“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”



“The Hope That Testimonies Bring”

testimonies

by Dona Hake

I love when someone shares what the Lord has done for them.  Testimonies bring hope and refreshment to our hearts.  Today while I was traveling I got to hear such an awesome testimony.  I call it one of those “Divine Appointment” testimonies.

This woman had shared how she lived in Florida and she received a phone call on her cell phone from Pennsylvania.  She did not recognize the number but she felt to answer it.  The man on the other end was obviously confused and he said he was trying to reach a family member.  He apologized and hung up and she felt prompted to call the police in the area in which the call came from.  She felt a bit awkward but explained to them that she really felt something was wrong with this gentleman.  The police arrived at  this gentleman’s house and he indeed was in need of help.  After a week in the hospital they diagnosed him with a life threatening blood infection.

Needless to say the family of this man were ever so thankful and this young woman’s simple act of kindness and going the extra mile very likely saved this man’s life.  The testimony just really touched my heart.  Everyday we need to be  sensitive to opportunities that seem small yet they may be big to someone in need.   Sometimes you never really know how that one word you spoke in due season could have sparked hope to a person’s soul.  Let us be sensitive to the times that we are presented with opportunities to give a listening ear to a lonely person or  just take the time to pray for someone because you felt prompted.  These things are all part of ministering the love of God and just possibly setting someone up for a beautiful testimony of the Lord’s great work in their life!

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“Blessed Are the Hungry and Thirsty”

Blessed are they which thirst after righteousness

by Dona Hake

Just as our bodies hunger and thirst so do our souls.  I can remember when I was about seventeen years of age how every night before I would close my eyes I would pray “Lord, there has to be more to this life than this…”   My life was empty and I was so miserable inside.  My heart was yearning for more.  Yes, even before I had a personal relationship with Jesus I could feel my heart being tugged at, and there was an emptiness.  There was a need and hunger within me that only He could fill.

I was a stubborn person, full of opinions and arguments against the truth of His Word.  I could wear down my loving friends with all kinds of arguments against God, yet I knew deep down I was the one that was wrong.  Thankfully there were those that continued to pray for me and they believed that the Lord could touch my heart.  I can remember the evening that I surrendered all to Him.  I can remember the freedom that I experienced and I continue to experience.  My heart was changed and my hunger and thirst for more was fulfilled.

John 4:13-14 (PHILLIPS)
“But whoever drinks the water I will

give him will never be thirsty again.

For my gift will become a spring in the

man himself, welling up into eternal life.”

Today I thank God for that living water that is as a spring of life within me.   It is only His life and His Word that can satisfy the hunger and thirst of one’s soul.  God is good.

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“Reminder!!!…”

seize opportunities

by Dona Hake

Each day we awaken let us remember that our day is a gift to us from the Lord.  Let us thank Him for that and let us be mindful to be wise with our time.

Psalm 90:12 (CEV)

“Teach us to use wisely all the time we have.”

I love my “To do” lists and I love my post it notes!  God knows I need them because it just keeps me on schedule and I feel like I am getting the most our of each twenty four hours in a day.    We all have those days where the “To do” lists go up in smoke but at least you tried!  The Lord can help us flow with those days as we keep our hearts at peace and rest in Him.

Many times our schedules may be interrupted with wonderful opportunities to help someone.  It depends how you view it.  For me it always seems that if I keep my heart right that those type interruptions are such a blessing.  It almost seems like my time becomes multiplied.

Ephesians 5:16-17
Amplified Bible (AMP)
“Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity]…”

I encourage you to seek Him on how to squeeze all you can out of your God given time.  Love every minute of your life.  I love this scripture because it makes me feel like our time given to us is so very valuable.  We should treasure it as we do our money.  Use it wisely, plan your time wisely, and think about how you can buy some opportunities to bless someone and be used by Him!

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“You Know Everything!”

All around me

by Dona Hake

“Lord, you have tested me,
so you know all about me.
You know when I sit down and when I get up.
You know my thoughts from far away.
 You know where I go and where I lie down.
You know everything I do.
 Lord, you know what I want to say,
even before the words leave my mouth.
 You are all around me—in front of me and behind me.
I feel your hand on my shoulder.
I am amazed at what you know;
it is too much for me to understand.”

Psalm 139:1-6    Easy-to-Read Version

His precious love is surrounds us and He knows every detail about us.  What a thought!  What blessed assurance we can hold fast to in knowing that we can serve a God that totally understands us inside and out.  Even before words leave our mouth He knows what we are going to say.    There is no escaping His loving knowledge about us.

The Amplified version says in verse three “You sift and search out my path.”  I love this because it gave me the visual of using a sifter to catch that which you do not want in the mix.  As we remain humble before Him there is freedom in knowing that He knows all about us.  There is protection in knowing that He sees everything before us and behind us.

As we start our day let us remind ourselves to allow Him to search our hearts and speak to us.  We should be amazed at how awesome He is.    This is a thought that should keep us humble before Him in every area of our life.  As we do this, we will live in peace and freedom in Christ!

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“He Lifts Up the Fallen”

Falls but lifted up again

By Dona Hake

The strength of a man or woman is revealed  when the pressure is on.  It is easy to appear strong when all seems to be on your side but we find out who we really are when we are weak , in trouble or we experience failure.  When we are down and out and failure is trying to haunt us, we have a choice…  quit or determine to get back up again.

God promises to lift us back up when we fall.   Even when you are at your lowest, if your heart is open to Him, He can teach you and strengthen you like never before.  Many times the worst of hardships can cause you to come back stronger…if you do not quit.

“I don’t measure a man’s success by

how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.”

General George S. Patton

I believe if our hearts are focused with God infused determination we will not permit mistakes or failure to dictate us, but rather we will come back stronger and rise higher!

Psalm 145:14 (ERV)

“The Lord lifts up people who have fallen.
He helps those who are in trouble.”

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“Watching Over Our Words”

WORDS SEASONED WITH GRACE

by Dona Hake

Our words can build people up or our words can tear people down.  One word has the power to encourage, yet a different word has power to bring a heart down.  When I think of people that always seem to speak words with grace I think of those individuals that seem to know how to speak exactly the right thing .  They seem to know not only the perfect words but their timing is just as proper.  As I looked at  Colossians 4:6 ,  I found two translations very thought provoking.

 “Be gracious in your speech.

The goal is to bring out the best in others

in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.”

The Message

“Everything you say should be kind and

well thought out so that you know

how to answer everyone.”

GOD’S WORD Translation

I particularly want to look at the goal of our words being that of bringing out the best in people.   There will be times that you will encounter people that  do not feel good about themselves.  Sometimes this is because of things they might be enduring, they may be feeling low, and not feeling self worth.  As we exercise observation of people while you are in conversation you may be surprised how the Lord may provide an opportunity for you to build them up.

Sometimes I see this in little children as I teach them in our preschool class at church.   Today when I was teaching I noticed a situation where a child was feeling that they were not doing something as well as the rest.  I noticed that she was allowing it to bother her.  What I did notice though that she was really doing her best doing our coloring project. When class dismissed I made a point of getting down to her level and making her look me square in the eye.  I began to praise her for her job well done and her little eyes lit up like a Christmas tree.  She was so focused on what she felt she could not do that her accomplishment went unnoticed.  What was interesting was that encouraging words changed her whole countenance.

I believe as we purpose think through and observe people carefully before we speak, we may be surprised how the Lord desires to use our words to build them up.    As we couple that with seeing others through God’s eyes we too will see them in a different light as well.  Let our words be encouraging, full of His grace that we may our words are instruments of good.

Proverbs 18:4 (TLB)

4 A wise man’s words express deep streams of thought.

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“The Process of His Work In You”

god at work in your

by Dona Hake

I can remember as a little girl thinking how everything took too long. Small children almost seem to think that waiting for anything can be an eternity. Many times it is just hard for them to accept the concept of the time it takes to do something.

 

One day when our oldest granddaughter was about three years old, I was teaching her to make banana bread. She thought it was the neatest thing ever to walk through every part of the process. She saw me crack an egg and she wanted to crack an egg. Apprehensively I handed her the egg hoping it would be a good experience. She managed to crack it properly and did rather well. With each step she grew more and more in love with the whole process of preparing the bread batter. She kept stirring and stirring and eventually it was time to pour in the pans an pop in the oven.

 

I could see that the baking process was hard for my Granddaughter because she did not understand why we could not just keep it in the bowl, and just keep stirring it.     She was a bit unhappy with me when I finally took the bowl from her and poured it into the pans.    Eventually she began to understand  as she would peek into the oven and see and smell the bread rising as it was baking.  It all seemed to click for her then.

 

We too need to be patient with our God as He is in the process of working on our hearts and helping us grow and mature in Him. Many times there are parts of our growth process that we may tend to just be comfortable with.  It is those times that the Lord is moving us out of our comfort zones that may upset us.  It is important that we obediently move forward in the direction He desires to take us.  If we desire to see Him work His will in us we need to cooperate with the process He chooses for us.  It is equally important that we patiently wait for Him in those times that we simply do not understand.  Yes there will be times that we may be tempted to throw up our hands because it seems like we are not growing, yet all the while God is at work on our hearts in ways  we could ever imagine.  God is good and His plans are those of precision and He well knows what He is doing.

 

Philippians 2:13 (ERV)

“Yes, it is God who is working in you.

He helps you want to do what pleases him,

and he gives you the power to do it.”

~~~~~♥~~~~~

 

 

 



“The Wonderful Way He Created You”

fearfully made

by Dona Hake

Many of you reading this are experiencing lots and lots of snow. If you know me at all, you well know that I love it. I still love it. I well understand it has been tons of work but I will always love snow! I love how it shimmers in the evening when the street lights shine down on it. Last evening as I was shoveling I was blessed as the snowflakes look like shimmering, tiny white diamonds. I love to see it falling from the sky. As I look out and see each flake fall, I am reminded that each snowflake is unique and there are no two alike. Simply amazing!

 

 

We too have that same uniqueness for when we were created God’s gentle hand was weaving and creating us for special and great opportunities in this life. It is your special time to live and express who He made you to be. I find it so sad that we are so bombarded through the fashion industry of what is the “look.” We are constantly being told what is cool and what you should never say or do. Whether you realize it or not the pressure of this sort will try to squash you into a mold made by someone else. This mold will create a pressure within you to constantly change and dictate what to do.

 

 

Oh that we can see ourselves free to be who God has made us to be. Can we dare to just be ourselves and permit Him to mold and make us for His purposes. God desires that we be comfortable with who we are and not try to be someone else. I was particularly inspired for today’s devotional by the following quote:

 

 

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make

you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

God help us to see more clearly how we are to live and move in You that we may be free to be who You created us to be!

~~~~~~♥~~~~~




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!