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

The joy of Fall

There is something beautiful about every season. They each bring glory and joy in their own way. In the Spring everything is new and the first buds of flowers begin to bloom. In the Summer, there is long days, vacations, beaches and lots of warm sunshine. Many experience snow in the winter or at least all the beautiful Christmas lights. But Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons with the leaves changing colors.

If you don’t live in Florida like we do, then you’re probably seeing some cooler temperatures and changing leaves. We are too, its only in the 80s for a high rather upper 90s. Then there is all the pumpkins spice flavored everything that comes out. Last year, I even saw Pumpkin Spice Special K cereal in the store. I’m not a fan of anything pumpkin flavored personally, but I love the smell of a good fall pumpkin scented candle.

Fall means the holidays are just around the corner

Fall also ushers in the excitement of the upcoming holidays. I love the holidays. There is so much glory and joy in them. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the glory and joy we have in Christ and all that God does for us. Christmas is all about celebrating the glory and joy of the birth of our Savior. To me Christmas is the best of all the holidays.

Family, Friends, and Holidays

I have always lived closed to my family and family is a big part of our holidays. Thanksgiving includes a pot-luck dinner with aunts, uncles, cousins and whoever they bring with them – it’s usually a big crowd. Christmas includes my sisters, mom, kids, nieces and nephews, and one grandkid. One of the biggest joys of the holidays for me is being with family. But we also have family that live out of state and we only see them once every few years. My sister-in-law has become my best friend and I love her kids as if they were my own. But in 15 years of being part of Brian’s family, we’ve yet to coordinate everyone together so that we can do the holidays together — one day we will!

Who are you missing?

Not only do Brian and I miss Shari and her kids at the holidays, this year my our family, we will be missing two from around our dinner table. My nephew joined the Air Force last year and is now stationed overseas. His youngest brother, Kelly, is currently at boot camp for the Marines. He will graduate in less than a month but then he’s headed out for training. And with COVID restrictions, my sister doesn’t know yet if she will get to attend his graduation. She may not get to see him at all before he is shipped off to the other side of the country.

So, we added something new to our holidays last year – Facetime with Blake. Hopefully, we will get to Facetime with Kelly too this year. I think about my younger sister (Blake and Kelly’s mom) who is experiencing the holidays with two of her four children not at home. For her, holidays are now mixed with joy, but also missing these two sons who we are all so very proud of.

Paul also missed people

Paul understood missing people he cared about. In 1 Thessalonians 2:20, Paul had a great desire to see the Thessalonicans again. In Acts 17:8-10, we learn that the Thessalonicans had to send Paul and Silas away quickly at night due to persecution that broke out. Since that time, Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 2, that he wanted to come back to them time and time again, but Satan hindered him. To Paul, this group of Christians represented his hope, joy, and crown of rejoicing.

Even though they had been able to help Paul and Silas secretly escape the persecution, they remained in the midst of it and continued to suffer after Paul and Silas were gone. Yet they remained fast to their faith and served God out love.

Do you ever wondered if Paul felt guilty to be away from the persecution while his friends were still there experiencing it? Paul may have escaped it from there, but pretty much wherever he went Paul experienced persecution for the Gospel. He understood what they were going through.

Paul wrote a letter to his friends

For this reason, Paul longed to see them again – to encourage them. Instead, he had to settle for sending a letter. Simply put, Paul missed them, just as we miss our loved one when we are separated from them. In his letter to them, he wrote: “For who is our hope or joy or crown of boasting in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy!”

Are you Jesus’ Glory and joy?

Today, Jesus is sitting in heaven watching His church. Some take the religious freedoms we have lightly while others live daily in fear of being discovered. We know that Jesus is coming again, but even Jesus does not know the time that His Father will say, “Son, go get my children.” Do you ever stop to wonder if Jesus longs to be with us? Just as Paul sent a letter to the Thessalonicans, Jesus left us with a letter. It’s called the Bible. Do you ever wonder if as Jesus is talking with His father does He say of us, “Look father! [Insert your name] is my glory and joy!” Would He be able to say that how we live for Him represents His hope, joy, and crown of boasting?

What about us? Do we say the same thing about Jesus? Could we look our a friends and family and say, “Jesus is my glory and joy?” How would you be able to tell someone  about the joy and glory that Jesus brings to your life?

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When we fight spiritual battles, we must put on the armor of God, who will fight our battles for us. He is our weapon, and the Bible is our ammo against the wiles of the devil.

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All Things New

We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store. These prints make great gifts or for decor in your home.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

See our Canvase prints in the Teespring Store: All Things New

All Things New

We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store. These prints make great gifts or for decor in your home.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

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We’re offering 30% discount on our speaker fees if booked by October 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: FALL2021.

We’re excited to be a part of your ministry and can’t wait to see you – no matter what size your event.

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7 FREE Downloadable Resources

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

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

Verse Mapping

What Satan Does Not Want You To know

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

What Satan Doesn't Want You To Know

Stress Journal

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

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2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

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

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The Path to Sin

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

The Path to Sin
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One Year Bible Reading Plan

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

One Year Bible Reading Plan

Self-Care Wheel

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

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

Self Care Wheel

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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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