“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,,,”

“God’s Light Beams Shining On Your Soul “

light in darkness  sept 30 2014
by Dona Hake
I can remember reading from a book of Watchman Nee, and he made a statement that I will never forget.  He shared how everyone of us have within our souls caverns that have never seen His Light.  He called them virgin caverns for they have not yet been opened to God’s light.  It is a wonderful thing to know that God will continue to work within us as long as we live and as long as we permit Him to.
Today I also want to look at the places within our souls that we may have neglected or just do not want God touching.   Did you ever have something that you may be dealing with and you just do not want to talk about it.  Sometimes this may be because you are hoping it will go away or you just do not feel comfortable about it.   At some time or other we can probably admit we have all dealt with this.   
I want to encourage you today with the fact that God knows everything about you inside and out.  He knows all of your fears, your hurt, and all the things that you may be trying to keep under control in your own ability.   I read a most interesting prayer by St. Augustine, and I would like to share it with you today.  In fact it was my inspiration for this devotional.
“Oh Holy Spirit, descent plentifully into my heart.
Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected
dwelling, and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.”
God commands us to DILIGENTLY guard our hearts and minds, and we well know that  He understands the nature of man, and that is that there will always be temptation to back burner or neglect things within our souls that really need attention.  I thought of a little analogy to bring this truth home to you.  I bet everyone of you have a place in your home whether it be a “junk” drawer or a place in the attic where things just land when you do not know what to do with them.  I have a little basket on top of my microwave that is my “whatever” basket.  Just tiny things that I do not want to throw away, and that is where they live.  Let us remind ourselves that even the littlest of things are very important to God, and He desires that you deal with each and every one with His help.
In light of that thought let us be diligent to bring every thought, problem, habit, ect… to Him and make a decision to not neglect our soul.  Today I encourage you to invite God’s light beams of truth to shine on your soul that He is able to show you His wonderful way to deal with every matter.  According to Ephesians 1:18, may He flood the eyes of our heart with light that we can know and understand the hope to which we were called!

“God Directs the Humble”

with justice he directs
by Dona Hake
 Proverbs 11:3 ERV says,, “Good people are guided by their honesty.” Above any people on this earth I believe that the believer of the Lord Jesus Christ needs to exhibit integrity. There is so much deception and crookedness in this world that people are afraid to trust anyone anymore. How sad it is if a believer is tempted to slip into a path that pulls their heart from honesty, integrity, and excellence.   Our hearts and souls should be tugged at the mere thought of  not doing what the Word of God says. Yet, if one feels that they can  pick and choose the way in which they walk, God is surely displeased.
The devil is so sly and crafty that he understands how to deceive people into thinking that it is okay to go against the Word of God.  God desires that we walk in the totality of His Word and there is no deception in the realm of His truth.   If one thinks they are getting away with living a lie, they will surely find out that pay day will come.  There will always be consequences for going against the voice of your heart.  I will never forget the profound truth Roberts Liardon spoke, “Truth ALWAYS outlives a lie.” God wants our hearts to be pure, right and of utmost integrity. His hand will not bless that which is of an impure motive or thought.
Proverbs 25:9 (The Voice)
“With justice, He directs the humble in ALL that is right and He shows them His
1 Peter 5:5 (Amplified)
“For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the
disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)—[and He opposes, frustrates, and
defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble.”
 May I emphasize that because our Lord is desiring to lead every believer that there are times our sin inhibits Him to do so.   Pride causes one to be deaf to the voice of the Lord.   I can only imagine how grieved the heart of God is when He sees one of His children proudly choosing their own way, and along that way their heart becomes hardened to truth.
The good news is that if one is in this  place of pride that if he or she humbles their heart He will always restore them.  He will restore and pour out His grace and blessing to back to them. Let us be mindful of the condition of our hearts in every area of our lives. Ask the Holy Spirit daily to show you if you be in pride in any area of your life that you be not hindered in receiving guidance when you need it.  As we pursue to keep our hearts humble, He promises to direct us in everything we do!

“Nothing Too Difficult For Him”

nothing is too difficult
by Dona Hake
It is important that we recognize that we live in a day where the Creator of Heaven and Earth is being doubted and discredited. There are those that are trying to convince us that God does not exist, and they are trying to explain away the wondrous things He created with His hands.    Sometimes the more we think we know, we  can be tempted  to reason away His ability to work on our behalf, and we need to constantly remind ourselves that our God is awesome and able to do above and beyond all that we dare ask, dream or hope for.
Today I want you to reflect upon those times that God’s hand came and touched your life in a miraculous way, and you just knew that it was Him.   I can remember times in which He touched my life when man said my situation was impossible yet He lovingly  intervened and showed Himself strong on my behalf.
Today I pray that your heart be refreshed with knowing that there is NOTHING to difficult for Him.  Impossibilities in the face of God’s ability and power are no match.   Remember He is able to do above and beyond ALL you dare ask or think.  Allow Him to show Himself strong and able on your behalf!  
Jeremiah 32:17 (VOICE) “Eternal Lord, with Your outstretched arm and Your
enormous power You created the heavens and the earth. Nothing is too
difficult for You.”

“The Path That Echoes His Name”

paths sept 27
by Dona Hake
Psalm 23:3 (VOICE)
“He makes me whole again,
steering me off worn, hard paths
to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name.”
He lovingly steers us away from worn, hard paths yet how many times do we
return to them. Those worn, hard paths could be habits and patterns in our lives
that have ultimately gotten us in trouble. Those worn paths are those that have
developed because of doing the same thing over and over again. God is calling
us to allow Him to step in and guide us on the paths of His desire for us.
He is calling us to get out of the “ruts” in our lives.
Maybe you have walked the path of a habitual worrier. Maybe your worn, hard
path has been one of constantly walking in fear and anxiety over your
future. Regardless of what it is we can make the choice to walk on the path that
is guided by His hand. His hand deals only in truth and right things. His path
does not make provision for us to walk in our own ability but rather draw upon  His.
God’s Word, His voice, counsel, wisdom, and the leading of His Holy Spirit is our compass in
this life.   Let us look to His way, His paths, and we can live a life that is
blessed because when we walk hand in hand with Him.   May our paths be
 paths that echoes  His loving Name, and may they be
a testimony of His love and goodness to everyone around you!

“The Power of Renewal Within”

create a clean heart in me
by Dona Hake
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and
renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me..”
Psalm 51:10
 As the psalmist prayed here you can see he plainly realized that he had lost something,and he wanted it back. He was walking in the blessing of feeling right, he was a persevering person with a spirit that was steadfast. When we mess up and do not ask the Lord to help us, things are not the same. The longer we put it off the more we will become callous to our spirit trying to let us know that something is not right within us.

I can still remember when I shared with some preschoolers a simple little object lesson about forgiveness. It was precious watching their innocent little faces and their eyes light up as they took hold of the truth. I was teaching them the importance of knowing their hearts were clean. I mixed up a big old batch of mud. I took them all outside and we sat down around the bowl of mud. I squished my hands into the mud (may I add the little boys were loving how gross it was!) and rubbed it up and down my arms and my hands were caked with mud. I emphasized to them how bad it felt not to be clean, and I just wanted it off of me.

I shared with them that the mud was symbolic of our mistakes, our sins, etc. I had a pitcher of fresh, clean water beside me. As I poured the pure, clean water over me, the mud totally cleansed my arms and hands, and into the ground the mud was absorbed. “Where is the mud?” I asked them, and the point was made beautifully. It could not be seen anymore and it was gone! These kind of visual analogies are so powerful, not just for children but adults as well.

Psalm 51:2-3 Amplified
“Wash me thoroughly [and repeatedly] from my iniquity and guilt and cleanse me and make me wholly pure from my sin!


For I am conscious of my transgressions and I acknowledge them; my sin is ever before me.”

There are two key words here that the writer wrote and these are our keys to living with a clean heart and those words are CONSCIOUS  and ACKNOWLEDGE.     It is plain and simple, as we stay conscious of the condition of our hearts and we acknowledge it before God, He will always help us, and work within us and renew us again.   Let us be quick to humble and repent when we are out of align with His perfect will.  We serve a merciful and loving God. Think about anything that has hindered your steadfastness and strength in Him and ask Him to cleanse it so your heart pure and totally restored.   This is truly freedom!

THURSDAY, September 25th ~~~ “Refreshment By Simplicity”

childlike  sept 2014
by Dona Hake
I can remember being at a store last fall and a young lady rang up my order and she asked me how I was and I replied, “I’m so blessed!” She answered, “That is great!!” She proceeded to share with me how she went hiking for the first time ever that morning. She went on to say that she just moved here and had never been exposed to anything but a hot climate all of her life. Her eyes lit up and she said, “I am so anxious for fall. I have never seen a leaf change and I have never seen snow!  Oh my…I cannot wait to see it snow!!!”
This young woman was so precious as she shared this with me. Her eyes just danced with anticipation, joy and excitement. As I walked away I began to think about her childlikeness and how it was so refreshing. As I walked away I felt lighthearted and refreshed as I reflected on our conversation, and how sweet she was. The whole thing encouraged my heart to be reflecting upon the importance of keeping a heart of  childlikeness  no matter how old I am.  When I think of children I think of innocence, energy, trust, and their honesty.    Children are always looking forward to something.
Why is it the more we “grow up” that we sometimes find ourselves losing the heart of a child?   I believe the more we try to carry our own burdens the less our hearts enjoy the simple things in life.   Jesus wants our hearts to be free from the burdens and cares of this life.  He asks that we lay our burden on Him because His burden is light.   He well understands the stress that cares and worry bring to the heart of man.  Not only do they rob our joy but it robs us from living a life of enjoying all the good things He has surrounded us with.   I believe the reason Jesus exhorted in Luke 18:16 that none of the children be hindered is because he loved all the attributes that children brought into His presence! In order to live in faith we have to keep it simple.
I know I share this often but it really does minister to my own heart. Keep it simple! Purpose to simplify your life. Don’t complicate and overbook your life that you have no time to just enjoy the free and fun  gifts that are out there for you. God desires that we grow in our trust, stay energetic for Him, forgive, love and always be  looking forward to what He is going to do in our lives! 

Psalm 116:6 (TLB)
“The Lord protects the simple and the childlike…”

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!