“Work At Everything Heartily As Unto Him”

do with all your heart

by Dona Hake

I absolutely hate if I am trying to do something and I just know that my heart is not in it.  When you are trying to do your job or do something and your heart is not connected it simply feels like you are going through the motions.   I also hate when I know I have to do something and my attitude is not correct.  God desires to work in our everyday things that we have to do.  He certainly can see the maintenance adjustments that are much needed on our heart, mind and soul.  He sees our struggles and He knows well what you dread relative to your job or other responsibilities.

I believe the Lord desires that we work wholeheartedly in all that we set our hand to.

Colossians 3:23 (AMP)
” Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul),

as [something done] for the Lord and not for men…”

In this scripture we can see that as we do anything our focus needs to stay on the Lord.  We need to work as if we are doing it for Him.  As I think about this I cannot help but to think about how our hearts would definitely be more willing even if the job is not pleasant. Another translations says, in ALL the work you are given, do the best you can.   I think that is a great attitude to carry with us as we face each day’s demands and our jobs.  No matter what it is that is your responsibility just simply do the best you can and do it as if you are doing it for Him.  As you pursue to make this a habit of your heart, I guarantee you that He will prosper all that you put your hand to.

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“Your Tomorrow Is In His Hands”

gods plan 1

by Dona Hake

Over the past few days I have heard or seen the mention of people reflecting on the past year.  For some it was a wonderful year and maybe for others it was not so good.  While I feel it is important to have dreams and goals, I still hold fast to just living one day at a time.  Even Jesus said that each day has enough in it for us to deal with and we are not to worry too much about our tomorrows.  He went on to say that He would take care of our tomorrows.  I personally feel that embracing each moment with Him is the absolute joyful place to live.  His Word says that the joy of the Lord is our strength.  Therefore there is always strength to live each day of my life.

I have been reflecting on how each one of our lives is like a tapestry.  If we allow His handiwork, He has wonderful plans and direction for our lives.  Many times things may not go the way that we  planned.  Many times things can seem painful and they have not turned out the way that we thought they should.  With any tapestry there are knots and hanging strings interwoven among the  sections of intricate beauty.    A tapestry is somewhat a good analogy of our lives.  When we look behind it there may be times it looks  random and chaotic: all we can see are the knots, the imperfections, some bumps.  So it is with life, only God knows all that has gone on within you to make you the person you are today.

While it is not always good to dwell on the pain or hardship of our past, we can still carry it’s wisdom with us for the future. When your journey to your destination seems a bit foggy or it is not the road you planned to travel, just know that God is able to bring all of our tomorrows into focus as you keep Him in the center of everything. God bless you and Happy New Year!

Jeremiah 29:11 (AMP)

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you,

says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and

peace and not for evil, to give you hope

in your final outcome.

~~~~~♥~~~~~

 

 

 



“Rid All That Slows You Down”

run race

by Dona Hake

Just recently I heard a gentleman on the radio giving a testimonial of weight loss.  His plan to confront his eating temptation was effective and I found it interesting.  He had lost eighty pounds and he never felt better in his life.  Did he rid of all his food temptations?  Absolutely not!  He said there were many times he would walk into the kitchen and be tempted to eat wrong things.  He understood that he was winning and to give in to these temptations would set him back in his victory.  His solution…he laid eight ten pound bowling balls on the floor in the kitchen.  Whenever tempted he would walk over and begin to pick a few up and walk around.  He felt how it weighted him down and made him feel exhausted.   These bowling balls served as a reminder to him of what he took off and what he walked away from.

Hebrews 12:1

“So we must get rid of everything that slows us down,

especially the sin that just won’t let go.

And we must be determined to run

the race that is ahead of us.”

We are all in the race, and it is called God’s will and purposes for our life.   As individuals we all have weakness.  No matter what the weakness is, it will ultimately slow you down doing what you are here to do.  It is a good thing to remember that God desires that we identify our weaknesses and sins that weigh us down so that He can walk hand in hand with us toward victory.    Let us take hold of His help to bring down anything that hampers our forward movement — and keep running with endurance in the will of God set before us!

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“My Help Comes From the Lord”

my help

by Dona Hake

 “My help comes from the Lord,
the Creator of heaven and earth!”

Psalm 121:2  New English Translation

I serve a breathtaking God.  I look at all the beautiful things around me and I believe that He created it.  I do not sit and try to rationalize how He did it.  I just believe He did, because He is God.

I think about how He has promised to be my help.  The question I am pondering now as I write this is do I only ask Him for help in the impossible things.  I can only imagine that our God really wants to help us more than we would ever realize at times.  When someone offers to help you they are desiring to give or provide what is necessary to accomplish a task or satisfy a need.  Face it…all too often we really do not know what to do or which way to turn and God, the maker of heaven and earth knows exactly how to handle our problem.

I guess I am wondering how many times He is desiring to assist me in things and I just set out on my own and do it in my own ability.  I think as we get God’s all encompassing wisdom and power in all that we do that things will go even better.

God in deed has created the heavens and the earth but let us remember that He is well able to assist us in the tiniest of details in our everyday walk with Him.    He is our help and He is well able to make the difference in the big and in the small.

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“Death and Life In the Power Of the Tongue”

tongue and its power

by Dona Hake

Have you ever seen someone appear to fall apart as a result of someone being unkind to them or a word spoken that was hurtful. Many times people may not realize that the careless word they just spoke could potentially put a hurting person in a very bad place. If a person is walking in a place of despair and discouragement and they feel there is no way out, they need lifted up. Oh Lord, help us to see with your eyes the hurting people around us.

There is a cliche I have heard often.  “It was the straw that broke the camel’s back!”  Usually this is said when someone just seems they cannot go on and they throw up their hands and just give up.  The idiom the straw that broke the camel’s back is from an Arabic proverb about how a camel is loaded beyond its capacity to move or stand.  Many times people become paralyzed by fear of failing again or they just feel they can not go on any longer.

Yesterday I shared about treating others the way you want to be treated.  The truth of life and death are in the power of our tongues goes hand in hand with how we treat people.

Proverbs 18:21 (GNT)
“What you say can preserve life or destroy it;

so you must accept the consequences of your words.”

You see the truth of our words carrying  power not only affects us but it has the power to affect others.  On a positive note I love to think of the power of one encouraging word.  Have you ever been there?…you are about to give up, and one person speaks one powerful encouraging word and out of no where you just feel that with God’s help YOU CAN!!!!   There is power in our words.   Never underestimate the power of death and life in our tongues.

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“Treat Others As You Want To Be Treated”

do onto others

by Dona Hake

It seems our world is growing colder all the time and I am not talking temperature either. I find it so sad at times the insensitivity in the words and actions of people. Words can hurt and bruise deeply and actions many times convey unspoken words and attitudes. It does not matter, if they do not proceed from a heart of love, it will never be right. Jesus had something important to say about this. I have heard these words of His spoken many times over…”Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.” I love the Message’s translation because it sums it up simply.

Matthew 7:12 (MSG)
“Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior:

Ask yourself what you want people to do for you,
then grab the initiative and do it for them.”

I love how this says to “grab the initiative and do it for them.” It is so easy to think about how we feel we should be treated yet do we take hold of the initiative to be thinking about the feelings of others around us?

 

With the help of God’s love, He can show us the needs of people around us. Many times we just need to step out of our own little self created world and open our eyes to the needs of others around us. I think it would be a good habit to ponder our words before we speak them and think about our actions. Think to yourself, “Is this how I would want to be spoken to or is this how I would want someone to act in my presence.”
Personally I think this is one of the greatest prayers ever to pray for yourself. Also, it you have someone in your life that has mistreated you or hurting you with words, these are powerful words to pray for them in order that their eyes would be open to their behavior. I believe these words spoken by Jesus are those of power and they are meant for us to live by!

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“When Our Expectations Meet Reality”

IDEALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

by Dona Hake

Truth is we all do it. We build up expectations at times and if they do not pan out the way we planned, we are disappointed and let down. How we react to those disappointments will either upset us or just make us a bit stronger inside.

Today I will tell on my parrot. Since she talks but does not read I will be able to get away with this. (lololo!!!) Our parrot, JJ, observes our household very closely and she understands our routines pretty much. I was told by a very wise woman that raises and understands these birdies that to never get them too used to a routine, because if they like it too much and you break it…well let’s just say they are not the happy feathered campers. This is why I NEVER feed her at the same time everyday.

She knows my routine in the morning and this morning it was totally different. A bit more rushing and I quickly began to leave for an appointment and I walked over to her cage to say goodbye and she snapped the side of her cage in anger rather than her usual affectionate little goodbyes that I get. She just did not want me to leave her. I left her on an “That was not very nice JJ!” Out the door I went and even when I came home I am usually greeted with little happy whistles and her jumping around. I walked over to her cage and she just kept her back turned and would not even look at me. You see, she had an expectation based on what “she thought” should happen. She was indeed a disappointed and mad little parrot today.

We can all relate to having expectations on how we think something should go. Maybe you experienced this over the holidays. Regardless if you did or not, I am sure it has happened to you some other time in your life. Sometimes when our expectations that are based on the ideal meet up with the real it can be a very big disappointment.
I think we need to just take this big pill and swallow it…disappointments will happen. It is what we do with our disappointments that makes all the difference. It is so important to just move on and not permit anything to hinder or rob your joy. It is of great consolation that our Lord well understands our disappointments and as we take them to Him, He will help us walk through them. Thank God for Jesus because He understands every up and down we will ever face.

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“Allow Him to Direct the Work of Your Hands”

beauty of the lord upon us

by Dona Hake

Over the next few days you will hear much of people making resolutions.  If one makes a resolution it is of utmost importance that it is coupled with a desire to accomplish it or follow through with it.  My thoughts on this are to live each day as unto Him and do that which He is speaking to your heart about.  Do not get me wrong, I think it is great to make plans and goals but I kind of love staying in that place of living one day at a time knowing that I have His hand of blessing on all that I set my hand to, and everything else seems to fall into the right place.

Psalm 90:17
“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,

and direct thou the work of our hands upon us…”

I believe as we allow His beauty or His grace to be upon us He will direct the work of our hands.  He will begin to deal with how we view everything.   He is well able to put us in alignment with His will as we stay humble to Him. He will in turn cause all that we set our hand to to be blessed and prosperous.    If there are things in your life relative to disciplines that you desire change in, I just encourage you to prayerfully take them to Him.  Let Him do the changing and bring growth in His timing.



“…When This Special Child Is Born”

jesus is born

by Dona Hake

As I have spent time with my loved ones over the past few days my heart was touched with such an appreciation of their lives and their love for me.  As I did shopping for my loved ones and other special people I would try to think about what they liked or needed and tried to purchase the perfect gift.  I loved watching the joy and anticipation in people’s eyes as they opened  their gift!  I had especially loved watched the joy and expressions on our granddaughter’s faces as they were overjoyed as they unwrapped presents.

I am reminded today the the most precious gift of all that I ever received in my life did not come in a pretty box with a bow on top.   He came into my heart as a result of my choosing to receive this perfect Gift.   A long time ago our Heavenly Father knew exactly what we needed.  He planned His gift and He gave it in a way that was just as it was prophesied in the book of Isaiah.  His Son Jesus would come by way of the miraculous and He would demonstrate His love for us as He lived and died for us.

Isaiah 9:6 (ERV)
“This will happen when the special child is born.

God will give us a son who will be responsible for

leading the people. His name will be “Wonderful Counselor,

Powerful God, Father Who Lives Forever, Prince of Peace.”

I pray that this is a day of blessing as you spend time with the people you love and celebrate the One who lives forever !

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“Lord, Are My Thoughts and Words Acceptable?”

acceptable to you

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.

~~~~~♥~~~~~




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!