Devotional for Tuesday, September 13, 2016
“One Word of Encouragement” 
by Dona Hake
The coming of my favorite season Fall brings so much beauty.   Already I am seeing some leaves start to change, and other signs are in the air!    One of my favorite things is seeing geese fly overhead as they pack up and head south.    I can remember a particular Fall evening that I was in my backyard walking around and had my camera with me.   Sometimes I do that as I look for special nature gems that I seek to photograph.   As I was ready to walk back in the house I heard a flock of geese overhead, and I was so excited to capture the image that I am sharing with you today.    The sound of their honking and the flapping of their wings was so amazing to see and hear.  One geese always leads in the front and the ones behind are in formation following .     I found understanding this makes this an analogy that can teach us about encouragement and building each other up as we purpose to serve our Lord together.
The Importance of Encouragement

“Geese flying in
formation “honk”
to encourage those up front to
keep up with their speed.

We need to make sure
our “honking” is encouraging.
In groups and teams where
there is encouragement,
production is much greater.
Individual empowerment results
from quality “honking.”
Author Unknown

The geese “honking” teaches us the power of encouragement but the form in which they fly teaches us another lesson. Did you ever wonder why geese fly in the “V” formation?    There are two reasons.  First, it conserves their energy. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of him, resulting in a reduction of wind resistance. The birds take turns being in the front, falling back when they get tired. In this way, the geese can fly for a long time before they must stop for rest.   The second benefit to the V formation is that it is easy to keep track of every bird in the group. Flying in formation may assist with the communication and coordination within the group. Fighter pilots often use this formation for the same reason.  I found understanding this makes this an analogy that can teach us about encouragement as we as unity. 
 When we as believers find our rightful place where God wants us to be, we will be strong and effective.   We will soar to new heights as we work together and stay in the place the Lord has assigned us to be.   We will draw upon the strength of our God and those people that He has put in our lives.   When we see anyone around us that is weakening and needs an encouraging word, we will speak an encouraging word, and they shall be lifted up. 
As we look to love and encourage one another as God desires us to, we will see each other walking out our God given assignments that we have been given.   There is power in encouragement and unity!    Today, I encourage you to be sensitive to those around you.  There are troubled hearts everywhere, let us seek to speak a word of life giving encouragement to the heavy and anxious heart!
Proverbs 12:25  
Anxious hearts are very heavy,
but a word of encouragement does wonders!” 


Devotional for Monday, September 12, 2016
” God’s Word Will Pass the Test”
faith under pressure
by Dona Hake
Yesterday I shared with you about God’s Word being our shield.   Let us look again at the first part of the scripture I shared with you.  


Proverbs 30:5 Expanded Bible
“Every word of God ·is true [passes the test;…”
It is not until the pressures of this life are on that we truly know what we are made of.   Trials and tests have a way of exposing our weaknesses or our strengths.   Many times we can think we are so strong but a trial hits, and we come to realize that we are not as strong as we thought we were.   God is still faithful though for it is as we call out to our true Friend that He will come and help us where we are at.   It is never too late to release our faith, stand back up with His help, and go forward.
Let us look at the second verse of the very old hymn written by  Joseph M. Scriven,  entitled
“What A Friend We Have In Jesus.”
“Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.”
Now let us return to another scripture that we were looking at last week.   At the beginning of this verse James addresses running from our tests.   

James 1:2-5    (VOICE)

“Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing. If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking.”
God does not want us to run from our tests but rather stand firm and face them.   He has given everyone of us everything we need to face any test.   Again, may we continue to grow strong in knowing that we must continue to fill ourselves with God’s Word.   Be diligent to acknowledge where you are weak.   Ask Him to teach you and give you greater revelations that will cause you to grow in those areas of weakness that seem to hinder your faith.  As we embrace His Word, our faith WILL blossom.   Remember His Word is true and it always passes the test!


Devotional for Saturday, September 10, 2016
“The Ready Listener”
quick to hear Oct 2014
by Dona Hake

James 1:19 (AMP)


“Understand [this], my beloved brethren.

Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener],

slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry.”
 I think of how many arguments and misunderstandings that would be avoided if this simple truth were taken heed to.   This verse has a wealth of wisdom in it for us to hear the words spoken around us. It  shows us that it is  important to listen to another’s heart for the unspoken words and feelings they may be feeling. Many times we may feel that we have the right answer for someone yet it is not the appropriate time for that word to be spoken. As we take care to listen, our words spoken will be appropriate and edifying to the listener. 

Let us ask the Lord to have sensitive hearts that we will listen more closely to those around us. Many times we may indeed know what that individual may need but we need to ask the Lord for the proper season to share it.

Proverbs 25:11 (AMP)
“A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”

Listening to someone may be the greatest gift you could give them. Choice words are even a greater gift to one that is in need. After you have listened carefully you will find they will be much more apt to hear your heartfelt and choice response.    Oh the times that we will be spared from being tempted to anger if we only slow up and carefully listen.  I believe the Lord can help us to guard our tongues that our words will be as choice silver and gold, He can help us be good listeners that we do not enter into offense, and neither cause it.  Thank you Lord for helping us this day to be careful with the words that we speak.  Help us to stop and be attentive listeners that we can respond in a godly way with Your help.   In Jesus Name, amen.


Devotional for Friday, September 9, 2016
“The Beauty of Entering Into Prayer”
prayer matters
by Dona Hake

For the past three days we have meditated upon the fruit of peace that only the Lord can give us.   We have learned that as we sow peace we will enjoy a harvest of righteousness or conformity to His will and character.  Yesterday I shared that as we press in with our faith during times of trials that the testing of our faith through experience will produce endurance leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace.



There will be days in which we must remind ourselves to rejoice even when we do not feel like it. Today I just want you to meditate upon the simplicity of how peace comes so abundantly as we enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit during our day through prayer.    He loves when we whisper prayers of thankfulness…you know those times that there is just something so simple yet it is worthy of acknowledging Him.  Prayers can be spoken from your heart at any given time or place.    This is God’s will for us to do so   I encourage you today to talk to Him often!  I leave you with this prayer that flows with what I have shared today.
Prayer is so simple.
It is like quietly opening a door and slipping into
the very presence of God
there, in the stillness,
to listen for His voice,
perhaps in petition
or only to listen,
it matters not, 
just to be there,
in His presence
Is prayer.


“Blessed happy, spiritually prosperous, favored by God is the man who is steadfast under trial and perseveres when tempted; for when he has passed the test and been approved, he will receive the victor’s crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
James 1:12 Amplified




Devotional for Tuesday, September 6, 2016
“Being a Sower of His Peace”
Harvest of righteousness
by Dona Hake
James 3:18    (AMP)



Today let us look at the word harvest .   This is my favorite time of the year!   Seeing the corn maturing and everyone’s gardens are overflowing with so much abundance that they have to give it away.   Let us look a bit closer at this word.   Two definitions I thought were good:

a supply of anything gathered at maturity and stored:

as in a harvest of wheat.


the result or consequence of any act, process, or event
Now let us read this scripture from  James 3:18Amplified Bible:



“And the harvest of righteousness (of conformity to God’s will in thought and deed) is [the fruit of the seed] sown in peace by those who work for and make peace [in themselves and in others, that peace which means concord, agreement, and harmony between individuals, with undisturbedness, in a peaceful mind free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts].”

This scripture is showing us that the result or consequence of meditating upon God’s peace, holding fast to that peace and sowing that peace where it is needed will bring us a harvest of righteousness.   This  is the conformity to God’s will in our thoughts and in our deeds.   In order to experience this harvest of righteousness we must be diligent to sow peace.  If our heart is in anxiety and our minds are full of care we are most definitely not carrying the seeds of His peace and sowing them.
Paul spoke of Christ’s peace being like an umpire or referee in our hearts. His peace will settle all unrest and arguments that go on in your mind. Our hearts and minds are the center of all conflict because this is where our feelings and desires clash, our hopes and fears meet , jealousy battles with love, etc… Ask Him to help you listen to the umpire of your heart. He will instruct you in a way that peace will rule and reign no matter what. It is God’s peace that surpasses all understanding. Jesus indeed gives us peace that the world cannot give.  It is as we allow this peace to rule that we will indeed be sowing to those around us. 
Colossians 3:15-  Amplified version

“And let the peace soul harmony which comes from Christ

rule act as umpire continually in your hearts deciding

and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds,

in that peaceful state to which as members of Christ’s

one body you were also called to live…”


Devotional for Monday, September 5, 2016
“The Determined and Persevering Heart”
by Dona Hake

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against

you until it seems as though you could

not hold on a minute longer, never

give up then, for that is just the time

and place that the tide

will turn.”

Harriet Beecher Stowe

I love this quote. It makes me wonder how many times that I have given up on something or someone just when the tide was ready to turn. Determination is when you come to a decision or you fix yourself on a purpose, and nothing is going to hold you back.  

I cannot help but think of Peter as he stepped out of the boat upon the Lord’s command. “Come Peter!” I can only imagine what was going through Peter’s mind as he looked down and saw himself walking on the water. His faith was at work and he was defying the impossible. Yet when his mind became focused on the wind, waves and the turbulent storm, he began to sink. Jesus reached out His hand to Peter, took a firm hold and kept him above water. The thing that always hit me the hardest with this account was that Peter was only an arm’s reach away from Jesus. Peter was almost there but circumstances caused his heart to weaken in faith and determination.

How many times are we just an arm’s reach away from the finish line of success in that which we are setting ourselves. The tide may be about to turn and our heart loses courage.    May we learn from this.   We must apply faith, perseverance, and determination to all we set ourselves to do. As we fix our eyes on Jesus with determination and faith in our hearts, He will enable us to do the impossible. It is as we do this that we can share the testimony of what we learned in our accomplishment to those that need this same word of encouragement!




“And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for

after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up.”

Galatians 6:9 TLB


Devotional for Sunday, September 4, 2016
“God’s Grace – Guiding Us In Our Walk”
grace one
by Dona Hake
In the scriptures (2 Corinthians 12:8-10) Paul spoke of calling out to God to help him. Paul had more than he felt he could bear as he was dealing with problems and he begged God that the those things would depart from him. God’s response…”My grace which is my favor, my lovingkindness, and my mercy are all that you need. My grace is sufficient against any danger and it enables you to bear this trouble manfully. My strength and power are made perfect and show themselves MOST effective in your weakness.”

Paul’s heart was totally toward God yet he was weakened by his trials and circumstances.    God was faithful to Paul and spoke to him of His powerful grace that would enable him to bear every trouble manfully.  One translation implies that we should allow God’s grace to rest as a tent pitched upon us. What an awesome way of looking at dwelling and drawing upon His wonderful grace.


Paul then said,   “when I am weak in my own human strength, then I am truly strong, able and powerful in God’s strength.” Paul saw that God’s grace was all that he needed. He saw that it was sufficient. God’s grace is adequate for any purpose and it is always more than enough. God’s grace is sufficient for us as well. 

Today let us  we draw upon it as we live this life, and may His grace rest as a tent pitched upon us in Jesus Name!
grace 2


Devotional for Saturday, September 3, 2016
“A Wisdom Untouched By Hypocrisy”
Heavenly wisdom
by Dona Hake
James 3:17 (The Voice)
“Heavenly wisdom centers on purity, peace, gentleness, deference, mercy,
and other good fruits untainted by hypocrisy.”

Everyday that we live we are faced with decisions and choices.   Some can be decided upon by the simple common sense that the good Lord has blessed us with.   Let us look at the importance of knowing that our hearts are longing to know that the wisdom that we are walking in is the wisdom that flows from above.    The Word tells us to trust in Him with all of our heart and lean not upon our own understanding.   Many times it is as our own understanding, experience, and way of thinking that will cause us to create our own comfortable path to walk in.  Dangerously enough we begin to believe that our self made path is right, and  we pursue convincing those around us that we are doing what God wants us to be doing.  The path may appear to look good and right, and our own self deception may even cause us to feel a peace.   One can then think because they have a “peace” that it is surely God’s peace, and this is not a good thing for sure.  May the wisdom we walk in be His wisdom for His wisdom centers on many good fruits that cannot be touched with hypocrisy, and it will always keep us discerning over every area of our lives.

Today I am desiring to see the beauty  in  God’s wisdom that proceeds only from His heart.  His wisdom is pure and untainted.   God wants to bestow upon us His pure wisdom as we humbly desire and ask for it.    You know we really do need it for every area of our life.   When we ask God for His wisdom He desires to bless us with  pure thoughts and good judgement.  His wisdom is full of mercy, peace, and gentleness.  His ways and answers are not harsh or hypocritical.
There will be times in this life that people may come to you with questions that are simply difficult to give answers to.  As believers we can feel that we always have to have answers for people’s problems, and sometimes we can find ourselves at loss for words.    I have found in my life for it to be very freeing to my heart and mind to simply admit when  I do not know the answer to a particular question or problem.   In saying that I do not know the answer, I can say I KNOW the One who does have every answer I need,  and He is faithful to answer the prayer of a righteous man or woman.
As you ask God for His precious wisdom for those difficult situations, believe by faith that it is going to flow into you and flow forth from you as pure fresh living water. This is what we need and this is what people around us need…not our opinions, not our experiences, but rather the pure, life giving wisdom that comes only from above. I encourage you today to seek after, hold on, love and value the wisdom that only God can give 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!