“A Gentle Spirit with a Giant Message, is how I describe Holly Smith. Women are drawn to her message because of her genuine love for Christ and her transparency portrayed in her testimony. The message Holly shares thru ‘The Cracked Pot’ will touch and bring freedom to women of all generations. She shares God’s message with a passionate commitment to change the lives of others in a positive way. She recently spoke at a Powerful Journey Women’s Conference. The evidence of the power in her message was shown as her session quickly filled with standing room only. As God continues to do a great work through Holly, she will be an added bonus to any program.”
— Phyllis Jenkins, Powerful Journey
“I believe God’s ultimate aim is to cause you to conquer your greatest fear. He does this by exposing the lie you believed. One lie is to look to yourself for ability and deliverance. I didn’t need a master’s degree to follow my Master’s decree to my destiny.”
— Holly Smith
“Sail on, silver girl, sail on by, your time has come to shine,
All your dreams are on their way. See how they shine?
If you need a friend, I’m sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water, I will ease your mind.”
On closer inspection I discovered that silver girl refers to Paul Simon’s wife, Peggy Harper, who found a few gray hairs and was upset. These lyrics touched me as Paul encourages her to press on, keep going, for your time has come and your dreams are on their way. Do you see them shine? He lets her know if she needs a friend and support, he’s got her back side and just like a bridge he will be there to help her over troubled water and ease her mind.
I think that is what Jesus is saying to us, “Sail on!” Joel 2 promises God will pour out His Spirit on all people one day, redeem the years the locusts have eaten, and never again will you be shamed. Your dreams are still on their way. He’ll be your friend and carry you over rough waters. He is your inheritance, your very great reward. Go and take the land, gray hair and all. You are valuable at this time not only to still have your day but to pass the baton to the next generation in what you’ve learned and experienced.
John 2:10 reminds us how most hosts at a wedding party bring the choice wine first and then when their taste is dulled, bring the cheaper wine but you have saved the best for last! Sail on, Silver girl, your time has come to shine. The best is yet to come!
I saw a boulder being removed from a cave. Roll away the stone. What obstacle is keeping you from walking in My resurrection power? Roll it away-confess it so it doesn’t block Me moving in your life the way I plan. Come to Me just as you are-don’t you know when you are weak-I am strong? Your weakness is only a signal to depend on Me in that area. I want you to steward the gifts I’ve given you to free others-to reconcile them back to Me, to others, and to accept themselves. There is nothing to fear except fear itself. You are in an ideal position to be used greatly by Me-only believe and don’t doubt and you can walk in My divine design for you-nothing is impossible with Me.
Do not look at your circumstances-keep your eyes on me-you hear My voice-surely I will be with you when you pass through the waters, they will not sweep over you-I will take you by the hand and lead you in the Way everlasting.
Let me pray for you:
Come and breathe on every area in these lives that need resurrection power, a resuscitating touch, those areas that need your deliverance and saving grace, those areas that need your healing and abundance to flow. May everything spring to life with your touch, breath and words!
In Jesus name!
The words kept echoing in my mind, “Why do you honor your sons more than me?” (I Sam. 2:29) This was a question the Lord was asking Eli, a priest, about not being firm enough with his sons who didn’t honor God. God had planned for Eli’s family line to minister to him forever but since the sons ignored the reprimand from their father and acted wickedly, He changed his mind. They would die in a battle the next day.
Perhaps I deserved the same warning Eli received. After experiencing a miracle in my oldest son’s life when he came back from a near death coma experience, escaping possible brain damage at three months old, I was facing another crisis. I had been shopping and running a bit late to meet Spencer’s Montessouri class for a field trip to MacDonald’s. When I arrived, Spencer was slumped down in his booth having a mild seizure. We rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.
I wondered if Spencer’s seizure was a result of my own lack of discipline of my sons. Even though everyone in my Bible study did not make this connection at all, I felt very convicted. Because of my own rejection issues at the time and need to be loved, I knew I had been very lenient with my sons and tried to do most anything for them. I also knew I had most likely honored or adored them even over God at times. The lesson seemed to be a warning to discipline them now or risk losing them because God had a plan for their life. I didn’t want to mess that up!
After extensive tests and MRI’s in the hospital, we found out Spencer who was only four years old would have to have a life threatening surgery to remove a carrot size pancreatic tumor. The surgery would involve cutting him at the waistline all the way around to his back to access the tumor on the pancreas. Spencer remained upbeat and would actually say to me, “Don’t worry, Mommy, God is going to heal me!”
In the meantime, we took Spencer home to rest a few weeks and await the scheduled surgery. Alan stayed home one morning with the boys and insisted I attend my next Bible study.
The theme in Bible study that day was on suffering and loss and how God sometimes used it to shape our character to be more like Him. The lesson spoke of Abraham offering Isaac on the altar. I was learning that sometimes the things or people we love the most may need to be dedicated or surrendered back to God to prove our faithfulness. Although Abraham’s heart had been tested as he obeyed, we know at the last minute God had not required the ultimate sacrifice of his beloved Isaac. He sent an angel to stop his hand and provided a ram in the thicket for the sacrifice. I hoped for the same grace with Spencer.
As I was jogging and praying for Spencer that day, I told God how I had appreciated having him for four years. He had been such a joy and gift and I hadn’t deserved him. I confessed my neglect of reprimanding my boys at times and thanked God for this illustration to help me to be attentive to this important area of their lives.
After expressing my gratitude for the privilege of having him for awhile, I relinquished him on the altar to God, knowing He knew best. I further stated that if this is what it took for me to get that dedicated character and to become more Christlike, I was willing. However, if He would give me another chance to parent and watch over my sons, I pledged to try my best to discipline them and bring them up honoring the Lord.
The impression that came immediately to mind was, “Peace I leave with you…” I later found the scripture to be John 14:27 which continued, “My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.” What a relief to have that peace and hope that all would turn out all right. I then composed a poem before going to bed that night.
Rest well, my son
And don’t you cry,
An angel told me you would not die.
Don’t worry in your little head
Especially when it’s time for bed
But snuggle up real close to me
I’ll be the pillow on which you flee.
And when you wake
You’ll find me there,
I’ll have my hand upon your hair,
And oh so comforting to know
Your heavenly Father loves you so.
Through trouble and suffering we persevere
Until we feel His Presence near.
For God who made such little boys,
I pray he remains with all his joys.
So now I ask so selfishly
That this be only a test for me!
And spare him from some other task
And let us realize how much we’re blessed.
The words of “Peace I leave with you,” came to mind-
And I knew the miracle completely Thine.
The day of surgery came and Spencer had an arteriogram to see where the surgeon was to begin cutting. I remember signing the papers and being told of all the dangers of this test on his young body and possible adverse effects. When the test came back, it was inconclusive. The surgeons took some time to carefully study the results and detect the large tumor. Finally, the thick silence was broken in the waiting room filled with tense relatives. The doctor, who was almost apologetic, explained that they could not find the tumor and didn’t understand why it wasn’t showing up on the x-ray! The surgery was terminated until further investigation. In other words, the test was negative; there was NO TUMOR! The tumor had completely disappeared! The ram was provided and we rejoiced! The doctors were baffled having seen the before and after x-rays. They would not give the x-rays out because they were fearful of a lawsuit. We only wanted the x-rays to prove his testimony! We knew exactly what had happened and were not upset! Spencer was right. God had healed him and given me another chance at parenting.
As a young mother, I know I sometimes took my toddlers for granted and wanted time to myself. God taught me valuable character building lessons of responsibility and stewardship of these precious gifts He had given me. He challenged my heart to trust Him with my sons even in crisis and surrender them back to him. The moment of my greatest sacrifice became the precise moment of my greatest miraculous blessing.
(In Gen. 22:16-18 the Lord swears that because Abraham had not withheld his only son, he would bless him and multiply his seed as the stars of heaven and that seed would possess the gate of his enemies.)
Judges 3:1-4 tells us that God left some enemies in the land in order to teach the descendants of the Israelites who had not had battle experience spiritual warfare and to see if they would obey his commands.
My husband and I received a prophecy from a well known prophetic voice at that time, John Paul Jackson, who informed us that we would be counterparts in the ministry God had for us and that we would spend quite a bit of time going back-and-forth to Kansas City. Shortly after we received this word, we felt a call to go to Kansas City. Kansas City Fellowship was a branch of the church that we attended in Arlington, Grace Vineyard. We were looking forward to it as Mike Bickle was a dynamic nationwide speaker and had begun Ihop, a 24 hour International House of Prayer.
Alan left a lucrative commercial real estate business with savings intact and our two sons who were five and six and moved to Kansas City. We assumed that we would be given a position on staff at some point. We did our part in volunteering, our oldest son came to the Lord while we were there and I learned how to homeschool. There were many deposits made in our lives in KC but my husband experienced failed expectations as far as the timing of God and open doors of ministry. Alan is an introvert in that he draws strength from spending time in solitude so he may not have walked through some of the doors opened to him. But all in all, our finances were getting low after 18 months and he was feeling anxious, looking for a sign to return to Texas and the real estate business. I received a dream: A mockingbird was confined to four walls and kept hitting the walls, would fall down and fly again and hit the wall never getting anywhere. Alan heard mockingbird and jumped to the conclusion that it was the Texas’ state bird which gave him the sign he needed to go back to Texas. In reality the dream probably meant that we would go nowhere in Texas and be confined and perhaps mocked on our return. I did not think we should return but Alan was ready to pack up the kids and leave for Texas. On the way back we heard Mike Bickle’s sermon calling all the people who had come from out of state to his church to meet with him so he could incorporate them somehow or ask them why they thought God had sent them there. Mike said he felt God convicting him that he had not used the people God sent to him. It was too late for us as we were already enroute back to Texas.
We began looking for a house to lease until we knew where we would be. The rental market was tight as a drum and there was nothing clean available. Alan’s mom, Ida, had just lost her husband of over 50 years. She offered for us to put our furniture in storage and stay with her for the summer as we continued to look for a house. This idea confirmed what we thought God was saying to do so we consented. I knew I was on assignment. God’s agenda for me was to follow his will completely and to love. I’ve always thought of myself as a loving, easy-going person. It is easy to love those you love but not so easy to love those who might be prickly, bitter or have a negative outlook.
Alan’s parents and grandparents as well as my grandparents had been involved in freemasonry so that was another thing that needed to be prayed off generationally while we were there. We were not at Ida’s home but for a short time when she broke her neck and additionally had to have several knee replacements. I became her caregiver overnight. My mission would have to be put on the back burner.
Alan and his mom had similar personalities in that they were both very intelligent and introverts. Ida was a Godly woman and Bible study leader but had struggled with depression and a pessimistic outlook. Alan had picked up some of that familiar spirit growing up. As we returned to his childhood home he felt that spirit so strongly on some days it was debilitating. He and I were best friends and I was always able to tell him what I thought I was discerning spiritually but when I explained what I thought this time, he turned away and seemed to drift farther away from me. He seemed shut down, like a dead man walking.
The next morning I went to Chisholm Park to pray on my jog. I was desperate to seek God how to pray for Alan and his mom. I was at my wits end because I had been praying and praying to no avail. I was actually crying by now asking how to pray when I noticed a car pull up into the parking lot. I recognized it as a Ford Focus. I knew this because we had been looking for a car for our teenage boys to drive to high school. When I got closer it was not a Focus but a Toyota Echo. So I continued my plea asking how to pray when I heard, Echo. I said I know it is an Echo not a Focus but then I heard Echo again. I said, “What about Echo?”
The impression was: “Go home and watch the rest of the video about intercessory prayer with Dutch Sheets and he will teach you how to pray against this spirit.”
I couldn’t wait to get home! When I turned on the video Dutch wasn’t two minutes into it when he said after the fall of man the woman would try to manipulate her way under the table or covertly. Have any of you ladies ever felt like you did not want to rock the boat or confront something directly? I have! That sounded pretty accurate to me. He went on to say that at the fall of man the man’s issue was pride and he became bent towards himself as the center. This spirit is called Echo. I couldn’t believe my ears! The God of the universe had directed me how to pray! Dutch went on to say the Greek word for Echo is Ochuroma which means prison of the mind. This spirit operates by the man looking down into himself for solutions, analyzing problems, trying to come up logically with his own solutions, his mind racing ahead in figuring things out instead of coming up out of himself into God’s presence for guidance. Our help comes from the hills and heaven.
In Hebrews 10:16 it says, “I’m making a new covenant with them; I will put my commands in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” God wants to teach us how to be led by His spirit.
Next Dutch was going to teach how to pray and the model for that prayer is II Corinthians 10:3-5,“We have divine weapons to demolish strongholds. We demolish pretensions, arguments, speculations, vain imaginations or anything that is raised above the mind of Christ and we take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.” Whatever issue you see on that person that governs their life you are to pray to demolish and rebuild a renewed mind from the Word. Prov. 21:22 says “One who is wise can go up against the city of the mighty and pull down the stronghold in which they trust.” For example: We demolish you introspection, pride, generational mindsets, calculative reasoning, philosophies, control, domination, victim mentality, negative outlook, self protection, self-hatred, conventional wisdom, materialism, rebellion in Jesus’ name. Anything that has been raised above the mind of Christ we tear you down and put Jesus back on the throne of their lives. Keep chipping away on the strongholds because it is a process but they will come down and have a whole new mindset!
Next, I pray to bring their thoughts back captive to the obedience of Christ. I stand as a shield against the schemes, plans, plots, deception, blinders of the enemy. I plant myself as a shield that the enemy can no longer get through. I bring their hearing under obedience. I pray Lord to flow through me and hit the bull’s-eye so that darkness does not master their thoughts! They will comprehend and apprehend God’s will and can enter the Holy of Holies and commune with God and get Kingdom guidance.
What do we need to know as a result of this experience? God wants to give us the mind of Christ (His perspective) His ways are higher. He wants to break conventional wisdom and lead by His spirit. We aren’t to lean on our own understanding and see what we are going through as training. He is conditioning us for the position He has for us. He might allow failed expectations at times to break self-reliance so we can follow and obey Him.
Why do we need to know this? So that we don’t turn away in rebellion or give up. Persevere! This stronghold will fall.
Why do we need to pray this? Not to waste our suffering. There are works planned in advance for you to do and people coming in your path-this isn’t just for you! He wants you to come into your purpose and He is making you into a prayer warrior, a weapon fit for its work. Your pain is another’s gain.
What would the Body of Christ be like if they knew the Christian life involves believing in God’s promises no matter what is going on in their lives? Trusting God as our pilot helps us become broken of our own ways where He can flow more freely through us. Jesus learned obedience through suffering.
In conclusion, Ida had a dream that I graduated from my school of training and we were moving. We felt a release to go and moved her to a nice duplex. Her house sold in a few days. She graduated to heaven a few years ago as a changed woman who met her Maker more than a conqueror and full of faith! As a result, my husband and I counsel people for freedom out of our home with documents written about the things we learned in that confining time. I wrote my first book from my journals in Ida’s house. I want to encourage you that you can change atmospheres for others and bring God’s kingdom to earth with your prayers! My God get all the glory!!
I believe some of you are being trained in a new kind of spiritual warfare. You will begin to see keys in scripture that jump off the page and come alive for clues how to pray for people currently. You will use scripture against attacks coming and to unlock deliverance keys for others.
For example: I was praying for someone’s deliverance and was totally stumped of how to pray. I had been reading in Judges about Gideon the previous week. As I asked for keys for this person, God impressed me to look up the meaning of the names of the 4 kings of the Midianites that Gideon and the Israelites defeated.
Their names were Oreb and Zeeb, Zebah and Zalmunna. Oreb-means raven which is in the vulture family-I knew this person had a death assignment or spirit on them. Zeeb-means wolf-I knew from my symbols in dreams that the wolf often represented Introspection-analyzing and figuring everything out rather than coming into God’s presence for guidance. Zalmunnah-meant “protection refused”. This person had a stronghold of protecting himself by putting walls up. Zebah- means victim. He had a victim mentality and self pity rather than being more than a conqueror or an overcomer.
God wants to give you hints in the Bible-His word is alive and current and He says to you just as He did to Gideon-Go in the strength you have! Have I not sent you to defeat the Midianites of this day?
The first thing Gideon was given to do was to pull down his father’s idol of Baal. Many of us need to shut doors to our ancestors’ idols as well through generational prayer.