“Looking For and Seeing…”

looking for and seeing
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
I would like to share my heart with you today as to how I was so blessed yesterday.    I was fortunate to be delightfully blessed to see and overhear a conversation that was a much needed blessing for  me.   You see, I left my home yesterday very saddened in my heart.   Before I turned the news off, I saw once again the video that has gone viral, and is trending in our Nation.   In the video you see a  young woman jumping up and down of the beautiful American flag making a mockery of it.  My heart has been so sickened by this.   The three times that I have seen this, it was followed with interviews of young men that served our country for our freedom.  To see them share their heart about it is so touching.
 
 
 
Last week we saw tensions rise as massive violence swept the city of Baltimore.   So many senseless things happened.   Our policemen are being disrespected, and  I think it is terribly wrong, and my heart is grieved for men and women that have committed themselves to protect us, and maintain peace, and this is how they are being viewed and treated.  Needless to say, my heart has been very grieved by all this is going on in our world.
 
 
 
 
 The Lord began to speak to my heart yesterday after I left a restaurant with my Granddaughter.   He reminded me that there is good around us, and we need to stay focused on what good we can still see.  If we choose to focus too much on the ugly, surely we will miss little surprise blessings that I witnessed yesterday.
 
 
As I sat in the restaurant, I noticed an elderly gentleman sitting at a booth.   He was a  very jovial man, and I noticed him enjoying himself as he ate his breakfast.   Then I saw an older black man walk by him as he was going to pay his bill.   They both exhibited joy as they saw each other.   This is thing though…they did NOT know each other.   They both had caps on that identified what branch of service they were in as they served our country.   The black man said to this elderly white gentleman, “God bless you brother!!!”     They shared when and where they served, they teased about how old they were.  The one said proudly…”I was born in 1930, you figure out how old I am!!!”    As they parted, you could tell they were both lifted up by them meeting each other, and it truly blessed my heart to witness it.
 
 
So in the midst of the horrible racial tensions, I saw a very sweet sight between a white man and a black man.    They understood what really mattered, and it was not their differences.  It was about what they stood for together.    I saw the older white gentleman struggling to walk to his car.   He had a cane in both of his hands to help him walk.    Oh how my appreciation for those that have served once again welled up in my heart.   A sweet moment that was a good moment, and the Lord reminded me to  to not be consumed with all that is going wrong, and appreciate sweet moments as these.
 
 
It got even sweeter…my little Granddaughter climbed into her car seat and said, “Wait Grandma, I must buckle my seat belt because I must be obedient to the policemen.”    So from the heart of a three year old I heard respect and a desire to obey her authorities.  I encourage you today to look for good and sweet things around you.   Look for those things to set your heart upon, and be blessed!
 
 
 


“Looking For and Seeing…”

looking for and seeing
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
I would like to share my heart with you today as to how I was so blessed yesterday.    I was fortunate to be delightfully blessed to see and overhear a conversation that was a much needed blessing for  me.   You see, I left my home yesterday very saddened in my heart.   Before I turned the news off, I saw once again the video that has gone viral, and is trending in our Nation.   In the video you see a  young woman jumping up and down of the beautiful American flag making a mockery of it.  My heart has been so sickened by this.   The three times that I have seen this, it was followed with interviews of young men that served our country for our freedom.  To see them share their heart about it is so touching.
 
 
 
Last week we saw tensions rise as massive violence swept the city of Baltimore.   So many senseless things happened.   Our policemen are being disrespected, and  I think it is terribly wrong, and my heart is grieved for men and women that have committed themselves to protect us, and maintain peace, and this is how they are being viewed and treated.  Needless to say, my heart has been very grieved by all this is going on in our world.
 
 
 
 
 The Lord began to speak to my heart yesterday after I left a restaurant with my Granddaughter.   He reminded me that there is good around us, and we need to stay focused on what good we can still see.  If we choose to focus too much on the ugly, surely we will miss little surprise blessings that I had witnessed in the restaurant.
 
 
 
As I sat in the restaurant, I noticed an elderly gentleman sitting at a booth.   He was a  very jovial man, and I noticed him enjoying himself as he ate his breakfast.   Then I saw another older black man walk by him as he was going to pay his bill.   They both exhibited joy as they saw each other.   This is thing though…they did NOT know each other.   They both had caps on that identified what branch of service they were in as they served our country.   The black man said to this elderly white gentleman, “God bless you brother!!!”     They shared when and where they served, they teased about how old they were.  The one said proudly…”I was born in 1930, you figure out how old I am!!!”    As they parted, you could tell they were both lifted up by them meeting each other, and it truly blessed my heart to witness it.
 
 
 
 
So in the midst of the horrible racial tensions, I saw a very sweet sight between a white man and a black man.    They understood what really mattered, and it was not their differences.  It was about what they stood for and fought for as young men.    After all these years they are still proud of the the fight they fought, and the cause they stood for.   I saw the older white gentleman struggling to walk to his car.   He had a cane in both of his hands to help him walk.    Oh how my appreciation for those that have served once again welled up in my heart.   A sweet moment that was a good moment, and the Lord reminded me to  to not be consumed with all that is going wrong, and appreciate sweet moments as these.
 
 
 
 
It got even sweeter…my little Granddaughter climbed into her car seat and said, “Wait Grandma, I must buckle my seat belt because I must be obedient to the policemen.”    So from the heart of a three year old I heard respect and a desire to obey her authorities.  A few words from a little one can bless your heart if you keep your ears open to listen.  I encourage you today to look for good and sweet things around you.   Look for those things to set your heart upon, and be blessed!
 
 
 


“God Our Integrity”

God our integrity
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 Today we will meditate upon how our integrity which comes from following the Lord will guide us.   First I would love for you to read this short quote as we think about our Lord guiding us in the ways and path of integrity.
 
 
 
“God shall be my hope, My stay, my guide and lantern to my feet.”
William Shakespeare
 
 

If God is our hope, He is always ahead of us. No matter what is going on wrong or if discouragement seems to be bringing us down, may we look to Him as our hope for tomorrow.  If He is our stay, He is always all that we need in the present. He shall be the  loving Anchor of our soul, and we shall not be moved.  If He is our guide, He is all that we need while we are moving and if He is our lantern to our feet we will be moving in His divine  direction.   It is so vital that we look to the Lord in all things that pertain to life and godliness.  Even the smallest of things matter to Him. Many times people go about their lives from day to day and do not consult the Lord on the simple matters. I believe the sooner we exercise the habit of looking to Him for guidance in as much as possible, our life will flow in such a greater way.
 
 
As we practice  living, breathing  and moving  by the Spirit of the Living God we will be a people of integrity.   Because integrity becomes our desire, every breath we take, and all we do will be to glorify Him and only Him.   From the depths of our being there will just be a natural desire to please Him and  do the right thing.  Oh the beauty of walking in the integrity of our God!
 
 
I am going to share two versions of scripture from Proverbs 11:3:
 

New Life Version
“The honor of good people will lead them, but those who hurt others will be
destroyed by their own false ways.”
 

Amplified Bible
” The integrity of the upright shall guide them, but the willful contrariness and
crookedness of the treacherous shall destroy them.”
 
 

We thank you Lord that Your integrity shall guide us, and that integrity will also draw people to You!  We praise You for being our Hope, our Stay, and the Lantern to our feet that we may exhibit integrity in our lives.

 



“Rooted Deep In Him”

rooted deep in him
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Colossians 2:7 ” Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in
Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming
increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were
taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.”
 
 

This scripture gives us such a picture of how our spiritual strength should be. I think of my garden as I read this. I just love my garden each summer and I look forward to planting soon and tending it.   Each flower planted will be  different in its own unique way. One will love  sun all day and one may want shade only. When planting I will take  extra care where to place each one so it will thrive and grow to its potential.  I can remember a time of noticing one of my Gerber daisies just totally wilted so I gave it a bit more water than the others and it was  all perked up and beautiful again.  It reminds me of the importance of watching over my heart in a diligent manner.    When we see there is an area of weakness, we need to be quick to give it the attention it needs, and seek God’s help on what to do.
 
 
 
Many times the fruit of our life is flourishing, but the devil is seeking ways to choke out that work in us.    Let us look at how weeds try to take over our beautiful flower gardens.   It seems like it is a constant fight against them.  Did you ever notice how they seem to thrive no matter what water or light they get.   They need no attention and if let go, they will kill the beauty of a garden.  The Word of God speaks and tells us to guard our hearts with all diligence.   Our enemy would love to sneak in random “weed seeds” to keep the gardens of our hearts from flourishing.   Weed seeds such as worry, lack of peace, gossip, critical attitudes, etc…    May we never excuse ourselves from thinking it is okay to play around with these things for it truly is the little foxes that spoil the vines of our hearts.
 

We must seek to know Christ more and more each day that our spiritual roots grow deeper and deeper. We want our lives to be beautiful for Him so our spiritual “root system” is important to watch over. As we submit to the Lord and the counsel of His Word we will continue to become steadfast and unmovable. When the “weeds” of this world try to come in and choke the life out of us, there must be diligence on our part to rip them out and be watchful that they do not come back. Let us look at Psalm 1:1- I love how this portion of scripture so beautifully depicts the one that lives a guarded life before the Lord. He who is diligent over his soul will be like a strong tree with strong roots and he will not
be moved.
 
 
 
Psalm 1:1-3
1 “Happy is the man who does not walk in the way sinful men tell him to, or
stand in the path of sinners, or sit with those who laugh at the truth.2 But he
finds joy in the Law of the Lord and thinks about His Law day and night. 3 This
man is like a tree planted by rivers of water, which gives its fruit at the right time
and its leaf never dries up. Whatever he does will work out well for him.”
 
 
 

Oh how wonderful to think of our lives being as  vibrant healthy trees planted by cool streams of water with fruit that ripens and God uses our fruit to reach those around us. 
Remember…as we humbly submit ourselves to Him, He is growing fruit in  us, but it is in His timing.
 
 
Don’t be impatient with yourself. As you are obedient to Him, He is faithful and He will complete His work in You. It is as we remain steadfast and diligent that we can know that all that we put our hand to will prosper and we will bear fruit that will remain.
 


“…and He Will Cause You To Rest”

and i will cause you to rest
 
by Dona Hake
 
 

Matthew 11:28-29 (AMP)  “
 
Come to Me, all you who labor and
are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. I will ease and
relieve and refresh your souls.  Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I
am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest relief and
ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
I love the word ~ cause ~  in this scripture.  Cause defined is when something is brought about.   Today can we meditate upon the fact that the Lord desires to bring about rest to our souls. This scripture tells us how Jesus understood the nature of man and man’s temptation to do more than what he was created for. I think the biggest mistake we can make is to rely on our own ability and strength to accomplish things.
 
 
 

In verse twenty eight Jesus was giving an invitation to the overburdened and weary.He speaks of relieving and refreshing our souls if only we go to Him, and lay our burdens down.  It reminds me
of Psalm twenty three where the psalmist said in the very beginning “He makes me to lay down in green pastures” and “He leads me beside the still waters.” The first step in the right direction when weariness hits our soul is to to go to Him. Yes, simply GO to Him. Do not turn to your own means of rest and peace. Jesus proceeds to tell us to take His yoke.
 
 
 
 
Farmers used to yoke the young ox with the old experienced ox to train them. The old ox will take the major load, and the young one would walk  along and learn from him. If you read this verses in light of this, it brings so much light to the scripture. As we walk along side of Jesus, and learn of Him, things will go so much better for us. I think it is important to note that Jesus made a point to say immediately that He was gentle (meek) and humble(lowly) in heart. The opposite of these two things is the pride of man. So many times we resist God in some areas, and attempt to do things our way. We can not claim to have Jesus walking along side of us, and insist on doing things  our way, and in our own ability.
 
 
 
 

Jesus wants us to truly submit to His way and His Word. Jesus set us free from the bondages of this world. If you are under the yoke of sin, guilt, failures, anxieties or worry you need to consider humbly giving your burden to Him. Jesus has set us free from that weight that we are trying to carry.  Walk with Him today.   I encourage you to ask yourself if you are carrying anything in your life that has become a burden.   If you are, please consider the words of this devotional and humbly lay your burdens at His feet.


“He Is Able”

he is able to make our crooked paths straight
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
I would like to continue with sharing about the precious peace of our Lord.   It is so wonderful that we can be saturated, permeated, and filled to the full with God’s peace. I find it interesting that the Lord has so many blessings that can surpass our understanding. In other words they can not be figured out. With faith He wants us to just believe and not be moved by what we see nor should we be moved by what we do not see. It always comes back to the fact that we have to keep our mind, will and emotions out of the picture. We need to keep  all of our being submitted to Him and continue to
allow Him to transform us.
 
 

Today I want to share about Him straightening  your paths. Many times in our lives we may encounter feeling like we do not know what direction to go or we feeling like we are on a crooked and bumpy road. You may feel you are in a place that you have never been before and it could potentially bring apprehension or fear to your heart, which in turn could rob us of our peace.
 
 

My GPS has always taught me little analogies of trusting in God especially when I  feel like I am clueless about what to do in a situation.   I can remember once that my GPS took me totally off course from a very busy, high traffic means of travel to a beautiful and scenic way.  I had absolutely no clue where I was yet I totally trusted that the GPS was keeping me on course…it was just a different course.
Because this device has shown me it is faithful and accurate, I just sat back and enjoyed the journey to my destination.
 
 
 
As I was pondering this devotion and the following scripture I began to think how many times in life we just do not know nor do we understand what we are to do and we just need to simply trust Him and keep our mind, our smarts, and our opinion out of the equation.
 
 
 
 
Proverbs 3:5-6 ” Trust in the Lord with all your
heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge
Him, And He will make your paths straight.”
 
 

I encourage you today to trust Him with all of your heart.   One way that we can rest and trust is to stop  over thinking how we  feel God is going to work.   Allow Him to take us places in the Spirit that we have never been before and enjoy the journey. Many times He takes us places just so He can show more of Himself to us. He wants to surprise us with so many things as we just let go and believe Him to make our paths straight. 


“Are You Permeated In His Peace?”

are you permeated in his peace
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Are you permeated in His peace?   Should we be asking ourselves this question everyday?   I am thinking “yes!”   In fact, I am thinking it would be a good idea to ask ourselves  this question many times a day.   I think of  those days that one thing after another seems to slyly come, and tries to rob us of our precious peace that we possess in Jesus.  Sometimes our lives and it’s dealings can cause “our plates to be full” with things to do, maintain, and it can all be so overwhelming.   Today we are going to meditate on growing in this…. no matter what or how much tries to sneak in and rob us…we are NOT going to permit our peace to be weakened by anything.   Let us hold fast and  stay permeated and saturated in His wonderful peace.
 
 
 

 

Let me start out with talking about God’s peace that permeates us. This word “permeate” is one I love to use because it gives me a visual every time I say it. I usually proclaim “be saturated in His peace” when I am praying for someone that needs peace. What does the word permeate mean? It means to pass into or through every part of something to be diffused through, pervade or saturate.

 
 
 
 

Quite honestly I do not understand how anyone can live without God’s peace permeating their heart and mind. I see sometimes that even His children just kind of get used to flying by the seat of their pants with their own composure and strength. That may get you into your day but I will say this, it will never sustain you like God’s peace can. God wants to give us His ALL because He gave His ALL when He gave His only Son for us. He does not want to see us short changed in any way spiritually .
 
 
 
I encourage you to ask Him for His peace, and then hold fast to it!   Think about how precious that peace is that passes, pervades, and saturates our total being.   God is so good. 

 
 
 
 
 
 “You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You,
and hopes confidently in You.” Isaiah 26:3
 


“Search and Know My Heart”

search me oh god and know my heart april 2015
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Psalm 139:23-24 (NRSV)
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if
there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I believe a very good prayer to ask the Lord on a regular basis is asking Him to search our hearts and expose anything that would hinder our walk with Him. To me it is so liberating to know that our God knows us inside and out, and may we ever stay humble in His sight.  It is as we remain humble that we can receive from Him what He sees in us and any steps of correction we need to make. It is only as we grow in humility that He can stop us and correct us if we are asking Him for something that is not good for us or we are asking with wrong motives.
 
 
 

I am going to give you an example to help you connect with this thought. Did you ever have your child ask you for something they realllllllllllly want. Let’s say they ask you for a piece of candy about an hour before bedtime. If they are of age to understand you may begin to explain to them why they cannot have the candy. Let’s say their reaction to your wise explanation is one of those “pretty please” looks that come over their cute little face, and they proceed to try to convince you that they should have it. If you are a wise parent that is not being moved by cuteness,  you will put your foot down and say “no!”.
 
 
 
 

I can remember talking to my one son when he was younger after he asked a question, and he did not understand the answer I gave him. I said, “Sometimes you are not going to understand answers to your questions because you are too young to understand, but I ask you just trust me as your mother. You don’t always need to understand before you agree. You need to trust me that I am telling you the truth, and giving you the wisdom that you need for this matter” I would proceed to explain that submission to authority will make you want to obey whether you agree or understand. Likewise we are to submit to God because He loves us and we can trust Him.
 
 
 
 
 
Sometimes this is how the Lord deals with us. He simply desires that we obey, and do what He asks or asks us not to do and as  time goes by the understanding will come to us by the Holy Spirit. As we stay conscious of God, and let Him be our friend we will become more aware of His presence. When we stay aware of His presence, we will become even more diligent to seek Him in every matter of our lives.  Today let us meditate upon seeking Him with our WHOLE heart that He may lead us in the way everlasting!
 
 
 


“The Deeper the Valley…”

the deeper the valley
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
Sometimes we will walk through things that make us stop and realize how we cannot live life without Him. Oh that we stop and remind ourselves of this fact even when all is going well. It is only the Lord that can get us through any problem or devastating circumstance, and it is Him that all blessings flow from!
 
 
 
I can remember a very morning I woke up and it was a dreary day. I sat on the edge of my bed with my hands over my eyes shaking my head wondering how I would make it through the day ahead of me. I just felt so sad and down in my heart because we had to break the news to my mother that she was dying. It was one of times in my life that seemed surreal but I knew I could walk through it with the help of the Lord. I can remember God gently speaking to my heart…
 
 
 
 
“The deeper the valley, the deeper the strength.”
 
 
 
 
I immediately could see the deepest depths of darkness and sorrow all around me. It was so deep and dark yet I could see and feel God’s loving hand of strength lifting my soul up above the depths of sorrow, and His light to illuminate to guide me along with my family. There are still days that my heart returns to those words when I am facing things that may seem impossible to me. Those things that seem to have no answer or good outcome.
 
 
 
We can be comforted in our souls knowing that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. No matter how weary or sad our soul is, the love of God will cause us to rise above any situation. The Word says nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.
 
 
 
Romans 8:35
(The Voice) ” So who can separate us? What can come between us and the love
of God’s Anointed? Can troubles, hardships, persecution, hunger, poverty,
danger, or even death? The answer is, absolutely nothing.”
 
 
 
I share with you a beautiful quote by Corey Ten Boom, “There is no pit that deep that the love of Jesus is not deeper still.” Many times I think of our frailty, and how we worry about how we will handle things that are bigger than us. There are days that we dread our tomorrows, and this is not how we as Christians are to live this life. I can remember when the Lord showed me that dread is another form of fear. Sometimes when you dread something it is merely because you feel you cannot do it or walk through it, and that in and of itself can cause fear to invade our hearts. God gives us all the grace and sufficient strength that we need for everything we face in this life.
 
 
 
Corey Ten Boom also said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength. ” We need to stay permeated in His strength for IT IS sufficient. Guard your heart that you are not emptying today of the strength He has blessed you with.
 
 
 
 

I encourage you today to appreciate those precious family and friends in your life. Love and appreciate them whether they agree with you on everything or not. Do not live in regrets. Purpose to give as much of the love of Christ to all those around you. This is why we are here…to live, love and serve Him.



“Entrust Your Life To Him”

entrust your life to him
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
I want to share with you about how powerful it is for us to totally entrust ourselves to God.   He desires that we commit our lives into His care.   Psalm 23:1  David stated, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”    As we look to Him for all our needs and concerns, we will lack for nothing.  As we entrust ourselves to Him, He promises to be our all whether all is well or all is falling apart.   He is our strength when we are weak, and He is our guide when we cannot see because of the trial we are walking through.  Paul understood a perfect strength in his time of weakness and this is what he had to say about it…
 
 
 
 
2 Corinthians 12:10
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in
persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I
strong.”
 
 
 
 
Paul experienced a strength that did not proceed from his human strength but by the power of the Living God!    Have you ever had a time where your human strength and emotions had come to a place of weakness, and suddenly God infused you with fresh strength in your inner man, and you received direction and strong focus.   Just as God’s peace is able to surpass our understanding, there will be times that His strength, wisdom, and focus can permeate us, and it is totally beyond what we have ever known.  It is above and beyond what we expected as we trusted in His loving care!
 
 
 
 
I encourage your heart today to know this…as you entrust yourself to Him, you are in a perfect place!   As we abide and dwell in that place of trusting in Him that we will experience great and wonderful things that are truly a testimony of God’s wonderful work within us.   Serving God is so exciting isn’t it?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



6 Responses to “Devotional”

  1. Lisa Viands says:

    This is a good way of teaching the kids to forgive each other(Matt. 5:7). I like the power of this gentle scripture and lesson… Thanks!!

  2. Selena Neely says:

    Ralph &I are really enjoying your devotional together.

  3. Selena Neely says:

    Oh, what a wonderful reminder! I want to break the magnifing glass of worry and trust God for each step I take.

  4. Dona Hake says:

    It is interesting Selena how the more we worry the bigger and more magnified things get in our minds. Oh how important it is to trust our God for the smallest of things! Thank you for sharing!