“Do You Live In the Past?”

forget the past
by Dona Hake
In one of my husband’s sermons he said,  “If you live in the past, you’ll have no current joy.”   Very powerful thought, and it should cause you to consider where we are “living.”  I think one of the saddest things is seeing people live in the pain of their past yet they have so much to be thankful for in the present moment. If you live in the past, even when there are good things going on around you, you may be hindered from even noticing them. The past has the ability to rob you of the good things that are in your life RIGHT NOW! We need to stop and purposely think of each and every good thing that God has blessed us with. If you allow your mind to dwell on the memories of the past you will miss the joy of the moment.

Philippians 3:13 (TLB)

“No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing

all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead…”


I want to encourage you today that if you are tempted to look over your shoulder into your past to stop! Stop and look at who you are today and how far God has brought you. Stop and think about every blessing you possess whether it be spiritual blessings, family, friends or material things. Let us not allow the wonderful joys in our present be robbed from us because we feel we are unable to go forward. Know this, God can heal you from the pain and scars of your past. He can give you hope for a future, and He can bring joy unspeakable into your heart and peace that passes all understanding that will permeate your mind. Enjoy the current joys that are around you and allow God to give you the strength to continue to move forward!

“Leave It With Him”

cast care
by Dona Hake
In this life we will have things that go wrong.   There will be trials and challenges, and we simply must face them in the strength of the Lord.   Many times we can desire to be in faith but our mind is giving us fits.  Worry can overshadow everything and it can serve to blow things out of proportion and weaken our faith, not to mention what it can do to our physical body.
I loved how the Good News Translation brings to life the simple truth of walking away from worry and cares.
1 Peter 5:7 Good News Translation
“Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.”
When things go wrong with your car, you make an appointment to have it fixed.  You LEAVE it at the auto repair shop and it will be fixed.    If you need an article of clothing dry cleaned because it is soiled you take it to the dry cleaner and you LEAVE it for them to clean it for you.  So it is when things go wrong in our life we can take our problems and worries and LEAVE them with the Lord.   We can be assured that He will lovingly walk you through that which troubles your heart.  As we understand that there is not one thing too big for our God, we can ask Him to help us.  As we release our faith for a problem to be solved, we can LEAVE that problem with Him because  He cares for us.
I encourage you today that if you have something that needs fixed, you have need of wisdom, whatever it may be….take your request to Him.   Make a decision to not worry and LEAVE it with the Master.  He cares for you more than you will ever be able to comprehend.

“Always Before Me I Set You O Lord!”

follow him
by Dona Hake
I can remember the evening like it was yesterday. I had completed a very long day of shooting a wedding and I was a good hour away from home. When I left the wedding it was dark and a storm had moved in. Heavy rain, wind, and fog was what I would be driving in. With many of my weddings that I shot being out of town I learned to rely on my GPS aka “Gladys”. I turned on “Gladys” and proceeded to closely follow her directions. Everything looked totally different in the dark, and heavy rain. I can remember a tractor trailer coming straight for me and visibility was so bad, and it looked like he was going to hit me. That had me a bit shaken and then I realized on top of that the GPS was taking me home a totally different way than I came. I can remember the feeling of just being totally dependent on this wonderful little device because I had no clue where I was.

As the I continued to drive I was becoming a bit concerned because I was seeing no route signs, no nothing…nothing but cornfields. I could not figure out why it seemed like I was on such a path that seemed to be going nowhere. I called my husband to get his opinion and while we were talking I lost cell signal. Right before we got cut off he encouraged me not to fear, that he would pray and I was to keep him posted. I had absolutely no idea where in the world I was! I realized I just needed to continue to listen and follow the GPS and keep calm. I had to set my fears, my opinions and my apprehensiveness aside, and just trust that this little device knew what “she” was doing and where “she” was taking me. It was a matter of minutes that I was in the middle of nowhere and just like that my next turn was on a familiar route to my home. I breathed a sigh of relief, and thought from now on I need to just keep calm when “Gladys” decides to take me different routes.


I shared that little story just to bring a spiritual truth to you today. God desires that we live dependent on nothing but Him. He wants to be our spiritual GPS! Let us guard ourselves that nothing on this earth has a place in our hearts more than He does. He has promised that He would never EVER fail us or leave us helpless. There will be times that the direction He is taking us may seem off the beaten path but let us come to the place that we lift our hands in surrender to His divine decision making and guidance. Many times we are set on paths that are divinely ordained by His hand to simply keep us safe. It may seem “out of the way” to you but His ways are divinely appointed for you and you alone. Let us learn to be content with where He is directing us and be set on following Him.

Hebrews 13:5 (AMP)


“Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]”

Today I encourage you to keep Him always before you.   Ask Him to show you the things that are tugging at your heart that serve to weaken your love for Him, and pull you off the perfect path that He has set for you.
Psalm 16:8 (KJ21) 


“I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”

“Do You Have Untapped Gifts Within You?”

by Dona Hake
I want to share with you about someone that spoke into my life when I needed it most. It was a time in which I knew I was to step forward into doing something I did not think I could do. I thank God for those times in my life for those that have spoken words into my heart at the exact moment that I needed. These are times in which I have received courage to do what I thought I could not do.
When we were beginning a new class at our Christian school many years ago I knew I was to teach a particular class yet I was nervous about it. I knew I was to step forward into this new opportunity yet the apprehensiveness was causing me to fear that I was not able to do it . My husband continued to encourage me as he always does and I appreciated that so much. There were times I would break down in tears to him trying to convince him I really could not teach the class. He continued to encourage me because he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was God’s will. Thank God for those that can see clearly when things are out of focus for us.

One day our dear friend from Nigeria stopped by the school to visit and I was standing in the hall and he greeted me. This gentleman could see right through me and he perceived that I was troubled. I began to share the opportunity before me and my fears and he spoke one sentence to me that totally shook me from the inside out. “Sister, God wants to unlock surprises within you that you never knew were there!” He spoke it with boldness and I just knew God was using him.

Whenever I think about this I always keep before the Lord that just maybe there are other “surprises” or gifts within me that He is quietly waiting for me to allow Him to unlock. I just love this quote by this incredibly gifted sculptor. It too encourages my heart relative to gifts within.
“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” Michelangelo

You see, God sees what is inside of us and He desires to set it free as well to bless those around us. I hope this encourages you to think about the gifts that may be in you that you have not yet discovered. God is able to show you…if you let him.

“The Life Giving Force of Wisdom”

wisdom is a life giving force
by Dona Hake
What a wonderful thing that God’s wisdom is. As we seek it first before any task we can know that we are doing the right thing and it is in accordance with His will. Today let us meditate on how wonderful it is that godly wisdom is as a spring, a gushing stream with life giving power! As you draw upon it, it will flow to you and from you to others.

Wisdom may be in word or it may be in deed, and it may even be wisdom at times to just be silent. We can probably all testify of times that words have been spoken to us apart from His wisdom. Those words can hurt you, leave scars and divide the closest of relationships.


Proverbs 18:4 (AMP)

“The words of a [discreet and wise] man’s mouth are like deep waters [plenteous and difficult to fathom], and the fountain of skillful and godly Wisdom is like a gushing stream [sparkling, fresh, pure, and life-giving].”

The wisdom of God will always be full of peace, easy to be entreated and without hypocrisy. Wisdom will always stand in line with the truths of God’s Word and there is no wavering in the words or actions of wisdom. Let us seek to be vessels of those that speak His wisdom offering words and actions that are life giving and pure. God bless you!

“Wisdom, I Seek You Early!”

by Dona Hake
Wisdom is one of the most powerful things we can embrace. It is the ability to know exactly what to do in a situation. It will bless your heart because you know the word you just spoke to a friend in need was exactly what they needed to hear. It is knowing in your heart that you have a peace to step out in a specific direction or new path because you feel it is the voice of wisdom speaking to you. When things seem confusing and without answer, God desires to shed His wisdom to help you walk through whatever it is you are dealing with.

One thing the Bible clearly states throughout Proverbs about wisdom is that it is to be sought after and held as valuable as a jewel. We should embrace wisdom but we must follow her ways or we could be deceived by people’s opinions or the voice of circumstance. Over and over Proverbs emphasizes the need to embrace wisdom. Don’t let it go! Clearly God understands our human nature that we can tend to look to doing things our own way or we are moved by what we see and not what He sees. 




Proverbs 8:17 (NASB)

“I love those who love me;

And those who diligently seek me will find me.”


Wisdom desires to be loved and embraced. Wisdom desires to be sought after with one’s whole heart. I would like to share a handful of translations of how wisdom desires to be sought after.


(NLV) “…those who look for me with much desire will find me.”

(VOICE) “… those who search hard for me will find me.”

(WYC) “…and they who wake up early to seek me, shall find me.”

(YLT)”… And those seeking me earnestly do find me.”

Let us look straight to the Lord for His wisdom for our lives each and everyday!


“The Power of a Word”

good words
by Dona Hake

There are two questions I want to pose to you for thought. Have you ever had the greatest of days, all was going well, and one person says a negative thing to you and all you do is focus on that one negative? OR… Have you ever been discouraged in your heart, feeling like giving up, and someone says the most encouraging word, and you feel like your world was turned right side up? I am sure everyone of you that just read these two questions can totally identify with where I am going today.

One word has the power the lift up or bring down. Isn’t it amazing to think that one word is able to carry so much influence on those around us?


Proverbs 12:25 (AMP)

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but an encouraging word makes it glad.”

The Voice translation of Proverbs 12:25…

“The weight of worry drags us down,

but a good word lightens our day.”


Today as you encounter people, pause before you speak. Think about how your words can lift them up and possibly change the way they are thinking about themselves. Kind thoughts and kind words cost not one penny yet the hearer may be receiving a wealth of encouragement that their money could never buy.


Proverbs 18:21 (Good News Translation)

“What you say can preserve life or destroy it.”



“Filled With Good Things”

filled from his hand
by Dona Hake
Most vehicles sound off a little alarm of some sort to warn you that you are low in gas.  If you are wise you pay attention to it and make sure that the gas station is a stop that you will make in the day.  If you ignore it, you are sure to encounter an inconvenience.   If you park your car in town and you fill your meter for one hour,  you are given that one hour to complete your errand.  If you do not get back on time and the meter is empty, you could be pulling a slip out from under your windshield wiper with a hefty little fine you have to pay.  You did not keep filling the meter and you ended up paying for it in a more expensive way.
Today I want to share about us paying attention to our hearts being kept full and maintained by  all the good things of God.  You know He desires that we be full and stay full that we may live the victorious life that He intends for us to live.    How many things in life do we diligently pay attention to in the natural…our gas tanks, our bank accounts, the parking meter, food in the refrigerator, etc…    We keep a mental note and physical notes that we are maintaining these things, yet our spiritual being could be totally dehydrated and we do not even notice.    When we are dehydrated spiritually, eventually we are going to pay for it.   We will not have the strength that we need, therefore we cannot persevere.  As our peace is no longer present, we will react to things in a way that we wished we had not.   On and on I could go sharing about the good things that God desires we stay full of as we maintain our time with Him and in His Word.  He desires we be full!
Let us diligently watch over the gauge of our hearts and minds.   Pay attention to the warning signals. Let us be watchful that we do not become dehydrated in things that He desires we be filled with.  We actually come to this place of “dehydration” when we begin to live life from our own resources and our own ability.   When we stop trusting God for the littlest of things, it eventually snowballs every area of our life.   God desires to fill that we bubble over with hope as we trust in Him.  I encourage you to do so today.  God is so good, trust in Him!!!


Romans 15:13  ERV
I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much
joy and peace as you trust in him. Then you will have more
and more hope, and it will flow out of you by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

“Each Day, A New Beginning”

new beginnings
by Dona Hake
” Lord, in the morning you hear my voice.
    In the morning I lay it all out before you.
    Then I wait expectantly.”
I thank God that His mercies are new every morning and we can wake with the expectancy of a new day with fresh opportunities. 


Psalm 145:2 (AMP)
Every day [with its new reasons] will I bless You
[affectionately and gratefully praise You];
yes, I will praise Your name forever and ever.
 Today I encourage you to draw upon His strength and see your day as a fresh canvas. There may be things that you are facing that tempt your heart to be burdened but be encouraged that God is a God that never grows weary.  Lift your eyes toward heaven and lay your heart open to Him and wait expectantly for  Him to guide you throughout your day.   All of us have reasons to bless His Name and be thankful.   No, maybe everything is not perfect, but take time to call out the blessings that you possess because of the goodness of God.  We all have much to be thankful for.   Today, with it’s new beginning, praise and bless His Name for all the good things you embrace because of His goodness in your life!

“Believe the Best of Every Person”

believe the best
by Dona Hake


I was standing in a fast food restaurant waiting in line to place my order. The young lady taking orders from several people before showed no kindness or courtesy to the customers. I watched as she rudely took their orders and was just moving them through as quickly as possible. To be quite honest I was getting a bit upset with her just watching how she was handling herself. I wondered what this person in charge of this restaurant ever saw in her to hire her in the first place. I want to stop right now and tell you that I WAS NOT believing the best of this young lady, and my attitude was absolutely wrong.
God began to challenge my heart and my wrong thinking. You see, I was judging this young lady by outward appearances. Many times in situations like this I have heard people say “If an employee comes to work dealing with personal issues, they need to leave their problems at home while they are at work.” I feel this is wrong thinking, for there are times in life that certain problems can not be left at home because one’s heart and soul are consumed with pain and hurt.
As I stepped up for her to wait on me I felt to ask her “How are you today?” even though it was plain to see that she was not doing well. She proceeded to tell me she was not doing well and I expressed that I had noticed something must be wrong. I began to encourage her by saying “I hope the rest of your day is better.” She then opened wide up to me and shared that she just found out one of her friends had committed suicide. Can I tell you that I am ALWAYS reminded of this incident whenever I am tempted to think someone is wrong in the way an individual may be handling themselves. I spoke words of comfort to her, and I told her I would keep her in my prayers. She thanked me for talking to her, and to this day I am ever so grateful that I had that experience for it challenged my wrong thinking, and I learned from it.
God’s love will always stop us in our tracks and help us to consider what another individual may be walking through. Maybe what they are walking through may not seem to be a big deal to you but to them, it is their world and they are consumed with the problem. Today I encourage you to believe the best of those around you. Ask God to help you be a help to someone. That one kind word you speak in response to behavior which seems unacceptable may give one hope to go on. That kind response you give may cause them to step back and regain momentum, and make a right decision in the midst of their confusion. You just never know how powerfully God may use you as you dare to believe the best in others.
God help us to see people through the eyes of your love and not our own expectations.

1 Corinthians 13:7 (AMP)
“Love bears up under anything and everything that comes,

is ever ready to believe the best of every person.”

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!