“By the Grace of God…”

I am what I am
by Dona Hake
I have a wooden piece that sits on top of my cabinet that encases my mirror in our guest bathroom. Everyone that ever looks into this mirror cannot help but look up and read…

“By the grace of God…I am what I am.”

I want it there for the purpose of reminding myself and others to be happy with how the Lord has created them. It always reminds me that all that has been done in me is ONLY by the grace of God. It speaks to my heart to draw upon Him for all that I need and to turn my back on my own ability. On the wall to the right I have written on a little chalkboard plaque…”His grace is more than enough.” This serves to remind me too that if I am ever tempted to think I cannot do what He is requiring of me, that I stop, pull up by “boot straps”, and go with the grace of God! Today I hope to encourage you to remind yourself of these truths.

When you look in the mirror, and you are tempted to compare who you are to others around you …STOP! God lovingly and fearfully created you and put gifts within you to serve those around you. Romans 12:6 (CJB)”But we have gifts that differ and which are meant to be used according to the grace that has been given to us.” In those times that you feel you cannot face another day and do what is required of you, remind yourself that all you need is to rest on His grace, for it is more than enough. When Paul came to the end of his strength, he realized he was in the greatest position ever to live drawing on God’s grace.

2 Corinthians 12:9
“But the Lord said, “My grace is all you need. Only when you are
weak can everything be done completely by my power.”
His grace is all that we need to do all that we need to do!

“A Time To Every Purpose”

season and time
by Dona Hake
As we commit our lives to the Lord, and seek Him first in all that we do, we will find His loving hand in every area of our life.  His Word proclaims that He will perfect ALL that concerns us so we need to be able to understand the time in which we live as individuals.    I encourage you to seek Him each day in the area of how He desires to use you.  We need to be able to say that beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are walking the path that He desires for us.  There may be specific things that you know the Lord is desiring to do in you, and they may not been totally fulfilled.     Remember…even as you walk in His paths you are still a work in progress.  Have you ever been tempted to be impatient with God’s timing as He works in and around you?  
 I think it is vital that we  remind ourselves that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than our ways and thoughts.  If ever there are times you find yourself impatient with His timing or how and when He is bringing things to pass, you will surely be tempted to do things in your own ability.  It is in those times that we do not understand how to walk the way that He is leading us that we look up and cry out for His wisdom on the matter.  The first chapter of James says that if we lack wisdom, we need to just ask Him for it, and then be patient in order that God’s perfect work be done in us.


 James 1:4-6(ERV)


 “If you let that patience work in you, the end result will be good.

You will be mature and complete.
You will be all that God wants you to be.
Do any of you need wisdom? Ask God for it. He is generous and enjoys
giving to everyone. So he will give you wisdom.

But when you ask God, you must believe. Don’t doubt him.”

 Today I want to encourage your heart that every day that you live, and as long as you have breath in your, God has a purpose for you.  He has desires, and His planning and timing are perfect.  As we purpose to seek His purposes, He promises to fulfill them!

“Craving the Lord”

Pray and learn
by Dona Hake
Psalm 105:4 (AMP)


“Seek, inquire of and for the Lord, and crave Him and

His strength (His might and inflexibility to temptation);
seek and require His face and His presence [continually] evermore.”
I read an interesting quote this morning by Ralph Waldo Emerson, this is what he said,
“No man ever prayed without learning something.”
As we ponder the scripture from Psalm 105:4 we too can see that as we truly seek the Lord in prayer, reading, and the hearing of His Word that there is much to be found.   Even if you have read a scripture many times over, there is always freshness and newness of life that it can bring to your soul…if you allow it to.
Today I encourage you to crave Him and His strength.  Think about those things you love to eat.  Sometimes it will hit me and I will  start craving a particular food because I love it so much.  So it should be with our love for our Lord!   The more we seek Him the more we will find ourselves needing to seek Him more.   The more you experience HIS strength and HIS ability, the more you will crave to turn your face to Him and receive all that He is!  Remember that all that He is, and all that He does is brand new everyday.  He desires to teach you continually and answer all the questions of your heart.  Crave Him, step into His presence, and prepare yourself to learn and receive  His portion for you today.  God is good!

Jeremiah 33:3 (CJB)


 “Call out to me,
and I will answer you —
I will tell you great things,
hidden things of which you are unaware.”


“The Humble and Contrite Spirit”

Broken and Contrite Religious Bulletin
by Dona Hake
Psalm 51:15-17Amplified Bible


“O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
For You delight not in sacrifice, or else would I give it; You find no pleasure in burnt offering.
 My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.” 

These particular scriptures are David’s heart as he cried  out to God after he majorly messed up and committed sin .  He had sinned with Bathsheba, and he knew he was  wrong and he was humbling himself to the Lord.  David understood God’s steadfast love and His tender mercies.  As He cried out to God, and he proclaimed his understanding that God desired him to have truth in his inner being, and to know wisdom.  His prayer was his cry for a cleansed heart, and a renewed and persevering spirit.
These scriptures can serve to remind us that when we find ourselves ensnared by the devil or our own weakness that  we have access to God’s forgiveness.   God is looking for the contrite in spirit, and that is the state of knowing we are sincerely  remorse for what we have done wrong.    God does not want excuses, He wants us to look to Him with an honest and  repentant heart.
  Let us remember that we cannot put “bandages” on our mistakes, and hurts that we have caused ourselves or others.  We cannot do good works to make it up either.  Remember when we humble ourselves and confess our sin that God forgives and He forgets it.    It has been thrown into the sea of forgetfulness to be remembered no more.  Praise be to God for His tender mercies and the blessing of being forgiven.
Isaiah 66:2 (GNT)


“I myself created the whole universe! I am pleased with

those who are humble and repentant, who fear me and obey me.”

“Spiritual Selective Hearing”

my sheep
by Dona Hake
Have you ever heard when someone jokingly or not so jokingly says that an individual has selective hearing? Selective hearing is the capability to block out sounds and noise. It is the notion of ignoring certain things in one’s surrounding environment. Many times you can see this in small children. They may tend to hear only the fun and exciting things, but things such as “It’s time to clean up your toys, and get ready for your nap.” may not be one of those things that is eagerly heard. The question is are there times that we have selective hearing with the Lord, and we are unaware of it?

There are times we can all identify where we are reading the Word or hearing the Word of God, and your spirit has been pricked by the power of the spoken Word of God. We just know it was God specifically dealing with our heart yet we walk away and do not take heed. You can go home from church and proclaim what a good word your Pastor shared yet not take heed to it, and apply it to your life. This too is selective hearing, and we need to be very careful and cautious over our hearts that we are not guilty of this. I found several translations of John 10:27 enlightening so I will share them with you for your meditation.


“The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me.” (AMP)

My sheep respond to my voice, and I know who they are. They follow me…” (GW)

” My sheep recognize my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (TLB)

“My sheep respond as they hear My voice; I know them intimately, and they follow Me.” (The Voice)

The word *know* defined is to be able to distinguish, as one from another. The Lord wants that we KNOW Him and we KNOW His voice! Today I desire to encourage your heart to be listening closely for His voice. Many times His voice is loud and clear and many times it is a mere whisper. Be quick to recognize it and respond. God truly desires this intimacy with us as we heed to His Words and walk willingly along side of Him as He gently leads us.


“Whatever Your Task…”

do all unto the Lord oct 2014
by Dona Hake
The other morning when I began my day I was tempted to feel a bit overwhelmed with all that needed to be done.  I always try to order my day in a way that no time is wasted yet some days I feel like I wished our days were longer than twenty four hours.  I proceeded to think about everything that needed to be done and up from my spirit I heard, “You are only one person.”    I really began to think over and over how I need to just take my time and do my best with ONE THING AT A TIME.   I began to think, “Yes, I am only one person, and God wants me to do my very best at everything I put my hand to.”  I am one person that has been created by Him and He desires for me to do His will and purposes in this life.  He is well able to help me accomplish all that really needs done today.
I have found that we often overdo ourselves and spread ourselves too thin.  This can only go on for so long and we will soon find out that we are lacking joy in doing that which we are responsible for.  The simple things that we are meant to enjoy will bypass us because we are too busy to see them.     It is when you spread yourself too thin that your will find yourself lacking in enthusiasm in what you are putting your hand to.  Let us look at the scripture from Colossians 3:23…
Colossians 3:23 (AMP)
” Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul),


as [something done] for the Lord and not for men…”

I want to encourage you today that God desires that your heart be full of joy and energy in each and every task you put your hand to.  If you are weary in doing well I encourage you to stop what you  are doing,  and draw upon His strength, and ask Him to order your day.  He will cause His grace to flow toward everything you put your hand to as you work heartily as something done for Him.  Whatever your task, remember you are only one person, and He desires to use you in a special way!

“Fix Your Eyes Upon Him”

eyes fixed oct 2014
by Dona Hake
It was last Sunday morning, and I was doing my best to accomplish many things. I was taking care of my son’s two dogs and I switched things up a bit to make things go faster, and save time. I did not want to be late for church.  I  strategically tried to feed three doggies, one parrot, and forty some pond children aka big gold fishies.    Well, I thought I had totally accomplished all the feedings, or did I?

I was finally sitting down to eat my oatmeal and coffee, and our German Shepherd quietly laid on the chair and just kept her gaze on me. I thought it strange because she usually heads into the bedroom to sleep right after she has her run in the yard.  I finished eating, and was cleaning up, and I turned around to find her positioning herself that I could not walk around her. She sat there and lovingly stared into my eyes.    She was determined not to get out of my way until I got her quiet message.  I said, “Aasha what’s wrong?”  Her eyes spoke loud and clear!   “You forgot to feed me!”   Oh my gosh…here she was trying to tell me something, and I was not getting it. I felt so bad when I realized that I had fed everyone but her. The poor thing was not going to give up, and her strategy was to stay in my presence, and stare me down till I realized she had not eaten yet!

How many times do we have needs, and we get impatient with the Lord, and just walk away from His presence, and get into our own ability.  Oh how important it is that we just stay in the Lord’s presence, and keep our eyes fixed on Him because He is our provision, and all of our needs are met by Him.  Thank God He never forgets us!  Today I encourage you to set your gaze upon Him, and do not look to anything but Him for each and every need you have.


 “O God, my heart is fixed (steadfast, in the confidence of faith)…”

 Psalm 108:1
“He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is firmly fixed, trusting (leaning on and being confident) in the Lord.”
Psalm 112:7


by Dona Hake

I shot a wedding a couple years ago, and I can remember like yesterday what happened with a brand new flash card I used to shoot with. I went to download my images and my computer quickly exhibited a message that put me in shock…”your data has failed and cannot be recovered.” I sat in front of my computer and literally in seconds became sick to my stomach. I felt like I was going to throw up because I could not believe it was happening. There were about 300 images on this particular card, and all were very iconic moments.


I immediately contacted someone knowledgeable about the issue and he felt there was the possibility of them being restored. I had to wait two very long days to find out. I can still remember sitting at the photo lab waiting to see if their program could restore all of the images. Even though there was hope I still felt sickened over the whole thing. My thoughts were going round and round. “How am I going to tell this bride and groom that the memories of their special day were gone?” As the program was doing the restoration process, I began to see all of my images one by one appear and I cannot begin to tell you the relief I experienced. May I say that I gained a very new appreciation for the word RESTORED!


Things like this can just really take it out of you. There are times in life in which we have all experienced very upsetting trials and problems. Maybe you have also experienced one thing hitting you right after the other. It seems like no sooner you deal with one problem another one pops up it’s ugly head. Many times you can become weary in what this life throws at you and you feel that there is no rest. Life can feel like ocean waves knocking you down one right after the other but you just know that if you are able to stand long enough you will be able catch your breath again. Sometimes life can make us feel this way. Today let this scripture remind you that the restoring and refreshing touch from our Lord will help us catch our breath and invigorate our souls.


Psalm 23:3 (The Message)
True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.


Even thought this is a modern day translation of “He restoreth my soul”, I love what this translation speaks as well. Today I encourage you to look to Him to bring fresh direction when there seems to be no direction. Allow Him to pick up back up and bring restoration to your total being and new strength to you as you walk with Him!

“The Countenance of the Lord”

by Dona Hake
“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.
If someone knows you very well, they are able to discern quickly if something is wrong just by your countenance.  Many times our countenance is a give away of what is going on inside of
us even when we think we are hiding it.    When one loses hope or they experience disappointment, they can feel sadness and gloom flood their soul. In the Psalms David understood  that no matter what happened that his hope had to be in God.
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, 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.
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 in 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!

“Possess the Blessing of Peace”

by Dona Hake
Psalm 119:165 (HCSB)
“Abundant peace belongs to those
who love Your instruction;
nothing makes them stumble.”
When you purchase something brand new, it is a very wise idea to pull out the instructions and follow them closely so your product works as you wished for it to. The person that tries to figure things out on their own apart from the instruction manual usually ends up frustrated. I thank the Lord that He has provided us with the Ultimate Manual and that is the Word of God. When we love His Word and instructions, He promises that our peace will be abundant. On top of abundant peace we receive the promise that we will be spared from messing up and “tripping” over things that could potentially hinder us.

I thought it would be interesting to share some definitions I found on the word stumble.

* to strike the foot against something, as in walking or running, so as to stagger or fall; trip, to walk or go unsteadily: to stumble down a dark passage.
* to make a slip, mistake, or blunder, especially a sinful one: to stumble over a question; to stumble and fall from grace.
* to proceed in a hesitating or blundering manner, as in action or speech.

I am thanking God today that He has made provision that we do not stumble. Have you ever walked into a place of business to find a “Wet floor” sign or “Caution Ahead” signs on the road? Those words are there to warn us of possible danger, and as we heed to them we can proceed in safety, and confidence. The Word of God also provides words of caution, admonishment, and great instruction for us to walk in. I do not know about you, but I find great peace in knowing that God has provided every answer I need in His Word. His Spirit is here to guide me into all of His truth, and He will teach me things that I do not understand. As we abide in this great instruction,our peace will be great, and we will be kept from stumbling. The tricks of the devil will clearly be exposed, and you will remain guarded with His abundant peace.


I encourage you today that He has provided everything you need in His Word that your life can be permeated with great peace. I thank God for those times that He has reached down and lifted me back up when I have stumbled in my way. Great is His forgiveness and faithfulness. Great is His peace. Purpose to seek these things, enjoy them , and possess them as you serve Him everyday!


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!