Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Special Guest Post: He Loves Me!

Today, I have a special story to share with you, a devotional written by Donna Gaines. Donna is an author, Bible teacher, pastor's wife and she is passionate about making disciples for Jesus Christ. 

As an author, Donna's work is a feature of Inscribed which is the new line of study resources from Thomas Nelson Publishers. Proverbs 3:3  which says, "Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart," is the inspiration behind Inscribed which was founded after Donna and her ministry team discovered that women were not finding a study that "suits their needs" and often resorted to combining use of regular books with their Bible in study groups. Donna and her team hope that Inscribed Studies will be the solution. 

Donna's new book Leaving Ordinary: Encounter God Through Extraordinary Prayer, was published and released today (March 4, 2014) by Thomas Nelson. The book was birthed as a result of Donna's ordinary prayer life which transformed into an extraordinary encounter with God and her prayer life has never been the same since. Donna desires to share what she's learned in her faith journey with God, so much that she's written a guest post for my blog just for you, my readers!

May you be reminded of God's love for you in reading Donna's devotional, perfectly titled, "He Loves Me!"

He Loves Me!
Written by Donna Gaines 

Have you ever felt disconnected from God? Have you ever experienced a dry period in your spiritual life when you despaired of ever hearing His voice again? A time when you were just worn out with the daily-ness of life? We have all been there at some point and have even wondered if God really loves us.

I remember one of those times in my life. I recorded it in my new book, Leaving Ordinary.

Shortly after our fourth child was born, I was longing for my time with the Lord. After the birth of each of my children, there was a significant adjustment period. My orderly world had been turned upside down. Sleep deprived and trying to keep a household going for my pastor husband and four children, ranging in ages from newborn to ten, was proving to be beyond me. I cried out to the Lord as I trudged through my days. I remember walking into my laundry room one day and just turning around and walking back out—too overwhelmed to tackle the mountain that faced me.

A couple of days after the laundry episode, I returned to our Tuesday morning women’s Bible study. My newborn was three weeks old. I was lonely and looking forward to adult conversation. But what I was really longing for was a word from the Lord.

Driving back to the house, I felt somewhat uplifted, but still yearning. I stopped routinely at the mailbox as I pulled into our driveway and found a package. Denise George had sent me her recently published book, A Longing Heart Hears God’s Gentle Whisper. The words jumped out at me as though I had received a postcard from heaven!

About three o’clock the next morning, as I was up nursing my baby, I opened the book. I just “happened” to open to a section where the author was comparing the miracle of prayer to the miracle of a newborn baby. As I looked at the delicate features of our little girl and then back at the book, I read these words:

Imagine! Through prayer, you and I can call upon the One who fashioned our delicate bodies, who gifted our hearts and minds. The One who created us and gave us breath! The One who listens to us, our prayers of thanks and our prayers of complaints. The One who loves us so deeply that He would rather die than live without us.1

At that moment, the presence of The One filled the little nursery where I rocked my baby, and I was overwhelmed by His love. His love! Not reprimand because I hadn’t been having my quiet time. But love, pure and unrestrained. My heart began to pound and tears began to flow. He loves me! He heard and He saw me. I thought my heart might burst right open. His goodness had filled that room, and I was at once both comforted and encouraged.

This same intimacy and awareness are what God desires for each of His children to experience. Perhaps God may seem distant to you, as He did to me. Or maybe you aren’t convinced His promises include you. But I can tell you from personal experience, the only One who can satisfy is seeking you. (Leaving Ordinary, P. 3-4).

Repeat after me: He loves me! Rest in that assurance today.


Author bio for Donna Gaines: 
In addition to InScribed’s Leaving Ordinary: Encounter God Through Extraordinary Prayer, Donna is the author of two other books, There’s Gotta Be More and Seated: Living from Our Position in Christ. Donna is also the editor of A Daily Women’s Devotional. She is married to Dr. Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church. Known as “Mom” to her son and three daughters and “Nonna” to her six grandchildren, Donna enjoys Memphis bar-b-que, Alabama football, and anything that you can douse with salsa. Leaving Ordinary is available now. Visit (http://inscribedstudies.com/)

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