“He Counts the Stars”

he counts the stars
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
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?

 

This scripture should cause us to ponder His greatness and along with such greatness the psalmist proclaims that He heals the broken in heart. This time of the year always causes me to think about people that do not look forward to celebrating the holidays. This can be an extremely painful time for some people. I would dare to say that there is more depression in people this time of year than none other. For many, the holidays is simply a painful reminder of the past that they can only revisit in the precious, silent memories of their heart. I lost both of my parents very close to Christmas and also my very special Grandmother. I embrace the precious hope of seeing them again someday because I know they are in Heaven.

 
 
Today I want to encourage those of you that He that has given every single star a name knows and understands the pain of your heart. Whether it be that you have lost a loved one to death, divorce or there is broken fellowship with someone special to you, He is able to bring you comfort. He is able to come close to you and touch your heart and bring His touch of healing to it. Our Lord is great. Nothing is impossible with His overwhelming power. He is loving, compassionate, and wise beyond all measure. God bless you.


“Can You Hear Him Whispering To You?

whispers
 
by Dona Hake
 

 

I have been purposing to share along the lines of keeping our hearts quiet especially in prepartion for the holidays that are approaching us.   Many times our lives get so jammed packed with things to do, places to go, and “to do” lists a mile long.  I can remember once feeling extremely overwhelmed with much to do.  There were things that needed accomplished that I felt were 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.  ”Sometimes it’s not as big as it looks.”   Have you ever experienced how something seemed to be a mountain of things to do, but once you tackled it, it really wasn’t as big as you thought it to be. 
 
 
As the Lord spoke to my heart that morning, He was plainly and simply bringing new perspective to face all that had to be done.  I held fast to that and honestly I was able to  accomplish more than expected  because I choose a new “dwelling place” for my thoughts and my soul rested there.  Sometimes we just need to be quiet and not allow the noise that goes on in our heads to dictate peace or lack of it.  One very famous quote that I love from Ralph Waldo Emerson that applies beautifully…
 
 
“Let us be silent that we may hear the whisper of God.”
 
 
Today take moments of time and practice just being quiet and allow His peace to sweep over your busy soul.   He will calm it with His presence, and His sweet whispers.
 


 


Is Your Heart Quiet Today?

Quiet heart
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Sometimes we need to say, “Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!”   to our hearts!     In the midst of the hustle and bustle in this holiday season, I encourage you to hold fast to your peace.   I remember hearing  on the news someone quote a person saying “Just knowing I am going to be with my family over the holidays makes me feel like I am gonna have an anxiety attack.”   Sad isn’t it?   Yet, there are alot of people that feel this way especially over the holidays. Then there are those that wish they could sit with their loved ones during the holidays but they are no longer here. Any holiday can really bring pressures, depression  and anxiety IF and that is in all caps because it is IF we permit it to!   
 

Last year I can remember driving down the road and on my radio was playing “♪♫ It’s beginning to look alot like Christmas…♪ ♫ ♪” People were speeding down the road, honking their horns in impatience. There was so much rush, rush, rush, and I thought to myself, yes it is beginning to look alot like Christmas. The anxiety and madness is in the air and people allow the true meaning of it all to slip from their minds in the midst of it all. It saddens me that people are in such a hurry and they are trying to squeeze in one too many things and that they are driven to anxiety during this blessed season. I am probably correct in saying that many times we create our own anxieties simply because we are not purposing to keep our hearts quiet in the midst of any demand.

 

I am bound and determined to live one moment at time especially in this holiday season. I want to embrace peace in my heart and allow nothing or no one to snatch it away from me.

Proverbs 14:30 Amplified Bible

“A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life

and health of the body…”

I pray that you too will think about pursuing living one moment at a time and enjoy the stillness of His perfect peace each and every day.



“Joy To the World, Salvation Has Come!”

joy to the world salvation has come
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
I was recently talking with an individual, and we were discussing how sad it is that Christmas’ meaning is weakening.    This woman said to me, “Where is Jesus in Christmas anymore?   Where is salvation?”   I know many people wonder this, and in our politically correct world in which we live, we are waking up to more and more things that are “no-no’s” for us as we speak.   It is so sad, and I find it appalling.   We as believers need to stay strong and hold fast that we may speak our hearts in love and boldness.  I believe as we do this that there will be hearts that will hear and receive the truth.
 
Today I just want to share from one of many people’s favorite Christmas Carol entitled “Joy To the World”.    Did you know that this song was authored by Isaac Watts in the 1600’s?    This advent humn is one of Watts’ hymns from his well-known hymnals of 1719 entitled “Psalms of David Imitate in the Language of the New Testament.”    This song is truly for the Christian that realizes the spiritual significance that God Himself invaded this world and provided a means whereby sinful man might live eternally.
 
Let us look at the third verse.   Many times people are only familiar with certain verses, and this verse really blesses me.   If you are like me, I cannot read this, I sing it to myself with the  “Joy To the World tune!
 
 
“No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as the curse is found.”
 
 
Today I leave you with the meditation that salvation came, and His Name is Jesus.    Where anything has been cursed, the Lord has come to make His blessings flow over them, and  overtake them.    No more do we need to allow sorrows to grow, nor thorns be allowed to  infest the “gardens” of our hearts.   What a blessing and celebration this should be for us as we ponder this thought.   Joy to the world!  Salvation has come!


“Learning to Wait and Rest”

wait rest receiv dec 2014
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 We are so blessed and yet I can say at times that some blessings have spoiled me.   I also realize  how easy it is to take  blessings for granted.  I love all the modern conveniences that I am blessed with.   The microwave makes dinner preparation go quicker, and there are days that I certainly appreciate that. We go through the drive through window and we no sooner hand our money, our bag of food is being handed to us (sometimes even thrown at us!). Short and simple…we are way too used to reaching for something and we do not have to wait for it for a very long time. We could be honest and admit that we are all spoiled a bit and sometimes it causes us to  forget the importance of patiently waiting for some things.
 
 
 

I think this has sadly spilled over into our attitude toward our loving God and how we see Him dealing with us. We pray a prayer and if it does not happen in the timing we projected in our mind, we can be tempted to think that He did not hear our prayer. Maybe He answers our prayer and it was not how we imagined and we may be tempted to be disappointed with how He decided to solve our problem.

 

We must always remind ourselves that He has His timing, His wisdom and His understanding of exactly how to deal with us, and the issues in life that we face. I thank God for the times that God seemed to delay answering certain prayers because along the journey of my wait He was working out other issues in my life. Many times He used those waiting times to bring my eyes to focus on areas of my life that needed His divine attention in order that He may help me in another area that I was not aware of. Be encouraged when you pray and remember to wait, rest, and you will receive!



“The Light That Continues To Give Direction”

wise men 1
 
 
by Dona Hake
 

 

They understood the timing, and they knew what to look for. They observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth, and they simply continued to move toward it. They moved toward the light in anticipation for this was the sign of the birth of one that would be King of the Jews.

 

wise men 2

This big and beautiful star was giving the very direction that they needed. With vision and hope, they moved toward it until they arrived. Humbly they bowed before Him,gave gifts, and worshiped Him.

 

There are so many things that I read about in the Bible but there are certain things I read and wish I could have been there to witness. Only my imagination can help me visualize and understand what it would have been like to bow my knees before this child that would some day be the King that was sent from Heaven, and Savior of our souls.

 

Today we too need to keep our eyes on the Light from above.   Let it lead you.   Let it draw you into His loving presence.   That Light will give us all the direction we need and keep us moving forward. With determination and strength He enables us to do His will as we look to Him and His Light. Wise men really do still seek Him.   Let us humbly and continually bow

our hearts before Him.    Make room in your heart for Him to do the good works He has planned just for you!


“Courage Is…”

Be Strong and Courageous Ministry Bulletin Cover
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
I had a movie on recently, and I loved this one particular part.   This young lady had never ridden a horse before yet she desired to do so.    She shared her fear with the young man with her, and he assured her that he totally understood.   He said he too at a young age shared that same fear but his Daddy helped him overcome it.   He said, “My Daddy sat me on his lap and said courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway!”    I just loved this because it was an inspiration of how to face fear with a true heart of courage.
 
 
Psalm 27:14
“… Wait for the Lord, and he will come and save you!
Be brave, stouthearted, and courageous. Yes, wait and he will help you.”
 
 
Maybe you could testify of a time  that fear has gripped your heart and rendered you unable to move forward.    How terrible it is to be held back by a fear.   Fear has the capability of robbing one’s dreams, but God desires to release you into your dreams.    He understands our every fear and the things that intimidate us, yet He promises to help us overcome any fear that would hold us back.   His Word says that the righteous will be bold as a lion!
 
 
 
Sometimes in life we just simply have to “saddle up and face our fears” believing that He will give us the courage and strength that we need for that moment and situation.   His grace will always be sufficient and complete no matter what!


“Trusting Him In Everything”

every scripture is god breathed
 
 
My poor puppy, Aasha had an unfortunate thing happen to her recently.  She was running in her backyard, and playing ball.     She lives to run and play in her backyard!  One day when I had her out, she yipped and cried two different times.  I could see something painful had happened but I could not figure out what was going on with her.   It puzzled me because she did not limp, and she came in the house and that was the end of it.   A few days later I had her out and when she came in she had left a trail of blood drops behind her.   Finally we saw that her one front nail had split right in half, and the wick or vein was exposed.  Evidently the day she exhibited pain was when the nail probably split, and a few days later it broke completely. With my husband’s help, I cut the nail off and bandaged her.  I was very nervous to do this but I knew it had to be done.
 
 
This morning when I went to re-bandage her she looked at me with a troubled look and cried because it was hurting her.    Under her breath she began to growl softly at me, and I spoke to her firmly, and  corrected her for growling.   She stopped and submitted to me because she knows I love her.    I understood she was trying to protect herself from further  pain, and she did not want to be messed with.  She looked at me as if she understood I was trying to help her yet I could see it all over her that she was in fear of more discomfort and pain.
 
 
I thought this to be a great analogy of us at times with the Lord as he deals with us in our times of needing His repair, correction, and mending.   The Lord knows that we have areas of our life that need dealt with or healed.   It is when He starts the process of working on us that we can feel a bit sensitive, and not want to be “touched” in our sensitive spots.    We can become uncomfortable with His manner of dealing with us, and we could even become resistant to His discipline, and maybe even “growl” at Him. (not a good thing to do!)
 
 
2 Timothy 3:16 (AMP)

 

“Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action), “

 
 
Let us put our trust in Him to help us especially in those times in which we need our course corrected that we can serve Him in an unhindered way.  God’s ways and wisdom are perfect and He knows exactly what we need.    He will perfect, and bring healing to every area of our life that  concerns us.


“Only With the Help of God”

only with the help of god
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
There is a particular weight loss commercial that literally makes me cringe every time I hear it.  It is all about a weight loss pill that will make you lose weight.  I am sure it probably does but here’s the part that bothers me….”Lose weight without any lifestyle changes…”    Every time I hear it I cannot help but think that in about five years we will be hearing a commercial that says, “If you have taken this weight loss pill and have the following complications…”
 
No matter what we need to change in this life, it will usually take discipline and self control.   Some things are easier than others, and some things taken patience and time.   I will never forget hearing a man’s testimony of extreme weight loss.  He weighed over 600 lbs. and over a period of time was able to lose 400 of those pounds.   It was amazing to see his before and after, and might I add that his story was so inspiring to me.   Before he lost the weight, he  had basically given up and just stayed at home.   He did play online video games and ended up friending a woman on the other side of his world and they played video games.   She came to know his weight situation as they chatted and this is all she said…”You are throwing your life away…”   Those words inspired, and challenged him!    He made some real decisions and it was a slow but sure victory.  I shared this scripture with you yesterday, but it fits wonderfully with this devotional.
 
 
 
2 Timothy 1:7
“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 has made it possible that we tap into the power of self control and discipline.  Also, it is wonderful to know  that God is able to inspire you in disciplines through His Spirit, and those around you.  He is also able to help you accomplish your goals as you purpose your heart to be disciplined for Him in every area of your life.   God is able to help you do above and beyond all you dare ask or think!   By His power,  we can do that which may seem impossible.


 
 
 



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!