“Not All Pills Are Easy To Swallow!”

love never fails

by Dona Hake

I can still see my four year old Granddaughter standing and watching me take my vitamins.  In her eyes it was a handful of different shapes and colors.  The biggest and hardest one for me is my multi-vitamin and  that morning I saved them for last.    It must have been entertaining for her to watch me try to swallow even the small ones.  She  watched  intently as one by one I accomplished what I was trying to convince her of being  a good thing.  I thought to myself…”wait till she sees me try to swallow the big one!”   She reached her little hand up and pointed to the big one and said, “Grandma, try this one!  It’s pink!  That one will be good for you!”  In her mind because it was pink it would be easier to take.    Believe me as I swallowed that one her face exhibited real concern.  I am laughing now but it makes me think how sometimes in life the right and good things we are told to do can be the hardest “pills” to swallow.

I think the following scripture could probably be looked at as one of those difficult “pills” to take and apply to our lives.  I Corinthians 13 referred as the love chapter states all that God’s love would have us to do.

1 Corinthians 13:5

“… it takes no account of the evil done to it it pays no attention to a suffered wrong.”

Our human natures can tempt us to have little running “accounts” in the back of our minds of things done wrong to us, hurtful words, etc.  The longer the list gets the harder it is to feel at ease with that person.  God well understands that this type of habitual “account keeping” will destroy even the most precious and dear relationships.  He commands us to forgive and let it go.    This is one of those “big pink pills” that are hard to swallow.  Believe me, we need to take this scripture and meditate upon it and let it grow big within you.  It is nourishment to our spiritual being and it will cause us to be better people.  God wants us to live free from all bondage so let us release the wrongs and stay focused on loving others as He loves us!



“Finding Rest For Our Soul”

Find Rest Ministry Bulletin

by Dona Hake

Some days we need to remind our souls to find its rest in God.    We all have those days in which we are swamped with demands, deadlines and responsibilities that must be taken care of .  Honestly, there are days I laugh because I have so many “to do” lists that I really do not know which one to do!

It is so important when you find yourself a bit frazzled to seek out the rest that only comes from God.  He is the one that will lead us away from the strong currents of the busyness of our days to His still and restful waters.  What is really so awesome is that even in the midst of chaos He can take you to His restful waters and refresh your soul that you can be strengthened to do that which is required of you.  I leave you with this awesome translation of Psalm 62:5-6 from the Message.

” God, the one and only—

    I’ll wait as long as he says.

Everything I hope for comes from him,

    so why not?

He’s solid rock under my feet,

    breathing room for my soul,

An impregnable castle:

    I’m set for life.”

Think about it…He is like an impregnable castle.  Impregnable means strong enough to resist or withstand attack; not to be taken by force, unconquerable.  I love this analogy because it helps me realize that the stress of this life does not have to wear me down.  I can remain strong inwardly as He helps me deal with all that goes on around me.  Let us be reminded that because of this solid Rock that we stand on that we are set for life!

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“Remembering Our Veterans With a Thankful Heart”

veterans day

by Dona Hake

In preparing for this I was able to touch base with a hand full of veterans to help me out with a few questions that were on my heart.  All quotes I share today will be kept anonymous as I promised. I had asked them as veterans if they could share with me what is on their heart most when this day is observed and what do they  wish the most that people would understand.  Space will only allow me to share a few and I thank those of you that contributed to this.   Today what I am sharing is a bit longer than usual but I feel you will be blessed as you take the time to read it.

We all hear it…”freedom is not free.”   This is such a powerful truth but sometimes powerful truths become mere cliches and they lose their meaning.  We need to keep before us thankful hearts towards those that took up courage and set themselves apart to serve our country.  Within the one correspondence I received the individual said this…

” I am aware that there are very few veterans from WWII still alive. Shortly the last will pass? Then who will speak for them? Who will be able to tell of the sacrifices they made? The atrocities they saw? Reading in a history book does not compare to listening to a person tell of first hand knowledge. I am saddened that this will come to pass. “

What a precious opportunity it would be to sit and hear a WWII Vet share his heart.  I recently had that experience and it was priceless looking into his eyes that seemed so deep with passion and love for his country.   A younger gentlemen shared with me…

“So many citizens really have no idea the sacrifices required for a person to serve. The hard training. The risk of being placed in harms way. the time away from your family. The sacrifices the family makes. Children missing their parent and not having them around for so many of there special childhood events.”

This thought causes me to be reminded to pray for families and those presently serving especially during the holidays because they are separated.    I remember being in the shoes of having the chair at the table during a holiday meal not occupied by my son because he was serving his country.   Let me tell you, it is not easy.  Thank you son the time in which you served our country.  We are so proud of you!

A couple of the correspondences with me from veterans expressed deep concern over the well being of our veterans, their mental and physical health.  There was grave concern over them being able to secure jobs to provide for their families.  Let us pray for them that they will not be forgotten. This simply is wrong.

In closing the one correspondence there was a remark that  was simple yet profound…”So many people can’t understand we were serving our country (includes them). ”     I started to think about how this individual served me by serving my country before I ever met him.  Then I started to think about all the young men and women that have served to keep our country free that I will never be able to say thank you to.

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.  If you have the opportunity today to say “thank you!”  please do so.  We salute you veterans for the time you paused your life, and committed to a cause as you served our country.  God bless you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



“He Sees ALL Of Our Needs”

cast all

by Dona Hake

Sometimes it can be tempting to carry the “little” burdens on our own.  I think the more we get into the habit of taking it all to the Lord the better off we will be.  The more we take it ALL the more we will grow in seeking to do everything by His strength and wisdom.  It is those little things, those little cares that we carry that will soon having us trying to figure things out in our own ability.

Corrie ten Boom put it this way…

“Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer

is too small to be made into a burden.”

Philippians 4:6-7   (ERV)

“Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have. And because you belong to Christ Jesus, God’s peace will stand guard over all your thoughts and feelings. His peace can do this far better than our human minds.”

When I read this scripture and I ponder what Corrie ten Boom said it reminds me of how tenderly the Lord desires to watch over me.   It causes me to think more about how He knows what I need before I am even aware of the need.   I think the deeper we understand this love the more we will run to Him with everything no matter how small it may be in our eyes.   God is so good.

 

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~



“His Word Is Light To Our Night”

night seasons

by Dona Hake

The image you see today is one that I photographed on a cold, snowy winter night last year.  My good friend gave me this lantern as a gift and I kept visualizing an image of it hanging in my backyard after a fresh snow in the darkness of night.  The night was perfect  and the image brings so much meaning to me.

This is the time of the year where we all hear everyone exclaim how the days just go by so fast and darkness is approaching us earlier and earlier each day.  I personally love all the seasons so this really does not bother me.  What we can all relate to though is the “seasons” in our lives that come without warning and they bring darkness or they cause you uncertainty.  This can cause fear and turmoil in ones heart.

As we hold the light of God’s Word and instruction before us, even the darkest of times can be illuminated with understanding and direction.  As we can see ahead, we also see victory in the midst of the battle.  Winning the battles we face all begins as we are infused with His strength, direction and  courage to go forward.

2 Samuel 22:29   (MSG)

” Suddenly, God, your light floods my path,

    God drives out the darkness.

I smash the bands of marauders,  .

    I vault the high fences.

What a God! His road

    stretches straight and smooth.

Every God-direction is road-tested.

    Everyone who runs toward him”

I love the part of the verse that says that every God-direction is road-tested!   As we trust in Him, we can be assured that His light going before us will always  illuminate our path.

~~~~~    ♥     ~~~~~



“Expressing a Merciful Heart”

mercy

by Dona Hake

Today I am thinking about being thankful for God’s mercy toward me.  It causes me to think about how I need to always be merciful to others as well.  It is so easy at times to fall short of patience and mercy with those around us especially those you are closest to.  After all, there is always the tempting thought that they love you so much that they will just put up with you no matter what.  Let us desire to be reminded to be merciful to everyone around us.

Matthew 5:7 (ERV)

“Great blessings belong to those who show mercy to others.

    Mercy will be given to them.”

When those around us mess up and it affects us, let’s remind ourselves to show mercy to them.  Maybe they are dealing with stress that you are not aware of and it is causing their behavior.  It is in those times that wrong words may  spoken and wrong actions may be exhibited .  I am reminded of the one verse in 1 Corinthians 13 that says “Love believes the best…”   Today, I encourage you to ponder the fruit of a heart that is merciful.   God bless you.



“Simply Pray and Pray Simply”

pray simply

by Dona Hake

There is so much power in simplicity.  I believe this truth can be applied to every area of our live especially prayer.  Many times we can seem to think that because our problem is so complicated that the problem must be prayed with complicated wording and thoughts.    Do not ever judge a child’s prayer to be ineffective simply because  they did not pray the words you might have said.  God sees the heart and that is the most important thing of all.  He desires that we keep our hearts clean, and humble before Him in order that we may serve Him without inward distractions.

I would like to share a precious prayer that I found the other evening while reading one of my favorite books on prayer.  I want you to take note of how simple yet profound it really is.

“Help me to live this day quietly and easily,

To lean upon Thy great strength trustfully and restfully,

To wait for the unfolding of thy will patiently and serenely,

To meet others peacefully, and joyfully,

And to face tomorrow confidently and courageously.”

Anonymous

The beginning of the prayer is the asking to live the day quietly and easily.  I loved this.  I do not see this as a request for the easy way but rather that one’s heart would remain quiet in the midst of any confusion or difficulties that may be encountered.  How beautiful it is to wait patiently as His hand directs His will in your life and on that path you will seek to be at peace and maintain joy as you live and work with those around you.  How powerful this simple prayer is yet it will help you see your tomorrow with confidence and courage rather than dread and fear.   Remember to simply pray and pray simply.  God bless you!

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~



“Determination = Success”

succeed

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.  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 all the storm brought, 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.

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 diligence and persistence to all we set ourselves to do.    It is as we do this that we can pass on the torch 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 Who Refreshes Others…”

refreshed

by Dona Hake

Isaiah 58:11 (ERV)

“The Lord will always lead you and satisfy your needs in dry lands.

He will give strength to your bones.

You will be like a garden that has plenty of water, like a spring that never goes dry.”

As we draw upon the living water from above each and everyday let us be mindful to share that water that gives life  with those around us.  Let us be thankful that the water He gives is the only water that will quench our spiritual thirst.    I love how this scripture in Isaiah says that we will be “like a garden that has plenty of water, a spring that never goes dry.”  No matter how much we draw upon it, those waters will continue to flow toward us to meet our every need!  The only requirement is that we continue to seek Him and draw upon that river of life that proceeds from Him.

This type of abundance is not just for our survival alone but it is there for us to give.  God desires to see us active in doing good for others from a heart of faith and love.  In this time of pondering what you are thankful for I encourage you really think about the abundance in your life, and how He would have you be a blessing to those around you.    Think about the many times He has rescued you from a problem that seemed unsolvable.  Thank Him for those times that you anxiety tormented you and His peace permeated you beyond your understanding.    We have so much to be thankful for and as we focus on those blessings, we will be in a position to refresh those around us.  God bless you!

If it be on your heart to share  please feel free to do so by scrolling to the bottom of the page and submit your comment.

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~



“Enjoying the Present”

past

by Dona Hake

Yesterday during my husband’s sermon he said something that just inspired my heart for this devotional.  “If you live in the past, you’ll have no current joy.”  I think one of the saddest things is seeing people live in the pain of their  past yet they have so much to be thankful for in the present moment.    If you live in the past, even when there are good things going on around you, you may be hindered from even noticing them.   The past has the ability to rob you of the good things that are in your life RIGHT NOW!   We need to stop and purposely think of each and every good thing that God has blessed us with.  If you allow your mind to dwell on the memories of the past you will miss the joy of the moment.  

Philippians 3:13 (TLB)

“No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing

all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead…”

I want to encourage you today that if you are tempted to look over your shoulder into your past to stop!  Stop and look at who you are today and how far God has brought you.  Stop and think about every blessing you possess whether it be spiritual blessings, family, friends or material things.  Let us not allow the wonderful joys in our present be robbed from us because we feel we are unable to go forward.  Know this, God can heal you from the pain and scars of your past.  He can give you hope for a future, and He can bring joy unspeakable into your heart and peace that passes all understanding that will permeate your mind.  Enjoy the current joys that are around you and allow God to give you the strength to continue to move forward!

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~

 




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!