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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

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