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Getting Ready to meet the Groom

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
Keynote Speaker, CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministrie
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A Bride Prepared

In the last few months, several people I know have had weddings: A staff, a former co-worker, and two nephews. As I read this verse about the wife making herself ready, I thought about all the months of planning the brides did to create their very special, magical moments for their wedding day. The bride chooses a dress, venue, flowers, cake, and caters. She chooses her maid of honor and bridesmaids. She chooses the music for the wedding service and the reception.

On the day of her wedding she sits for hours to get her hair done, carefully puts on her make up or hires someone to do it for this special day. She puts on her dress and veil. Slips on her shoes.  She takes the arm of her father or maybe an older brother or someone who has been a father-figure in her life and starts down the aisle towards her waiting groom to join her life with his.

No bride expecting a full traditional style wedding shows up without any preparations.

The Groom and the Bride

Throughout the Bible, Jesus is often referred to as the groom with His church being his bride. From the moment that Jesus ascended into heaven until the moment he returns for His bride, He has been making preparations to receive His bride. In John 14:2, as Jesus was assuring His disciples and telling them that He would be leaving them to return to His father he said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” He’s getting ready for His bride.

However, most brides and grooms choose a date and time for their wedding. But we, the Church and Bride of Christ, do not know when Jesus will come again. In fact, Jesus does not even know himself. He sits on the edge of his throne waiting for His Father to say, “Now is the time. Go get your Bride.” When that moments comes, what is commonly called the Rapture, the Bride of Christ – all Christians both dead and alive – will be gone from earth in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52). In that extremely brief period of time, we will be changed from earthly bodies to glorified bodies. Since we do not know the date or time of our Groom’s arrival, we should be constantly ready for Him.

The Groom never promised an easy life for His Bride

Persecution and tribulation

While planning for a wedding can be exciting, it is also busy and stressful. As the bride of Christ prepares for her groom, it’s important to remember that Jesus never promised an easy life. In fact, Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:12, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” Jesus said in John 16:33, “In the world you will have tribulation.”

Chastisement

We can also expect times of chastisement (Hebrews 12:5-11). As Christians, God is our Heavenly Father and because of his great love for us, he will bring chastisement when we stray away from Him – not out of anger, but to bring us back to Him and restore us to fellowship with Him.

Wars, famines, pestilence and earthquakes

Jesus told us in Matthew 24:6-7, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” And in Luke 21:11, Jesus said, “And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.”

Grief beyond comprehension

And sometimes, things happen in this world that we simply cannot understand. I remember the morning my sweet sister-in-law called us to say that our niece’s two-month old son died in his sleep. Our tiny nephew was born 5 weeks premature and he was a fighter. He spent 12 days in the hospital before coming home. But he was doing great. All was well. And then He slipped away – into the arms of Jesus. They buried his tiny body in a tiny casket and still grieve his loss today.

There is no way to understand such a loss. We live in a broken world. When God created the world, it was perfect. But with the sin of Adam and Eve, God’s perfect world became broken and sinful. As a result, death arrived on the scene. But the loss of one so tiny and young is beyond our comprehension.

The minister that spoke at Baby Ben’s funeral shared two scriptures: the first was Deuteronomy 29:29 where Moses said that the secret things belong to the Lord. We can’t understand why some things happen, but we must trust these things to God. The other scripture the minister shared was about the death of David and Bathsheba’s infant son. David said in 2 Samuel 12:23, “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” Baby Ben’s family continues to greatly miss him, weep for him, and mourn his loss. We will not see him in this life again, but we know that at the appointed time we will go to him and be with him in eternity. Losing Baby Ben is not a “Goodbye”…it’s “I’ll see you later.”

Our Hope is in the Groom

We all know that life here on earth is not easy. But we have hope and peace when we place our faith in Jesus, believing in His free gift of eternal life. Every single one of us will experience death, unless we experience the rapture. But for the Bride of Christ, death is just the door that takes us to the Groom, the Lamb of God, our Redeemer and Savior.

We can know, without any doubt, that we will see Baby Ben later because of Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection that paid the price for our sins so that Jesus could offer us the free gift of eternal life. If we accept that gift by faith, then we become the bride of Christ and He is getting ready to bring His bride home.

Jesus told us in John 14:1-7, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”

Our groom is getting ready and He is preparing a place for us!

Preparing for the marriage of the Lamb

What are we, the bride of Christ, doing to prepare for the marriage of the Lamb? Are we prepared to take our place beside Him? Have we yielded and surrendered to God so that we are ready when it is time? Are we walking by faith, obediently living for Him? Are we telling others about Him so that we bring them with us to the marriage feast? And are we daily reading His Word and developing a relationship with Him? We don’t often hear of arranged marriages anymore. Could you imagine marrying someone that you met once at the altar of a church but never saw again? We get to know the groom as we study God’s Word, attend church, worship with other believers, and through prayer. How well do you know the groom?

What are you doing to prepare for the marriage of the Lamb? The groom is coming!

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Tee of the Week: Giants

From the song, “Confidence” by Sanctus Reel. As we start a new year, what giants are you facing? What big thing is God asking you to do? Do you need faith like Daniel in the lion’s den? Hope like Moses in the wilderness? A heart like David? Do you need God to be your defense? If you have giants, you can face them with confidence because God is God of the impossibles.

Giants

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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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John 16:33. The Overcomer

John 16:33 Overcomer

When God first created the earth and placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the world was a perfect place. But the moment Eve sinned, the world became a broken place and has, over time, become more and more broken then ever. Jesus never promised that following Him would make life easy. In fact, He told His disciples that they would have tribulation as long as they were in the world. We definitely see tribulations in our world every day, but thankfully, we have an overcomer.

Jesus never promised that following Him would make life easy. In fact, He told His disciples that they would have tribulation as long as they were in the world.

If we were to define “tribulation, ” it would be “a state of great trouble or suffering. Yes, the Bible talks about the great tribulation that is associated with the rapture of all the Christians from this world, but in this verse, Jesus was telling his disciples to expect trouble – even then in their day.

Today’s Tribulations

Today, one only has to turn the news on to hear countless stories of great trouble or suffering. We experience it when the news from the doctor isn’t what we wanted to hear. We experience it when we lose a job or a loved one. Or we experience it when we don’t get the promotion. We experience it through an unexpected and very expensive car repair. We experience it through divorce. It occurs when there is a miscarriage. From domestic violence to mass shootings, from pandemics to racial issues, tribulations are everywhere we turn. As long as Satan and his demons have free reign in this world, there will be tribulations. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:10 that we can expect weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.

The disciples all definitely experienced tribulation. While the Bible only tells how two of them died, but there are reports from history and legends that tell us what happened to them.

What happened to the disciples? The following disciples were crucified:

  • Peter was martyred in Rome about 66 AD  – crucified, upside down at his request
  • Andrew went to the “land of the man-eaters” (now known as the Soviet Union) where he is claimed to be the first to bring the gospel to that area. He also preached in Asia Minor, modern-day Tureky, and in Greece, where he is said to have been crucified.
  • Philip is said to have preached in North Africa and then Asia Minor where he converted the wife of a Roman proconsul. In retaliation the proconsul had Philip arrested. Some accounts indicate he was stoned to death and others indicate he was crucified upside down while still continuing to preach the gospel.
  • Bartholomew preached in India with Thomas, as well as Armenia, Ethiopia, and Southern Arabia. There are various accounts of his death, but they all agree that he was martyred by crucifixion, also upside down.

The other martyred disciples:

  • Thomas appears to have been most active east of Syria and traditions have him going as far as east India to spread the gospel. It is claimed that he died there when he was pierced through with the spears of four soldiers.
  • Matthew (the tax collector and author of the Gospel of Matthew) preached in Persia and Ethiopia. Some reports say he was not martyred while others indicate he was stabbed to death in Ethiopia.
  • James, the son of Alpheus is believed to have preached in Syria. The Jewish historian Josephus reports that he was stoned and then clubbed to death.
  • Simon the Zealot may have ministered in Persia where he was killed because he refused to sacrifice to the sun god. No documentation could be found regarding how he was killed.

Only One Disciples Died a Natural Death

John is the only one believed to have died a natural death from old age – but they did try to kill him. It is believed that he was the leader of the church in Ephesus and that he took Mary, Jesus’ mother, into his home when Jesus was crucified. When Christians were being persecuted under Domitian rule, he was cast into boiling oil at Rome and survived. He was then exiled to the island of Patmos where he wrote the book of Revelation.

Two identified Disciples after Jesus’ Death

After Jesus death, two additional disciples are identified in the Bible. The disciples chose to replace Judas who had betrayed Jesus. Matthais became the 12 disciple. Then on the Road to Damascus, Jesus Himself confronted Saul, commissioned him and changed his name to Paul. What does history tell us about these two disciples?

  • Matthais took the place of Judas, the betrayer of Jesus. Traditionally, it is believed that he preached in Syria with Andrew and was put to death by burning.
  • Paul, while not a disciple until after Jesus ascended into heaven, was responsible for the writing of many of the New Testament books of the Bible. He was a missionary and traveled to several countries to spread the gospel. Eventually, he was imprisoned and martyred in Rome about 66 AD under Emperor Nero who had him beheaded.

Man of Sorrows

If these disciples who followed Jesus experienced tribulation, why do people today think that the Christian life is rosy and sunshine? While Jesus walked the earth, he did not go through life as a “positive-thinker.” Isaiah 53:3 describes Him as a man of sorrows. If we read prophecy found Isaiah 52:13-53:12 we can see how much sorrow and suffering the Messiah would endure. He suffered first by leaving the glories of heaven and entering the human race as a man. Then He suffered all the things that humanity suffers, and then finally He suffered the wrath of God as the sin-bearer. Such suffering must have been all the more acute for Him, given His perfect nature. Who of us could ever understand the depths of what His righteous spirit suffered as He lived among fallen humanity?

The Joy Set Before Him

Even though Jesus suffered greatly, He did not live with depression or go around with a long face. Hebrews 12:2 tell us He could rejoice in His sufferings as He focused on the final outcome. In this verse we find that Jesus is “the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Just before going to the cross, Jesus and the disciples celebrated the Passover together in the upper room. There He washed the disciples feet, Jesus identified Judas as His betrayer, He broke the bread and shared the wine. But then the Bible tells us they sang a hymn of praise. Jesus knew that as they walked out of the upper room and into the garden to pray that he would be arrested and falsely tried. He knew everything He was about to endure and that He would die – and yet He could sing a hymn of praise. Why? Because He would have completed the task He came to earth to do – to bring salvation to us. He would become our overcomer.

The Simple Truth

The simple truth is that life is hard. There is no such thing as a “name it and claim” theology and anyone who preaches it, is a false teacher. Becoming a Christian doesn’t make life easy. In fact, it can make it harder. In John 15:19 Jesus warns us with the following: “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” Because we live in a broken world that is ruled by sin and Satan, we can expect that life will be hard. Jesus very clearly informed us in John 16:33 that we would have tribulation in this world.

The Good News

The good news is that Jesus didn’t put the period to the sentence at that point, but follows it with the word, “but.” Yes, we will have tribulation, but Jesus said we should be of good cheer. Why? Because Jesus has overcome the world and because He is our overcomer, we can have hope. Jesus overcame the world when he defeated Satan through His sacrificial death on the cross. Because of the cross, the power of sin has been defeated and eternal life is available to all who believe in Him. Because Jesus is the overcomer, we have the opportunity to accept the gift of eternal life that He offers to every person. We just have to accept it by faith. Then He becomes our overcomer.

Finding Peace in Tribulations

As a Christian, death does not get the final say. The world does not get the final say. No matter what we face in this life, it is temporary and when we step from this life into eternal life, all that was suffered here will be no more. It isn’t that we won’t have troubles in this life, but that we can have peace in the trouble as we go through them in the strength of God because of what Jesus did to make our eternal life secure. In John 16:20 Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.” Eternal joy, as we spend eternity in the presence of our Lord and Savior who is our overcomer.

Jesus said we would have tribulation in this world. Thankfully, He didn’t put the period there, but follows it with “but.” We will have tribulation, but we should be of good cheer because He overcame the world & because He did, we have hope.

#overcomer #tribulations #lifeishard #whathappenedtothedisciples

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If not, come join us as we read the Bible through in one year. Each day we post the scripture reading along with links to read it online.

Have you learned this week’s memory verse?

Lamentations 3:22-23

Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!

Do you serve in ministry? Great! The self-care blogs are here for you.

In this series of blogs, we breakdown why people in ministry need to practice self care. We explain the differences between stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue. Drawing from both psychology and Biblical principles, we teach self-care to keep ministry servants serving. Whether you are a pastor, missionary, small group leader, worship pastor, nursery worker, facility/maintenance staff, religious non-profit staff, or any other ministry staff, self-care is crucial to you continuing the work God’s called you to do.

If you can relate to this, then take some time to read our self care blogs.

Test your Bible smarts and see if you can answer our trivia questions. We post a trivia question every other day and the correct answer on the next day. Stop by the trivia page and grab a question or two and see if your friends and family can answer it.

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What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

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

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

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

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

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(Due to COVID-19, we are only tentatively booking speaking engagements for events after September 2020 based on the recommendations as issued by the CDC and our government officials.)

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

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One Year Bible Reading Plan: December 16

Bible reading challenge

December 16

Amos 7-9

Revelation 7

Let’s start a discussion:

Amos' five visions

 

What were the five visions in Amos 7-9?

What is the significance of the plumb line?

Post your answer in the comments.

 

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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.
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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

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 #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. 

FundlyWould you consider giving a Christmas gift to Wellspring? We’re raising funds for some media equipment needed for our ministry. Click here to make your secure, tax-deductible contribution.

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

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

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

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

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

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

#GLMW #couplesevent #GLMWbook #intentionalmarriage #Godlymarriage

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

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

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

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

Or call us at 904.524.8073

#JuliaBruce #speaker #keynote #author

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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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Romans 12:9-15 Behave Like A Christian

aug 13 Rom 12 9 15

 

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teespring spreadshop logos

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

Click here to view the Teespring store. 

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

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

 

book now summer and fall

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

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

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

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

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

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Or call us at 904.524.8073

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John 16:33. Overcomer

John 16:33 Overcomer

Jun 07 John 16 33

When God first created the earth and placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the world was a perfect place. But the moment Eve sinned, the world became a broken place and has, over time, become more broken then ever. Jesus never promised that following Him would make life easy. In fact, He told His disciples that they would have tribulation as long as they were in the world.

Jesus never promised that following Him would make life easy. In fact, He told His disciples that they would have tribulation as long as they were in the world. — click to tweet

If we were to define “tribulation, ” it would be “a state of great trouble or suffering. Yes, the Bible talks about the great tribulation that is associated with the rapture of all the Christians from this world, but in this verse, Jesus was telling his disciples to expect trouble – even then in their day. Today, one only has to turn the news on to hear countless stories of great trouble or suffering. We experience it when the news from the doctor isn’t what we wanted to hear. We experience it when we lose a job or a loved one. We experience it when we don’t get the promotion. We experience it through an unexpected and very expensive car repair. We experience it through divorce. It occurs when there is a miscarriage. From domestic violence to mass shootings, tribulations are everywhere. As long as Satan and his demons have free reign in this world, there will be tribulations. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:10 that we can expect weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.

The disciples all definitely experienced tribulation. While the Bible only tells how two of them died, but there are reports and legends that tell us what happened to them.

  • Peter was martyred in Rome about 66 AD  – crucified, upside down at his request
  • Andrew went to the “land of the man-eaters” (now known as the Soviet Union) where he is claimed to be the first to bring the gospel to that area. He also preach in Asia Minor, modern-day Tureky, and in Greece, where he is said to have been crucified.
  • Thomas appears to have been most active east of Syria and traditions have him going as far as east India to spread the gospel. It is claimed that he died there when he was pierce through with the spears of four soldiers.
  • Philip is said to have preached in North Africa and then Asia Minor where he converted the wife of a Roman proconsul. In retaliation the proconsul had Philip arrested. Some accounts indicate he was stoned to death and others indicate he was crucified upside down while still continuing to preach the gospel.
  • Matthew (the tax collector and author of the Gospel of Matthew) preached in Persia and Ethiopia. Some reports say he was not martyred while others indicate he was stabbed to death in Ethiopia.
  • Bartholomew preached in India with Thomas, as well as Armenia, Ethiopia, and Southern Arabia. There are various accounts of his death, but they all agree that he was martyred by crucifixion, also upside down.
  • James, the son of Alpheus is believed to have preached in Syria. The Jewish historian Josephus reports that the was stoned and then clubbed to death.
  • Simon the Zealot may have ministered in Persia where he was killed because he refused to sacrifice to the sun god.
  • John is the only one believed to have died a natural death from old age – but they did try to kill him. It is believed that he was the leader of the church in Ephesus and that he took Mary, Jesus’ mother, into his home when Jesus was crucified. When Christians were being persecuted under Domitian rule, he was cast into boiling oil at Rome and survived. He was exiled to the island of Patmos where he wrote the book of Revelation.
  • Matthais took the place of Judas, the betrayer of Jesus. Traditionally, it is believe that he preached in Syria with Andrew and was put to death by burning.
  • Paul, while not a disciple until after Jesus ascended into heaven, was responsible for the writing of many of the New Testament books of the Bible. He was a missionary and traveled to several countries to spread the gospel. Eventually, he was imprisoned and martyred in Rome about 66 AD under Emperor Nero who had him beheaded.

If these disciples who followed Jesus experienced tribulation, why do people today think that the Christian life is rosy and sunshine? While Jesus walked the earth, he did not go through life as “positive-thinker.” Isaiah 53:3 describes Him as a man of sorrows. The simple truth is that life is hard.

There is no such thing as a “name it and claim” theology and anyone who preaches it, is a false teacher. Jesus very clearly informed us in John 16:33 that we would have tribulation in this world. The good news is that Jesus didn’t put the period to the sentence at that point, but follows it with the word, “but.” Yes, we will have tribulation, but Jesus said we should be of good cheer. Why? Because Jesus has overcome the world and because He did, we can have hope. Jesus overcame the world when he defeated Satan through His sacrificial death on the cross. Because of the cross, the power of sin has been defeated and eternal life is available to all who believe in Him. As a Christian, death does not get the final say. The world does not get the final say. No matter what we face in this life, it is temporary and when we step from this life into eternal life, all that was suffered here will be no more. It isn’t that we won’t have troubles in this life, but that we can have peace in the trouble as we go through it in the strength of God because of what Jesus did to make our eternal life secure. In John 16:20 Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.” Eternal joy, as we spend eternity in the presence of our Lord and Savior.

Jesus said we would have tribulation in this world. Thankfully, He didn’t put the period there, but follows it with “but.” We will have tribulation, but we should be of good cheer because He overcame the world & because He did, we have hope. — click to tweet

shell divider

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

 

book now summer and fall

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

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

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

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

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

 

Image result for phone clipart png
Or call us at 904.524.8073

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