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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, March 28, 2011


Haven’t you heard Christians say, “Self esteem is a bad thing? You shouldn’t puff yourself up.”
Is it a greater sin to “puff yourself up” or tear yourself down?

I know that God has a perfect image of the me he created. I may be too tall or too short or have a blemish in the world’s eyes, but God sees me with my father’s eyes. Why shouldn’t I?

Do you have dreams and hopes that seem out of reach? “Other” people do wonderful things, go to exciting places, and invest in their well-formed plans–because their hopes and dreams have more value than yours! Is that what you believe? Then you will be forever looking through the window pane of life but never fly away in the colorful balloon.

If you are to love your neighbor as yourself, I pity some neighbors! Those who show no compassion, love, or acceptance to their neighbor, hate themselves even more. We are not to hold ourselves in higher esteem than others, but in equal regard. God believes in each one of us. He is the life that dwells within. We can do no less than to believe in the self God believes in. Let us pray:

“Father God, creator and lover of my soul, I worship you. Holy is your name and the sound of it is music to me. I know your kingdom will come at your calling and I ask that I may pitch my tent at your door so that I might not miss its dawning. I ask that this be the day when all your children wake up to an awareness of the beauty that dwells within them. Your light shines through each one of us who call upon your name. May we see that light as good and ourselves as earthly vessels for that light. Forgive us when we have shamed and rejected the self we are. We are the self you created. Turn us away from self-rebuke and teach us to walk in the light and love that glows from within and without and floods the path on which we walk. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen”
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2011 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.

Monday, March 21, 2011


There are springs that make chairs more comfortable and springs that run old clocks, but the spring I love the most is the one that brings green shoots out of the damp ground, buds on the trees, and a fresh scent in the air. They call young love, Spring fever, because it stirs the heart and puts a bounce in our step. Spring is also synonymous with a fresh start, beginning again, and new life. You may have already seen new leaves burst forth or fresh color where shades of brown had painted the landscape. We become color deprived during those long cold days devoid of brightness and cheer. Now, the long winter is over. Spring has sprung!

This Spring, within the opening bud and the unfolding leaf, I want you to see the heart of God offering you a fresh start, new every morning and manifested in all his glory every Spring. Holy is the Lord and his grace and forgiveness know no bounds. Let us pray:

“Holy Father, creator of all and re-creator of each of us who are willing to be remolded to the image you had for us, we praise your precious name. May your kingdom come on the Spring breeze and blow new breath into our spirit. Forgive us when we have turned our back to the brightness of a spring day, when the beautiful color of your world is your gift to us. The light brings us new life and for that we give you glory. Forgive us when we have not opened the window for another who is trapped in darkness. Leading others to the light is the charge and the joy you have given us. May we all feel you draw near to us as the birds fill their nests, the meadow blooms with wildflowers, and the trees blossom in the dark woods. For all of these blessings, we give you praise and honor. In the name of Jesus Christ, the very voice and word of all creation, we pray. Amen”
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2011 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


We, in the United Methodist Church, collected thousands of Health Kits for the people of Haiti and now basic Health Kits are greatly needed in Japan. Please check the information below and find a way to help the people on that shattered island by contributing to the Midwest Mission Distribution Center. The items needed for the kits are listed as well as information on how to contribute money so that others can shop for the Health Kit items. Thank you and God Bless you. Doris

Health Kit -

1 Hand Towel (15" x 25" up to 17" x 27", no kitchen towels)
1 Washcloth
1 Comb (large & sturdy, not pocket size or pic)
1 Nail file or Fingernail Clipper (no emery boards or toenail clippers)
1 Bath-size Bar of Soap (3 oz. or larger in original wrapper)
1 Toothbrush (single brushes only-in original wrapper, no child-size brushes) (no multiple packs) (no dentist name or phone number)
1 Tube of Toothpaste (6.4 oz or larger. Check expiration dates-must be at least ONE YEAR ahead.) (You may leave out and send $1.00)
6 Adhesive Plastic Strip Sterile Bandages (regular size and wrapped in a rubber band)
Wrap the items in the hand towel. Items should be placed in a new, one gallon plastic zip closure bag. Please make sure all items are correct sizes. If they are not the correct size, they are unusable. In addition, health kit items in bulk are very desirable as well.

Please note: if you have questions please email or call 217-483-7911 217-483-7911 .

In addition, please check MMDC's website: or facebook page: for updates.

Monday, March 14, 2011


The earth’s plates shifted and the ground above it shook with a force strong enough to send tsunami waves nearly 5500 miles from the epicenter in Japan to the coast of California at the speed of a jet airplane. This earth is not Heaven. It is merely a forge for the strengthening of our character as we are readied for the glory that is to come.

The whole world is part of the family of God and our kinfolk have been brought low with the might of this world’s natural forces. For those who have died, for those who are injured, for those who are missing, for those who are homeless, your father God sends you messages of love and hope and peace amid the chaos. Praise the name of the Lord of Peace, call upon his name, and he will bring you his grace and peace in spite of the destruction around you. Let us pray:

“Holy Father, Love of all, we praise your precious name. May your kingdom come amid the pain and bring your perfect healing to an injured world. Chaos is NOT of you, Father. Chaos is from the author of darkness, not the Prince of Light. We long to seek the sweet face of Jesus among the broken, for that is where we will find you, Father God. We ask this very day, that the man-made containment walls of the nuclear reactors may hold back the radiation that could harm your loving children. We pray for safety for those injured, homeless, and missing. Fill them with your hope and love. May we, who were untouched, rise up with the strength you have given us and bring aid to those in pain and hold back the economic disaster that could come. With your love, we can bring hope, confidence, strength, help, and security to this world. We have allowed ourselves to be shamed into hiding the love we have for you and therefore others. Now, we stretch out our arms like the wings of angels, and gather your children in, where they will know they are loved and protected until the earth trembles no more. In the name of Jesus Christ, who brought your love to the earth, we pray. Amen”
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2011 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.

Monday, March 7, 2011


We are entering the season of Lent. In the Christian tradition, Lent is the forty-six days before Easter. It is a time of prayer, penitence, almsgiving, and self-denial. Many people pray, few confess they have done anything wrong, some give to the poor, and it has become rare for anyone to deny themselves anything.

Mardi gras, or Fat Tuesday, is tomorrow and that is the day before Ash Wednesday–the first day of Lent. The point of Mardi gras is, if you are going to start denying yourself anything the next day–Party while you can! Our problem is that we started partying after World War II and never stopped. We used little effort to protect the peace that Armistice Day provided and indulged ourselves on every possible thing the hedonistic mind could imagine. What have we traded? To name only a few, we have: a new iPhone every year but broken families; a dangerous rise in obesity while some people starve; and a bigger and bigger TV screen but a smaller and smaller heart for God. Perhaps you can think of three more jewels you have traded for self-indulgence. For this Lenten season, I’d like you to shift your focus: give up nothing, but embracing everyone; eat all you want and share much more; pray for peace and fight for love; entertain yourself as much as you like and like spending time with your family even more; spend what you need and need even less; sing a song of love–this time out loud. Your time to party will eventually end. What will be left? Let us pray:

“Dear Lord and father of us all, Abba to your son Jesus the Christ, holy is your name beyond all our ability to express. May your kingdom of love and peace be manifested in each of us this day, so that we may experience Heaven on earth as do the angels above. During this time of Lent, may we see your face on those in need, your heart in the unlovable, and your smile on the invisible ones. We pray that we may be drawn to loving rather than partying, to service rather than self-indulgence. Forgive us when we have not seen the needy, not heard those who cry, and not touched a healing hand on those in pain. Lead us not into believing we have ministered to others on our own, because we know, only you can heal, only you can love without harming, only you can save when we get out of the way. May our goal be, not to party while we can, but to love while we can. In the name of Jesus, your son, our Savior, we pray. Amen.”
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2011 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.