Friday, January 18, 2019

White Release


It is Well ~ Kristene DiMarco

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows … ~ Isaiah 53: 4 NKJV

Coming back to my hometown, Brad was especially concerned that dark shadows may be lurking around some corners. Fortunately, that hasn’t been the case. But a few days ago, something unexpected happened that dredged up muck from the pit and past. I didn’t realize it was upsetting me till today. I pulled into our parking lot, left a message asking a friend for prayer, and got out of my car.  As I walked toward our apartment in the falling snow, I felt the soft, white release. I felt God’s gentle reminder that He’s already healed me, taking away all the fear and shame.

Walking in the snow, I felt as free as a child, God’s child.

Are there burdens or unexpected old muck weighing on you? You don’t have to let fear, shame, or pain drag you into the pit. You can be free, feeling as light-weight as gently falling snow.

Father, thank you for the reminder that You’ve already paid for and taken it all for me. I pray that anyone who desires the freedom and peace You offer would give You everything, so You can wash them as white as snow. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

… And by His stripes we are healed. ~ Isaiah 53:5 NKJV

Jesus Paid It All ~ Kristian Stanfill
©Heather Potts 2019

Monday, January 14, 2019

A Ready Heart


Behold ~ Hillsong

And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” ~ Matthew 14:28 NKJV

We all love inspiring stories. They move us. The Bible is full stories like Ester and David and Goliath. At the base of these stories is a call from God and a ready heart.

Many of my friends are in a time of prayer and fasting. One thing a fast does is make your heart ready. It prepares you to not just hear from God, but to respond. Each fast is for a season and each season prepares you for the calling in the next.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Peter and his eagerness to jump out of the boat and go toward Jesus. Yes, we know when Peter turned his gaze from Jesus, he began to sink. But the initial eagerness came from a prepared heart—one that had been in the presence of his Lord and drank deeply of His teaching.

You’ll never be able to dream up all the possible requests God will make of you. But it’s less about His requests and more about the readiness of your heart. Matthew 12 says, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,” (v34 NKJV). A ready heart says, “Yes, Lord.”

One day, likely when you least expect it, the Lord will call. Will your heart be ready? How will you respond?

Father, I pray that we would all make being in Your presence our priority. Prepare us. Help us to be made ready to respond when You call. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. ~ Matthew 14:29 NKJV
©Heather Potts 2019

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Yes and Amen


My Defender ~ Jeremy Camp

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; ~ Psalms 130:5 ESV

Scholars say there are over 6,000 promises in the Bible. That means, regardless of the circumstance, there's more than one promise in there for you! 

What do you need today, this week, month, and year? Ask Holy Spirit for a Promise on which to stand. Ask for a Word from God, so when the devil says, "No way. Na-ah. Never gonna happen for you," you can declare with assurance and authority, "All of God's promises are Yes and Amen!" 

Father, be with my friends today. Pour out Your Spirit upon them. Send them Your promises, upon which they can stand, and declare in Your authority as Yes and Amen! In Jesus Name I pray Amen.  
©Heather Potts 2019

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Year Blessings


When You Believe ~ Whitney Houston ft. Mariah Carey

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. ~ Proverbs 16:9 ESV

I took some time, yesterday, to review 2018 and realized that as hard as the year was, God's blessings were as numerous, and His promises stronger. I won't take you through our whole year, but I hope this one story touches you.

Sunday, December 30th started out as any other. After the church service, we ran into Elizabeth’s 4K teacher and asked her to keep an eye on Elizabeth. We’ve been concerned that our “new schedule” will take a toll on the girls. Brad’s new job begins at 5am. With having only one car, the girls and I have been getting up at 4:40am to drive him there. For the first few days, the girls went back to sleep for 60-90 minutes before having to get up for school. But the last day, no one went back to sleep. Elizabeth’s teacher promised to let us know.

After getting the girls, we went to get our coats, but Brad stopped to chat with someone. I got the coats and waited as he finished. After a few minutes, Brad and the other man made their way to where I was waiting. Brad looked at the other man and said, “Tell my wife what you just told me.” The man said, “I have a truck and I’ve been praying for God to show me who to give it to. I heard you had a need and wanted to give you my truck.”

Who says that! How did he know?

Brad and I both cried in the church foyer! The man said he and his family are leaving to be missionaries and we could pay him—if we wanted and could afford it—or not. As it turns out, I received a year-end bonus and had been praying about how God wanted us to use it. It certainly wasn’t enough for a new car. But with God, nothing is impossible!

Of all the promises God gave me in 2018, this one stands out: This is God’s year to act! (Luke 4:19 MSG). I pray that your 2019 is filled with blessings more numerous and promises stronger than any challenge you may face.
©Heather Potts 2019

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Influencers


Winter Snow ~ Audrey Assad 

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. ~ John 3:17 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/jhn.3.17.ESV

My favorite time of the day is my morning quiet time with God. I typically get up while the house is still quite to have my alone time. But one morning, my girls wanted to spend time with God, in my space. At first, I was annoyed, because they were encroaching on my time and space. But later, God showed me that it was a blessing and an honor – my girls were learning about God through me, because of me. They wanted to spend time with God, just like they saw Mommy doing.

Today, you may be working in a field, serving at your church or in your community, or even raising your kids because of what you saw your parents or grandparents doing. Today’s scripture reminds us that Jesus came to save the world – a mission He learned and received from His Father. Whether we realize it or not, we are world changers, influencing others. Some of them already know God, and you’re just encouraging them to draw closer. But to others, you are a light in their darkness. They haven’t been able to find their way, but God is drawing them out through the light He’s placed within you.

As you read the words today, ask God to use you to lead those you influence closer to Him. After all, as God’s kids, we’re on the same mission as our Father.
©Heather Potts 2018


Friday, December 14, 2018

Shine


Light Shine Bright ~ Toby Mac

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. ~ Matthew 5:16 NIV

In Wisconsin, especially in the winter, people take notice when the sun shines. Even the girls have noticed how dark it is and think it’s still time for bed, instead of for school. And for the next week, the darkness may feel like it's growing, as we draw closer to the shortest "day" of the year.

I remember growing up, hearing people talk about "seasonal depression," which was attributed to the lack of sunlight in the winter months. But until coming back from Florida, the "sunshine state," I didn't realize how much not seeing the sun could affect you. The same is true about the light you carry inside of you: 
“...You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now…shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven," (Matthew 5:14-16 MSG).

As dark as winter is, I couldn't imagine living even the brightest season without Christ. Last winter, I noticed how much darker, colder, and longer winter felt about mid-January, because everyone had put away their Christmas lights. People who don't know Jesus, or who've lost sight of Him, walk around every day in darkness. They feel the cold of winter, but never the warmth of Christmas – the season of welcoming and experiencing Jesus. This year, don't let the generosity and love of Jesus stop shining in you, just because you put away the tree. Let God's light always shine brightly through you, for all to see. 
©Heather Potts 2018

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Yes, You Can!


Invincible ~ Skillet

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us ~ Hebrews 12:1 NIV

In recent months, my brother has been sharing his workouts on Facebook. On one hand, you might be annoyed by someone who posts every time they workout, while you do it without the glory. But on the other hand, you might find some inspiration. When you look closely at his pictures, you see that he’s surrounded by others who are just as sweaty--be it basketball or spin class. 

A few years ago, when I started running, Brad went with me, but he couldn't continue, and I had to decide if I was going to do it on my own. What I discovered was that I wasn’t alone. Hebrews 12 says, "We are SURROUNDED by a great cloud of witnesses." The witnesses are those who have gone before us, who've walked where we're walking, and who are cheering us on, from the very first trial all the way through to triumph! 

During my runs, there were many times I didn't think I could make one more step, certainly not another block. But it was in those times Holy Spirit said, "Yes, you can! Don't quit! Don't quit! Don't quit!" Each time I pushed through, I was so proud of myself for not quitting, because each time I went further than I thought I could. 

Today, I am not prepping for a run. Two months of migraines and vertigo really takes a toll. But even in the simplistic work out, even with a pinched nerve in my neck, I don't want to quit. I refuse to back down. And this is what we've been training for, a won't-back-down attitude. 

Since moving to Wisconsin 16 months ago, we've faced more disappointment, heartache, and trials than I care to recount. But God has also surrounded us. Every day, I am truly amazed and in awe of all God has done for us, brought us through, blessed us with, and the "won't-quit-won't-back-down" attitude He's built up within us.

I think it was John Bevere who said this season is the training ground for the next. Whatever hardship you may be walking through, today, remember, you're not alone. Listen as Holy Spirit encourages you, especially on the hard days, "Yes you can! Now, don't quit!" 
©Heather Potts 2018