“Without Him”

without God I can do nothing
by Dona Hake
Last evening I was searching for a recipe to make homemade pancakes for my Granddaughters this morning.   As I was making sure I had all the ingredients I was a bit disappointed because I had every ingredient except for one.   That one ingredient missing would  cause the pancakes to be unsuccessful for sure.   Well I thought to myself that I needed to keep searching my spice shelf and I finally found that ingredient.   I was excited because now I can make those special pancakes!  This reminds me that in this life we must have certain things  to do His will.  We can not think that certain things can be missing for the Lord has a perfect plan and a perfect way to accomplish it.   We may have our abilities,strengths and talents but the Lord Jesus spoke something in John 15:5 that we must never forget…”without Me, you will accomplish nothing.”

John 15:5

The Voice (VOICE)

“I am the vine, and you are the branches.

If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear great fruit.

Without Me, you will accomplish nothing.”

This is such a wonderful scripture to keep fresh in our hearts. Without Him we can do nothing and yet with Him ALL things are possible! All means all, and that little word with three letters contains big possibilities. Whether we are trying to do things for Him or the things that involve our daily accomplishments, it would do us good to know that we are pulling ALL of our strength and wisdom from His resources.  Praise Him today as you look to Him for all things for with Him you can accomplish that which you put your hand to!


“Understanding the Purposes of God’s Heart”

counsel is mine
by Dona Hake
Proverbs 8:14 (ESV)
“I have counsel and sound wisdom;
I have insight; I have strength.”
Wisdom, counsel, insight, and strength!    We are blessed as we serve a God that we can turn to and draw upon and embrace these things aren’t we?     When we seek to know more, and we ask Him to help us understand, He is faithful to help us. As we search His Word He will help us understand it and apply it to our lives In those times where things may seem to appear cloudy and difficult…know that He is well able to unfold to you what you need to know. He is able to bring to you the clarity that you need.
1 Corinthians 2:16 (AMP)
” For who has known or understood the mind
(the counsels and purposes)
of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge?
But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah)
and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.”
Praise Him today that as we draw upon His understanding, wisdom, counsel and strength we are walking in deeper realms of the purposes of His heart!

“It’s A Different Peace”

Peace Jesus' way
by Dona Hake

Do you desire for God’s peace to overtake, flood, permeate, and rule your heart?   I love these words, overtake, flood, permeate and rule when I think of His peace.     Let us think for a moment of the times in which confusion and/or stress are the ones that are bombarding your soul.   As they flood and rule your thought realm it can seem impossible to rise above their force.   BUT…with God all things are possible.   With God’s peace we are able to rise above any negative thing that is trying to pull us down.  Today we will meditate upon God’s peace ruling our soul and thought realm.

 God did not design us to live in worry, stress, and fears, therefore it is not good for us to allow these things to dwell within us. Doctors will tell you the harmful physical effects that fear and worry has on our body and emotional well being. I just recently heard a doctor explaining how stress releases toxic hormones into our system. How dangerous it is to permit worry and anxiety to become a way of life. Let us look at what God’s Word has to say about peace…

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…”

In this scripture 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 our minds. 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 that 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. Blessings to you this day!


“Are Your Eyes Full of Light?”

eye full of light
by Dona Hake

Have you ever formed an opinion based on appearances, and then to find out that your opinion was not correct at all?  Believe me… this can get us into a lot of trouble? We must be very careful to never form opinions apart from the truth.         Let us understand that all too often our eyes and our feelings can deceive us. We can think we are perceiving things properly but truth is we are seeing things from the wrong perspective or improper thinking.     There are many things that can cloud our eyes from seeing things how God sees them.
Here is an example of seeing things incorrectly. We have heard it said that worry casts a big shadow on small things. Really when you think about it worry has the ability to paint a picture about your situation that could be an exaggeration of what is really going on. Worry has the ability to magnify things and distort the truth. When we face a problem, and we allow the light of His Word to shine on it, we will always be able to embrace an attitude of victory and not worry. We will most importantly be able to lay hold of the truth, establish hope,  and the wisdom that God desires for us to walk in.
God desires that we see everything in proper perspective and the only way that will happen is if we see things through His eyes. I guarantee you that as we ask Him to help us see, we will begin to see the world around us quite differently.   Remember, His ways and thoughts are higher than ours.    Today I encourage you to ask Him to fill your eyes with light…His light.

Psalm 119:18 (VOICE)
“Let me see clearly so that I may take in
the amazing things coming from Your law.”




Matthew 6:22-23
“If your eye is pure, there will be sunshine in your soul.”


“Do Not Give Up!”

let us not tire
by Dona Hake
Galatians 6:9  TLB
“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.”
Today let us declare that we will determine ourselves to do the right thing, and not give up or be discouraged!   The Lord knew that we would be tempted to grow weary or the Spirit would not have led Paul to write such powerful words in these scriptures.  Many times we may purpose in our heart to do the right thing and we make a decision that we are going to keep on doing that good thing, and then it happens. It seems that the devil knows how to bring discouragement our way in what ever manner he can. Unfortunately many times it could come through the words of others and also circumstances.

It does not take long living here on this earth to realize that discouragement is one of the greatest tools against us.  People and circumstances may wear us down but as we renew our strength in Him and keep doing good, we will reap! You may be in a situation in your work place where the strife among fellow workers is at an all time high. You purpose to do that which is right and perhaps you are experiencing rejection as a reaction to you sowing good. You may have someone that has treated you unkindly, and you have made a decision to be kind to them and reach out whatever way you can, and they just continue to ignore your gestures. God has promised that as we persist in doing good in the face of bad and evil doings that we WILL reap a harvest. When and how that harvest comes is totally up to Him, His ways, and His timing. Our part is to just do the Word no matter if people or situations change or not.

Today I want you to meditate and confess,

“May I never tire of doing and saying the right things that are pleasing and in accordance with His Word. I will persist because He has promised that the harvest is coming! I believe He will
strengthen my heart as I look to Him in my moments of discouragement. In Jesus Name.”

God bless you as you continue to do that which is good for His glory and His kingdom.


“Lift Up Your Inner Self”

Cause 2 Me To Hear
by Dona Hake
I know it to be true that if you go to bed with much on your mind that this is how you wake up.   You will more than likely greet your day feeling a bit down in the dumps. I have gone to bed troubled, and my sleep was interrupted by the worries and fears of that which I had not given to Him.   This is not a good way to end your day nor do we want to start our days like this.  God’s Word tells us what to do with our worries.  1 Peter 5:7 ERV “Give all your worries to Him, because He cares for you.”   The Lord does not want us to greet our day with the thoughts of yesterday nor the worries about our tomorrows.     We need to remember the importance of casting all of our cares on Him for He cares for us.   When we go to bed free from worry and cares, we will awaken to a fresh new day ready to trust God yet another day.   I love how the Psalmist asks the Lord to cause Him to hear of his Lord’s lovingkindness first thing in the morning.

Psalm 143:8 (AMP)

“Cause me to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning,

for on You do I lean and in You do I trust.

Cause me to know the way wherein

I should walk, for I lift up my inner self to You.”

Let us trust to hear His voice about our day. Thank Him as He unfolds His plan for your day yet be willing to allow Him to interrupt it if He has other plans for you.  You know…you just never know what exciting ways He may desire to use you to touch someone’s life.  I encourage you today to make a deliberate effort to lift up your soul to Him and allow Him to touch you because He loves you so!
Lord, may we know and recognize Your love every new day we wake up to!   Oh that we would continue to trust in You alone for You have promised Your love and tender mercies all the days of our lives.   Let us know which way we should go for we willfully raise up our souls to You!   

“The Upholding Hand of a Loving God”

He upholds
by Dona Hake
God desires that we stay in His presence, and speak with Him about anything that concerns or is bothering you. When we neglect communing with our Lord during hardships our soul will be weighted down. We have all done it…something bothers us, it troubles our heart, and we just think about it over and over. Praise God for those times in which we come to our spiritual senses and whisper within ourselves, “What is going on here?….Why is this bothering me so badly?” It is during these wake up calls that we are reminded that our hope must be in God. In the Psalms many times it is written were David speaks these words…

Psalm 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

Psalm 42:6 O “my God, my soul is cast down within me…”

I picture in my mind David writing the Psalms in the quietness of the night while his eyes were watchful over his flock of sheep. I am sure that his days were long days, and some were more challenging than others. There are a handful of Psalms where David used the term “cast down.” This is a term used for a sheep that has turned over on its back and cannot get up again by itself. Sheep have a way of getting themselves in trouble, and they can be helpless as well. A good shepherd seeks to understand every aspect of the care of his sheep.


I want to make emphasis on the fact that a sheep cannot get up again by itself. A “cast” sheep is a sad sight. It lays on its back, and as its feet are in the air, it struggles frantically to get back up again. Sometimes it will make little bleating cries for help and just lays there frustrated. If the shepherd does not arrive on time, the sheep will die. Since a sheep that is cast is in such a helpless state, it is also vulnerable to attack by predators.
Psalm 37:24 Amplified Bible

“Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down,

for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him.”

I encourage you that in those times of being down and feeling helpless that you would look up for His hand. It is there for you to grasp! He will lift you up and put you on your feet again. Our Lord is a good Shepherd!


“From the Rising Of the Sun”

from the rising of the sun
by Dona Hake
From the rising of the sun till the time it sets, His Name is to be praised! As I was driving to church this past Sunday morning I was enjoying God’s magnificent creation.   Everywhere I looked I could see His handiwork….the sky, clouds, and trees, and He once again reminded me of His faithfulness, and His fresh mercies for my brand new day.  Every morning He  brings the daylight by the sun that He created, and in the night the sky is lit by the beautiful moon and stars!    These beautiful acts speak of His faithfulness ever since the day of Creation.   With each new day, He greets us with His love and the  promise that He is our Shepherd that walks faithfully along side us every minute of the day.
Let us praise Him for His never ending love, and His promise to stay faithful to us all the days of our life.      In a world in which things are changing constantly  we can be assured that He will never changes.    Changes that come in this life  can make us feel uncomfortable, sometimes it can cause our hearts to fear, but He who is faithful has given us a spirit of power and love and a sound mind.    By Him we can partake of the peace that surpasses our understanding, and it will guard our heart and mind in a most  amazing way.  If confusion seems to be in every corner of your world, know that He has the wisdom and answers that you need. Let us remember today, we serve a faithful, and loving God. I leave you with the scripture…
James 1:17 ERV
“Everything good comes from God. Every perfect gift is from him. These good gifts come down from the Father who made all the lights in the sky. But God never changes like the shadows from those lights. He is always the same.”
God, we thank You that You are the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens,   We are in awe of  Your faithfulness and Your promise that You will never change.  We look forward this day for what You have planned in our day, and we thank You for leading and directing us by Your wisdom!   In Jesus Name! amen.

“Purified and Cleansed By His Love!”

by Dona Hake
God provided a way through Jesus Christ that we can remain free from the torment that sin brings.   I thank God everyday for the power of His forgiveness.   I thank Him that only through Him can I forgive those that offend me, and I thank Him that He helps me to grow that I can rise above offense.  But what about the times we stumble?   Sin that is left go and not dealt with properly is the breeding ground for torment and hindrance in our walk with the Lord.

There is much torment in feeling guilty. It kind of feels like a prison because you are no longer free from the inside out. Memories and thoughts of the wrong you may have done seem to have voices, and they continue to haunt and remind you of what you think is irreparable. If you have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus, you can partake of His wonderful forgiveness. Let us treasure within us how wonderful it is that the Lord will forgive us when we mess up and He will always cleanse our hearts. As we humble ourselves to Him admitting our wrongs and shortcomings, He is desiring so much to bring us back to that place of feeling clean again. Let us look at David in the Psalms. His plea to God was for restoration of his heart in a time in which he majorly messed up and his heart was heavy with guilt and anguish.



Psalm 51:7, 8, 10

“Remove my sin and make me pure.”
Wash me until I am whiter than snow!
Let me hear sounds of joy and happiness again.

God, create a pure heart in me,
and make my spirit strong again.”

Today let us treasure the power of forgiveness from the One who is able to cleanse and purify. I love how verse eight says “Let me hear sounds of joy and happiness again.” This is what restoration is about. When we experience freedom from guilt we are able to experience the joy that was robbed by our sin and guilt. Only God is able to create within us a pure heart, pick us back up, and cause us to continue on in His will. Thank God for the power of forgiveness!


What a precious testimony…

God desires to use us
by Dona Hake
The Lord is preparing us for His use, and He is wanting to display His love any way He can!  Have you ever wondered at the beginning of the day, and ask Him “Lord, how will You use me today? I do not know about you, but I ask the Lord this question a lot. I desire with all my heart to be used by Him. Sometimes we may have ideas in our own minds how we will be used, but sometimes I think the Lord uses us in ways that we may never expect.   Sometimes He may even use you in a way that you thought to be impossible.   “Now unto Him, who is able to do above and beyond all that we dare ask or think…” Ephesians 3:20
Have you ever needed a word of wisdom or a word of encouragement, and it seemed  like God provided the person to walk into your path and the timing could not be any more perfect than the moment it happened?  Yesterday I shared with you that God is the potter and we are the clay. He molds, He works within us, He sees where we need to change, and it is vitally important that we permit Him to work on our hearts. Then there will be times where He may call upon us to be used by Him, to be His appointed vessel for a specific reason.
Today’s devotional has been inspired from something I read last evening. This is a little testimony of a precious couple that I know, and I had the privilege of photographing their wedding day. Now they have a precious and beautiful baby girl. What a delight and joy she has been to them.  I asked this young lady for permission to share this with you, and I pray that it will bless your heart as it touched and blessed mine. This young lady shared that they were out celebrating her husband’s birthday last evening.   Never were they expecting their evening to turn out like this…

“Pretty sure Matt had the most amazing Birthday dinner tonight…💜

We went on a dinner date with Bella to Mitsuru. At the table next to us was a frail woman with her son.
The whole dinner, she stared at Bella, smiled, and asked me about what she liked to eat. Bella was
being her loud, flirty, Italian self that she normally is when we go out! She kept looking at them and
busting out smiles. I guess it didn’t click until the lady asked me the same question 3X, she continued
to stare, and I noticed how frail she really looked. After they left, we were told our entire meal was
paid for. The son told the waitress to add our bill to his because he takes care of his mother, who has
Alzheimer’s, and he hasn’t seen his mother smile in years… Until tonight. Not only did she smile, she
I totally relate to this story for I saw the affects on my own father from Alzheimer’s. To watch someone you love lose their memory, and the ability to smile and laugh is so very painful. I was touched to know this precious child brought a smile and laughter to this woman stricken with this disease. I am equally blessed for her son that is caring for her. This could have been the encouragement that he needed to strengthen his heart. Experiences like this can minister to one’s heart, and we may never know the extent that  the Lord used this precious child.  This young mother shared with me,  “Matt and I are still speechless! I feel so encouraged now because you never know when you can change someone’s life!”   
I think this is so precious, and I feel blessed to be able to share this with you today!  May we be reminded through this that we are called to carry life, light, and joy. we are called to touch the lives around us. Interesting isn’t it how we just never know how the Lord may intend to use us as we go about our day. Sometimes we may never know how being at the exact place and the exact time could maybe be for a specific reason and purpose.  May we walk in an awareness that He desires to use us as vessels for His purposes for great and wonderful things!

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!