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!

“Prayer Is So Simple”

prayer matters
by Dona Hake
I am going to paraphrase Thessalonians 5:16-18.   It tells us to hold fast to our joy and continue to maintain a heart that prays and gives thanks in all circumstances.   Whether circumstances are sweet and lovely or not so good and pleasing to our hearts, we are to maintain joy and a thankful heart.   We are to do this and make it a lifestyle for this is God’s will for us as we live our lives for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us not over complicate the thought of having a heart that seeks to continually pray.   Of course we can not sit and pray all the time for we have jobs and responsibilities that would not permit that.      There will be those times in which we may have opportunity to sit quietly and pray with no interruptions.   Then again there may be days in which those blocks of time may be more challenging.  
I like to meditate on the fact that Jesus is my best friend, and He has promised to never leave nor forsake me.    I know  that His presence is felt throughout my day no matter what I am doing for this is my Friend that sticks by me at all times!    I like to speak to Him about the simplest of things as well as the things that may be troubling my heart.        Let us keep prayer as a priority in our hearts, and may we learn how to walk and talk with Him throughout our day for He is always with us and eager and ready to hear our voice!    I leave you with this precious anonymous writing that fits perfectly with our devotion 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.


“God Brings Purpose To His People”

purpose aug 2014
by Dona Hake
“If you have a
why  for your existence, you will have a what  and a where
as well.”    I can remember when I first heard this spoken, and it really made me think.    When we understand why we are here it will always bring purpose to our hearts. When we understand why we are doing what we are doing, we will be able to set goals for our future. Many a hearts are depressed and despondent today simply because they do not understand their purpose in this life.
 As a young person before I surrendered my heart to Christ, I can remember feeling an emptiness inside yet I just knew there had to be more.    I had friends that talked to me about Jesus, and it seemed to be true but I saw those that supposedly were serving Him, and I saw a lot of hypocrisy.   This was such a turnoff to me for  I was looking for the real deal, and once I found it I was ready to give my everything to the Lord.   April 4, 1973, forty three years ago, I can remember the night I dropped to my knees and gave my heart to Him.    For the first time I felt I could see clearly, weights seemed to fall from my heart….finally I knew why I was here, and He began to fulfill my life with new hope, new plans, and a wonderful future!  I began to see the difference between the plans I thought were good, and the ones that He had assigned to my life.
Proverbs 19:21 (AMP)
“Many plans are in a man’s mind,
but it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand.”

We can all have our own plans but only the Lord’s purposes succeed, and be established. May I encourage you today that if you do not understand your purpose in this life to just simply ask Him. He loves you where you are at, and He has a plan for your life!   Each day is a day of fresh beginnings, and His mercy and grace are there for us to succeed.    May the purposes of the Lord stand and prosper in each one of us!

“When God Looks Upon Our Hearts”

Heart He touches my
by  Dona Hake
I can remember an incident that happened to me a few years ago.   I was working with arranging some wicker baskets in my kitchen, and later on I felt as if there was a splinter in my finger.   As I looked at it I could not see a thing.   It was such a tiny splinter but I could not see it,  yet I could definitely feel it was there.   I went down to my office where I have a special light with a magnifying glass in front of it, and sure enough when I looked at my finger under this magnifying glass there was a teeny tiny splinter.    The thought of taking a sterile needle and digging it out made me cringe, yet to leave it there would just cause an even more painful problem. I decided to remove that splinter and even though it was painful, I was so glad it was out.

This reminds me of how many times the Word of God will expose things within us that are ever so tiny. Sometimes there are things in our hearts that we think are okay to leave alone.   He well understands that our problems start as a seed and if let go they have the potential to  gain momentum and cause us painful consequences.   We can choose to leave these “little things” alone and bear painful consequences or allow Him to deal with them. Sometimes the dealings of getting our hearts right isn’t always the most comfortable, but when it is taken care of, the healing will surely begin.

Hebrews 4: 12 – 13 (PHILLIPS)
” For the Word that God speaks is alive and active;

it cuts more keenly than any two-edged sword:

it strikes through to the place where soul and spirit meet,

to the innermost intimacies of a man’s being: it exposes

the very thoughts and motives of a man’s heart.

No creature has any cover from the sight of God;

everything lies naked and exposed before the

eyes of him with whom we have to do.”

I am so thankful that His Word is able to cut right through to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and it is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of our heart. No one knows us better than the God that has made us! He loves us so much and desires to lovingly deal with our hearts that we may continue to go forward and grow in Him.  Today let us praise the living God whose Word is active and alive!

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!