“Thankful For HIS Opportunities”

 
canvas of His Hand
 
by Dona Hake
 
A few years ago I was blessed to be able to take painting lessons from an extremely talented woman. Her paintings amazed me, and I would sit in awe as she would skillfully paint in front of us for illustration sake. I can remember the times that she would show a different painting technique, and she would sense my frustration as I was trying.   She would come to me, and she would stand behind me and embrace my hand showing me how to angle my brush, etc. I loved this experience of learning especially the art of learning to work through struggles or what I perceived as my inability.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I can remember once I had almost completed a painting and I made a big mistake. Well…in my eyes it was a big mistake, but in the teacher’s eyes it was an opportunity. She would always encourage us that these so called “mistakes” are our opportunities to create. She would tell us to have fun with it and see what comes of it. I was amazed that many of my paintings had my “mistakes” hidden under what only the eye could see. It was only me that knew that there was originally a mistake but it was turned around as a result of reaching into those creative abilities God blessed me with.
 
 
 
 
 
 
I learned from her also a life lesson. Many times people trash whatever they are trying to do because of a mistake. We need to see hindrances, hurdles, or mistakes as opportunities. It is in those times if we allow the Master Painter to work on the canvas of our heart that we may see some pretty amazing outcomes. Along with those amazing outcomes we can walk away with knowledge and wisdom for future application in our life.  Today, let us give thanks to the One that is able to take our mistakes and  our failures, and seize them as opportunities to work for the good for His glory!!!
 
 
 
 
 

Romans 8:28

“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God “



“Be Thankful For His Peace”

Day 14 Peace
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
“Peace is seeing a sunset and knowing who to thank.”
Author Unknown
 
 
Today we are going to look at being thankful for the peace that only God can bring to our souls.   I can remember the warm summer evening that I shot this image.   My day was hectic and I was totally exhausted.   As I laid in the grass and photographed these beautiful horses, I felt so much peace in my soul.   The exhaustion was present in my body, and my mind was still racing somewhat, but gradually I was being permeated by His wonderful peace that passes all understanding.   This is our God that we serve!   He does things differently than anything we can dream up.
 
 
 
 
When you are in the midst of a storm, stop and believe that the same Jesus that calmed the storm can calm the disturbed waters in your soul.   He is well able to bring chaos to a halt, and bring order back to your thoughts as you simply stop and pray.   Today, I encourage you to ponder His peace and be thankful for it!
 
 
 
 
Mark 4:39    Expanded Bible

“Jesus stood up and ·commanded [reprimanded; rebuked] the wind and said to the ·waves [sea], “Quiet! [ Peace!] Be still!” Then the wind stopped, and it became completely calm. “



“Thankful For His Direction”

direction
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today we will look at remembering to be thankful for His divine direction.    Things have changed so much as technology has aided us in helping us find our way as we travel to new locations.    I can remember how when I first had my photography business that clients would have a hard time finding our home.    Once more and more had their GPS’s rarely did they get lost for it guided them straight to my home.      It’s technology is a blessing and did you know these letters stand for Global Positioning System?   Today  I can say the GPS has been a tremendous help to me but I am extremely thankful for JPS or our Jesus Positioning System!!!     I thank Him today that He has promised to lead and guide me in His paths.   May we praise Him that He loves to position us that we be receiving His blessings, wisdom, grace, etc….!!!!!      When we need to get direction and proper positioning, and all we have to do is ask!
 
 
 
 
Proverbs 3:6
in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.
 
In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].
 
 
 
 
I am also thankful that God’s direction in our lives need not be vague but rather clear and decisive. When we come to “forks” in the road, we need to simply be ever conscious that He desires to point us in the exact direction that we are to go. He does not want to see any time wasted in our lives so He promises to stay with us, leading and guiding us to our destinations.
 
 
 
Isaiah 30:21 (Douay-Rheims American translation)

“And thy ears shall hear the word of one admonishing thee behind thy back:  This is the way, walk ye in it: and go not aside neither to the right hand, nor to the left.”

 
 

I was drawn to this translation over all the others simply because it used the word *admonishing*.    Praise God for the times that His tender voice admonishes us in the ways not to go.   He understands how our human nature can many times make decisions based on the “easy way” rather than His way. Today I encourage you to listen for that quiet voice that desires to be your Compass in life! God bless you.



“Thanking Our Veterans”

veterans day
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Today let us give thanks for our Veterans that fought for our freedom.  Several years ago I had contacted some Veterans and asked them to share the thoughts of their heart relative to serving their country.   I felt to share these again with you today. I purposely kept them anonymous as I had promised them.   I pray that each one of these comments will touch your heart, and cause an even greater appreciation for those that paused their life to serve this great Country, America the beautiful!
 
 
 
A young Veteran 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  young man’s words caused  me to be reminded to pray for families and those presently serving especially during the holidays because they are separated. I remember being an Army mom and having that empty chair at the table during a holiday meal because our son was serving his country.    Let me tell you, it was not easy. Thank you son for  the time in which you served our country. We are so proud of you!

 
 

A couple of the other 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 for this simply is wrong.  May we provide opportunities to them that they may get on with with their lives…they deserve to be respected, honored, and helped.

 
 
 
In closing there was  one correspondence in which the Veteran’s  remark  was simple yet profound…”So many people can not understand what it means that these young men and women are serving our country. ”   There was emphasis on the word ~ serving ~.   Let us think about those words…there are  men and women serving our country right now.   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, and thank you for serving us!  Lord, we thank you today for those that have set their hearts to serve our country.   We never want to take our freedom for granted.   We ask that You bless them and keep them, in Jesus Name we pray! Amen.

 


“Thankful For Our Friendships”

Thankful for my friends
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
 
This is the month in which I desire to stir your heart to give thanks.   We have so much to be thankful for don’t we?    Today I want you to think about friends in your life.   Even if you only have a few or maybe you are thinking you only have one, let us give thanks for that one!   Now, I want you to think about the people in your life that have earned your trust and respect.   These friends are truly jewels and blessings, and they are gifts from God that we need too appreciate!
 
 
 
 

It is a wonderful thing to have a friend that you can trust. It is precious to have someone that you can bear your heart to and know that your words will go not farther. A true friend will be there for you through thick and thin. The friend that can be trusted sees your every side, your ups and downs, your strengths and weaknesses, and they simply accept you. These are the qualities that will help you to trust. A friend you can trust in is one that you can rely upon their integrity and strength. Simply put you can have confidence in them.  Now let us look up and give thanks to the Greatest Friend of all, and that is our loving Lord Jesus!

 
 
 

Jeremiah 17:7 (AMP)

“Most blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is.”

 
 
 
 

The Lord wants us to trust Him as that good Friend. As we see Him as a friend, He will give us every reason to put our total trust in Him. As we trust Him with our all, we will see and be able to testify that He is with us in every thing we walk through. When the “heat” of trials is on we will remain strong and vibrant in our faith. No…I did not say it would be easy, but knowing He remains by our side is what will get us through. I love how the Message translation puts it…

 

 

 

 

Jeremiah 17:7-8 (MSG)

“But blessed is the man who trusts me, God,

the woman who sticks with God.

They’re like trees replanted in Eden,

putting down roots near the rivers—

Never a worry through the hottest of summers,

never dropping a leaf,

Serene and calm through droughts,

bearing fresh fruit every season.”
 
 
 

Enduring trust brings enduring fruit. I like the idea of remaining serene and calm when everything around me seems to be destitute. As we continue to trust Him as our Faithful Friend, He WILL show Himself faithful!   Today Lord we thank you for the blessing of good friends You have called along side of us.   We especially give thanks for the Greatest Friend of all, and that is Your Son Jesus!!!!

 


“Thankful For the Cross”

cling to the person of the cross
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 I recently saw an interview and reading about a precious woman named Clara Gantt.   Oh my it was so powerful!   She had experienced being in the flood that recently hit in South Carolina.   She and her Grandson were stranded for five hours, and it looked so hopeless to them, yet there was hope!   During her interview  she read aloud, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The South Carolina woman was heading to church near Blythewood in the pouring rain around 6am Sunday when a hidden sheet of floodwater swept her car into the current.  As she waited for help, all sorts of thoughts went through her head. “I said, ‘Dear Lord, are you taking me home right now?’”   Her grandson, Travis Catchings, finally got to the scene where his grandmother’s car had floated into a church yard.
 
 
 
 
 
 
That’s when Clara said divine intervention kicked in. With a harness and rope, her Grandson managed to push the car door open despite the rushing water. “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” he said. Right in front of Clara’s  car was a giant red cross, and that’s what the two clung to for the frightening five hours until rescuers came. Travis  called his wife from their perch, thinking it was the last time he’d speak to her. “It was the hardest phone call I’ve ever made, and I just told her that I loved her.”   Clara, who suffered a broken ankle and hypothermia, doesn’t think the cross was an accident. “Jesus is my savior,” she said. “This story is not about me, it’s about what He did to save me. And He set my feet on higher ground.” 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The thing that was so precious was Clara said, ” I cling to the person of the cross!” As they both held onto the cross for five hours they prayed for safety and strength. Travis also mentioned that he  prayed that God would help him calm down and get his wits. This precious woman said this is all about God, and how he saved her. She shared how we have to live by faith and not by sight.
 
 
 
 
 
I thought this was such a powerful and moving story.   This woman and her Grandson went through such a horrible experience yet their eyes were on Him, and they were eager to give thanks and glorify His Name!    Today let us  reflect on being thankful for what Jesus did for us on the cross. Think about it…we were without hope, our life was being swept away with sin, and our life came to a halt at the foot of the cross.   It was there that we made a decision for Him!  It was at the cross of Jesus that the total work was completed that we might be forgiven, have eternal life, and be blessed as we live and serve Him as we live upon this earth.  
 
 
 
Do you remember the day you accepted Jesus into your heart?  For me, I can remember every detail about it, and I will never forget what I felt happen on the inside of me.   It was the most miraculous feeling, and it was so tangible as well.    I just knew that what seemed to be a ton of weight was shed from my heart.   Today I encourage you to remember and be thankful for that precious day He came into your life.    In our time of trouble, and in those times when all is well, let us remember to cling to the Person of the cross!
 
 


“The Watchful Eyes of God”

cast all
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today I will continue to stir our hearts toward being thankful.   In a few weeks we will celebrate Thanksgiving, and it bothers me to see that this is one holiday that seems to get lost in the shuffle between Halloween and Christmas.   The stores now have to be careful what they call everything so that no one is offended.    Let us as believers bring our thanks to Him as much as we can for He is worthy of our hearts blessing Him at all times.
 
 
 
 
Today let us joyfully look at another thing we are to be thankful for!    I am thankful today for the loving and watchful eyes of God.   You know that He misses not one thing!  In one of the Psalms the psalmist proclaims that He will perfect that which concerns us.  This scripture speaks to my heart, and reminds me that not one thing in my life goes unnoticed by the Lord, and for this I am thankful!
 
 
 
 
 
 
“The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever”
 
Psalm 138:8  KJV
 
 
 
 
 
We all have things we are dealing with at times.   This is life, yet our Lord exhorts us to cast every care on Him, for He did not make us to carry our own burdens and cares.   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 tempt us to live in our own ability.  Corrie ten Boom says this about taking our concerns to Him:
 
 
 
 
 

Corrie ten Boom 

“Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer

is too small to be made into a burden.”

 
 
~~~~~~~~~

and the scriptures tell us in 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 us, and He cares about the smallest of matters.  It should cause us to think more about how He knows what we need before we are 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.  Again, let us have thankful hearts that we serve a God that notices everything about us, and let us praise Him for His tender hands that are at  work in our lives to do His will.

 


“Thank Him For…”

and He shall strengthen my heart
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
As we look to ponder what we are thankful for, I want to exhort you today to thank Him for courage and strength. In this life you will have opportunity to be weary and afraid.    We well know that weariness can keep us from moving forward in the will of God, and fear can turn us in the wrong direction.   Fear can cripple our hearts and cause us to be double minded.    Our God is the faithful one that says, “I SHALL strengthen your heart!” What a beautiful promise to rejoice and be thankful for!  He has promised to keep us, strengthen our weary arms, and yet He exhorts us through this psalmist that we need to wait and take hold of courage.
 
 
 
 

Psalm 27:14(KJV)
“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage,

and he shall

strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
  Many times we see small children have the hardest time to have to wait for something.   We try to help them see that waiting for something that may take fifteen minutes really is not an eternity.   Let us be honest though that we adults can all relate to times in which it is hard to wait for something.  We have to wait in long supermarket lines, airport terminals, doctor’s waiting rooms, and the long line of traffic that seems to be backed up for miles.  This kind of waiting can test our patience, and many times cause us to lose our peace.   I am learning to take opportunities as these which seem to be an inconvenience to take a deep breath and just pray, think about the good things, or possibly just chat with someone in that long grocery store line.
 
 
 
 
 
There may be times that our faith is being tested, and the Lord is calling  us to stand strong, and be of good courage even as we wait patiently upon Him.  I found a few definitions of good courage that I loved and I wanted to share with you.   It means to radiate warm confidence, and bold courage means living out the inner confidence within us.    Today, may we hold fast to that courage that comes from the confidence that only God can bring to our souls.  Let us praise Him and offer thanksgiving that we serve a God that says He shall strengthen our heart even in the waiting.   I believe many times weariness sets in one’s heart simply because we are not drawing upon the strength of the Lord while purposing to stand in faith until we see the manifestation of what we are believing for.
 
 
 
 
 

Lord, we give thanks to You today for You are the One that has promised to strengthen our heart as we wait patiently upon You.    You said you SHALL strengthen us, and we take You at Your Word.    As we set our eyes on You, we thank you that a sweet confidence and courage will continue to grow within us.   With thankful hearts we praise You for all that You are doing in our lives. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen!

 
 
 


“His Magnificence Knows No Measure”

 
Psalm 145 November 4
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 

Psalm 145:1-3

“I will lift my praise above everything to You, my God and King!
I will continually bless Your name forever and always.
My praise will never cease—
I will praise You every day;
I will lift up Your name forever.
The Eternal is great and deserves endless praise;
His greatness knows no limit, recognizes no boundary.
No one can measure or comprehend His magnificence.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The holiday Thanksgiving is one of my favorites, and this month I would to share some devotionals to cause your heart to think about the many good things that He has done for you! It can be so easy to take fore granted  the things our  blessings  and the people in our life for granted, and we must be mindful that we are living with hearts that are full of thanks.    Today I am encouraging you to think about how wonderful and good the Lord has been to you. Day in and day out He faithfully meets us as we open our eyes each morning. He is always there for us throughout our day. Even when we fall and mess up, again He is faithful. As the psalmist writes in verse three, God is much greater than anyone can understand!
 
 
 
 
The psalmist writes here that the Eternal is great and He deserves endless praise!  Have you ever tried to figure out the word “eternity.” I have, and it never ceases to leave me speechless and in awe. This is just one of the many wondrous things about God that are far above and beyond our comprehension. Have you pondered how great His love is toward you today? Is it not the most wonderful thing to know that He loved you enough to send His Son to die for you? Have you stopped and thanked Him today for His forgiveness and paused to try to figure out the depth of His compassion that forgiveness brings to you? I marvel as I think about how He not only forgives us but He totally washes us clean and restores our souls.   Oh that our praise toward Him for the salvation of our souls be great for He is greatly to be praised!
 
 
 
 

Let us think about more of His divine attributes…His grace and mercy recognizes no boundaries and they are new each morning as we face new challenges. No, we will never be able to totally comprehend His greatness, but we can always continue to offer thanks and worship to Him for all that He is to us! Give thanks to the Lord for there is no measure of His magnificence!  Our Loving Heavenly Father deserves endless praise for His greatness knows no limit!!!

 


“His Word IS Our Shield”

sf_myShield_02
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
Proverbs 30:5 Expanded Bible
“Every word of God ·is true [passes the test;  is refined;
·He guards those [ They are a shield to those] who come to
him for ·safety [refuge].
 
 
 
God’s Word to us is flawless, and each and every one of His Words will shield us.  We need not try to analyze this and try to figure it out but rather let us  only  believe that His Word is true. In your day of battle you are promised that His Word will shield you and keep you. It is in those times when the fiery darts of the enemy come to penetrate your soul that the Word of God that you believe and speak will be a protection, a refuge, and you will walk in victory.    In the book of John it is written that Jesus said if we are faithful to what He says that we are truly His disciples.   Praise God that truly knowing the truth and being set free go hand in hand!
 
 
 
 

John 8:31-32 (PHILLIPS)

“If you are faithful to what I have said,

you are truly my disciples. And you will

know the truth and the truth will set you free!”
 
 
 

Oh that we would be diligent to know His Word that we may be free in every area of our lives. Let us never add or subtract from His Word either.

 
 
 
 
 
Proverbs 30:6 says “Add thou not anything to the words of him, and thou be reproved, and be found a liar. (Do not thou add anything to his words, lest thou be rebuked, and be found a liar.)”
 
 
 
 
 
 
Again let us be reminded that God’s Word is perfect. Let us never add our own thoughts or opinions to the Word of God because His Word is total truth and nothing needs added to it.    Father God, we thank you that You have made it so simple for us.   Oh that our hearts would be faithful to all that You have said in Your Word.   We are so grateful for the freedom that we have been blessed to live 
and walk in because Your Word has set us free!  We ask that Your Holy Spirit continue to teach us how to live and abide by Your Word in even the smallest of areas in our lives.   We thank You for that. In Jesus Name, Amen!



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!