Now Available

Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, December 27, 2010


“That reminds me of Eddie Cantor and his song about his wife, Ida,” Pastor Bill said.

Ida, sweet as apple cider. My head found a musical path and off it went. Let’s see, it ended . . . I love ya, Ida, deed I do. Then I wandered over to another Cantor song, Toot, toot Tootsie, goodbye. Toot toot, Tootsie, don’t cry. As Pastor Bill continued, I discovered that he was talking about paying attention to life so we don’t miss any part of what is truly precious.

The problem for me was, Americans speak at 125 words per minute in normal conversation. A speaker usually slows down to 100 words per minute so the audience or congregation can follow. My problem that morning was everyone’s problem. We hear at a rate of about 400-500 words per minute, more than enough time to sing another refrain of, If you knew Susie, like I know Susie.

Attending is a deliberate act, not a passing fancy. With every word or sentence spoken by Pastor Bill, I repeated them in my own mind, truly listening and carefully planting them in my heart. That is what we are called to do.

For 2011, let us intentionally attend–deliberately listen–to every good thing God has for us. Can you imagine racing past diamonds strewn along the path, and ignoring them, to reach the red plastic prize at the end of the road? It’s not the goal that is important. It’s the life lived while traveling toward it. Don’t miss one glorious moment of 2011. The only real life, is the life lived in the moment, all else is preparation or memory. Live every minute of 2011, deliberately listening to The Voice–who only speaks to us in the moment. Let us pray:

“God and father of all, holy is your name. Your precious, yet mighty voice, I hear. Your Christmas child, the Christ, I just celebrated. Now what? I pray that I might see his sweet smile and glowing eyes in the faces of my children and friends. I ask to hear him whisper love, which I may pass it on to others. Let me remember to repeat your words in my mind and heart, so that I may plant them there and grow food to share. Forgive me when I have not slowed down enough to hear you call my name–what melodies I have missed while singing my own song. I dedicate this New Year of 2011 to you, Father God. May I be present with you each moment of every day that I may be open and ready to hear your words of love and charity. In the precious name of the God Child, Jesus, I pray. Amen.”
Have a Blessed and Abiding New Year!

“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.

Order Prayer Therapy Primer, by Doris Gaines Rapp, at An eBook.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Before the Holy Baby came, law ruled the heart. Since his coming, Love rules the heart and law’s province is the courts. Can you imagine what our lives would be like if there were no love, just law? You don’t have to stretch your imagination too far to envision a world without love. Countries, communities, families, even churches without love have nothing to offer but condemnation. Only love heals. Only love redeems. Only love draws people unto him. The greatest gift of the ages was God’s gift of redeeming love. Christmas is the time of year when love is celebrated, on the birthday of the King of Love. Let us pray:

“Father God of Love and Life, holy is your name and the name of your son, Jesus, the Christ. I pray that you will make your home in my heart this Christmas season for I want your will and your love to reign there. Forgive me when I am “too busy,” “too tired,” or “too anything else” to make room for my King, the sovereign over the Kingdom of Love. May this be my first Christmas of living in your will, oh Father. Let me hear angels from the realm of Glory, the rustle of animals as they draw near the manger, and the tiny coo of the Baby above the din of a bustling December. You are always near me but only in the calm am I truly aware of you. Fill me with the peace that was heralded by the angels. Let me feel the brush of their wings as they pass by. In the name of Jesus, your son, my Savior, I pray. Amen.”
Have a very Blessed Christmas!

“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.

Order Prayer Therapy Primer, by Doris Gaines Rapp, at

Monday, December 13, 2010


Don’t you just love a good myth? Some have said the Christmas carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, was written as a code for children to learn their catechism in England during a time when Catholics were forbidden to talk about their faith. SNOOPS tells us the math just doesn’t work. The time-line is inconsistent with historic facts. Never-the-less, I love the parallels that were drawn between the little Christmas song and the true, religious meaning of Christmas. With political correctness out of control, some day we may need to cloak our words in secrecy. Whatever your interpretation of the current times, as we enter these Twelve Days of Christmas, dwelling on Christian symbols will bring a deeper meaning to faithful Christians.

Christian meaning was added to The Twelve Days of Christmas as follows: “My true love” = God himself. The partridge in a pear tree = Jesus Christ; two turtle doves = the old and new testaments; three French hens = Faith, Hope, and Charity; four calling birds = the four gospels and/or the four evangelists; five golden rings = the first five books of the old testament (the Pentateuch - the story of creation and man’s fall); six geese a-laying = the six days of creation; seven swans a-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit; eight maids a-milking = the eight beatitudes; nine ladies dancing = the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit; ten lords a-leaping = the ten commandments; eleven pipers piping = the eleven faithful apostles; twelve drummers drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles Creed. It matters not when these attributions were given to The Twelve Days of Christmas. What matters is, that we find Christian meaning in the Christmas season. Teaching your children these possible attributes is a wonderful way to dig more deeply into Christian teaching during this season. While “Happy Holiday” refers to celebrations of several religions, “Merry Christmas” is a blessing from God in the name of his son, Jesus Christ. Let us pray:

“Father God, our one true love, holy and precious is your name above all names. May your kingdom come into each heart this very day, so that we may dwell in your truth and walk in your will beginning even now. Today, during these twelve days of Christmas, open our eyes to the true meaning of Christmas, that we may transfer it from our heart to those around us. Let the Holy Night be with us wherever we go, that we may bring your peace and glad tidings, given to us over two-thousand years ago on the hills above Bethlehem, to all those we meet. The Holy Child of Bethlehem is the only gift we need this year, his worth is above all measure. Thank you Father, thank you. May we see his sweet smile wherever we go. In His precious name we pray. Amen.”
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
May God richly bless you all with a very Merry Christmas
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Christmas season is a time to give thanks for all God’s blessings. I can think of no great gifts than family and friends. I wrote a poem in appreciation for the executive team of the NeINUMW. My thanks to God for all of them, spreads like honey on a hot biscuit to all of you.

Christmas Thank You
It’s comin’ on Christmas
Joy beyond compare
Angels brush my cheek
Peace is in the air.

The hillside fills with sheep
An angel song I hear.
The tiny babe is born
God’s own heart is near.

His spirit swells within
as to the manger go
and from his thrown above
Gentle blessings flow.

I think of all my dear ones,
friends and family too
For all that you have given
I thank my God for you.

Doris Gaines Rapp
Christmas 2010 - copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp

“Father God, at the very name of Jesus, great music has been created and masterpieces have been put on canvas or sculpted into astonishing and inspiring shapes. Holy is your name and the name of your son. At the name of Jesus, the ill are made well, the broken made whole, and the sinner is restored to your heart. I thank you for so much: for your son, who came from Glory to sleep on straw, and for the dear ones you have given me–my family and friends. Forgive me when I have been too busy, or two self-consumed, to remember the ones you gave me to love. At this time of Christmas, I ask nothing for myself. I ask only that my family and friends receive all the blessings you have for them, flowing from the fountains of heaven and splashing over them like a cleansing, warm shower. I know that you have heard the desire of my heart, for our prayers are like melodies from David’s harp. For all of these blessing, I ask in the name of Jesus, my Christmas child and my Savior. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Prayer Therapy Primer, just released as an eBook. To order, go to and type in Doris Gaines Rapp or Prayer Therapy Primer.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Prayer Therapy Primer

Prayer Therapy Primer, by Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D., is now available as an eBook at and your computer is your eReader.

Learn to create prayers that target specific needs, so God our Father, can answer specifically. Receive healing for your mind and/or body through prayer. Doris Gaines Rapp’s On-Line Prayer Group uses Prayer Therapy prayers in the manner and style of Jesus Christ.

Don’t have a NOOK or eReader? Your PC, Laptop, Netbook, iPad, or Android can become your eReader with a free app from Barnes& (see below).

To order Prayer Therapy Primer go to and type in Doris Gaines Rapp at the top (Keyword, Title, Author) or Prayer
Therapy Primer. To access free workbook pages, go to:

For free app from, (1) go to NOOKbooks tab, (2) under NOOK Store click on Free NOOK Apps and follow the prompts on the left.

Word-of-mouth and the Internet will be the marketing tools for Prayer Therapy Primer. Please pass this on and help get the word out to as many people as possible.

Thank you and have a very Blessed Christmas.
Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, November 29, 2010


“He started the whole world singing a song,” is the first line of the hymn by the same name.* It goes on to remind us, “The words and the music were there all along.” We know that Jesus is the Word and the Word spoke everything into being.

“Jesus?” some question. “I thought it was a big bang.” Can you imagine the volume of the words that brought forth all life?!

We are in the season of the year when the entire world sings the same songs, in unison, with one Christmas-filled, hope-filled voice. He truly did cause the whole world to join in song. Without his birth, there would be no: Silent Night, Ave Maria; Oh Holy Night, Angels We Have Heard on High; or Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. There would be no joyous expectation or the hope of a better tomorrow. Without the birth, there would have been no death and resurrection for our redemption.

Over two-thousand years ago, a small baby in a manger ushered in centuries of song, of melodies that bury themselves in our heart and burst forth through the Holy Spirit that dwells within, with everything that is good and honest. just and generous, loving and forgiving, grace-filled and holy. Listen closely. A tiny baby is singing a lullaby to you and to me. The song will never stop because it was always in the air. It is only the listener who can stop the music that rings within. Let us pray:

“Holy Father of the infant child, we crawl near to the manger with a humble heart. From over the edge of the rough wooden planks, we can hear the sweet hum of the baby. His dear melody has been arranged into many songs, but the theme has been the same, “I love you. I have loved you always.” Forgive us for silencing the music by letting other noise drown out the heavenly songs. Even your Angels have spoken to us in song but we have preferred the cacophony of the world. We pray that you will permit us to be part of the choir, not the rabble outside. May the spotlight not be on us, oh Father, but at the end of a star-beam, the place where animals stabled, where shepherds gathered in praise and awe, and where melodious, soul-saving-song was born. In the name of the great composer of the life-song we pray. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

*Gloria Gaither, William Gaither, and Chris Waters. (1982). He Started the Whole World Singing. The Gaither Music Company, Alexandria, IN.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Rev. David Jeremiah was preaching as we drove to church yesterday. His message was on thankfulness for our plenty. His exact words are fuzzy. You may want to look up his statistics but it went something like this. “If you have any money in a checking account, any bills at all in your wallet, some change in a small dish in your house or car, you are among the 8% of the world’s wealthy.” And, we think we don’t have enough . . . of most anything.

Let us begin a new life of enough, plenty, and extravagant generosity! We have just come though a time in our history of high wages and good jobs. We spent most all of it, saved little, and helped few. Now we are back to God with our hands out. The sad part is, There is never enough!

There is never enough unless God is at the center of our life. There is enough with God. Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, moves in, fills every empty spot and chinks every hole in our heart.

A needy, selfish heart will hold fast the door, opening it only with a tribute or ransom. “Give me what I want and I will believe you and open the door.” A thankful heart will sing, “Thank you Lord for each of my blessings, the large and the smallest brush of your presence on my cheek. Fill me completely with your love and peace. Let me pass that peace on to others.” Let us pray:

“Dear Lord and Father of my life, I lift up your name in praise and worship. Holy are you and worth of praise. May your kingdom come swiftly and fill me completely, that I may be a living temple in which your Spirit may dwell. I know I am unworthy and can do nothing to earn your grace. Jesus, my Savior, has paid my price. This Thanksgiving season, Father, may I be aware of the richness of your presence, priceless beyond number and pilled high enough to reach all the way to Heaven. Forgive me when I have been careless with the gifts you have given me. May this Thanksgiving restart my journey home, aware of the awesome responsibility of being a disciple of Jesus. Ever step I take, leaves a footprint for another, every misstep leads another astray. Make my way clear, your voice heard, and the guideposts along my way bright. I am truly thankful for all your blessings. In the name of Jesus Christ, your son, I pray. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Monday, November 15, 2010


We’re halfway through November today. What will the second-half hold? Right now, you’re either halfway through a good book, midway through life, or at the turning point of a crisis. How do I know? Because that’s the way life is. We finish one task, or one phase, or solve one problem, when we are hit with another. Let us reframe our perception that our life has been assaulted. Repeat after me, “Challenged by life, not broken by it.”

Life isn’t a series of events. It’s a flow, a melody of the sea, with high waves and low tides. Why are we so surprised when life happens? Thank the dear Lord for every moment of every day, every trial that shapes you, everyone who loves you, and every opportunity that comes your way.

Too often, we don’t feel blessed unless the gift is LARGE. Blessings come in all sizes. Would you want only one touch from God or blessings every day of your life? The small blessings are the real treasures. Anyone can see a flash of lightning across the night sky. Only a believer will notice the sunset and see a miracle. Let us pray:

“Holy Father, your name is precious to me. May my words always praise you, for you are worthy of praise. May your kingdom come, that I may dwell in your tabernacle every day of my life. This day, Father, I ask for eyes that can see your miracles all around me and ears that can hear your sweet voice whisper my name. May I discern your presence like a precious jewel, so I might string your small blessings like pearls on a thread. Forgive me when I have refused tiny gifts from you because I had asked for more—and didn’t receive it. How could something from you be too small? Only a small soul, a pinched heart, or a tiny mind could ever think that any blessing from God would not be adequate to meet my needs. How greedy I can be, never having enough, always wanting more, never satisfied. Forgive me, Father. Rather then attending to my needs today, Dear Lord, I ask that you bless those around me—those who need healing—those who need hope—those who grieve—those who are truly in want—those who long for a teacher to tell them of you. May I never quit giving in your name, saying, “I’ve done my part. I’m done. I’ve retired from life.” What a blessing it would be, to be nearing the Light, and still be working in the fields. May I have strength to work for you, speak for you, and love for you, until you call me home—and then realize, I am still not done, just halfway through. Let me realize, halfway through is the sweet spot, not the end. In the name of Jesus, our Savior, I pray. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

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.

Monday, November 1, 2010


“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God, the things that are
God’s.” Jesus recognized our obligation to the two worlds in which we live, our country and the Kingdom of God. We must take our responsibilities to both seriously. God is the creator and king of all that we are and he reminds us that we must also participate in the society in which we live.

Most of us believe that God gave our forefathers the discernment to lay the groundwork for the freest nation in history. We are people who dream our own dreams, make our own decisions, and set our own path, with our feet planted firmly on the way to glory. If we do not support this republic, it may be hundreds or thousands of years before our children rise above the tyranny of a burdensome, intrusive, and punitive government to forge their own way again. But, where will they go? What new worlds await them?

It is for this very hour, this precise time in history that we have been called to take our stand. We can keep the dream of freedom and democracy alive for the entire world, or we can roll over tomorrow morning and get a few more minutes of sleep before getting ready for the day. But, what day are we turning our back on? At what precipice are we standing? Do we close our eyes again and yawn our way all the way down the ragged cliff of indifference, or do we take our stand on November 2 and say, “I will stand in the gap? Those who want to take our freedoms will have to go through me!” God is in control of my life and my country–so shall it be–so shall it continue to be. Praise be to God! Let us pray:

“Father God, creator of all there is, we humbly give our country back to you. You inspired our founding fathers and whispered freedom in their ears and planted it in their hearts. We are your children and we are theirs. Forgive us when we have been too lazy to insure that our freedoms are protected. We have awakened, Father. We pray it not be too late. Freedom is alive and moving across this great land you have given us and we have heard the call to take our stand. We ask for your insight, your discernment, into the grave issues of our day. The questions are hard and the answers even harder–but you have the solutions. We as citizens, turn our hearts back to you, so that hunger, illness, loneliness, and the pains of life are handled willingly by our churches and communities, so that government does not impose their will upon free people. We ask that generosity flow like honey in the lives of people, and simplistic–enough–living once again take precedence over greed. We have been your children and now ask for wisdom to become your adults, taking on a mature roll in the life of your church and your Republic. We pray in the name of, and by the power of, Jesus, your son, our Savior. May it be so. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Monday, October 25, 2010


“Meet me in your prayer chair or on your knees at nine.” All across the country, believers are pausing for one minute of prayer at nine p.m. every night.

Most of you know of the great chorus of prayers that is lifted up each evening at nine for the safety of our nation and its return to the Lord God. Like golden ribbons of melody, our prayers for our country waft up to the ear of God and wrap their threads around our heart where the Spirit of our Lord resides.

It is at this time in our history that prayers are most urgently needed. I will not presume to tell you how to vote or which side of the issues on which you should stand. I only ask that you learn the truth of the political positions and use that knowledge in casting your vote in eight days.

Our founding fathers laid the foundation of our great country with a Bible in one hand and the sword of freedom in the other. We are a Christian nation as long as the words of Godly recognition and supplication in our constitution remain at the core of our country. Please, prayerfully study the people who are seeking office in your state and vote as you believe God leads you. Remember, whomever we send to Washington to represent us, only has the power we give them, unless we give them all the power that belongs to us as citizens. The words are, “They represent us,” not “They dictate to us.” The only right they have to govern, comes from the governed. It is an awesome responsibility to select our political representatives. Please pray before voting, then vote with an open heart. Let us pray:

“Oh Father God, you chose the first King for your chosen people. We, as your children, have chosen you to be our king. We pray that your kingdom of truth and love will come today so that our country may be healed. Guide us next week as we cast our vote for this country you have gave us. A beautiful, blessed republic like ours may not come around again for hundreds of years if this one fades into history. If we don’t speak out for our bright, precious jewel on the Potomac, we may be cast into darkness where choice is no longer ours to claim. Give us discernment to know your ways that we may choose our leaders in keeping with your will. In the name of Jesus, your son, we pray with humble hearts. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Monday, October 18, 2010


“Is that a Hudson River painting?” I look up at a large, framed landscape hanging in George Washington’s Mount Vernon home last week. Hudson River paintings, with their depiction of eastern America at a time when the country was just born, all fresh and new, with virgin forests and untouched streams, had always spoken to me.

“Yes, it is,” the guide smiled.

“Amazing,” I whispered. I marveled at the connection I felt to our first president through his choice of art and my sense of being home, in Daddy’s house, the father of our country.

As we move through the splashes of Fall color in the October meadows and woods all around us, let us never forget that we are walking through “Daddy’s house” - the creation of God and the kingdom of God. Jesus said, the Kingdom of God is at hand. It is on our right and our left and surrounding our every step. Yet, we live as though we were in a foreign country, where nothing makes sense and all seems unfamiliar. That’s because we are looking for the kingdom we have built, the lands we have acquired, the things we have stockpiled. The kingdom of God is His domain, where the gold we have gathered is in the precious souls of all those we touch for His sake. The only type of collecting that has value is “people gathering” - new residents for the Kingdom of God, finally finding a home in Daddy’s house. Let us pray:

“Holy Father, how easily we call on that name with no awareness that you are truly Abba, Daddy. Forgive our blindness, our arrogant independence that says, “Old man, we don’t need you anymore.” Yet, in spite of our rebellious nature, our narcissistic self-love, you call us from the winds of life that blow old character flaws away and breathe new life into each heart. Blow a little harder this day, oh Father. Blow in like a mighty wind and touch your people once again. We are a proud, independent people. But, our pride has falsely convinced us that independence means a turning from you rather than the truth of independence as a turning from man’s lies. To depend on you is wisdom. To climb up, like a child, on the lap of God, is to finally know who and whose we are. We are truly your children and we can only find our home at last, in our Daddy’s house. Thank you for opening your arms each new day. Praise be to you, God the father, through the life and blood of your son, our brother and savior, Jesus, the Christ. Amen.”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Sunday, October 3, 2010


The North wind doth blow and we shall have snow,
And what will poor robin do then, poor thing?
He’ll sit in a barn and keep himself warm
and hide his head under his wing, poor thing.

Mother used to recite this16th century poem to my sister and me in the Fall when the wind was beginning to blow and the leaves started rustling in the field beside our home. I have often quoted it to my children and grandchildren. The words were originally intended to remind a child of the safety of their own home, while at the same time, telling of the plight of the robin.

For me, there was never sadness that the robin was not in our warm home, laying on the floor near the hot air register listening to my parents talk or listening to the radio. I saw the beauty of God’s world in which even the robins have a dry and warm place to spend an Autumn evening.

I wonder how often we take the time to give God thanks for the simple things of life, the song of the birds, a roof over our head, the happy sounds of family. The secret to life is not in the big house on the hill. It’s in the sweet, fragrant drafty barn, where we are needy enough to depend on God. Let us pray:

“Oh breath of life, Holy is your precious name. May we come to the stable often where we can be protected, nourished, and loved by you. Forgive us for not trusting you to lead us, so that we may be privileged to witness your miracles in our lives. When we stay out of the wind for fear of being blown and pummeled about, we miss the blessing of being touched and steadied by your mighty hand. Loving Father, today, we venture to the barn, where you can keep us warm, where we can hide our head under your wing, blessed thing. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sinning Doesn't Take Any Real Talent

The man shook his head and whispered, “They don’t like me because I sin differently than they do.” He was a member of an unpopular group, disapproved of by “good Christians.” My friend, a sin is a sin, and sinning doesn’t take any real talent. Anyone can do it . . . and we all do. Then why, pray tell, are we more critical of others’ sins than our own?

It seems to me that some TV preachers and a few heading local congregations, gain their popularity by having someone to oppose, their own unique enemy. They don’t rant against everyone who goes against what God lovingly has planned for us. They have their own Professor James Moriarty, who may be just as fictional, an inflated myth of their own making.

Rather than looking for the faults in others and shining a light on their sins, let us get on our knees and beg for God’s forgiveness for the sins that we do. The only hope we as sinner have, comes from the source of all hope, God. Stop criticizing other Christians. That defames the body of Christ. Seek the good in others. God will take care of their sin. Then, at the end of your days, you will have walked in beauty and will have been touched by grace, both yours and those you chose to love rather than criticize. Let us pray:

“My dear and precious Father, God, how purely loving you are. May you surround me like the fragrance of sweet-smelling perfume, that the essence of your being may stay with me wherever I go. Only you can eradicate the stench of sin. Only your grace can cleanse me again. This very day, oh God, wash away my imperfections with your balm of grace and re knit a right spirit within me. Use this flawed servant in any way that pleases you, for I no longer want to be captain of my own soul. The truth is, I never was, for in the kingdom of souls, you are the only master. May I serve you in ways not known to me, so I may not boast or seek any praise. Thank you for using me, dear Lord, and to you I will give all glory and honor and praise. In the name of Jesus, our dear Lord and savior I pray. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!"

“Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye,” the town crier would call out the news and proclamations of the day. It was against the law to heckle or deter the crier in any way as they were representative of the crown that was currently on the throne. Who sits on your throne? And, do you even hear the warnings and messages of the crier who represents your king?

A life wasted is one that has been lived serving the wrong monarch. A life squandered is one spent listening to a false crier, an impostor, a perverter of the truth. He dresses in the same red and gold robe, white breeches, black boots and tricorne hat as the representative of the King. He looks so normal and speaks the words we want to hear. So, we choose to believe him. He represents a god we have created and his words are comfortable. But, it is still a lie.

And still he calls, “Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye the people of God.” But, they would not. Will you be part of the generation that turns from false gods, seeks the truth, and returns to the Lord your God? Let us pray:

“Holy Father, Truth divine, let me hear with this heart of mine. Flood my thoughts with your love and grace, and fill my life with your sweet embrace. Give me your words, both true and pure, to heal my wounds, my stain to cure. Forgive my bent for seeking ease, meet me there upon my knees. Give me a heart that hears your voice, and filters out the whole world’s noise. Love divine, oh greater still, the joy of life within your will. Oyez, Oyez, Oyez. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Sunday, September 12, 2010


One blessing we get from the cooler weather of Autumn is the longer shadows that stretch across the lawn and sneak up under low hanging branches. The leaves have barely begun to change color but the shadows tell - the season is changing.

Why do we refuse to see the signs that God places in our paths? The little devotional book calls them signposts. I think it may be because we no longer look at the little things. They are merely the blur of passing, insignificant details in our fast paced lives. And yet, they are the flutter of angel wings and the brush of His garment as He passes.

Most people are living way beyond their means. If it takes two jobs per parents to support the lifestyle they cannot or will not let go of, they are worshiping the wrong god. The glitter of things that shine, the hum and click of electronic gadgets, the television and computer that dominate their family room, have replaced the very family that lives there. And, God is not a part of that world of things. He lives in the world of love, presence, calm, simplicity, and the world of family. A first step toward an awakened soul that thirsts for God rather than the rich wine of life, is to notice the shadows and enjoy the contrast between the brilliance of His smile and the cool shadow of His peace. Don’t miss the beauty of the day and the sweetness of the shadows by running through life as if there were no end to our days on this beautiful Earth. Real life exists in this very moment but too often it is lived in the preparation and the memory. Let us pray:

“Father God, Holy One, who is and was and ever will be, we praise your holy name. Christ said the Kingdom of God is at hand. You have tried to whisper our name but our music is too loud. You have tried to touch our shoulder but we were running too fast to feel it. Forgive us Lord. Nothing of this world could be so important that we fail to see you waiting in the cool shade of the shadows because we would not slow down and let you in. Give us the courage and desire to slow down so that those around us won’t have to run to keep up and miss the beauty of their lives with you as well. In the name of Jesus our Savior and Lord we pray. Amen.”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Sunday, September 5, 2010


We walked quietly along the sidewalk that borders the sixteen acres of Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan, New York. It is bounded by the West Side Highway, Vesey Street on the north, Liberty Street on the south, and Church Street on the east. I pushed my cell phone between a section of fence and snapped a picture. I hoped to get a glimpse of the progress there.

Across the little side street called Church, St. Paul’s Chapel has stood since its opening in 1766. The events across the street on 9/11 did not disturb a single stone on the chapel George Washington had strolled to on April 30, 1789 following his inauguration as the first president of the United States. Washington’s upholstered chair still stands on the left side of the sanctuary facing the chancel. There is a sense of awe, of standing on hallowed ground all around the site. I wondered about the Holiness at Ground Zero.

Zero is not “nothing” or an empty number. It equals the beginning of something or beginning again. “In the beginning God . . .” God is at the beginning of everything, that’s why it is Holy Ground. At every beginning there is an opportunity to choose, to choose the higher, more holy path.

Our country has been reset at Zero, the beginning. God resides with us there . . . in the beginning, which is why it is Holy. Let us all seize the opportunity to be Second Generation Founding Fathers of this great nation, rededicating ourselves to the principles that have made this the freest nation on earth. Every job counts, every beginning matters, for we are all standing on Holy Ground. Let us pray:

“Father God, we have been reset with a blessed new beginning. Out of the ashes and black dust has risen a people who now know when they are standing on Holy Ground. Lead us into the work of freedom you have called this generation to take up. We may not know what to do or how to do it, but Father, you do, because it is your work. You are at the beginning and we are committed to following your lead. Forgive us when we have been lazy, when we have taken freedom for granted. Give us discernment that we may take the right path that leads our nation back into a right relationship with you. We recommit ourselves to active citizenship and a willingness to participate in this glorious country you have given us. In the precious name of Jesus Christ, your son, our savior, we pray. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

(For two articles I wrote Saturday about our trip to Ground Zero and a few pictures that document our experience, follow the links above.)

Sunday, August 22, 2010


As I sat by my window, a familiar yellow bus caught my eye. I could not believe it. Summer’s over, I thought.

On Friday evening, I saw bright red and white Santa Claus decorations in the Cracker Barrel. It must be nearly Christmas. Why is it so hot?!

Summer isn’t over and December 25 is not here. I had misread the signs. How often do we not see the guideposts left for us, jump to conclusions, or wander off on a meander path? Do we miss the rest of the season and tumble down hill into winter before the leaves have even turned on the trees?

Discernment is to see the red and green and interpret the colors as product flooding, not a festive noel. Don’t miss the Autumn because you are deceived by the glitz around you. Don’t miss the simple message of Love, introduced and embodied in the Christ, because the world says, “There’s gotta be more ‒ keep seeking, keep buying, keep longing for what is just around the corner.” The God of Love is at hand, take His in yours. Let us pray:

“Father God, lover of my soul, I praise your Holy name. May your kingdom come to earth this very day and dwell within my heart that I may know you as do the angels in Heaven. I ask for discernment that I may not be deceived by what the world calls truth, beauty, and contentment. Only you know what is true love and a fulfilling life. Forgive me when I have run after the phantom of happiness that masquerades as a glittering prize that will meet the desires of my heart. True happiness is found in serving you, not in meeting my own selfish needs. Let me see the guideposts you place along my path that I may find the beauty in the present day, the joy in loving others, and the path that leads me home. In the name of Jesus, our escort home, I pray. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Sunday, August 1, 2010


She was sitting in the bright August sun when I passed and paused for a moment. “Hi,” I offered then added, “I’m Doris Rapp.”

“Why Doris Rapp,” she smiled as she always did when I have seen her in the last year, “I remember you,” even though her memory was fading. And I thought, but I never wrote down all of the stories you had told me. One day when we were driving through town together, she told me the history of our little community. “Now the people on this street were mostly of German descent and the street over, they were . . .” How I wish I had written down the stories she had told me that day we were just moving about the city.

Write down all you can, while you can, in any way you can. That is what the disciples did more than 2000 years ago. Do you read their eyewitness account over and over, like love letters from the one who loved you most, the very son of God? Each chapter bears witness to truth of God. Read those stories, those Gospels, like someone is whispering in your ear, telling you, “Come my Beloved, learn of me and I will give you eternal life.” Yet some of us say, “Read the Bible? What am I going to get out of it? You’re kidding, right? You get nothing more and nothing less than eternal life from those old stories that are new every day when they are received in truth and stored in the heart. Gather the stories while you can. Let us pray:

“Our Heavenly Father, you loved us so much you sent your own son to save us from ourselves and the sin that is in the world around us. Holy is your name and the name of your son, Jesus. May your kingdom come and make its home in our heart that we may dwell with you even while we tarry a while. Forgive us when we have failed to gather every story of you that has been given to us, like love sonnets written with the finger of God. May the precious words of each line find their home in our heart and fall from our lips like rose petals, spreading your sweet perfume wherever we go. May all glory and honor go to you, dear Lord. In the name of Jesus Christ our Savior I pray. Amen.”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Monday, July 19, 2010


I’m tired today but it’s a good tired. I spent last week at The School of Christian Missions and we walked and talked and listened and prayed and were inspired to continue to do the work of the Lord Jesus. However, we also live in finite bodies with limited energy, limited resources and limited ideas. In talking with one Christian sister, she said, “I feel like I’m not doing enough.”

Each one of us will have to answer that question. We are the only ones who know the private pain of our families and friends who also need our time. My response to her was, “You are doing this work for a season and then you will be given other work to do. The important thing is, we are not called to do it all ourselves.”

We need rest for our body and mind just as Jesus did. Rest for our soul comes when we are called home. While here, we are responsible for resting our body and mind so that we may be renewed and press on. Don’t deny yourself the rest you need. That is egotistical - I am doing the Lord’s work. I don’t need rest. That makes your work more important than the work Jesus did when his physical body walked the hills, healing the sick, fed the multitudes, and preached the salvation of God. He rested. Allow yourself to do the same. Let us pray:

“Holy father God, Lord of all who call upon you, we praise your holy name. We pray that your kingdom may come in your time and that your plan may be completed in this world. We know you have work for us to do while we stop here for a season. You may call us to establish a great cathedral, found a vast network of colleges and hospitals, or save the child who lives next door. We are amazed that the one small soul is equal to the largest mission facility, but it is. You don’t place a value on one work over another. Amazingly, to work for the Lord in the heart of a neighbor is the same as working for the Lord in a foreign land. May we occasionally get a glimpse of you in the eyes of those around us both near and far. Forgive us when we think that only big efforts are worth our efforts. May we realize that big usually means recognition. The only one we want recognized in the work we do - is you. May we pause when we need physical rest and inspiration to press on. We pray for this life of mission in the name of your son, our savior, Jesus Christ. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Life seems like an old metal desk. I saw it by the curb with a “make an offer” sign on it. It looked like a sturdy thing for my husband’s garage workbench. My father had a big old heavy wooden one in the basement. Bill brought it home that day and started organizing his tools. This morning I smiled as I thought about the old desk and how it is a little like our lives.

The legs are sturdy and well planted, like being well grounded in the word of God. The drawers are a different matter. As we get busy, we can compartmentalize the important things in our lives in order to have a clear differentiation between tasks and responsibilities. But, if we do that too well, the smooth transition or flow of the complete self from one part of our lives to another, is blocked. And yet, that’s not totally bad. A university administrator once told me, “We were raised to do everything well. When we worked, we worked hard and when we played, we played hard.” We must make sure that our compartments are helpful in sorting things out and not used to isolate us from being able to find joy in all we do.

The old desk had a missing lock and the hole gapped in the middle like a first-grader’s smile. But, that lack of security made access to the contents easier, like walls we finally tear down around our wounded ego.

The top was smooth and seemed to be waiting for Bill’s next plan to complete. Right now, I hear him sanding on the metal frame he is constructing for a fun cart. The waiting, open surface is like God standing there, ready to receive whatever problem or puzzle we lay in his warm lap.

To top off the desk’s history, it came out of the Dan Quayle Museum here in Huntington, so it has a pedigree. We too have an ancestry, the linage of a king, for we are children of God, inheritors of all he has through belief in his son, our brother, Jesus Christ. So, in some ways, we too are like an old metal desk, with much use still in us, just waiting for our Father to give us our next blessed task. Let us pray:

“Loving Father, God of all, we praise your holy name. We pray that your kingdom may come swiftly, in your own time. We thank you for all the tasks you have intrusted to us. May we always be aware of what is your work and what is self-aggrandizing. Wherever we can work for you in secret, we seek that blessing. We know we will be of use to you as long as we draw breath for that is why we were created, to serve and to love you. Forgive us when we bemoan our privilege, to work untiringly for you. Increase the surface of our desks that we may receive from you and be ready to provide a clear surface from which to build your next project. In the name of Jesus our Savior we pray. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Monday, July 5, 2010


Mandi is getting married today! Our youngest daughter, Amanda, is making a new beginning this afternoon, her day of Jubilee. Mandi and Zach are starting out with very little, as most young people have done over the years, but they have what matters, Love.

It reminded me of the Biblical, Year of Jubilee when all debts between the children of Israel where to be cancelled (Deut. 15:2). That is what Jesus Christ did for us. He cancelled all of our debts that matter. Let us all realize that each new day in the family of God, is a new beginning, a day to celebrate what Jesus did for us. His sacrifice cancelled all our debts that matter to God. Every day is a Day of Jubilee for those who believe and accept the gift Jesus willingly gave us. Let us pray:

“Our father God, your name is more precious than any jewel we thought had value. Your are holy and holy is your name. May we wake up each day into a Day of Jubilee, a new beginning that we recognize and accept. Then, we will truly live in your kingdom, for as Jesus said, it is at hand. Forgive us when we have thought our problems were insurmountable or were too large for you to heal. Nothing is beyond you, Father, when we truly realize what is important, what is durable, and what is enduring. Our part is so simple, to accept your love, acknowledge Christ’s sacrifice for us, and live in Love. In the name of Jesus Christ, your son, our Lord and Savior we pray. Amen.”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Luke 17: [30] "It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. . . . [32] Remember Lot's wife! [33] Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. [34] I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. [35] Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left."

The rain flashed down with power and thunder the other night. Then, we heard another sound, one we’d heard before, the roar of an incoming train. “Time to go!” I yelled and we all headed to the basement.

After the rain and wind subsided, we came up and looked around. A small shed in the back yard had been pulled up and blown about but the most damage was in the front of the house. Two trees that had stood so close they nearly claimed the same trunk were no longer side by side. The tree on the left had been snapped off about two feet from the ground, like a discarded tooth pick, and now lay in the street, spanning the distance between the stone wall the monks had built many years ago, across the pavement, with the top eight feet in our yard. One had been taken and the other left behind.

On which side of Heaven will you be standing when the Lord comes? Isn’t it wonderful that there is nothing that we can do to buy our way into eternity? Our belief is all that is required. The rest is God’s privilege to welcome His children home. We don’t have to research and find all the answers first. Daily walking with the Lord is all the training we need, if it were not so, He would have told us. Believe beloved, believe. Let us pray:

“‘Holy Father, Love Devine, dawn upon this soul of mine.’ That is all we need to pray, Lord, for you to enter our hearts. We know you will not storm our walls or take a battering-ram to our locked door. You will only knock and we must open the door and let you in. It is so simple and yet we make it so complicated. Forgive us for trying to out-think you. Forgive us for thinking we will be able to understand you and figure out your mystery . . . and then we will believe. True belief is accepting you without knowing all the answers, for that is trust. We praise your holy name, for you take our silly attempts to put you to the test and believe in us long before we believe in you. We ask for hearts of Love, character of iron, and wills of grace to love you more. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, your Son, we pray. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.

“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Sunday, June 20, 2010


“What use am I anymore? I was an active person. Now, I sit is a wheel chair all day." Most of us know at least one person who has come to the sunset years of their lives and have said or felt similar thoughts.

They are mourning the loss of their profession, their standing in the community, and the influence that go with it. Men take their independence and go out into the world to find their identity which they get from their job, their career. Women must know who they are, have an identity, before they can go out into the world and find their independence. Men, especially, have trouble finding meaning in their later years, since their purpose for being is wrapped up in that which they can no longer do.

I encourage you to teach your elders and dig deep pathways in your own thinking that says, “My purpose in life is to love God and to show that love to all those around me.” There can be no greater calling, no more meaningful career, no greater purpose than to live love. Everything else is self-service and ego boosting. Loving is selfless, for it says, “I don’t want anyone to see me when they look upon my face. I want only that they see a small glimpse of God and find love in that light.” Live Love. Let us pray:

“Dear Lord God, you brought everything into being by the breath of your voice and the love that identifies you, holy is your name. May we walk in your brilliance and embrace its full warmth, so that your love might shine through us and bring light into dark places. Forgive us when we think only of ourselves and wonder how we can find meaning and purpose. We are actually saying, “How do I find power and recognition?” We ask that the only one who is recognized in us is you. Then, our real purpose in life will be fulfilled, to live love so that others may see you manifested in us and seek your light. Jesus, your son, is our Savior and example and it is in his name we pray. Amen.”

Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Sunday, June 13, 2010


June 14, 2010

George M. Cohen wrote "You’re a Grand Old Flag" in 1906 for his musical, "George Washington, Jr." For most Americans, our glorious flag, flapping her ruby stripes in the breeze, is one of the most beautiful sites they can imagine. Today, Monday, June 14 is Flag Day. I’m sure stores have found a way to commercialize it. Do not let anyone hijack its meaning and twist it into something else. She represents the land we love.
The same is true of the Christian symbols that remind us of whose we are. Some wear gaudy crucifixes around their necks suspended from heavy chains. I won’t pretend to know their motives. I sometimes wear a small cross myself or one I bought shortly before we moved from New Mexico. My favorite is a little gold one my parents gave me when I was about five years old. It represents the sacrifice of our Lord, the love of my mother and daddy, and the continuing grace of God. Some people fight to remove Christian symbols from public view. A few days ago we stopped at the world’s largest cross (198 feet tall), the Cross at the Crossroads, in Effingham, Illinois. We had seen it many times as we passed on I70, but after a legal debate erupted that threatened its existence, we wanted to stop this time.
I enjoy wearing creative pins, some shaped like women, others are seasonal forms, and many are homes, all designed by a woman who was once homeless. They are sold as fund raisers for a mission project in Indianapolis. Many people stop and admire the pins which gives me the opportunity to share the story of the wonderful mission they represent. Each telling can be a testimony which is uniquely my own. Seize the opportunity to use the symbols as visual aids to tell others about our great country, our Risen Savior, or a mission opportunity others can share in. Take Flag Day as an opportunity to tell others the true story of the great country in which we live, the loving God we serve, and the Good Shepherd we follow. Only you can share your story. On the witness stand of life, yours is the only voice that is not hearsay. Let us pray:

“Dear Lord and father of all there, we praise your holy name and thank you for the symbols you generously place on our path, like bread crumbs, showing us the way home. Forgive us if we have worshiped these symbols, for they only represent you. They are not your heart. You have placed beauty and inspiration all around us. Too often we choose to fix our gaze on the ugly rather than drink in the glory of all you have for us. Let us show others the beauty you have given all of us. We ask you to bless this great country in which we live, the heart beat and breath that ripples our flowing flag. May the country our founders left to us as a precious, inspired gift, lift others for generations to come. Give us the courage to speak truth to the history of this land, so that others will see your love behind the symbols. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”


June 7, 2010

The entire arena erupted with thunderous applause as the last of the six-hundred fifty high school students crossed the stage and accepted her diploma. When your last name starts with Z, you get your first taste of adoring attention when you finally get your turn to receive your sheep skin. Our granddaughter Abb,y was launched Saturday and the rest of her life has begun. One of our other daughters looked out over the graduates in their blue gowns and mortar boards and observed “They look so mature.” Then, rather than focusing on the whole, she began to see the few. By the end of second hour of the ceremonies, one honor student sat on the front row twirling her gold honor’s tassels, while a giant inflated ball came bouncing up from a row somewhere behind her. These new adults knew how to rush head on into life -with enthusiasm.

How are we living our lives? Do we have fun and volley a few balls back and forth along the way; or, do we whine and complain that we just shouldn’t have to endure any long, difficult moments in life? Do we toss our hats in the air and warn the world we’re coming through; or, do we sit on our hands and say we’ve done our part, let someone else take over? Do we tell the Lord He can count on us until He calls us home; or, do we say, “I’m tired God. I’m off duty now.”

Friends, this is graduation day. We are all being launched into the next opportunity to serve the Lord. Can we throw our hat in the air and say, “I’m here Lord, ready for you to speak that I might know where you will send me.” Sometimes, it isn’t even the response that he treasures. It’s the willingness to open our ears, open our hearts, and have ready hands. Let us pray:

“Dear Lord and father of all, creator of all, our all-in-all, Holy is your name. May your kingdom come to earth that we may enjoy your presence as your angels in heaven do even now. We ask that you restore our energy, reset our beginning, and restart our commitment to be your servant, waiting on you. Faithfully waiting is a noble privilege that has no match. We thank you for allowing us to be your servants. We pray that we may be your sweet breath and bring your perfume to all those we meet. In the name of Jesus Christ your son, our Savior we pray and praise you. Amen.”
“Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp”
“God gives us stories that tell of his love. Let me tell you mine.”

Monday, May 31, 2010


“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything” (Alexander Hamilton). And I would add, “Those who stand for nothing fall.” If we are not a Christian nation anymore, our country will be hijacked by other philosophies and religions. We may gradually become an Islamic nation or a nation with no heart at all.

The United States of America was forged and molded by patriots whose hearts belonged to the living Lord our God. They fought in sweltering heat with no modern comforts and tromped through icy fields with no shoes. They knew they were on a Holy mission. They knew what they stood for.

Our minds abhor a vacuum. If our thoughts are not full of God, they will be filled by something else. That is the nature of Cognitive/Behavioral Psychology. The mind is taught to dwell on positive thoughts in order to stop the harmful, negative ones. Many people these days choose to dwell on nothing more than hypnotic, digital magic. The battle for our minds has never stopped.

The news has been full of discussions about a mosque to be built near Ground Zero in Manhattan. We know that mosques are always built on conquered ground. Yet, we say, “They are just building a center for tolerance, a center for peace.” Whose peace, based on what philosophy? Whose wording and conditions will be placed on the peace accords? If we are not a Christian nation, we are a ___________ nation. Just fill in the blank with the current politically correct ideology that knows who they are.

Who are we? Do we live we are a Christian nation or one defined by others, other ideologies, other countries, other gods? Let us straighten our backs and fix our eyes like flint on the continuing prize before us, the security, maintenance, and growth of the beautiful, shining city on the hill (Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount), given to us by those who went before. They are a great cloud of witnesses to our efforts, strong or weak, to keeping it going. All we have to do is believe in who we are and whose we are, a Christian nation, dedicated to the principles that all people are created equal and each has the opportunity to pursue their own happiness within a country of God’s peace and grace. If we are not God’s, under the lordship of Jesus Christ, then we have chosen a different god by default. Let us pray:

“God of our fathers and Lord of our lives, we come before you, remembering all those who fell that we might stand. Holy is your name. Holy was their cause. And, Holy is the mission that is still before us. Give us your strength, your focus, and your grace to continue the vigilance for it is our privilege to be in your service. Forgive us when we have been lazy and turned our eyes to the newest, flashiest ideas that have been allowed to steal our hearts. We confess that we may have surrendered already. We seem to have abdicated our royal task of preserving the nation given to us and dedicated in your name. We humbly ask for your protection again. Together we pray, rededicating ourselves to the preservation of the Christian nation you formed in the hearts of patriots over two-hundred years ago. We cannot put our country back on track by ourselves, but you, oh mighty God, can. You can, and only then and therefore, we can. With one voice we pray, ‘Glory to God in the highest for giving us this Christian nation. We believe we belong to you. We rededicate ourselves to the Holy mission of this great Christian nation and we stand in the gap between our beloved country and those who would deny that we are yours.’ In the name of Jesus Christ, your son, our Lord and Savior we pray. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Have you ever heard warnings that sound like this? “You can’t talk about rainbows anymore because they are now New Age symbols.” My friends, the rainbow was a gift from God. He placed His rainbow in the sky as a reminder that He will not destroy the earth by flood again.”

Then there is the uncomfortable conversation in which something you have just said is snickered at because it now has an alternative or double meaning. They insist you just said something you did not intend to say or imply. Perhaps you don’t even speak in the slang they attributed your words to.

My friends, the world has tried to take over every aspect of the life God has given us, from “do whatever makes you feel good” to hijacking the King’s English and placing new and unintended meanings on words we use every day. Do not allow the world to pollute your meaning.

The King, our Lord, has blessed us with beautiful words with which to express ourselves in spoken words, poetry, prose, and music. Do not let the world rob you of even one syllable of His precious words. I told a friend, “The world did not give me the rainbow, my Lord did.” You do not have to apologize for what someone else has twisted your words into saying. Listen to how the world uses His words and do not deliberately use them in ways that would not be understood, but use them in a clear articulation of your meaning. Do not let the world take anything from you with which God has blessed you. Let the words of your mouth and the meditations of your heart be acceptable in His sight. If someone laughs and twists your meaning, bless them and left them up in prayer to God that they will be blessed abundantly, so that they may see the beauty in words, not the taint of their own hearts. Let us pray:

“Oh Father God, author of all that is created, all that is spoken, your words brought forth life into the void. Blessed are your whispers and your songs. May your kingdom come in which words are spoken on the strains of music as they are in heaven. Forgive us when we become angry and raise our voices to those around us, when we lash out in retaliation to others. Your words have created and continue to bring life. Your word tells us, whom we bless you will bless. There is nothing more powerful from us than our words. With our voices we lift up our prayers on behalf of others, the man who cut us off in traffic or the woman who snatched our parking space. How very sad they must be. May your joy flood their souls that they too may shout praises to your Holy name. In the name of Jesus Christ, your son, we pray. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Monday, May 17, 2010


It had been misting all morning. It didn’t seem like the kind of happy-rain that makes you feel cozy to be inside. It was the grey, achy kind that penetrates the bones. Or was it? Could it be that my pressured morning had interpreted the rain as problematic rather than a gentleness with the power to sooth? I will choose this moment to re-label it. Like Shakespear’s Merchant of Venus, I choose to think of today’s misty rain as mercy falling from heaven. The quality of mercy is not strained, It falleth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath: it is twice blessed; It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

We jump to many conclusions and even attempt to self-interpret attributes of God. We ask for God’s mercy but, unlike Shakespear’s understanding hundreds of years ago, we don’t really want it to be twice blessed, falling around us and splashing out on others around us. We are one of two kinds of believers: we either embrace the thought of mercy for others but refuse to accept God’s blessing for ourselves since, knowing us as we do, we believe we are unworthy. Or, we pray for mercy for ourselves but begrudge evidence that another is blessed, since we judge them as unworthy. Let us accept all of the blessings God has for us, including mercy, with no qualifiers attached. Every time it rains, let us lift our eyes to Heaven and praise God for all His mercies. Then, bathe in that mercy like a fresh baptism and the achy rain will be transformed into a blessing. Let us pray:

“Loving Father, God, how precious is your name and amazing are your mercies. Holy is your name and yet we use it to curse others. Forgive us for our worldly ways. We pray that your kingdom may come quickly in a place where every knee will bow and every tongue will confess your glory. Today, we pray for mercy, Father. We have offended you and have harmed others. For this we are deeply sorry and ask for your forgiveness and mercy. We also lift up the one who we love the least and ask that you love them more, for they are your children as well. Remove all pain from their lives and heal them with your mercy. Let them have a measure of the mercy you offer to us, for we know your love has no bounds. And for these blessings we say, Hallelujah in the highest, may peace and mercy be finally recognized on this earth. For these blessings we give you all praise and glory, Father. In the precious name of Jesus, your son, we pray. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Monday, May 10, 2010


May 6 was the World Day of Prayer. We must be a world that lives a life of prayer. Calling on His name one day out of the year, then setting Him aside, is what has gotten us to this desperate point. We must live a life of prayer if we want to see real change, if we want to be people of prayer, people of God. There are two expressions of prayer, openly and quietly.

At UMW Assembly 2010, we sang a song using the words and music from the South-Sudan, Africa, Shu-ku-ru Al-lah, nih-na-kul-lu moras-sa-lat - “Let the people know: witnesses are present here,” based on Hebrews 12:1-2. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses and we ARE witnesses to the work of Jesus Christ in our lives. If we do not bear witness in the court of the world, to all the wonders of God we have experienced, no one will speak for God in us. We must speak His name through prayer and witness. My witness is, during this present day economy of need, the Lord has blessed me with two opportunities I had not expected. My April experience as Lead Psychologist at the New Castle Correctional Facility followed immediately by an opportunity to work as a visiting psychologist in a nursing home, one for now with the potential of others. I had not planned nor sought either opportunity for work and service. The Lord simply called me there. Praise be to God for His gifts, grace, mercy, and love!

Today, let us also commit ourselves to a wonderful adventure, the life of an intercessor. Our talk with the Lord must not only be an annual event. We must lead a daily life of prayer, for our families, others, our country, the world, and yes, for ourselves, for guidance that we may live our lives for Him. Both expressions of praise and prayer, Witness and Intercession, are our only reasons for being and the secret for living that has been sought! Let us pray:

“Father God, how precious is your name above all names. May Your kingdom blossom in my life that I may live and move in You and You in me. For this very day, oh Father, I pray to step outside my place of comfort and speak up for you, to witness truthfully to all you have done for me because my experience is the only non-hearsay testimony I have to offer. I also lift up in intercession, our country and our world. Forces have been boiling beneath the surface of this freedom loving land you gave us to erode the strong foundation it was built on, Your Word. Your name has nearly disappeared from conversation in Europe but You are still there and Your people still pray in Your name. We lift them up to the bosom of Your loving arms. Forgive us all when we have neglected to honor You. For this we are utterly ashamed and re-pledge our oath of loyalty and love to you. To You we attribute all honor and praise, Father God. We can do nothing of Kingdom-value on our own, for we do not hold the key to the door of Heaven, Your son Jesus Christ does. Through his name and by the power of his son-ship to you we pray. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Monday, April 19, 2010


Have you seen the color? The brilliance of God’s good earth is everywhere! His blessing of beauty is like a reward for the plain and dull winter we have just come through. Do you remember the first snow of the 2009 season? Wasn’t it wonderful and clean and bright? But, soon the white turned to dirty gray and the slush pilled up like rubble heaps in the corners of shopping malls, marring the reflecting pools near by. That is so much like many of our lives. The precious infant that began life with the promise of all that would be good and beautiful, as adults sometimes turns black and gets pushed to the margins of life, unloved and unwanted. While that is all true, the miracle of a reborn Spring is a yearly reminder that life can be brought back to a hopeful beginning again. No matter how dark the stain, how cold the heart, or how sluggish the mind, the soul can spring forth again to a new beginning, with a new meaning, and a fresh purpose - to love Him and to spread that love to all those around us. Let us pray

“Holy Father, God of all there is, we stand in awe at the beauty you share with us in the Springtime of our lives. Thank you that Spring can come at any age, under any circumstances, and regardless of any secret ice that has chilled our hearts. Your holiness can melt any cold shoulder and clean any blot on the beautiful garments of life you have given us. Like ladies of old, holding their heads high as their skirt tails drug through the filthy streets, the garments you give us come clean each new day when our head and heart remain above the slush and swill of the world. Dirty shoes only means we have labored in your streets. Filthy hearts mean that the streets have found their way inside our souls like a cold wind that snaps through the cracks around us. You, oh God, have blessed us with the beauty of Spring, a visible witness to your grace and forgiveness. Forgive us when we only see the dirty dark caves of life and not the diamonds that glitter in the walls. With gold comes the mining, with fragrant flowers comes the rain. Thank you Father for all your precious blossoms that bloom all around us, which we forget to take the time to see, and are not humble enough to bend low to touch the petals. Thank you for the Spring of our lives that comes after every bitter season. May we always look for the sweetness of each new day, which follows a time of night. We pray in the name of your precious son Jesus, who sprang up again like the lilies of the field from a night of death and a time of sorrow. To you of God be all glory and honor and praise. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

New articles appear every week . Check them out at:

Monday, April 12, 2010


Most of you know that I am serving as an Interim Psychologist at a men’s prison among 2,500 offenders. But, my friends, the look of emptiness I see in some of their eyes is not unlike the vacant expression we can see on the streets in the desperate faces of some of our friends and neighbors. What is prison but a separation and isolation from society? Many free-souls are incarcerated behind the bars of their own pain, their own fear, and their own separation from love and the giver of love, our Lord Jesus. They may believe that they no longer hold the key to their freedom and salvation. Because of you, my friend, they do not have to know the way from darkness to light. You can hold the lamp for them and lead them to the door of Heaven through your caring, your patience, your love, and your willingness to shine on them. How? The God of the Heavens shines through you, the believer, not for your own sake alone, but that you may be a light to others. Shine believer, shine for those in darkness need to see the glow in order to move toward the brilliance that awaits them. Shine believer, shine! Let us pray:

“Oh Lord God of Light and Love, holy, holy, holy is your name. May your kingdom of perfect peace shine through the vast nothingness of this life that we may see the truth of the golden city that awaits above and within. We pray this very day that we may be a light for someone who stumbles in the darkness. We do not even have to have any awareness of the brilliance of the glow that emanates from us, your children, for the light is not for us but for those we lead. We can reach out our hand at any time and you will walk us through the greatest storm or the darkest night or the saddest day. Oh Lord, you have given us two hands, that we might hold onto another and guide them through the night. Together, we will walk in the brilliance that glitters from the path you have blazed across the sky before us. Let us shine, not in the mirror, but in someone’s night of grief and sadness, pain and loneliness. We thank you, thank you, thank you for your love and light, and your son our savior, Jesus the Christ, our Lord. Amen.”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

New articles appear every week . Check them out at:

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Some people awakened on Easter and said, “So what?” Other greeted the day with, “So what now?!”

With the salvation story of Easter comes the mission message of the empty tomb. What he has done for us is not ours to selfishly hold but is for us to give away. We live in mission times. The last several decades have seen the rise of the me-generation. “I am entitled to whatever I want and whatever I can get.” As we look around at our neighbors’ economic/work situations, we must accept a new label, “The Christ-generation, the new mission-generation. With the fragrance of Easter lilies still clinging to our Sunday clothes, let us turn our attention to his children who are afraid, are sick, are in economic crisis, and are longing for someone who knows their friend Jesus, who will come and give them encouragement and love. He is Risen indeed, so what is now asked of us is that we take him from the tomb and out into a frightened and lonely world. Let us pray:

“Our father God, who sent your only son our Lord, Jesus Christ, to die and rise again for even me, holy is your name and precious is the blood of your son, our brother Jesus. May your kingdom fill the void where selfishness had taken root in the rich soil of too much, too soon, too self-focused. Let me hear my brother’s cry; let me see my sister struggle to feed her family; let me touch your children with your words and guidance while their parents try to meet their earthly needs. We will survive this difficult time if we will but put you first in our lives. Forgive us when we have whined about not having enough so that we may share what you have given us with extravagant generosity. Keep your children safe within your arms and held close to your beating heart, that we may feel the sweetness of your presence. In the name of your son Jesus Christ our Savior I pray. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


“Father, God, I don’t know where we are going to get those extra dollars.” Many of us have prayed my prayer of last week. Times are tighter than they had been. I had also added an addendum to my prayer: “Lord, it will have to come totally from you because I have no clue what to do.” I opened the door, and like the loving Lord God that he is, he stepped through. As if taking me at my word, he impressed me into his service. Less than a week later I got a phone call for an agency I had never heard about with an offer that had never entered my mind.

“Dr. Rapp, would you consider an interim placement, for the month of April, at a men’s prison there in Indiana?”

When the Lord blesses, he may then impress us into his service. Is the answer, “Yes Lord I asked for an opportunity, but you must have made a mistake on this one or you didn’t hear me clearly.” He has blessed and he has impressed and I leave tomorrow for my placement. I will stay the week in a hotel, arranged by the placement people, then home on weekends. Doesn’t God just blow your mind sometimes?! The really wonderful thing is, he calls us into his service all of the time, but we often believe that we must have misunderstood. Surly he didn’t say to go there, or speak here, or touch a life in a place as foreign to our own way of life as possible. The walk with the Lord takes many turns. What an adventure! Let us pray:

“Father God, you meet our needs for daily bread each time we call upon your name. Forgive us when we expect cake instead. When you call us out of the world, we are your servants, you are not ours. We ask that you will give us courage to take up the tasks you give us, that you will give us strength for the job, and safety for your mission. Holy is your name and we wrap our entire body in your love like a large tunic or precious swaddling clothes. There are so many who call out for your help, may they hear your answer and follow your calling. The path is long but the journey is magnificent. In the name of Jesus, the Christ, your son and our savior I pray. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Monday, March 22, 2010


Some people were cheering today and others weeping, all over the health care legislation that passed last evening in Washington. Christians will do what they have always done, render unto Washington the things that are Washington’s and unto God the things that are God’s. Those who have fought hard on either side will continue to fight for their cause, but their love and devotion will go to God. Political points of view cannot be our God, neither can a cause, no matter how important and sincerely felt. We may live or die for what we believe in a social context, but we must never worship it. To worship a cause is to see it with blind faith, never questioning its precepts and never opening our ears and hearts to hear another’s point of view. Hold fast to what you believe in, while holding friends and family and their opinions even closer. Some people can be persuaded to your point of view, others cannot. That is when we love with open arms and open hearts those with closed minds and angry hearts. We will take into Heaven those we have loved, not those we have convinced, because we do not hold all truth without our own understanding. Only God’s heart and mind are large enough for that. Let us pray:

“Holy Father, God, precious is your name, the only name that causes man to hush from their babble and bow their head. We confess that we do not know all there is to know about much, and little or nothing about the rest. We trust that you will guide us to carry on the work you would have us do. Open our hearts and minds to understand the causes you place in our care so that we are not just rattling cages to closed minds but springing the locks for those who would not know unless we taught them. But, they cannot hear if we are yelling or smug. They will not change their mind if our volume speaks louder than our love. Forgive us for betraying the trust you placed in us by making your cause an issue to be mocked rather than embraced. We pray that your will may be done in our lives this very day and the lives of those we love. In the name of Jesus Christ your son we pray. Amen.”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Serve at the Pleasure of the Lord

I watched little Katy and her cousin as they energetically tried to remain still in the nave of the church. Katy was to extinguish the candles and her cousin was to carry forth the Bible. They had bounded up the isle a little too early, then shifted from one foot to the other as they waited to carry the precious items from the altar and, symbolically, into the world.

“Grandpa . . . Grandpa,” Katy called in her best stage whisper. She evidently thought they were waiting too long while the last hymn was sung. I placed my hand on her shoulder and pointed to where we were in the hymnal and she happily sang along. She seemed so excited about executing her Sunday morning tasks as correctly as possible, as she served her God.

Then, I thought of the familiar words from the TV show, The West Wing, “I serve at the pleasure of the President.” Evidently, those who work for Republican or Democrat administrations serve in government in that capacity. We, as Christians, serve in the same way, only we serve at the pleasure of the Lord. To truly be servants and followers of the Master, we fulfill his ministry, not our own. We go where he sends us. We speak words he would have us say. We empty ourselves of self and take on Jesus Christ. With great joy and humility, we serve at the pleasure of the Lord. Let us pray:

“Holy Father God, how marvelous is your Holy name. We stand amazed and awed by your glory, the light from which is brighter than the sun. How very silly and childish we are when we think that our efforts alone provide a ministry for others. For good to happen, we must serve you and not ourselves or our own vanity. Forgive us for our self-centered attitudes of entitlement and raise us up as new creatures, full of your spirit, fully human yet touched by the Divine. We turn our lives over to you, oh God, and pray that others will see you in us. We ask for one precious gift from you Father, that we may serve you at your pleasure. We pray that you find joy in your humble servants dear Lord. In the name of your precious son, our Master, our Savior, Jesus Christ we pray. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

New articles appear every week. Check them out at:

Monday, March 8, 2010


I heard the robins singing the other day. Not that they hadn’t been there all along, but I heard them this time. Dirty snow is still pilled in mall parking lots while Spring whispers on the clean breeze. That’s a lot like God’s presence in our lives. While we are still mired in mud, with feet covered with gunk, God reaches down through the promise of Spring and lifts us unto Himself. He doesn’t give us a fancy boat to float above the pain of this world, but he does provide muck boots to keep our feet from dragging the filth in with us. We are covered with the robe of Christ where our heads are protected from fallen dreams, the stinging rain of criticism, the harsh glare of humiliation for His sake, and where we are swaddled in His love. Spring is the evidence of God’s gift of hope and his promise that all things can be renewed. Otherwise, he would have designed a never-ending summer and we would miss the miracle of new blades of grass and the fragrance of new blossoms. Let us pray:

“Father God, author of our hope, creator of our every Spring, we praise your holy name. We pray that your kingdom will come in your time and your glory will fill your blessed earth as is your pleasure. We pray that your Spring will burst forth in the hearts of all your children and the song of the birds is heard once again. Forgive us for our unwillingness to listen for your voice amid the noise of the day because we asked for a symphony. We miss your blessings when we place an order and reject the offered gift. Open our eyes to ways in which we can serve you by meeting the needs of those stuck in a perpetual winter. May new sprouts push up through the garden of our lives and fill the yard with color and an opportunity to send fragrance out onto the wind for those who pass by our door. In the name of Jesus Christ, your son, the master gardener we pray. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

New articles by Doris Gaines Rapp appear every week.
Check them out at:

Monday, March 1, 2010


When will Spring get here? We have an official date - March 21. What we really want is relief from cold weather, dirty snow, heavy coats, overcast skies, and no color anywhere except brown.

It’s a little like wondering when Christ will return. What we want is relief from a cold heart, a dirty soul, heavy guilt, a gray, cloudy mood, and no hope in our lives. But, the Good News is, we already have those shadows in our lives dispelled. Christ’s first coming gave us, not freedom from the world’s pull on our life, but shelter and healing from the effects of the world’s intrusion on our spirit. We are not led to avoid the crises of life. We are promised that God will walk through the pain with us. Our Holy Spring has already arrived. The winter of the soul has passed. Rejoice in the splendor of the new day. Let us pray:

“Our Father God, author of hope, love, forgiveness, healing, grace, and salvation, we get wrapped up in our fear of life’s demands. We know that we are not strong enough to tread water until you come and walk upon it and pull us from drowning in our own circumstances. You have told us that you will not only stand on the surface, but you will get in the water with us. Forgive us when we forget that, when we depend on ourselves to be the victim, the rescuer, the boat, the oars, and the wind in the sails, we drown. All we have to do is reach up and we will be elevated to a place where the water cannot sweep us away. For this present moment, we lift our hands to you and accept your power to either bring us out of the water, or let us enjoy the swim with you. In the name of your precious son, Jesus, whose faith in you allowed him to be the first to walk on wet water, we pray. Amen.”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

New articles:
Tsunami Preparedness Could Traumatize Children.

Weight Loss for Chocolate Lovers.

For a list of all articles, go to: Doris Gaines Rapp - Suite101

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


My Monday prayer is going out on Tuesday this week. I had been privileged to attend a Clergy Assessment Conference in Houston, Texas and got home at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday. I neither was awake enough nor alert enough to write yesterday. All that to say, with privilege and opportunity come the reverse side of the obverse, heads up side of life. Along with responsibility come the fall out most of us don’t want to experience, whether that is exhaustion, homework, or the dishes after a large family dinner. The sign of a healthy mind is the ability to rework or restate the down side of opportunity. I may not have gotten the prayer out yesterday but prayers are needed each day. So my inability to follow through on Monday has created an opportunity for Tuesday.

All of this to say, God doesn’t want us to waste any time or energy berating ourselves for small inadequacies. He wants us to participate in life the very minute we wake up again to his glorious gifts. Let each of God’s Tuesdays be another opportunity to redo our Mondays. The ability to begin again is waiting for every one of us. Praise be to God for his love and ability to wait us out until we wake up again. Let us pray:

“Father God, we know we don’t always accomplish everything we think we should on any given Monday. But, we wake up each Tuesday to a new opportunity to serve you. We thank you for your son, Christ Jesus, who opened the door to tomorrow and gave us each a new day. Grace and forgiveness are there for every one of us if we just reach out and accept it. Holy is your name and the name of your son, Jesus, our Savior. Forgive us when we waste time feeling sorry for ourselves or feel guilty for what we have not done. We are to focus on your loving eyes and create a new opportunity on Tuesday for the missteps of Monday. For this fabulous gift, we thank you Father God. To you we give all praise and honor, glory and love. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

New article:
Other artcles by Doris Gaines Rapp, Haiti Earthquake Relief: Humanitarian Relief
Doris Gaines Rapp, The Haiti Earthquake - Traumatized Children

Monday, February 15, 2010


Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, is this week and the question asked most often is, “What are you giving up for Lent?” Sacrifice for most of us, consists of giving up something for the several weeks before Easter. Sacrifice that is felt each day is a way of drawing closer to God. Usually, we let go of something we hadn’t really wanted in the first place. Perhaps it’s pie or cake, when we actually wanted to lose weight. Some brave souls will give up chocolate. However, the ambrosia from the cocoa bean has many medicinal benefits. Along with dark chocolate, it lowers LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and raises or elevates the mood, giving one a sense of well being. Maybe that’s not the best one to choose to give up or perhaps that’s just the chocoholic in me talking. Still, we bravely call these restrictions - sacrifice.

In Matthew 16:24, Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Deny themselves? Maybe “self” is what we need to give up for Lent. Perhaps a real sacrifice would be to give up selfishness, self-aggrandizement, and our penchant for self-wallowing in perceived slights and injustices. Nothing feels better than to throw a really festive pity party with all the whales, moans, and anger. For Lent, let’s get over ourselves for forty days. Our prayer will be for the release of self-focus in which we tend to believe that the whole world is all about us. In the kingdom of God, the whole kingdom is about God. Let us pray:

“Loving Father, you sent your only son into a sinful world to save us and we didn’t even know you were here. Forgive us for focusing on our own wants, our own pleasures, and our own joys. You were the child lost in the shadows of an abusive family. You were the friend who lost their job while we hid our eyes hoping that denying the financial pain would make it unreal and out of our realm of reality. You were the stranger who felt the earth shake and their home crumble into shambles while we were trying to decide if we should add on another room to our already comfortable home. For these forty days, oh Father, we choose to lay our very self at your feet, for our “self” is the only true gift we own. We ask that you rid our lives of self-centeredness. Drive it from our hearts as far as the east is from the west. Place your Holy Spirit in the empty spot where self-interest lived and fill us with your glorious light until it overflows and shoots out our fingertip, our hair, our entire being. We breathe in your essence with our every breath. Holy, holy, holy is your name and the name of your son, Jesus Christ. May we remember to hold your name in reverence and the name of your son, Jesus Christ. To you, our Heavenly Father, we give all praise and glory. Amen.”

Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Monday, February 8, 2010


What a game! It matters not if you were for the Colts or the Saints, reasons for cheering would still reverberate the next day. It was exciting and fun while it lasted. I’ll have to admit, I “watched” as I separated thread to a beautiful cross-stitch. However, what is truly valued above trophies and chest-bumping can be seen in the needlework pattern I will be working. The canvas will burst forth, one stitch at a time, with a depiction of the open hands of Jesus offering small pieces of grain to a flock of small birds of various, vibrant colors. The title is “In His Hands.”

We, too, have been offered the invitation to come feed on what Christ has to offer. Our color, age, influence, ethnicity, or any other exclusion or inclusion category make no difference to the Son of God. He welcomes the gold and the blue teams and all those who that didn’t make it to the Super Bowl. We too can win at the greatest contest of our lives, arriving at the goal line with the ball firmly in hand, passed to us by our quarterback, Jesus. All we have to do is reach up and receive it. Praise be to God! Let us pray:

“Dear Father, God, we lift our hands on high to receive the most important pass of the game. Our football is covered with your grace, filled with your spirit, and not too large for the smallest player to grasp. Perhaps you weep when the ball is fumbled or the pass is incomplete when we suit-up for this life you have given us to live. But you, oh Father, allow us to huddle with your family here, for guidance and the next play’s instruction, so we can start again each day. Thank you for the joy and diversion from the week’s work to watch two evenly matched teams meet and carry us down the field to renewed enthusiasm. Forgive us when we forget what is truly important. Direct our heart back to those with no home-bench, no fresh drink to spill on another’s head, no 3 million dollar exclusive access to have our voice heard for thirty seconds, or one bite from a mountain of hot dogs too high for most of us to count. We admire favorite players but only you are Holy, Father God. And, only the gift of your son Jesus allows us to call you Father. May all glory be his this day after the game. It is never the day after for Christ. He has open hands with nourishing food for the least of us each and every day. Praise be to your Holy name! Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

Go to and scroll down to eleven articles by Doris Gaines Rapp on weight loss issues.