Thursday, August 9, 2018

Everlasting


Oh Praise the Name ~ Hillsong 

The Lord appeared from of old to me [Israel], saying, Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you. [Deut. 7:8.] ~ Jeremiah 31:3 AMPC



What a great image for today. It perfectly wraps up the journey we’ve been on, the decisions being made, and our focus on God’s promises for the future. This scripture is another promise from God, much needed today, that He WILL CONTINUE His faithfulness. It doesn't stop just because there is loss and pain. And the loss isn't a sign of anything other than we live in a fallen world.

I hope that whatever you might be going through or facing today, that God's promises fill you with hope, peace, confidence, and joy.

Thank you, Father, for Your promises. Thank you for being for me, in this moment, exactly what I need! In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.
~Heather Potts~

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Not Knowing


Here as in Heaven ~ Elevation Worship

And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. ~ Acts 20:22 NIV

One Sunday morning, in January 2006, I was compelled to find my friend Nichole. She went to some church called Bayside. I didn’t know what I would encounter when I arrived at her church, but I went. I found my friend, but also healing, fulfillment, and many friendships that would shape our family.

In 2010, God called us to join a team preparing to launch Bayside’s first satellite campus. At first, I didn’t want to go. I had found my niche and didn’t think I needed anything else. But then God’s Spirit touched our hearts, and we went.

Then in 2015, as Bayside was preparing to launch its fifth satellite campus, Brad asked us to pray about going. I didn’t want to pray, because I didn’t want God to move me. We’d established deep relationships, our girls had the perfect pastor, and I felt like this was where we belonged. But Holy Spirit touched me, and we went.

And in 2017, God told us to pack and prepare. We did, not knowing where we were going, until God spoke to Brad and said we were Wisconsin-bound. I didn’t want to go. This was our home, the one God had established for us. But Holy Spirit touched us, and we went, not knowing what would happen to us there. We rolled into town extremely late on July 24, 2017. The year has been filled with many hardships. But also love. God established and re-established many relationships, people with whom we’d walk through each other’s joyous and hard times. Then exactly one year after we arrived in town, my Grandpa Hayes passed away. But he left behind him a legacy of love, prayer, and faithfulness to God and his family.

I don’t know what the next year or years will hold for us. But compelled by the Spirit, we will go and do as God directs in love, prayer, and faithfulness to God and our family.
©Heather Potts 2018

Friday, July 20, 2018

H.E.L.P.


Help ~ The Beatles 
Open Heaven ~ Hillsong

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV

Life really hurts sometimes. My grandpa Hayes is dying. Brad’s grandma is very sick and weak. Brad’s mom just had several blood clots removed from her lungs and legs, and now must live on tank oxygen and blood thinners, and simple things, like washing dishes, are too much of a struggle for her.

Hard times and pain are just as much a part of life as are joy and celebration. But often, we don’t know how to respond when we see others hurting and either walk away—afraid the pain is contagious—or fill in the space with plastic wrap answers and responses that don't really help the people who are hurting.

But there is HELP:
H - Hands. Compelled by compassion, we want to reach out and ease the pain. Try a hug, a phone call, or text just to say hello and remind them you’re here for them. 
E - Everyone. You can't do everything, but everyone can do something. What comes naturally to me may be a struggle for you. Try cooking/buying a meal, running errands, doing a chore (like laundry), bringing coffee, or sitting quietly with them.
L - Love. Love is what compels us to act. It's WHY we're moved with compassion. In the middle of the pain, those who are hurting just want to know they're still loved and not alone.
P - People. At the end of the day, we're all people. We need prayer, real encouragement, and people who will stand side-by-side with us, until the end.

If you're going through something, don't be afraid to reach out and let others surround you. And if you know someone going through a hard time, they don't need you to answer "why" it’s happening. Just be there in whatever way God leads you. Comfort them the way you've been comforted.
They're looking for help and God sent you.
©Heather Potts 2018

Monday, June 18, 2018

Fear Not


Fullness ~ Elevation Worship

So don’t worry, because I am with you. Don’t be afraid, because I am your God. I will make you strong and will help you. I will support you with my right hand that saves you. ~ Isaiah 41:10 ICB

In the middle of the night, there was incredibly loud thunder. Which, of course, woke the girls. And before it got quieter, it got MUCH LOUDER! Elizabeth scurried herself further under our covers. We were all awake for an hour in the middle of the night because of noise, LOUD NOISE. 

That's what the enemy is, too: loud noise. The Bible refers to him as a "roaring lion," (1 Peter 5:8). Little children are often afraid of loud noises: fireworks, parades, thunder, etc. They're afraid, typically, because they don't know what the noise means. As adults, we often seek shelter from the "roaring," because we're afraid of what it means, what it will do to us. Instead of cowering in fear, the Bible says, “Refuse to give in to the devil. Stand strong in your faith,” (1 Peter 5:9 ICB).

Whatever fear you’re facing today, whatever loud noise the enemy is making in your direction, remember that you don’t have to be afraid, because God is with you and He promises to make you strong and to help you. Fear not!
©Heather Potts 2018

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Washed in Love


Fear is a Liar ~ Zach Williams

So no weapon that is used against you will defeat you. You will show that those who speak against you are wrong. These are the good things my servants receive. Their victory comes from me,” says the Lord. ~ Isaiah 54:17 ICB

We've all experienced the hurtful sting of someone speaking ill against or to us. But sometimes we let those hurts define us. When Savannah was one month old, they called her "failure to thrive" because she never regained her birth weight. At All Children's Hospital, they wanted Savannah to eat formula. We offered it to her, but after she threw up the first one, she refused the others. The next morning, the student doctor told me I was a bad mom. The words hit me harder because someone had already commented that "failure to thrive" refers to babies who aren't held enough. Those two comments crippled me, right there. I wanted so desperately to be a good mom, but right out of the gate, I was told that I was a bad one.

Has that ever happened to you? Did you recover? Or are those words, is that lie, still spinning in your brain? 

Savannah's story ends well. The "real" doctor came and gave her Similac Alimentum, which we later discovered is the only gluten free formula. After that, Savannah went from failure to thrive to the 90th percentile, where she still registers. 

Why do we allow hurtful words and lies to define and weigh on us? It's time to cast off those hurtful words and lies! God says you are a beautiful masterpiece that He created, (Ephesians 2:10). Sometimes when we've believed a lie for so long, it's hard to believe something else, even though we want to believe the Truth. That's why Jesus said He's washing His Bride in the water of the Word, (Ephesians 5:26). He's going to continue to speak, sing, minister, and as gentle as water, pour it over you until His Truth replaces old lies.

If there's a lie you've believed, it's time to give it to Jesus and let Him wash you in His love until you believe it's true. 
©Heather Potts 2018

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

He's Moving


O Praise Him ~ David Crowder

Then he continued, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.” ~ Daniel 10:12 NIV

When Savannah as 9 months old, one of our cars died. But we were OK living with one car, until a few months later when that one died, too. But instead of panicking, we had peace. We fasted and prayed for a week, asking God to fix our cars, believing that He would move.

At the end of the week, the cars were still dead, but that doesn’t mean God wasn’t moving. A friend, who lived nearby, worked just a few blocks from my office and offered to take me to and from work every day. And on the weekends, they leant us one of their cars, so we could buy groceries or go to church. This lasted a month or so, but God wasn’t done moving.

At that time, we were a one-income family of three, with no extra money to take on a car payment. Some of our friends and family chipped in and gave us $300 to put towards a new car. In the world’s economy, $300 won’t get you anything. But in God’s economy, it was all we needed.

At the same time that our cars died, some other friends were trying to sell a car on Craigslist for $2,000. When they heard our story, they called us and offered to sell us their car for, guess how much. $300! For $300 we got a working, new-to-us car.

When Daniel needed an answer, he fasted and prayed for 21 days. On the 24th day, an angel of the Lord appeared to him and said that as soon as Daniel humbled himself and prayed, heaven heard and began to move. What do you need from God? What answers have you been seeking from Him? Even if you haven’t seen or heard the answers yet, don’t give up; don’t lose heart. Because as soon as you humbled yourself and began to pray, God heard you and He began to move.
©Heather Potts 2018

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

More


So Will I ~ Hillsong

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. ~ Isaiah 55:7-8 NKJV 

What is it You want to be for me in this situation that You couldn't be at any other time? ~ Graham Cooke

Things have been crazy since moving here. Although we didn't get any of the things we were hoping for and have had to put on hold some of our dreams and desires, God filled in the gaps with friends and family to walk with us.

Still, these last two + months have been particularly hard. The temp job Brad had ended early for reasons outside of our control. As this stretch of unemployment gets longer, the weight feels heavier and hope seems farther away. Additionally, Savannah’s heart popping, though not serious, has increased in intensity, scaring her. And our only car has been acting up, worrying us that it might die or cost more than we have to fix it. Originally we planned on taking care of it with our tax return, but have since had to use our tax return to supplement our income.

But things change when God speaks. On April 24, I was listening to Graham Cooke, while driving to work. He said to ask God that question. Sitting in the parking lot at work, I prayed and asked God the question. I was prepared to wait days or weeks for an answer. I got out of my car, entered the building, turned down the hallway, and God said, "I AM the Lord Who Provides."

That day I had peace. The next day, my boss/team gave me a $50 gift card for Administrative Assistant's day. That evening, after our life group, one of the guys in our group was able to fix our car for FREE! That Friday, Savannah got adjusted at the chiropractor. She went more than a week without complaining of heart popping. And God has moved in many other ways, too.

Even though Brad still hasn’t found a job, what I realized is that God did answer my prayer, just not how I expected. We've been praying for Brad to get a job because it fills our need for provision. But instead of asking God for His desired way to meet my need, I only asked Him for mine. I love how God not only knows more, but can both humble and quiet me in a breath. And though we are still asking God to provide the work that will fulfill Brad and cover our needs, there’s a peace in the waiting when He whispers, “I AM the Lord Who provides.”

Whatever you are going through and facing today, don't forget that God sees and knows more. I both encourage and challenge you to ask God, "What is it You want to be for me in this situation that You couldn't be at any other time".
©Heather Potts 2018