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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

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.”