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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, September 26, 2011


“I’ve been hit!” My thoughts raced as I drove down I-69 on Saturday afternoon in a welcomed down pour. I was on my way home from a Christian women’s meeting and felt blessed. Dark clouds had been gathering overhead all day, then the rain hit, fast . . . blinding. Then, it happened. There was a quick, blinding flash outside the car beside me and a simultaneous BANG, followed instantly by a quick “sizz” sound up the driver’s side of the car and window. I knew immediately. I had been struck by lightening!

At home, I jumped out of the car and searched the door and side panels for any evidence of the strike. I saw nothing unusual. I was thankful I had just gotten new tires a few weeks ago. There had been plenty of rubber between me and the bolt from the sky.

I thought about how God had blessed me that day. There had been an inspirational meeting in the morning and early afternoon, and safe passage for me until I reached home again, in spite of the electricity in the air. Just like the rubber grounded me safely to the pavement, God had grounded me safely to Him as well.

Do we make sure our spiritual tires are refreshed each day? Is there a thick layer of prayer power between us and the world? Is the air we breathe, like the thoughts we entertain, pure and holy unto God? We live in a world of thunder bolts and lightening jolts. Let us ride above the road, in the safe round embrace of His grace and love. Let us pray:

“Father God, we hold your name in reverence. For we know, when we call upon your name, blessings rain down on those we name. You are more awesome than we could ever imagine and your name has more power than we will ever know. We take this moment today to thank you for all the blessings you have bestowed on us, the protection you have given to us and our loved ones, and the blessed fellowship you have so generously given. Forgive us when we believe that peace is something we can work toward or acquire on our own. Peace comes when we find our rest in you. In your loving arms, we are protected from the dangers around us. We are not childish enough to believe that bad things will not happen to those who love you. We thank you that you protect our soul from the evil one at all times, until you bring us safely home to you. For all of these blessings, we thank you, and pray for continued rest in the hollow of your hand. In the precious name of Jesus Christ, 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.

Monday, September 19, 2011


On Monday, 6 July 1942, Otto Frank moved himself, his wife and two daughters, Margot and Anne, into a secret apartment above his business in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, to escape persecution by the Nazis. My husband and I have walked up the narrow steps behind the bookcase in Mr. Frank’s business. Perhaps you have too. Anne’s story was revealed to the world in A Diary of a Young Girl.

In May 1942, a well-dressed woman approached Casper ten Boom and asked to be hidden, out of the reaches of the Nazi’s that occupied Holland. The story of the Hiding Place was later told by Casper’s daughter, Corrie. Many of us have read the details of their providing a safe haven for “the apple of God’s eye,” as Mr. ten Boom had described his Jewish neighbors.

Where is your hiding place and what are you hiding? Are you providing a safe place for those who are persecuted, those who are ill in body or spirit? Or, are you hiding in your secret place from God?

“I don’t talk about my faith with other people. I might offend someone.” Have you ever heard anyone say those words? I have. Good, faithful church goers have said these and similar words about hiding Christ from their bridge club friends, their ball team, classmates, or other activities outside the stained glass sanctuary of their church.

But remember, we cannot hide from God. And, when we try, as we protect the sensibilities of others, we offend the heart of God. The hiding place is a refuge for the persecuted, not a secret place to store God until we attend church the next time. Make your hiding place a sanctuary for children, battered women, or lonely, bullied young men, not a place to bury your faith until you’re alone in your prayer closet, praying to a God who must be hidden. Let us pray:

“Holy Father, my own true God, I bow before your precious name. I pray that your kingdom may come on earth, where your love is shared with all, at a time of your choosing. For this day, Father, I ask for the courage to open wide the door that leads to my hiding place. May I recognize and embrace those who need refuge, while letting your light and love, that I have buried there, shine for all to see. Forgive me when I have mistakenly protected myself by denying you to the world around me. Give me the strength and insight to see those in need, while revealing your heart to them. I commit myself to being your witness to the world, by testifying to the blessings, both small and large, that you have bestowed on me. I ask that your son, Jesus Christ, walk with me along the way that leads home, and that all glory be given back to you. Amen”
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2011 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Isn’t it wonderful that God gives us a new day each morning? The sun comes up. The breezes blow, and all that was is gone and a new “now” has begun.

Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of 911. I doubt there were many people who were not aware of that milestone. Many lives were lost. Many lives were forever altered. And yet, God gave us a new day today, the day after, just as He gave the followers of Jesus a new day after what seemed, at the time, to be the end of Christ’s ministry. But, it wasn’t. In the last two-thousand plus years, the ministry of Jesus Christ has grown to cover the world. All people may not believe in Jesus as the Messiah, but His name is remembered and His offer of salvation and abundant life is still fresh with each new dawn.

We all have our life altering moments, whether it is the birth of a child, the death of a loved one, or the loss of something or someone so important to our lives, it sucks the air out of us. But, when we are open, when we are willing, a new breath is breathed into our lungs and we are whole again, perhaps more complete than we had ever been.

“Now” is not something to be held tightly to. “Now” is to be walked through, like the sweet air we breathe. “Now” is just a gem on a long string that tethers us to God and leads us home. “Now” can never be captured. It is always changing. Learn to enjoy the thrill of waking to a new sunrise each day, a new “now,” an eternal dawn. Nine-eleven happened and should never be forgotten, lest we forget and allow such evil to strike again. But those who were lost will live on in the memory of those who loved them. If you want to truly be of help, research those who fell that day, learn all you can, and become a memory carrier for them, bearing witness to their life, just as you bear witness to the life of Jesus Christ. Not that the fallen are holy, but, they need to be remembered in the consciousness of man. Let us pray:

“Holy Father, creator of each new day and the very essence of each “now” - we bow before your name. May your kingdom of the eternal “now” be born in each of us, so that we may feel the passage of time and know we are moving in and through you. We lift up the names of all those who lived through that horrible day, ten years ago, and ask that you finally show them a new dawn. Seeking a fresh sunrise does not mean forgetting a fallen love, for we take them with us into each new light and they live again through us. Forgive us when we get stuck and can’t let go of disappointment, anger, or a betrayal. When we let go of the hate, we can embrace the light and take our loved ones with us into a brighter day. We pray to see the new dawn and embrace the new “now” this very day. In the name of Jesus Christ, your son, and the one who continues to live through us and we in Him. Amen”
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2011 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.

Monday, September 5, 2011


“I am just too busy!” How many times have you heard that proclamation? I’ve said it myself. We all work; we all labor. It’s nice to have a day set aside to honor those who work, both in the home, the yard, the community, and in society.

Today, I want us to honor other laborers. I want us to pause and give thanks for those who labor in the fields for the sake of Christ and His church. Not just the pastors and their parsonage families - we lift up all those who are martyred for the Lord, those who speak up and speak out when it’s not popular to do so, and who pray when others say, “It’s not politically correct.” My friends, it will never be correct in the eyes of everyone, for some may never feel comfortable in the presence of the Lord of Love. Today, we honor those who love the Lord so much, it cannot be held back by those who feel that love grow larger than their own heart, and overflow into the lives of those around them, both the family of God and the stranger in their passing.

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’" Isaiah 52:7

Let us pray:

“Oh loving Father of us all, we praise your Holy name. We pray that your kingdom may come and set up a community within us, that all those who enter our world where Love is the law, may feel that warm love shine on them as well. Today, we thank you for all those who walk among us and those who have gone before us, who have boldly lifted up your name for all those around them to hear. Listen, my friend, and you will hear the song of Love whisper through the trees and stretch out upon the wind, its sure message heard clearly once again. Your children are turning back to you Father, seeking the path that leads them home. Give us ears to hear blessed souls singing the song of Love as they walk the Way that leads to Life. We know that the music and the path are for everyone. May we gather your loved ones unto you as we pass their way. Forgive us when we have been afraid to speak out for you, passing silently by someone who may never again hear the invitation to join in the song of faith. A voice for you does not have to be loud as long as it can be heard in love. We thank you for those who gave directions to the Path and walked with us when we faltered. May you bless them with Life and Love, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, the One who leads the way to Salvation and peace. Amen”
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2011 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.