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Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday - June 23, 2008

Blessings Upon Blessings
We just got back from vacation. Yes, the price of gas was high and yes, we had to drive our old minivan and yes, we had to conserve on spending. Yet, we still had a wonderfully relaxing time, far greater than I could have imagined as a child. We are all so spoiled. Let us praise our God for all the blessings we have, not beg for all the wants we think we deserve and must have.
“Our Father, God, blessed be your Holy name. May we be aware of the rich privilege of living so near Heaven each day, as we share your love with others, that we can feel the brush of angel wings. We praise you and thank you for the beautiful lives of the children you lent to us, to call our own for this brief time on Earth. We know the awesome responsibility we have as parents, and willingly sacrifice our wants and desires for material possessions, so we can spend the time necessary to mold them into your people. We thank you for the country we call home. You painted the mountains with a broad brush of color and covered it with a veil of breathy dew. Your woods and forests are lush and green with life. Your skies are splashed with blue and dotted with winged creation that can soar above us and sing songs of joy to our hearts. Yet, we complain if our television is not large enough or our cell phone doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as our friend’s phone, or that our computer doesn’t entertain us for a full eight hours, the time our precious families need in order to grow and be healthy. We become angry and dissatisfied when our toys are smaller than those in another’s play pen. Forgive us for not seeing the beauty you have given us, beauty in our family and friends and in your world. We live to want, rather than want to live . . . the life of simple satisfaction, resting in the love you have given us. May we see the beauty in WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE, rather than seek satisfaction in what we have not. What we do not have but want, never gives contentment . . . how could it? We have it not, and when we get it, we want it not. We only want the next larger size. We pray that your love for us will be enough to fill our lives with joy. How could pure love NOT be enough? Yet, it isn’t for most of us? Forgive us for not being thankful. Forgive us for not seeing beauty all around us, for not being aware of you, standing at the doorway to our heart, asking to come in. In the name of Jesus, your son, we pray. Amen”
Copyright 2008 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday - June 16, 2008

Every Day Is Fathers Day
Yesterday was Father’s Day and my heart was focused on mothers. Why? In today’s society, mothers make fathers for their children. No, not “create;” that’s God’s province. Mothers “make” fathers . . . or they “break” them. As grandparents, we hinder or help the vital growth of our grandchildren by the way we treat their father. As mothers, our job is even more awesome.
Children need their fathers more now than they ever have. Daddy has been their first playmate, who teaches them how to be fair, yet to reach beyond themselves to achieve even more than they had ever dreamed. Dad is the moral compass of the family, he who teaches tots and teens right from wrong and to accept the consequences of their choices. When children stayed home with mom and their siblings, and Dad went out into the world to fend off the tiger at the door, it was enough for the children to be under their father’s influence for brief moments when Dad returned from battle or at sundown when they came in from the fields. And, . . . the sons of the father went into the fields with them. Now, we turn our children loose into a world of chaos and danger, with no Father at their back or by their side. We, as mothers, have too often trivialized “Dad” and make him the “joke” of the family . . . “He who does not have to be listened to.” We side with our own family and friends and deem our children’s father irrelevant, at a time when Dad is the most important piece of armor our children have, in a world at war with itself, a battle to gain the heart and soul of each one of us. When we demean “Dad,” we weaken our own children, we cripple them for the race they must run.
Let us pause for a moment to pray for fathers everywhere. Every one of them needs our support. Every one of them has been declared a “target,” to be shot at, torn down, trampled on, and stepped over. Yet, Daddy is whom our children call for in times of need. Remember once again, to whom we offer our prayers and supplications, Father God. What kind of “God the Father” is being built in the minds of our children? Let us pray:
“Oh Dear Father God, Holy is your precious and mighty name. May your kingdom of truth and righteousness come to us even as we live here and walk the path toward Home. Yet we fear that same presence, for we have sinned against the other half you have created, the Father half. Give your mighty strength, insight, and love to fathers everywhere. Our children desperately need their wisdom and presence. Just now, the very fact we may have dismissed the word “wisdom” as coming from our children’s father, displays our own sin. Forgive us Father, as you forgive those fathers who have walked away from their children, or those who have angrily done battle with the mother for the right to be “Dad.” Speak to their dear hearts and tell them to lay all rancor aside. They do not have to fight for the right to be “Daddy,” since that privilege and responsibility was given to them by you, at the time you built the mighty mountains and forged the deepest seas. No one else has to validate their role as “Daddy,” since you stamped their heart with an imprint named “Dad” when their first child was born. Father is not an earthly title. It’s an awesome crown they can and must wear. Whisper love in their heart and tell them they are, and always will be, “Pappa” to their kids, the lover of their soul. They are Dad, that is an undisputable fact. They are either a good and present dad, or a poor and absent dad, and the fault of that perception may too often lie with the mother and other family members. Forgive us, oh Father God, for we have sinned against you. We pray that you will bind-up our ability to put fathers down. Seal our lips and our actions. Cast Satan’s plan of destroying families into the deepest pit. You, Father, blessed us with family: earthly family, church family, and a heavenly family. Whether we are in an intact family or a separated one, turn our hearts so completely to you that it will be impossible for us to ever again laugh at a “dad” joke, view a program with a bumbling father and say that’s entertainment, or ridicule the only father our dear children will ever have. Forgive us, so that we may be able to spend eternity with our forever “little ones.” In the precious name of your Son, our redeemer, our brother in the family of God, we pray.
Amen, may it be so.”
Copyright 2008 Doris Gaines Rapp

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Monday - June 9, 2008

Today, let us pray for our families. It’s our oldest daughter’s birthday and family is all about our children. Let’s also remember those family members who have passed over to Glory, for once they have touched our lives, they are always part of us, whether that be for moments or years.
Let us pray:
“Our Father God, we are “family” with you. Your son, our Savior Jesus, the Christ, claimed us for His own and shed His blood that we might be able to draw near to Home without fear. Through Jesus, we can call you Abba, Daddy. We pray, oh Father, for all of our children, that they may know you and receive your son as their redeemer. We pray for our children who have gone astray from us and you. We pray for those who were family, then wanted release from family. But, you know that is not possible. Family is always family. We pray that they may one day know you as Lord, and be reunited into the family of God in Heaven. Forgive us when we have made it hard for them to see you through us, because of our actions or sins. Give us your strength and insight, that our hearts may be turned toward Heaven, so your light may shine through. We lift up all the shining souls in our lives and give you all glory for their radiance. You spoke worlds and stars into being by the Word, which then became flesh and dwelled with us on Earth. Certainly, you can whisper love into the ear of our children. That same utterance, can change lives. In the name of your son, Jesus, we pray. Amen”

Monday, June 2, 2008

Monday - June 2, 2008

Our lovely granddaughter graduated from high school yesterday, as did many of your family and friends. Let us hold all of them in our prayers.
"Our loving Father, we praise your holy name. May our children who graduate at this time, be held within your protective arms all their days. We know they are being launched into a whole new world from that of our beginning, but not so different from the world of their grandparents. But wars and rumors of war have been with us since Biblical times but you are consistaet. Holy, holy, holy is your name and the love, forgiveness, compassion, a grace you give to all your children who call upon your name. Some of our lovelies will go to the wonder and danger of a worldly college, some to work, and some to war. We ask that you go before them, bless their new and unknown roommates, their professors, and make your presence known to all. Prepare a place for them in the safety of your smile. Forgive us where we have not adequately prepared them, and lift up the positive messages of love when we spoke words of love and songs of you. As they succeed, may all glory and honor and praise be yours oh Father, God. In the name of your precious son, Jesus the Christ we pray. Amen"