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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, November 30, 2009


I don’t know about you, but I can be memory challenged for all the blessings God pours down on me. I thank him for all he has done one day, then complain when things haven’t gone as I think they should be the next. There’s that “I” word again. With God, it is all about him - his plan, his time, his blessings, not mine. It’s like a birthday or Christmas present. It’s not really a “present” if it isn’t presented to you as a gift, rather than a fulfilling of an order. I must remember to thank God for every detour from my selected path, because that is where God would have me to go. Perhaps someone I don’t even know, who is loved by the Lord, needs a touch from God that I can deliver on his behalf. Is there any greater task, or privilege, than that? May I never be inconvenienced by doing good. I pray that my walk through life will leave blessings in my wake and not white water that could drown another. Let us pray:

“Dear Father God, creator of all good things, I praise your holy name. I ask you to make your home in my heart that I may walk your path, even when I don’t know where I’m going. I thank you for every blessing you have given me, even those blessings of which I am unaware. Sometimes, I refuse to call myself blessed, because your way is not my way. Oh Lord, I ask that my way is your way, for only on that path will I find my way home to you. You are everything lovely, everything holy, everything glorious, everything powerful, for you are everything good, the one true God. In the name of your son, Jesus Christ, our Savior, I pray. Amen”
Copyright 2009 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Monday, November 23, 2009


In case we have been busy or in a coma, we all know that Thursday is Thanksgiving! The big questions is, are we truly thankful? Personally, I am a wobbly wheel on the road of life, at one point careening toward praise to God for all his blessings, and there are many, then veering off the road into an abbess of complaints and pleading for more, more, more. Habits of the heart are what are needed. My ancestors came to this country before the forests were tamed, before roads were laid, and before lamps glowed softly from welcoming windows and fires burned warmly from cabin chimneys. Still, they praised God for all the wonderful things he had done for them. They expected and gave thanks for his love, strength, grace, forgiveness, deliverance, and constant abiding. Christ died for us that we might have life with him, both here and for eternity. And, for many of us, that just isn’t enough! If it isn’t, then we will never have enough, because the definition of enough will always change for the ungrateful heart. Come ye thankful people, come, raise your song of Thanksgiving and praise. We are indeed a blessed people! Let us pray:

“Father God, Creator of all good things, we praise your holy name. We lift our hearts in gratitude for all the wonderful blessings you have given us. We know that heaven will come to earth for each of us when we let you into our heart, learn your ways, and are thankful for all the things you give us. There are no more blessings we could ever want, than a life lived with you. And, it doesn’t cost a thing. Jesus Christ, your son has already paid the price for our belonging to your family. Forgive us when we have been selfish and self-centered, ungrateful and un-giving. All around us are seekers, those who hunger for you, while we sit at a banquet table prepared for your children. We have the gift of food and life for everyone who comes near us on the pathway home. That precious gift is the story of our personal salvation, our witness to what you have done in our lives. Where witnesses take the stand for you, lives are transformed by your grace. Praise your holy name, Father God, for you are our all-in-all, our blessing, our life, our wealth. A life with you is indeed . . . enough. We have been totally filled, piled high and running over with your love, your grace and glory. In the name of your son, Jesus Christ we pray. Amen”
Copyright 2009 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


“Just who do you think you are?” I was eleven years old when my sixth grade teacher asked that question. I had evidently used poor judgement by accepting an invitation to do some filing in the office of my beloved principal, Miss Rose Miller, who looked like a bull dog and had the heart of a saint. Let me tell you, I thought about that question over many years since my teacher first asked it. I wanted to have an answer ready in case I was ever quizzed again.

As a Christian, “Who do you think you are?” is not an existential question. Obviously, I knew that I existed and was totally responsible for my own acts - the main tenant of existentialism. But I’m so much more than that. God has given us free choice, not man, and our existence is not limited to whom we are on this earth. It should also not be an esoteric question, hidden concepts that are intended for and understood by only a few. Knowing who you are is offered to all those who live. My identity is linked at the heart to God and is therefore Eternal. Many years ago, I developed an answer for my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Haas.

I am a child of the living Father God, inheritor of all he has for his children through the blood of his son Jesus Christ. I am wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, sister, and friend. My place in the family of God is not limited to a few nor is it veiled in geek lingo understood only by those who have mastered the secret vocabulary. No, I am a child of the King and so are you. Just accept it and believe it. And, yes, acceptance precedes a growing belief. More is revealed, raising faith like yeast in bread, to those who accept him. Let us pray:

“Father God, my Abba, my Daddy, holy is your name. I pray that your kingdom may come to dwell within me making you King of my life, so that your will may be done there. I accept the gift of salvation paid for by your son, my Savior Jesus Christ. Today, I ask for your love to so fill and surround me that I may know that I am yours. If anyone should ask, I pray that I can readily say, “I am a child of the King through the blood of his son Jesus Christ.” Yes, Father, I am yours. May I reveal Christ wherever I go so that others may be drawn to you. I give you all the praise and glory. In the name of your son Jesus Christ, and by his power, I pray. Amen”
“Copyright 2009 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to his love. Let me tell you mine.”

Monday, November 9, 2009


As the storm clouds continue to gather, here and abroad, we recognize Wednesday as Veterans Day. All of us thank them for their service and sacrifice. They are all our heros, whether they have been in combat or non combat zones. They were willing to sacrifice their time and plans to serve the rest of us, and some sacrificed their lives in the process. May the Lord God richly bless them and their families.

The storm however, threatens all of us. The darkness is pleased when we choose anything less than the best from our Lord. Shades of gray are still black at the base. Black is the absence of color, devoid of everything bright and beautiful. White is the presence of all color, brilliant and beaming with all that is good. To compromise our beliefs is to choose a gray life, which may lead to no life at all. Knowing what you believe is the helmet for battle, protecting your head from bombardment by false teachings. Knowledge comes from God’s Word, the Bible. Accepting Christ is the breastplate of armor, protecting your heart and soul from piercing by Satan. We are at such as time as this, when we cannot be just weekend warriors for Christ. That leaves five days a week when our backs are not covered by fellow soldiers for Christ; when we have left the field manual for battle, our Bible, in the church pew; and when we ignore the orders from the General, our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ. Let us take up our sword of righteous and follow the leading light of Jesus in the battle for our very soul. Let us pray:

“Holy, heavenly Father, you are the Captain of my battleship in the war of this world and the next. I humbly accept your leadership and place you at the helm of my life. I ask for your presence in my life, each and every day, so that I may choose the saving daily battle-plan. Forgive me when I have tried to take the lead in navigating my way through life, when I don’t even know the way you are leading. Forgive me when I have refused to see the seriousness of the war front at which I stand. Pretending that the battle is not raging around me will not make it go away, nor will it save my soul from death. Only you have the power to save me from the darkness and my own pretense. Give me your salvation, insight, strength, courage, and power to take my stand at the wall, so that evil will not find a breach where I am stationed. In the name of your precious son, my Savior, Lord and hero, Jesus Christ I pray. Amen”
Copyright 2009 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Monday, November 2, 2009


I woke up freezing. The ice storm of last winter had left us without heat,
light, or cable, and broken limbs on many of our beautiful trees. The wonderful willow tree near our back door was the nearly destroyed.

The power company cut out the damaged branches leaving a totem pole. Bill had to cut the remaining wood down. He dropped the tree top to about five feet off the ground, then made a cut all the way around the stump and ran the chain saw down the middle, all in an effort to stop its growth.

But, the life inside the tree would not die. It had been heavily laden, bent, broken, cut down for the fire, injured at its very base and told it would never grow again. Then came the Spring rain, the sun, and the life breath of the living God who created a miracle in that which had been defeated just months before. My dear, dear friends, are we not more than these?

Let us pray:

“Oh Healer of the broken, those cast aside and told they have no worth to mankind, you are greater than our fear, any shame, any voice or opposing force. Holy is your name. May you blow into our hearts like a wind on the sea and set us safely ashore to your vision of our lives, regardless of our circumstances. We pray today for all those in pain of heart, mind, body, or spirit. You can restore us to be the glorious children you intended for us to be, just as the tree came to life again in the Spring. Let today be our Spring and the wind of change be your breath, healing and reclaiming us unto you. Forgive us when we have given up, for we know that is not your nature nor the nature of the life that flows through us. Give us strength and new purpose, fresh energy, and new life, that we may live to your amazing glory. In the precious name of your son, our savior Jesus, we pray. Amen.”

Copyright 2009 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine”