“Always Before Me”

always before me  dec 2014
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Psalm 16:8 (KJV)

“I have set the Lord always before me:

because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”

I can remember photographing a few weddings and their location was an area that I never traveled before. I was always ever so thankful for my GPS because as long as I stayed on it’s path I eventually got there. I have to say that my GPS never let me down.  I would have to say that I most appreciated my GPS at the end of shooting for maybe eleven hours and when I left the reception, it was pitch dark and I had absolutely no clue where I was.   What a peace it brought me as I just followed it closely to my home destination.

 

Today we are reflecting on keeping the Lord always before us.   As He goes before us, and we humbly submit, we will always reach our destination.   He promises to show us His wisdom, and that direction may come from His Word or a wise person He has placed in your life. There are so many ways He comes along side of us when we do not know how to get where we need to be. As we stay aware of His presence in the journey we can trust Him, He is well able to get us there safely. Trusting Him in the journey is so vitally important because He may just take you a different direction than what you expected. I believe those are the times that we get an even greater revelation of “all things work together for the good to Him that loves God.”

 

I can remember leaving a wedding one cold, rainy and very foggy night. I was so glad that I had the GPS to get me home. I have to tell you though that I was tempted to be shaken many times as I heeded to how it was telling me to get home. You see, it was taking me home a totally different way than I came. It made no sense and there were some frightening moments for me being alone on roads I never traveled. Eventually I came to a place where I could leave out a sigh of relief that I knew where I was. Many times our spiritual journeys can be like this as well. Jesus will never fail us…He promised that. Know that He will always get us to our destination in His time by His direction. God bless you.



“Lift Up Your Inner Self To Him!”

Cause me to hear
 
 
By Dona Hake
 

 

If you go to bed worried and troubled, you will be sure to greet your day with those troubled thoughts magnified in your heart and mind.   The Word says that He gives His beloved sweet sleep, yet if we choose to meditate upon wrong things and sleep upon worrisome thoughts, we surely will not sleep a peaceful sleep.   The Lord does not want us to greet our day with the thoughts of yesterday nor the worries about our tomorrows. I love how the Psalmist asks the Lord to cause Him to hear of his Lord’s lovingkindness first thing in the morning.

 

 

Psalm 143:8 (AMP)

“Cause me to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning,

for on You do I lean and in You do I trust.

Cause me to know the way wherein

I should walk, for I lift up my inner self to You.”

 

 

Let us trust to hear His voice about our day.   Most importantly we must remind ourselves that worry and allowing troublesome thoughts to remain and torment us is not God’s best for us.  May I encourage you to cast all of your burdens upon Him that we can live free from weights that are unnecessary.  

 
 
Let us remember to lean on Him not only for His strength and wisdom but for the balance and direction that He can bring to our lives. Thank Him as He unfolds His plan for our day yet be willing to allow Him to interrupt it if He has other plans.
 
 
Lift up your soul to Him and allow Him to touch you because He loves you so.  Lift up your inner self to Him and allow Him to do great things in your life today!


“Lord, I Pray…”

Lord I pray
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
“Lord, are my thoughts and words acceptable to you?” This would probably be a very good question and prayer that should cross our minds often. I believe that this question would keep us out of much trouble that could easily be avoided. Many times we are quick to think things or form opinions based on our first impression. Maybe you are thinking things and speaking things based on what you have seen in the past. As a result of not asking the Lord for how you are to respond in word and in thought , you could get yourself in a difficult situation or offend someone.
 

Psalm 19:14 (AMP)
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my

[firm, impenetrable] Rock and my Redeemer.”

 

It is only God that knows you all too well. He understands how you tend to think and react. He knows every hurt and pain that is still in the healing process within you. He is well able to help you hold your tongue and alter your thought process. It is He that can help us to be rock solid in every area of our life because He is the Rock! Look to Him as often as you need to be your Helper today that you may think thoughts and speak words that are pleasing to Him.   Lord, help us!   We desire that our words are blessing to you and edifying to those around us.



“He Counts the Stars”

he counts the stars
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Psalm 147:3-5 (TLB)

 

“He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds.

He counts the stars and calls them all by name.
How great he is! His power is absolute! His understanding is unlimited.”

 

I love these verses and I love thinking about how God knows all the specifics about everything. He knows everything about everything that He created. He created you and the stars and there is no limit to what He knows! This is a powerful thought isn’t it?

 

This scripture should cause us to ponder His greatness and along with such greatness the psalmist proclaims that He heals the broken in heart. This time of the year always causes me to think about people that do not look forward to celebrating the holidays. This can be an extremely painful time for some people. I would dare to say that there is more depression in people this time of year than none other. For many, the holidays is simply a painful reminder of the past that they can only revisit in the precious, silent memories of their heart. I lost both of my parents very close to Christmas and also my very special Grandmother. I embrace the precious hope of seeing them again someday because I know they are in Heaven.

 
 
Today I want to encourage those of you that He that has given every single star a name knows and understands the pain of your heart. Whether it be that you have lost a loved one to death, divorce or there is broken fellowship with someone special to you, He is able to bring you comfort. He is able to come close to you and touch your heart and bring His touch of healing to it. Our Lord is great. Nothing is impossible with His overwhelming power. He is loving, compassionate, and wise beyond all measure. God bless you.


“Can You Hear Him Whispering To You?

whispers
 
by Dona Hake
 

 

I have been purposing to share along the lines of keeping our hearts quiet especially in prepartion for the holidays that are approaching us.   Many times our lives get so jammed packed with things to do, places to go, and “to do” lists a mile long.  I can remember once feeling extremely overwhelmed with much to do.  There were things that needed accomplished that I felt were no way possible within my means of time and ability.  I stood in the front yard with my dog and looked up and was praying about my day.  I felt a “whisper” from within that seemed to quiet me and bring fresh perspective to my day.  ”Sometimes it’s not as big as it looks.”   Have you ever experienced how something seemed to be a mountain of things to do, but once you tackled it, it really wasn’t as big as you thought it to be. 
 
 
As the Lord spoke to my heart that morning, He was plainly and simply bringing new perspective to face all that had to be done.  I held fast to that and honestly I was able to  accomplish more than expected  because I choose a new “dwelling place” for my thoughts and my soul rested there.  Sometimes we just need to be quiet and not allow the noise that goes on in our heads to dictate peace or lack of it.  One very famous quote that I love from Ralph Waldo Emerson that applies beautifully…
 
 
“Let us be silent that we may hear the whisper of God.”
 
 
Today take moments of time and practice just being quiet and allow His peace to sweep over your busy soul.   He will calm it with His presence, and His sweet whispers.
 


 


Is Your Heart Quiet Today?

Quiet heart
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Sometimes we need to say, “Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!”   to our hearts!     In the midst of the hustle and bustle in this holiday season, I encourage you to hold fast to your peace.   I remember hearing  on the news someone quote a person saying “Just knowing I am going to be with my family over the holidays makes me feel like I am gonna have an anxiety attack.”   Sad isn’t it?   Yet, there are alot of people that feel this way especially over the holidays. Then there are those that wish they could sit with their loved ones during the holidays but they are no longer here. Any holiday can really bring pressures, depression  and anxiety IF and that is in all caps because it is IF we permit it to!   
 

Last year I can remember driving down the road and on my radio was playing “♪♫ It’s beginning to look alot like Christmas…♪ ♫ ♪” People were speeding down the road, honking their horns in impatience. There was so much rush, rush, rush, and I thought to myself, yes it is beginning to look alot like Christmas. The anxiety and madness is in the air and people allow the true meaning of it all to slip from their minds in the midst of it all. It saddens me that people are in such a hurry and they are trying to squeeze in one too many things and that they are driven to anxiety during this blessed season. I am probably correct in saying that many times we create our own anxieties simply because we are not purposing to keep our hearts quiet in the midst of any demand.

 

I am bound and determined to live one moment at time especially in this holiday season. I want to embrace peace in my heart and allow nothing or no one to snatch it away from me.

Proverbs 14:30 Amplified Bible

“A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life

and health of the body…”

I pray that you too will think about pursuing living one moment at a time and enjoy the stillness of His perfect peace each and every day.



“Joy To the World, Salvation Has Come!”

joy to the world salvation has come
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
I was recently talking with an individual, and we were discussing how sad it is that Christmas’ meaning is weakening.    This woman said to me, “Where is Jesus in Christmas anymore?   Where is salvation?”   I know many people wonder this, and in our politically correct world in which we live, we are waking up to more and more things that are “no-no’s” for us as we speak.   It is so sad, and I find it appalling.   We as believers need to stay strong and hold fast that we may speak our hearts in love and boldness.  I believe as we do this that there will be hearts that will hear and receive the truth.
 
Today I just want to share from one of many people’s favorite Christmas Carol entitled “Joy To the World”.    Did you know that this song was authored by Isaac Watts in the 1600’s?    This advent humn is one of Watts’ hymns from his well-known hymnals of 1719 entitled “Psalms of David Imitate in the Language of the New Testament.”    This song is truly for the Christian that realizes the spiritual significance that God Himself invaded this world and provided a means whereby sinful man might live eternally.
 
Let us look at the third verse.   Many times people are only familiar with certain verses, and this verse really blesses me.   If you are like me, I cannot read this, I sing it to myself with the  “Joy To the World tune!
 
 
“No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as the curse is found.”
 
 
Today I leave you with the meditation that salvation came, and His Name is Jesus.    Where anything has been cursed, the Lord has come to make His blessings flow over them, and  overtake them.    No more do we need to allow sorrows to grow, nor thorns be allowed to  infest the “gardens” of our hearts.   What a blessing and celebration this should be for us as we ponder this thought.   Joy to the world!  Salvation has come!


“Learning to Wait and Rest”

wait rest receiv dec 2014
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 We are so blessed and yet I can say at times that some blessings have spoiled me.   I also realize  how easy it is to take  blessings for granted.  I love all the modern conveniences that I am blessed with.   The microwave makes dinner preparation go quicker, and there are days that I certainly appreciate that. We go through the drive through window and we no sooner hand our money, our bag of food is being handed to us (sometimes even thrown at us!). Short and simple…we are way too used to reaching for something and we do not have to wait for it for a very long time. We could be honest and admit that we are all spoiled a bit and sometimes it causes us to  forget the importance of patiently waiting for some things.
 
 
 

I think this has sadly spilled over into our attitude toward our loving God and how we see Him dealing with us. We pray a prayer and if it does not happen in the timing we projected in our mind, we can be tempted to think that He did not hear our prayer. Maybe He answers our prayer and it was not how we imagined and we may be tempted to be disappointed with how He decided to solve our problem.

 

We must always remind ourselves that He has His timing, His wisdom and His understanding of exactly how to deal with us, and the issues in life that we face. I thank God for the times that God seemed to delay answering certain prayers because along the journey of my wait He was working out other issues in my life. Many times He used those waiting times to bring my eyes to focus on areas of my life that needed His divine attention in order that He may help me in another area that I was not aware of. Be encouraged when you pray and remember to wait, rest, and you will receive!



“The Light That Continues To Give Direction”

wise men 1
 
 
by Dona Hake
 

 

They understood the timing, and they knew what to look for. They observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth, and they simply continued to move toward it. They moved toward the light in anticipation for this was the sign of the birth of one that would be King of the Jews.

 

wise men 2

This big and beautiful star was giving the very direction that they needed. With vision and hope, they moved toward it until they arrived. Humbly they bowed before Him,gave gifts, and worshiped Him.

 

There are so many things that I read about in the Bible but there are certain things I read and wish I could have been there to witness. Only my imagination can help me visualize and understand what it would have been like to bow my knees before this child that would some day be the King that was sent from Heaven, and Savior of our souls.

 

Today we too need to keep our eyes on the Light from above.   Let it lead you.   Let it draw you into His loving presence.   That Light will give us all the direction we need and keep us moving forward. With determination and strength He enables us to do His will as we look to Him and His Light. Wise men really do still seek Him.   Let us humbly and continually bow

our hearts before Him.    Make room in your heart for Him to do the good works He has planned just for you!


“Courage Is…”

Be Strong and Courageous Ministry Bulletin Cover
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
I had a movie on recently, and I loved this one particular part.   This young lady had never ridden a horse before yet she desired to do so.    She shared her fear with the young man with her, and he assured her that he totally understood.   He said he too at a young age shared that same fear but his Daddy helped him overcome it.   He said, “My Daddy sat me on his lap and said courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway!”    I just loved this because it was an inspiration of how to face fear with a true heart of courage.
 
 
Psalm 27:14
“… Wait for the Lord, and he will come and save you!
Be brave, stouthearted, and courageous. Yes, wait and he will help you.”
 
 
Maybe you could testify of a time  that fear has gripped your heart and rendered you unable to move forward.    How terrible it is to be held back by a fear.   Fear has the capability of robbing one’s dreams, but God desires to release you into your dreams.    He understands our every fear and the things that intimidate us, yet He promises to help us overcome any fear that would hold us back.   His Word says that the righteous will be bold as a lion!
 
 
 
Sometimes in life we just simply have to “saddle up and face our fears” believing that He will give us the courage and strength that we need for that moment and situation.   His grace will always be sufficient and complete no matter what!



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!