel, chapter 9, he is praying for the Lord to hear him. Verses 20-23, Daniel pleads to God and in his weariness, Gabriel comes to him. Daniel wrote in these verses, “While I was speaking, praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my petition before Yahweh my God concerning the holy mountain of my God- while I was praying, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the first vision, came to me in my extreme weariness.” Then in Chapter 10, verses 12-13, Daniel receives another visit. In these verses we read, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel,” he said to me, “for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your prayers were heard. I have come because of your prayers. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me after I had been left there with the kings of Persia.” God had heard Daniel’s prayers and sent his messenger to Daniel, but the prince of the kingdom of Persia stood in the way opposing the messenger. Daniel was completely unaware of the spiritual warfare his prayers were stirring up. Yet Daniel continued to pause and seek God until messenger arrived.

Another reason to pause and rest is so we are able to listen to the voice of God. 1 Kings 19:12 is the only verse in the Bible that talks about God speaking in a whisper. Because we have the Spirit of God dwelling within us, the way God speaks to us today are the soft whispers across our heart as we are reading His Word or as the Holy Spirit recalls a verse of scripture to our minds. Sometimes it comes to us as our pastor is preaching or in a conversation with a friend. These soft, quiet impressions are easy to get loss in the loud bustle of everyday life. If we want to hear the voice of God, we need to quiet ourselves and listen with expectation. He longs to speak to us. But we have to ask ourselves, do we really want to hear His answer? Too often our prayer lives become a one-sided conversation where we tell God what we want Him to do in our lives then jump up and go on about our day. There are things God would love to say to us, but we have to quit talking long enough for Him to get a word in. If you feel as if God never speaks to you, then perhaps it’s time to take a pause and rest in His presence….quietly before him and give Him a chance to speak as we sit silently and listen expectantly.

Taking a pause also gives us the change to re-charge. Just as your car runs out of gas, so do our bodies run out of energy. We reach a point where we feel that we have nothing left to give and yet people are still demanding more from us. In Matthew 14:23, Jesus found the need to have some alone time. “After dismissing the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone.” Did you notice what he did on the mountain, he prayed. Our help and our strength to keep keeping on comes from God. In Psalm 121:2, the psalmist wrote, “My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” In Psalm 28:7, he wrote, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices, and I praise Him with my song.” If you feel as if you energy tank is running on low, when was the last time you had some meaningful time along with God?

While we also need to take time to get plenty of physical rest each night, we cannot neglect the rest our bodies need if we are going to be spiritually healthy. So as we set off today to do our best and glorify God in our labors, let’s also take time to rest, recharge so that we are ready to continue in the tasks that God has called us to do.

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memory verse logoDon’t forget to memorize this week’s memory verse:

In 2020 our emphasis is on revival for America with three key words: revive, renew, and redeem. You will begin to see the elements of our website and posts reflect this emphasis. We hope you’ll join us in praying for God to pour out the Holy Spirit with a mighty rushing wind of revival for our nation and around the world.

 

Our key verse for revival is 2 Chronicles 7:14. “If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.  Our verse last week focused on humbling ourselves. This week, we’ll focus on praying.

This week’s memory verse:

Jeremiah 29:12

Then you will call upon me and come and
pray to me, and I will hear you.

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. 

click to tweet #revive #renew #redeem #revivalinAmerica #revivalin2020 #WCM

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T-shirt Fundraiser Event:

Dont Quit

In Jesus’s parable of the persistent widow, Jesus tells us to never stop praying and don’t lose heart. As we focus on Revival for America, 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land.” This design was created as we focus this week on praying for revival. You’ll find the design in tees for men, women, kids, and babies, mugs, bags, and other products. Check them out on in the Spreadshirtand Teesprings shops.

 

 

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 

#dontquit  #praywithoutceasing #nevergiveup #WCM #teespring #spreadshop

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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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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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at CBD through any of these links. Your cost to purchase any item through an affiliate link is the same as purchasing directly from CBD.

Clicking any affiliate link will open a new browser page and take you to Christian Book Distributor’s website.

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Check out these items from Christian Book Distributors.

We are praying and seeking God for Revival in America in 2020. The path to revival can be found in 2 Chronicles 7:14. Watch the video on this verse created by our CEO.

2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves….” This week we have featured several resources on prayer. We hope you’ll choose one for your own personal Bible study and join us in seeking God with a heart of humility and pray with us for God to send a revival to America in 2020.

Check out the Christian Book Distributor resources below.

Our organization receives an 8% commission on any item you purchase through these links. However, the product price is the same for you. There is no increase in your cost for us to receive the commission. All commissions receive support the work and ministry of Wellspring Christian Ministries. 
091365: Seek: 28 Days to Extraordinary Prayer Seek: 28 Days to Extraordinary Prayer

By Jennifer Kennedy Dean / New Hope Publishers

Experience the peace that comes from yielding to God and the intimacy of worship and adoration! In daily and weekly entries, Dean encourages you to Surrender, Exalt, Expose, and Knock. Written to be used individually, as a family, or corporately, her brief 4-week guide will help you make prayer a life-altering habit. 156 pages, 5″ x 7″ softcover from New Hope.

26734X: When God&amp;quot;s People Pray - Participant&amp;quot;s Guide: Six Sessions on the Transforming Power of Prayer When God’s People Pray – Participant’s Guide: Six Sessions on the Transforming Power of Prayer

By Zondervan

When God’s People Pray, Participant’s Guide is the companion book for group members. The DVD curriculum is sold separately and by Jim Cymbala, best-selling author of Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire. You and your church will learn transforming prayer through the Holy Spirit. Discover the power of God to restore hope, ignite faith, work miracles, and change lives…through prayer.

653052: Prayer: Forty Days of Practice Prayer: Forty Days of Practice

By Justin McRoberts & Scott Erickson / WaterBrook

Something in us searches for communion and communication with God. Although connection with the Creator is an innate desire, the effective practice of that connection can feel contrived or unnatural.

Prayer: Forty Days of Practice invites you to pray in more authentic and untethered ways. These prayers and images, along with contemplative reflections and suggested practices, are designed to stir and clarify what God is doing in you, which is the heart of prayer.

983362: Pray Big: Learn to Pray Like an Apostle Pray Big: Learn to Pray Like an Apostle

By Alistair Begg / Good Book Company

So many of us struggle with prayer. Many books have been written on the subject and there’s a reason for that. Prayer comes hard to most of us, in most seasons. And when we do pray, we often don’t know what to say. What is it that my Father loves to hear about? What are the best things I could pray for my family, my church, and myself?

This short book by renowned Bible teacher Alistair Begg combines warmth, clarity, humor, and practicality as he examines Paul’s prayers for his friends in the church in Ephesus. Paul clearly enjoyed prayer, and was excited about it. He expected his Father in heaven to hear what he said, and to act in other people’s lives accordingly. The truths that underpin and shape his prayers will motivate us to pray and set us an example.

So be inspired by the Apostle Paul to pray bigger and better prayers as we look to our heavenly Father to do more than all we ask or imagine!

75279: Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? Participant&amp;quot;s Guide Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? Participant’s Guide

By Philip Yancey / Zondervan

If God knows everything, why pray? Why do answers seem inconsistent and unpredictable? How can I make prayer more satisfying? Explore the most mysterious aspect of our relationship with God! Based on Yancey’s best-selling Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? this 6-session study illuminates a sometimes confusing yet infinitely rewarding activity. Companion DVD sold separately (SKU: 275251).

First Lesson Free! PDF Study Guide

12793: Pray About Everything, Tapestry Word Pillow Pray About Everything, Tapestry Word Pillow

By Manual Woodworkers & Weavers

Encouraging words are displayed on our woven tapestry prayer pillow Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything, and thank Him for His answers. Philippians 4:6
Poly/cotton tapestry with floral lattice border design and back insert pocket in which to store your personal prayer reminders. Made in the U.S.A. 12″ x 8″ with piped edging.

136810: If My People (2 Chronicles 7:14, KJV) Truth Tag If My People (2 Chronicles 7:14, KJV) Truth Tag

By B&H Church Supply

Inspiring and colorful Truth Tag set is a wonderful way to carry a Scripture verse with you. Bold contemporary graphic design and high glossy finish. An affordable Christian encouragement or appreciation gift! Attach this patriotic Truth Tag to your key chain, luggage, purse, or backpack; keep the bookmark in your current favorite read.

Featured Scripture: 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways…

  • Key Ring Tab: 2″ x 1″ I Will Heal Their Land
  • Bookmark: 2.5″ x 5″
032502: If My People: A Prayer Guide for our Nation If My People: A Prayer Guide for our Nation

By Thomas Nelson

Embark on a 40-day prayer journey for America during a time of political division and transition! In the spirit of 2 Chronicles 7:14, this helpful guide provides devotional thoughts to inspire you to lift up our nation’s leaders, and includes seven meditations from past presidents that were inspired during our country’s darkest days. 128 pages, hardcover from Nelson.

Before Amen Paperback

By Max Lucado / Thomas Nelson

Do you wish you prayed more—with more fire, faith, and fervency? Embarking on a journey to the very heart of biblical petition, Lucado explores the quotable, repeatable, portable prayer that Jesus gave his first followers when they struggled with this spiritual discipline. Discover how to have a heartfelt dialogue with God—and let the conversation begin! 192 pages, softcover from Nelson.

885970: Developing a Powerful Praying Church Developing a Powerful Praying Church

By Richard Blackaby / Blackaby Ministries International

327127: Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge

By Mark Batterson / Zondervan

Since The Circle Maker‘s release in 2011, inspiring stories of God’s answers to prayer have poured in to Mark Batterson’s inbox. In Draw the Circle he shares 40 of those faith-building stories through devotional readings that will encourage you to keep praying like never before.The 40-day prayer plan outlined in Draw the Circle will give you the insight and motivation you need to develop a deeper, more passionate prayer life. And as you take on the prayer challenge Batterson lays out, you’ll be sowing seeds that will bear a lifetime of faith as you watch God work in your life and in the world.

346913: The Circle Maker The Circle Maker

By Mark Batterson / Zondervan

Updated and revised! When his land was drought-stricken in ancient times, Honi ha-M’agel drew a circle in the sand, stepped inside it, and wouldn’t budge until God answered his petition for rain. What impossible dream are you praying about? Sharing new insights and personal stories, Batterson’s bestseller will help you achieve your desires through audacious prayer. 240 pages, softcover from Zondervan.

 

970111: Overcomer DVD Bible Study Kit

Overcomer DVD Bible Study Kit

By Stephen Kendrick & Alex Kendrick / B&H Books

Many people feel they are less than who God says they are. We get our identity from our careers, our political positions, family roles in the family, and other things. This small group study uses clips from the film Overcomer to examine how we determine our identity and how we can find our true identity in Christ.

The Bible study is geared for adult groups to use prior to the movie or just after seeing the movie. The study includes clips from the movie.

The Overcomer Bible Study Kit has five sessions and includes:

  • one Bible Study Book
  • one DVD with a promotional video and five 2-4 minute video sessions

Session Topics:

  1. Who Are You?
  2. You Are Broken
  3. You Are Chosen
  4. You Surrender
  5. You Declare
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

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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