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!


“Worry Often Gives…”

worry gives a small thing
by Dona Hake
There is a quote that says “Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.” It is so true. We can get preoccupied with things, begin to worry, and all of a sudden it is as if a gigantic magnifying glass is on our problem. What is even worse is if we are magnifying something that has not even transpired. We begin to imagine the strangest and most fearful scenarios. It is in those times that we need to stop ourselves and remember Who takes care of us and it is Him that lovingly watches over our every move.

Psalm 139 (The Living Bible)

“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit or stand. When far away you know my every thought. You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. You know what I am going to say before I even say it. You both precede and follow me and place your hand of blessing on my head.”


When we meditate upon the fact that God knows the moment in which we live, the moments we are about to walk into, and the tomorrow that we will face, we can be assured of His care. Let us live in the abundant provisions of His Word and not allow ourselves to robbed of living one day at a time in His presence and in His joy!   Let us draw upon His amazing grace and strength for every moment that we live for He is good and He is faithful.

“Healing In a Kind Word”

kind words
by Dona Hake
Words can heal and words can hurt.   Let us purpose to work at speaking words that are kind and uplifting.  It is amazing the power that a word can carry.   I have had times where one negative word has been spoken to me, and even in the midst of positive, that one word was able to tempt my mind to be side tracked.  If we entertain the thoughts that go hand in hand with a negative word, you will surely be brought down by it.
David wrote in the Psalms about the power of hate and contempt in words.  David understood the conspiracy and plots against him, and the power of hateful, negative words.
Psalm 64

“Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint;
protect my life from the threat of the enemy.
Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,
from the plots of evildoers.
They sharpen their tongues like swords
and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.”

The Word of God also speaks of the healing power within a kind word.  Not only is it healing to the hearer but I believe that the individual that speaks kind, loving words is built up in their spirit and soul as well.  I was recently shopping and waiting for the clerk to take care of me.   She was a young woman and she had the saddest, and somewhat grumpy look on her face.     I stood and observed how she would not even look into the customer’s eyes, and barely speak to them as she was ringing them up.  When I stepped up for her to take care of me I asked her how she was and she said, “Okay…I am just taking one day at a time.”  I said, “Honey, that is all we can do. I do hope your day is much better.”  She looked into my eyes and smiled real big.   She said, “Thank you!  Have a good day too!”  I wished so badly that there would not have been so many customers behind me so I could have engaged a deeper conversation with her.  I walked away and lifted her up in prayer.   
You just never know what a kind word and simple prayer can do for someone.  Let us be ready to share a kind word that brings healing to a hurting heart.
Proverbs 16:24 “Kind words are like honey—
sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”

“Reaping A Harvest Of Righteousness”

Harvest of righteousness
by Dona Hake
James 3:18Amplified Bible (AMP)

“And the harvest of righteousness (of conformity to God’s will in thought and deed) is [the fruit of the seed] sown in peace by those who work for and make peace [in themselves and in others, that peace which means concord, agreement, and harmony between individuals, with undisturbedness, in a peaceful mind free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts].”

If I ask you if you desired a harvest of righteousness in your life, I just know you would most certainly answer “Yes!”   In order to experience this harvest of righteousness we must be diligent to sow peace.  If our heart is not full of peace, it is not likely that we can sow it into other’s lives, and situations around us..
Paul spoke of Christ’s peace being like an umpire or referee in our hearts. His peace will settle all unrest and arguments that go on in your mind. Our hearts and minds are the center of all conflict because this is where our feelings and desires clash, our hopes and fears meet , jealousy battles with love, etc… Ask Him to help you listen to the umpire of your heart. He will instruct you in a way that peace will rule and reign no matter what. It is God’s peace that surpasses all understanding. Jesus indeed gives us peace that the world cannot give.  It is as we allow this peace to rule that we will indeed be sowing to those around us. 
Colossians 3:15-  Amplified version

“And let the peace soul harmony which comes from Christ

rule act as umpire continually in your hearts deciding

and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds,

in that peaceful state to which as members of Christ’s

one body you were also called to live…”

“The Strength of My Heart”

strength of my heart
by Dona Hake
Philippians 4:13 Amplified Bible
” I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for
anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into
me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].”
Before this portion of scripture Paul wrote that he had learned the secret of
being content. I love how this version that I was reading (NIV) used the word
secret. Being content is a beautiful way to live. The dictionary defines secret
being used in this context as a method, formula, plan, etc., known only to the
initiated or the few: the secret of happiness; a trade secret.
If you are a believer you are one of “the few”, and within
us we embrace a precious secret to strength.  We can say that by the strength
of the Lord we can be content no matter what is going on around us. Paul
understood this and he spoke with the authority as well. He said, “…for I have
learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in
need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being
content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry.whether living in
plenty or in want…I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

I think it is important to note that Paul said two times here that he had
learned contentment. Contentment does not just fall on your lap like a ripe
apple from a tree. Contentment is developed through decision making in times
of crisis or problems you face.   It is when you learn the secret of contentment

that you can look to the Lord and  proclaim “I CAN DO everything through
Him who strengthens me. Sometimes when we face needs in this life
and we decide to be content until the manifestation, God can work in us and also on
our behalf. It is those times that we realize after we get through the trial that
the situation gave us new insights   and we became stronger because of it.
Let us not call upon His strength to just escape and run away from our needs
but rather to be strengthened to walk through them. Let us bare the testimony
that Paul wrote ” I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him
Who infuses inner strength into me.” It is as we do this that we can truly say
that we can do all through Him who strengthens us!

“Light Overpowers”

light overpowers
by Dona Hake
Everyone reading this must admit that there is absolute truth that light is able to overpower darkness. You walk in a dark room, and the first thing you do is reach for the light switch. An electrical storm zaps your electricity, and what do you do? In our home we have a box that has flashlights and batteries and also two lanterns where we know to go for that we can bring light to the situation. We want to know we are prepared for such a situation.

Now let us think about what would happen if your electricity went out and you had a box full of flashlights but there were not batteries. You have what it takes to bring light but these flashlights are worthless without what gives them their ability to overcome the darkness you are experiencing.

Today I just want to share about the dark in this world, and how we as believers fit wonderfully into the picture. We are the vessels that must stay full of everything God is so that we can bring light to the hopeless, confused, and the fearful around us.
2 Corinthians 4:4-7 New Living Translation (NLT)
“Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.”

So you see God desires that we promptly and obediently bring light to this present darkness on earth. Let our prayer be today that we would desire to be vessels for His use that we may bring glory to Him!

” Lord, you provide the flame for my lamp.
You, God, turn the darkness around me into light.”
Psalm 18:28 

“For This Is God’s Will”

prayer matters
by Dona Hake
I shared yesterday of the importance that we guard our joy for it is the Lord’s strength for us to live.  1 Thessalonians says to rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances FOR THIS IS GOD’S WILL FOR YOU.    
There will be days in which we must remind ourselves to rejoice even when we do not feel like it.  Again, I mentioned in yesterday’s devotional that it is important to pray often and not wait till we get in a perfect place.   Prayers can be spoken from your heart at any given time or place.    This is God’s will for us to do so I encourage you today to do so.   I leave you with this prayer that flows with what I have been sharing.
Prayer is so simple.
It is like quietly opening a door and slipping into
the very presence of God
there, in the stillness,
to listen for His voice,
perhaps in petition
or only to listen,
it matters not, 
just to be there,
in His presence
Is prayer.

“His Joy Brings Us Strength”

joy in the Lord Oct 2014
by Dona Hake
All of us can admit that there seem to be days in which our hearts and minds are being pulled and tugged by the terrible things that are going on in this world. I can speak for myself that I have felt my heart so saddened and heavy by the many things that are happening. The world is experiencing tragedies and they proceed from hearts that are evil and full of hatred. I am a firm believer that we need to stay abreast of what is going on that we can hold these issues up in prayer yet we need to guard ourselves that our joy is not being quenched.

I encourage you to pray often and keep your heart in love, and faith. Slip into His presence at any given time that you need to. Prayers can be whispered from your heart while you are on the job, walking through a grocery store or changing a diaper. Do not feel you have to wait for a place or perfect time to pray, He is right there with you waiting to hear from you at any given time. Tell Him your burdens and hand Him your cares often so you can be free from trying to caring them on your own.

God desires that we live in the place of joy and peace that is overflowing to people around us.  There are many around us that do not know and understand the key to staying above the storm waters of this life.  As you exhibit a joy that does not change, they will notice and inquire of it.   Today, look to stay in His presence no matter what is going on around you for the joy of the Lord IS our strength!
Psalm 16:11 (CJB)


“11 You make me know the path of life;
in your presence is unbounded joy,,,”

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!