7.14.16

 

 

Devotional for Wednesday, July 13, 2016

“When Expectations Meet Reality”

 

IDEALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

by Dona Hake
 
  
 
 
We can probably all share of the times in our lives that we had high expectations, and in the end your heart was left down for it did not go as you planned.   How we react to those disappointments will either upset us or just make us a bit stronger inside.   Maybe you are an achieving personality and you have the to do lists and you plan your day well, but at the end of the day your expectations did not happen.   Children too can build things up as they look forward to them, and their little hearts can be so disappointed if their dreams are not fulfilled.
 
 
 
 
I will share a little story about our parrot JJ.    She watches everything so closely in our home, and she looks forward to certain things.    She knows our schedule, and pretty well understands more than what we can imagine.   Such a smart little thing she is!   I was told by a very wise woman that raises and understands parrots 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.
 
 
 
 
 
JJ  knows my routine in the morning and one 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.   My parting words with her were “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 that day.
 
 
 
 
 
We can all relate to having expectations on how we think something should go. Maybe you experienced this over past holidays or vacation time.   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.
 
 
 
 
There is one fact we must all face and that is …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 our 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.     May we live in the presence and joy of the Lord seeking His strength no matter what is going on around us.   Oh that we would grow in the knowledge of Him, and our the expectation of our hearts rest in the hope that He has for us.   God is good and worthy of all praise!


7.12.16

 
 
Devotional for Tuesday, July 12, 2016
“This Is What Peace Is Not”
Peace is not
 
 
 
 
by Dona Hake 
 
 
 
“Peace is not the absence
of trouble. Peace is the
presence of God.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
Many times people think they have peace in their hearts just because all seems to be going their way.  One can also think that if they just go to a place where it is quiet, and they leave their problems behind, that this is peace. The truth is that you could run to the quietest place in the world, but if there is turmoil and frustration in your heart and mind, you will take it with you. Not only does it go with you, but it continues to rage on in your heart. We will find the only true peace is in the presence of our loving God.  Along with His presence, He has promised us the ultimate peace. Let us look at the following scripture, and I encourage you to read this translation slowly, and let it touch your heart.
 
 
 
 
John 14:27 (AMP)
 
“Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”
 
 
 
 
I love how it says, “Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves…” It sounds to me like we have some effort to be made on our part doesn’t it? Today I encourage you to discipline your heart and mind to look and purpose yourself to stay in the presence of your Lord and Savior Jesus.  Today may we meditate on what peace is not.   It is not the absence of problems, turmoil, and bad circumstances, it is living in the presence of God.
 
 
 

Psalm 16:11 (CEB)

” You teach me the way of life.
In your presence is total celebration.

Beautiful things are always in your right hand.”


7.11.16

 
 
 
Devotional for Monday, July 11, 2016
“What Do You Do With Your Abundance?”
 
give and it shall be given
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
As a believer you have been blessed beyond measure, and He wants you to use it for His glory and pass it on. Each of us are blessed in different ways and He desires to flow through us to those around us. I have heard people over the years exclaim that for some reason or another that they feel they have nothing to give. Sometimes people limit themselves to giving because they think of it being only monetarily. There is more to giving than just the giving of money. God can use us in so many ways to touch lives in extra special ways everyday. There are those that need your listening ear or a word of encouragement or wisdom. In those times that the Lord lays an individual on your heart, I encourage you to stop and pray, for your obedience could make a difference in their life in that moment in time.
 
 
 
 
I am going to share two quotes with you that are the words of Mother Teresa. I admire the life that this precious woman lived.   She was a gracious and humble woman of God. Read and take heed.
 
 
 
 
 

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”

Mother Teresa

 

 

 

“God doesn’t look at how much we do,

but WITH how much love we do it.”
Mother Teresa
 
 
 
 
 
As we are obedient to the voice of the Lord to give what we have, He will surely bless it. Along with obedience in our giving let us do it with a heart of love. The scripture I am want to share with you now is from Luke 6:38 (ERV)
 
 
 
 
 
“Give to others, and you will receive. You will be given much. It will be poured into your hands—more than you can hold. You will be given so much that it will spill into your lap. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you.”
 
 
 
 
 
Now I want to emphasize that your giving should never be for the sake of what you get back. When God gives back to you, it is solely for the purpose of your hands being filled to the full that you can continue to give out, and be a blessing to those in need. I encourage you today to open your hands to those around and obediently give that which the Lord has so graciously blessed you with!


7.10.16

 
 
 
Devotional for Sunday, July 10, 2016
“The Strong Roots of a Righteous Man”
 
rooted deep in him
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 

 

 
Yesterday I decided to transplant a particular plant in my garden that was seeming to be overshadowed by the flowers I had beside it.    It was doing beautifully but the color of this flower needed to be showcased.   The first thing I wanted to observe was it’s roots, and they looked healthy.    Already it looks to be thriving in it’s new location.   I take care to feed my flowers on a regular basis and I can see that they are so strong.   Proper light and watering of course are so important for any plant to flower and thrive.  So it is that we must maintain the garden of our hearts.    As we  tend to our hearts with the watering of the Word and fellowship with Him we will be rooted deep in Him.  This does not happen just by going to church once a week, it is a lifestyle of living and drawing upon the Almighty God. Yes, we live by grace but we must do our part of staying spiritually strong and staying obedient to Him. If it is your heart’s desire to be used greatly by Him then the roots of your heart must go deeper and deeper.     The depth of the roots of anything will determine it’s height and strength.
 

 

 
 
 
 
To reach a great height a person needs to have great depth. Anonymous
 
 
 
 
 
 

Jeremiah 17:7-9

Amplified Bible (AMP)

“[Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies

on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads

out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when

heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious

and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.”
 
 
 
 
 
This tree that Jeremiah speaks of is the man who has totally trusted on the Lord God above. This tree thrives on the waters it is planted by. Notice the scripture does say that THE HEAT WILL COME and SO WILL THE YEAR OF THE DROUGHT. In our lives we too will face times where the heat is on yet we can know that because our roots of faith are strong, we need not fear nor grow weary. In the year of drought we can be free from care for we will NOT stop yielding fruit. Praise the living God that has promised to sustain us!  The man or woman with strong spiritual roots shall not be moved!
 
 
Proverbs 12:3
 

  “…but the roots of the righteous can’t be disturbed.”

 
 
 


7.9.16

 

 

 

Devotional for Saturday, July 9, 2016

“You Are Valuable To God”

god does not forget

 

by Dona Hake

 

 
Last evening I was taking my German Shepherd to the backyard and she immediately ran over to our  fence.   I could tell she found something and she was very occupied with it.  On the very bottom wrong of the fence sat a baby Robin.   The poor little thing sat there and did not move.    I was surprised that Aasha just gently nudged it with her nose, and never attempted to hurt it.   It was almost as if she understood it was helpless. I commanded her to walk away from it, and she went about playing with her ball.   I walked up to the little Robin and spoke softly to it, but it would not budge.  It looked up into my eyes and it seemed so scared.    I just could not figure out why it would sit there like that, and not fly away.   I kept wondering if it’s mother had been killed, and this little bird was orphaned.  I felt to just step back and kept an eye on it.    One by one, a handful of big robins came in the yard, but they paid no attention to this little one.   But then out of nowhere the mother Robin flew down and the little baby flew over beside it, and they stayed close to each other.      It was almost as if that momma Robin left that little one and told it, “I’ll be back, don’t move….and don’t talk to any strangers!”    That was just a fun thought that went through my mind after I saw them reunite!  I was so relieved to see it was back under the loving care of it’s mother.
 
 
 
 
 We have all encountered people that seem as if they do not have direction and their life is full of fear.  Sometimes people go through things, and you can hear it in their words that they feel they have been forgotten.  Maybe there has been a time that you were walking through some rough circumstances and you just wished someone would inquire how you were doing because you felt so alone.  
 
 
 

 

May we keep our minds renewed to how our loving Heavenly Father keeps His eyes on us, and He sees everything we walk through on this earth.  Never forget 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 or lonely times.
 
 
 

 May we keep our minds renewed to how our loving Heavenly Father keeps His eyes on us, and He sees everything we walk through on this earth. Never forget how much God loves you, and He is concerned about the smallest of details in your life.    All is good as we entrust ourselves to the loving  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.”



7.8.16

 
 
 
 
Devotional for Friday, July 8, 2016
“He Directs the Humble In Heart”
 
 
 
with justice
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Proverbs 25:9 (The Voice)
“With justice, He directs the humble

in ALL that is right and He shows them His way.”

 
 
1 Peter 5:5 (Amplified)
“For God sets Himself against the proud
(the insolent, the overbearing, the
disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)—
[and He opposes, frustrates, and
defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble.”
 
 
 
 
 

We can stand in knowing that He will direct us to walk in the right path and He will be faithful to cause us to walk in that path.  Wouldn’t it be a blessing and a good feeling to know that we are on the right track in everything we do?    It is so important that we are seeking daily that God has His hand on the affairs of our life, and that we are following the direction of His sweet Spirit.        The scripture I am sharing today from Proverbs 25:9 is very plain that God directs the humble in heart.    It not only says that He directs the humble but He directs them in ALL that is right.  Yesterday I had shared how magnificent the handiwork of our Lord was in the creation of the heavens and the earth, yet after He created it all, His eyes are still looking to and fro for the one that will serve Him with a humble and contrite spirit.  

 
 
 
 
In 1 Peter  5:5 it was written that God actually sets Himself against the proud in heart.  I do not know about you, but I certainly do not want God to set Himself against me.   The truth is that when ever we exalt our opinions or experiences against God’s Word, we are positioning ourselves to have our hearts rooted in pride.  God hates pride, and He resists it.  God is totally unable to lead and guide the heart that is stubborn and proud.   The one that lacks in humility does not receive His wisdom and cannot walk in the ways of the Lord until true repentance comes to his or her heart.
 
 
 
 
 
Lord, we ask You today to help us be mindful of the condition of our hearts and the realm of our thoughts.   May the flags go up in our spirits when we begin to think too highly of ourselves, and seek to put our opinions or experiences above what Your Word says.   Your Word is the highest truth, and we ask You remind us to stay in a place of humility.   We delight in knowing that You are drawn to the humble in heart.   Show us Your ways of humility, and cause us to grow in it.  In Jesus Name! Amen.

 
 
 
In Jesus Name! Amen.

 
 
 


7.7.16

 
 
 
 
Devotional for Thursday, July 7, 2016
“Staying In the Presence of the Lord”
 
 
in his presence
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Psalm 16:11 (CJB)
“You make me know the path of life;
in your presence is unbounded joy,
in your right hand eternal delight.”
 
 
 
I can remember stopping by a flower shop to pick up some flowers to bring home.   As the florist was carefully wrapping them for me she asked me a question before one last step in wrapping them.   “How long will it be till you will be home with these, for this particular unique flower cannot be out of water for more than thirty minutes”   Since I was not sure she decided to do what is called a water wrap.   It keeps the flowers nourished with enough water supply till you get them home in a vase of water.    I wanted these flowers to look beautiful, and it was important to me to keep them in water.  
 
 
 
 
Many times everyday experiences make me think a lot about spiritual truths.  Jesus taught in parables a lot because it brought spiritual truths  alive through the earthly stories He would share.   I began to think about how I valued these flowers and how pretty they were.   I also realized that because they were so different that they required special care.   It caused me to think about the importance of being mindful that I cannot afford to be out of God’s presence, not even thirty minutes.  The life He has given me is so special, and it must be guarded as well.  Because He loves me so much, and created me so uniquely for a purpose, I need to value and heed to the truth that He desires that I remain in His presence that my spirit remained nourished by Him.
 
 
 
As I ponder staying in God’s presence I am also thinking about how Jesus said He would never leave us or forsake us.    You see it is our choice that we must make to value staying in His presence, and doing whatever it takes to make that a lifestyle.   I love how this translation is written.   God presence is unbounded joy!    Think about it,   joy that has no limits, borders, or bounds.   It is unrestrained, and uncontrolled.   Let us also remember the scripture that says the joy of the Lord is our strength.
 
 
 
Lord, help us to be mindful that we are remaining and abiding wholeheartedly in Your presence.    What a joy and blessing it is to know that You are with us always, and Your presence provides us a refuge and place of nourishment and refreshment at all times!   We thank You for that, in Jesus Name! Amen.
 
 


7.6.16

 

 

 

Devotional for Wednesday, July 6, 2016
“Lay Your Burdens Down”

 

slide-02

by Dona Hake

 

 

 I can remember the evening that I surrendered and gave my burdens to the Lord.   The day I ask Jesus to be my Lord and Savior true peace and freedom entered my heart, and my life has never been the same.  I encourage you to think upon the day that you surrendered your heart to Jesus.   Do you remember what a sweet thing it was?   May we never forget nor take that freedom fore granted.    The Lord desires that we daily bring our burdens and cares to Him.      The Lord does not want us to try to carry any burdens.  He came to set us free from those things, and as we make the decision to turn them over to Him, He promises to help us with them.
 
 
 

Psalm 55:22

“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee…”
 
 

 

I like the absoluteness of this scripture…”HE SHALL SUSTAIN THEE…”   Burdens will hold you down.  Burdens will keep you from moving forward into your dreams.  Burdens will  keep you from being free. God desires that you give Him every burden in order that He may anchor you in His hope, and He also promises that you will not be shaken or moved.
 
 
 

 

slide-12
 
 
 

Matthew 11:29-30  (NLV)

“Follow My teachings and learn from Me.

I am gentle and do not have pride.

You will have rest for your souls.

For My way of carrying a load is easy and My load is not heavy.”
 
 
 
 

 

I just want to encourage you to make sure you are not carrying burdens.  Your help is from Him and all you have to do is ask Him to take that burden.  He promised He would and He is faithful to do that which He said in His Word.



7.5.16

 

 

 

 

Devotional for Tuesday, July 5, 2016

His Word Is Alive and Active In Us”

Heart He touches my

by Dona Hake

 

 

 I can remember getting the tinniest splinter in my one finger.   No one tries to get splinters, they just happen.   I never would have thought I was going to get a splinter from a wicker basket that I was handling.  Even though it was so small that I could not see it, it immediately became tender to the touch.   I hate digging splinters out, but to leave it alone will certainly end up infected and even more painful.  
 
 
The story about my splinter is an analogy for this devotional and it can serve to  remind us of how many times the Word of God will expose things within us that are ever so tiny.  Our Lord desires that we be just as sensitive to our hearts when we become aware of the smallest of a sin that has entered our souls.   Maybe no one sees that you have sinned, yet you know it is there.   To leave any one sin left to itself will surely begin to affect your walk with Him.   It could eventually cause you to begin to compromise the truth you once held a strong conviction about.Sometimes there are things in our hearts that we think are okay to leave alone.  He well understands that our problems start as a seed and if let go it will gain momentum and cause us painful consequences.  We can choose to leave these “little things”  alone and bear painful consequences or allow Him to deal with it.    Sometimes the dealings of getting our hearts right isn’t always the most comfortable, but when it is taken care of, the healing will surely begin.
 
 

 

 

Hebrews 4: 12 – 13 (PHILLIPS)
” For the Word that God speaks is alive and active;

it cuts more keenly than any two-edged sword:

it strikes through to the place where soul and spirit meet,

to the innermost intimacies of a man’s being: it exposes

the very thoughts and motives of a man’s heart.

No creature has any cover from the sight of God;

everything lies naked and exposed before the

eyes of him with whom we have to do.”

 

I am so thankful that His Word is able to cut  right through to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and it is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of our heart.  No one knows us better than the God that has made us!   He loves us so much and desires to lovingly deal with our hearts that we may continue to go forward and grow in Him.



7.4.16

 

 

 

Devotional for Monday, July 4, 2016
“He Hears Our Prayers”
 

 

Prayer God hears

by Dona Hake

 

I would like to share from Psalm 116.  The psalmist begins the chapter by exclaiming, “I love the Lord, for He heard my voice…”   He proceeded to say that he knew God’s ear was toward him and then he said, “I will call on Him as long as I live!”   He understood the faithfulness of His God, and He knew that God heard him in his despair.

 
 
 
 
You see this psalmist understood that death was staring him in the face and he had no where to turn. I am sure that what the writer went through was terrifying and he stops and reminds himself of who and what his God is all about.    This is what Psalm 116:7-9 says.
 
 
 
 
“Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.
For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.”
 
 
 

 

Have you ever been so upset or in fear that you found yourself not thinking rationally?   Sometimes this life will  present circumstances that blindside us, and our natural response is to be fearful and our souls are shaken.   I believe this chapter in Psalms can serve to remind us that in trying circumstances we absolutely must call on the Lord for our help, and we must purpose to remind ourselves of His love and care over us.  As he said, “Return to your rest, my soul for the Lord has been good to you…”   Let us think on these truths that our souls may be calmed.   As we walk before the Lord in the land of the living, let us rejoice in His mighty works He has done in our lives!   Thank you Lord that You have delivered us from eternal death, You have wiped our tears away, You keep our feet from stumbling that we may walk before You all the days of our lives!!!!




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!