Thursday, March 24, 2016
“The Transformed Life”
A Life Transformed
by Dona Hake
Today I am going to share from my notes from our worship service this past Sunday.   My husband shared from Romans 12:1-2, and it was such a blessing!   Let us look at that portion of scripture…

Romans 12:1-2     Amplified Bible (AMP)

Dedicated Service

Therefore I urge you, [b]brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be[c]transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].”
Let us understand, and we need to understand it well that we cannot grow in the things of the Lord yet hold on  to worldly thinking. We not only need to renew our minds but we need to devote our hearts. Every day it would be a good thing for us to confess before the Lord our desire for a devoted and undivided heart.  May we ponder today how the Lord desires that we seek to be transformed and so so we can be progressively changed as we renew our minds with His precious Word.
May we also ask Him for the help of the Holy Spirit to strengthen us and keep us enlightened that we can truly see throughout our day that our heart is staying fully devoted to Him in all our behavior and decision making. Colossians 3:1 speaks to us that if we are raised with Christ we need to seek things above. Paul encouraged  us to put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, and meekness.   Today I encourage you with this Word to let God’s Word have it’s home within you, dwelling in your heart and renewing your mind therefore permeating every aspect of your being!  
Colossians 3:1-4. Easy to read version
“You were raised from death with Christ.
So live for what is in heaven, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God.
Think only about what is up there, not what is here on earth.
Your old self has died, and your new life is kept with Christ in God.
Yes, Christ is now your life, and when he comes again, you will share in his glory.”


wisdom is a life giving force
by Dona Hake
This past Sunday, my husband began sharing on the Proverbs in our Morning Bible study. Proverbs is one of my favorite books of the Bible, so I am very excited that he is going to be sharing on this. I would like to share today some things I pondered from the notes I was able to take. First of all the beginning of knowledge is reverence and respect towards the Lord. It is being able to learn.   May we all value the utmost importance of revering our Lord for it is as we do this that the realm of His wisdom and understanding will be given to us.  . The ear that listens and learns receives godly wisdom that flows only from above, and  it is as we learn to listen and hear from the heart of God that He will preserve our way, and we will begin to understand righteousness in every circumstance.

As we read or hear Gods Word, and we truly keep our heart in a place that we know we are respecting and reverencing God, we will find that we will desire to yield to Him. If we resist yielding to God’s Word  we will soon find trouble in our life. Anyone knows, that when we are driving and we see a yield sign that we must respect and abide by it.   If you were to decide to ignore it out of rebellion or pride,  we could end up in a collision. So it is in this life, for as a believer we can count on it that God is going to place yield signs in our paths to protect, lead, and position us to be safe and stay on the right path.  Let us not rebel or be so prideful that we not heed to His loving warnings. Today I encourage you to seek to know Him more, reverence Him and His Word, and yield to His every command!

Proverbs 1:5 Amplified
The wise will hear and increase their learning,And the person of understanding will acquire wise counsel and the skill to steer his course wisely and lead others to the truth,


guard heart with all diligence
1 Chronicles 29:19
“…and give to my son Solomon a perfect heart to keep Your commandments, Your testimonies, and Your statutes, and to do all that is necessary to build the temple for You, for which I have made provision.”
Today I share a prayer with you from David. He prayed this prayer over his son Solomon, he desired that his son would have a perfect heart to keep God’s commandments, His testimonies and His statutes. I believe this is such a perfect scripture to meditate upon for ourselves and we too can pray over our own hearts.   God desires that our hearts be perfect and desiring to keep His statutes.
I want you to think about this prayer in light of how this world can distract us so very easily. As we begin to pray for a perfect heart we are asking God that our heart be right before Him, and our mind be undivided and whole. The devil loves nothing more than to take the smallest of things and cause our minds to begin to wander and worry. It is those little foxes that will always spoil the vine. Many times our peace is lost, and then our focus is gone. We may start our day out purposing to serve our loving God with our whole heart but we need be vigilant.  We need to  stay  mindful to see the importance of guarding every minute of our day that the devil does not try to trick us into thinking  or doing things that are unacceptable in the eyes of the Lord. 
Lord we ask you this day to help us to serve you with a perfect and willing heart. We trust that your Holy Spirit will come alongside of us and lead, guide and direct our every decision, and every path. We know that wisdom can see what we cannot see with our natural eyes so we trust you for Your wisdom over every matter of our day. In Jesus Name, amen!


MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2016
“Preserve My Life Oh Lord”
Heart towards God
by Dona Hake
Today we will look and meditate upon the value of being honest with ourselves before the living God.
When one fails to be honest with themselves they enter into one of the most dangerous things ever, and that is the sin of being self deceived. The devil loves nothing more than when we are at a place in which we are not able to discern right from wrong within our own hearts.   For him this is fertile ground to sow confusing thoughts, and get us on our way to sin which could bring painful consequences.   Beware my friend for the enemy seeks whom he may devour, and we must equip ourselves that we can resist him.
 When one is in the state of being self deceived  they may think things are just fine,and all is right when they really are not.  Remember that the devil comes as an Angel of Light at times, and he tries to trick us into thinking that sin, pride, and wrong thinking is okay but before God these things are not acceptable.   This is a dangerous state for our soul to be in for we will not recognize that we are on the wrong path until we humble our self.    “Self” has a voice that will try to distract us at times and we need to know when this is happening.    I would like to share a prayer that the psalmist prayed in Psalm 119.

Psalm 119:36-40 (NIV)

“Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.”
This is a beautiful and powerful prayer that will keep us on track. As we sincerely ask Him to keep our heart turned in His direction we will quickly recognize when fleshly desires are trying to get us off the right path. He will faithfully reveal to us the things in this life that are steering us off of the straight path that echoes His righteousness.   Praise the living God today and purpose to keep the eyes of your heart toward Him!

Devotional for SUNDAY, 3.20.16 “How Good Is A Word At the Right Time”

appropriate response
by Dona Hake
I found this story on social media yesterday, and I found it to be sweet and it had a wonderful moral behind it.   Whether the story is true or not, I do not know but I think you too will find it to bless your heart.  Here is the story…

One evening my mom made dinner after a hard day’s work. She placed the jam and a plate with completely burnt toast in front of my father. I noticed the burnt toast immediately, but I was waiting to see if my father would notice it too. My father, however, started to eat the toast and ask me about my day. I don’t remember anymore what  I answered, but shortly thereafter my mother apologized about the burnt toast.  I will never forget, what my father said. He said, “Darling, I love burnt toast!” When I went to bed later, I ask him if he really likes burnt toast? He hugged me and whispered: “Your mother had a very demanding day today, she is tired and burnt toast won’t hurt anybody, but words can be very painful.   Life is full of perfect things and faulty people… to except these mistakes and appreciate the differences, this is the key to a healthy and long – lasting relationship.”

I would have to say the thing that I took away from this story is there will be times in which we are called upon to be more cautious with our words and responses.   Yes, I am stickler with believing that one should be honest, but sometimes the Lord may direct us to be more sensitive especially if
you can see someone may be having a rough day.   I have found that many times the Lord will call upon me to be slow to speak in particular situations or just be silent.  Sometimes silence truly is golden.
Another thing I found so sweet was how this father was being an example to his daughter as he showed love and encouragement to her mother in a time in which she really needed it.    Our children watch us closely and we may be surprised at the memories of our words and actions that they may keep in their hearts and minds for the rest of their lives.  May we seek to grow in God’s unconditional love.   Let us look past the faults of others especially those that we love so dearly, and learn to appreciate who they are and the gift they are!



Proverbs 15:23 Common English Bible
“To give an appropriate answer is a joy;

how good is a word at the right time!”

“The Lord Our Comforter”

by Dona Hake
I saw a young man being interviewed on the news the other morning. It was quite an  interesting and touching story. This young man served in Afghanistan, and like many of our men and women that serve in combat they come back home, and many  deal with a whole realm of physical as well of severe emotional issues. He began to share that he could see the depression that he suffered was getting out of hand. He had lost two of his  friends that he was in combat with to suicide. As he saw his condition worsen he decided to seek help.   He began to take medications that were prescribed to him to help him deal with this severe depression only to find that  the medications were actually worsening his condition.   In the midst of his battle he went in a direction that has turned his life around.
This precious young man decided to purchase a beautiful German Shepherd that was a service dog to him to help aid him.  There are service dogs specifically trained to guard and minister help to those veterans  that deal with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome). As they were interviewing him, the camera would show this wonderful dog faithfully at his feet.   He shared how his dog has helped him so much. He is trained to stay by this young man’s  side at all times.   This dog is so sensitive to him that even while he is asleep the dog is still tuned in to this man’s needs.     He said if he is starting to have a bad dream or nightmare, the dog senses it, and  wakes him up by getting by his side and gently licking him, and comforting him. The dog is also trained to the sensitivity of this young man’s emotions that he can tell when this young man is upset in any way,  and  again it moves to faithfully give comfort. The story just really touched my heart.   Although there is still much research to be done to help our veterans,   it made me realize how far we have come in this realm,  Let this remind us that we need to keep our veterans in prayer.   They battle a different war even after they have returned from the battlefield.

As I pondered this beautiful story, it began to remind me that we too have a Comforter that was promised to us.   God knew that there are things that we will face that will tempt us to fear or even give up.    Jesus has come alongside of us, and He promises to comfort us no matter what we are dealing with. He is our  best friend, and He has promised to guard our hearts and minds with His peace.  I thank God that the Holy Spirit has been sent to stay by our sides.    He is keenly aware when we are troubled, in anxiety, or afraid.    He too is there to interrupt our bad dreams and fears, and gently minister His peace to us.   Today, let us praise Him for the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives!


John 14:16 AMP “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever—”

“Living Heartily From the Soul”

whatever may be your task
by Dona Hake
Yesterday I shared with you my experiences of shooting weddings and the tense moments that presented themselves.   I shared about trusting God and not worrying for the sin of worry will rob you of the peace and energy of the moment.   This goes along with the scripture I share with you today…
Colossians 3:23 (AMP)
” Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul),
as [something done] for the Lord and not for men…”
I absolutely hate if I am trying to do something, and I just know that my heart is not in it.   Many times if our hearts are consumed with worry and anxiety we will find that our focus is broken.  When we are trying to do our job or do something and our heart is not connected it simply feels like we are going through the motions. Oh that the Lord would reveal to us that we need a heart adjustment in order to do all that we do with every bit of our energy and heart. May He show us the maintenance adjustments that are much needed in our heart, mind and soul when we are not working heartily
from our soul.

In this scripture we can see that as we do anything, our focus needs to stay on the Lord. We need to work as if we are doing it for Him. Another translations says, in ALL the work you are given, do the best you can. I think that is a great attitude to carry with us as we face each day’s demands whether if be at home, school or our jobs. No matter what it is that is your responsibility just simply do the best you can, and do it as if you are doing it for Him. As you pursue to make this a habit of your heart, I guarantee you that He will prosper all that you put your hand to.

Lord, we ask You today to help us stay sensitive and aware that we are doing all that we
do with all of our heart, and with a good attitude. Each day we believe that
Your grace will flow to us that we will be able to do all that is required of us.

We thank you for your strength and wisdom as we serve You each day.

“Worry About Nothing But Instead Trust Him”

instead pray
by Dona Hake
The Word is telling us in Philippians to worry about NOTHING. Not the littlest of a problem should tempt us to worry, but oh how hard this can be at times. Sometimes our minds can become nervous as anxious thoughts wander through our mind, and may ultimately affect us physically.

I can remember all so well how my stomach would go into physical knots and the “butterflies” would take over right before I was to shoot a wedding.   Anxious thoughts and worries about doing my best would work on me usually till I got to the reception.    It was then I felt I could relax somewhat and just have fun with the guests as they would dance and celebrate the joy of the bride and groom.    I would have people say, “I cannot believe you still get nervous after all the years you have done this!”    
Yes, my friends, I shot weddings for seven years, and the one thing I learned was each one was different, and each one had it’s unique challenges and joys.   It brought me to a wonderful place of having to always keep my faith out to meet the unexpected situations that usually would arise.   These unexpected things ALWAYS affect the photographer, and I learned I had to keep my peace no matter what I was facing in my day of shooting.   It taught me the wonderful lesson that I had to keep my eyes fixed on Him, and when I did that the peace followed and kept me no matter how tense the moments were at times.

When we keep our hearts and minds in a place of realizing we need our God to help us, we will keep humble hearts, and He will take the humble heart and make it a brave heart!   When we come to realize our inadequacy without Him, it is then that He is able to show Himself big on our behalf. He desires that we look up to Him anytime we have a need and just ask Him and thank Him for His answers!

Philippians 4:6-14 (TLB)

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your
needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. “

Today I encourage you to give your anxious thoughts and worries to Him and expect Him to move on your behalf. Do not ponder how you think it should all work out, but watch and wait expectantly as He unfolds the answers in your life. Most importantly, do not forget to praise our wonderful God that is faithful to answer our prayers. God bless!


“Delighting God With Our Transformed Minds”

Devotional for Tuesday, March 15th, 2016
by Dona Hake
“Don’t fit in,  just be you!”  I can remember when I heard a political figure say this a few years ago.    Many times with politics people may say or do that which they feel will win them popularity.   This particular politician was making this statement relative to living the truth.   When we strive to stay in the truth and be who we are as a result of knowing who we are in Christ, we will be real and genuine. God desires that He is able to live through us in an uninhibited way.   If we pretend to be someone or do things that are not really who we are, how may I ask can Jesus flow through us as He wills?
Sometimes people can feel frustrated because they really do not know who they are or what their purpose it. As believers, our identity absolutely needs to be in the Lord Jesus Christ. May we ever be reminded that all that we are, and all that we do is only by the grace of God in our lives. It is Him that has begun a wonderful work in us, and as we remain humble He will mold and make us vessels that are wonderfully used by Him.
God has a perfect will for each of us, and His heart is delighted when we seek to know it. I believe He loves when we seek Him in the little details as well as the big ones. I wonder if we could ever comprehend how much it delights God’s heart when we seek Him in all things that pertain to life and godliness.    Oh how it must delight His heart as well when we purpose to transform our minds with His Word!
It is a wonderful thing to have direction in our life but even more important we need to know that we are always renewing our minds to the Word and will of our Lord, therefore being transformed! Today I encourage you to seek to be transformed and renewed in your mind on a daily basis. The world has such a strong current that serves to pull and tug at our hearts. The devil loves nothing more than to see us being side tracked or walking on the proverbial fence. God desires that our lives are proving out what the His perfect will is for us. Let us make it a practice to renew our minds and be refreshed by the Word of God. It is then that we will walk in that which is good and acceptable unto Him.
Romans 12:2 (AMP) | In Context | Whole Chapter
“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].”

“Wherever Your Treasure Is”

where heart is
by Dona Hake
Matthew 6:19-21 (Darby)
“Don’t pile up treasures on earth, where moth and rust can spoil them and thieves can break in and steal. But keep your treasure in Heaven where there is neither moth nor rust to spoil it and nobody can break in and steal. For wherever your treasure is, you may be certain that your heart will be there too!”
There are so many things in this life that can serve to distract us from what is really important in life. Many may feel that if they only had more money or if they had a better job that everything would be better. You could be the richest and most beautiful, popular person in the world yet have an empty and lonely heart. The things in this world cannot compare to those things that proceed from the windows of Heaven. We need to remind ourselves to be in great gratitude and thanks to our Lord for how He has touched in our lives.
When we start to accumulate the beautiful treasures that only Heaven can birth in our hearts, we will know and understand that they can never  be taken from us. Today let us focus on embracing His Word as  our greatest treasure, and we need to guard it with all diligence as we plant it in our hearts.

Proverbs 4:23 (Amplified)

“Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.”
Today I encourage you to look up! Look up and remind yourself of all the wonderful things that He has touched your heart with. There are blessings all around you, and He desires that you embrace a heart of thankfulness, and that you would never take any good thing for granted yet we live for those things that are eternal.  Praise God from whom all eternal blessings flow!

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!