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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, November 8, 2010


The man moved quietly through a small group in Rediger Chapel at Taylor University last week. Jerry B. Jenkins*came to sign books and speak to interested writers. The best-selling author had much to boast about but I found him to be humble and gracious.

You’ve heard of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, a trivia game based on the assumption that any actor can be linked through their films to the actor, Kevin Bacon, with six degrees of separation. Christians are the same. When I first arrived at Rediger, I walked down to the lower level where my office had been when I directed the Counseling Center there. A few people were in “my office” but I recognized no one. When Mr. Jenkins began to talk, I learned that his wife graduated from the same school as the niece of my husband, Fort Wayne Bible College. Also, his son graduated from Bethel College, another Counseling Center I directed. I discovered, there is one degree of separation–times three–between Jerry B. Jenkins and me and I had never met him before.

Many years ago, we drove past a home in Las Cruces, New Mexico where a car, with Elkhart, Indiana license plates, was parked in the drive. Bill went up to the door to inquire. Not only had the man and his wife been in Elkhart the week before, he had preached at my sister-in-law’s church.

The real miracle is, as Christians, we are all connected to one another by only one degree with no separation. We all believe in the same God and follow the same Savior. In prayer, we visit the homes and hearts of family, friends, and people all over the world who are on their knees at the same time. The blessed Family of God is close knit but not close-minded; they include brothers and sisters by the millions. Do not defame the body of Christ, his family–his church–with one-upmanship. Family members stick up for one another. There is no degree of separation between us and God and only one degree of separation between one another. Jesus Christ is our connection. Praise be to God for his family so dear. Let us pray:

“Our own dear Heavenly Father, we can never thank you enough for including us in your family. Holy is your name and the name of your church. Sometimes family members lower themselves to sibling rivalry when they love themselves so little they try to elevate their own status by putting others down. Forgive us. We are already lifted to the position of second-born of God! What a holy mystery we live, aware of our place at your table but shielded from your glory since it would be impossible to take in all your majesty. May we be people-gatherers to your feast, Dear Lord. May we reveal a tiny glimpse of you as we move through our days, just one degree of separation from all other Christians. We are but one degree from the great Saints who have gone before and one degree from those who watch us, for we are the only Christian they know. May we be worthy of the responsibility in spite of ourselves. In the name of Jesus, your son and our brother, we pray. Amen.”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

* Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, Left Behind Series.

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