“The Lord My Light!”

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 in the world of digital shooting. 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 make the transition into the world of digital photography.   As I worked in the lab, I saw what happened to a roll of film from the time it came into the plant till it left the plant totally processed, and made into prints for our customers.

Of all the many jobs I did within the film processing plant my favorite was printing black and white film.   There was such a beauty in seeing the wonderful contrasts within each image.   Each negative had to be carefully read and studied, and I had to determine how much light to apply to the negative for the perfect print.   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. The paper passed from one chemical to the next, and little by little as it passed from one chemical to the next, the image became clear.   I always loved standing in the darkroom under the special lights  anticipating if I made proper judgments or not. Honestly, I am glad I had this darkroom experience because it has helped me tremendously in the realm and art of photography.

 

In this age of digital, you no longer have to wait for the darkroom experience to show you if you have made proper judgments in the realm of light.   The blessing of digital  is that you know immediately if all your settings were perfect. If you are not pleased…instantly you can hit delete and start over. You did not waste any film…you just start over.

 

I embrace the opinion that photography is all about understanding light, and how much or how little you need.   One thing for sure…in my opinion it  has to be perfect.   So let us take these things relative to photography and use them as an analogy in the realm of our spiritual walk.     As we walk daily with Him, our FOCUS needs to be on Him and Him alone.  (Oh how important it is to have perfect focus when you are shooting an image.)    Upon each situation we face, whether it be a problem that needs solved or you just need simple wisdom, the Lord has the perfect solution and direction for you.   He knows the PERFECT LIGHT we need to bring us the proper understanding to any situation. Thank God if we mess up, we can start over with His help and reach for His perfect light that will illuminate our hearts. God is the God of ultimate light that can illuminate anything we need in our world.

Psalm 18:28

“For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.”

God, you are the God of perfect light, and you are the God that helps us stay focused each and everyday.   When things seem dim or our vision is blurry, we thank you that Your light is well able to lead and guide us!   We thank you for that!



“Our Magnificent God!”

broken hearted

by Dona Hake

 
 
 
Yesterday I shared with you how our Lord desires to whisper sweet things to our hearts.   He desires that you look up and expect to hear His plans for you!   Let us meditate today on how the Lord knows and understands the depths of our hearts.   He cares about every tiny detail, and because of that He desires we refuse to carry care about our life.   He knows when we are hurting and He desires to heal and restore our broken hearts.   After all He counts the stars and knows them all by name.   How much more He knows every detail of your frame, and what is going on inside of you!!
 

Psalm 147:3-5 (TLB)

“He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great he is! His power is absolute! His understanding is unlimited.”

 

I love these verses and I love thinking about how God knows all the specifics about everything. He knows everything about everything that He created. He created you and the stars and there is no limit to what He knows! This is a powerful thought isn’t it? 

 
 
 
Today, I encourage you to think about the magnificence of the God that we serve.   With one sweep of His hand He placed the stars in the sky, and named each one of them.   That same hand formed you in your mother’s womb, and He knew you before you acknowledged Him as your Lord and Savior.   Seek Him today to be a carrier of all that He is to all those around you!


“Can You Hear Him Whisper?”

 
 
whispers
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
I find my heart troubled when I observe how our lives seem to be way too busy at times.   I especially see it in the summer time.   It seems like people have to be running here and there, and quite honestly we need to be careful that our main focus does not become the pleasures of this life, especially in the season of Summer.  The Lord has blessed us with so much to enjoy, and he desires we relax and take breaks, yet let us beware that our love for relaxation and fun does not come before our love for taking time with Him and serving Him with our whole heart.
 
 
 
 
 
 I can remember awakening to a day full of things that had to be done, and I was  feeling extremely overwhelmed.  There were things that needed accomplished that seemed no way possible within my means of time and ability.  I stood in the front yard with my dog, and looked up and was praying about my day.  I felt a “whisper” from within that seemed to quiet me, and bring fresh perspective to my day.  Those sweet words were, ”Sometimes it’s not as big as it looks.”  You know, those sweet words the Lord whispered to me have quieted my heart, and the anxious thoughts of my mind was eagerly dismissed.   I continue to learn and grow in this area.   One of my very favorite word signs in my home says one word, but that one word has calmed me so many times and brought fresh perspective to my heart.   That word is…
 
 
 
 
SIMPLIFY
 
 
 
 
Many times our lives become complicated and cluttered simply by our own lack of seeking Him before we make our plans for our day.   I encourage you to sit each morning and look up, and expect to hear His sweet voice to wisely lead and guide you in your day!   …and remember…keep things simple!
 
 
 
“Let us be silent that we may hear the whisper of God.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson
 


“Give Us Each Day”

give us each day
 
by Dona Hake
 
 

 

Yesterday I shared with you about God’s Word being our shield.  Today we will look at His Word being our daily bread.      God Word is all that we need to feed upon, and within His Word is all that we need to stay strong.   The Word of God tells us that if we seek we will find. Our loving God loves when we seek Him. Even though He knows EXACTLY what we need, He desires that our hearts exhibit our need of asking Him. Jesus taught His disciples to pray, and one of the things to ask for was daily bread. Let us look at two translations that I felt were excellent.
 
 
Matthew 6:11 (DRA)
“Give us this day our supersubstantial bread.”
 
 

 

Matthew 6:11 (VOICE)
” Give us each day that day’s bread—no more, no less—”
 
 
 

The Lord knows our needs before we are even aware of them. He also knows the areas in our hearts that are weak and needy.  His Word, His voice, and His grace are there for us to draw upon for each day that we live.   It can be so tempting to concern ourselves with things that we do not yet have to deal with. When we believe that He is faithful to give us exactly what we need, our hearts and minds will be at peace, and we will live in true contentment.   Oh how I love the scripture in Psalm 23, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures…”

 
 
Today I encourage you to meditate upon the fact that God is faithful to give us the “bread” we need to get us through one day at a time. That bread promises to sustain us, and keep us nourished in our spirits.  Remember though all that He showered upon you today was for this day, and tomorrow is a new day.   Each day meets us with new challenges, and needs.  Let us draw upon Him each day, and believe that His hand is willing to touch every area of our lives.  


“God’s Word-Our Shield”

our shield june 2015
 
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  is flawless.   God’s Word is true, and God’s Word must be our necessary food!   We need not try to analyze it, we need only to believe it. He promises that His Word is a shield to those that place their trust in Him. 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. Jesus stressed the importance and the blessing of living by the truth.

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. May we never add our own thoughts or opinions to the Word of God because His Word is total truth and it need no more.
I rejoice in the simplicity that God has laid out for us in His Word. Love His Word and live by it. He promises that as we do this, we will be free indeed!!!


“The Countenance of the Lord”

countenance

 

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
and be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

 
One’s countenance is his or her appearance, especially the look or expression of the face. I love this scripture because is shows us that we are able to shine the light and love of the Lord from our countenance as we permit Him to do so.  Oh that we would desire that His countenance would shine and be upon us!!
 
 
 
Our countenance reveals much about us.  If someone knows us very well, they are able to discern quickly if something is wrong just by the look on our face, and the expressions that are coming from within us.   David understood that it was his soul that was disquieted and cast down, and  he understood that as he waited upon God that He would bring a saving health to his countenance as his soul experienced restoration.  I love this Psalm so much, and since I have meditated on this one so much, there are times I find myself addressing my soul, and calling it to be quiet before God that He is able to restore me.
 
 
Psalm 42:11 Jubilee Bible 2000
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?  Wait thou for God, for I shall yet praise him, who is the saving health of my  countenance and my God.”
 
 
 
 
When one has good health in their body and mind they are experiencing soundness and vigor, and freedom from disease or ailment. When someone loses hope they may also begin to fear their future and feel as if they are a failure.  It is when we lose hope that our enemy, the devil can begin to try to speak lies to us that would cause a spirit of timidity within us.   Let us keep our mind renewed that our God has given us  sound mind, not a spirit of fear.    This is a real part of maintaining a healthy countenance before God and man.
 
 
 

2 Timothy 1:7
Amplified Bible (AMP)
” For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and  cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love  and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”

 
 

God is well able to keep our minds sound and our countenance full of health and vigor as He radiates His total being through us. Today I pray that you receive this blessing from the book of Numbers. May He bless and keep you. Look to Him and gaze on His radiant face and receive His grace for your day and your life. As you do so you will find your inward man lifted up as His countenance rests upon you with His great peace!



“Cause Me To Hear”

Cause  2 Me To Hear

By Dona Hake

I know it to be true that if you go to bed with much on your mind that this is how you wake up. The Lord does not want us to greet our day with the thoughts of yesterday nor the worries about our tomorrows. I love how the Psalmist asks the Lord to cause Him to hear of his Lord’s lovingkindness first thing in the morning.

 

Psalm 143:8 (AMP)

“Cause me to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning,

for on You do I lean and in You do I trust.

Cause me to know the way wherein

I should walk, for I lift up my inner self to You.”

 

Let us trust to hear His voice about our day. Are you leaning on His everlasting love today?  Are you trusting Him with all of your heart, and not leaning on your own understanding?  Let us remember to lean on Him for all the strength and wisdom that is needed for each task of your day.  Thank Him as He unfolds His plan for your day yet be willing to allow Him to interrupt it if He has other plans for you. Lift up your soul to Him and allow Him to touch you because He loves you so!



“His Love Flowing Through Us”

our love must be real june 2015
 
by Dona Hake
 
 

I had shared yesterday about the love of our living God. His love is above and beyond what our minds can comprehend. Isn’t it wonderful to know that He is calling us as His vessels of love to a lost and dying world? I had mentioned in the devotional yesterday how as a teen I was so hard to reach for the Lord. My heart and mind had been affected by the hypocrisies that I had seen in Christians around me. May our hearts always be toward Him that we may exhibit His true life, light and love to those around us.
 
 
 
God is looking for us to put feet to His love, and walk out His ways. He is desiring that we put action to that which we know we should do. There is a scripture that says, “In Him I live and move and have my being.” Acts 17:28 He so desires that we act according to His Word and walk away from our ways that do not exhibit His love and character. There are those that need His love and we need to avail ourselves to Him that He can flow through us.
 
 
 
 
 
We must remember that there will be times that He may call upon us to help people and it may just make us have to go one more mile than what we had intended. Many times His love will stretch us and that is a very good thing. It is in those times that His love will be shown and we too will grow as we give of ourselves. I think it is a good thing for all of us to be pulled away from our comfort zone and put in a place we have to rely on Him to help us to do things we never thought were possible!
 
 
 
Oh how liberating it is to know that when we are real with God, He will show us great things that He desires to do through us. We will then be positioned to act from our hearts and exhibit His love in a real way. Today may we be encouraged that God can enable us to show His real love by the things that we do for Him and for others.
 
 
 

1 John 3:18-19 (ERV)
“My children, our love should not be only words and talk.

No, our love must be real.

We must show our love by the things we do.

That’s how we know we belong to the way of truth.”



“So Great Is His Love!!!”

 
 
how deep how wide
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
No love on this planet can be compared to the love of God. God’s love was toward us before we ever knew Him. He was extending His love toward us when even if our hearts were resisting or rejecting Him.  I can remember when I thought I did not need God in my life. My excuse…well, plain and simple…I thought there were just too many hypocrites out there.  The hypocrisy I saw as a teen made me have a very wrong idea of the Lord.    Then the day came when I encountered some individuals that truly exhibited His love. They were real and they walked the talk, and they exhibited His unconditional love.   They showed me that He loved me even though I did not yet love Him. He loved me even though I did not deserve His love and goodness. God knew exactly what I needed and I thank Him that He put those special people in my path to show me His love.
 
 
 
 
After living for Him for forty two years I can honestly say I cannot imagine life without Him. I thank God He loved me through people that He placed in my life, and I am ever so thankful for those that prayed for me when some gave up on me because  I was so stubborn.
 
 
 

Romans 5:6-8 (PHILLIPS)

” And we can see that it was while we were powerless to help ourselves

that Christ died for sinful men. In human experience it is a rare thing

for one man to give his life for another, even if the latter be a good man,

though there have been a few who have had the courage to do it.

Yet the proof of God’s amazing love is this: that it was while we

were sinners that Christ died for us.”
 
 
 
I encourage you to think about His great love for you.  God’s love for you is so precious and deep, and He wants to lavish you with it!   The greatness of His love can be compared to none. It is so amazing and so great! God is good!


“What Will You Choose”

Choose July 2014
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Everyday we have choices before us. It would be interesting to take note of all the choices that we make everyday. What shall I eat?…what shall I wear?…what words should I speak or not speak?…who should I associate with?…etc… In life there are so many choices that must be made. Sometimes we  may make a wrong choice that may bring inconvenience into our day.     These types type choices may disrupt our day but these days will happen. But then there are choices in this life that are “heart” choices. These choices God desires to be a total part of. He desires that His hand of blessing to be at work in our life that our lives are rich and full. The Word that I am sharing from Proverbs is admonishing us to choose God’s instruction and disciplines over whatever we deem as valuable.

Proverbs 8:10-11
Expanded Bible (EXB)

“Choose [Take] my ·teachings [instructions; discipline] instead of silver,
and knowledge rather than ·the finest [choice] gold.
Wisdom is more precious than ·rubies [or pearls].
Nothing ·you could want is equal to [is more delightful than] it.”

 
 

In this scripture God is showing us that even the jewels that we could ever possess do not measure in value to His instruction, His wisdom and knowledge. Think about it…NOTHING we could ever desire no matter how wonderful can compare to the worth of His great riches !! Let us ponder this scripture and allow our hearts to be challenged. May we know that we value His Word above anything this world has to offer.




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!