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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Thank You, Sally Walker

Then Moses said to God, "Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you.' Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”, and he said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you… This is my name forever, and this is my memorial-name to all generations.… I AM.”  Exodus 3:14 (New American Standard Bible)

I heard it said … Yahweh (God’s name) is actually the sound of air, or the breath of God. He who is the very air we breathe identified himself to Moses as “I AM” … Life itself … and we, inheritors of all Jesus, the Son of God, had and has, should not let anyone or any circumstance identify us by any other  name — I am a child of I AM.

Tomorrow I go into the hospital for a second round of surgeries on my back. One necessity for now, and at least six weeks following, will be the use of a walker I named Sally. My physician called Sally “my BFF.” Maybe so, but I refused to be identified as the little-old-lady-with-the-walker. I have hired Sally to be my professional/personal assistant: the one who steadies my walk, provides a seat when I’m tired, and acts as a truck for hauling stuff from room to room. It does not define me at the very essence of my identity.

I am a child of the Living God. I breathe in the breath of God. I’m not rich in monetary things. … God isn’t about the things of this world. He’s about the richness of life with Him. Sally Walker is my employee, my tool for service and I refuse to let anyone identify me otherwise. Their misperception is not a label for me. It is an indication of who they are and who they serve or don’t serve.

Who or what events do you let identify you? Know who you are and whose you are, and serve Him alone. Let’s pray:

“Heavenly father, God of all who breathe in your sweet air, Holy is your name. May your kingdom of Love come to all of us, filling the entire world with your grace. For today, I ask you to so fill me with your sweetness that both this body you have given me to live in and this life you have created me to be may overflow with who you are: the creator, the healer, the forgiver, and the living God … always alive, always in the present, always I AM. Forgive me when I confuse wishes for myself with blessings from you. Help me to never identify others beyond another breath of life … of God. You are LIFE and BREATH, FORGIVENESS and GLORY forever. Amen”
Copyright 2018 Doris Gaines Rapp

Author of nine novels and several non-fiction

Sunday, October 22, 2017


“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  Proverbs 22: 6 (NKJV)

What language does your children or grandchildren hearing when you speak? Are you burying words in their mind and heart — that can never be un-heard — that are not worthy of treasuring? At this time of year, we have chosen to emphasize ghouls and goblins and things that go bump in the night, rather than beauty and color and things that lift us to realms of light.

With Halloween coming up in a week, how are you preparing your children? We live in a culture that glorifies death with skulls a common decoration around us. How can we lift up the living God and the resurrected Jesus, rather than death and evil?

I would like to suggest a phrase you could say when you hand out autumn candy on October 31. We could say, “Blessings to you at Harvest time!” Let us pray:

“Holy Father, love divine, sacred is your name. May your kingdom of love and mercy fall down on everyone this fall, that we may harvest your love and grace. For today, we ask you to give us the courage to stand up for life and songs of love, rather than death and dirges. Forgive me when I have joined the world that worshiped death in previous years and direct me to use words that lift up love and praise. In the precious name of Jesus, the Christ, I pray. Amen”
Copyright 2017 Doris Gaines Rapp

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Women of Honor

“But Ruth replied (to her mother-in-law), "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16  NIV

March is National Women’s History Month. I would like to honor parsonage women, spouses of pastors.

As the wife of a minister, I remember my first women’s meeting at a new church we began serving. A woman asked an innocent question. “What do you believe is the role of the pastor’s wife and their children?”

My answer was simple, “My children are on display for no one.” As to the roll of the pastor’s wife, I said, “God has given me some talents and training, one is vocal music. I would like to sing in the choir. Another is my degree in Education so I’d like to teach a Sunday school class if needed.” Then, I thought of the hundreds of women who have moved to join congregations and are completely misunderstood. I smiled and added, “Sorry, even with a minor in music, I do not play the piano; and, I have no particular talent in the kitchen. With my husband gone nearly every evening, I will be home with our children. I’ll not be at the church every time the lights are on.” Sounds harsh? No, it’s honest—no surprises, no disappointments, no failed expectations.

I honor all those wives and parsonage families who have to find a new physician every few years in a completely strange community. They must search out the most economic local grocery; which vet is best for their pets; organize play-dates for their lonely children; seek which merchants to trade with in order to not offend members of the church; . . . those who wait at home night after night for their minister husband to come home from meetings. I honor all those women who rear their children to walk in the footprints of Christ, who show up for recitals, track meets, and gather around the kitchen table every night to complete homework. I honor the love and loyalty they give to their husbands whom God called into ministry. The Lord God also called their spouse into the blessed unit called “family.” I honor parsonage women who create “family” for their children and respect their husband, even when absent. Let us pray”

“Father God, creator of all there is, you have called some into a walk with you that requires uprooting young plants from their bed of security. Holy is your name and blessed are those who walk in your paths. I ask that you bless all those women who honor you by keeping their children safe so that the world may not touch them, even though they are dug-up and replanted in new soil. May that newness be a blessing and fresh nourishment, not a curse on those who love and follow you. We give up all sense of “home-town” and claim Heaven as our home. In the name of Jesus Christ whom we follow, I pray. Amen”
"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2017 Doris Gaines Rapp

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Unto Us

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

What did you get for Christmas? I received God's son: His love, His forgiveness, His grace, His peace and His song. Why have we not learned --- the one who gave the most, the biggest, the most precious ... was God?

The true meaning of Christmas is giving, not receiving. The real joy of Christmas is seeing the light in another's eyes when you give them a gift. The real "magic" of Christmas is in finding the miracle of love. The only gift of Christmas is Christ the child, the son of God. And, yes, the King of Kings was given for you, for me, and for all of us. Let us pray:

"Father God, Abba - Daddy, I crawl upon your lap as a tiny child, and breathe in the essence of your sweetness. You are pure Love. With your love you created all there is, and nothing that is was not yours first. I was yours before I was born. When you gave me life, you gave me the freedom to choose life or death. Your precious son, Jesus, taught me how to live in you and you in me. There is no gift more perfect than Jesus. For His love and life, I give you thanks. Forgive me for the times when I forget how to live my life in you. May this Christmas day, when we celebrate the birth of Love, be the day I live a life of your peace. In the name of Jesus, the babe of the manger I pray. Amen"
"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2016 Doris Gaines Rapp

Also, read

Friday, December 9, 2016

In Those Days

“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.”... And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the City of David called Bethlehem, since he was from the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to him in marriage ad was expecting a child.”   Luke 2:1 and 3-5 (NIV)

The story of Christmas, the birthday celebration of our Lord Jesus Christ, starts with a statement of fact, a link to actual history—“In those days…” not, “Once upon a time.” The addition of a jolly elf whose purpose is to bring joy and happiness to all the children of the world, and his flying reindeer, a species of Rangifer tarandus, known in North America as Caribou, is a fun story that allows the shifting of generosity from the child’s parents to Santa Claus. One story is anchored in history and the other is a once upon a time story floating in fantasy. Always remember, there is only one reason for Santa Claus to have a motive for sharing joy—because joy, peace, love, and song came to earth in the form of a tiny baby over two thousand years ago.

This year, help your children to be “givers’ rather than “takers.” They can give gifts of service, helping family and neighbors by doing jobs within their age ability, and gifts of love, visiting aged grandparents and friends. They can let the Baby Jesus shine through them, bringing others to the manger of love. Love and joy are what the season is all about. Children of all ages can understand that.

The miracle of Christmas is not an elf. It’s the presence of angels who announced to the world that we no longer need to be afraid. Jesus has entered the world, and specifically has entered our own lives. He will always bring to our hearts the song heard on a silent hillside—Hallelujah, the son of God is born to you…and to even me. Rather than a list of I-wants, help your children write a list of I-gives. Every time they hear a bell ring, they can know that another angel has announced in song that the Christ child is in their heart, ringing out a song of peace and love. Let us pray:

“Holy Father, love divine, you shine your star-light above my home every Christmas and miraculously, on the homes of everyone who believe in you. Every time I hear a bell ring, may I remember that your son, Jesus, came into the world to bring joy and forgiveness, and to remind me to love and serve you. Forgive me when I have been an I-want child of Santa’s rather than an I-will child of the Child of Christmas. Let me be a part of bringing your joy and love to earth this Christmas. In the name of your son, Jesus, our savior, and the true reason for Christmas, I pray. Amen”
"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2016 Doris Gaines Rapp

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Christmas List

For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever”  1 Peter 1:24-25 (NIV)


No matter how important and busy we think we are, only those we love are of true value. I’ve thought a lot about how quickly time slips away and withers like grass. If your dad is eighty-five years old, you may have only two to five Christmases left with him. When did you call him last? When were you last there for the Christmas ham?


If your sister has health problems, you may have only two or three New Year’s Eve celebrations with her. If your brother is going back to the middle-east in mid-December, there may not be another Christmas to say, “I’m glad you’re here.”


If your son or daughter has a Christmas pageant on December 21, the last day of school before Christmas break, but you have a business meeting the same evening, there may not be another Christmas between you to say, “I’m here for you because I love you.”


Don’t let time wither like grass or fall to the ground like the browned peddles of dead flowers. Time is a gift. Once the present has been rejected, ignored or squandered, that moment will never be given back—no do-overs—no maybe-next-year. Today is the only real there is. It won’t wait for you, and you can never catch up. You can only write that letter to a dying friend while they are still here to read and enjoy it.


Who is on your Christmas list? Let this be the Christmas that joy and love return to your heart, when time with those you love, top what you want. How many Christmases remain in your relationship with someone? Let us pray:


“Holy Father, Abba of Christ, I bow before your holy name. May your kingdom come into the world during this blessed time so that all may find your peace at the side of the manger. For this Christmas, I want nothing for myself. I only ask that those who are sick are free from pain; those who are lonely may find a friend; those I have forgotten may be first in my thoughts. Forgive me for when I have been selfish; for when I have crossed your son’s name out of his own birthday and chose to celebrate things; and for when I have wasted the precious time you have given me. In the name of the Christ in Christmas I pray. Amen”



"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2016 Doris Gaines Rapp
Length of Days trilogy, by Doris Gaines Rapp: All three are available in paperback and eBook at and Barnes and, as well at
Length of Days – The Age of Silence   (© 2014)
Length of Days – Beyond the Valley of the Keepers  (© 2015)
Length of Days – Search for Freedom  (© 2016)
News at Eleven - A Novel
Hiawassee – Child of the Meadow
Smoke from Distant Fires
Escape from the Belfry
Escape from the Shadows – sequel will be out in late 2016 or early 2017



Monday, October 10, 2016

What Happened to Respect?

“However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:33 ESV

My friends, do we really want to contribute to the demise of the American male? Sit-coms consistently present the bright and capable wife and mother, and the dumb and bumbling husband and father. In politics, we have one candidate who has talked about helping women and children for her entire career. Where are the words of encouragement for the husbands and fathers who respect their wife and are loyal and hard-working for their family? The other candidate made inappropriate, swaggering comments about women ten years ago, insulting his wife and family. How can I help them to understand?
I won’t try to be politically correct since PC is a made-up phenomenon to silence those who are different than we are. I only lift up these ideas as food for thought. In the greater human race, there should be no race to superiority between males and females. We are in desperate times and desperately need the wisdom and strength of both men and women. It is NOT a male/female contest. It is a challenge of ideas and policies.
One example to ponder as bits and pieces of possible accuracy: Forbes reported in 2012 that the ratio of male-female college students has shifted toward a greater female college population since the 1970’s and has gradually increased since that time. Little boys are taught to respect girls. As teens, they are told that they must not “out-shine” women; they must not argue with women; they can’t even open the door for a woman but must just get out of their way. There is no way for young men to succeed in an academic setting when they are told not to succeed – that’s bragging; not to excel in sports of strength – that’s hostile; not to admire a beautiful girl because she will interpret his appreciation of her as demeaning. So … he does not enter the closed system of academia as it is a hostile environment for males.
Dear friends, if our nation, under God, is going to survive, we must enlist the strengths of both men and women, respect the differences in perspective and come to agreements about how to handle our serious problems, with prayer and devotion to God who inspired our nation. Let us pray:
“Dear Lord and Father of our great country, I bow my head in respect for your sovereignty. You are holy and long to spread your love and strength over our nation once again. Sometimes, we will not allow you in. For my part, if I have left you out of our national debate, I am sorry. For today, I give you my worry and my fears about our future and know you will make our nation yours again if we will just let go and let you. Fill my heart with wisdom to say what needs to be said when it’s time to say it, and the control to hold my tongue when I have nothing to add that will advance your plan for us. Forgive me if I have let others tell me to silence my belief in you. I will try to see neither male nor female in the faces all around me, only your beloved children. In the name of your precious son, Jesus, I pray. Amen”
"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2016 Doris Gaines Rapp