“He Leads Me Beside Still Water”

He Leads Me Beside Still Water

by Dona Hake

It seems that many know that sheep are afraid of moving water.  I am thinking that this is more instinctive than anything.  If a sheep were to fall into water they would drown for they do not know how to swim plus the water would weight down their wool which would make it harder for them to be rescued. Therefore they are inclined to drink from water that is calm and peaceful.  Whenever I read this verse I visualize the shepherd standing beside the sheep by still water.  As the sheep is drinking he glances into the water and sees the reflection of his shepherd standing beside him watching over him.

I have heard many times that sheep are not the smartest animals in the bunch but I believe that all animals God created are blessings, and just maybe we can learn from them.    I cannot help but wonder why Jesus referred to us as being sheep.  He well understood what we are capable of if we are left to ourselves.

The  good shepherd understands that a sheep left to wander will end up drinking from a mud hole and possibly getting a parasitic disease.   Sheep MUST be led to fresh pure water.  Again, I think our meditation should rest on how if we left to ourselves could possibly make decisions that could create harmful consequences. We need to look for the divine leading of our Good Shepherd so we are not drinking of the impure things of this world.  As we look to His leading in every area of our lives we can avoid a lot of pain and sorrow.

I came across a fact in my reading that sheep can actually go for months without drinking water.  This shepherd explained that a sheep’s tendency is to rise early to eat the grass that is drenched with the clean and pure dew that rests upon the grass.  What a beautiful analogy because as we seek Him and His Word early or before any task, we too can spiritually ingest that which our soul thirsts for.  His Word is full of all that we need so our soul will be satisfied!

John 4:14
Amplified Bible
“But whoever takes a drink of the water that I will give him shall never, no never, be thirsty any more. But the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling) [continually] within him unto (into, for) eternal life.”

Isaiah 58:11

“He will satisfy my soul in drought.”


“He Makes Me to Lie Down In Green Pastures”

He Makes Me to Lie Down in Green Pastures

by Dona Hake

You would think any animal would absolutely love the inviting green grass on a warm day.  You would never think that one of the greatest hindrances for a sheep to lie down is their fear within.  Sheep are actually restless and creatures that are easily intimidated.  I have read that a single jack rabbit can scare one sheep and cause a whole flock of hundreds to flee in fear.   Because they are on guard and nervous, it is only the shepherd that can assure them that it is safe to lay down in the beautiful, lush, green pastures that he has led them to.

What I see here is the importance of the shepherd’s keen oversight of his flock.  In my reading on this subject the three other things that keep them from laying down in green pastures is friction within the flock, tormenting flies, and parasites, and they cannot be hungry.  Any of these things will hinder them from basking and resting in the green pastures.

Within these facts we can see a beautiful analogy of our Good Shepherd.  It is only He that alleviates fear, helps us work toward unity, helps us with the irritations of life, and is faithful to feed us His good Word.   There is no substitute for His keen awareness of every area of our life.

Psalm 4:8 (CEB)
“I will lie down and fall asleep in peace
because you alone, Lord, let me live in safety.”


“The Lord Our Shepherd”

The Lord is My Shepherd

by Dona Hake

I love this image.  In the stillness of the night, the shepherd is peacefully standing and watching over his sheep and his sheep are close by him.  What an image that portrays peace, protection and care.  As we look to Him we too can claim that same peace and protection and a knowing that He will always take care of us.

Psalm 23:1
“The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me],

I shall not lack.”

This translation of Psalm 23:1 from the Amplified is an excellent one.  He is the Shepherd that will see that we are fed as we feed on His living Word.  He has promised to come along side of us to lead and guide us and He shields us and protects us.

Let us remember that as we go about our day to stay close by His side and we will ever be in that place of drawing upon Him for whatever we need for He is our Shepherd and He will see that there is no lack.


“Trusting Him Completely”

Proverbs and Rising Sun

by Dona Hake

Proverbs 3:5-12   (MSG)
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to God! Run from evil!”

We live in an age of information and it is readily at our finger tips.  In many ways it is so wonderful and time saving how you can get information about almost anything.  While this is good it can distract us from fully trusting in the Lord.    Sometimes we can be tempted to pick and choose what we think is the right thing to do and it may not be what He desires for you.

As the scripture says we need to trust Him from the bottom of our hearts and stop trying to figure everything out.  Many times God has a totally different route He desires to take you and you need to be willing to walk in the direction He has chosen.

I think there is a key word that God wants us to keep before us and that is the word HUMILITY.  As we stay humble, we will be thankful for the knowledge, gifts and talents He has blessed us with but we will keep them in their proper place.  As we remain humble, we will always be looking to acknowledge His ways in everything that we do.    He can indeed teach us to trust Him with all of our hearts and He will make those places that have seem crooked and confusing completely straight.


“What Are You Thinking About Today?”

Moods and Thoughts

by Dona Hake


As I was awakening this morning I was thinking about what I was going to share on this devotional and my mind and heart started to think about the words- good mood vs. bad mood. I can remember a boss I once had that was extremely moody. Everyone would tense up when they could see she was in a very bad mood. It framed everyone’s day because we were under her leadership and had to deal with how she acted. As a result of her moodiness we would all be on edge and it affected the way we worked together. I believe with all my heart that God wants no one to live in this frame of mind.

I believe that God’s Word is clear about this. Many times circumstances around us can pull us down like quick sand. When God’s Word is not permeating our mind, we can quickly feel overwhelmed and down in the dumps. If we are weak and feel alone, we can easily be sucked into depths of sorrow and sadness. Circumstance can cause anger and fear as well. God will always show us how to rise above what is going on around us. This is what Paul wrote in the book of Philippians about it:

Philippians 4:8
Amplified Bible (AMP)
“For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].

Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.”

“Think on and weigh” are the words that stand out to me here. Many times we need to take what is weighing us down and allow the good that is going on around us and then weigh the good against the bad. It is no wonder that Paul assures that the God of peace will be with us as we fill our mind with pondering good things. Let us strive to think on good things that we may own an untroubled and undisturbed mind today!


“Our Love Must Be Real”

Love Must Be REal

by Dona Hake

God is looking for us to put feet to His love, and walk out His ways.  He is desiring that we put action to that which we know we should do.  There is a scripture that says, “In Him I live and move and have my being.” Acts 17:28    He so desires that we act according to His Word and walk away from our ways that do not exhibit His love and character.  There are those that need His love and we need to avail ourselves to Him that He can flow through us.

We must remember that there will be times that He may call upon us to help people and it may just make us have to go one more mile than what we had intended.  Many times His love will stretch us and that is a very good thing.  It is in those times that His love will be shown and we too will grow as we give of ourselves.   I think it is a good thing for all of us to be pulled away from our comfort zone and put in a place we have to rely on Him to help us to do things we never thought were possible!


Oh how  liberating it is to know that when we are real with God, He will show us great things that He desires to do through us.  We will then be positioned to act from our hearts and exhibit His love in a real way.


1 John 3:18-19   (ERV)
“My children, our love should not be only words and talk.

No, our love must be real.

We must show our love by the things we do.

That’s how we know we belong to the way of truth.”




“This Is Where Life Starts”

Heart be watchful for this is where life starts

by Dona Hake

 It was a  nightmare scenario that became all too real in West Virginia last week: a chemical seeped into the water supply and threatened to sicken hundreds of thousands of people.  Officials found out about the spill when people started calling in complaints about a strong licorice-type smell in the air.

I found it interesting that this potentially harmful chemical seeping into the water had a sweet smell of licorice.  Some said it smelled like cough syrup, and the smell puzzled them.   I am sure they will figure out how this happened but what matters is that it rendered over 300,000 people no drinking, no bathing,  and no cooking with the water.  One chemical literally zapped the pureness of their water to poisonous and harmful, and brought a huge amount of people helpless without pure water.

God’s Word speaks to us through Proverbs 4:23 and warns us as well to be careful and be vigilant to watch over our hearts.   This scripture warns us to guard the purity of your heart and all that flows from it.  Our heart is as a wellspring from where all issues flow.   A wellspring is a source or supply of anything, especially when considered inexhaustible.

Proverbs 4:23 (AMP)

“Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance

and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.”

Let us be careful to never leave down our guard over our hearts.  There are so many “sweet smelling” temptations in this world that could taint and poison our hearts in which the life of God desires to flow.  Oh that we will take it seriously to guard our hearts with all vigilance for this is where life begins and flows from.


“Is Patience At Work In You?”

Patience let it have its perfect work

by Dona Hake

I was having a discussion with my oldest Granddaughter a week or so before Christmas.  The anticipation was mounting and she was hinting and trying to figure out what and when she was going to receive a particular gift.  At one point she kept asking and I just looked at her and I was proceeding to bring up how she needed to be patient.  She knew exactly what I was about to say and her response to my look…”I know, I know Grandma! I need to be patient.  Sometimes it’s just hard!!”  I thought to myself, “She’s right, it really can be hard to be patient at times!”  Nevertheless I  exhorted her in remaining patient  and that she would be blessed as she did.

We too can feel the same way at times when we are waiting for something that we have released our faith for.    Sometimes time seems to take forever doesn’t it?  I am also reminded of the patience that is developed in the midst of remaining steadfast during a trial.  James spoke of us developing our faith in the midst of going through bad things.  I have to tell you that this one always puzzled me.  I used to think, “How in the world does something good come out of a trial?”   I am sure you can agree that sometimes trials can just make you weary and stress your body and mind as well.

James 1:2-3

“Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.

Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.”

I love the part where he is saying “Be assured and understand…”  Let us remember that as we know that we are truly in faith and the trials begin to wear us out that we can be assured that the beautiful fruit of patience IS developing within us.    As we get through those trials let us also remind ourselves of the testimony within our hearts that we can and have endured by faith in Jesus Christ!


“When We Know Him…”

Be still and KNOW that He is God  Jan 2014

By Dona Hake

Jesus Calms a Storm
Matthew 8:23-27  ESV

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him.  And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.”  And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.  And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

I am thinking about really knowing my God today.  You know, you can be acquainted with people but you may not really know them.  You may not know them well enough to know how they will react in a circumstance.   Being acquainted with someone and really knowing them is entirely two different things.  You see the disciples knew Jesus but even after He did this wonderful work of rebuking the wind and calming the sea, their response was “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

Psalm 46:10
“Be still, and know that I am God…”

I can only imagine how frightened His disciples were.  Let’s be honest, we too might have been a bit unnerved being in a boat swamped with waves and wind, and our boat being tossed to and fro!   As I meditated on this and think about this scripture in Psalms, He led me to bring it to you this way…When we KNOW that He is God we WILL be still.   When we are faced with circumstances that are rough and rocking our boats, we can be still because we KNOW that the Jesus inside of us is well able to rise up and calm our storms.  To God be the glory for all the great works He desires to do in us as we purpose to KNOW Him!


“The Peace Only Jesus Gives”

Peace is seeing a sunset NOT WM

by Dona Hake

I have a neighbor friend that owns horses.  She told me if I ever wanted to visit her farm that I was welcome to stop in anytime.  I can remember the evening I decided to visit her beautiful horses.    I had a very busy and long day and to be quite honest, I was exhausted, and I was having a hard time focusing on doing much of anything. On that evening that I grabbed my camera and headed to her farm.  Even though I was a complete stranger these horses all greeted me with a warm welcome, and they all seemed to enjoy my presence. As they walked away and enjoyed the lush green grass in their pasture I was able to get the image I shared today.

As I stood there and just soaked up the evening sun, and the  peace and quiet, I was reminded of His beautiful creation and peace just swept over me.  Sometimes we just need to stop in the midst of our busy lifestyles and soak up all that God has blessed us with.  Too many times we can become consumed with life’s demands and problems and we simply forget.  What do we forget?  We forget that His peace is there for the asking.  His peace is like none other and we need to pause and bask in it.  I believe that the more we do this, the more we will hate when we lose that peace.

John 14:27 (ERV)
“I leave you peace. It is my own peace I give you.

I give you peace in a different way than the

world does. So don’t be troubled…”

It does not take big problems to cause one’s heart to be troubled.  It can be those little cares that seem  to “snowball” in our minds.  It is those little things that can indeed cause our hearts to be troubled and afraid.  Give it all, big or small.  Let us remember to stop and pause as much as we are able and be blessed by the peace that only He can give.


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!