Monday, June 12, 2017

 

 

Devotional for Monday, June 12, 2017
“Understanding the Light of Our Lord”

 

light in the midst of darkness

by Dona Hake

So much has changed in the world of photography, and it continues to develop and improve as the world of digital shooting continues to advance.    I can remember being adamant in not wanting anything to do with a digital camera. I knew nothing but film and working in a film lab for almost ten years made it even harder for me to switch.   I worked in so many departments of the photo lab but my favorite was working with the printing of black and white negatives.  Each negative had to be carefully read.  The printing machine did not tell me what to do, I had to make the decision to administer  light or less light for a quality image.  Light, dark, whites, grays, blacks…it all had to be perfect to create the perfect black and white image. After printing I would take my huge roll of paper to the darkroom for processing.   In the darkroom where your prints were processed you could stand and watch the images you printed.   The paper passed from one chemical to the next and was being transformed as it reached its destination of completion.  I would stand there anticipating if I made proper judgements or not.  Honestly, I am glad I had that experience because it has benefited me even in the use of digital and making judgements while shooting manually.
 
I often think about photographers back in the day of film shooting that photographed  weddings.   I cannot imagine capturing an iconic shot not knowing that my settings were completely off, and the image was irreparable.     As I did wedding photography for seven years and shot over eighty weddings, I cannot tell you how thankful I was to be able to check myself with those very important shots.

 

In this age of digital shooting I hear many say they just shoot on their automatic setting.  In other words they just let the camera figure it out the settings.    I learned a valuable lesson from a photographer that I had the opportunity to work with.   One day he said to me, “Dona, you need to shoot manually. It is what creativity is all about with photography.”    My response, “Wow! that is too scary to  me!  What if I miss a good shot because I did not figure out settings correctly?”   His response, “Dona, it is more scary to me to shoot on automatic for I know I am not getting the best shot I can get.”   From that day forward I have been shooting manually almost 99% of the time.  

 

I embrace the opinion that photography is all about understanding light.  How much or how little you need.  It has to be perfect.  So it is when we encounter situations in this life. We need to have God’s perfect light at work for us in everything we do!   First you need to know what kind of outcome you desire and you need to know what to do to make it happen.  Along with our desires we need to desire to understand how to get to where we are going.  God knows what we need, and His Word has every answer for anything we face.  He knows the light we need to bring us the proper understanding in a situation.  Thank God that if we do mess up, we can start over with His help and reach for His light.  God is the God of ultimate light that can illuminate anything we need in our life.

 

Psalm 18:28

 

“For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my

God will enlighten my darkness.”

 

I am ever so thankful that God is a God of all light.  There is nothing I face that He cannot go before  me and show me the way and instruct me how to get there safely.  Today I praise Him for being a God of perfect light!



Sunday, June 11, 2017

 

 

Devotional for Sunday, June 11, 2017
“The Loyalty of Our Lord”
 

Mercies new every morning

by Dona Hake

 

Loyalty is characterized by faithfulness to commitments and obligations.  God has promised to be loyal to us with His love, forgiveness, help, …oh my!…there are so many things that He promises to be to us.  Jesus said in His Word that He would NEVER leave us or forsake us.  Our Lord has promised to remain faithful, from one generation to the next.   The loyalty of our Lord should be precious to us for He can always be depended upon.

 

At the end of many days I may look back on my day and wished that I would have said or done things differently but praise God  He faithfully forgives me,  and He promises to help me do better as I lean upon Him for all wisdom and strength.   Because of His loyalty and steadfast love, He promises to be there for me tomorrow and give me the wisdom that I need to do better.  One of the first things I try to do each morning as I greet Him is remind myself and thank Him that His mercies are new every morning.  My day is a fresh canvas, and I try to purpose myself to walk closer to Him than the day before, and seize the opportunities He prepares just for me! 

 

I have a decorative slate in my kitchen.  Every so often I will write a thought or scripture on it and it reminds me of something I am meditating on.  I can remember one  evening I was trying to do some different cursive handwriting with the chalk and I kept messing up.  I was glad I could just erase it and start over and work at it till I had it exactly the way I wanted it.   This made me think about how my Lord helps me in my mistakes, and blesses me with fresh new opportunities if I do not get it right the first time around.  So it is with the Lord’s mercies, they are new and fresh each morning.  Thank God we have fresh starts each day and we can learn from our yesterdays.  He is there to help us to keep working out those things that we are trying to get right in our lives.  Thank God that our mess ups are forgiven and wiped away with the blood of Jesus!  Praise the Lord today for His loyalty to you!

 

Lamentations 3:22-23
 
“How enduring is God’s loyal love; the
Eternal has inexhaustible compassion.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

 

 

 

Devotional for Saturday, June 10, 2017
“You Are More Valuable…”
 

god does not forget

by Dona Hake

 

Have you ever felt forgotten?  Maybe there has been a time that you are walking through some rough circumstances, and you just wished someone would inquire how you are doing.  I think we can all honestly say that we have walked through such times.  I have heard people speak at times when they are going through a very rough time, and their words are revealing that they even wonder if God sees what they are walking through.    Today, let us meditate upon the fact that our Lord NEVER takes His loving eyes off of us.   

 

May we never lose sight and purpose to keep our hearts and minds renewed in the fact how much God loves us, and He is concerned about the smallest of details in our lives.  As we keep this fresh in our minds we will be strong in this truth as we walk through difficult times.

 

Luke 12:6-8  (NLT)

 

“What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins?

Yet God does not forget a single one of them.

And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.

So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.”

 

I have been watching my sparrows come to my feeders every day, and it has been a joy watching them feed their little ones.   Honestly though  they can be aggressive little things.  They are pushy with the other birds, and they seem to want to take it all.  They almost seem to be perfect little analogies that we can learn from.   Even though we have faithfully seen our Lord’s provision we still have times that we are fearful of our future.

 

 

When we get into fear of our future or we feel we are facing things alone, we too can act irrationally, pushy and try to work through things in our own ability.  God has His eye on the sparrow and He does not forget one of them.  Out of all the parts of our body the writer speaks of the hairs on our head.  When is the last time you tried to count the hairs on your head?   I would say that God is really keeping track of us if He has our hairs counted!

 

 

 Let us be reminded that God knows and sees every detail of our life.  He sees our concerns and worries and as we look to Him, He will take care of us.  I just want you to remember that many times our prayers are answered differently than what we expected.  All is good in the hands of God!

 

Psalm 138:8 (KJV)

 

“The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy,

O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.”



Thursday, June 8th 2017

 

 

 

 Devotional for Friday, June 9, 2017
“Too Good To Be True?”

 

 

too glorious too wonderful to believe

by Dona Hake
 

Have you ever have something happen to you that was above and beyond what you ever dreamed?   We have all had those times we have heard…”This is just too good to be true!!!”   These are experiences that serve to bless us with a special memory that lasts a lifetime!    Sometimes experiences such as these are hard to articulate as you try to share them with others.    Times such as these are marked with great joy!

 

Today I was reading Psalm 139:1-6 and the last words are what really stuck out to me.  “…too glorious, too wonderful to believe…”   These words explain the acts and nature of our loving Heavenly Father.

 

Psalm 139:1-6  Living Bible

 

” O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.  You know when I sit or stand. When far away you know my every thought.  You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. You know what I am going to say before I even say it.  You both precede and follow me and place your hand of blessing on my head.  This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe!”

 

What an awesome thought to ponder.  God examines and knows our hearts.  As we trust Him as our Great Physician  we can put our life in His hands for we know that He is the Lord that is able to heal and keep us.    He knows our whereabouts at all times and every thought is known whether it becomes words or not. We are all on a path and He knows the footsteps of each of us.  He is there when we succeed and He stays by our side  if we  fail.   His loving hand holds us tightly and He  remains our faithful friend even when we feel we do not deserve to be loved.   He sees our future and understands what is ahead.   He sees the things that we have no clue that we are going to face, and He promises wisdom and direction.     This is just way too glorious and wonderful to believe but it is true…He is so wonderful!    To God be the glory for all the good things He has done!

 



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

 

 

Devotional for Wednesday, June 7, 2017
“God Is Completing His Work In You!”
 

patient with myself

by Dona Hake

 

Yesterday I shared with you a devotional on “The Virtue of Patience”.    This is a fruit of the Spirit that is a powerful one to possess.   It is so  vital that we continue to walk patiently with those we live with and work with.    There is also the whole realm of patiently waiting for circumstances to change in our life, but how many times do we think about being patient with ourselves?  I am sharing a quote today that I found interesting…

 
“I’ve never met a man who has given me as
much trouble as myself.”

 

Interesting isn’t it?    As we pursue to grow in God’s love and in His Word sometimes we focus too much on what we are NOT rather that how far He has brought us.  With any work that needs done in us there needs to be a time of waiting for His loving hand to work, and mold us with His loving hands.  I guess there are all times we wished He would work a bit faster, but His wisdom encompasses more than we will ever understand. As He works, He promises that the transformation will indeed happen, but remember sometimes we can tend to be impatient in that which we have to wait for.

 

Be encouraged today that as you are applying yourself to do that which is right and good in His sight that His loving hand is at work in you.  Guard yourself from focusing on your weaknesses but rather the gifts, the strengths and abilities He has blessed you with.  As we keep our hearts humble and open to Him, He will be faithful to show us the areas in which we need to give  attention.  He leads and guides us into ALL truth in every area of our lives!  God bless you.
 
Philippians 1:6  Amplified Version
 
“I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].”

 



Tuesday, June 6, 2017

 

 

 

 Devotional for Tuesday, June 6, 2017
“The Virtue of Patience”

 

patience and forgiveness

by Dona Hake
 
 
I think children really have a tough time being patient with waiting especially for special events.   I can remember our youngest son when he was little, and in the midst of his impatience, I would say, “You must be patient for patience is a virtue!”   Kids always respond to statements like this with that “ugh” look on their face.   Even though my son was just learning to pronounce certain words, he would try his best.  One day he had an opportunity to determine himself to be patient, and I overheard him saying…”Patience will hurt you!”    I quickly said, “Oh my!  that’s not true.  Patience is a good thing.”  He said, “But Mommy, you said patience will hurt you!”   I had to giggle for he was hearing the word virtue to be hurt you!
 
Little memories like this are fun but interesting enough it seems that sometimes people do look at patience as a painful thing rather than a time of good waiting and growth in the soul!    When I see people exhibit patience in trying and tough situations it always strikes me as such a wonderful strength.   Sometimes it seems that there are those that are just strong in their patience because it is part of their makeup and personality.  Know this though…we all have our limits in how much we can take. Only the patience that comes from above and developed within our soul is the patience that will help us forbear tough situations.

 

Proverbs 19:11 (ERV) 

 “Experience makes you more patient, and you

are most patient when you ignore insults.”

 

I especially like this translation of Proverbs 19:11 because I think the more we go on in life and we walk through experiences we begin to understand things more deeply. In any trying situation IF we allow the Lord to teach we, we will walk away with more wisdom under our belt.  I leave you with this scripture to meditate upon, and you think upon His patience developing in you!

 

Proverbs 19:11 (MSG) 

“Smart people know how to hold their tongue;

their grandeur is to forgive and forget.”

 



Monday, June 5, 2017

 

 

 

Devotional for Monday, June 5, 2017
“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 look at all the beautiful things around me, and daily I praise Him for His wonderful and beautiful works.   We serve a breathtaking and amazing God.  Now let us meditate upon  how the Creator of Heaven and Earth sent His Son to die that we might be set free.   Our Lord has promised to never leave us, and He desires that we call upon Him for the help we need.  Our help that we need should always come the Creator of heaven and earth.

 

I think about how Jesus has promised to stay by our sides and be our  help.  The question I am pondering now as I write this is do I only ask Him to be my helper  in the difficult and impossible things.  I can only imagine that our God really wants to help us more than we would ever realize at times no matter how big or small our needs are.  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, and the maker of heaven and earth knows exactly how to handle our problems along with the simplest of matters.   I love seeking His wisdom in ordinary things!  His loving hand can take the ordinary and make it extraordinary!

 

 Lord, today we ask invite You to be our Helper in all that we put our hand to.   We thank You for Your great wisdom and direction, and submit to Your will and Your ways. In Jesus Name, amen.


Saturday, June 3, 2017

 

 

Devotional for Saturday, June 3, 2017
“Following the Lord’s Perfect Path”

 

Lead me in paths of righteousness

by Dona Hake

 

Yesterday I shared from Psalm 23, and we focused on His goodness and mercy following us all the days of our life.    What a wonderful meditation knowing the Lord is following us around with these two beautiful aspects of who He is.   Today we will focus on us following Him.   Where He leads we MUST follow that we can know that we are in His perfect will.
 
God desires that we be consumed with Him and doing His will yet  He knows our frame and our weaknesses.  As we embrace His will for our lives we will without a doubt have a desire to do that which is right in His eyes.   Yes, there will be days that we mess up but He well knows that we are human and we will make mistakes.   We must remind ourselves that His forgiveness is there for us and He promises to walk along side of us and show us the right way.  Not only does He show us the way, but He enables us to walk the path.

 

Psalm 23:3 (VOICE)
“He makes me whole again,
steering me off worn, hard paths

to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name.”

 

David wrote this Psalm with his sheep in mind.  He understood that sheep have a tendency to want to walk the same paths to the point they are in ruts.   Because a sheep stays in a favored spot, they wear it down, and it becomes barren.  These type areas can tend to become infested with parasites which are very dangerous to the health of sheep.  We too can tend as humans to desire a comfort zone.  We can tend to fall into ruts with our thinking and behavior.  These things can keep us from walking in the freshness of His will for our life.

 

Today, let us remind ourselves to look to Him for direction in every area of our life.  As we do, our lives will be a testimony as it echoes and honors His Name!



Friday, June 2, 2017

 

 

Devotional for Friday, June 2, 2017
“Goodness and Mercy Shall Follow Us!”

 

goodness and mercy follow me

by Dona Hake
 
Psalm 23:6

“SURELY goodness and mercy SHALL follow me all the days of my life.”

 
Sometimes when I am meditating on a scripture to share with you there may be one word that stands out to me.   As we look at this scripture I think this one word will deepen your love and appreciation for the Psalmist’s words.   That word is surely which means:  firmly; unerringly; without missing or slipping,
 
 
Because He is so good, we can most assuredly say “only goodness and mercy WILL follow me.”  These beautiful qualities of our Lord WILL follow us firmly, unerringly, without missing or slipping!!!!   If you have lived any length of time on this earth you can testify to the fact that there will be tests and there will be trials.  Nevertheless, our Shepherd has promised to follow us around with His goodness and His mercy.  Many times trials can test our confidence in Christ, but we must remember that He will never give up on us.  Even though we fall, He has promised to lift us back up and restore us again.

 

His goodness and mercy should not only follow us but we should have it flowing through us as we abide in Him.   I believe that we can be vessels of His goodness and mercy even to those that you may feel are undeserving of it.   Remember…we can do nothing to feel that we are deserving of all that He has lavished us with for it is not by works that we are saved.  

 

I leave you with two questions to ask yourself and ponder…How do you deposit the blessings you have received into the lives of others? And can others see that you are  being followed by His goodness and mercy?  I find these two questions very challenging and I want to think about them on a regular basis in order to keep my heart challenged…how about you?



Thursday, June 1, 2017

 

 

 

Devotional for Thursday, June 1, 2017
“Dwelling Forever In the Lord’s House”

 

I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever

by Dona Hake

 

“…I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Psalm 23:6
 

Today we are meditating upon where we are dwelling.  To dwell in a place means to  live or continue in a given condition or state.  God desires that His children never  leave the beauty of His presence.  He desires we never stray or entertain thoughts of the “grass being greener on the other side.”    As He follows us all the days of our lives, He so longs for our love.  He longs that we give Him everything.  He longs that we stay close to Him and dwell in Him forever.

 

Oh that we would remind ourselves as much as possible of the abundance of blessings we possess in Him.  Let us declare that we belong to Him and live to please Him in every way we can today.  We should delight to give testimony of what He has or is doing in our life. 

 I encourage you to look for opportunities to share the wonderful things He has done for you as you dwell in Him all the days of your life!

 

 

 

Psalm 73:28 Amplified

 

“But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have

put my trust in the Lord God and made Him my

refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.”




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!