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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, December 31, 2012

No Magical Thinking in Heaven

"Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God." Colossians 3:2-3 (NLT © 2007)

There are so many things to focus on this last day of 2012. What do you think has been important this year? Perhaps our perceptions are all relevant to our needs and wants—unless we are God-centered.

Losses, like in Newtown, Connecticut and Benghazi, Libya, a well as names such as Chris Stevens and Andy Griffith come to mind. And, how can anyone forget the election that had no beginning and no end? It continues long after votes were cast. But, what may have impacted us the most in 2012, may have been very personal: the loss of our job, the foreclosure of our home, or the collapse of our marriage and destruction of our family.

The loses for the Stevens’ family and the loved ones of the other heros that day in Libya were real. The unimaginable tragedy in Newtown with the loss of all those beautiful babies and their beloved teachers is more vivid than anyone would ever want to experience. The passing of beloved television personalities or actors is like losing a friend who was invited into our home for a weekly visit. That all makes sense to me.

What never ceases to amaze me, is the magical thinking some engage in. 2012 was the year they did not win the Power Ball or they found out they were all wrong about the Mayan Calendar and the end of the world. They had relied on wishes to determine their happiness. And, they lost their claim to uniqueness when they woke up "the morning after the end."

Where does your mind focus—on the things of earth and all the magical thinking that abides here? Or, are you focused on Heaven and the blessings God has for you both here and there? True living, or living true, is found in the life of the servants of God and all he has in store for us. Let that be our New Year’s Resolution—to keep our mind focused on heaven, for our real life is hidden there with Christ in God. Let us pray:

"Father of life and calendar-maker for us all, we bow before your sovereign majesty. Only you know our length of days. Only you purely bless. Only your name, and the name of your son Jesus, are holy. May heaven be our focus and our reality. Forgive us when we have thought we could wish a better life into existence for ourselves and others. You are the bearer of blessings, the giver of true treasure. May this be the last day we focus on the earth and the magical thinking we believe is here. Let January 1, 2013 be the first day we dwell with you in the real space of time and let it begin even today. We love your Lord and we seek your face completely. In the name of Jesus, your son our Lord, we pray, Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp


Monday, December 24, 2012


"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11 (KJV)

"Unto you . . ." yes, you too . . . and me . . . and all of us, a Savior is born. Think of all the things we’ve said and done, as individuals and as humankind. There is nothing in us that has the power to make all the ills right or turn our deeds around. But, God sent his son into a world of pain and suffering, so that all those who believe in him, shall not perish but have everlasting life. Ever lasting! We will have his peace and joy that will fill us like the Christmas star, sending out beams of love to all we meet. The most wonderful part of the gift is . . . everlasting starts now.

Too often we reject his gift—glad tiding of great joy—because we believe those are blessings of heaven and we should not expect them here on earth. When we receive the Christ Child of Bethlehem, we step into the Joy of the Lord at that moment. Come, receive the babe in the manger, drink in the fragrance of the straw and warm yourself in starlight. For unto all of us is born a Savior, Christ the Lord. Let us pray:

"Dear Lord and father of us all, we bow before your holy name. You are more wonderful than wonder and more glorious than glory and yet we choose not to see you or receive the gift of peace you give us through your son, the Prince of Peace. For this day, in the hours that lead up to the wonder of wonders—the silent night, the holy night—prepare our hearts that we may be prepared to inhale the sweetness of your love today. May this Christmas be our first Christmas in your kingdom here on earth. May this be the year that Christmas comes to everyone. If we can be of use in any way, we yield to your leading and will follow the star into your service. Forgive us for the many times we have focused on Santa rather than saints, when we have wanted more and more when, through you, we have had everything. Let this Christmas be the time we finally have the courage to lift the Christ Child in our arms and claim him as our child, as we are his. In the name of Jesus, whose birth we celebrate, we pray. Amen

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, December 17, 2012


"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child." Luke 2:4 (NIV © 1984)

Maybe you’re a marathon runner or a speed walker. I am not. Some days, it’s hard to think about walking out to the mailbox. Perhaps, I could motorize my LazyBoy. Mary and Joseph walked ninety-three miles. If they started today, they would just about make it from Nazareth to Bethlehem by December 25, given Mary’s pregnancy and her need for rest and nourishment. Could I have done that? Absolutely not. But, God can.

Can you imagine what your life would be like if you turned it over to God as Mary did? What if you accepted the successful life he has planned for you?—success as defined by God. A life lived completely within his will. You don’t even have to be able to walk the path. God will find a way to make your trip complete. It isn’t the energy you put into the walking. It is the total willingness and commitment to travel along the Way.

Today is departure day—not just a day to begin a journey, although a journey it is, but a day to take a different path, a departure from the expected. Choose to walk with God. You will arrive on Christmas Day with starlight in your eyes, Angels’ songs in your ears, and a new life in God in your heart. Let us pray:

"Holy Father, light of the world, bright and shining star, I bow before your holy name. May your kingdom be established in my heart today. I turn my life over to you. May this day be my departure day, like that of Mary and Joseph, not knowing what to expect, but expecting you to know the way. Forgive me for the many times I have committed my life to you and then snatched it back from the light, to live in the shadows again. I love you Lord, and have decided to let you lead the way. In the holy, precious name of Jesus, your son, our Christmas Child, I pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine." 
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Saturday, December 15, 2012

100 Years, 10 Days Until Gifting Day!

It's December 2112 during Gifting Time. The name of Jesus and the word Christmas have been removed from permitted speech. Now, someone has broken the silence and Christ will once more be present in people's hearts, thus increasing their Length of Days. go2

Our PC correctness could change our entire country. Music may be banned and the name of Jesus could be purged from our vocabulary. Will you be another to break the silence and increase our Length of Days? go2

Monday, December 10, 2012


"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child." (NIV ©1984)

It’s coming on Christmas and all the world is journeying toward Bethlehem, just as Mary and Joseph trudged along that dusty road over two-thousand years ago. Even those who are spending these precious days trying to erase the name of Jesus from our land are focused on the Son of God, the Christ Child. Those who want all references to Christmas removed from our December speech, use the name of Christ to describe the one they fear will "corrupt" their world. Fear? Yes. We must destroy that, or who, we believe may harm us. Are they afraid Christmas love and peace will enter their lives and push out their hate of all things of God?

For these last fifteen days of Christmas, we, as Christians, can use the name of the Lord as often as possible, so that the name of Christ Jesus may flood the world with Love. Last Saturday, a cashier at a mega-store stumbled over her required, "Have a Happy Holiday."

I responded, "And, a Merry Christmas to you too."

"Thank you, we have to say Happy Holidays," she said.

For these few and glorious days left before Christmas, let us not focus on what others do not say. Christmas cannot be silenced unless we do not speak. Let us remain true to Christ and send Christmas love and blessings to everyone we meet. Let us lead the way to Bethlehem, even if some don’t even know where they are going. Love conquers hate, not by the sward, but by the heart of God. We are just the one, faithful to Christ, who will speak his name to all those around us. Let us pray:

"Holy Father, God of all, we bow before your name and the name of your son, Jesus, the Christ of Christmas. May love rain down on all those here and flood the world with your light so that darkness and hate cannot remain. May our streets shine bright with the star of Christmas and our mouths proclaim his name and his redemptive love. Forgive us when we have remained silent and focused on those who have removed Christmas from the town-square, rather than being steadfast in our vocal proclamation of the Christ of Christmas. May this be the Christmas that the Holy Child of Bethlehem returns to the manger where we can greet him on our knees and humble our hearts to the love of Christ. Only then will we be able to carry the presence of the Holy Spirit to a weary and waiting world. In the name of, and by the power of Jesus, the Christ Child, we pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, December 3, 2012


Are you as directionally challenged as I am? Thursday, I went to Mary’s house for a meeting of our writers’ group. Love them all! This time, I parked on the one-way street that runs along side her house. When I left, I drove to the next corner, turned left, then turned left again at the next intersection to get on a parallel path with the one-way street I came in on. After a lot of driving and checking road signs, I ended up miles away in another part of town. Then, the good Lord took pity on his child who can get lost on a North/South Interstate, and deposited me near a nursing home in which I had seen patients. I could find my way from there. Where was my G.P.S. system? At home in my brief case of course.

"Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ 2 I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 3 Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.’" (Exodus 33: 1-3 NIV)

How many times have I gotten lost? Many times just coming home from Mary’s house and many more times from other locations, therefore the gift of a G.P.S. from my husband last Christmas was appropriate. Is it possible, I get lost easily because I am "stiff necked?"

When I think of all my blessings, I believe one is a correction of a large birth-flaw. I think I may have turned the wrong way when I took my first steps, an early example of my faulty internal compass. Yet, God has blessed me with his presence. When I relax and depend on him, I am far less likely to lose my way. But, like my G.P.S., I sometimes forget to depend on him. Just as the lights wound round your Christmas tree, lead from the star to the lowest branch, let the light of God lead you to your knees in front of the Christ Child.

Yesterday was the first Sunday in Advent, the month of anticipation as we wait for Christmas. Will we finally depend on the Lord God to guide us through life and make our way to the foot of the manger? Or, will we depend on the secular world to identify our blessing in the name of commercialism? We may be a "stiff-necked" people who choose our own path, regardless of how often we get lost on the way. Let this advent season be the time in which we begin to rely on the Infant Lord to guide our steps, direct our turns, and lead us home. Let us pray:

"Father of the Christmas Child, you bring His peace every year, for you are always the same and always there. Your promises are real. Your name is Holy, as is the name of your son, Jesus, the Christ. May your presence of peace finally fill us so full there will be no way for us to empty you out. Today, this second day of advent, we pray that you light our path so clearly there is no way for us to get lost. Forgive us when we stubbornly try to walk alone. Only you know both the destination and the direction. Make still the noises of the world so that the sound of your voice is loud enough for even me to hear, and clear enough for me to understand your words of comfort and leading. In the name of your son, Jesus the Christ Child, I pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp  

Monday, November 26, 2012


"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." 1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV ©1984)

Next Sunday is the first day of Advent, that time in the Christian calendar that leads up to Christmas. Let’s try loving as many people as possible into a full life of love and Christmas light and let us begin today.

In addition to the friends and family you usually pray for, every day this week and for all the weeks of Advent, select someone you have never prayed for. Perhaps someone has hurt you or betrayed you in your personal or public life. Or, they may be a national or an international figure you have never seen in person. Try to identify their own need and pray to God the Father that the person’s need will be met. You may think of their need as: freedom from hate, fear, or release from crippling self-aggrandizement and need for power. You may rotate their needs and therefore pray for a different need of theirs each week. You can pray for the same person every day, or you can add another name to your prayer list each day. Let this be the year you love someone to the side of the manger and where they can fall on their knees and eagerly invite the Christ Child, Jesus, into their heart. Let us pray:

"Holy Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus, the Christ child, we bow before your holy name and the name of your son who came to earth two-thousand years ago and who is born into the heart of a willing servant whenever he is invited, even today. We ask this very day, that ________’s heart may be softened to greet your son, Jesus, by filling their entire being with your Holy Spirit today. May your spirit fill them until they overflow with your light and their need for ______ is driven out and cast into the farthest pit, never to touch them again. We understand the danger of having your pure love invade a sinful heart, for love and hate cannot mutually abide. But, you Father, know the heart and mind of everyone. You will know how to lance the boil of sin and heal them without destroying them completely and then, fit them for your service. We pray that they become a wise leader in your name, a holy man of God, that your purposes and yours alone may be fulfilled. Forgive us when we have given their dark soul more strength by fearing them rather than turning them over to your love and healing. They are not for us to condemn. It is our mission to point the way to the cross that others may find you and your son there. In the name of your son Jesus, the Star Child of Christmas, we pray. Amen"
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp  

Monday, November 19, 2012


“16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 (NIV)

There are three more days until Thanksgiving. Some look forward to a wonderful time with family and friends. Others believe their day of celebration won't begin until the last serving dish is placed on the dining room table. Some people believe they have nothing to be thankful for.

The eastern seaboard was ravished by the super storm not many weeks ago. Many of them are still out of their homes. They have not had the basic necessities of food, water, shelter, utilities or clothing. At this point, turkey, dressing and cranberry salad seem out of the question. For them, Thanksgiving:  the celebration and/or the attitude, may be rejected. In the hole in the heart were Thanksgiving lived, anger, hopelessness, helplessness and fear may have moved in and set up residence. But, Paul tells us in 1st Thessalonians, we are to give thanks in all circumstances, not just when things are going well.

All of our lives have periods when storm clouds gather, when darkness hovers overhead and spills its deadly deluge, drowning out our comfort, safety and life-giving shelter. That may come in the form of a hurricane, fire, the death of a parent or spouse, or the ugly, family destroying specter of divorce. Whatever our storm, new life comes with the dawn. Our ability to embrace life after the storm depends upon how willing and quickly we begin to express thankfulness.

I would like to give you a prescriptive, healing message to use to jumpstart your hope–loving heart, allowing it to beat freely again. Repeat it three times, six times a day.

"Praise the Lord God Almighty, for he has brought me through the wilderness of my soul and has planted my feet on higher ground."

Each time you repeat the message set, know that you have sowed it in your heart. Then, go about your day knowing that God has blessed you and that the seeds of gratitude and hope are growing. As your thankful heart grows, pass on the message of gratitude to others. It will multiply and return to you in greater measure. Live a life of thanksgiving that you may truly live, every day, the life the Lord God has intended for you. Let us pray:

“Holy Father, love divine, open wide this grateful heart of mine. Holy is your name, the name of your son Jesus and the Holy Spirit that gives wisdom and discernment. Fill my life with your spirit and your gentle gift of gratitude. No matter my circumstances, I have things for which to be thankful, yet I have chosen to want more no matter my blessings. Though I have shelter and clothing, I long for a bigger home. Though I have a spouse and children, I desire a more perfect family. Though I have lost everything, I do not give thanks for the gift of your son and his sacrifice and redeeming love. Though all has been removed and I am left with zero, you Lord dwell in the void and it is holy ground, yet I choose not to begin again. Forgive me when I dwell on my loss and refuse to accept my future. Today and this week, I choose to live a life of Thanksgiving. Let me see your blessings all around me, in the smallest places. May I have the privilege of passing joy and gratitude on to others. In the name of Jesus, your son and my redeemer, I pray.  Amen”

Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp  

Monday, November 12, 2012


"10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people." (Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV)

Today is Veterans’ Day and last Tuesday was Election Day. How are they related? Regardless of how you voted, you are aware of the great divide between the beliefs and political philosophies of our country. How do we proceed now? While we honor the men and women who serve and have served in the military, we must enter into this battle for ideas, like disciplined warriors, with God’s help.

Our job is clearly stated. We are to be ready with our greatest weapon, a powerful love, to help our congress-people work together for the good of our nation. We are to fight for truth and arm ourselves with righteousness (adhere to high, moral principles). We are to seek peace while resting in the pure peace of God. And, we are to believe—to hold a powerful faith in the ability of God to bring goodness out of life’s challenges. We are to claim our salvation and immerse ourselves in the word of God. We are to wrap it all in prayer that lives and moves in the heart of the Holy Spirit.

Walk moment by moment, day by day, within the heart of God. Do not be fooled. Seek only truth. Pray unceasingly for the Holy Spirit to sweep through the halls of congress to bless and change the heart of every person there. Pray that they ALL are lifted up to become the great leaders they have the potential to be. True leaders sit at the feet of God and learn ways to overcome the ills of the country. They work to strengthen our nation, the blessed country you conceived within your infinite wisdom. The weak struggle to lift up the weakest. Only the strong have the strength to gather up those in need and lift them higher than they had been before. Great wealth can only be shared once. Put on your full armor and be strong. Let us pray:

"Holy Father, author and architect of our great nation, we bow before your perfect love. We are embarking on a time when respect and cooperation could not only restore strength to our country but could also bring about a new era of prosperity. Fill our leaders with your extravagant love and remove their egos from the serious work of government. Overflow them with a spirit of cooperation for the good of all people. Surprise them with the ability to truly see the other side of each argument and the wisdom and courage to set aside political loyalty in order to find truth and to bring about solutions. Bless them all that they may go down in history as the congress that loved their country more than self and more than unworkable ideas thrust upon a great people. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, we pray. Amen"

Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp
How Should I Vote? at

Monday, November 5, 2012

Election Day: 2012

We have looked at several aspects involved in deciding to vote. Today is Election Day. Now we need to put it all into practice.

How very exciting the 2012 Decision has been. Many people had become complacent about voting and let others do their civic duty while they stayed home. Was that you?

Each side of the debate believes they have the better plan for the United States. How can they both be right? It may be that they are both correct because each side expects a different outcome - they have a different agenda. Congress may vote on a bill that has serious implications for the American people and their welfare, without acknowledging how that vote will change a seemingly unrelated issue in the future. While we cannot pretend to know the future, we can extrapolate current facts and project certain suppositions into future events. What? We review what is happening now and chart some trends into the future. Still "what?" We can make some calculated guesses.

Have you done your homework as we talked about a few posts back? Have you come up with the courage to pull that lever? Now that your mind is prepared, listen to that still small voice inside where truth lives and vote your conscience.

You are now free to be a real adult, one who does not need validation from others to do what is right. Vote!

I have chosen to post this late on Monday evening, November 5, because I know many will vote early on their way to work. God bless you as you step out from others’ shadows and vote for the first time as a true individual.

Do You Have the Courage to Vote?

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:6 (ESV)

"Are you going to vote?" - so the question goes.

"I don’t know. I don’t know who to vote for," is often the answer.

Why on earth does an educated person not know if they are going to vote? Why would they not know for whom they will vote? The answer may be, they do not have the courage to think for themselves.

I have posted twice in the last few days on How Should I Vote and For Whom Should I Vote . I re-posted them to These two articles were intended to help the reader make a decision about what they will do tomorrow, on Election Day. (The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. Proverbs 12:15)

Talking heads continue to say, "This may be the most important election of your life time."

Perhaps the result of such a statement may be that many people do not vote for fear they will make a mistake. They don’t want to take the responsibility. Have we as a people, in the freest nation ever conceived, been reduced to sniveling children who need others to take care of them? I say, "No!"

Can one make a voting mistake? Perhaps, if you were King and there was only one vote cast. But we are part of a vast group of voters. We vote one way and our friend votes another. That is the fair process. If we are all in prayer tomorrow that God will bless our country and restore our attitude to that of a people of freedom, he will make right whatever the election outcome turns out to be. Let us pray:

"Father God, we claim your blessings for our country. Some have said we are no longer a Christian country but we are a praying, Christian people and we will no longer be silent to those who have tried to exterminate the Holy Spirit from our American Home. Tomorrow is our Election Day. Some have said it may be the most important of our lifetime but we know that all elections are important. If we had treated each election with the same urgency, we may have made each ballot box a Holy Ground. We pray for your wisdom, your guidance, and your blessing. Every outcome that has you at its center will be a blessing if we look for you there. Give us the courage to roll up our sleeves and do the work you give us, regardless of the election results. Ease our worries and anxiety and strengthen us with your peace. Our country needs us all. In the name of Jesus Christ your son we pray. Amen"

Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Sunday, November 4, 2012

For Whom Should I Vote?

Decision: The 2012 Election. How do I know for whom to vote?

Some people made up their mind a few years after emerging from the womb. All they know about politics, the philosophies of the political parties, and the true goals of either party that help them determine who is the best to govern the U.S., they learned when they were five-years old and sat at the family dinner table sipping their Ovaltine. Then, they closed their mind and locked the door.

Friday, I posted How Should I Vote? at . I identified a four step process to use in making a decision. Now, we have to get specific about the candidates, "specific" without telling the reader whom to vote for. That is not my intention.

Today, I posted For Whom Should I Vote at and know they need our attention here as well.

Let us consider several questions that may help to make the voting decision.

• What are the principles that have made our country great? List as many as you can.
• How is the United States different from other countries and governments?
• What could be lost if my vote elected the next president?
• What could be gained by the election of "my" candidate?
• What background and experience does "my" candidate have that makes him uniquely qualified to be our president in this very time and place?
• What lies have been told about "my" candidate? What lies have he and/or his clones told?
• Which candidate inspires me to DO something for my fellow citizens? - Kennedy’s "Ask not . . ." challenge.
• Which candidate has more solutions than criticisms?
• Which candidate tugs at my intuition and says, "I am the one."
• Which one would Daddy vote for? Which candidate would Professor Know-it-all vote for? Is that candidate right for me?
• Our vote is a private matter. Am I secure enough to not tell others whom I voted for or try to get their approval and validation regarding my vote?
•Which candidate will make me square my shoulders and say to myself, "I don’t need anyone’s approval? I have made my decision for 2012. I will vote for ___________."

Now pass this on to others who are still deciding. Then, go vote. Voting is a privilege. Do the decision making process and ask the above questions, then be a privileged citizen by casting your vote for 2012. Let us pray:

"Father, God, who inspired the authors of our Declaration of Independence, we bow before you asking for your forgiveness for our laziness. We have taken our country for granted and thought it would continue to serve us rather than our serving the country we love and ALL of her citizens. Whisper truth in our ear to help us know how and for whom to vote. May we have the focus to do the homework necessary in order to make our decision and then find kind, insightful ways to tell others. Bless our United States and her people as profoundly serious decisions are made on Tuesday. Fill us with your wisdom, at least for these few days. In the name of Jesus, your son, w pray. Amen"

Doris Gaines Rapp
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

How Should I Vote?  at

Monday, October 29, 2012


Okay friends, let’s talk. The election is in eight days. I won’t even ask if you plan to vote. How could you not? It is time to get back out in the field and stop waiting for others to till and plant, cultivate and harvest and heal our land.

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV©1984)

For too long, we have chosen sides rather than solutions. We have excluded rather than included. We have evaded the truth and made up whatever story advanced our own cause. Let this be the day that pulling our country apart like a popular video game comes to an end! We must repair not despair. We must love our country into wholeness.

It is not about us any more. It’s about those who come after us. How will they know the history of this great nation if we purge the books of those who founded this glorious, God-inspired nation? How will they have examples to look up to if those who went before us are all brought down to one level? Our heroes were not better than us nor were they perfect. They took extraordinary circumstances and applied God-inspired solutions to bring about truly blessed results. They are examples of humble servants who sought to build a country whose architect was God. The Almighty used them in spite of themselves because they were willing to be used. They were given a dream and a focus and would not wait for others to do the hard work and sacrifice for them. They were busy in the fields of our country.

For this vitally important election, vote early and spend the rest of the day driving others to the poles. Pray and seek the face of God; then, get out in the field and make a difference. Let us pray:

"Father God of Glory and Love, we bow before you with humble hearts. We are not wise enough to find the hard solutions for this generation on our own, but you are. We know that loving one another, regardless of what we are called or the lies told about us, is what is needed to heal our country. Give us the courage to speak truth to lies. We also know that you have called us to stand in the gap between those who would try to destroy these great freedoms of ours and others who seek to create a new order that is based on either no god or other gods. We must stand in the breach with spines of steal, open hearts, and willing hands. May we not fall for deception disguised as new truth. May we be open to correct the sins of the past by never letting them happen again, not by uprooting the blessings that were also placed there. We know we can follow a voice confidently spoken but empty of solutions offered for all. Fill us with your Holy Spirit that we may discern truth and the wisdom and courage to pass it along in the fields of our neighborhood. In the name of Jesus, your son and our redeemer, we pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.
"Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Stop the lies and inflammatory speech! In less than two weeks, the United States will elect a president who will serve the people of our country for the next four years. Some of the rhetoric is hostile and prejudicial. It sounds ignorant and dismissive.

" . . . speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ." Ephesians 4: 15 (NIV©1984)

Some dialog is honest and loving but labeled hateful by others to discredit and defame the one who has merely spoken truth, as they see it, in love.

The people of our nation have been silenced so as not to offend someone who may have a different opinion. Do not silence truth, but speak it in love. We know "they" will lie and call us names in order to silence us but we must speak out, if for nothing more than to hear all opinions spoken without being yelled or laughed at.

In Length of Days - The Age of Silence, the people of our country have closed their mouths and minds to truth for one-hundred years (2112). Then, someone breaks the silence and the hope of a free society is kindled in the hands of Christiana Applewait and her friends.

Learn what happens when people are silenced. Read the eBook: Length of Days - The Age of Silence, available at or No eReader? No problem. Barnes and Noble have free apps to read on your computer, Nook, or android.

Also posted at

Monday, October 22, 2012


Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." John 14: 6-7 (NIV ©1984)

What is a father? A father is tall enough and strong enough to stand in the gap between his home and family, and the outside world. He shields his family from harm. A father loves and forgives, and holds his children accountable for their actions while bestowing grace and love out of the goodness of his heart. In John 14, Jesus describes God, not just as creator and authority over the world, but as the giver of fatherly love, our Abba—our Daddy.

God in the Old Testament is more of a punitive God, our God of laws and rules, more rigid and distant. God, who wore the face of Jesus Christ, is a loving and forgiving God, our Daddy. No one can come to the "Father - God," the benevolent God, except through Jesus. Father-God gave voice and status to women and children as Jesus spoke to the women around him and drew the small ones onto his lap.

In Jeremiah 59:21, God told His children, "Attack the land of Merathaim and those who live in Pekod. Pursue, kill and completely destroy them," declares the LORD.

As our nation abandons our belief in God, and our willingness to walk in the way of the Father, we may be gradually turning our lives over to those who either believe in no god or those who believe in a punitive, rigid, unforgiving one whose followers give no power to anyone but a select few.

I am certainly not Doris-tradamus. I do not pretend to know the future. But, I do believe that the West is different from the East because of Jesus’ influence on this side of the world which gave us the ability to love those who are not like ourselves and welcome them into the family of God where God is our Father.

There is a debate this evening to help citizens of the United States decide which presidential candidate will help draw us closer to the family of God. We need a president who can trust in God to stand in the gap between our nation and threats from outside. Some would choose to take down our great nation and place us on a level equivalent with poorer nations. Then who would rescue the stranded, feed the poor and heal the broken? We are a nation that has been a shining light, drawing others to opportunity and freedom and including them into our nation-family. We soon have an opportunity to choose our president, a man we believe will further the cause of our nation.

Let us pray to have open ears and receptive hearts while we listen to tonight’s debate, discernment truth when truth is spoken. May we have the energy and courage to help get out the vote for the candidate we believe will continue to promote the cause of freedom, love and real hope for which our country has always stood. Let us pray:

"Our father, Abba, you are the very life we live and the air we breathe. We live in you while you live in those of us who invite you in. Holy is your name. We are in very serious and dangerous times, Father. Our country is at a sharp pinnacle, where tremendous decisions must be made. Open our hearts to receive the words you have for us; open our minds that we may not be closed; and, give us discernment to know the truth when we hear it spoken. We know that this election requires more than the casting of our vote. We must be willing to spread the word of freedom and help others get to the poles. We know, if we do not stand together for freedom, we will surely fall for a rubble heap of lost hopes, dead dreams, and tarnished monuments that represented the greatness that once was. May we build new and stronger dreams by remembering the lessons taught long ago. Let us listen for the voice that lifts us to individual freedom. Strong citizens can lend a hand and lift up the less fortunate. A weakened and dependent populous has nothing to offer but want. May we have your wisdom and discernment. In the name of Jesus, your son, we pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, October 15, 2012


"Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, ‘Jesus, Master, have pity on us!’ When he saw them, he said, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed." Luke 17:11-14 (NIV © 1984)

Is it the destination or the trip that defines our life? I believe it is both. In Luke 17, the Bible tells us that Jesus had a destination, Jerusalem. However, the miracles happened along the way. He had the opportunity to heal ten men of leprosy. But, if he had said, like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, "I’m late! I’m late, for a very important date. No time to say ‘Hello - Goodbye,’ I’m late," Jesus would never have seen the men and the ten would never have been healed. Do we act more like Jesus, or the White Rabbit?

If our eye is on the end-goal: money or position, recognition or power, we will miss every blessing that God has placed for us, like dewdrops of gems, along our way. If we are blind to what we pass, we will have missed out on life and we may have created havoc along our way. The Way is as important as the city we walk toward. If we walk in distance and indifference, we will never reach the portal to the Lord. Which is more important, to stay in the Ritz at eventide, or to gather our loved ones around us and camp-out in the back yard around the warmth of the fire? Keep your eye on the destination, and your heart on the path. Let us pray:

"Holy Father, Love Divine, illuminate this path of mine. Your kingdom is our home and we ever press onward toward your outstretched arms. May we never forget to speak words of healing as we walk along and gather in our loved ones to make the journey with us. It is our prayer that we never contribute to the darkness. May this be the day that you fill us with your light so that the way will be lit wherever we walk. Forgive us for hurrying past and not stopping to meet the needs of the ones around us, for we know how badly we too need your touch. Lead us along the path so clearly that we do not have to watch our feet but gaze with love at all we see, stop to heal, and find our way back to you. In the name of Jesus, whose footsteps we follow, we pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp
For Holding on to Sand - From the Interactive Journal of James Rapp, go to . It is also available on Kindle at and NOOK and other eReaders at


Monday, October 8, 2012


"By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night." Exodus 13:21 (NIV©1984)

"I’m almost finished with this project. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel." I’ve said the same words. I’m sure you also know those who have described going through a difficult time, nearing completion, and feeling the relief of seeing "the light at the end of the tunnel."

Through our study of the Bible, we are able to read the events of the day—thousands of years ago. When God led the people through the never-ending sands of the desert, he led them by his physical presence in the form of a cloud that could be seen by day and a pillar of fire which lit their way by night—through the "dark tunnel."

Some may say, if God led them all the way, why did they wander in circles for forty years? Perhaps they still had desert lessons to learn: trust, a change in attitude, and growing faith. They actually did not wander if they were following God’s cloud and light. They were being obedient.

When we are in the grip of hard lessons, long difficult tasks, or joyous work in which we have grown wearing of the doing, we may not see the presence of God around us, leading and loving us through to completion. Yet, he is there. It is only when the pressure subsides, as we near the end of our responsibilities, that we begin to see and feel the peace of God—the light at the end of the tunnel. It had always been there, even though we had not seen it, because our eyes had been clouded with the burdens around us. Still, the light was there all along.

There is a beautiful song, He Was There All the Time, by Gary S. Paxton, that describes God’s presence.

He was there all the time
He was there all the time
Waiting patiently in line
He was there all the time.

God is our light at the end of the tunnel! The great news I have for you today is, he was there all the time. Let us pray:

"Father of Love, we praise you for being the Light that guides us always. May this be the day we see your light, even in the darkest places of our lives. May we one day see Heaven, flooded in the light of your glory. Forgive us when we have chosen to focus on the darkness, when we believe that we must keep our head down and our eyes on the task until we, alone, have pronounced it "done." When, all along, you were there to light our work and giving us peace. Holy is your presence, full of peace and grace. Today—we choose to see you beside us, walking before us, and leading our way. Blessed be the name of God and your son Jesus Christ in whose name we pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp


Monday, October 1, 2012


Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

John 14:6 (NIV©1984)

Crawl upon the lap of Abba—Daddy—Father God and live within the light of his grace and love. The only way to "Father God," full of forgiveness, truth and life, is through his son, Jesus Christ.

I will not pretend to know the heart of other religions or other gods, for I have been called to follow Jesus as my path to Heaven and the Lord God. Jesus is my example of a life lived in Light. Which do you choose, God of Glory and Grace, or a punitive, rigid and unbending god of wealth, fame, self-service or all other things of the world? It has always been our choice. Let us pray:

"Father of Grace and Love, we bow before you oh Holy One. We pray to be surrounded and filled by your truth and light just as the angels in Heaven enjoy. We pray that this is the day we see Truth and set aside all false treasures of the Earth. Today, we choose you Abba, and begin to walk the path that leads to you behind the imprint of the sandals of your son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, September 24, 2012


"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7 (NIV ©1984)

Don’t you love this passage, written to Timothy by Paul? Paul said he fought the fight but he didn’t say that he won—he only said it was "good fight," fair and honest. He said that he finished the race—not first, not last, just finished as was his responsibility. The most amazing statement was that he "kept the faith." God believed in him and Paul believed in God and the task he gave him.

I have worked about eighteen-hours a day, nearly every day, for about two and a half months, to write my new and different book, Holding on to Sand - From the Interactive Journal of James Rapp. I hope to have it posted as an ebook at by the end of this week. This post, however is not about the book. It is about Paul’s message to Timothy.

Whatever job or mission God has laid on your heart, pick it up and put in an honest effort; complete the task regardless of the distractions around you; and keep the faith that GOD HAS IN YOU. You believe in Him and He believes in your faithfulness to see his good work through. He doesn’t ask you to win over others. He asks that you take up your blessed cause and complete it all, in faith. It is yours to do, not to plan the resulting outcome as well. The attitude of those around you is their blessed responsibility to God.

It has been my privilege to write about our son’s nearly two years in Afghanistan. I will do what I can to get the word out, but God will plan the outcome. Perhaps I have written a book that only one person, or one family, needs to hear. Then, I have been faithful to the cause God has given me. Perhaps there are millions who have wondered about the daily activities and threats in the life of a son, daughter, or friend stationed in the Mideast. God will draw the reader to the book in whatever numbers he calls. It is my mission to fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith.

You too are called to a cause. Perhaps it is one student from a class you have taught, perhaps some other contact. I remember a story about an Evangelist who held a week-long revival. There were few there each night, but one young man was always present. As the Evangelist shook the hand of the last few, the young man said, "My name is Billy Graham."

We may only touch one or two, but they may touch millions. The task it isn’t about us. It’s all about God’s plan for his children. We are to keep the faith. Let us pray:

"Father of us all, we lift our hands to you, for only you are worthy of our praise. Holy, holy, holy is your name. We pray that we may see the mission you have given us and the energy and courage to see it through, displaying the faith we have in you and your keeping the faith you have placed in us. We are so sorry when we have been afraid to follow through on the work you have given us, for fear that others would mock or ridicule. We acknowledge that we were not called by them, but by you, Father. We give our will over to you that we may do a good work, that we may complete a good cause and that we may be faithful to you and your son ,Jesus in whose name we pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, September 17, 2012


"And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3 (NIV©1984)

Jesus told them, and us, that we must become as children to enter into God’s kingdom. To engage in a relationship as a child would be to bring unbridled love, complete belief and trust in the other, creativity, fun, play, and open arms that greet the Lord God with discarded self-interest and abandoned self-protection. That is where we begin; but too often, that is where we stop.

Paul the Apostle, and "Timothy our brother," encouraged believers in their continued walk with the Lord. "Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our area of activity among you will greatly expand, so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you." 2 Corinthians 10:15-16a (NIV©1984)

We are to come as children and then grow in faith. We are not to remain irresponsible children, although we carry our complete faith and belief into our relationship with Christ. We are also not to become the punitive, know-it-all-parent of other believers. That attitude of superiority and exclusivity turns others away from their Redeemer. If we are growing in faith and not religiosity, we will become adults in Christ. As adults we love and nurture, teach and support, bind up the wounds of the afflicted, hold their hand as they walk toward home and share their joys and sorrows within the healing love of Christ. Are we growing up or growing old? Let us pray:

"Father God, it is you whom we seek. We long to throw our arms open wide to you, crawl upon your lap and receive all you have for your children. Forgive us when we have overprotected ourselves to the point of shutting you out. Today, we choose to think less of ourselves and more of you. We choose to turn away from all that glitters and accept the precious gold of your true kingdom, just as the angels in heaven enjoy. Give us this day a clear and guiding beam that will lead us home. Forgive us for ignoring your light in the past when we chose to be undisciplined children. Others are seeking a loving spirit but we often reply, "Let the pastor go." But, to those who cry in darkness, we may be the only Christian they know. May we humbly accept our role as loving adults in Christ, to further the expansion of your Holy Church here on earth. In the name Jesus, your son and our Lord, we pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, September 10, 2012


"Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them." Deuteronomy 4:9 (NIV ©1984)

Tomorrow is 9/11 and to people around the world, that date has a special meaning. It was not only the day that thousands died, the World Trade Center was assaulted and crumbled to the ground, the Pentagon as attacked and a field in Pennsylvania was soaked with the blood of the brave—it was the day that innocence was lost.

What do we teach our children on such a day as that? To fear people who look or dress differently than we? Do we instruct our children that the world is dangerous and we must fear the night?

We must teach them daily that God is in control of the soul of those who give their lives over to him. By our consistent daily schedule of time: meal time, play time, quiet time and bed time, we teach them again that their world is predictable. We introduce them to the fun of impromptu moments and mini field trips as we stop at the grain elevator when we see it is operating. That trains them that an interruption is not a threat to their routine, but a delightful respite from the ordinary

The most important thing to teach them is that God is the same today, tomorrow and tomorrow. God does not cause pain and injury. Suffering is part of life and the Lord walks with us through the deep valley. Where the Valley of Baca was described in the Bible as the Valley of Weeping and the Valley of Slaughter because it was so dangerous, we can change our fear to blessing and make our children feel safe again. In Psalm 84 it is said, "Passing through the Valley of Baca they make it a spring; the early rain also coverts it with blessings. They go from strength to strength, every one of them appears before God in Zion."

Dig springs of living water wherever you go, so that flowers and life-giving green may grow where we have walked. Love is the only thing that will go with us into Eternity. Turn your fear, your Valley of Baca, into springs of Living Water. While we may not always protect our children from the things of this world, we can fortify them with the water of peace and love that is consistent today, tomorrow and tomorrow. Let us pray:

"Father of Living Water, we bow before you and drink from your cup. The world in which we live has been corrupted by the hearts of evil men but in your valley we can find peace, safety, life and rest. Hold our children even closer to you, oh God, as they see images of falling buildings and those who ran in fear on 9/11. Whisper in their ear of your love and your total protection of their soul. You are the same today, tomorrow and tomorrow. It is the world that is not. And, we are the inhabitants of your Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, not the world of man. In your world there is peace, safety for our soul, light and life for us and those who wait on you. Forgive us when we forget whose we are as we search for meaning. Our strength and life come from you and for this we sing your praises all the day long. In the name of your Son, Jesus our Redeemer, we pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine." 
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, September 3, 2012


"Jesus said to them, ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ And they marveled at him." Mark 12:17 (ESV Copyright 2001)

In a Democracy, the majority rules. The government could say, "Those church people are always telling everyone else how they should live. Let’s make laws to ban churches."

The United States of America is not a democracy. It is a republic. In a democracy, the majority rules. They can pass laws without regard to the rights of minority. A republic is a form of government in which there are laws that limit the powers of government.

In a democracy, the majority could decide they don’t like a particular religion or the causes the believers of that church support and mock or outlaw it’s practice. In a republic, there are limits to the power of government over religion, among other things, which may be in the minority. In a republic, our right to "render unto God the things that are God’s" is protected.

Our republic is composed of Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Independents and others who have the right to believe as they do within our blessed republic—and an obligation to walk along side of their patriotic brothers and sisters to provide the limited services as defined in the Constitution—to "establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." With the stroke of a pen on a document designed by you, Lord, we did ordain and establish the Constitution for the United States of America. Our republic has been a blessing to our citizens and to those around the world. Does that mean we are better than others around the world? It means we are unique and will fight to maintain our difference. Be proud of your own country and sing to the Lord its praises for all he has done for you.

Last week we entered into the Political Convention season of our country. As citizen, we have an obligation to hear both sides of the debate, to do our own reading and research, and to vote as the Lord directs in order to preserve our right to be that blessing and to "render unto God the things that are God’s." Let us pray:

"Father God, author of our Blessed Republic, we bow before you. You are our only king, the true and holy sovereign of our hearts. We ask this very day that you will open our minds and grant us the wisdom and courage to hear the true voices of our elected officials and those who aspire to serve us that we might discern the truth. Forgive us when we have been childish and lazy, when we have let others think for us. We are an educated people who have the capacity to understand issues, but we turn our minds from the debate and focus on fun and folly. You have blessed us with a government, unlike any other in all of time. Let us be the generation who preserved it and passed it along, in all your glory, to those who follow. In the name of Jesus, your son and our redeemer we pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, August 27, 2012


"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV©1984)

Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (22 September 1694 – 24 March 1773) said, "Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well."

Many of us are aware of the extreme physical exhaustion after a day of working in God’s fields. We must rest and prepare ourselves for the next day. Some people feel guilty for taking time to replenish the earthly body, even though Jesus withdrew from the crowds to pray. "Doing" has at least four parts: 1. preparation for the task; 2. completion of the task; 3 evaluation of the task; 4. rest and refresh in preparation for the next stage or the next task.

To my mind, the most important step in the four-point model, is preparation. There are needs all around us and those needs continue to grow. We have to accept the fact that we cannot do it all, just because it is worth doing. Be prayerful in your choice of service/mission projects. That is very important to your ability to do it well.

I am reminded of the woman who touched Jesus’ garment and he was aware of her touch. Good works take great energy. And, it is not our energy that will carry us through. It is the mighty strength of the Lord God. Work that is done to glorify God, and not self, will be supported by the strong, majestic wings of His angels. You are never asked to carry the task alone. Turn it over to Jesus and he will bear your burdens to the Glory of God the Father. Let us:

"Heavenly Father, creator of Life Energy, we bow before all that you are. We cannot even describe your all-in-all for you are greater than our minds can grasp. We ask that you clearly define the work of our hands with a clear calling to your cause, so that our energy is used to glorify you. We humbly recognize that we are not called to do it all but to do what we do so that others may see you. May our presence fade from sight, so all that is visible is the vision of the Lord God of Glory and Love. Forgive us when we try to do it on our own. Our own efforts are very small. Our strength must come from you. If it comes from us, we will sink in the pounding waves around us. It is during the storm that we see your strength. In the name of Jesus, your son, the one who walks with us, we pray. Amen"
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, August 20, 2012


"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3: 5-6 NIV (copyright 1984)

I had just completed my Monday morning prayer. Then, I lost it all with the stroke of a key and for a moment, I flew through all five stages of grief and loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Can you believe it? A few hours composing a tribute to God is not a loss. If others couldn’t read it, perhaps it is a blessing. Maybe they were words that I alone needed to hear.

The Bible verse was the same—Proverbs 3: 5-6. Perhaps I had trusted in myself to write a cleaver piece when I wrote the first one. Maybe I had not acknowledged him in all my ways. God’s lessons are simple and not intended to be creative and complicated. "Trust in the Lord." "Love one another." "I am the way." But, many of us look for a deeper, more complicated meaning to Christ’s teachings. We just cannot let go and accept the simple truth of God’s grace, his forgiveness and his love.

We don’t even have to understand it. "Lean not on your own understanding." We are to "acknowledge him," accept his guidance, and our way will be directed by the glorious God himself. What an adventure! We daily walk on a path that has no map, just a holy guide. Let us pray:

"Father God, our sure and true guide, we bow before you. You alone are holy and lovely. May this be the day I lay down my elaborate plans and walk your path of holiness and peace. Though I do not know the way, your voice will whisper in my ear and keep my way straight. If it is your will, may I be one of your people-gatherers, collecting believers for you as I walk along the way. And for the blessing of your guidance, I will acknowledge you as my one true Lord and guide. Fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may learn your lessons written in your word, from my soul out. In the name of Jesus your son and my redeemer, I pray. Amen"
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, August 13, 2012


"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:5 ESV

"What happened?" I gasped as the elevator jerked to a stop and darkness took over.

"I guess the electricity went out," another voice whispered in the suspended blackness between floors.

Isn’t it funny how the dark prompts a whisper? Darkness had completely overcome the physical light in the small space of the elevator car and the response was a solemn reverence for He who dwelled in the dark with us. No matter how my eyes tried to adjust to nothingness, not one tiny beam of light was visible. Even my balance seemed confused. Was I moving up or down or did we remain still?

I prayed for the lights to come back on but I also knew I should have no fear. God was in the void with me. I relaxed and embraced the light that shown even brighter in my heart where the darkness could not overcome me.

I know many of you are going through a difficult time and fear will win if you let the darkness overcome the light. God is with you—Hallelujah! No matter the pain or loss or disappointment, the light of God can shine in your darkness and bring you peace. Let us pray:

"Father of Light and Love, we humbly bow before you. We are not worthy of your presence but our worth is irrelevant. You love unconditionally. Sins against you are sins indeed. We may all sin differently, but we all make choices that are not in keeping with your will. Forgive us Father God and let the spark you give us light the path of another. When we are in darkness, may you shine within us like the stars in Heaven. We will find our way home to you and leave sparkles of your Love along the path to light the way of others. In the name of Jesus Christ, your son and our Lord of Light and Love, we pray. Amen"
"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine." Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, August 6, 2012


"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19 (NIV ©1984)

"I know he wants me to follow Him but I have no idea what He wants me to do. I wait on Him to speak to me and, so far, He has said nothing." So goes the miracle-seeking Christian.

I’ve heard similar disappointments from good people who only want to walk in the footsteps of the Master. They believe that they must hear the voice of the Living Lord whisper His directions in their ear. A miracle must be boldly displayed. But, my friends, He has told you—not what to do, but how to do it. You were given these instructions for how to live, eight centuries before the birth of Christ.

In Micah 6:8, the prophet from the village of Moresheth in Judah said, "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8 (NIV © 1984)

We are to use the talents the Lord has given us, to spread His love wherever we live and work and make our home. There is not one journey or calling that is above others. If we seek to be "unique" or a great leader, we will miss the most vital piece, humility—our humble walk with our God.

It is a precious gift to wait upon the Lord, to live and walk each day—His precious and faithful followers as we love and work with His children. Be not concerned about where and when God chooses to work. There will be a season, a daily blessing, or a moment in time, the length does not matter, when we will have walked in the Way for such a moment as this—to say something or do something that will be just the God-touch someone needs. If we are truly blessed, we won’t even know when the Love of God has been passed to another. I say blessed, so that we do not stumble in our humble walk and think that it had been us who had touched and not the hand of God. Let us pray:

"Father of Love, we worship you with every beat of our heart. You are the air we breathe, the love we share, and the soul to which we are tethered. We ask only that we may serve you and walk humbly at your side. May your Spirit fill us and surround us so that we may live and move in you. Give us a humble heart, oh God, so that we may serve you in the Holy shadows. We ask no recognition for ourselves. We only want you to be lifted up, so only you are praised, only you receive glory. We pray this in the name of Jesus, your Son, our precious Redeemer. Amen:

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, July 30, 2012


We sang this beautiful song in church yesterday. Naturally, I had to know more about the hymn. The words are attributed to a man from Assam, in northeast India, who was converted to Christianity about one-hundred-sixty years ago by a Welsh missionary. When the village chief heard of the conversion, and demanded that he renounce his new faith, the new Christian said, "I have decided to follow Jesus." The chief ordered that the man’s wife be beheaded if he would not renounce the Christ. The one Christian who would stand up and be entered into the book of life, said, "Though no one joins me, still I will follow." After his wife’s execution, the executioner turned to the man. He went to his death while singing, "The cross before me, the world behind me." This display of faith is said to have led to the conversion of the chief and other villagers. The formation of these words into a hymn is attributed to the Indian missionary Sadhu Sundar Singh. The melody is also Indian. (wiki accessed 7/30/12)

How grounded in the faith are we? Would we be able to stand alone and say, "I have decided to follow Jesus?" Let this be the day we all make that decision. "As for me and my house, we choose to follow the way of the cross, the path of Jesus." Let us pray:

"Holy Father, my soul is buried in your own. Lift me above the world so that I may have the courage to follow you alone. Let today be the day when indecision is left behind. Today, I choose you—for I have decided to follow Jesus. In His precious name I pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

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Monday, July 23, 2012


"And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed." 1 Corinthians 15:49–52 (NIV © 1984)

I will not pretend to know the mind of God or to understand his "mystery." God has a plan for us that is more beautiful and abundant than anything we can possibly imagine. I do know that we will be changed in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye.

Neither will I try to diagnoses a murderer whom I have never met. What empty, blackness was at the bottom of his soul will be never known. I thank God for that. God does not let us know or understand the depth of evil to which some people sink. I want to never "understand" that depravity.

What I want to focus on, in the aftermath of the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, are the many testimonies of faith from the survivors. While they witnessed the death and injuries of those whose lives were changed in an instant of madness, their witness is their own response. They prayed to God; they helped others; and they were unafraid.

One man, who had attended the movie with his church group, said that he was not afraid because he believed in God and knew that God was with him. Several survivors spoke of their faith and how faith sustained them through the long minutes of death. In the twinkling of an eye, their lives were changed. Those who died where gone. Their loved ones will live the rest of their lives with an empty spot in the heart. Those who survived, will be part of a night of terror forever. Where there once was a safe world, bullets had blasted a hole in their sense of safety. My friends, the gaping wounds do not have to remain.

Nature will not permit a void to go unfilled. We either deliberately invite the love of God to enter us, or abdicate our right to decide the contents of our heart. The world will swoop in and insert earthly ideas and feelings, including the basic emotion of fear. In the twinkling of an eye, the contents of our hearts will be revealed to our Lord and our God. May we remember the joy we had before the massacre, and the love of those who were lost and those who were injured. At this very moment, make the choice to be filled with God and His love, and we will be forever changed, even before the last trumpet. Let us pray:

"Loving Father, you hold our hand through the valley of the shadow of death so that we may fear no evil. For this, we praise your holy name and the name of your son, our savior, Jesus Christ. We pray that your kingdom may come this moment, in the twinkling of an eye, that we may live with you as do the angels in heaven. Today, we choose love and not fear. Fill us to overflowing with all that is lovely and loving. For this great mystery and blessing, we give you all praise and honor. Forgive us when we have forgotten your promises. This day, we choose the spirit of remembering the love that created the whole world and worlds beyond. In the name of Jesus, our redeemer, we pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, July 16, 2012


"At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: ‘He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little." 2 Corinthian’s 8: 14-15 (NIV © 1984)For those of you who have been able to follow the progress of our little church on Facebook or Pinterest, you are aware that a wind blew the roof off the church and it was replaced in one and a half weeks. We held services yesterday in the basement while the ceiling of the sanctuary continues to dry and as we wait for the carpet to be replaced. There wasn’t one member who would have been able to accomplish such progress by themselves. We belong to a family of believers, and together, we had enough.

The same is true if we are suffering from a physical illness or limitation. Later this morning, I will consult with a specialist about my sore foot. I certainly would not be able to diagnose the problem by myself and I could not "fix" it if I did. But, I am not alone. There are friends and family who are praying for my physician as well as the restoration of health to my foot. I am not alone. I have enough.

I know that many of you are ill, in emotional strife, or in physical pain. You may be feeling all alone and frightened. Trust me. You are not alone. You have those who pray for you and our prayer today will be for you as well. We never go through adversity alone. The Lord God is with us and His Holy Spirit surrounds us and fills us with His presence. Regardless of this world’s pain, we have enough to walk the path that leads us home. Let us pray:

"Holy Father, God of Love, we bow to you as we stand in your presence. Your precious name is sweet enough to heal our troubled soul and our aching and ailing body. In your Holy Kingdom, there is no illness or pain and our soul is free to rise above the world and its sorrow. With you by our side in this mortal life, you can set us free to be with you, even as we linger and finish the work you have given us. We stand amazed by the meandering path you lead us on. When we think we can rest for a while, you urge us on and remind us, ‘I will not leave you alone.’ We walk this path filled with others, all seeking your light, all walking home, and we know, we are not alone. We have enough—and for this we give you thanks. Heal us and use us in whatever state of wholeness that is your will. In the dear name of Jesus, your son and our redeemer, we pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, July 9, 2012


"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8 (NIV © 1984)

Why does the house still look like a mess hours after you started cleaning it? Because, you’re not done yet. That’s how it is with our lives. God knows that your life may still be in shambles even after you have given your life over to Him. To others, you may still look stained and broken. To God, you are an image of His glory and grace. Even after your life has been scrubbed clean by the Holy blood of Jesus Christ, family and "friends" may still hang onto the old-you they had known before Jesus entered your life. Why? Because they had learned where they fit into your unhealthy relationship with them.

Some people only want relationships in which they are the strong one, the one-up position. Your friendship with them may be altered beyond their ability to adjust, if they have to accept you as their equal.

There are those who actually seek relationships in which they are the needy one, the one-down position. If they have seen you as weak like them, your growing confidence may chase them away. Or, as you get stronger, they may be become weaker and cling to you even more. While you are growing in strength, it may not be possible for you to carry your own weight plus the deadweight of someone who will not hold up their own side of the relationship.

Others are willing to have an equal, healthy relationship with you. Others are not. As you let God’s love strengthen and heal you, there may be some who cannot or will not adjust their relationship with you to form a new, equal one. They may be insecure and need to be one-up on everyone in order to feel superior, since they actually feel inferior deep within. They may even attempt to sabotage your growth in order to "keep you in your place." However, your place is beside God and no one can give you permission to walk that path with the Lord. That is a bond between you and God. Your earthy relationships will only go forward with those who will allow themselves to grow as they witness your own healing.

If the cobwebs of your life are still showing, wear them as prayer-lace to the glory of God. For, He loves you just the way you are, and too much to let you stay that way. Let us pray:

"Father of us all, the one-uppers, the one-downers, and those you seek equal relationships with others, we praise your Holy name. Precious are you and your son Jesus. We come into your holy presence and ask that you seek us in the dark corners of our souls and clean out all the dirt that hides there. We want not to be one-up on anyone and, because of you, we are one-down to no one. We seek to shake the hand of all those along our path and see them as equals made possible by the crown of glory you place on all who believe. Forgive us when we try to hold others down in order to lift us up. When we do that, we only reveal our fear to a world that feeds on the fear of others like nectar from black flowers. We are both the one who is in the process of change and the one who can lift others out of soul-pain and into your light. Let us walk with you in our new life and recognize those who would cause us to stumble along our way. May we love them completely so that their lives may change as well. In the name of Jesus our Lord I pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine." 
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Look us Transactional Analysis for other information on one-up, one-down and equal relationships.

Monday, July 2, 2012


“And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.”  Acts 2: 2 (English Standard Version 2001)

In this life, many things happen to us and our surroundings that are part of the world in which we live. My husband, Bill, was assigned as pastor of a new church, Washington Center, and yesterday was the first day. Friday evening, a raging storm took the roof off the church and blessings flowed from the throne of God, to the altar that had been crushed with debris.

People driving past the church on errands of their own, stopped and helped take pews, hymnals, a piano, electronics and as many other items as they could. Neighbors ran from their daily tasks to lend a hand and the pastor of a Church of Christ congregation to the north stopped and helped. Then, he called later and offered his church building for our Sunday services. The family of God is amazing! They reflect His love in all they do.

As the Earth howled and groaned and blew until it lifted the roof off its beamed rafters, the Love of God rode in on the wind and revealed Himself in the love of His people. What a might God we have! I do not believe that God causes devastation, but He is there in the tears and hopes of all who comfort the broken hearted. Let us pray:

“Father God, you set the world into motion, including your great wind that dries a flooded land and  sweeps in new dedication. You alone know the plans you have for your people. Glory be your name and the name of your Son of Love, Jesus. In the midst of the rubble, we rejoice that you are here with us. You comfort and guide us regardless of the world’s circumstances. You blow in and harness the pain and turn it into blessing upon blessing. Forgive us when we blame you for the bad things of our lives. Maybe we get angry with you because you are the only one who will carry our disappointment and sorrow, and love us even more. We ask for the insight to see every blessing you send us, so that we are aware that we are living in the Glory of your kingdom. In the name of Jesus, your precious son, we pray.  Amen”
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

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Monday, June 25, 2012


"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," so Charles Dickens (1812-1870) wrote in A Tale of Two Cities. That was last Saturday for my husband Bill and me. His cousin Paul’s funeral was in the morning and we drove the two hours to attend the service. While there, we also had the blessing of visiting with other sweet family members—so, the worst became the best.

As a singer, a real "best" was a song that was sung during the service. While the words of the pastor reminded us all of what Paul had meant to his family and his church, there was still a deep sadness over his leaving. As various family members pass on to Glory, the beautiful song of Bill’s extended family is slowly coming to an end. Yet, in the middle of sorrow, the minister of music sang a favorite song of Paul’s, a recent hymn I had missed. The words also reminded us of something else, the glorious promises of God.

". . . the prophet gave this promise, the Spirit will descend,
and from your inner being, a river with no end."

From David and Max Sapp’s beautiful hymn, There is a River (©2011).
God has sent his prophets, and even his only son, to tell his children of his deep and healing love. He promised us that he would be the headwater to the river that will flow through our soul and guarantee that we will never thirst again. Will you fear the water or dip your cup in? Will you dwell on the worst or embrace the best? Both are in front of us every day. We are left with the choice—the best of times, or the worst of times? Let us pray:

"Father God, you place us among your earthly children with a mission and a choice. We are called to be witnesses, to walk the path you have given us, and tell of your great love and work in our lives. We sometimes forget the mission. We make our own plans, as noble as they are, and then ask you to bless our small efforts. When, the miracle is the amazing mission you have planned for us, if we chose to accept your leading. Forgive us when we do not trust you. We claim we cannot take a step until you tell us what to do, when our mission is to walk blindly in the world and let you led the way. That is a life full of amazing miracles. Holy Father, we praise you for your river of holiness that flows from the fountainhead of your throne to the quenching waters in our heart. In the name of Jesus, your son and our redeemer, we pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, June 18, 2012


. . . "an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph Son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." Matthew 1: 20-21 (NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®)


Yesterday was the day to celebrate fathers but rather than honor them, some people stayed away from church, avoided family cookouts, and others found their own secret way to protest the presence or absence of their own father. I understand that some people had such an abusive father they cannot comprehend the love and grace of God, the Father. However, today, the day after Fathers Day, I hope you will begin to embrace the concept of "father" so that you can forgive the man who offended you and embrace the God who calls you unto Himself.

I am not a theologian. I am a psychologist and author. I only hope to present you with the possibility of once again loving your father, if not your earthly father, then certainly your Heavenly father—through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

In the Old Testament, God revealed Himself as the One True God Almighty, God the Creator, God the Law Giver and the Organizer of His People. The New Testament identifies God as Abba (Daddy)—the Lover of your soul, God the grace giver, God the Redeemer. If you did not have a daddy in your life, then perhaps you can begin to embrace God-the-Creator and Law-Giver from the Old Testament. If you cannot embrace love, turn to God the ever-present Guide through your life.

As you go through the Old Testament and learn about what God has done for those who love Him and walk in His ways, practice that faithful walk through the pages of Creation and Promise. Then, when you are ready, begin the New, unfolding of the Promise and come face to face with the Glory of Love the Redeemer, Jesus Christ, and embrace the God of Abba, Daddy, the Origin of your soul. Receive His grace and promise. Let us pray:

"Dear Lord and father of our Savior Jesus Christ, I bow before your full majesty. You are all I need, for you are the One revealed in the Old Covenant in which you gave your laws for a life of Holiness, and you are the God of the New Covenant, in which I am reconciled back to You. Holy is your Name and the name of your Son, Jesus. May I overcome my old disappointment with one of your flawed children, for we are all imperfect, and embrace you as my daddy. Forgive me for blaming you for what mere humans have done. Let my eyes be open to your Majesty and Holiness, and, where it is your will, let me pass that spark on to those around me. In the name of Jesus, your son and my redeemer, I pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp

Visit: for fun stories.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Today is Flag Day in the United States. Let this not be the beginning of The Age of Silence. To help us be aware of the effect of silence, I am offering a copy of my book, Length of Days - The Age of Silence, a novel that takes place in 2112, one-hundred years after we chose to be bullied into silence. For details, go to The drawing ends at 10 p.m. Sunday, June 17, 2012. The winner will be posted on this blog, the Length of Days blog and Facebook on Monday, June 18.