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Be Steadfast, Immovable

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

As with any soldier, warfare is hard work – physically and emotionally. Every soldier has times of exhaustion or emotional drain. The same is true for the Christian soldier. There are times when we find that our “steadfast, immovable” washes away like the tide leaving the shore. We stand, but it feels as if the sand underneath us washes away with the tide. We stand on wobbly legs, weak from fighting. And we have no strength left to hold up the shield of faith or to wield our sword. We don’t even have what it takes to tie on the gospel of peace shoes. The weight of the helmet of salvation seems to be sinking us to our knees (which is exactly where we need to be!). We’re worn down. We’ve given our all. And all that’s left is to fall on our knees before God and weep in exhaustion.

You are not steadfast if you are questioning your calling

In these moments, we might find ourselves in a place of questioning the call. Did we hear God right? If this ministry is truly what God has called me to do, then why is it so hard and why isn’t God blessing it? Why isn’t He provided the resources? Why do others not support me in this calling?

As I began launching the ministry I knew God was calling me to do, I found myself often asking these very questions and more. Satan has fought from the very beginning to stop this ministry before it even got off the ground. Those that I thought would be by biggest supporters were the ones that didn’t believe that God could choose to use someone like me – not with my story and what I have been through.

Yet, it was in the hurt and disappointment of those people not believing in me that the soft whisper of the Holy Spirit replied, “I believe in you. I have called you. I have gifted you with exactly what you need for the ministry I have set before you. The more I am at work in you, the harder Satan fights. Stand firm. I am greater in you than he that is in the world.” It was the whisper I needed to keep pressing forward toward the goal. The only stamp of approval I needed was God’s. And it is the only approval you need for your ministry.

The more steadfast and obedient we are, the fiercer the battle

My friend, we can know that the more we are obediently following God’s plan and serving Him, the fiercer the battle with the enemy will be. The very fact that the enemy is attacking you so hard is precisely the proof that God is blessing your ministry. If you are in a battle today (and I am assuming that you are since you are reading this book), be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work because you can be sure that when we labor in the Lord, it is never in vain. Suit up soldier! Get on your knees and fight!

When Satan drives you to your knees, be steadfast in prayer

If Satan drives you to your knees in the battle, then fight on your knees as you pray.  As Phil Wickham reminds us in his song, “Battle Belongs”, the battle belongs to God and we do our best fighting when we are on our knees, praying, and allowing God to fight for us.

After the Israelites left Egypt, they found themselves right smack in the middle of pressure and trouble. In front of them was the pressure of how to cross the Red Sea. Behind them was the trouble of a very angry Egyptian army. And the Israelites did what every human being would do – they panicked.

Moments earlier they were standing at the bank of the Red Sea while the idea of freedom from slavery kicked in. I’m sure in the mix of the crowd there was a certain group who stood at the bank of the Red Sea wondering how they would get all the people across to the other side. But as they stood around problem solving, someone stopped and listened. Then he began to quiet the others. “Shhh. Listen.” They heard it too. The turn around and off in the distance was a terrifying sight. The Egyptian army riding hard and fast towards them, a cloud of desert sand stirring up around them. Slowly more and more of the people get quite and they look. Before long there is full-blown panic. They are trapped. There is no where to go. They began blaming Moses.

Stand firm! The Lord will fight for you!

Moses responded to them: ““Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation He will provide for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet.” (Exodus 14:13-14) If you are experiencing pressure and trouble, Moses calmly and quietly says to you, “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation. The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet.”

When Satan drives you to your knees, you are not defeated – you’re just starting to win the battle. In fact, you don’t even have to wait for him to drive you to your knees. As soon as an attack begins is the time to get on your knees. That is where we fight spiritual battles!

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What Satan Does Not Want You To know

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The Path to Sin

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

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God’s GPS

Searching for Network

Recently, I was driving to the office and because I had a meeting, I needed to be there at a certain time and didn’t want to get caught in the rush hour traffic hang-ups so I was using the GPS app on my phone. WAZE is a great interactive app that allows drivers to put in where there are traffic problems and the app will route you around them. Not to mention that I oversee 21 different counties in the northeast region of Florida, so I use this app frequently. However, on this day the app kept saying, “searching for network” across the top of the screen. Thankfully, I have a personal cell phone and a work cell phone by two different cell service providers and my personal phone had no problems finding the network. I also have a GPS for navigating life – God’s GPS.

Have you ever been trying to figure out the path you need to take in your life and you feel like your life app is out there “searching for network?” Do I need to take that new job? Do I need to purchase a piece of property? Should I move to that state? Do I need to go back to college? Do I need to participate in that investment? Should I hire that employee? Do I need to join this church? Do I need to be involved in that community service project? Is God calling me to get involved in foster care or adoption? When questions like these arise, we have God’s GPS to help us navigate to God’s purpose and plan in our lives.

God is our GPS (God’s Path Search)

Thankfully, we don’t have to depend on an app to know the path we need to take in life. God is our GPS (God’s Path Search). Psalm 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” But how do we access God’s GPS?

We don’t have to depend on an app to know the path we need to take in life. God is our GPS (God’s Path Search). Psalm 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life.”

Accessing our spiritual GPS

We access God’s GPS by taking such questions to God. As we pray, search His word, listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit as He whispers across our heart, ask some mature trusted friend/family to pray about it with us and then look for how God prompts us in our everyday life, God will put us on the path that we are to take. Sometimes as we ponder these life directions, God speaks to us through a song on a radio or in something the pastor says in his sermon, in a podcast, or even a statement from a coworker, family member or friend that speaks exactly to what we’re praying about.  When we take these questions to God, He will show us the path of life. It’s a promise in His Word, so we can have confidence that He will show us.

Accessing Fullness of Joy

With as much driving as I do, when I get off the path, there isn’t much joy in my car. In fact, it frustrating, sometimes stressful, I might end up late, and sometimes I unexpectedly have to pay a toll. The same is true in life. When we are not on the path God wants us on, there isn’t much joy and life is more frustrating and stressful. Fullness of Joy comes when we are in the will of God and on the path that He has for us. Accessing God’s GPS for our life requires prayer, reading His Word, listening to the Holy Spirit, and the wisdom of Godly people He has placed in our lives.

Fullness of Joy vs. Happy Ever After

But even when we follow God’s GPS, it doesn’t mean that everything is Disney style and “Happy ever after.” Sometimes God puts us on paths that are difficult, uphill climbing with lots of loose tumbling rocks trying to make us slide down a slippery slope. God uses such paths to help us grow in our faith, learn to trust Him more, and bring us ever closer to Him.

However, no matter how much turbulence there is, if we are in His presence, we can find fullness of joy. Joy in knowing we’re doing what He wants us to do. Joy in knowing that as we’re taking that path, we’re bringing His presence with us. It doesn’t matter if friends or family believe in the path He’s leading you on or if they think you’re crazy and wonder how on earth He would choose you of all people for this path. The cost of the path doesn’t matter. The scariness doesn’t matter. Once you step out in faith and plant both feet firmly on the path, you’ll find His presence there waiting to walk the path with you and there is no better joy than knowing your walking life’s path with God…but not just joy…there is fullness of joy.

Faithfully and Obediently following God’s GPS

When I’m in areas I know well, I don’t always follow what my GPS tells me to do. One day, someone will create a voice that sounds annoyed and frustrated when you don’t do what the GPS tells you. When I choose to take a different route (or when I just miss a turn by accident) my GPS politely reroutes me. It will still get me where I’m trying to go, but it might take me a little longer to get there.

When I don’t follow God’s GPS and think I know a better way to go, I might eventually end up where God wants me to be, but it will take me longer to get there and there isn’t much joy in being on a path that isn’t ours to be on. The more I fight, struggle and insist on my way, the further off course I can become, the more frustrated I feel, and I may even feel like I failed and just give up.

However, when we obediently walk with God, we proclaim to the world that we love Him more than the opinions of other, more than choosing the difficult way, more than taking the easy way. We show the world that we love Him most through our act of obedience. As we do, we bring glory to Him. Enoch knew this. The Bible says, “He walked with God and was not: for God took him.”(Genesis 5:24). Enoch never died. He walked faithfully in obedience to God and was so close to Him, that God just one day took him to heaven. In Hebrews 11:5, Paul wrote that Enoch was “commended as having pleased God.”

Safety in the Right Path

Years ago (I’m not confessing how many!) before I even owned a cell phone, when I was in college in West Palm Beach, we were driving around looking at the beautiful mansion homes. But then we took a turn and we were not in the “mansion” area any more. All of a sudden we were in a rather rough, unfriendly part of town. I was sitting at a red light and the group of men started walking toward my car. It was the only red light I have ever purposefully ran but I wasn’t hanging around to see what they wanted.

No matter how difficult our life path becomes, when we know we are walking in obedience, we know we are on the safest path possible. In Psalm 23, the Bible says, “Yea though I will through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.” In Proverbs 3:23, we read, “Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble.” There is joy in knowing, He will keep our path safe and secure.

Joy in the presence of God

When I use my GPS as I drive around, there is comfort in knowing I can rely on it and I don’t have to worry about getting lost. No matter where I go, I have my GPS and KLove radio. Both are like taking old friends along for the ride. KLove and I sing from one destination to the next while “Tom” (that’s what I call the voice in my GPS app) leads and guides me along the expressways and roads on which I travel. Tom shares with me the secrets of the road such as where to turn, the traffic hazzard another driver reported, and even where the police are sitting waiting for the speeders. I have to admit I’m guilty of talking back to Tom at times – sometimes its a grateful thank you and other times its a frustrated or even unhappy comment.

Friends who walk together find joy in sharing secrets and talking about their day to day lives and their plans for the future. Noah walked with God and God told him he was going to destroy the world. The people mocked him and made fun of him, but Noah’s family was the only ones saved. Abraham walked with God and learned God would make a great nation from Abraham’s decedents. Knowing and believing God’s promise allowed him to offer his only son whom God had said would be the son to make this great nation as a sacrifice when God tested him. As we spend time with God, walking in obedience with Him, He reveals himself to us and His plans. There is joy when we feel the presence of God.

Following God’s GPS takes faith

God shows us the path of life and often it takes faith to follow He has for us. As we obediently step out in faith and walk with Him on that path, we find joy in his presence. The last part of Psalm 16:11 says, “At your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” I can think of no greater joy or pleasure than standing before God at the end of this life to hear Him say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” To know that regardless of the difficulties God found that I followed Him in faithful obedience for the path of life He chose for me then to spend all of eternity worshiping Him.

What about you? What difficult path is God asking of you? Go ahead and plant both feet firmly on that path. He’s holding out His hand to you, asking you to join him. Will you obey and find the path of unshakeable fullness of joy?

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Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

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Download our Free 2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

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

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Every day we can be bombarded with negative and hurtful words. Sometimes, they come from others and other times its what we tell ourselves. Instead of listening to those words, listen to what your Savior says about you: You are known, loved, worthy, enough, chosen, and a child of God.

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

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

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

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

Noah says, “A boat.”

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

“A boat.”

“Did you say a boat?”

“Yes. A boat.”

“Do you see water around here?”

“No. Do you?”

“No. So why are you building a boat?”

“Because God is going to flood the earth.”

“What’s a flood?”

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

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

“No. I’ve never seen rain.”

“What is rain supposed to be?”

“Water that falls from the sky.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants. Today, Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.

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

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

Or call us at 904.524.8073

#JuliaBruce #speaker #keynote #author

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

By Provident Films

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

Blu-ray Exclusives:

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

Special Features:

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

Other Features:

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

By Charles F. Stanley / Howard Books

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

776585: Letters to the Church Letters to the Church

By Francis Chan / David C Cook

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

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

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

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

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

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

By John Piper / Crossway

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

407250: Erasing Hell: What God Said About Eternity, and the Things We&amp;quot;ve Made Up Erasing Hell: What God Said About Eternity, and the Things We’ve Made Up

By Francis Chan & Preston Sprinkle / David C Cook

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

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

By Mark Batterson / Multnomah

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

Flip the blessing.

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

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

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

632024: Not Safe: Discovering God&amp;quot;s Dangerous Plan for Your  Life Not Safe: Discovering God’s Dangerous Plan for Your Life

By Mark Batterson / Zondervan

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

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

By Mark Batterson / Multnomah

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

588788: Zondervan&amp;quot;s 2020 Church and Nonprofit Tax &amp; Financial Guide Zondervan’s 2020 Church and Nonprofit Tax & Financial Guide

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

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

588795: Zondervan&amp;quot;s 2020 Minister&amp;quot;s Tax and Financial Guide Zondervan’s 2020 Minister’s Tax and Financial Guide

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

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

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

By Caroline Simas Simas / Perfect Timing Inc

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

Details:

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

By Debora Coty / Barbour Publishing

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

Other features include:

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

By Zondervan

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

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

By Priscilla Shirer / Lifeway

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

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

By Max Lucado / Thomas Nelson

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

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

First Lesson Free! PDF Study Guide

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

By Julia M. Bruce / WestBow Press

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Hebrews 4:16. Pray Boldly

by Julia Bruce

So many Christians seem to struggle with prayer. Maybe it feels awkward to talk to someone you can’t see. Maybe because of experiences in your life you feel inadequate to come into the throne room of God and ask anything of Him. Maybe the lifestyle you’re living now keeps you out of the throne room. Maybe you prayed once, but it seemed as if God wasn’t listening and you gave up. Whatever it is that keeps you from “praying without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17), you need to put it down and run to the throne because God longs to speak to you.  (click to tweet) 

Through the writer of Hebrews, God tell us we can come boldly to the throne. Praying boldly means we should be able to approach the throne of our Heavenly Father in a confident and courageous way, demonstrating a willingness to take steps of faith to be obedient to Him. (click to tweet) The Greek word used here refers to having freedom of speech in such a way that we can speak our mind in a straightforward manner with great confidence. We can be frank with God and tell him exactly how we feel and what is going on in our lives. We don’t need to “sugar-coat” it. We don’t need to try to paint it up with religious words. When you think about it, God who is  omniscient, knows everything. We can’t hide anything from Him – so we might as well be honest with Him. We can’t be too frank, too bold, too honest, too outspoken, or too blunt. (Click to tweet) He wants us to bare our hearts and soul to Him. We do need to come to him in reverence, but also with the whole and complete truth laid out before him.

What hinders us from praying boldly? 

  • ctt1 Nov 7Rejection – most of us hate being rejected. We hate the word “no” all the way back to our two-year-old temper tantrums. So we come before God with hesitancy instead of boldness and confidence. We often associate “no” with not being liked. We tell ourselves that if God loves us he would answer this prayer the way we want Him to. We seldom ever consider that God’s no is for our best because he can see what’s in store for our future and that thing we think we want so badly we only cause us pain. Don’t be afraid of God’s “no.” Instead know that God has something even better in mind.
  • Doubt – sometimes when we pray – we ask, but either expect God to say no or we don’t have the faith that God can do what you’re asking Him to do. Prayer and faith cannot be separated. Instead, we need to ask with expectancy and we can only do that if we have first taken the time to seek His will. James 1:5-7 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.”
  • Sometimes we feel as if we come to God so often that we must be pestering Him. In our mind we might see Him rolling His eyes and saying, “you? Again?!” But we have to remember that in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we are told to “pray without ceasing.” We can’t pester God too much.
  • Fear of being demanding. Sometimes we treat God like a genie in a bottle ready to do our every command. But if we have a healthy fear and respect for God, then we understand that we can’t “demand” our way and get it. Instead, we need to be sure that we have taken the time to seek His will, make sure our request does not go against scripture, and then bring our requests to Him – not our demands.
  • Unconfessed Sin – Psalm 66:18 says, ““If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” If you feel like God isn’t hearing you, ask Him to reveal any unconfessed sin in your life and then confess it, repent, and seek His forgiveness.
  • Wrong motives – James 4:3 says, “You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your evil desires.” We must ask in accordance with God’s will as revealed in the Bible. We must ask only for things that are consistent with the character and nature of God. We must ask for things that are for the spiritual benefit of ourselves or for the person on whose behalf we pray. God will not answer our self-centered, self-serving prayers.
  • Ignoring Bible study – Proverbs 28:9 says, “If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” It is impossible to have our will and motives aligned with God, if we don’t know what His Word says. Without Bible Study, prayer is like a one-way conversation with you doing all the talking. But if we can’t take the time to listen to God and His instructions through His Word, God will not honor our prayers.
  • Harboring unforgiveness – In Mark 11:25 Jesus says, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Harboring unforgiveness makes you angry and bitter – and God will not listen to your prayers.

Why can we have confidence to pray boldly.  Here are 11 verses that tell us why we can come to the throne of God boldly and with confidence.

  1. Nothing is impossible for God (Luke 1:37)
  2. God keeps His promises (Joshua 21:45)
  3. God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19)
  4. We are a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17)
  5. God cannot fail (Deuteronomy 31:8)
  6. God has good plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11)
  7. God loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3)
  8. When our hearts are right, our motives are right, and we have confessed any sin, we can know that God hears us. (Micah 7:7)
  9. Our prayers make a difference (James 5:16)
  10. We have been made righteous through Christ (Proverbs 15:29)
  11. God will do more than we can think or ask (Ephesians 3:20-21)

How can we pray more boldly?

  • ctt2 Nov 7Seek His will – 1 John 5:14-15 says, “Now this is the confidence we have before Him: Whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for.” Seeking His will can be time consuming and it’s hard work. But we have to understand that this verse does not promise that we will get everything we want. We have to ask according to His will and you don’t know His will if you don’t seek for it. But when we pray – knowing that our prayer aligns with His will – then we can pray with confidence – and that prayer will be heard and He will answer it – in his time, not yours.
  • Be Persistent – In Psalm 88:1 we find that David cried out to the Lord day and night. 1 Chronicles 16:11 tells us to seek the face of God continually. Jesus told the parable about a widow woman who wanted justice and she sought the chance to plead her case to the judge, but he ignored her. She came every day until the judge gave in and she received justice. (See Luke 18). In Acts 1, the apostles were continually devoting themselves to prayer. If you know your prayer aligns with God Word and His will, then be persistent. Too often we give up praying just one prayer before God answers and therefore we never see the answer.
  • Make sure that your prayers align with God’s Word. If what you are praying for does not match up with Scripture, then you can bet God won’t answer the prayer. For example, if you ask God to help you come up with a good lie to tell your boss so you can skip out of work today, God won’t answer that prayer because His Word says, “Thou shalt not lie.” If it feels like God isn’t hearing or answering your prayer, search the Scriptures and be sure it aligns with what God says in His Word.
  • Pray God’s Word back to Him – Once you have searched the scripture and found that your prayer does in fact align with Scripture – pray that verses back to Him.
  • Have an attitude of humility – not entitlement. Jesus told a parable in Luke 18:13-14 about the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. Both prayed, but it was the Tax Collector’s prayer that was heard. In these verses, Jesus said, “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
  • Pray with confidence – not doubt or expecting God to say no.
  • Be willing to be patient – God’s timing is not always our timing. Psalm 40:1 says, “I waited patiently for the Lordand He turned to me and heard my cry for help.” Trust His timing. He’s never late and He is always working everything out for your good and His glory. Sometimes the best things come to those who wait. 
  • Be willing to be obedient – Remember that our omniscient God already knows everything. He knows that if you are not going to obey Him, so if he knows you’re not, then why should He answer your prayer. If you are asking Him if you should take Job A or Job B and Job B pays more and should more exciting, but in your heart you’ve already selected Job B, then why should He answer our prayer – you’ve already answered it for Him without knowing what he knows. The company of Job B might be heading down financial disaster and a year from know it will fold and close it’s doors forever. God already knows that and so he might want you to take Job A while trusting Him to provide and meet your every need. Be willing to be obedient.

Whatever is holding back your prayers from being bold and confident, seek God’s wisdom, forgiveness, and ask Him to grow your faith. As His child, you have instant access to Him and He’s waiting now for you to come to Him in prayer.

#verseoftheday #boldprayers #throneofGod #Hebrews #WCM

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

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news and events

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

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

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

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

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

#GLMWcouplesevent #GLMWbook #intentionalmarriage #Godlymarriage

teespring spreadshop logos

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

happy fall yall

hello fall

cutest pumpkin

Psalm 33:5

We’ve added a fall line to our Spreadshop Store! Order today because it will be gone soon as we gear up for the upcoming Holidays. Christmas items available soon.

Thanksgiving items will be available on November 1.

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

Click here to view the Teespring store. 

Click here to view the Spreadshop Store 

#fundraiser #tshirt #WCM #teespring #spreadshop

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

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

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

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

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

Or call us at 904.524.8073

#JuliaBruce #speaker #keynote #author

Affiliate links for The Case for Christ by Lee Stroble:

350034: The Case for Christ, Updated and Expanded, Mass Market The Case for Christ, Updated and Expanded, Mass Market By Lee Strobel / Zondervan If you were a journalist, how would you investigate the top story in human history? Join the award-winning former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune as he cross-examines scholars to uncover incontestable evidence supporting Jesus’ claims. Includes updated archaeological material, an interview with Strobel, and more. A powerful defense of the Christian faith! 464 pages, softcover from Zondervan.

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

By Pure Flix Entertainment, LLC

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

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

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

Includes Blu-ray, DVD and CD

Features:

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

Bonus CD included:

  • The Case for Christ – Songs Inspired by the Original Motion Picture
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Quotes from the Self Care Blog Series

296 neglect

The quote above is from Part 21 of a blog series by Julia Bruce on Self-Care for people in ministry. Read the blogs here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21.

click to tweet Click here to tweet this quote.

August divider 2

teespring spreadshop logos

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

Click here to view the Teespring store. 

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

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

book now summer and fall

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

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

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

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

Image result for form pngTo request more information or a booking, 
fill out the online form here.
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Or call us at 904.524.8073

 

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