“He Is My Fortress and Hiding Place”

castle and hiding place

by Dona Hake

I feel so blessed that I had opportunity to visit North Wales two different times.  The one thing that I could not wait to experience was to get inside one of their amazing castles.  As I walked through these medieval buildings I wondered about the lives that were protected when battles were fought behind the walls.  They were strong and mighty walls that were built with the purpose of protection.

Our Lord promises us a place to run and hide when the battle starts to rage around us.  I believe He desires that we hide in His place of safety even when the battle is not on.  He desires that we live under the shadow of His wings.  Yet when the heat of life is turned up we are promised that  His great strength and mighty wisdom  will instruct us in our battles.  We must remember to stay under His shadow though.  We cannot throw up our hands and give up for He goes before us and He promises to win the battle.  Praise Him for He is our place of hiding and because of that we can have courage to live this life!

Psalm 71:3 (ESV)
“Be to me a rock of refuge,
to which I may continually come;
you have given the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.”


“Sharing His Comfort With Those In Need”

comfort to share with others

by Dona Hake

Yesterday I was finishing up some last minute Christmas shopping. I walked to the counter and laid my things down and a clerk that I speak with often began to ring me up. I asked her how she has been doing. She dropped her head and said, “Not well at all. I am really having a hard time getting through this…” I immediately knew what she was referring to for I knew from previous conversations that she had lost someone very special in her life. She began to share that it has been five years and she has done well for the past five Christmas holidays yet this year she could not figure out why this one was so hard. The depression that enveloped her touched me in my heart. I began to try to console her for I too know what it is like to lose someone over the holidays. Sometimes words seem so inadequate yet I know they do more than what we realize at times. I walked out the door and prayed that God would comfort her heart and He has continued to remind me to pray for her.

I know that I have shared this often over the past weeks but it bothers me seeing how the hustle and bustle of the holidays can pull us into our own little “worlds” in which we are oblivious to the pain of those that are reaching into memories at this time and they are struggling. It may not even be a death but a broken relationship that has caused division in your family. Plain and simple…holidays can open up wounds that may not be totally healed.

I encourage you to be sensitive to those around you at this time. Maybe you are reading this and you are walking through the pain of remembering someone you love and have lost or you are enduring a trial that has taken the joy of the celebration away. I pray that God’s comfort would permeate you and keep your heart and that His joy would well up within you. I pray also that great strength would arise within you that you may in turn share that same comfort with someone else. God bless you.

2 Corinthians 1:3 (The Message)
“All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.”


“Praise and Magnificence Are Before Him”


by Dona Hake

If you are a woman that has given birth to a child, you well know the intensity that is in the room especially right before your child is born. There is intensity and anticipation all around you as you are working with all your strength to bring forth life. I can say for myself that the joy that I felt with the birth of both my sons is a feeling beyond words. Gentlemen…if you were present for the birth of your children, you too can relate to this overwhelming joy! Yet, I try to imagine that knowing it is my time to give birth and all the hospitals were full, all doctor’s offices were closed and I had no where to deliver my child. Finally, I find myself persevering in the birth of my child and round about me is not sterile hands but animals, loud noises and the smells of animals. Okay, I think you got the picture!

All the images that are put before us this time of the year creates a fantasized image of how our Lord Jesus was welcomed into the world. Believe me, it was not what we see on our Christmas cards. In spite of pondering this thought I began to think about what He brought into the “room” that was given Him. I am absolutely positive when Mary gave her final push and as Jesus took His first breath of earthly air, that amazing joy exploded all around them. The glory of God appeared in that place and it brought everyone to their knees. A gift from Heaven took His first breath and everyone that watched was in amazement because they knew who He was. He was not just a baby, He would be the Kings of Kings!

I encourage you in the hurry and scurry of your final preparations of celebrating Christmas that you truly remember the greatest gift that has ever been given.

1 Chronicles 16:27 Names of God Bible

” Splendor and majesty are in his presence.

Strength and joy are where he is.”



Do Our Actions Speak Louder Than Words?

Actions louder than words

by Dona Hake

“Actions speak louder than words.” It seems this old saying seems to be spoken more after someone has exhibited negative behavior. Truth is our body language is always speaking something even when we are not saying a word. I well know as a photographer that an image is capable of speaking volumes to the one looks at it. Images can freeze a moment for a lifetime and yet an image never speaks a word. Our actions can exhibit things that others see and those actions can be misinterpreted as well.

Let us remember that our actions that proceed from a loving heart and a heart that seeks to do the right thing will speak and produce good things. On the other hand if you are angry or disturbed with someone or a situation, your body language and behavior may be exhibiting something that could be a hindrance to those around you.

Let us be mindful of our actions, because many times they do speak louder than words.

James 3:13 (HCSB) “Who is wise and has understanding among you? He should show his works by good conduct with wisdom’s gentleness.”


“Cause Me To Hear…”

Cause  2 Me To Hear

By Dona Hake

I know it to be true that if you go to bed with much on your mind that this is how you wake up.    The Lord does not want us to greet our day with the thoughts of yesterday nor the worries about our tomorrows.  I love how the Psalmist asks the Lord to cause Him to hear of his Lord’s lovingkindness first thing in the morning.

Psalm 143:8 (AMP)

“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.”

Let us trust to hear His voice about our day.  Let us remember to lean on Him not only for His strength and wisdom  but for the balance He can bring to our lives.   Thank Him as He unfolds His plan for your day yet be willing to allow Him to interrupt it if He has other plans for you.  Lift up your soul to Him and allow Him to touch you because He loves you so!

“Peace That Comes From Jesus”

Peace Jesus' way

by Dona Hake

I love to eat as much as I can foods that are all natural.  The more I do this the more I can hardly handle artificial anything.  There are so many imitation things in the food as well as other things in the retail industry.  Things that are mere copies and some of those imitators will never serve you as well as the real or original thing.

Jesus spoke of His peace in the scriptures.  He said that the world indeed has peace but His peace is nothing like it.  It seems to me that in the midst of speaking to those that were tempted to be troubled that He was stating who He was and the peace that came only from Him.

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. Don’t be afraid.”

Let us look to His peace and not those things that we perceive to give us peace that only has a short life.  Today, be reminded that His peace comes in a different way.  Look expectantly for His peace that is truly above and beyond our human reasoning.   And as Jesus said, “So don’t be troubled and don’t be afraid.”

“Be True To Yourself”

child    REMAIN as

by Dona Hake

I love being with little children.  I love their energy and I love their honesty.  They remind me to stay young at heart and to continue having fun no matter what is going on around me.  I think sometimes the older and more mature we become we need to continue to remind ourselves to watch little children.  I love their love for the simplest of things.    I have had so much fun listening to my granddaughters in the backseat of my car when I take them home.  Every home that has Christmas lights on causes them to oooooooh and aaaahhhhhhhh!!!!   This reminds me get excited about the simplest of things.

I also love that when you ask them a question, they usually shoot a straight answer and speak their hearts and minds.  It’s called honesty.  Sometimes you may not always like what you hear, but you have to give it to them…they can be honest.

We always need to always temper our honesty with kindness and thoughtfulness before we speak.  The most important thing of all is the question we must continue to ask ourselves.  “Am I being honest with myself and with others?”  I have to say that it really bothers me if I ask someone what they think and I am feeling like they are not giving me a straight answer.  God desires that we remain true and honest with ourselves and as we do I think that will always spill over in our communication with those around us.  I love this quote from William Shakespeare because it sums it up in a profound nutshell.

“This above all: to thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Honesty is really the best policy and it would do us good to think of this truth often.  God bless you.


“Your Life Is a Gift”

your life is a gift

by Dona Hake

It is indeed a busy time of the year.  I am sure many of you have been diligently shopping for gifts for all those special people in your life.   I love hearing people  speak of being mindful that Christmas is not about the gifts we give or receive but rather our focus needs to be on a wonderful God that sent His Son as a gift to all mankind.   As He transforms my life every day I live I am forever thankful for Him and how He delivered me into a life of His ultimate love, peace and joy.  I could never live without Him.

Your life is also a gift from God and you are a gift to people around you.  When He created you within the womb of your mother, He saw purpose, He saw a future for you and He has wonderful plans for you to fulfill.

Psalm 139:14 (GW)

“I will give thanks to you

    because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made.

        Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.”

Now I want to add to this thought that those that are in your life are also a gift.  No…I did not say they were perfect.  God has put family and friends in our life to love us, help us and walk along side of us during the good and the bad times.  I thank God for all my precious family members, and my friends, and especially my church family.  I think the more you go on you realize that the real gifts in this life are not those that come in boxes with beautiful bows but those He has called along side of us to do His will and help us when we need help!  Sometimes we just need to stop and remind ourselves of things that are everlasting because  these are the things that truly matter.


“The Virtue of Patience”

patience and forgiveness

by Dona Hake

When I see people exhibit patience in trying and tough situations it always strikes me as such a wonderful strength. This strength may be part of your makeup yet we all have our limits in how much we can take. Only the patience that comes from above and developed within our soul is the patience that will help us forbear tough situations and people that seem to have that wonderful ability of pushing you over the edge, and flipping your switch!

Proverbs 19:11 (ERV) 

“Experience makes you more patient, and you are most patient when you ignore insults.”

I especially like this translation of Proverbs 19:11 because I think the more you go on in life and you walk through experiences you begin to understand things more deeply. In any trying situation IF you allow the Lord to teach you, you will walk away with more wisdom under your belt. Another translation brings even a different side of understanding to patience and forgiveness.

Proverbs 19:11 (MSG) 

“Smart people know how to hold their tongue; their grandeur is to forgive and forget.”

Today I want to encourage you to ask Him to help you grow in patience, and then take opportunity to extend forgiveness even when you would rather not. I promise you that what you feel as you extend forgiveness will keep your soul at peace. You will be glad you did!


“Be Patient With Yourself”

patient with myself

by Dona Hake

It is vital that we continue to walk patiently with those we live with and work with.    There is also the whole realm of patiently waiting for circumstances to change in our life, but how many times do you think about being patient with ourselves?


As we pursue to grow in God’s love and in His Word sometimes we focus too much on what we are NOT rather that how far He has brought us.  With any work that needs done in us there needs to be a time of waiting for His loving hand to work.  I guess there are all times we wished He would work a bit faster, but His wisdom encompasses more than we will ever understand. As He works, He promises that the transformation will indeed happen, but remember sometimes we can tend to be impatient in that which we have to wait for.


Be encouraged today that as you are applying yourself to do that which is right and good in His sight that His loving hand is at work in your life.  Guard yourself from focusing on your weaknesses but rather the gifts, the strengths and abilities He has blessed you with.  As we keep our hearts humble and open to Him, He will be faithful to show us the areas in which we need to give  attention.  He leads and guides us into ALL truth in every area of our lives!  God bless you.



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!