“Watching Over Our Words”

WORDS SEASONED WITH GRACE

by Dona Hake

Our words can build people up or our words can tear people down.  One word has the power to encourage, yet a different word has power to bring a heart down.  When I think of people that always seem to speak words with grace I think of those individuals that seem to know how to speak exactly the right thing .  They seem to know not only the perfect words but their timing is just as proper.  As I looked at  Colossians 4:6 ,  I found two translations very thought provoking.

 “Be gracious in your speech.

The goal is to bring out the best in others

in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.”

The Message

“Everything you say should be kind and

well thought out so that you know

how to answer everyone.”

GOD’S WORD Translation

I particularly want to look at the goal of our words being that of bringing out the best in people.   There will be times that you will encounter people that  do not feel good about themselves.  Sometimes this is because of things they might be enduring, they may be feeling low, and not feeling self worth.  As we exercise observation of people while you are in conversation you may be surprised how the Lord may provide an opportunity for you to build them up.

Sometimes I see this in little children as I teach them in our preschool class at church.   Today when I was teaching I noticed a situation where a child was feeling that they were not doing something as well as the rest.  I noticed that she was allowing it to bother her.  What I did notice though that she was really doing her best doing our coloring project. When class dismissed I made a point of getting down to her level and making her look me square in the eye.  I began to praise her for her job well done and her little eyes lit up like a Christmas tree.  She was so focused on what she felt she could not do that her accomplishment went unnoticed.  What was interesting was that encouraging words changed her whole countenance.

I believe as we purpose think through and observe people carefully before we speak, we may be surprised how the Lord desires to use our words to build them up.    As we couple that with seeing others through God’s eyes we too will see them in a different light as well.  Let our words be encouraging, full of His grace that we may our words are instruments of good.

Proverbs 18:4 (TLB)

4 A wise man’s words express deep streams of thought.

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“The Process of His Work In You”

god at work in your

by Dona Hake

I can remember as a little girl thinking how everything took too long. Small children almost seem to think that waiting for anything can be an eternity. Many times it is just hard for them to accept the concept of the time it takes to do something.

 

One day when our oldest granddaughter was about three years old, I was teaching her to make banana bread. She thought it was the neatest thing ever to walk through every part of the process. She saw me crack an egg and she wanted to crack an egg. Apprehensively I handed her the egg hoping it would be a good experience. She managed to crack it properly and did rather well. With each step she grew more and more in love with the whole process of preparing the bread batter. She kept stirring and stirring and eventually it was time to pour in the pans an pop in the oven.

 

I could see that the baking process was hard for my Granddaughter because she did not understand why we could not just keep it in the bowl, and just keep stirring it.     She was a bit unhappy with me when I finally took the bowl from her and poured it into the pans.    Eventually she began to understand  as she would peek into the oven and see and smell the bread rising as it was baking.  It all seemed to click for her then.

 

We too need to be patient with our God as He is in the process of working on our hearts and helping us grow and mature in Him. Many times there are parts of our growth process that we may tend to just be comfortable with.  It is those times that the Lord is moving us out of our comfort zones that may upset us.  It is important that we obediently move forward in the direction He desires to take us.  If we desire to see Him work His will in us we need to cooperate with the process He chooses for us.  It is equally important that we patiently wait for Him in those times that we simply do not understand.  Yes there will be times that we may be tempted to throw up our hands because it seems like we are not growing, yet all the while God is at work on our hearts in ways  we could ever imagine.  God is good and His plans are those of precision and He well knows what He is doing.

 

Philippians 2:13 (ERV)

“Yes, it is God who is working in you.

He helps you want to do what pleases him,

and he gives you the power to do it.”

~~~~~♥~~~~~

 

 

 



“The Wonderful Way He Created You”

fearfully made

by Dona Hake

Many of you reading this are experiencing lots and lots of snow. If you know me at all, you well know that I love it. I still love it. I well understand it has been tons of work but I will always love snow! I love how it shimmers in the evening when the street lights shine down on it. Last evening as I was shoveling I was blessed as the snowflakes look like shimmering, tiny white diamonds. I love to see it falling from the sky. As I look out and see each flake fall, I am reminded that each snowflake is unique and there are no two alike. Simply amazing!

 

 

We too have that same uniqueness for when we were created God’s gentle hand was weaving and creating us for special and great opportunities in this life. It is your special time to live and express who He made you to be. I find it so sad that we are so bombarded through the fashion industry of what is the “look.” We are constantly being told what is cool and what you should never say or do. Whether you realize it or not the pressure of this sort will try to squash you into a mold made by someone else. This mold will create a pressure within you to constantly change and dictate what to do.

 

 

Oh that we can see ourselves free to be who God has made us to be. Can we dare to just be ourselves and permit Him to mold and make us for His purposes. God desires that we be comfortable with who we are and not try to be someone else. I was particularly inspired for today’s devotional by the following quote:

 

 

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make

you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

God help us to see more clearly how we are to live and move in You that we may be free to be who You created us to be!

~~~~~~♥~~~~~



“God’s Love Covers All Sins”

LoveCoversSin

By Dona Hake

I don’t know about you but I thank God that He is a God of second chances.   The giving of forgiveness is that second chance. When someone offends us, we can let it go or hold on to it.It is only by the power of God’s love at work within us that we can give someone a second chance by releasing them of the offense they have caused us.

 

One day the subject of forgiveness came up between the Lord and His disciples and Peter popped a question. I guess in Peter’s mind maybe he was willing to give even more than a second chance but a seventh chance. I am sure Peter was taken back by the Jesus’ answer to his question.

 

Matthew 18:21-22
The Voice
Peter:” Lord, when someone has sinned against me, how many times ought I
forgive him? Once? Twice? As many as seven times?”
Jesus: “You must forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven.”

 

Many times we are just like Peter. We want to feel as if we are so full of love, but you see our love has limitations.  We all have our limits. God’s love has NO limitations. Today I encourage you to draw upon the love of the God in the midst of your day.  Know that if you are that God desires you to draw upon His heart that you can freely forgive as many times as you have to. Continue to draw on and grow in God’s love that you may be able to freely give that which He has given you.

 

“Love is a fruit in season at all times, and
within the reach of every hand.”
Mother Teresa

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“As I Walk With Him”

As I walk with him

By Dona Hake

As I walk with Him I have learned more and more how fine tuned things need to be within my heart.  Each day our lives can present  things that can tend to distract us and pull us out of focusing on what is really important.  The other day I was listening to a worship song on the radio as I was driving.   The song was crystal clear and it was touching my heart.  I slowed up to come to a stop at a stop sign and and out of no where  a whole other station came on and it was garbled and loud.  I had touched no knobs, all I did was slow up.   I moved closer into the stop sign by a few feet and the worship song came back and it was crystal clear.

I was prompted to think about how this is very much an analogy of our walk with Him at times.  We can be walking in His will and then all of a sudden something changes.  Things can seem garbled and confusion tries to invade the peace in our heart.  The temptation to be wonder if we  did something wrong could be our first thought.   You see, just because things change all of a sudden or things become foggy does not necessarily mean we are off the right path.  This may merely  mean we need to move ahead or step back or just stand still for awhile.    Next time things switch up on you and all seems to be going different than what you expected, stop and wait to hear His voice.

It is a beautiful thing to know that God has promised to lead us and guide us into all truth.  With saying that we have the responsibility of staying keen to His voice and His leading.  I do not believe walking and knowing His will is to be a mystery to us but rather we can have crystal clear understanding every step we take.

Psalm 143:10

“Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit
is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.”
~~~~~♥~~~~~



“My Eyes Are On Jesus”

Eyes on Jesus

by Dona Hake

My favorite thing to watch during the Olympic games is the ice skating.  No matter how mastered I can see the skaters are, I find myself a bit nervous for them.  My heart just drops when I see one of them fall.  I cannot imagine the years of preparation and practicing they go through to end up in the Olympic games.   Their performance must be done perfectly and in exact precision and their expectation of high scores from the judges is their goal.   I cannot even imagine what it would be like to know you are performing in front of the whole world. For one of these athletes to  fall during their performance would be devastating and heartbreaking.

Many times I have observed when skaters made mistakes or fell  and I could plainly see that in spite of the error the athlete was exploding with determination to get back up and continue.  Then sadly there were those that were affected for the remainder of their performance.  There was one USA skater that did an exceptional performance and I observed she had a  beautiful yet humble confidence.  I loved what she shared with a reporter as he inquired of how she dealt with the extreme pressure.  She said, “You just have to let go of all the fear!”  What a wonderful word of wisdom.

We too need to go forward in confidence as we serve the Lord that we can remain strong and enduring in our spiritual walk.  We need to let go of whatever will serve to rob us of our confidence.

Hebrews 12:1-3   (AMP)


” let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight)

and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us,

and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence

the appointed course of the race that is set before us…”

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“God Helps the Humble Heart”

humble heart

by Dona Hake

Sometimes it can be the hardest thing in the world to say “I am sorry, please forgive me.”   Yesterday when  I was driving  to church I heard a woman’s testimony that just really touched my heart.  It was a true inspiration for my devotional today.

The woman sharing her testimony  had done something offensive in her workplace.  She admitted that she knew she was wrong, but she knew the right thing to do.  Even though it was hard she walked into her bosses office and admitted she was wrong.  The thing that hit me the hardest was the joy that was in her voice as she tried to explain how good it felt to just humble herself.   Sometimes humbling ourselves can really make our flesh squirm, but the end result is pure joy and freedom.

I believe there is two secrets that are tucked in this beautiful word HUMILITY.  There is cost and there is blessing.    Depending on the situation the cost may be admitting to  someone that you were wrong.  Sometimes the costs is keeping your opinion to yourself and not exalting it when you are busting at the seams to just tell someone what you think.  Of course self control works hand in hand, nevertheless, it takes you giving something so your heart can be at peace again.  The blessing of humility is the peace restored to your soul because you are now free from the burden that the situation brought to your heart.

1 Peter 5:5 (CEV)

“God opposes proud people,
but he helps everyone
who is humble.”

There will be times that the Lord will show us areas of our hearts in which we need to humble ourselves.   Pride is such an enemy to our soul and it is a destructive thing.  Let us seek Him as to how we continue to grow in humility and receive His grace as we do so.

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“Jesus A Refuge In the Presence of Our Fears”

Refuge

by Dona Hake

In the presence of your fears Jesus can be your refuge.  He is our hiding place and He desires that we run into His presence.  Many times our fears are very real and then are those times that worry has created something that has exaggerated a problem.  I have heard it said that worry casts a big shadow on a small thing.   Worry and fear work hand in hand and if left go they will gain momentum.

One of the meanings of worry is “to gnaw,” that is, to cut, bite and wear away bit by bit.  Worry will destroy your peace of mind and it will serve to threaten the strength of your faith.  Worry, like rumination, is to chew over and over again what has already been chewed.  I have heard the truth many times that “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”

I love this quote by Luci Swindoll, “Whether our fear is absolutely realistic or out of proportion in our minds, our greatest refuge is Jesus Christ.”    It matters not whether your fear is big or small, or unrealistic Jesus does not want us abiding in that which will destroy our peace and strength of heart.  He desires we run to Him with our cares, our worries, and our fears.  Run to that place of refuge where He promises to deliver you and keep you as you abide in Him.

Psalm 46:1 (AMP)

“God is our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation],

a very present and well-proved help in trouble.”

~~~~~♥~~~~~

 



“God Is Good”

God is Good

By Dona Hake

“God is good!!” This is a beautiful and solid truth yet I think sometimes it has just become a cliche. May our words that we speak about God always cause joy to rise in our hearts as we speak them. He is indeed a good God, and a wonderful God. There are not enough words to express everything that He is to those that love Him.

Yesterday as I was trying to sort through my different Bibles and favorite books I pulled out a slip of paper from one of my Bibles and on it I had written the following scripture:

 

 

Psalm 42:8 (AMP)

“Yet the Lord will command His loving-kindness

in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be

with me, a prayer to the God of my life.”

Sometimes when I am reading words just come alive and jump off the pages and I love writing them down and reading over them again. When I write scriptures down it was because something very special stood out to me and spoke to my heart.

As I found this paper it reminded that God speaks to me through His Word. It is important to remind ourselves that the truth that God IS good and this truth can be fresh and new every morning. At the end of a day He has a song for your heart. Even though there may be things in your day that you encountered and they seemed to rob you of your joy, He brings a song to your heart as your lie down to sleep. Today I want to think about how my God is good and He wants me to remember that everyday!

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“Jesus Is Our Hope”

Jesus Is Our Hope

by Dona Hake

Romans 15:13 (GW)

“May God, the source of hope, fill you with joy and

peace through your faith in him. Then you will overflow

with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Oh that we remind ourselves that He is the source, the River where only good things flow. We are told in the scriptures to guard our hearts with all diligence for from our hearts flow the issues of life. If our hearts are not right and things are out of balance, everything will seem wrong. As we see Him as the source of every need and all that we need to sustain our lives we will look to Him as our source of real hope and change within ourselves and everything around us. He is our only hope to make straight the crooked paths in our lives.

 

Romans 8:28-30 (Phillips translation)
“Moreover we know that to those who love God,

who are called according to his plan, everything that

happens fits into a pattern for good.”

If you are standing helplessly as things may seem out of control around you…know He is your hope. He is at work and He has a plan. As you trust in His ability you will find hope overflowing with a fresh peace and joy like never before. Many times it does not work out according to how we planned it yet as we hope in Him, we will understand His plans more clearly. Today I desire to be full of his joy and peace and overflowing with His hope!

~~~~~♥~~~~~




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!