Now Available

Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Sunday, June 2, 2013


"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)

Last Sunday, a call for prayer requests was responded with one word - Oklahoma. A great, five megabuster tornado had just blown through Moore, OK just days before. One word - Oklahoma - was all that was necessary to bring to heart some who had died, those who were injured and the homes that were destroyed. Now, just days ago, Oklahoma was hit again by a boiling black funnel that killed more and leveled much. "Oklahoma" is all we need to say for God to get the full picture of the needs there.

That Sunday, our daughter Amanda and her two little girls were in church with me and heard the call for prayers for that big word, Oklahoma. In order to participate in the service, our two-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter, Shyloe, piped up with a request that included a big word like Oklahoma. She called out, "onomatopoeia," a word her mommy had taught her, which is the formation or use of words such as buzz or murmur that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to. But, you will have to admit, it did sound a little like "Oklahoma" - even longer and just as mysterious to a two-and-a half year old. But, the ground work is being laid for participation in church, concern for others, the love of words, and acceptance by adults. The point is, expose children to life and they will grow up knowing that faith and culture are a natural part of their world, not something strange or out of their reach.

We were in Houston, Texas several years ago when my cousin’s sons, the Clayton Brothers, had a showing of their art at a local gallery. We took our three teenage grandchildren from that part of the country to see the exhibit. One, because it was close and a good opportunity to see the brothers’ work first hand and not just in small examples on the net, and two, because I wanted the kids to see, "This is who our family is and this is what they are capable of doing." Burying successful expectation in a child or teen’s heart is a way of opening the door to their own positive achievements. They have already stepped through. They can make the journey again any time they choose to do so.

All of this to say, expose children to your faith and your values in strong, accepting and personal ways and they will be more likely to seek those same truths when they are grown. "Train up a child . . ." They don’t have to be only your children. Whether they are in our own family, church children or neighbors, let the message they hear be a song of love for whom they are, and love and acceptance for whomever they will become. Let us pray:

"Father, holy is your name and precious are the spirits of the young ones around us. They are just a few steps away from sitting at your feet and playing in your heavenly meadows when we encounter them. We pray for insight into the needs of the young ones around us so that we may encourage them in the lives that stretch out before them. Forgive us when we have walked by and not acknowledged one of your children, or have found their needs trivial. There is nothing more important than for a community of believers to influence a child’s life. Only the arrogant find them unworthy of their attention. May I never say anything that would bruise the spirit of a child. May I only be a part of their positive spirit of faith. Let me always walk with you and hold the hand of another, whether large or small, as we walk on our way toward home. In the name of Jesus, my savior, 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)

If you are in the Houston, Texas area on Wednesday, June 5 at 7 pm, I will be signing, Escape from the Belfry - a young adult novel full of adventure, at Barnes and Noble at Westheimer Crossing. If you want a signed copy and cannot be there, call the store during the signing hour and order one - 713.783.1220
Check for book signings in your area.

No comments:

Post a Comment