“Look Up!”

look up

by Dona Hake


We all need to be reminded of things.  Sometimes even the most important things can be forgotten.  We get too busy, our minds are full, and we just forget.  Today I want to remind you to keep looking up.  This is something you have to do and no one else can do it for you.  I want to share several scriptures to cause your eyes to stop focusing on that which is not important and focus on Him.


 Psalm 143:8

“Cause me to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning, for on You do I lean and in You do I trust. Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk, for I LIFT UP MY INNER SELF TO YOU.”

Psalm 63:4
“So will I bless You while I live;  I WILL LIFT UP MY HANDS in Your name…”


Psalm 121:1-3
Amplified Bible (AMP)

“I WILL LIFT UP MY EYES to the hills  —From whence shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.”


Psalm 123:1


I want you to take note that in all of these scriptures “I Will” proceeds the lifting up of our inner self, our hands, and our eyes.  You see, it is an act of our will to look up and lift up.  He promises that as we make a decision to look away from all that is trying to hold us back and hold us down that He WILL lift us up!!





“God Can Lift Up the Discouraged Heart”


by Dona Hake


It is when we are full of God’s courage that we feel we are able to accomplish anything with His help.  The opposite of courage is discouragement.  Discouragement has the power to paralyze someone from moving forward.  It has the power the keep you unmotivated to move forward and wallow in the past.  Today we will look at how we must guard our hearts against discouragement.


Abraham Lincoln wisely said,


“Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”  


Courage is that thing that empowers us to do what we may be afraid of.  It helps us go forward into things we  thought was too big for us to handle.   Let us with determined hearts to never  allow discouragement to prey upon our hearts.


Many times discouragement will be birthed as a result of being preoccupied with cares in your life.  We are commanded to cast all our care over to God.   As the scripture says below, we need to keep our minds clear and alert because the devil is watching for those opportunities to pull you down.


1 Peter 57-9
Names of God Bible
“Turn all your anxiety over to God because he cares for you. Keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion as he looks for someone to devour.  Be firm in the faith and resist him, knowing that other believers throughout the world are going through the same kind of suffering.”


If your heart is in a place of discouragement, I want to encourage you today to look up and know that He is well able to pull you out of that place and bring courage back to your heart.  Release your care and hold fast to His loving hands and you will be made courageous!



“In God Alone I Rest”

in God alone I rest

by Dona Hake


We overwork our bodies at times and more than likely our minds are overworked on a regular basis. Daily responsibilities and cares can just take it out of us. Where do we run when this happens? Are we supposed to run when this happens? Of course God wants us to run to Him when we are in trouble. May I humbly submit to you that if you run from your problems that you are going the wrong way?

I think God’s real deal for us is to stay in a place of rest for it is there that we are able to live refreshed and drawing upon Him. It is there that our hearts, minds and bodies are kept in check. It is there that there is strength and peace beyond any comprehension exists. If we are honest with ourselves we need to admit there are times when we are pushing the boundaries of our bodies and minds to the point of pointlessness, and we need to return to His rest that He desires for us.


I am totally sold out in believing that God wants us to live in a place called rest that ONLY He provides. So what is this rest? Here is one definition that I loved…
relief or freedom, especially from anything that

wearies, troubles, or disturbs.
Let us abide under the shadow of His wings and I mean abide…live there, hang out, stay there….God wants us to remain before Him. He does not desire we come and go as we please. He does not desire that we come to Him when only when problems come up, but He desires we stay put. It is as we rest in this place that we really do experience His rest!

“Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him,”
Psalm 62:5 HCSB




“Going God’s Way”

one foot in front

by Dona Hake


Many of you know well that I have a love for birds, and I love feeding them.  I have so many different species that come to my feeders and I love watching and observing their behavior.  Recently, I have welcomed Catbirds and I am really enjoying them.   I was having my morning coffee and I heard a hard bang on my deck window and as I walked over to see, I was holding my breath that I was not going to find a dead bird.   I dreaded going to glance out the  window because I hate seeing anything suffer or lose it’s life.   I was surprised to find one of the little Catbirds sitting on the deck looking around quite dumbfounded and you could tell she did not know what hit her.  She saw me and glanced my way, and I just stood and observed her.  She just stayed quiet and little by little looked around.  She sat there observing other birds coming and going and did not move.  Finally, she lifted up her wings and flew away.  Whewwwww!  I took a deep sigh of relief!


This little incident blessed me with  a little analogy to share with you today.  Sometimes we too can think we are perceiving that we are going the right way to find ourselves running into “windows” or dead ends.  Things like this can blindside us especially if we feel we are on the right path, yet it happens.    Sometimes our wrong perception of things could get us into trouble.  Maybe we are not paying as close attention to things as we should and we  end up being stopped suddenly without warning.   We can learn from this because there will be  times when we are taken off guard in life or hit hard with circumstances beyond our control.


A little observation I made of my little recovering “feathered friend” was how she sat so quietly and was cautious not to move until she knew she could.  She just kept still, observed quietly what was going on and waited till the right moment.  She knew exactly the right time to try and fly again.   It was almost like she instinctively knew when it was safe to take flight  again.  Let us learn as well in those situations that cause us confusion or when we feel we lack wisdom in a situation .     Let us be still, patiently wait and when we get our strength and direction back, He will cause us to soar again by His strength and He will keep us strong.


Psalm 17:4-5 (MSG)
” I’m not trying to get my way
in the world’s way.
I’m trying to get your way,
your Word’s way.
I’m staying on your trail;
I’m putting one foot
In front of the other.
I’m not giving up.”



“May We Never Forget”

may we never forget

by Dona Hake


What a special day this should be in the heart of every American that loves the freedom  we partake of here in this country.    Today is the day which is set to remember the men and women who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.    Let us also keep in prayer those that live with the pain of the loved one they lost in war, for they too have sacrificed.


I read something interesting regarding the history and different traditions of Memorial Day and I wanted to share with you.  One of the traditions that some may do  on Memorial Day is the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.  The half-staff position remembers the men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.


Let us keep the “noonday” attitude within us and determine not to let these sacrifices be in vain.  Let us rise up in their stead and resolve in our hearts to fight the good fight for freedom.    Let us vow to pray like never before for our country and support our troops and veterans in every we can.  We hear it said, “Freedom is not free.”  This is a very powerful statement and I pray it does not become just a cliche to us .      Today I encourage you to give honor to those that went into battle with hearts that were resolute as they fought for the cause of our freedom.  This courage and sacrifice deserves the greatest and highest respect.   God bless America!









“Upon This Rock We Stand”

upon this rock we stand


by Dona Hake


I have been pondering yesterday’s devotional in my heart.  I love how Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego were so strong in their faith and they embraced worshiping only the Living God.  Let us look again at the scripture I shared with you and how they communicated with King Nebuchadnessar.  I love how they addressed the king with boldness of faith yet respect as well for the king.


“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not worried about what will happen to us.  If we are thrown into the flaming furnace, our God is able to deliver us; and he will deliver us out of your hand, Your Majesty.  But if he doesn’t, please understand, sir, that even then we will never under any circumstance serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have erected.”


First of all they understood that God was well able to deliver them from this horrible death yet they took their love and worship of God a step further.  I am going to paraphrase this…”Even if God does not deliver us, please understand this one thing, we under no circumstance will serve your gods nor will we bow down to them.”   They were rock solid in their faith and nothing was going to move them.


Even onto the death they proclaimed their unmovable faith in the Living God that they believed and served.  Let us learn from such examples of faith that are in the Bible.  Because of what Jesus did for us at the cross, our faith can also be unshaken in the face of any circumstance. To God be the glory who strengthens and establishes us in our faith!


Psalm 34:15
“The eyes of the Lord are toward the [uncompromisingly]

righteous and His ears are open to their cry.”





The Heart That Is Resolved To Serve Him”

heart resolved

By Dona Hake


 The resolute heart is the one firmly resolved or determined.  This heart of faith is set in purpose and will follow  God no matter what.  The heart that is resolute in serving Him is the one that realizes that serving half hearted  is not an option.


 Today we will look at three young men that were resolute in serving their God. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego understood that they could not bow to the god that was created by the King.  As the King commanded all the people to do so, these three continued to stand and not bow to this man made god.   The King was made aware of those that would not bow…


Daniel 3:12-13-14

“There are some Judeans who you made important officials in the province of Babylon that ignored your order, King. Their names are Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They don’t worship your gods, and they didn’t bow down to worship the gold idol you set up.”

 Nebuchadnezzar became very angry. He called for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. So they were brought to him. And Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, is it true that you don’t worship my gods? And is it true that you didn’t bow down and worship the gold idol I have set up?”      Daniel 3:12-13-14 


Today as I read this Bible story my heart admires these three who served their God with a heart of resolve.  They well understood that there would be punishment for their decision to refuse to bow to a man made god.


 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not worried about what will happen to us.  If we are thrown into the flaming furnace, our God is able to deliver us; and he will deliver us out of your hand, Your Majesty.  But if he doesn’t, please understand, sir, that even then we will never under any circumstance serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have erected.”

Daniel 3:16-18


These three that were resolved in their heart were now going to be tested.  As their hands were bound they were thrown into the hot furnace.  The king was so angry at them that he commanded the furnace be made even hotter.  The flames were so hot it killed the soldiers as they were throwing them in the furnace.   I love how this story ends because it is a triumphant victory and the king was astonished at what he saw.  The conversation of the king and those around him was this.


 The king said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire. They are not tied up and they are not burned. The fourth man looks like an angel.”    As they walked out of the furnace the King was convinced that they served the living God above.  There was strong evidence of the mighty hand of God for the fire had not even singed their clothing.  Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Their God has sent his angel and saved his servants from the fire! These three men trusted their God and refused to obey my command. They were willing to die instead of serving or worshiping any other god.”


I love these testimonies that are in the Word to remind us to live uncompromisingly before the Living God above.  God is still at work and He desires to show Himself in mighty ways as we too serve Him with resolute hearts!




“Let Heaven Fill Your Thoughts”

let heaven fill your thoughts

by Dona Hake


I went out to my front garden this morning to photograph a stepping stone  that lays in my garden…spring, winter, summer and fall.  It is old and not very pretty anymore, but the words always minister to me. This stepping stone serves to remind me of a very important truth.  It says,


Set your mind on things above.”


Yesterday was the first opportunity I had to get down on my knees in my garden and as much as I would like to say I was praying, I was not!  Weeds all over the place and they are just flourishing.  My attitude was to just get as much done as I could and I am not going to let it get to me.  You see, there was something much more important going on by my garden.  My granddaughters once again had a blanket laid out with their stuffed animals, books, and baby doll strollers.  They were enjoying another breakfast donut picnic.  It was precious observing them having fun with their princess crowns on and all their “bling” sparkling in the morning sun and it just made my heart smile.


I am finding that the more I keep my eyes on things above that I enjoy the simple joys even more and things like weeds just do not matter.  I kept saying to myself “this will get done when it gets done.”  Sometimes our hearts can be snagged so easily by things that really do not matter.  Of course I want my garden to look pretty but weeds are always going to be.  Weeds just remind me of how I need to be diligent over the garden of my heart.  The good news is that the more our eyes are on things above, WE WILL be diligent to watch over our hearts.  Today I encourage you to look up and also keep an eye on  your heart within.  Keep check on your heart with the help of God that you are diligent to do what really matters!


Colossians 3:2  (TLB)
 “Let heaven fill your thoughts;

don’t spend your time worrying about things down here.”




“Taking Captive Every Thought”

right thoughts

by Dona Hake

Today I heard a gentleman says this and I found it interesting.

“Don’t believe everything you think.”

Simple yet profound.  Of course we all have the right to our own thoughts and opinions but they may not be worthy of believing or speaking.  If we do not keep ourselves humble, we can think that all that goes on between our ears is right.  If we do not keep our thoughts in check with what the Word of God says, it will not be long that our thoughts become opinions or actions that could cause us some big trouble.

We would keep ourselves guarded well  if we would vow to live by what the Word says about maintaining our thought realm.   In 2 Corinthians, Paul said if your thoughts exalt themselves against the knowledge of God…get rid of them!  Such words are not worthy to keep residence in your mind and you clearly cannot trust them nor believe them.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (ERV) “…and we tear down every proud idea that raises

itself against the knowledge of God. We also capture

every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.”

The secret to tearing down proud ideas and thoughts that are bad are KNOWING what God’s Word says about your situation.  As we stay full of His Word we can look  to the Lord and ask Him to help us to rightly discern our thoughts.  Those thoughts that are not worthy of residing in your mind will quickly leave as you replace your thoughts with His.  This reminds me of how it is so vitally important that we be in tune with Him and know that we are totally immersed in His Word and His peace.  The mind that is full of His Word and peace is the guarded mind.

~~~~~     ♥    ~~~~~


“He Looks To Strengthen Us”

gods eyes scan

by Dona Hake


I have some very special memories of teaching lower and upper elementary children the skill of drawing in the art classes that I taught.  I can remember how important it was to stay very keen in my observation of each child’s strengths and weaknesses.  There was one thing my students always well understood and that was they were not permitted to say “I can’t do this!”   I would quickly correct them and say that we will never say “I can’t!” but rather we will say, “I will try to do my best.”


I would always try to help them understand that I was there to help them learn and I will do my best to develop them.  The biggest thing I would observe is that if a child was teachable and did not give up that they would always master what I was teaching them.   Many a times I can remember students totally thrilled and proud of themselves as they completed a project in spite of them thinking they were incapable of mastering the art of drawing.


Today we are looking at this wonderful scripture that reminds us to keep a humble, teachable heart. There may be times that we are well aware that He is endeavoring to teach us how to do something and we  feel we cannot do it.  This scripture can serve to remind us  to never give up because He is watching to strengthen us as we draw upon His strength.


2 Chronicles 16:9 (GW) 

“The Lord’s eyes scan the whole world to find those

whose hearts are committed to him and to strengthen them.”


Today I encourage you to remember that He is looking to strengthen you and He watches for the smallest of details that need strengthening.    He cares about you more than you will ever know!





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!