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Go with Rejoicing to the House of the Lord

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

Week 1 of Advent: Rejoicing

As we are preparing our hearts for the coming Christmas, take a few minutes to examine you heart and attitude about going to church. Do you go just at Easter and Christmas – or maybe just to make a parent or spouse happy? Do you go every week – but out of a sense of obligation or duty – because it’s the “Christian” thing to do? How would our churches be different if we went rejoicing with a sense of expectation or meeting Jesus there? The psalmist wrote in Psalm 122:1-4:

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. Our feet shall stand within they gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together: Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord.

Who are you rejoicing to see this Christmas?

Who is someone you are excited to see this holiday season. Maybe you’re going home for the holidays or maybe your kids are coming in for winter break in college. Or maybe someone you’ve not seen in person because of COVID? When we haven’t seen family or friends for a while we’re excited to see them. Maybe you’re counting down the days, your suitcase is already practically packed, the gifts are wrapped, the oil has been changed in the car and you’re just waiting with every tick of the clock to jump in the car and go.

Rejoicing: The Psalmist

So when you examined your heart and attitude about going to church, how do you feel when it’s time to go to church? Do you have the same eager anticipation to visit the Lord in His house that the psalmist did?  Are you more excited to see family and friends this Christmas then spending time with God in church? The psalmist wrote that he was glad when it was time to go to the house of the Lord. What about throughout the week? Do you eagerly anticipate spending time with God by spending time each day studying His Word and talking with Him through prayer? 

Rejoicing: The Shepherds

The shepherds were eager to see the newborn King after the angels visited them in the field and told them about His birth:

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. Luke 2:15-16

They didn’t wait until the sun came up. They didn’t stop to get all the sheep back to the sheep pins. The shepherds didn’t stand around talking about the angels that had just appeared in the night sky. They didn’t critique the heavenly choir. Instead, they went with haste. They were eager to see what the angels had been talking about.

Rejoicing to be in His Presence

The thing about being in the presence of God, even as a baby, is that His presence will always change you. If you leave exactly the same as when you arrived, then you haven’t dwelt in His presence. The shepherds found Mary, Joseph, and the baby just as the angels had told them. But when they left, they went and told everyone what they had seen and heard. Then when they returned to the fields, they glorified and praised God. The were different when they left His presence than before they arrived.

The Shepherds received the first birth announcement

There is significance in the fact that the angels brought the birth announcement of Jesus to shepherds first. In ancient Israel, shepherds were generally considered “unclean” in the community of God’s people because of the work they did. They were in daily contact with dirty, smelly sheep, their manure, their blood from cuts and scrapes, and the insects that buzzed around them. All of this meant that shepherds were almost never clean enough to worship with God’s people in God’s presence. So they were generally treated as outsiders. Yet these are the ones chosen to receive the first birth announcement of Christ.

The King of Glory chose the lowly, outcast shepherds, not royalty, to receive His birth announcement. Throughout His ministry on earth, Jesus constantly reached out to the outcasts. He had dinner with tax collectors. He had a divine appointment with the woman at the well. And He mingled with the sick. Healed the lepers. And they all left his presence differently than when they arrived. So when you feel unworthy to come into the presence of the King of Kings, remember that he chose the shepherds to hear the good news of His birth first.

Rejoicing with the Good Shepherd

In John 10:11, Jesus said, I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. The Greek word kalos, translated “good,” describes that which is noble, wholesome, good, and beautiful, in contrast to that which is wicked, mean, foul, and unlovely. It signifies not only that which is good inwardly—character—but also that which is attractive outwardly. It is an innate goodness. Therefore, in using the phrase “the good shepherd,” Jesus is referencing His inherent goodness, His righteousness, and His beauty. As shepherd of the sheep, He is the one who protects, guides, and nurtures His flock. In fact, He gave His life for the sheep–you and me.

As we focus this week of Advent on preparing for His coming, how can we not look forward with eager anticipation to going to the house of the Lord? How can spending time with Jesus every day be a drudgery or obligation? When we reflect on Christ as our Good Shepherd who sacrificially gave himself for us, we should not only be glad to be in His presence but, like the psalmist, we should give thanks.

Today, focus on Jesus as your Good Shepherd – the one who protects, guides, nurtures and gave His life for you – and go with gladness and rejoicing as you enter His presence today.

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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.

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One Year Bible Reading Plan: May 26

Today’s Bible Reading: May 26

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1 Chronicles 17-19

John 10:1-21

Clicking on the Scripture links above will open a new window where you can read the scripture from the English Standard Version at Biblegateway.com or choose the Bible version you prefer to read. Check back each day to get the Scripture to read in the One Year Bible Reading Plan.

Why read the Bible every day?

Bible Reading is vitally important to growing spiritually. God wants us to hide His Word in our hearts, meditate on it, and apply it to our lives. Here are eight reasons you should have a daily Bible Reading time:

  • We can find His will for our lives.
  • Bible reading is our spiritual nourishment.
  • It helps us be able to discern the thoughts and intents of our heart.
  • The Bible instructs us in righteousness
  • It gives us power to overcome trials, heartaches, and sin
  • God gives us many promises, but you won’t know them unless you read about them.
  • God reveals Himself to us and we learn about Him which strengthens our relationship with Him
  • He also speaks to us through His Word.

Dig into God’s Word today!

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John 10:11. I AM the Good Shepherd

Jesus as the Good Shepherd

Shepherding is one of the three major occupations in Palestine along with fishing and farming. Throughout the Old Testament, we see God calling on the leaders of the nation to shepherd his people. We also often refer to a pastor of a congregation as a “shepherd.” And Jesus declares Himself to be the ultimate Shepherd.

In Chapter 9 of John, Jesus had just healed a man that was born blind. The Pharisees drill the poor guy with lots of questions. Then they bring his parents and and drill them. But they were afraid of the Pharisees and basically said, “Why are you asking us? He’s a grown man. Let him answer for himself.” So they bring the guy back in and he finally says to them, “Hey, I don’t know who healed me. Why are you so interested interested in knowing? Do you want to be one of his followers too?” The Pharisees were so caught up in trying to discredit Jesus and trap Him so they could kill Him that they missed a miracle – but the blind man sure didn’t miss it. It changed his life. As I imagine this scene unfolding, in my mind I see this guys staring the Pharisees down with a mix of awe and unbelief that that they didn’t get the fact that the greatest thing that ever happened to him just happened. He shakes his head and says, “Do you guys get it? All I know is once I was blind, but now…now I can see!” Can you hear his joy and excitement? And still the Pharisees missed it. Angry at the man, they throw him out of the temple.

A little later, Jesus comes back to check on him and make sure he’s okay. He then turns his attention to the Pharisees. For a moment he just looks at them. They squirm under his direct gaze. Then He calls them out for their ridiculous ungodly behavior, and telling them that though they may not be physically blind, they are spiritually blind. He then uses an allegory playing off of shepherding to try to get them to understand.

So as we get to Chapter 10, Jesus is pointing out who the true shepherd is and who are the thieves and robbers who would still the sheep away. He says, “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.” Little words can sometimes have big meanings. Have you ever stopped to think about a thief and a robber as two different things? We know they both steal – but what’s different about them? A thief will sneak in, take what they want, and sneak back out. A robber, on the other hand, steals by being violent. So Jesus was saying that the person who is not the true shepherd is a sneaky, violent thief.

In comparison, the true shepherd of the sheep enters the sheep pin by the gate. They sheep listen to his voice as he calls each sheep by name and leads them out of the pin and into the pasture. When they are all out, he goes ahead of them and they follow him because they know the sound of his voice. If a stranger tries to lead them, they will run away because they do not recognize the voice.

Jesus then says in verse 7, “I tell you the truth, I am the door to the sheep.” Understanding life and culture of Jesus’ day gives a much deeper understanding and truth to what Jesus was saying. Every night, the shepherd would bring the sheep back to the pin, which was basically an area with a wall around it that had an opening which was the “door,” but there actually wasn’t a door – just an opening. After all the sheep were in the pin, the shepherd would lay across the opening with his staff. The only way to get into the pin was to go through Him. It kinda gives a new meaning to the saying, “Over my dead body.”

What we can learn from Jesus being the door is that whoever enters the sheep fold through Him will be saved because he gives them abundant life. In contract, Jesus said that they thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy.

Because He is the door to the sheep fold, he is also the shepherd. And He’s not an irresponsible, lazy, or mean shepherd. He’s not the hired helper who abandons the sheep when the wolves come looking for dinner. No, He’s a good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep.

If the Pharisees were listening with their heart, the blind man would not have been the only person who’s life was transformed that day. Let’s make sure we don’t miss the spiritual truths that the Pharisees missed. The first truth is that we are sheep. The second truth is sheep need a good shepherd.

Psalm 100:3 says: Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Yes – we are sheep. What are sheep like? They certainly are not fearless, rugged creatures. Sheep are pretty much just passive, dependent blobs of wool. Doesn’t seem like a very good compliment to be compared to, does it. And yet around 200 times, the Bible refers to us as sheep.

If we do a little research about sheep we can find that they a great at following. You might say, that’s a good thing because if Jesus is our shepherd, we should follow Him. But with sheep, if one sheep starts running towards a hungry lion, they will all follow along – and Mr. Lion will feast on a smorgasbord of lambchops.

Sheep are also helpless creatures, which makes them prime targets for wolves or any other hungry belly. They have one one defense and that is to run when danger comes.

Sheep also have a very limited vision. In fact they are almost blind. They can only see about 15 yards in front of them. Beyond that, they have no idea what’s ahead of them or what’s behind them.

Sheep also are not intelligent creatures. They will graze on the same hill over and over until they turn it into a wasteland. They will stay on the same trail until they fall in a rut. They are not able to find their own way back home. They will also lie down and roll over on their backs. However, they are not able to roll back over and will die unless they are helped to get back to their feet again. But even though they will die, they keep on rolling on the backs.

How do we compare with such helpless, stupid animals? Like sheep, we tend to be followers. We all want to “fit in” and wear the latest styles, use the latest, trendy words and we sit for hours peering into “Social media land” to make sure we are following right along with everyone else. We have also been known to run off on our own, charging full speed ahead and even take a crowd with us but yet not really know where we are going or why we are going that way. Today, something could be defined as “wrong” and tomorrow it could be defined as “right.” And whatever the crowd says, we scoot our beliefs into line with everyone else and march forward on our woolly little legs and follow.

We can also be very near sighted. We see today – not eternity. We live for what’s right in front of us and never consider the impact it will have tomorrow.

And like sheep, we can be stubborn, hard-headed, unmovable. We will keep on doing something that we know is wrong or not good for us – it might even potentially kills us – but we keep doing it any way.

Yes. We are sheep. And we are in need of a Good Shepherd who is willing to give His life for His sheep. Our Good Shepherd, calls us by our name. When we go astray, He searches us out and brings us back home. He guards us through the night with His own body being the door. He gave His life for us so that we can have abundant and eternal life. He leads and guides us to green pastures and living water. And, when we stubbornly roll over on our backs, He picks us up and sets us back on our feet again.

Jesus is our Good Shepherd. King David described it best in Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

#ReadYourBible #1Chronicles #John #IAM #GoodShepherd

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Psalm 122:1-4. Let Us Go Rejoicing to the House of the Lord

Dec 2 Psalm 122 1-4I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. Our feet shall stand within they gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together: Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord.

Who is someone you are excited to see this holiday season. Maybe you’re going home for the holidays or maybe your kids are coming in for winter break in college. When we haven’t seen family or friends for a while we’re excited to see them. Maybe you’re counting down the days, your suitcase is already practically packed, the gifts are wrapped, the oil has been changed in the car and you’re just waiting with every tick of the clock to jump in the car and go.

How do you feel when it’s time to go to church? Do you have the same eager anticipation to visit the Lord in His house?  The psalmist wrote that he was glad when it was time to go to the house of the Lord. What about throughout the week? Do you eagerly anticipate spending time with God by spending time each day studying His Word and talking with Him through prayer? 

The shepherds were eager to see the newborn King after the angels visited them in the field and told them about His birth:

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. Luke 2:15-16

They didn’t wait until the sun came up. They didn’t stop to get all the sheep back to the sheep pins. They didn’t stand around talking about the angels that had just appeared in the night sky. They didn’t critique the heavenly choir. They went with haste. They were eager to see what the angels had been talking about.

The thing about being in the presence of God, even as a baby, is that His presence will always change you. If you leave exactly the same as when you arrived, then you haven’t dwelt in His presence. The shepherds found Mary, Joseph, and the baby just as the angels had told them. But when they left, they went and told everyone what they had seen and heard. Then when they returned to the fields, they glorified and praised God.

There is significance in the fact that the angels brought the birth announcement of Jesus to shepherds first. In ancient Israel, shepherds were generally considered “unclean” in the community of God’s people because of the work they did. They were in daily contact with dirty, smelly sheep, their manure, their blood from cuts and scrapes, and the insects that buzzed around them. All of this meant that shepherds were almost never clean enough to worship with God’s people in God’s presence. So they were generally treated as outsiders. Yet these are the ones chosen to receive the first birth announcement of Christ. The King of Glory chose the lowly, outcast shepherds, not royalty, to receive His birth announcement. Throughout His ministry on earth, Jesus constantly reached out to the outcasts. He had dinner with tax collectors. He had a divine appointment with the woman at the well. He mingled with the sick. Healed the lepers. And they all left his presence differently than when they arrived. So when you feel unworthy to come into the presence of the King of Kings, remember that he chose the shepherds to hear the good news of His birth first.

In John 10:11, Jesus said, I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. The Greek word kalos, translated “good,” describes that which is noble, wholesome, good, and beautiful, in contrast to that which is wicked, mean, foul, and unlovely. It signifies not only that which is good inwardly—character—but also that which is attractive outwardly. It is an innate goodness. Therefore, in using the phrase “the good shepherd,” Jesus is referencing His inherent goodness, His righteousness, and His beauty. As shepherd of the sheep, He is the one who protects, guides, and nurtures His flock. In fact, He gave His life for the sheep–you and me.

As we focus this week of Advent on preparing for His coming, how can we not look forward with eager anticipation to going to the house of the Lord? How can spending time with Jesus every day be a drudgery or obligation? When we reflect on Christ as our Good Shepherd who sacrificially gave himself for us, we should not only be glad to be in His presence but, like the psalmist, we should give thanks.

Today, focus on Jesus as your Good Shepherd – the one who protects, guides, nurtures and gave His life for you – and go with gladness and rejoicing as you enter His presence today.

Please share today’s Devotion to your social media accounts. We’re using the following hashtags: #1stSundayinAdvent #Advent #Hope#WCM

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

Country Christmas

Country Christmas
Now available in the Teespring store and the Spreadshirt Store.
Product Description:

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

This design comes in men’s, ladies’, kids’, and infants’ in tees, long-sleeved tees, sweatshirts, and hoodies. There are also several accessories, including mugs, bags, pillow covers, and more. Visit the stores to see all the options. Remember Spreadshirt’s 15% off all products ends December 1. 
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Do you like this design? If so, please share this page to your social media using the links at the top of the page so others can find it too. 

 #Christmas #Christmastrees #plaidandraindeer 

Christmas tee shirt design line

Spreadshop promotion: 15% off everything from November 29-December 1

Teespring promotion: up to 20% of everything from November 29 – December 4

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 #Christmas

All profits from these shops help support the work of this ministry. Thank you for supporting us. You can also support us with a year-end, tax-deductible contribution through Fundly. See the link below and thank you for helping us grow. 

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

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

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

By Iron Stream Media

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

495648: Nativity Advent Wreath Nativity Advent Wreath

By Wendy Wiinanen / Demdaco

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

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

By Karen Hahn / Enesco Corporation

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

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

White wood nativity wreath with LED lighting, layered dimensional design

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

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

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

By Lee Strobel / Zondervan

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

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

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

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

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

687569: A Baxter Family Christmas A Baxter Family Christmas

By Karen Kingsbury / Howard Books

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

159224: Maggie Maggie’s Christmas Miracle, DVD

By Karen Kingsbury / Hallmark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Decorator Christmas pillow, 16″ x 16″

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Features:

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

By Louie Giglio / Thomas Nelson

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

810384: Merry Christmas Platter Merry Christmas Platter

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

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

966396: Merry Christmas Pallet Art Merry Christmas Pallet Art

Christmas wall art, pallet decor

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

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

698937: Merry Christmas Door Mat Merry Christmas Door Mat

Seasonal doormat for Christmas

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

By Lori Siebert / Demdaco

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

By Carson Home Accents

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

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

Fisher-Price Little People Nativity Set   -

Fisher-Price Little People Nativity Set

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

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

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

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

Recommended age for play is 12 months to 4 years.

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John 10:11

John 10 11

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