Devotional for Wednesday, May 11, 2016
“Encouragement vs. Discouragement”
by Dona Hake

It is when we are full of God’s courage that we feel we are able to accomplish anything with His help.   Today we will look at two words  encouragement and discouragement.   We know that the opposite of courage is discouragement, and both of these are powerful forces.   Discouragement has the power to paralyze someone from moving forward. It has the power the keep you unmotivated,  and tempt you to wallow in the past. Today we will look at how we must guard our hearts against discouragement.

Abraham Lincoln wisely said,
“Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”
Courage is that thing that empowers us to do what we may be afraid of. It helps us go forward into things we thought was too big for us to handle. Let us live with determined hearts and never allow discouragement to prey upon our hearts.
Many times discouragement will be birthed as a result of being preoccupied with cares in our life. We are commanded to cast all our care over to God. As the scripture says below, we need to keep our minds clear and alert because the devil is watching for those opportunities to pull us down.
1 Peter 57-9
Names of God Bible
“Turn all your anxiety over to God because he cares for you. Keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion as he looks for someone to devour. Be firm in the faith and resist him, knowing that other believers throughout the world are going through the same kind of suffering.”

If your heart is in a place of discouragement, I want to encourage you today to look up and know that He is well able to pull you out of that place and bring courage back to your heart. Release your care and hold fast to His loving hands and you will be made courageous!



Devotional for Tuesday, May 10, 2016
“I Will Rest In God Alone”
i will rest in god alone
by Dona Hake
“Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him,”
Psalm 62:5 HCSB
We overwork our bodies at times and more than likely our minds are overworked on a regular basis. Daily responsibilities and cares can just take it out of us. Where do we run when this happens? Are we supposed to run somewhere when this happens?   Of course ! … God wants us to run to Him when we are in trouble. May I humbly submit to you that if you run from your problems that you are going the wrong direction.

God’s desire is for us  to stay in a place of rest for it is there that we are able to live refreshed and drawing upon Him. It is there that our hearts, minds and bodies are kept in check. It is there that there is strength and peace beyond any comprehension exists. If we are honest with ourselves we need to admit there are times when we are pushing the boundaries of our bodies and minds beyond what they are created to endure.   It is God’s plan and desire for us to live on this earth drawing upon His grace and strength and we purpose to do His will.  We need to return to His rest that He desires for us.

I am totally sold out in believing that God wants us to live in a place of rest that ONLY He provides.   How precious are the words that David wrote in Psalm 23…He makes me to lie down in green pastures and He restores our soul.  
So what is this rest? Here is one definition that I loved…relief or freedom, especially from anything that wearies, troubles, or disturbs.  Let us abide under the shadow of His wings and I mean abide…live there, hang out, stay there….God wants us to remain before Him. He does not desire we come and go as we please. He does not desire that we come to Him  only when problems come up, but He desires we stay put. It is as we rest in this place that we really do experience the power of His restoring strength to our soul!



Devotional for Monday, May 9, 2016
“Walking In the Way of God”
one foot in front
by Dona Hake
I love feeding birds on my deck, and I love watching them come and go.   I have really been enjoying seeing the Momma birds coming with their young and feeding them just feet from my window.   I literally have a bird’s eye view of nature at it’s best!!!  Unfortunately I have also seen little birds hit my window, and it upsets me because many times they do not make it.   One day a few year’s ago I heard a bang on my deck door window.  I walked over to see, and I was holding my breath that I was not going to find a dead bird. I dreaded going to glance out the window because I hate seeing anything suffer or lose it’s life. I was surprised to find one of the little Catbirds sitting on the deck looking around quite dumbfounded and you could tell she did not know what hit her or should I say…she did not know what she hit.    She saw me and glanced my way, and I just stood and observed her. She just stayed quiet and little by little looked around. She sat there observing other birds coming and going and did not move. Finally, she lifted up her wings and flew away. Whewwwww!   I took a deep sigh of relief!
This little incident blessed me with a little analogy to share with you today. Sometimes we too can think we are perceiving that we are going the right way to find ourselves running into “windows” or dead ends. Things like this can blindside us especially if we feel we are on the right path, yet it happens. Sometimes our wrong perception of things could get us into trouble. Maybe we are not paying as close attention to things as we should and we end up being stopped suddenly without warning. We can learn from this because there will be times when we are taken off guard in life or hit hard with circumstances beyond our control.

A little observation I made of my little recovering “feathered friend” was how she sat so quietly and was cautious not to move until she knew she could. She just kept still, observed quietly what was going on and waited till the right moment. She knew exactly the right time to try and fly again. It seemed that she just knew when she had her bearings back, and she opened her wings and took flight.

Let us learn as well in those situations that cause us confusion or when we feel we lack wisdom in a situation .  Let us be still before Him, patiently wait to hear direction from above, and when we get our strength , He will cause us to soar again!
Psalm 17:4-5 (MSG)
” I’m not trying to get my way
in the world’s way.
I’m trying to get your way,
your Word’s way.
I’m staying on your trail;
I’m putting one foot
In front of the other.
I’m not giving up.”


Devotional for Sunday, May 8, 2016
“He Is Boundless!”
boundless God is He
by Dona Hake

God is great and all His works are to be greatly praised. From the time that He created the Heavens and Earth to this very day, He continues to show Himself mighty and His wonders never cease. When I think of how great our God is, I realize that our understanding is limited because He is God, and everything about Him is beyond the bounds of human comprehension!!   Today we look at our God that we serve, and how He is a God that is boundless!  I just want to share a few scriptures with you to think upon relative to this word ~boundless~.

Psalm 147:5
“Great is our Lord and of great power;
His understanding is inexhaustible and boundless.”


Ephesians 6:10
“In conclusion, be strong in the Lord
[be empowered through your union with Him];
draw your strength from Him [that strength
which His boundless might provides].“


1 Peter 1:3
“Praised (honored, blessed) be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)!
By His boundless mercy we have been born
again to an ever-living hope through the resurrection
of Jesus Christ from the dead…”

Today I encourage to allow Him to show you His boundless mercy, His boundless might and His boundless understanding which is inexhaustible! How great is our God!

5. 7.16

Devotional for Saturday, May 7, 2016
“The Still Small Voice of a Very Big God”
still small voice
by Dona Hake

Sometimes life can become so hectic that we do not realize that are souls are no longer quiet before Him.   There may be times that we need to hear from Him, and our days just seem to fill up with “things” before we know it.   These “things” really are important and needful to take care of but let us guard over the most important thing, and that is our fellowship with our loving Heavenly Father. Let us be watchful for this is the area in which we permit our days to rule us rather than God’s peace and quietness ruling our hearts.    We don’t even notice that our peace is slipping away until everything seems to swirl around us, and our souls are no longer quiet.  If we are not careful we could miss His gentle voice that so desires to fellowship with us, and give us the direction that we need.   We serve a very big God but more times than not His voice is sweet, and His voice comes in a whisper.
1 Kings 19:11-12 (AMP)
” And He said, Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord. And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake;
And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire [a sound of gentle stillness and] a still, small voice.”
Elijah knew that the  gentle whisper was God’s voice. He understood that God did not just reveal Himself in the big and the powerful, but also in the sound of stillness. The Lord is often found in the gentle whisper in the quietness of a meek spirit. It is there that He is able to whisper to you the secrets of His perfect will and purposes for your life.

Today let us purpose in knowing that our hearts are quieted before Him. I believe even in the midst of the loud voice of the demands in  our lives that we can maintain our hearts, and keep them at peace that we can hear His voice no matter what is going on around us.


     “Let us be silent that we may hear the whisper of God.”

                               Ralph Waldo Emerson


Devotional for Friday, May 6, 2016
“The God of High Places”
rock and redeemer
by Dona Hake
1 Samuel 2:1-3Contemporary English Version

“No other god is like you.
We’re safer with you
than on a high mountain.”
I just want to encourage you today with the fact that God desires to be our Rock and our Redeemer!   The writer declares in this scripture that we are safer with our God than on a high mountain!    As Redeemer, Jesus restored us back to fellowship with the Living God of this Universe! We can be cleansed of any sin and we no longer need to live in guilt of past or present mistakes. At any given time in your day you are free to run to Him for the forgiveness and help that you need.  Praise Him today for He is our Rock!    A very present help in time of need!

As we look to Him as our Rock, we no longer stand in places that shake or can be moved but we can stand on that which brings us strength and security. I loved the one definition of rock that I found. It said to be lulled in security and hope. When one is lulled they are soothed and quieted. I could not help but to think of times when my sons were little and they would come and just be comforted as I held them tightly and prayed over them. We too can run to Him in those times that we are shaken and our soul will be quieted. As we sit at His feet we can be assured that He will calm us from our anxieties and strengthen the faith in our heart.  Thank Him today that He is able to hold you and  keep you, for He is the God that is seated in High Places that are secure and never moved!

Psalm 37:7
Amplified Bible

“Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him…”



Devotional for Thursday, May 5, 2016
“Abundant Peace Belongs To Those That Love His Instruction”
lasting peace
by Dona Hake
Psalm 119:165 (HCSB)
“Abundant peace belongs to those
who love Your instruction;
nothing makes them stumble.”
When we love the instruction of God’s Word , we WILL have great peace.    I can remember my husband’s words he spoke in one of his sermons a few years ago.   “The spirit of this world is trying to drain us.”This is so true, and this truth needs to be heeded to. No matter how much we love and live for the Lord, we must continue to keep ourselves strengthened by the truths of God’s Word so that our souls are not drained and pulled down.
Many times when we are lacking peace, it is then that we are most vulnerable to offences.  I shared with you a few days ago regarding keeping ourselves charged just as we keep a battery charged.   It is on us to follow through with diligence to stay full of His Word by hearing the Word, reading the Word, and having communion with our Lord through prayer.

The second part of Psalm 119:165 says that “nothing makes them stumble.” When we are so full of God’s peace, we will be able to rise above things that would be trying to pull our hearts into being offended and stumbling. Offense can have power over our souls as it can cause us to be unforgiving and we could end up a bitter person.


This great peace that the psalmist is speaking of is not the peace that the world gives. This peace comes from the God of still waters that lives within you, and He promises to flood your soul with it. This peace is the peace that passes all human comprehension. It is above and beyond all we dare imagine. Today I encourage you to think about the God in Heaven that desires for His abundant peace to permeate your soul! As you love His instruction you will have abundant peace.




Devotional for Wednesday, May 4, 2016
“The Power of One Encouraging Word”
encouraging word
by Dona Hake
Proverbs 12:25

“Anxious hearts are very heavy, but a word

of encouragement does wonders!”


Today I want to encourage you to seek opportunities to lift up hearts that may be heavy.  As we ask the Lord for such opportunities He is sure to bring them in our path.  We live in a time where it is plain to see that many have anxious and heavy hearts.  I love those God given opportunities when I can lock my eyes with someone that looks grumpy or depressed, and try to get them talking.   People like this need our loving smiles and encouraging words.


The Lord lifts us up and faithfully ministers His strength to us.  Day by day He pours forth an abundant supply of joy and strength for our day.  Let us be ready to give it to those around us as He provides us opportunities.  God wants us to be givers not hoarders of all the blessings He has imparted to us.


Proverbs 11:24
Living Bible
“It is possible to give away and become richer! It is also possible to hold on too tightly and lose everything. Yes, the liberal man shall be rich! By watering others, he waters himself.”


Devotional for Tuesday, May 5, 2016
“Is Your Spiritual Battery Charged?”
given us all we need
by Dona Hake
 I can once remember someone calling me and requesting a photo shoot with me.   They did not have a scheduled appointment, but I agreed to do it for them for my day was free.   I threw my camera over my shoulder, grabbed my bag of lenses and out the door I went.  As I was driving down the road it dawned on me that I better check my camera’s battery.   Sure enough when I check it’s level, it was blinking low and that would not have gotten me through my photo shoot.  I also realized that I forgot to pack a back up.  I turned around and went back home, and grabbed one of my back up batteries. Thank God for back up! Normally with client shoots I have all batteries full and extra of everything. My point in this story is that I was caught off guard, and not totally prepared.   I thought I was but in all reality I was not being as thorough as I should have been before I left my home.
There is an analogy to this little story. Life can bring us situations that just catch us off guard, and we have no time to prepare for them.   I had noticed for a while that my battery was blinking low but I just ignored it and the thought was….I’ll charge it later. Well, “later” did not happen and had I not realized it I would not have been able to get the shots this individual wanted me to get. You see, my lithium battery is well capable of shooting for hours on end IF it is fully charged. There was not a thing wrong with the battery. The thing that went wrong was that I failed to be attentive to it’s warning, and do what needed to be done. I failed to maintain such a small but most vital part of my camera.  I have a wonderful camera with beautiful lenses yet without the battery power within, they are not capable of working to their potential.
We too are like ”spiritual batteries” that need charged and watched over. We need our time with God and the infusion of His strength and guidance each day. We cannot try to thrive on what was yesterday’s faith , and victories.   We cannot fool ourselves and think we are going to get away with ignoring the warning signals that come with being weary and worn down. We must keep ourselves full that we can do all that He has for us to do. I leave you with this scripture that is a wonderful one to reflect upon. I encourage you to draw upon that power, and all that He has so graciously given you to live your day!  Be diligent to watch over that you are full and serving Him in the power of His strength!

2 Peter 1:3  The Voice
“His divine power has given us everything we need to experience life and to reflect God’s true nature through the knowledge of the One who called us by His glory and virtue.”



Devotional for Monday, May 2, 2016
“What Does Patience Mean To You?
patience and why we need it
by Dona Hake
Did you ever notice how it seems we are required to be patient at the most inopportune times?  Of course there are days that things  just seem to flow perfectly, and it seems like nothing is standing in the way of your well planned day.   But what about those days where the opportunity to remain cool, calm, collected and patient is a bit more than what you can take.   Let us look at what patience is…
*the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.



*an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay:

*quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence:
How do you define patience?   For me I like to keep things simple for I remember things better that way.     I quickly learned over the past six years of having little Granddaughters that ten minutes can seem like an eternity.  Over and over I would share with them. “Be patient!”   But their response would be, “But Grandma, it is so hard some times!”    So I began to go over and over with them that being patient simply means :
Wait with a happy heart!

I remember a few years ago this conversation with my oldest Granddaughter and it still makes me chuckle when I think about it.  We were hitting a lot of traffic and it seemed like forever till we were reaching the donut shop. I began to say, “Remember! we need to be patient!…and what does patience mean?” My granddaughter said, “I know, I know, it’s waiting with a happy heart but sometimes I don’t do patience!” I have to be honest with you that when she said that I almost cracked up laughing. I love how children are just so bluntly honest at times. I just had to chuckle and I replied, “You know what? Some days I don’t do patience either.”


Let’s all be honest with ourselves… we all have those days that we do not do patience real well, and it ends up causing us to be annoyed, upset, etc… In the book of James he wrote and exhorted us in the importance of allowing patience to have it’s perfect work. I used to wonder how James could write and tell us to “Count it all joy when you fall into various tests and trials…”


James 1:2-4 The 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. “

This scripture reminds me to thank God that our faith can blossom even under the pressures that may seem unpleasant. He will be faithful to teach us true patience that we can cross the finish line! So today I encourage you to be patient in all things or may I say “Wait with a happy heart!”


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!