How Wellspring is responding to the COVID-19 virus

 

Week in Review - June 12

Essential Employees, Eternal Purpose

Welcome to Essential Employees, Eternal Purpose. It’s a place where we can center our hearts, strengthen our faith and be encouraged during this difficult time. Each day we will provide a prayer, perhaps an inspirational thought, or a passage of scripture — all intended to uplift and remind us of the true Hope in this world.

We did "30 Days of Prayer" in April. For May we are doing "A Month of Blessings." Please join us each day as we reflect on the blessings all around us, and be inspired as we do. To see the April devotions, please visit our Facebook page.

Day 31 | May 31, 2020

Scripture
“Love is patient and kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
— 1 Corinthians 13:4–7

Inspiration
So, here we are, at the end of our second full month of this pandemic, and the end is in sight now in so many ways. We’ve come through the worst, and without taking our guard down using smart precautions, we’re ready to live life again! So, why this verse to end the month  a verse most often associated with weddings and romance? Because we’ve come through a time defined largely by fear  real and imagined. It has been a time where fear, manifesting as worry, stress, frustration and anger, has been unrelenting. News headlines reinforced it. Politicians of all persuasions used it as currency. Friends, family and even our own minds obsessed with it. Fear.

But God gives us a more powerful emotion, a more effective state of being: Love! Love is on the opposite end of the spectrum of human emotions from fear. To be motived by love, rather than fear, is to be motived to serve others, and to support, encourage and nurture. Love provides hope, which the world badly needs right now. Love is, in the language of our work at Wellspring, a “strength-based” way of life. So, as we turn this page of the calendar, let’s commit to leaving any fear we have behind in May, and look to the future with the love God gives each of us. Love, because it is resilient, perseveres; and so have we. It’s a blessing we dare not fail to pick up and use as we move boldly into the future.

Prayer
LOVING GOD, you have walked with us every step of this journey even when we didn’t know it, feel it or experience it. Your presence in our lives, manifested by your love for us in the blessings along the way, has been constant and empowering. Even when we failed to acknowledge those blessings, they were there. Thank you for your faithfulness, and help us claim love as our way of being as we move forward. Help us leave any fear behind as we continue this journey, using hope to propel our work, nurture our relationships and inspire others. Hope comes from love, and love comes from you. May we always hold that close in our hearts. Amen

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Day 30 | May 30, 2020

Scripture
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.”
— Jeremiah 17:7-8

Inspiration
The imagery of the Old Testament writers is a beautiful gift to us as we reflect on these ancient words. The connection between placing our trust and confidence in God (which is a choice we can make), leads to blessings. It’s a simple concept, yet hard to always accomplish. But the passage goes on to say that those who put their trust and confidence in God will be like a tree near water, which will find nourishment, strength and growth by sending its roots deep into that soil. God is that soil for us; He is that blessing. When we put our trust and confidence in Him, the blessing is stability, nourishment and growth for us in ways that we often don’t even recognize. Mostly, it’s in the inner stability of peace in our hearts and minds; nourishment that leads to contentment; growth that allows us to use our gifts and talents to serve others. Once again, God blesses us for our benefit so that we may bless others.

Prayer
GRACIOUS GOD, amazingly, you offer to bless us. All you expect in return is our trust and confidence. And you don’t even demand that trust be perfect and our confidence unfailing. You bless our efforts; you bless our intentions. Most importantly, you bless us with your grace when we fall short. Help us to be like that tree, planted near water that can draw a never-ending supply of peace, contentment and personal growth  so that we will be the best version of who you created us to be. In doing so, we commit to serving your people in love, motivated by the love you pour into our lives. AMEN

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Day 29 | May 29, 2020

Scripture
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
— Isaiah 43:19

Inspiration
God is a God of promises promises made and promises kept! And in this beautiful, almost poetic promise, we’re told He’ll do amazing things for us. Using the language and imagery that the people of the ancient old testament would certainly understand, God casts this vision for His provision. Those people at that time were surrounded by arid, dry country  desert really, where access to fresh water for families and animals wasn’t a convenience; it was actually life or death. They didn’t get to turn on the faucet and have water come out! So, this imagery would have been powerful to them at that time  God promising to make a way in the desert, turning it from a wasteland to a habitable place. The idea that God would provide streams in the wasteland would have been amazing to the people. And it should be amazing to us today, as we’ve journeyed through a wasteland of illness, death, lockdown and quarantine. Yet God has provided as we’ve journeyed; He’s blessed our efforts, carrying out His plan for each one of us, and all of us collectively. So, let’s celebrate God’s amazing provision as we’ve traversed this uninhabitable path!

Prayer
HEAVENLY FATHER, It seems we’ve been wandering in a wasteland, a desert of hurt, fear, worry and stress for a very long time. No matter which direction we go on this journey, it seems it doesn’t end – as far as we can see to the horizon, there’s more of the same. When will we get out of this? When will it end? And yet you cast this vision; you make this promise of salvation, of provision, of escape from all this. What a beautiful reminder of your great love for us, and your ability to deliver on every promise you’ve ever made. Your faithfulness toward us, your people, is a blessing that too often we overlook and take for granted. Thank you for that faithfulness, and for this promise to sustain and deliver us. Bless us on this journey, and protect our people, families, and those we are called to serve. Amen

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Day 28 | May 28, 2020

Scripture
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
— Romans 12:12–13

Inspiration
This passage could have been written specifically for us these past several months. In fact, when you just let it speak to you, it really could be the “verse” that describes Wellspring’s approach and work throughout this pandemic. Although we’re not perfect, the approach we’ve claimed is in fact to live as people of hope in this trying time, to be patient with ourselves and each other, and to be faithful in prayer. That’s what these devotions have been all about! But finally, we’re commanded to share with people in need and practice hospitality. In other words, take care of each other and those you serve. It’s a beautiful example of how God’s word  His command, even is a blessing to us as it provides a recipe for success. We didn’t (we don’t) have to figure out these tough times on our own we follow God’s plan and remain obedient to His command. This puts us in a place where we can be a blessing to others!

Prayer
GRACIOUS GOD, thank you for allowing us to be people of Hope in this world that is badly in need of it. Thank you for choosing us to be your messengers, your ambassadors, your servants, as we care for each other and our community. Forgive us, and allow us to forgive ourselves, when we have fallen short, become impatient and exhibited frustration. We know your grace is plentiful. Help us to continue to be your hands, feet and voice in the work we do, the relationships we enjoy, and the communities we serve, knowing that the love and hope that flows through us is an outpouring of your love in our lives. Amen

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Day 27 | May 27, 2020

Scripture
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."
— James 1:5

Inspiration
The events of the past several months have forced us to change everything, from how we shop to how our kids do school. We’ve had to rethink everything at work – new policies, procedures and ways to do old things. Everything, it turns out, changed almost in an instant back in mid-March. That was, and remains, unsettling for most people as we try to make good decisions for ourselves, loved ones and those we serve. As we now head into a time where we’ll need to make decisions about “re-opening,” re-engaging society, re-connecting with friends and family, we have another round of unsettling decisions to make. That’s why we want to claim this promise, this blessing – God has plenty of wisdom for all of us and for each of us individually! And all we need to do is ask for it! It’s that simple; we lack it, we ask for it and God gives it! I’m not convinced it means that every decision we make will be easy; but I do know that when we ask God for wisdom, everything becomes clearer and less uncertain, because we know God is providing the answers. Claim this blessing today. I know I will!

Prayer
DEAR GOD, here we are, working our way through this strange journey we’ve been on for several months. Everything has changed and nothing is the same. It’s been hard to know what to do, which is why we’re so thankful that you have brought us through some very difficult days. But we know we face more, we know we have decisions to make and more changes to implement. And we still don’t know what to do. So we’re claiming this promise, this blessing, as you offer the richness and depth of your wisdom freely to each of us. Help us to know and do your will for us, our families and those we serve, so that by claiming this blessing, we might be a blessing to others. Amen

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Day 26 | May 26, 2020

Scripture
“And without doubt, the lesser is blessed by the greater.”
— Hebrews 7:7

Inspiration
These past few months, more than ever, we have been witness to this verse in action; in fact, we’ve not only witnessed it, we’ve participated in it coming to life! The collective “we” is a blessing to the “me” – particularly during hard and uncertain times. How many times were you blessed by someone or something from the external, from the community, during this time? How many times did your actions, coupled with others of like mind and heart, bless someone who needed it? That’s the power of community; it’s the “lesser” (the individual) being blessed by the “greater” (the community). God absolutely intended it this way, as He created us to be in fellowship – close relationship – with Him first, and then with others. This is our “We > me” concept – which you’ll be hearing more about at Wellspring as our mission continues to collectively serve. God blesses us with this opportunity each and every day!

Prayer
GOOD SHEPHERD, you have created and designed us as unique, independent individuals – perfectly gifted by you to fulfill the purpose for which you’ve called us. And yet you’ve also put us in community, in fellowship with others and in relationships that more fully complete us. We know that our collective effort is always stronger than our individual efforts – and we’ve been blessed to witness this carried out time and again during this time of pandemic. We call it mission – the carrying out of something larger than any one of us by the focused efforts of us all. Help us to keep you in the middle of that mission, the motive for those efforts. We claim this verse as our own – the lesser is blessed by the greater! Thank you for that important blessing. Amen

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Day 25 | May 25, 2020

Scripture
“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.”
— Psalm 37:3

Inspiration
Time and again, David the psalm-writing-shepherd-boy-turned-king uses references from his early days tending the flock to create powerful imagery. Turns out, sheep are relatively dense and extremely defenseless animals. As a result, they need a shepherd they can trust – to protect them, lead them and provide for them. Sheep are completely dependent on their personal protector and provider. In reality, they need a caring shepherd so they will do well. Doing well includes enjoying “safe pasture” – a place of peace, where needs are met and fear is gone. I think we could all use safe pasture these days. But note this: This image starts with your “trust in the Lord.” Trust leads to all the good that follows. As the uncertainty of the times continues, the solid trust that God invites, and then blesses, is available to us all.

Prayer
GOOD SHEPHERD, like dense and dependent sheep, we can go through life not even recognizing that, as our Good Shepherd, you are providing for our every need. Before we know there is danger, you have stepped in. Before we go hungry, you lead us to safe pasture. It’s easy for us to miss all this and take it for granted because your vigilance, driven by your love for us, is constant and consistent. We trust you, but sometimes we don’t really acknowledge that trust is based on your faithfulness to us, not the other way around. Increase our trust and lead us to safe pasture where we can live for you. Amen

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Day 24 | May 24, 2020

Scripture
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the Heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
— JAMES 1:17

Inspiration
I love the clarity and simplicity of this verse, yet it offers such amazing insight and promise. God loves us so much that He provides “good and perfect” gifts. Much like an earthly parent delights in surprising their children with good things, so, too, does our Heavenly Father carefully selecting exactly what He knows will be just the right gift for us at just the right time. We don’t tend to think a lot about these “good and perfect gifts” in a time of challenge and pandemic, which is why this verse needs to point us back to the blessings all around us. When our heart is willing and our eyes are attentive, God will begin to reveal those gifts to us, and our focus will shift from the troubles of the moment to the changeless loving God who always provides.

Prayer
GRACIOUS GOD, thank you, Father, for the good gifts you continue to offer as we journey through this strange and difficult time. Forgive us when we take those gifts for granted, or those times we don’t even acknowledge you’ve provided them. We know that when we ignore the gifts we’re really ignoring the giftgiver, and we never want to do that. So, open our hearts and minds to receive your good and perfect gifts with grateful hearts, but also with willing hands and feet to use those gifts in service to your people. Walk with us as we continue this difficult path as we pause to thank you for these blessings. Amen

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Day 23 | May 23, 2020

Scripture
“When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood the final destiny.”
— Psalm 73:16–17

Inspiration
How do we make sense of these times? A worldwide pandemic, people ill and even dying, an economy that was stable and strong now in a deep recession. Family, friends, neighbors out of work or getting sick. Our human brain cannot even begin to understand. So, we’re left with questions that lead to worry and concerns that lead to stress. But it doesn’t need to be like this. God invites us into His sanctuary – not a place, but a relationship that allows us to set aside those worries and concerns, and just rest in knowing that God has it figured out. But more than that, we can also rest in the assurance that His plan for each of us, our destiny, is secure. I don’t know about you, but I’ll gladly spend some sanctuary time and claim this blessing so lovingly offered!

Prayer
HEAVENLY FATHER, we can’t make sense of things. We feel like we need to, want to and should be able to, yet we can’t. These things, these times we’re living through are too big for all of us. And because of this lack of understanding, we get worried and stressed. That’s why your invitation to find sanctuary in you is an amazing blessing, and the antidote we so desperately need for the condition and circumstanced we find ourselves in. You freely offer solace and clarity – not with all the answers for today’s trouble – but as a reminder that your plan and purpose for us are secure. Thank you, Father, for that amazing blessing. Amen

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Day 22 | May 22, 2020

Scripture
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as if working for the Lord, not for man.”
— COLOSSIANS 3:23

Inspiration
Work. A blessing? Really? It apparently depends on how you do it. It’s not what you do or not even how good you are at it. So many people go through life going through the motions just to make a living (can anyone say Huey Lewis and the News?). While there’s certainly nothing wrong with doing your best and providing for your family, there is more; and that’s where the blessing comes in. God has a different plan; it’s work with a purpose. When our focus is on serving God, work takes on a whole new meaning, a deeper depth and a richer richness! And that, in all this mess and stress, is where we find the blessing!

Prayer
GRACIOUS GOD, thank you for the work you give us to do; and for the gifts, skills, passion and colleagues you provide us along the way. So often we take for granted the blessing that our work is — and can be — in our lives and the lives of others. Help us to keep our hearts and minds focused on you as we seek to serve your people, as if we’re really serving you first and foremost. As we do, we ask for continued blessing and protection for all who serve you and your people in these strange times in which we live. AMEN.

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Day 21 | May 21, 2020

Scripture
“He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and He guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for all mankind.”
— PSALM 107:29-31

Inspiration
Oh, those storms of life…sometimes they’re very personal, raging in our hearts and heads. Sometimes those storms impact our entire family, and we struggle to help ourselves and our loved ones survive. And sometimes the storms of life affect an entire community or an entire world! When the storms are personal or affect our family, we can reach outside ourselves to a trusted friend, confidant or advisor to help us through. But when our whole world is rocking and shaking with the destruction a storm brings, where do we turn? Well, we’re reminded here that no matter the source of our troubles, the God of the universe can and does still the storm and hush the ravaging waves. I love the imagery: “He guides them to their desired haven.” There is an end to all this, and God is leading us there. He has the power and the love for us to turn the devastating winds into a whisper. Let’s give thanks today for a God who literally can calm the storms of our lives — and does!

Prayer
GOD OF ALL CREATION, we’re tossed and turned in this storm they call a pandemic. Like people on a small boat in a hurricane, we feel the ravages of this storm as it pummels our lives. It’s even harder to watch people we know and love go through the same thing with none of us having the right anchor to slow things down or make things better. That’s why we’re so grateful for you and your love for us. Your authority over all things can calm these raging seas and quiet this wind blowing destruction throughout communities. You have a safe haven for each of us, starting within our own hearts, where your peace can provide solace and calm. Help us to be your vessels of peace and stability for those around us, pointing to you as the source of that power and love. AMEN.

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Day 20 | May 20, 2020

Scripture
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
— COLOSSIANS 3:12–14

Inspiration
If there was ever a time that the world needed people of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, that time is now! I love the imagery of this passage: “clothe yourselves.” Every morning, as we’re getting ready to start our day, we literally layer these qualities on; item by item, we cover ourselves with these — and over them all, a robe made out of love! In fact, the blessing is that love not only completes the ensemble, but also completes us in a way that makes us so available to others, that we walk in unity — even during this crazy, worrisome, difficult time! So, as you get ready to take on whatever God puts in your path today, take these qualities and layer them on. Then walk boldly forward, watching for those blessings to come!

Prayer
GRACIOUS FATHER, what a blessing it is that you give us these virtues to wrap ourselves in every single day! Without you providing these, we would constantly fall short on compassion, kindness, gentleness, humility and patience. Without your provision, we’d be a mess. Instead, we can get up each day and press on, knowing we can be what you made us to be: people wrapped in love and living in unity. That sounds so different than what we are living through, what we see on television and what we hear from “the world.” Yet, that’s exactly why you have chosen us to be different, because we are “holy and dearly loved” — by you! What a blessing. AMEN.

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Day 19 | May 19, 2020

Scripture
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst in to song before you, and the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
- Isaiah 55:12

These ancient words were written for the people of that time  struggling with circumstance and wondering what was next for them. While they were written for the people of that time, they also were intended for us in this time. They serve as a reminder that there is a future, that circumstances will change, and that we’ll be led from this time and place with “joy and peace!” As I read this verse, I can’t help but think of spring coming to life all around us in this strange time. And yet, here comes spring with green grass, flowers, trees filling out and the earth renewing itself. It’s like God’s creation itself is cheering us up, and cheering us on! What a blessing to know that God remains faithful and gives us hints of His creative love for us in the signs of spring.

Prayer
GOD OF THE UNIVERSE, the earth is coming to life all around us these days. It seems like we’ve been looking out at it through the window for countless months. And as warm days come bringing with it renewal, thank you for the reminder that you are constantly renewing us, giving us what we need for the moment and day at hand. Thank you for the warmth of the sun, the birds whose songs greet us each morning, and the flowers that are arrayed in unmatched beauty and color! These blessings rejuvenate our spirits and remind us that you will lead us out of this time with joy and peace in our hearts! We ask that you continue these amazing blessings and help us to return thanks to you by serving your people. Amen

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Day 18 | May 18, 2020

Scripture
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
- 2 Corinthians 4:8–2

This verse sort of sums it up. Such powerful words – hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted and struck down! These are all words that describe where we are, at least at certain moments as this ordeal continues. But this verse doesn’t leave us there. It offers other powerful words that counterbalance all the tough stuff – not crushed, not in despair, not abandoned and not destroyed! In other words, we’re persevering, and with hope and strength. Recently, I had a moment where I saw that perseverance right in front of me. I asked one of our staff, “How are you doing in all this?” It was a question that can sometimes illicit the standard response, “I’m good.” Yet, this time the answer was a joyful, “I’m grateful!” Grateful? In the midst of this? She went on to say, “I’m grateful I have a job; my family is healthy; and I’m blessed. So, I’m grateful for all that.” Wow! Despite the challenges, stress and worry, there was gratefulness! Turns out, gratefulness is a blessing in all this, as was this Wellspring team member a blessing to me in that moment!

Prayer
GRACIOUS GOD, We’re struggling here as this pandemic continues day after day, with seemingly no end in sight. We’re stressed, worried, perplexed and looking for answers. And yet, we also have Hope and the strength that comes from claiming that Hope. Help us to be grateful for all you are doing in our lives, with our families and with our work. You continue to provide everything we need, and then some! Your love is evident all around us. And with grateful hearts we give you thanks for that. Bless us that we might be a blessing to others. Amen

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Day 17 | May 17, 2020

Scripture
“Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble. The Lord protects and preserves them — they are counted as blessed in the land.” —
- PSALM 41:1–2

Wellspring has a rich mission that goes back more than 125 years. Think about that for a moment — a mission that has persevered through two world wars, a great depression, countless recessions, and all kinds of social change and upheaval. But did you know that Wellspring is now experiencing our fourth pandemic? That’s right — 1918; 1957; 1968; and now 2020! What’s the point? As the verse says, those who serve the “weak” are blessed because God protects and preserves them! That’s us! We serve all kinds of people, and though we wouldn’t use the word “weak” to describe the people we’re called to serve, we do recognize they are in need of support, they are often disadvantaged and disenfranchised, and often overlooked by others. We have been blessed with a mission that God has protected through many decades of challenges, not just in these troubling times. Let’s face it, we’re blessed!

Prayer
GRACIOUS GOD, thank you for protecting and preserving us through all these years! You have given us a rich and strong mission, and despite challenges over those many years, you bless us. Those blessings come in many different ways; they are all around us because you are all around us. You love us so much that you attend to our needs and carry us through tough times. You’ve walked with us and those who came before us, blessing us all the while. Thank you for those blessings, and open our eyes, minds, and hearts to be more aware of them each and every day. AMEN.

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Day 16 | May 16, 2020

Scripture
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
- Matthew 5:7

So, here we are, half way through the month of May – our month to pause each day and note the blessings all around us. As we head into the last half, it’s a good time to change the format just a bit to give me a chance to reflect on the blessings I’ve seen throughout Wellspring during this unprecedented time.

Here we go. I’ll start by focusing on this beautiful verse where we’re promised the blessing of mercy upon those who are merciful. Wellspring is full of “merciful” people – those who selflessly give of themselves each and every day. Webster defines “mercy” as “compassionate treatment to those in distress.” This is a perfect definition for the mission of Wellspring, and the personal purpose of our people! Over these past several months, I’ve seen the “merciful” blessed time and again in big ways and small. And yet, at times, we are the ones in distress, needing comfort and compassionate treatment from others – and we’ve seen that too! In short, this verse has come to life right before our eyes, if we’re watching.

Prayer
HEAVENLY FATHER, thank you for blessing the merciful – for blessing us – in this incredible time of great challenge. Those blessings have been all around us; forgive us for those times we’ve been too preoccupied to even notice those blessings. Open our eyes and our hearts to both see and receive the incredible blessings you put in our paths every day. Help us to make ourselves available to be a blessing to others, freely giving and receiving mercy under your loving hand. - AMEN

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Day 15 | May 15, 2020

Scripture
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
—Ecclesiastes 4:14

We don’t have to go it alone during these difficult times. In fact, the ancient words from Ecclesiastes remind us that a friend, colleague or partner is important; add a third person and you’ve got an almost unbreakable bond. We often talk of teamwork and collaboration, and in this strange time of pandemic, that has never been more important. From what I’ve witnessed, the typical collaboration of colleagues has transformed into genuine care and concern for one another  another blessing from God that, if we don’t pause to consider, we might just miss. God strengthens us through these important relationships!

Real Blessings
I’m fairly new to Wellspring and during this time it’s been kind of hard for me; but my team members are some of the most amazing people. They are kind helpers, one to another, open-minded, hard workers and teambuilders. We are a team joined together and I feel right at home here at Wellspring. - Donita Williams-Gibson - Families First Worker

Prayer
GRACIOUS GOD, we so often feel alone in our work, particularly in these challenging times, where nothing seems “normal” anymore. We can despair and become overwhelmed. But you don’t let us stay there. You bless us with colleagues and teams that do more than help share our work; they also lift us up and genuinely care for us. What a blessing! Thank you for loving us so much that you bind us together and make us all better and stronger for the work ahead. We ask your continued blessing and protection for your people as together we serve. Amen

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Day 14 | May 14, 2020

Scripture
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…”
—Hebrews 10:24–25

God designed us to be social creatures – to be together in relationships that celebrate good times and provide support during hard times. In a spiritual context, some people call this “fellowship,” which suggests a deeper level of relationship and support, built around a shared faith. One of the blessings of this “stay home – stay safe” time is that ironically, while we’re forced to be apart, in many ways it is bringing people together. People are finding new ways to connect, support and “fellowship.” Without a pandemic, perhaps we never would have discovered how easy it is to connect!

Real Blessings
“In late February some friends and I started a small group study. We are all old friends, but most were not close friends. We’ve been meeting via Zoom each week. We also started a group text to encourage one another. The inability to meet in person has drawn a loosely associated group together and formed deep bonds. I don’t know how I would have managed through the craziness of COVID-19 without this new group to support me. God is so good and gives the best gifts to His children, just when we need them the most!” - Stacy Bauer Foster Care Licensing Worker

Prayer
GRACIOUS GOD, Even in this time of uncertainty, hardship and worry, you continue to bless us. Even though we can’t be together with colleagues and friends, you have shown us ways to continue to “be together,” support each other and build each other up. Thank you for that amazing blessing, as you know more than we do how important that sharing in our lives is. As we support one another, help us to use that support in greater service to one another. Amen

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Day 13 | May 13, 2020

Scripture
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
— Romans 12: 2

Change is good. Really. If that weren’t true, we’d all be behaving as if we were still children – but we’re not because we’ve changed. We’ve been transformed – through time, experience, circumstance. And often the growth we have experienced in life has been accelerated by struggles and challenges. God uses these times to teach us, to shape us, to build us up. During this time of pandemic, there is no doubt our hearts and minds are being transformed, expanding and growing. That’s another hidden blessing in all this – that’s how God works!

Real Blessings
Seeing how our vendors/partners have completely wrapped around us during this time has been an incredible blessing and testament to the work we do and the mission we serve at Wellspring. We’ve all been changed in this time, and we’ve had to be strong – and our communities will forever be reshaped and changed. - Ann Tschirhart - Creative Services Manager

Prayer
GRACIOUS GOD, You love us so much you don’t let us stagnate – you teach us, change us, shape us and grow us throughout our lives. Every experience, every relationship, every situation is an opportunity under your loving hand to be transformed, for the better! But it’s not just change for the sake of change – you do all this so that we are better equipped to serve your people, better able to share your love with others. Thank you for the blessing of change in our lives, even when that change comes as a result of hard things. Help us to make the most of who we are becoming. Amen

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Day 12 | May 12, 2020

Scripture
“Praise be to the Lord, for He has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.”
— Psalm 28: 6-7

The Psalm’s of David often start in despair and lead to joy. They often start with this shepherd-turned-king just pouring out his heart full of troubles and even darkness, but often end in acknowledgement of God’s provision and blessings. These days, it seems like we, too, can go back and forth between pessimism and optimism, despair and happiness - a weird emotional roller coaster that we wish could just stop. But like David, we always end up with the recognition that we trust God as our “strength and shield.” And when we get there, we find unexpected joy! God does that for us time and again - so trust and celebrate all that God does for us! in my case!) And because He has such love and care for us, He puts blessings in place long before we know we need them. We’re hearing stories of that time and again as we go through these challenging times. So, let’s leave the worry and the details behind, and know that God’s got all that and He goes ahead of us to prepare exactly what we need when we need it!

Real Blessings
“A couple of weeks after getting a puppy (in February – before the stay home order), we were regretting it with all the work and responsibility! But since then, we’ve found this puppy is adding love and joy to our home when we really needed it! I’m thankful that God knew before we did that this puppy would be what we needed during this time.” - Michael Marie Bentley - HR Benefits Manager

Prayer
HEAVENLY FATHER, we go from despair to happiness, from fear to joy these days like a child on a swing - back and forth we go. Thank you for reminding us that we can trust in you, and that your strength is always there for us when we need it, wiping away our tears and filling us with joy! Thank you for anticipating those times and needs in our lives, and lovingly providing the gifts and blessings we need in advance. Help us to be agents of the joy you give us, knowing that the world around us so badly needs it, too! Amen

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Day 11 | May 11, 2020

Scripture
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than sparrows!”
— Matthew 10:29–31

Inspiration
We’re reminded here in the words of Jesus how much God cares for us. It’s amazing to think that the God of the Universe is a God of details! He even knows the number of hairs on our head. (It’s a daily subtraction problem for Him each day in my case!) And because He has such love and care for us, He puts blessings in place long before we know we need them. We’re hearing stories of that time and again as we go through these challenging times. So, let’s leave the worry and the details behind, and know that God’s got all that and He goes ahead of us to prepare exactly what we need when we need it!

Real Blessings
Last fall we held a training session to implement new functions of our time keeping system. We learned we were able to send text messages to employees by location and job function if needed. This is now another means to help fill shifts due to call-offs, which is happening more frequently these days. This blessing has saved schedulers and supervisors time, and ensures that our residents and clients are well served! - Catie McKown – Regional HR Manager

Prayer
HEAVENLY FATHER, It’s amazing to us that you created the big, expansive universe, and yet you care for every detail in our lives. As our loving Father, you know what we need and prepare it for us well before we even know we need it. Every little detail of our lives matters to you. Thank you for loving us that much, and help us – particularly in these difficult times – to take you up on your offer to leave our worries up to you, so we can focus on the incredibly important work you’ve given us to do: the work of serving and caring for your people. As we do, we ask your continued blessings and protection. - Amen

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Day 10 | May 10, 2020

Scripture
“This service you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people, but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God."
— 2 Corinthians 9:12

Inspiration
When we serve God’s people, two things happen. First, we meet real needs – physical, emotional, relational and material. And those needs are all around us. We see it in our work at Wellspring every single day, but more so now than ever. Second, our service ends up being an act of thanksgiving to God as people see that service, and understand our motives come from love, and that love comes from God. As we mark the blessings coming our way this month of May, we do so giving thanks to God through our service to others.

Real Blessings
“Our teams have responded to this crisis in some beautiful ways. The partnership with Feeding America in Grand Rapids to deliver food to those is need is on great example of this.” - Jason Sroufe, Family Services Division Director

Prayer
GRACIOUS GOD, It’s amazing that you choose us to serve your people; we’re so blessed to be able to do that. Thank you for those opportunities where your love for us can flow straight through to those around us. Sometimes we do that in our jobs; sometimes you provide opportunity for us to do that outside of work. In either case, not only is it a blessing to us, but you accept it as our thanks to you – our way of showing the world through our actions that we are grateful to you, another expression of your love flowing through us. Help us, this day, to show our thanks to you by serving your people. - Amen

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Day 9 | May 9, 2020

Scripture
“For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.”
— Romans 11:29

Inspiration
Once in a while you come across a verse that is profound in its simplicity. The idea that the gifts God provides us and the call He places on our lives are irrevocable is mind blowing. What it’s really saying is that God provides us gifts – individual, personal, specific – in the form of talents, skills and even passions, and then directs us to use those gifts for a purpose that we and only we have been built to carry out. That’s the “call.” So, they are linked together – our personal gifts from God and the call upon our lives – and they’re irrevocable. We don’t get to reject them. We don’t get to choose how or when to use them. And we certainly don’t get to choose the circumstances within which we carry out our unique purpose. Each and every one of us have this combo of gifts and call. And in this pandemic, we see it playing out in the people all around us who freely apply those gifts to the challenge in front of us. What a blessing to see that play out right in front of us.

Real Blessings
“Dr. Greenwell has been a blessing to us during all this. It is nothing short of divine intervention that he came to us when he did. His gifts and talents are the perfect fit for Wellspring and he came in God’s perfect timing.” - Lynn Maurer, Executive Director Home Health & Hospice

Prayer
HEAVENLY FATHER, your gifts to us come in so many ways, sometimes at unexpected times in our lives. And we’re so very grateful for them. In fact, you love us so much that you’ve woven personal gifts right into the fabric of our beings – gifts, talents and skills, which not only make up who we are, but also represent the possibilities that lie within us as we serve your people. Thank you for those gifts, and the call you’ve placed upon us to use those gifts in ways that, combined with the gifts of colleagues, allow us to make a big impact in our communities. Help us to apply those gifts each and every day to the best of our ability, and in so doing, fulfill the irrevocable call upon our lives. Amen

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Day 8 | May 8, 2020

Scripture
“I will bring health and healing to it (Jerusalem); I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.”
— Jeremiah 33:6

Inspiration
The numbers reported each day on the news weigh heavy upon us number of cases, number of deaths. Day after day, no wonder we forget that God is still at work bringing health and healing to hundreds of thousands of folks who have dealt with this virus. On our COVID Recovery Unit in Frankenmuth, we are discharging elders as they have reached a level of healing allowing them to move off the unit! And we have seen many staff members off due to the virus, but their health is being restored and we’re welcoming them back with open arms (from six feet away, of course)! God is still at work, bringing the healing He promises.

Real Blessings
I feel extremely blessed to have survived a battle with COVID-19. After spending 11 days in critical care at the University of Michigan Hospital, it is great to be home and able to breathe again. I gained inspiration through this adversity, witnessing the human spirit at work. It was quite the experience, but I saw much good come from it. - ED MCARDLE - Hospitality Representative

Prayer
GRACIOUS HEALER, While the world counts illness and death, and the numbers grow day by day, thank you for your continued healing being provided to so many. Forgive us for the tendency to focus on the negative, and fill our hearts with the joy of knowing that you love us and offer your grace and healing freely. Help us to celebrate that goodness, and in doing so, point ourselves and those around us to you, the provider of all good things. Thank you for bringing health back to so many of our colleagues, and continue to restore and protect all who serve you by serving your people. - Amen

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Day 7 | May 7, 2020

Scripture
“…pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
— JAMES 5:16

Inspiration
Since before this nation was officially a nation, the call to pray together has been consistent. In July of 1775 the First Continental Congress issued a proclamation recommending “a day of public humiliation, fasting and prayer” be observed. That call has gone out for different reasons and at different times in our history, permanently landing on the first Thursday of May. Today is that day, the National Day of Prayer, and we celebrate the blessing it is to live in a nation where we are both free to pray and where leaders encourage it. As we do so, we thank God for the privilege of bringing our joys and sorrows, wants and needs to Him. And as a loving Father, he both listens and answers. What a blessing!

Real Blessings
“The April 30 Days of Prayer together was uplifting and a blessing to us.” - Laura McKay - Controller

Prayer
GRACIOUS GOD, we’re in awe of the fact that you invite us to pray - to come to you to discuss our lives, needs, worries and successes. Thank you for loving us that much! We’re also grateful to live in a place and in a time where we are free to pray, privately and publicly, as we enjoy the blessings and privileges of living in this great nation. Each day as we come to you, we experience the blessing that is prayer, because it is through prayer that you reveal your plan for us to us, and you strengthen our hearts and resolve our minds to live boldly into that plan. We need that strength and encouragement now more than ever. Thank you for this special blessing. AMEN.

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Day 6 | May 6, 2020

Scripture
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
— Ephesians 2:10

Inspiration
It is hard to fathom, but God created each of us with a set of skills, talents and gifts in order that we might carry out a specific purpose. We are His handiwork! But there’s more to this verse – because we must understand what that purpose is all about a set of “good works” prepared in advance for us to do. In other words, a divine “to do” list that we’ve been specially crafted to perform. So, here we are in the midst of a pandemic, surrounded by colleagues who, just like you, have been hand-crafted and hand-selected by God, and collectively our “good works to do list” is playing out in front of us. What a blessing to know we are right where God wants us, doing exactly what He prepared us to do!

Real Blessings
These have truly been challenging times on every front, but every one of our staff has risen to the occasion in such a powerful way, working diligently  and most importantly TOGETHER in one accord  while we look to GOD for guidance, strength and perseverance to provide HOPE to a hurting world. It almost feels like HE hand-picked every single one of us and placed us here because He knew what was coming! - Renee Dillon, Director of Clinical Oversight

Prayer
Gracious God, You’ve done some amazing things for us lately, but none more amazing than the thought that you created us with special care, special skills and special talents in order that our gifts might make a difference. But even more, you’ve brought groups of colleagues together, each with their own set of skills and talents, interweaving them into a strong team equipped in every way to accomplish their collective “to do” list. Thank you for loving us so much that you have called us to this important work, knowing that through us, we are blessed to serve your people in order that your love may abound even during these difficult times. AMEN.

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Day 5 | May 5, 2020

Scripture
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted on the earth.”
— Psalm 46:10

Inspiration
When things are “normal,” our schedules are full, our days are crowded, our time is demanded by ever competing priorities. Things that seemed so important just a few weeks ago now seem silly, or downright shameful as our priorities have become clarified and we begin to invest ourselves in things that matter most. The gift of time – a blessing amidst all this – is God’s way of helping us “be still and know that I am God,” the natural outcome of which is a reprioritizing of our lives, moving God back to the top of our list! When we do, relationships seem richer, deeper and more meaningful - because God has His rightful place in the center of it all.

Real Blessings
“Through this very difficult time, my husband and I have been so blessed to spend extra time with our precious baby girl! We are typically very busy, and had been feeling disconnected as a family. The smile on her face while spending each morning together is priceless and is my favorite part of my day. I am praying that everyone can find little blessings in the midst of this crisis.” - REBECCA THOMPSON, Client Care Coordinator, Personal Assistance

Prayer
Heavenly Father, without this pandemic, we’d still be running our lives at breakneck speed, crowding our schedules with all kinds of things while also crowding you out of our lives. You’ve blessed us with a bit of a “slow down” – teaching us to “be still and know you are our God,” again! Thank you for this gift, as we’ve learned to prioritize our lives consistent with your will for us. And the blessings haven’t stopped. As we place you front and center in our world, you enrich our relationships, deepen the meaning in our lives, and offer your binding love. AMEN.

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Day 4 | May 4, 2020

Scripture
“May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord..."
— Psalm 19:14

Inspiration
The words we say and the attitude we bring says a lot about who we are and how we approach different circumstances. God blesses us with the opportunity to serve one another through connecting, reaching out and just having “fellowship.” The opportunity to just talk, reconnect and be real with one another is a blessing in all this “pandemic” mess. God desires that we would support one another and be there for each other. That’s why our words matter, and words come from our heart. That’s why today’s blessing is important and personal!

Real Blessings
I’ve had opportunity to call the people I would normally interact with just to chat, but now those conversations feel more personal and genuine. The casual conversations of the past are over, and they are deeper and more personal than ever. - ERIC MUSUM, Chief Technology Officer, Home Office, Flint

Prayer
GRACIOUS GOD, in the midst of this pandemic, this mess, you provide us the opportunity to connect on a very real level with people - with colleagues, coworkers, family and friends - in a way that in “normal” times would not be the focus. Thank you for that blessing - the blessing of fellowship, of being real and of being present. We’re grateful that through this, you continue to provide our every need, offering strength and hope when our strength is gone. Be with us, protect us, and help us to be your Hope in this challenging time! AMEN.

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Day 3 | May 3, 2020

Scripture
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as, in fact, you are doing.”
— 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Inspiration
Building each other up and supporting one another is a great blessing, to be sure. We see this in so many ways these days, knowing that God works through relationships mutually committed to serve and support one another. When we’re committed to each other, we build each other up, a true blessing that God has made evident during this difficult time. God set us on this journey to ready our leaders for this very moment, getting ahead of us and preparing the way for us, truly a blessing. How have you been a blessing to others by building them up?

Real Blessings
More than a year ago, Leadership Council (Wellspring’s top leaders) made a commitment to become better leaders, provide greater support for one another, and be more unified in our work. That journey has paid off. During this crisis, the leadership of Wellspring is strong and unified, serving each other and the needs of the organization. - Dan Redwanz, HR Director

Prayer
GRACIOUS GOD, you were in this fight with COVID-19 long before we were  in fact long before we even knew this was coming. You provided learning, growth and new capabilities for our leaders in advance of this time of great need for leadership. Your love is evident in the way we support each other and build each other up at Wellspring, serving one another out of genuine care and concern. Thank you for this special blessing as that care and unity allows us to serve your people with great strength and courage. Continue to show us ways to support one another each day. AMEN.

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Day 2 | May 2, 2020

Scripture
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
— 2 CORINTHIANS 9:8

Inspiration
This verse has come to life at Wellspring over these past many weeks. God knew we would need something in place and He even knew why — abundantly blessing us so that we would have what we needed to “abound in every good work!” There are examples of it everywhere, but here is a beautiful example.

Real Blessings
More than a year ago, we implemented an entirely new information system for our child and family division called CareLogic. Like any major change, this did not come without challenges. Having CareLogic — and a specific component of it called “Dr. First,” has been a true blessing in this time of pandemic. Dr. First gave us the capability to have the kids’ doctors “e-prescribe” and use video/telehealth. And that is now the only way our kids can see their doctors. Without CareLogic already in place, we would have had to scramble to put something in place.” - MARIE TOLEN, Executive director, New Directions Youth Campus

Prayer
GRACIOUS GOD,you know our needs before we do. You provide for us before we ask. You put things in place with our future in mind — all that we might abound in good works. We don’t often think about a software system as a blessing. In fact, often it’s the opposite! But, as we have the benefit of hindsight and can see what you did more than a year ago to prepare us to serve these precious youth, we’re overwhelmed with gratefulness at your love and provision. Thank you for allowing us to serve these kids; thank you for protecting them each day of this pandemic. Continue to bless that work, and all that we do at Wellspring so that our good work can abound. AMEN

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Day 1 | May 1, 2020

Scripture
“Worship the Lord your God, and His blessing will be on your food and water. He will take away sickness from among you.”
— EXODUS 23:25

Insight
As we begin this next leg of our journey, we’ll start with a blessing I’ve noticed growing all around us: the fact that people, in their quarantine, are finding their lives focusing on their faith more than ever. With time on their hands and worry in their hearts, we’re finding ourselves trying to make sense of it all, recognizing that the only answers that make any sense come from a God who loves us. When the world is moving fast and when things are going well, our tendency is to focus on ourselves, our success, our “next thing.” This verse in Exodus reminds us of God’s great love -- as we turn to him (a blessing in our lives), he turns around and blesses us; He even promises to “take away sickness from among you.” That could have been written just for us, just for now. What a blessing!

Prayer
HEAVENLY FATHER, while we remain challenged with all that is going on around us, we want to thank you for drawing us close to you. Lives have slowed down, in many cases, causing us to find time to find you. Lives have sped up to a frantic pace for those on the front lines, causing us to reach out to you for all we need. In either case, we’re blessed by refocusing our eyes and hearts on you. And while we’re blessed by that in our lives and in the lives of those we care about, we’re doubly blessed by your promise to bless us as we draw close to you. Once again, your amazing love for us comes through. Thank you. AMEN.

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 19) March Update- causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

Resources

WELLSPRING COMMUNICATIONS
pdfLetter to the Community 04-24-20

pdfVisitor Restriction Letter to Families

pdfCMS Visitor Guidance 03-13-20

CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL & PREVENTION (CDC)
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html

STATE OF MICHIGAN
pdfGov. Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-72  
pdfGov. Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-37  
pdfGov. Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-21  
pdf “Stay Home. Stay Safe.” Summary
pdfDept. of Health & Human Services Memo 03-20-2020
pdfInterim Health Care Worker Guidance
https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/

CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES (CMS)
https://www.cms.gov/medicare/quality-safety-oversight-general-information/coronavirus

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY & MEDICINE
https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019