“The Path That Echoes His Name”

paths sept 27
 
by Dona Hake
 
Psalm 23:3 (VOICE)
“He makes me whole again,
steering me off worn, hard paths
to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name.”
 
 
He lovingly steers us away from worn, hard paths yet how many times do we
return to them. Those worn, hard paths could be habits and patterns in our lives
that have ultimately gotten us in trouble. Those worn paths are those that have
developed because of doing the same thing over and over again. God is calling
us to allow Him to step in and guide us on the paths of His desire for us.
He is calling us to get out of the “ruts” in our lives.
 
 
 
 
Maybe you have walked the path of a habitual worrier. Maybe your worn, hard
path has been one of constantly walking in fear and anxiety over your
future. Regardless of what it is we can make the choice to walk on the path that
is guided by His hand. His hand deals only in truth and right things. His path
does not make provision for us to walk in our own ability but rather draw upon  His.
 
 
 
 
God’s Word, His voice, counsel, wisdom, and the leading of His Holy Spirit is our compass in
this life.   Let us look to His way, His paths, and we can live a life that is
blessed because when we walk hand in hand with Him.   May our paths be
 paths that echoes  His loving Name, and may they be
a testimony of His love and goodness to everyone around you!


“The Power of Renewal Within”

create a clean heart in me
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and
renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me..”
Psalm 51:10
 
 
 As the psalmist prayed here you can see he plainly realized that he had lost something,and he wanted it back. He was walking in the blessing of feeling right, he was a persevering person with a spirit that was steadfast. When we mess up and do not ask the Lord to help us, things are not the same. The longer we put it off the more we will become callous to our spirit trying to let us know that something is not right within us.

I can still remember when I shared with some preschoolers a simple little object lesson about forgiveness. It was precious watching their innocent little faces and their eyes light up as they took hold of the truth. I was teaching them the importance of knowing their hearts were clean. I mixed up a big old batch of mud. I took them all outside and we sat down around the bowl of mud. I squished my hands into the mud (may I add the little boys were loving how gross it was!) and rubbed it up and down my arms and my hands were caked with mud. I emphasized to them how bad it felt not to be clean, and I just wanted it off of me.

I shared with them that the mud was symbolic of our mistakes, our sins, etc. I had a pitcher of fresh, clean water beside me. As I poured the pure, clean water over me, the mud totally cleansed my arms and hands, and into the ground the mud was absorbed. “Where is the mud?” I asked them, and the point was made beautifully. It could not be seen anymore and it was gone! These kind of visual analogies are so powerful, not just for children but adults as well.
 

 
 
Psalm 51:2-3 Amplified
“Wash me thoroughly [and repeatedly] from my iniquity and guilt and cleanse me and make me wholly pure from my sin!

 

For I am conscious of my transgressions and I acknowledge them; my sin is ever before me.”

 
 
 
 
There are two key words here that the writer wrote and these are our keys to living with a clean heart and those words are CONSCIOUS  and ACKNOWLEDGE.     It is plain and simple, as we stay conscious of the condition of our hearts and we acknowledge it before God, He will always help us, and work within us and renew us again.   Let us be quick to humble and repent when we are out of align with His perfect will.  We serve a merciful and loving God. Think about anything that has hindered your steadfastness and strength in Him and ask Him to cleanse it so your heart pure and totally restored.   This is truly freedom!


THURSDAY, September 25th ~~~ “Refreshment By Simplicity”

childlike  sept 2014
 
by Dona Hake
 
I can remember being at a store last fall and a young lady rang up my order and she asked me how I was and I replied, “I’m so blessed!” She answered, “That is great!!” She proceeded to share with me how she went hiking for the first time ever that morning. She went on to say that she just moved here and had never been exposed to anything but a hot climate all of her life. Her eyes lit up and she said, “I am so anxious for fall. I have never seen a leaf change and I have never seen snow!  Oh my…I cannot wait to see it snow!!!”
 
 
 
This young woman was so precious as she shared this with me. Her eyes just danced with anticipation, joy and excitement. As I walked away I began to think about her childlikeness and how it was so refreshing. As I walked away I felt lighthearted and refreshed as I reflected on our conversation, and how sweet she was. The whole thing encouraged my heart to be reflecting upon the importance of keeping a heart of  childlikeness  no matter how old I am.  When I think of children I think of innocence, energy, trust, and their honesty.    Children are always looking forward to something.
 
 
 
 
Why is it the more we “grow up” that we sometimes find ourselves losing the heart of a child?   I believe the more we try to carry our own burdens the less our hearts enjoy the simple things in life.   Jesus wants our hearts to be free from the burdens and cares of this life.  He asks that we lay our burden on Him because His burden is light.   He well understands the stress that cares and worry bring to the heart of man.  Not only do they rob our joy but it robs us from living a life of enjoying all the good things He has surrounded us with.   I believe the reason Jesus exhorted in Luke 18:16 that none of the children be hindered is because he loved all the attributes that children brought into His presence! In order to live in faith we have to keep it simple.
 
 
 
I know I share this often but it really does minister to my own heart. Keep it simple! Purpose to simplify your life. Don’t complicate and overbook your life that you have no time to just enjoy the free and fun  gifts that are out there for you. God desires that we grow in our trust, stay energetic for Him, forgive, love and always be  looking forward to what He is going to do in our lives! 
 
 
 

Psalm 116:6 (TLB)
“The Lord protects the simple and the childlike…”



“Soaring By the Hand of God”

soar
 
by Dona Hake
 
I can remember the terrible fear I once had, and that was the fear of flying. I can also remember like it was yesterday when I had the opportunity to travel to Wales in 1997. Oh how I desired to travel along with my husband and other members in my church, and experience this wonderful opportunity.
 
I can still remember standing with Brother Arthur Burt and him looking me straight in the eye saying “If it be the will of God, you will come to my home in Wales and visit.” The excuses began to roll around in my mind why I should not go but what it boiled down to was I feared flying. I can remember going home and telling my husband I just needed to be alone to pray and I got in the car, grabbed a cup of coffee and sat in Hardee’s parking lot asking the Lord what to do. With tears rolling down my face. I came to realize and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord was wanting me to go, therefore I had to face my fear head on. Once I said yes, I can honestly say the fear just seemed to dissipate like a heavy fog that left, and all was clear. It was amazing that from that moment on every time I would even hear a plane in the air, my heart would get so excited just anticipating this new experience I was going to do!
 

I can still remember sitting in the airplane right before take off and I can honestly say I had no fear in my heart. As the plane slowly made it’s way down the runway it seemed like forever till it lifted into the air. If you have ever flown you know what I am talking about. It slowly proceeded to the main runway after this turn and that turn but finally it made it’s way on the main runway. It was so exciting knowing that moment you know the plane is at the place where it is going down the final runway and little by little the speed increases and you experience that lift. Oh my gosh, I think that is the most awesome thing! But the most thrilling thing was being above the clouds and seeing the beauty of the sun on the clouds. It is the closest thing on earth to knowing what it is like to soar like an eagle.

 
 

In life we will all experience those times in which we have to face fears but when we say “yes!” to God’s help, we will experience His hand lifting us up to a place of where we are soaring above the clouds and storms of this life. He will cause us to rise up high above fears and our inabilities in Jesus Name!! God desires to take us places that we have never been before, and as we trust Him and put ourselves in His care He will show Himself able to make us soar.

 
 
 
 
Isaiah 40:31 The Voice
“But those who trust in the Eternal One will regain their strength.
They will soar on wings as eagles.
They will run—never winded, never weary.
They will walk—never tired, never faint.”


“Heavenly Wisdom”

Heavenly wisdom
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
Today I am desiring to see the beauty  in  God’s wisdom that proceeds only from His heart.  His wisdom is pure and untainted.   God wants to bestow upon us His pure wisdom as we humbly desire and ask for it.    You know we really do need it for every area of our life. 
 
 
James 3:17 (The Voice)
“Heavenly wisdom centers on purity, peace, gentleness, deference, mercy,
and other good fruits untainted by hypocrisy.”
 
 
When we ask God for His wisdom He desires to bless us with  pure thoughts and good judgement.  His wisdom is full of mercy, peace, and gentleness.  His ways and answers are not harsh or hypocritical.
 
 
 
There will be times in this life that people may come to you with questions that are simply difficult to give answers to.  As believers we can feel that we always have to have answers for people’s problems, and sometimes we can find ourselves at loss for words.    I have found in my life for it to be very freeing to my heart and mind to admit when  I do not know the answer to a particular question or problem.   In saying that I do not know the answer, I can say I KNOW the One who does have every answer I need,  and He is faithful to answer the prayer of a righteous man or woman.
 
 
 
As you ask God for His precious wisdom for those difficult situations, believe by faith that it is going to flow into you and flow forth from you as pure fresh living water. This is what we need and this is what people around us need…not our opinions, not our experiences, but rather the pure, life giving wisdom that comes only from above. 


“What Does Trust Mean To You?”

trust god today
 
by Dona Hake
 
Yesterday I shared about seeing others through God’s eyes.    Today I want to focus on seeing our lives in light of God’s eyesight into our lives and our daily issues that we face.  May we acknowledge that He sees our life from a perspective that is above and beyond our comprehension. This is why we are called to trust Him in all matters big and small. So today let us look at the word trust.

TRUST: (defined) reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.

 
Sometimes the easiest thing to do is turn to your own thoughts and understanding in matters we face. How easy it is to just Google into your phone or computer a problem, and site after site offers knowledge and explanation for us to read.  I think this is a wonderful tool but let us be reminded not to lean on our own understanding for God’s ways and thoughts are above anything that earthly knowledge can bring to  us.   Sometimes leaning on our own understanding or another’s knowledge can become like a crutch or a comfy place.   This mentality will quickly weaken our trust in God.
 
 
 
Many times we can overlook the fact that God may be seeing our situation in an entirely different way and it would do us good to throw everything into reverse, be quiet and consult with Him. I think the most common mistake we can make is only taking difficult matters to Him because we think the easy ones we can figure out on our own.  Can we consider taking EVERYTHING  to God, and make a habit of it?
 
 

God has blessed us with intelligence, creativity and know how but let us always be mindful to lean upon Him even in the smallest of matters that He is able to guide our paths. Now let us ask ourselves.  “Do I trust His integrity, His strength, His ability,His surety, and everything else that He says that He is?”    It would probably do us all good to remind ourselves of who we believe Him to be that we can grow in our trust in Him, and rely upon His ways and not our own.   So today I encourage you to lean on Him and not your own understanding.  God is faithful and worthy to be trusted!



“Seeing Things As God Sees”

seeing as God sees
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Think about times in your life that without the help of others you would not have made it through a particular hardship. Never underestimate the times that you have felt prompted to pray for someone and you had no idea of what they were walking through. Simple obedience in such a matter could mean a major victory in an individual’s life.

God desires to use us to be a strength to those around us. I find this scripture interesting as well as applicable to the thought I am bringing to you today.

 
Proverbs 20:12

“It was the Lord who gave us eyes for seeing and ears for hearing.”

 

He wants to use your eyes to show you what He is seeing and He wants to use your ears to hear the hearts of people around you. Let us ask the Lord to help us to see and hear the cry of people around us. I have had times where I might see a complete stranger and I see pain in their eyes and I walk a way and just whisper a prayer for them. I more than likely will never see nor speak to them ever again yet I believe the Lord uses us to possibly change situations through such simple prayers. Also, do not be fooled by those that seem so strong and happy on the outside because they may be falling apart on the inside. Again, see people’s hearts with God’s eyes and you will not miss such things.

 

Keep your ears and eyes open to those around you. Never take the position that you have to know all the facts before you can pray. If you see or hear pain…just pray. No fancy words…just pray. God wants to use you and I to reach down and strengthen those that need our help. God bless you!



“Grace Guiding Me In My Walk”

grace one
 
by Dona Hake
 
In the scriptures (2 Corinthians 12:8-10) Paul spoke of calling out to God to help him. Paul had more than he felt he could bear as he was dealing with problems and he begged God that the these things would depart from him. God’s response…”My grace which is my favor, my lovingkindness, and my mercy are all that you need. My grace is sufficient against any danger and it enables you to bear this trouble manfully. My strength and power are made perfect and show themselves MOST effective in your weakness.”

Paul’s heart was totally toward God yet he was weakened by his trials and circumstances.    God was faithful to Paul and spoke to him of His powerful grace that would enable him to bear every trouble manfully.  One translation implies that we  allow God’s grace to rest as a tent pitched upon us. What an awesome way of looking at dwelling and drawing upon His wonderful grace.

 

Paul then said, “when I am weak in my own human strength, then I am truly strong, able and powerful in God’s strength.” Paul saw that God’s grace was all that he needed. He saw that it was sufficient. God’s grace is adequate for any purpose and it is always more than enough. God’s grace is sufficient for us as well. May we draw upon it as we live this life, and may His grace rest as a tent pitched upon us.

 
 
grace 2


“The Power of Determination”

power of determination
 
by Dona Hake
 

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against

you until it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never

give up then, for that is just the time and place that the tide

will turn.”

 
Harriet Beecher Stowe
 
 

I love this quote. It makes me wonder how many times that I have given up on something or someone just when the tide was ready to turn. Determination is when you come to a decision or you fix yourself on a purpose, and nothing is going to hold you back.  

 
 
 
I cannot help but think of Peter as he stepped out of the boat upon the Lord’s command. “Come Peter!” I can only imagine what was going through Peter’s mind as he looked down and saw himself walking on the water. His faith was at work and he was defying the impossible. Yet when his mind became focused on the wind, waves and the turbulent storm, he began to sink. Jesus reached out His hand to Peter, took a firm hold and kept him above water. The thing that always hit me the hardest with this account was that Peter was only an arm’s reach away from Jesus. Peter was almost there but circumstances caused his heart to weaken in faith and determination.
 

How many times are we just an arm’s reach away from the finish line of success in that which we are setting ourselves. How many times is the tide ready to turn and we throw up our hands and give up. We must apply faith, persistence, and determination to all we set ourselves to do. As we fix our eyes on Jesus with determination and faith in our hearts, He will enable us to do the impossible. It is as we do this that we can share the testimony of what we learned in our accomplishment to those that need this same word of encouragement!

 
 

“And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for

after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up.”

Galatians 6:9 TLB



“He Upholds Me”

he upholds his sheep
 
by Dona Hake
 
I picture in my mind David writing the Psalms in the quietness of the night while his eye was watchful over his flock of sheep. I am sure that his days were long days, and some were more challenging than others. Sheep have a way of getting themselves in trouble, and they can be helpless as well. A good shepherd seeks to understand every aspect of the care of his sheep.
 

There are a handful of Psalms where David used the term “cast down.” This is probably one of my favorite facts about a shepherd and his sheep that brings such a beautiful analogy of the Psalm to us. “Cast down” is a term used for a sheep that has turned over on its back and cannot get up again by itself. I want to make emphasis on *it cannot get up again by itself. A “cast” sheep is a sad sight. It lays on its back, and as its feet are in the air, it struggles frantically to get back up again. Sometimes it will make little bleating cries for help and just lays there frustrated. If the shepherd does not arrive on time, the sheep will die. Since a sheep that is cast is in such a helpless state, it is also vulnerable to attack by predators.

 

I think this is such an excellent analogy of our condition at times, yet David would use this term within prayers such as “why are you cast down oh my soul?…hope in God.” I am sure we can all relate to times that we are down, feeling frustrated and helpless.

 

Psalm 37:24 Amplified Bible

“Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down,

for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him.”

 

I encourage you that in those times of being down and feeling helpless that you would look up for His hand. It is there for you to grasp! He will lift you up and put you on your feet again. Our Lord is a good Shepherd and He most assuredly will uphold you!




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!