Now Available

Length of Days - Search for Freedom

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.

Monday, February 1, 2010


God had a dream and it was you. You sprang from his heart and were born on his breath. You breathe God each time you inhale. And, yet, you are still not satisfied.

“I’m too short, too tall, too fat, too anything.” It never ends. Once you have either changed or made peace with the part you believe is flawed, you obsess over another tiny speck of God who lives within you.

Next, you complain that God made a mistake when he placing you in the family into which you were born. Or, God didn’t give you the right talent to make you unique enough or rich enough or wise enough to make you better than others.

God had a dream and it was you. He loves you just the way you are . . . and too much to let you stay that way, as an old poster read.

And, I am part of that confusion. What he wants to prune, however, is not how we look or who we are or what we have. He wants to rid us of our selfishness, our anger, our ungratefulness, our inhospitality, our lack of generosity, our inability to love totally. That takes a lifetime. Even then, we still won’t be “done.” Only in those glimmering, fleeting sparks of light when Christ shines through us do we have a glimpse of the dream God had of each of us.

I am no physicist, but there is something in quantum physics that says if you drop your keys along the shore line, the essence of your keys will always remain in the water.

Christ walked through the portal of Heaven and, like the keys in the surf, his essence remains on the eye-reader at the entry. That portal stays open for each of us when the light of Christ is read in our eyes and we walk through the opening created by the Son of God. We, our humanness, have nothing to do with it. We don’t have to be perfect, just willing to be pruned and molded and living in the dream God had for us - to be a reflection of Him. Let us pray:

"Heavenly Father, you created each one of us from the perfection of your heart. Holy is your name and sanctified is your dream. May we embrace the vision you had of us when you laid the foundation of the world. Wrapped in your love, we will get a glimpse of Heaven. We do not have the words to thank you for your son, Jesus, who by his life and death and resurrection created the doorway to Heaven. When he lives in us, the eye-reader at the portal to Eternity recognizes the shepherd’s sheep by his light within us. Not to our glory be given, but to the glory of your own son, our savior and redeemer. Praise be your Holy name. Praise be your precious son. Amen”
Copyright 2010 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”