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June 17, 2021

I have my own religion. 

I don’t know how I feel about God right now. 

Two sentences from two different woman I spoke to this week. I couldn’t get them out of my mind. Why do they feel this way?

And the answer hit me – people. People influence how we see God and how we think about the Bible. 

I felt like the woman who has created her own religion was saying: I don’t understand most of the Bible, and I don’t understand churches so I’m going to find my own way with God. 

And the woman who told me she just doesn’t know how she feels about God, she was asking me to pray. This means she doesn’t not believe in God, Almighty God and Savior, she doesn’t know if she trusts what people are saying about God. She doesn’t trust people who say they are Christians because people have let her down, some have lied, some have fallen short, some have been controlling, some have been judgmental, some have been mean. People who believe in God can easily lose faith in His followers. And sadly, His followers greatly influence how you see God. 

People are becoming more upset with those who call themselves Christians and people are becoming more vocal about it. 

So what’s our answer? 

Here’s what it’s not: It’s never “just get over it”. People always have the right to feel how they feel. And right now, those people don’t trust me…

The answer is also not just win the trust of people. I cannot constantly try to win the affection and trust of everyone around me. Why? What’s wrong with that? Because life is not all about me…

So what should we be doing as followers of Jesus?

If life is not about me, and it is all about Jesus then I should want people to find Jesus. How? I should reflect Jesus. 

How do I reflect the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth? The more I simply spend time with God, the more I look like Who He actually is. I don’t have to make it up. I don’t need to make up some story of how amazing this God is that I serve. God is seriously just as relevant to humanity today as the day He walked on Earth.

I don’t have to have politically correct responses. I just need to reflect the God who created every spirit, soul and body. 

How can I reflect God? Ask God to make you like Him. Ask God to Fill you with His very Spirit. The more I can live like Jesus, by walking in His Spirit, the more people will trust me. I’ve seen this work in my own life personally and in the lives of many others. 

And when I say the wrong thing or fail someone and I apologize, they are much more likely to forgive me. Why would people forgive someone who is living everyday to be close to God? Because I have no personal or worldly driven motive for gaining their trust. The more time I spend with God, the more I Love Him. The more I love Him the more I naturally love who He loves. People recognize genuine. 

People don’t want to have to create their own religion, but they will if they don’t trust the Jesus followers who influence them daily. 

People want to fully believe and live for God, but they won’t if they don’t see God changing and affecting the Jesus followers who influence them daily. 

I encourage you to spend time every single day with God. Somehow talk to Him, and listen. Sing to Him or speak words that show your affection. Read His Word: for it cleanses, washes, redeems. The Word gives wisdom and clarity. It is full of Hope and completely true. It hasn’t changed and is reliable and relevant. You get to choose, to be in love with God or be in love with yourself. What you spend the most time on will prove your love and worship. Because God is soooo good, you will never get tired of choosing Him over yourself – and everyone around you will see a genuine reflection of the God they long for too. 
In Love,

June 16, 2021

Father’s Day is coming up…
Many people have a really hard time on Father’s Day because they didn’t really have the Dad that we try and celebrate. Others struggle because their Dad is no longer with them. Loss is hard.
This flooded my mind as I started to think through and pray through next weeks message. It reminded me of something I read last year. Let me share this with you…
There are many children, young and old, who can’t stomach Father’s Day. They have deadbeat dads, abusive fathers, men who have failed them. Some of them are scarred for life. To them the whole purpose of this day is senseless, if not revolting.
There will be no phone calls home, no backyard BBQs, no sappy Hallmark card. “Lord, just let this day be over,” they pray, “and let me get on with my life without being reminded of that man.”
I lack the wisdom, and the experience, to counsel those who have been hurt so deeply. There is no pain like the pain of being mistreated by those who, above all others, you expect to love you unconditionally.
This, however, I do know. When men do not live up to their callings, when they live only for themselves, nevertheless remains a man who will never do that to you. When men abuse the innocent, and do the unspeakable, there is still a man who never once will treat you that way. If even father and mother forsake you, brother and sister turn their backs on you, the whole world hate and curse and damn you to hell, there is a man who will stand shoulder to shoulder with you through it all, never leaving your side.
This man is not your father. He is your brother. He came down from heaven to suffer abuse for you, to know what it’s like to be hated and mistreated and abandoned by those nearest and dearest to him.
And he has a father who wants to adopt you, to make you part of his family, that he might care for you as no earthly father ever could. This man, this Jesus of Nazareth, will get you through Father’s Day, and will bring you into the arms of a Father who is truly worthy of the name. -Chad Bird
Father God,
Thank you for being the best Dad. Thank you for filling the gap that so many have. Thank you for helping many break the generational chains of abandoned fatherhood.
Lord we ask that you would comfort those who grew up without Father’s and those who have lost Fathers. We ask that those that grew up without a Dad would believe they can be better than what they missed. That their definition of parenthood isn’t about what they lacked here but rather what we gain with our Heavenly Father.
Thank you for all of the single Moms who made it through taking on both roles who loved their children with everything they had. Let their love lead to generational healing.
Thank you for being the father to the fatherless. Thank you for being the better father we all needed. We ask that you hold all those who need to be held through this Father’s Day. Let them feel your love.
In Jesus name…

May 28, 2021

An Introduction from Pastor Jill

You and I are not the same, but we are equal.

If you are reading this you are a human being (unless you’re that one animal in the world that can read and I’m honored you’re reading my post).

No matter who you are; what you look like, how you talk, where you are from, where you live now, how you feel, what you love or hate, what gender you are, what race you are, how much money you have:

you are not better than me. And, I am not better than you. Period.

We walk on perfectly level ground in one incredible truth- we are both human and therefore we are equal in the sight of our mutual Creator.


My name is Jill Nastoff and I am the newest Pastor at Wellspring Community Church, Escanaba, Mi.

I’d like to introduce myself to you as I begin this new role as a Pastor, which to me is actually a journey. I am full of joy and gratitude to have this chance, and to work along side Senior Pastor Paul Culbertson, our amazing Leadership team, and Elders. One thing that is exciting is how different Pastor Paul and I are… one obvious difference is gender. Also, he grew up in the city. I have lived most of my life in the U.P. We were raised differently and came to know Jesus at different points of life. We are not the same. And that’s what is so awesome. He’s naturally outgoing and I’m more of an introvert but God chose us to be here, right now, for you.

I’m writing this because I truly want people to know how much we at Wellspring value transparency. Our signs all read “Come as you are”. What we mean by that is not:“we don’t care how you dress” although, we don’t care how you dress. What we mean is you don’t have to be in a good place in life to come to church. You don’t have to be… anything. We are not a church just for people who already know about Jesus. We are not a church just for people who have it all together. Actually we are the opposite. Wellspring is a church without any perfect people. I’m not perfect and neither is Pastor Paul.

We both believe that all humans are created by God, and all are loved exactly the same. God doesn’t love me more than you because I’m a Pastor. I am a person who was born into this broken world. I learned who Jesus is and I trusted in His life, death and resurrection. I believe my life now is fully surrendered to Jesus, even though I still make mistakes. I’m not ashamed to share my past or my failures with you. I try not to brag of my mistakes or my accomplishments. I try to boast of the great things God has done in me.

I am 39 years old and married to my best friend Jeremy. He supports me 100% in following this dream. We were married at 22 and I graduated as an RN that year. We have four awesome kids. I love worship music. I am more comfortable on stage leading others in worship or teaching than I am in small groups of people. I use sarcasm more than I should and often try to get the people around me to laugh. I love to serve other people and meet practical needs. I felt called at the age of 14 to somehow tell the world about Jesus and have traveled to many cities in the US and around the world as a missionary. I’ve had the chance to work as a nurse for the last 17 years. During those years I also served at various churches as a worship leader. Life was good in a lot of ways and difficult in others. Many years ago Jeremy and I began to develop serious marital issues. After several years in a deteriorating marriage, Jeremy’s chronic depression and selfishness led him to divorce me. During that time of separation I lost my dad and my job. I can remember the endless tears. Yet I marvel at the comfort and closeness of Jesus during my pain. I never felt more loved than I did when I was broken and alone. God could have let me move on alone but He miraculously restored my husband and I. Jeremy and I were remarried in February 22, 2020. Please feel free to ask either of us more about our story.

I felt God calling me to a change this past year. It became very clear to Jeremy and I, it was to leave nursing and begin this journey with you. I pray that I may “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;” Colossians 1:10. Because you and God are worth it.

God bless,