Devotional for Tuesday, March 29, 2016
“Nothing Can Separate Us From His Love”
nothing can separate
by Dona Hake
Once again our world has been terrorized, and innocent people have lost their lives.   Many were critically injured, and among the dead are some Americans.   My heart was so grieved as I watched the coverage of the terror attacks in Brussels, Belgium.     In the midst of this tragedy, one of the severely injured offered an interview that was a breath of fresh air.    It was because of his attitude toward the whole ordeal that he is going through.   I was so touched as they were interviewing this  young man as he laid in his hospital bed.    He spoke with peace and calm yet all you could see were his eyes.   His body was completely bandaged from the burns and injuries that he received in the horrific attack.
Whenever I hear of anyone receiving burns my heart goes out to them.   A few years ago I received third degree burns to only a few of my fingers, and to this day I can remember how painful it was.   My Granddaughters were with me, and to this day the oldest can recount every moment of the event.   I sat with her on the sofa with tears running down my face from the pain.   I was so disoriented from the pain I could hardly think straight.    As I watched this young man speaking from his hospital bed I could only imagine what he was going through, and how uncomfortable he must have been.
Not only did this young man experience injury from this attack, he was also present during the Boston Marathon bombing in which he was watching his mother run.   Praise God she was not injured.  Even as hatred, tragedy, and pain faced him in a big way, this young man still chose to profess strong faith in God. As he laid in the hospital bed, completely covered in bandages from shrapnel and severe burns he shared how he could feel the love and presence of God even in the midst of the fire of the Belgium attacks in the airport.   So if you are like me maybe you try to put yourself in his place and ask yourself, “What would I say  in such an interview?”    What can we learn from this?

The thing that really stood out to me was how this young man made great emphasis on the fact that in spite of how horrible this was, he felt the love and presence of his Lord the whole time.   He never let go of his profession of faith, and was thankful he was alive.   The scripture that I felt to share and leave you with is from Romans 8:35-39.   I pray as you meditate upon this that it will bless you and encourage your heart as you ponder His inseparable love!


Romans 8:35-39 (The Living Bible)

“Who then can ever keep Christ’s love from us? When we have trouble or calamity, when we are hunted down or destroyed, is it because he doesn’t love us anymore? And if we are hungry or penniless or in danger or threatened with death, has God deserted us?
No, for the Scriptures tell us that for his sake we must be ready to face death at every moment of the day—we are like sheep awaiting slaughter;
but despite all this, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us.
For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow,
or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us.”


Devotional for Monday, March 28, 2016
“God Lifts Up 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.” I can remember hearing a woman sharing her testimony of humbling herself in  her workplace.   She realized she had been offensive to  her coworkers.   She admitted that she knew she was wrong, and 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.
When I think of the word HUMILITY, the thing that comes to my mind is that there is cost and there is blessing in the obedience of striving to be humble in all circumstances. Depending on the situation the cost may be admitting to someone that you were wrong. Sometimes the cost is keeping your opinion to yourself, and not exalting it when you are busting at the seams to just tell someone what you think. The blessing of humility is that peace has been restored to your soul, and this is worth it all! A very important thing to cling to is knowing that God is able to help us when we remain humble, for His hands are tied with the proud man. He can do no work in the heart that resists Him.
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. Let us praise the God that promises to be our help as we remain humble in His sight.


Devotional for Sunday, March 27, 2016
“In His Presence Is Unbounded Joy!”
presence is His joy
by Dona Hake
Psalm 16:11 (CJB)
“You make me know the path of life;
in your presence is unbounded joy,
in your right hand eternal delight.”
It is Easter Day, and we are so blessed because our Savior lives.  Praise God He was raised from the dead!   He promised to send us His Spirit, and abide in us that we can serve Him in greater ways!  Today I want you to meditate upon His precious presence as He abides within you, and what a joy it is for us to abide in His presence.
I can remember once stopping at one of my favorite flower shops.   You can hand pick each flower and create exactly what you want.   As the clerk was wrapping them she asked me how long it would be till I would get home with them.    The one flower in particular was extremely delicate and would have been affected by the very hot temperatures of the summer day we were having.   She said, “These cannot be out of water any longer than thirty minutes.” Although I felt I would make it home on time, I asked her to do a water wrap on them just in case I hit bad traffic.   When we really want to take special care of anything, we will go the extremes of what we need to do to keep and guard that thing.
Many times everyday experiences make me ponder spiritual truths. Jesus taught in parables a lot because it brought spiritual truths alive through the earthly stories that He would share. I began to think about how I valued these flowers and how pretty they were. I also realized that because they were so different that they required special care. It caused me to think about the importance of being mindful that I cannot afford slip out of God’s presence for by it I live, and it is worthy to be guarded.    Because He loves me so much, and created me so uniquely for a purpose, I need to value and heed to the truth that He desires that I remain in His presence that my spirit remained nourished by Him.
As I ponder staying in God’s presence I also began  thinking about how Jesus said He would never leave us or forsake us.   You see, He has promised to stay in our presence.   It is our choice that we must make to value staying in His presence, and doing whatever it takes to make that a lifestyle. I love how this translation of Psalm 16:11 is written. In God presence is unbounded joy! Think about it, joy that has no limits, borders, or bounds. It is unrestrained, and uncontrolled. Let us also remember the scripture that says the joy of the Lord is our strength.
I encourage you today to think about staying in the presence of your Lord. Think about how He desires that you remain there. Even in the midst of our jobs and daily responsibilities, God desires that we acknowledge His presence, and He wants us to bask in it! The same way that my flowers needed to be drawing on the life giving qualities of the water, we too need to stay in His presence that we draw upon His life continually.


Devotional for Saturday, March 26, 2016
“Do You Know the Condition of Your Heart?
How is Your Heart
by Dona Hake
Jesus knows the condition of our heart like no one else. He knows our hurts, He knows how it beats inconsistently for Him at times, and He well knows that there are times our heart is not strong. He sees the pain of our heart, and He understands why we may be scared from past experiences. He well understands our heart’s history, and He is the best Physician we will ever meet up with!  Today I ask you, “Do you know the condition of your heart?”     God desires that our hearts beat strong and consistent for Him that we may serve Him wholeheartedly all the days of our life!
This devotional came from words that inspired me in one of my husband’s sermons a few years ago. He shared how Jesus stands at the door of our hearts. He is a gentleman and He will not push Himself on us. He is not trying to sell anything, He is trying to just give all that He is to you. I began to think about the famous painting of Jesus standing at the door and knocking. As a little girl that painting always struck me as mysterious for some reason. Most of the paintings of this particular image of Jesus at the door shows one very significant thing missing and that is the door knob.
He stands gently at the door of every man’s heart and as He knocks He knows that you are there. He knows what is inside of your heart.  Patiently He knocks and if no one answers, patiently He waits and listens. You see if there were a door knob He would be able to turn it and just walk in. From the beginning He created us with a choice and that is to choose right from wrong. He will not push,and He will not shove Himself upon us.
The portrait of Jesus standing at the door depicts His desire to be in fellowship with every man,woman, and child. He desires to shed all of His great mercies in the direction of anyone who wants Him. He desires to wash away all sin and forget it all. Allow Him to come in, be your best Friend and fellowship with you every moment that you can. He desires to examine your heart and speak to you in a special way. God is a God of all good things and He desires to open the windows of Heaven and just pour it in your direction. Blessings to you this day!


Friday, March 25, 2016
“Thank God For the Work of the Cross”
Cross Power Worship Background
by Dona Hake
Today we celebrate Good Friday, the day our Lord Jesus Christ laid down His life, and shed his blood for us. I encourage you today to think upon which Jesus did for you, think about when your life was in bondage, and the day you felt the weight of your sin  leave your burdened heart.   May we always be thankful for what we have been delivered from.    I will never forget the night I dropped to my knees and surrendered to Him.   I did not know how heavy the burdens were that I carried until I was washed clean that evening in that old Methodist church.  May we always be thankful for what we have been delivered from.  I would like to share with you from first John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, He will forgive our sins. We can trust God. He does what is right. He will make us clean from all the wrongs we have done.”
I love this translation and I found it in a children’s devotional that I recently purchased. I love the simplicity of how this is worded. The Lord wants us to come to Him and confess when we have done wrong. He does not want us to hide the truth for He wants us to tell Him the whole truth, He wants to know our sins and mistakes, and He desires that we confess them with our mouth. He does not want us to run and blame someone else instead He wants us to be accountable for that which we have done.

Today may we celebrate in our hearts the joy of our sins being washed away. Our sins are forever forgotten, and not to be brought up to us again. I know I probably shared this before but it bears repeating today for it fits well with this devotional. Many years ago when I was teaching the little ones one Sunday morning, I was speaking to them about the forgiveness of sin. It was a nice day, so I took them outside for this messy lesson that I was planning to share  with them.  This is such a precious memory in my heart of teaching little ones, and I will never forget their little faces as I shared the message of God’s forgiveness with them.

I made a bowl of mud and I had a pitcher of fresh clean water sitting alongside of the bowl of mud. I began to talk to the children about how sin makes our heart dirty, and that we need to keep our hearts clean. I began to rub the mud all over my hands and arms up to my elbows. The little boys especially loved this as they watched me getting all messy and muddy just for them.   I began to tell them that this is how our hearts look when  we do not ask Jesus to forgive us.   It  gets bigger and bigger, but as we confess our sins the Lord’s blood will wash those sins away. I began to take the pitcher of fresh clean water and pour it over myself and my arms were turning clean in front of their eyes. I told them to look down at the grass and ask them if they could see the mud anymore, and it was a wonderful way to show them that  all the dirty water absorbed in the ground, and they could not see it any longer. I then began to share with them that if we confess our sins that our sins are washed away and  never to be seen again by the Lord.
May we rejoice this day that our hearts can be clean, our sins have been washed away, and we are free in Jesus name! Thank you Lord for what you did at the cross for us!


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!”

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!