Wednesday, October 17, 2018

He Goes with Us


First ~ Lauren Daigle

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. ~ Psalms 118:24 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/psa.118.24.ESV

How’s your Wednesday going?

If you made it to Wednesday, shouldn’t it be all “downhill” and “smooth sailing” from here? That’s what we’re led to believe, but that’s not always the case.

This morning Holy Spirit whispered Psalm 118:24 to me. It was a simple reminder that I can face and tackle whatever may lie ahead, because the Lord's grace & mercy will go with me, (Psalm 23:6). But also, because the Lord made the day. Nothing is unexpected, and nothing is too hard for Him to help me overcome or maneuver. 

So far, I've been hit with some interesting challenges at work, but each time, I remember what He said, "This is the day the Lord had made...His grace and mercy go with me."

Praying this simple promise helps you find peace, as you maneuver through the rest of your week.
©Heather Potts 2018

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

14-Year Prayer


When You Say Nothing at All ~ Noting Hill Soundtrack

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. ~ Hebrews 10:23 NLT

Lord, today we’re celebrating 14 years of marriage. That’s 14 years of facing storms, of trials and victories, of missteps and mistakes, of getting back up and trying again, of walking together, of needing You more than before, of learning together, of tears and loss, of fun and lots of laughter, of discovering new favorites and sharing old ones, of making new friends and cherishing long-time friends, of combating fears and overcoming odds, of dreaming, praying, and celebrating, of new adventures and making the journey together.

While we don’t know where the next year or 100 years will take us, I pray that we would keep on walking, dancing, laughing, loving, and going on this journey stronger and closer today than yesterday, and even more so tomorrow. Keep our hearts soft toward each other and humble before You.

Lord, watch over my husband. Bless him beyond his imagining and open his eyes to Your dreams for him. Bless our marriage and move in us, Lord. Embolden and strengthen us to move in Your power and victory. Cover over our family, Lord. Help us to be like You, that we would lead our girls in love, truth, peace, life, and laughter through our words and by our example.

Lord, this is my 14-year prayer for our family. Be ever-present in our lives, Lord. Help us to spread everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of You. Thank you for 14 years of marriage. I pray for 100 more—more blessings, more love, and more of You. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

Oceans ~ Hillsong
©Heather Potts 2018

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Quiet Confidence


I Will Exalt You ~ Hillsong United

If my life is surrendered to God, all is well.  Let me not grab it back as though it were in peril in His hand but would be safer in mine. ~ Elisabeth Elliot

He got up, got dressed for work, kissed his girlfriend good-bye and headed out the door.  Today was the day it would all change for him.  He was starting a new job, a new way of life.  After orientation, his boss showed him to an office and asked him to file while she was in a meeting.  A while later, he began to hear a commotion.  People were yelling and running.  He stuck his head out of the office and saw the burning twin towers on TV and the reporter talking about the concerns for the President.  Then someone in the office said, “Air Force One is across the street!  Should we evacuate the building?” No one gave an answer, for they were all staring at the TV in horror. He moved back into the office and closed the door, his mind whirling.

Most people remember where they were on September 11, 2001.  In John 14:27, Jesus said that He came to give us peace, but He wasn’t talking about a world without war.  Jesus was talking about an inner-peace, a feeling of quiet confidence and complete trust.  That’s easier to say when your world seems at peace, but what about when your world is not at peace.  Or what about those who don’t know Him?  What then?

Standing in that office, leaning up against the door, he was afraid.  “What if I die today?  What if they take out the President’s plane and this office with it?  What if my girlfriend was right and I miss it?”  He began to remember what his friends had said one night after work, so many years ago.  They had talked about a Savior. Not a mean God, but One who wanted to love him and who would accept him.  Sliding down to the floor, he said, “God I give you my heart.  From this day forward, I’m Yours.”

The TV stations all reported the number of lives lost that day.  I’m sad for the families who all lost someone.  But I’m glad for at least the one soul who became a saved soul on that Tuesday.

Father God, thank you that on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 my husband became forever Yours.  Lord, thank you for his friends who told him about You long before I ever knew him.  Lord, I pray that for those who don’t know Peace—who don’t know You—that they would turn to You, that someone would come into their lives and tell them about You.  Father, thank you that You are our God and we are Your people.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

And I will give them a heart to know (recognize, understand, and be acquainted with) Me, that I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart. ~ Jeremiah 24:7 AMP
©Heather Potts 2014, reprint 2018

Thursday, August 23, 2018

I am His Sheep


Different ~ Micah Tyler

The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me], I shall not want. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters. He refreshes and restores my soul (life); He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. ~ PSALM 23:1-3 AMP

Having been in the valley for over a year, I can attest to how much I have felt like a sheep. There were many times I wanted to go my own way, to stay a “stay-at-home” mom. But my Shepherd helped to steer me on His path. During these last four weeks of watching my grandpa slip away, having more job-doors close on us, and suddenly losing my father-in-law, my Shepherd saw that I was becoming worn down and weary. That’s when He led me along paths that were filled with time to rest and plenty of nourishment. He’s also been bringing refreshment to my soul by bringing family and friends, whom I don’t often see, to town. He does it not only because He can, but because He wants to do it.

For my God—my Shepherd—it wasn’t enough to heal and hold me. His desire is to open my eyes to the beauty He’s making of our lives, encouraging us to keep following Him. It was for His purposes that He brought us 1500 miles away to Wisconsin, where we’d get to meet and reconnect with friends and family who used to be 1500 miles away. Yes, 81 job-doors have been closed on us (on Brad), but we only needed to find the right ONE to open. That one wasn’t at all what we expected, but part of following our Shepherd is experiencing unexpected blessings and changes He uncovers in us along the way.

If you are walking through a valley of your own, I know how overwhelming it can feel. Now’s the time to run to your Shepherd so that He can heal and hold you, but also so that He can open your eyes to the experiences—the blessings and changes—of following Him.
©Heather Potts 2018

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