“One Thing I Do…”

one thing I do

by Dona Hake

Philippians 3:13 (ERV)
“Brothers and sisters, I know that I still have a long way to go.

But there is one thing I do: I forget what is in the past and

try as hard as I can to reach the goal before me.”

I love how Paul expressed his determination to keep his focus.  He admits he had a long way to go but he was determined to do two things and they were to forget and reach.  He understood that his past needed to be forgotten and his future needed to be reached for with great perseverance.

Many times we can get so hung up on our pasts they we are at stand stills.  It is sad to think one’s purpose and determination is robbed by their yesterdays. I always felt that there is importance in learning from mistakes or bad experiences.  These things can serve to help us learn and gain wisdom.  Wisdom gained from bad experiences or mistakes can be carried with you the rest of your life.  This wisdom is something you can embrace and pass on to others.

Many times in our journey in life you may come to a “dead end” on a path that seemed so promising.  Do not let that discourage you but rather seek the Lord and what He would have you to do.  I believe there are many times that “dead ends” on the paths that we walk are God’s favor on us and He is sparing us from a bad decision or mistake.  Sometimes you just never know.  One thing we do know though and that is that we need to keep moving forward.

“One of the greatest and most comforting truths

is that when one door opens, another closes,

but often we look so long and

regretfully upon the closed door that

we do not see the one that is open for us.”

(Anonymous)

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“How Great Is His Love”

how deep how wide

by Dona Hake

No love on this planet can be compared to the love of God. God’s love was toward us before we ever knew Him. I can remember when I thought I did not need God in my life. My excuse…well, plain and simple…I thought there were just too many hypocrites out there. I thought if people could not be real then I wanted nothing to do with the whole deal of a relationship with God. Then the day came when I encountered some individuals that truly exhibited His love. They were real and walked the talk. They showed me that He loved me even though I did not yet love Him. He loved me even though I did not deserve His love and goodness. God knew exactly what I needed and I thank Him that He put those special people in my path to show me His love.

 

After living for Him for forty one years I can honestly say I cannot imagine life without Him. I thank God He loved me through people that He placed in my life, and I am ever so thankful for those that prayed for me when some gave up and thought I was too stubborn.

Romans 5:6-8 (PHILLIPS)

” And we can see that it was while we were powerless to help ourselves

that Christ died for sinful men. In human experience it is a rare thing

for one man to give his life for another, even if the latter be a good man,

though there have been a few who have had the courage to do it.

Yet the proof of God’s amazing love is this: that it was while we

were sinners that Christ died for us.”

I encourage you to think about His great love for you.   The greatness of His love can be compared to none.  It is so amazing and so great!   God is good!

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“Lord, Cause Me To Know…”

cause me to know

by Dona Hake

God desires that we awaken with a prayer toward Him seeking His advice and direction as we carry on with our day.  I specifically used this photo with the first words of this  prayer for a reason.  No matter how much you know and how much knowledge you have attained by study, you need to remain as a child in your heart.  You need to maintain childlike faith in everything you do.  It is as you do this that you will not try to reason things out in your mind.  You will just believe.  You will absolutely give your concerns and questions to God and as a little child, you will believe He will take care of you.

The scripture I am sharing today is the very first Bible verse I ever memorized.  I can still remember reciting it in front of my youth group.  To this day whenever I read it, it reminds me of new beginnings in my life.  It was a time of knowing there would always be answers if I just prayed and believed.

Psalm 143:8    (KJV)


“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning;

for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein

I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.”

“Cause me to hear” is probably my favorite part of the verse because it is basically asking God to bring something about.  There are just way too many things in this life that we cannot make happen in our own ability.  It takes faith.  Sometimes just knowing what to say or knowing what to do could make or break a situation for you.  I encourage you to ask Him today to “cause you to know…”

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“Walking Steadily On God’s Road”

you are blessed

by Dona Hake

I recently received an email and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the words of wisdom shared by a woman that was ninety years of age.   Regina Brett shared some very interesting things that were deemed as valuable to her.  She shared “to celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me…”  I loved so many of her lessons but a few really stood out to me.  The one lesson in particular was

“Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is about.”

In the world in which we live there are many that dictate how success is defined.  These people are the “they” voices. You know…”they” say you should do this, “they” say you should look like this, etc…  “They” really can put some real pressure on us at times, can’t “they???”  Peer pressure is not only among the young, it still sticks it’s ugly head up among those of us that have been around longer.  I think it can be so easy to fall into comparing yourself to someone else.  There is something very sad about this and that is you are looking to someone else’s success to gauge your own.

God desires that we as individuals look to Him and He promises to reveal His will that applies only to us.   We are uniquely made by Him, therefore He has a unique and special plan for each of us.  Let us make a practice of rejoicing in our hearts as those around us succeed.  Enjoy who God made you to be and relax and enjoy growing each day as you walk with Him!

Psalm 119:1-8 (The Message)


“You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That’s right—you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set. You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set; Then I’d never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel. I thank you for speaking straight from your heart; I learn the pattern of your righteous ways. I’m going to do what you tell me to do…”

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“He Has Given Us All That We Need”

life devoted to god

by Dona Hake

I believe that the Lord desires we make the most of every day that we are blessed with.  I have heard certain motivational speakers that have said things that have touched and challenged my heart.   I love when successful people desire to pass on the wisdom that made them who they are today.  Let us be wise and receive from them!

 

Mary Kay of Mary Kay Cosmetics was a very successful lady and I can remember hearing that she said  that we should all go to bed at night with at least six things on our “to do” list if we desire success in our day.   She was making a strong point that you should awaken with a plan for your day and that plan will keep you focused and motivated.     Personally I find it needful to have a plan for my day yet  I want to always stay flexible and willing to allow the Lord to interfere with my plans.   You just never know when He has something for you to do that will require your willingness to give of yourself and your time.   I can testify of the many times He has interrupted my schedule and I am glad He did. The blessing that comes with obedience in response to His plans is just wonderful!
Let us be reminded that He has given us everything we need to accomplish all that we put our hand to.  He will equip us with the energy, the wisdom and all the fine details that we need. If your life has something stressful going on He will give you peace. If you are sick He will bring healing if you believe Him for it. If you are afraid of your future, He will give you hope for your future and give you the peace and  grace that you need.   God is well able to give above and beyond all that you need to do His will!

 

2 Peter 1:3 (ERV

“…And his power has given us everything

we need to live a life devoted to God.”

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“His Overflowing Grace”

god is able 2 26 14

by Dona Hake

2 Corinthians 9:8 (HCSB) 

“And God is able to make every grace overflow

to you, so that in every way, always having

everything you need, you may excel in every good work.”

This scripture just really blesses me.  I love meditating on the fact that God is desiring to shower us with His all sufficient grace as we set out to do His will.  I made this little devotional a bit different today.  I am going to give you some “D” words to get the truth of His overflowing grace sticking in your mind and heart!

As we DESIRE to be living examples of excellence in all we put our hands to.  Let us

DRAW upon His grace that He will shower upon us as we believe Him for it.   It is as we do this that

we will DEMONSTRATE that He is the God that is more than enough!

Psalm 1:3 (ESV)

“He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.”



“…and Jesus Calmed the Sea”

It is Well With My Soul Church Bulletin Cover

by Dona Hake

Mark 4:35-40

“It was evening of that same day. Jesus said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.”  After sending the people away, they took Jesus with them in a boat. It was the same boat He used when He taught them. Other little boats went along with them. A bad wind storm came up. The waves were coming over the side of the boat. It was filling up with water.  Jesus was in the back part of the boat sleeping on a pillow. They woke Him up, crying out, “Teacher, do You not care that we are about to die?”  He got up and spoke sharp words to the wind. He said to the sea, “Be quiet! Be still.” At once the wind stopped blowing. There were no more waves.  He said to His followers, “Why are you so full of fear? Do you not have faith?”

This is one of those stories that make me wish I would have been there just to see the raging waters be calm at the command of Jesus’ voice.  These words from this portion of scripture have created faith in my heart many times when things around me seemed to be out of control.  To know that He can bring peace to the raging waters of my life causes me to know that “it is well with my soul.”

The important thing to remember is that God is able to bring peace to a situation yet that does not necessarily mean the problem has gone away.  When God’s peace prevails within us, our hearts will be still and we will be calmed.  It is in those times that you will then be able to hear His whisper as He directs you into the next step.   Let us remember that in the midst of a problem or crisis that it is vital we hold fast to our faith and have our ears towards the Lord that He may reveal the wisdom that we need.

I love how Francious deFenelon’s quote makes this story from the book of Mark  even more real.

“A word from the Lord stilled the raging sea

and a glance from Him to you, and from

you to Him, will do the same for you.”

~~~~~~~~~~



“He Sets Me In High Places”

hidden

by Dona Hake

Each morning my deck is full of a variety of birds munching away on all the good seed I provide for them. Along with my feathered friends I have two squirrels (aka Piggy and Porky) that are there as much as the birds. There is only one problem though, when I leave my German Shepherd out in the backyard it startles them. It is interesting how the little birds just flee, but the doves just go and peacefully sit in my willow trees and just wait. Somehow the doves just seem to know that they are safe. The squirrels on the other hand get frantic. They scurry around the yard and nervously run to escape. Our dog has the time of her life chasing them and it seems to amuse her. This morning Aasha almost caught her first squirrel. (Yikes!)

The thing that inspired me with seeing my birds and squirrels run for safety was that they were already safe on the deck of my home. There was no way for my dog to get to them. The deck has no stairs and she cannot get to them even if she tried. As I pondered the whole thought the one morning while my dog was out I began to think about the safe places that God has for us. He has those places of hiding that He desires that we dwell. When we abide in Him there is a place of refuge and everything will be okay. By faith we must believe that He has provided a way of escape and our hearts can rest and be at peace even when turmoil is all around us.

Psalm 27:5 (TLB)

” There I’ll be when troubles come.
He will hide me.

He will set me on a high rock”

When unrest visits our soul, it is a beautiful thing to know that we have a God that has a plan of escape for us. As he hides us under His wings we can be assured that He is well able to get us through any battle in this life. Today I especially am desiring to reflect on His wonderful peace as a place of refuge. His peace exceeds all our thoughts about any matter and it will guard and shelter our hearts and minds!

Philippians 4:7 (CEB)

“Then the peace of God that exceeds

all understanding will keep your

hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.”

 

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“Lord, All My Cares Belong To You”

all my cares

by Dona Hake

Matthew 6:27 (God’s Word Translation)
“Can any of you add a single hour to your life by worrying?”

It would be interesting to know who much time we actually invest in worrying or being preoccupied with unnecessary thoughts.  The Lord knows well our frame and how the fears of this life can pull us into a place of fearing our future.

Jesus was basically saying that worry is a waste of time and it is not going to add anything to our life. Worry can damage our health, cause the object of our worry to consume our thoughts, negatively affect how we treat those around you, and worst of all it keeps us from trusting Him.

Worry has the ability to just bring us to a standstill. It is totally normal to be concerned about what we face in this life yet we need to remind ourselves that it is Him that will perfect that which concerns us.

The following is an interesting quote by Benjamin Franklin…

“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen.

Keep in the sunlight.”

As we stay in the “Son’s light” by keeping ourselves absorbed in His Word, all fears must go!  Even in the face of negative we need to believe God can turn it inside out and we can be on the victory side!   Let us ask the Lord as we face fears and difficulties for His help and His perspective. Pray that He would give you courage to face your tomorrows and believe that He is indeed walking with you.

1 Peter 5:7

“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your
concerns,once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and
cares about you watchfully.”

 (this is a revised archived devotional from 9/26/13)



“If We Do No Lose Heart”

grow weary

by Dona Hake

I don’t know about you but I love when I am doing something and I just know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my heart is in it.   I know when I stay focused on God’s grace flowing through me that I can do anything He requires me to do.  The Word of God says in Galatians that is we do not “lose heart and grow weary”  we shall reap.

Galatians 6:9 (AMP)

“And let us not lose heart and grow weary and

faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due

time and at the appointed season we shall reap,

if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.”

It is when we lose heart that most of us can identify and will express words like “I just feel like I am going through the motions.”  It is usually at this time you will be drained in your attempts even to do a good thing.  Most certainly at times like these our mind will begin to develop a bad attitude and this is a sure guarantee that the Lord’s hand will not be able to bless what we are doing.  I think it is always important to remember  even when we step out in an attempt to do a good thing by no means gives us the guarantee of smooth sailing.

As we establish in our hearts and mind what  the will of the Lord is, we must keep our eyes on Him.  It takes courage and strength to persevere in this life and as we continue to focus on that which He has instructed us to do we shall reap!

“And to the rest of you I say, dear brothers,

never be tired of doing right”




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!