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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, April 29, 2013


"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." Ephesians 4:2 (© 2011 N.V.)

One of the reasons we become frustrated is because we’re not patient. I guess I should have written that in the first person, because I get frustrated any time my plans get derailed. Then, I become more frustrated because I’m frustrated. I want to experience God’s patient.

I called an agency to ask several questions that were pieces to another puzzle, or activity, I had planned. No one was available but someone will return to call in next two to three hours. Now what?

For me, I get stuck, unable to adequately address another issue until I have the previous set of answers. And, around I go.

Friends, I am learning to give it all up to God, not just the big things of life, the major life changing decisions, but, all of the little pieces of sharp colored glass that make up the entire mosaic.

We are not creating a tiny stained glass window to fit inside our small four by five frame. We are part of the greater masterpiece of God that stretches all around the world. We may never see the completed artistry in colored fragments. We are only responsible for the window into the heart of God that is in front of us. Be patient. It is the Lord God’s spectacular mosaic, not ours. It will be wonderfully visible from heaven and spread across the entire firmament. Let us pray:

"Heavenly Father, great creator of everything, we bow before your holiness. May your kingdom of love and patience come swiftly. May I dwell in your kingdom here on earth, just as I will live with you in heaven. I give you all my frustrations, fear, and impatience. You are the one great Lord who can still my anxieties, fears, and self-centered longing to have things my way and in my time. You are the keeper and lover of my soul and it is you who directs my paths. May it always be so and may I always recognize your hand as you try to guide me. Forgive me when I have been headstrong and accept my will as your own. In the name of Jesus Christ, your son and my redeemer I pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."  Copyright 2013 Doris Gaines Rapp

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For children and teens, go to: And . . . (copy and paste to address line if needed)

Monday, April 22, 2013


"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

1 Corinthians 13: 1-13
(NIV © 2011)

We are people of the cross. We are people of love. Love will never understand hate, for those who love have matured in Christ and have turned their backs on hate. Love will never understand self-aggrandizement or anger, for those who love have put away self-centeredness and childish temper tantrums. Love protects and does not destroy. We are Father-God’s children and followers of the way that leads to Him through the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Now, Love will always win.
Does our love mean that bad things will never happen? No. Look at Boston and West, Texas. We live in the world of man. But, our hearts and souls reside in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Woe to him who chooses hate, because they will live in a world of hate and pain. Woe to him who chooses impatience, because they will live in a world of anxiety and anger. Woe to him who chooses greed and plenty, for they will never have enough.

For Easter people, the people of the Cross, the choice is clear. We claim Jesus. We choose Love— and we will abide in Love in all we do. Praise the Lord God almighty! Let us pray:

"Holy Father, your name is precious beyond words, beyond worlds. Some may pray to a god, but Jesus gave us the power to prayer to Abba, Father God. Papa God, you comfort the weary and broken, you bind up the injured in body and heart, you forgive our sins—you give us grace and redemption—you fill us with your Love and Peace. Forgive us when we have been called but have turned our eyes to the ways of the world. We were childish and we were afraid we might lose ourselves in you. Today, I stand up and ask that you take my whole life and use it for your purposes, whatever that may be. I no longer want to be only your child. I choose to be your dependable servant, a follower of the Way, a vessel of your Holy Spirit, a disciple of your Son and my Lord, Jesus the Christ. In his powerful and unfailing name I pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2013 Doris Gaines Rapp
For children and teens, go to:
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Monday, April 15, 2013

Are You Caesar’s or God’s?

"Then Jesus said to them, ‘Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.’ And they were amazed at him." Mark 12:17 (NIV © 2011)

For those of you who are unaware, today is tax day here in the United States. What I love about it is, it’s a wonderful opportunity to identify and claim whose I am. Do I belong to the world or to God?

We spend a lot of time in the world of work, commerce and acquiring-stuff. We may believe our paycheck is a symbol of how successful we are. "I have more stuff than you do," seems to be a common measure of acceptability. Friends, the only things of true value are those we acquire for God. We are Easter people - People of the Cross.

There is no pecking order in the Kingdom of God. When you have invited the Holy Spirit into your heart and walk in the path of Jesus Christ, you have royal blood flowing through your veins. The king of all is Abba - our Daddy/Father. There is no "upper class," "middle class," and certainly no "lower class" in heaven. Do you belong to the world (to Caesar) or to God? How could anyone choose to walk the lonely life of "not-enough" here on earth, rather than the walk of holiness and endless abundance with the indwelling Lord? Today, give your heart, soul and service back to God. Your rebate in love and peace is greater than anything the world has to offer. Let us pray:

"Holy Father, lover of my soul, I give my life back to you. I pray that my success is measure in your love and peace. What is due to "Caesar" today, is only money. What is due to you, is my eternal life. Holy are you and precious is your sacred name. May I share the story of your love with everyone along my way that they see you and not me. Only you are worthy of praise. Forgive me when I have been frivolous with the sacred breath of life you have given me. You have breathed your spirit into me and I am not to hoard it. I am to pass it on. May I do that graciously, in the name of Jesus Christ your son and my Savior. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."  Copyright 2013 Doris Gaines Rapp

For children and teens, go to: http://www.directbuybooks.com And . . . (copy and paste to address line if needed)

Monday, April 8, 2013

We Are Easter People - The People of the Cross

"The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me." Matthew 26:11 (NIV©2011)

"The right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." (U.S. Declaration of Independence)

We, who believe in a risen and living Lord and have accepted his sacrifice as a means of grace and salvation, are all Easter people. Does that make us different? Of Course! Does that make us better, more loved, more deserving of God’s love? Of Course Not! The minute we feel more deserving, we are no longer Easter People. We are captivated by the world’s need for "specialness," "recognition" and "power."

Those who have leadership gifts are NOT to use those gifts to control others or make their decisions for them. We are called to teach leadership to others until we are no longer the only leader. Those who have, through earnings, inheritance, or happenstance, an abundance of money, are not to therefore acquire an abundance of things. We are to share those resources with those in need so that they are lifted up to more successful heights. We are not to help them depend on us forever. That stifles the creative spirit. The Bible tells us, the poor will always be with us . . . but they do not have to be the SAME poor. Life happens and circumstances change. We are to quietly, in secret if possible, inspire others to become their better self. We can do that through mentoring, personal assistance, the collective generosity of the church, as well as carefully chosen causes.

Think of Oskar Schendler, who started out as a self-centered hedonistic, self-serving business man—who became one who grieved that he had not given up everything he owned to save another child, another soul, during the Holocaust of WWII.

With "much" comes much responsibility. Power requires much humility. With control comes shared responsibility. God loves us all, in exactly the same measure, because his love is not calculated in "things." It is experienced in an ever-present presence, which makes it impossible to see ourselves above anyone else. We are Easter People. Let us live like the People of the Cross that we are. Let us pray:

"Holy Father of my Lord Jesus who died to save me from death, I humbly bow before you and claim your precious presence. Light of the world, breath of life, creator of all that has been and will be created, I acknowledge that I am nothing without you. Enter into my life each time I inhale your fragrance and abide with me there. Forgive me when I have made lofty plans and have asked you to support them. I long to hear your sweet voice tell me where you need me to go, what you need me to say, and what you need for me to do. May I be a true disciple, a true follower of you through the example of Jesus, the Christ. May I live my life in such a way that I have enough, and can share enough to make a difference, as one of your Easter People—the People of the Cross. In the holy name of your son, Jesus, the Christ of the world, I pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."Copyright 2013 Doris Gaines Rapp  

For children and teens, go to: And . . . (copy and paste to address line if needed)

Monday, April 1, 2013

He is Risen and He Lives in Me!

"On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.’" John 20: 19-23 (NIV © 2011).

After Jesus’ resurrection, rather than joy, the disciples feared for their lives. They had witnessed the fate of their Lord, Jesus. They knew the consequences of following him.

The day after Easter, we experience joy! Why? Because we know the rest of the story. That doesn’t mean we know that the disciples had an easy life because God was on their side. As the Spirit of the Lord filled them, their walk overflowed with joy because they walked with God through whatever circumstances came their way.

As Christians, we are not promised a life of wealth and ease. We are promised the light of heaven, the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the power of Jesus Christ to make a difference in the world, regardless of how little we have in money, talent, or power. We have the wealth of love and forgiveness to share, the talents God deems worthy of use (not the world’s critical scrutiny), and the power of the living God through the name of his precious son, our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus, the Christ. Who says we don’t have enough? Is everything sufficient to bring us joy? Let us pray:

"Father God, now we see a glimpse of the plan you have for us - the part we play. We may not see the path clearly, or know well rehearsed words, or have money to help the needy all around us, but we have more than all of that. We have the power of the Holy Spirit to fill us, unaware of the outcome or the way or the time. We do not need to know your plan, we just need to be willing to follow, not lead. Forgive us when we have refused the chalice of service, or have taken it up only to give it back. On this beautiful day as we remember the resurrection of our Lord, we offer you our willing hearts to become the voice, the hands, the heart, the love, and the money we have to share, to be a blessing to someone on your behalf. In the name of, and by the power of the resurrected, living Lord Jesus, we pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2013 Doris Gaines Rapp

For children and teens, go to: And . . . (copy and paste to address line if needed)