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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, July 29, 2013


"Count yourself blessed every time someone cuts you down or throws you out, every time someone smears or blackens your name to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and that . . . person is uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—skip like a lamb, if you like!—for even though they don’t like it, I do . . . and all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company; my preachers and witnesses have always been treated like this." Luke 6: 22-23 (The Message)

Some might say, "Will you make these points in the meeting? You are so much better at persuasion than I am."

Some people don’t trust their own ideas or speak up for themselves. They are afraid because someone else has not validated them first. Friends, if God has given you a truth, you need no other validation, for the Lord has trusted you to carry the message—the program idea, the creative work, the invention or the manuscript—to the world around you. You need no other permission or support.

I am writing a small book, Promote Yourself, to speak to that very issue. If you know whose you are and that even the small tasks he gives you are mighty blessings in His sight, then promoting yourself and the ideas He has given you is part of the responsibility that accompanies the blessing.

"But, how do I know that the new concepts I think of come from God? What if I sell only five widgets?" If quantity is how you measure your worth, then five sales could represent a business failure. If obedience to God is your goal, then connecting five people with your invention could be the very mission He has called you to. If you know whose you are, the world’s concept of success has no validity in your life.

There is a story of an evangelist who held tent services every evening for a week. Only a handful of people occupied the wooden, stencil-backed chairs each evening. By the arrogant standards of today, the faithful servant of God was a failure. On the last evening, a very young man who had attended every service shook his hand in appreciation for the inspiration the evangelist had been to him. "Thank you pastor. My name is Billy Graham." Was the pastor a failure? He inspired the man who led thousands to the Lord God. Let us pray:

"Father God, who lives in the Holy Kingdom you have established in my heart, I bow before your sacred name. May your indwelling kingdom within me, find room for whomever I am in contact with. May I never keep count or judge those who may live in my circle of love. You keep their names in the Book of Life, releasing me from that detail. For this day, reveal your face before me so clearly that I see you when I present your ideas, when I persuade another about the art, writing or invention you have given me. If I am presenting these ideas to you as a gift, it matters not how many others accept it. Forgive me when I have been afraid to stand behind the blessings you have given me. In so doing, I am showing that I am ashamed of you. Let your love shine through me, that each blessing you give me may be a greater blessing to others. In the name of your son Jesus Christ, your son and our redeemer, I pray. Amen"

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

Saturday Sept 14, 2013 1pm - Book Signing at Barnes & Noble, Ann Arbor, MI
TBA- Book Signing at Barnes & Noble, Valporaiso, Indiana.

Monday, July 22, 2013


"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, . . ." Philippians 2:3 (NIV©2011)

What a wonderful time we had! I had chosen a white top with a white lace under-piece for the July weather to wear at my book signing at Barnes and Noble in The Shoppes at Beavercreek in Ohio last Saturday. I thought I looked both professional and unpretentious. It would be a great day!

My husband and I arrived early so we could check out the setting and have a bite to eat. The event was to start at 1:00 p.m. and we hadn’t eaten since 8:00 a.m. I ordered a banana muffin and a small cafĂ© mocha. Of course the coffee drink was really hot so I removed the lit to let it breathe. When I was ready to test the temperature, I replaced the lid, tipped it up and poured it right down the collar of that nice white outfit! Ah yes, that vain conceit part of our verse above came to warm me with chocolate. It seems I am invariably reduced to a level low enough for conceit to sneak in when I over-plan. I went into the restroom and doused my shirt front with cold water and down my neckline. The Lord was good to this silly woman and not much showed.

The story doesn’t stop there, however. It is the second part of the Philippians verse that had the most meaning for me—"value others above yourself." What a wonderful visit we had with family and friends who showed up for the signing! People are the true treasure. When loved ones lift up and value what you do, that is a blessing the Lord would understand.

When we lift up and value the people and work God places in our extended territory, we honor him. How could he not bless the experiences he gives us? Blessed be the name of the Lord. Let us pray:

"Father God, how very precious is your name and the names of those we love, for we know you love them more. Heaven will be full of all these saints yet we are privileged to be among them here on earth. For today, we ask that you richly bless our family members whose names you already know, and the friends that join us in your world. We also ask for the grace to love others into fellowship with you, for each soul is a part of your own heart. Forgive us when we turn away from one of your children. We may be the only believer they know, so our cause is sacred. Thank you for making yourself real to us. Let the light of your eyes shine through us that we may touch others for your sake. In the name of Jesus, your son and our savior, we pray. Amen"


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

Saturday Sept 14, 2013 1pm - Book Signing at Barnes & Noble, Ann Arbor, MI

Monday, July 15, 2013


"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4:8 (NIV © 2011)

It’s July 15. I think of this date as the half way point for summer. In past years, I have been saddened by how much of the summer I have missed. I see how busy I am and wonder why I haven’t sat out on the deck or taken more walks. I realize, I would then wonder why I hadn’t written more pages or met more wonderful people in bookstores if I had been out on the hot deck swatting flies. The summer may be half gone, but there is still half of the summer left.

We spend far too much time grieving over if only, instead of embracing what if. What if I finished Length of Days - Beyond the Valley a little later than planned and took three of our grandchildren to Chicago to visit their cousin; or have a tea party for the little grandchildren out on that deck, when the sun is low, and enjoy all the chatter and fun; or get that letter out to the friend in a nursing home and imagine a moment of joy in her life? Sure, then this summer would have been gone for good, but I would have chosen to think about what is true and lovely in the world (and do the same), rather than sit alone complaining that life is flying by too fast. A life of love will soar past, like angel wings that have taken to the sky. Live all of your life . . . not just the few moments you’re willing to give to it. Let us pray:

"Heavenly Father, Abba/Papa to our Lord and Savior Jesus, we bow before your precious name. May your kingdom of love and peace come into our lives this very moment, so that we may live in the what if of life rather than the if only. For this day, open our eyes that we may see your hand in all we do. Your miracles are all around us but we dwell on the rocks of the ground and the steps we take, rather than the beauty of the surroundings you choose to place us in. We think on the woe is me of life rather than the great are you. For this we are sorry and choose to dwell on the past no more. We know that you will give us the strength and vision to see your path, through the eyes of our Master, Jesus, your son and our redeemer. Amen"

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

Saturday July 20, 2013 1pm - Book Signing at Barnes & Noble, The Shoppes of Beavercreek, Beavercreek, OH

Monday, July 8, 2013


"Be ready and keep ready, you and all your hosts that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them . . ." Ezekiel 38:7 (English Standard Version © 2001)

It doesn’t matter if we are talking about the military, planning a vacation, setting goals for life, or participating in the Boy Scouts, the motto is Be Prepared. This morning I took my husband, Bill, to the Emergency Room in severe pain. On a scale of 0-10, he reported 9. This from a man who once sewed his own finger back on when he nearly completely severed it with a hedge trimmer. We he needs help, he’s nearly past benefitting from the help offered. Luckily, he had a kidney stone, not a deadly illness. Not so lucky, was in acute pain and still is as I write this. But, he is home and were I can keep my eye on him.

What I learned was how ill-prepared I was. I had no phone numbers in my cell phone for members of the church he has been serving for a year. I had to call information. I had no way of reaching our oldest daughter who had left of vacation this morning. They had their cell phones off. I was able to reach our daughter in Texas and one here in Huntington and messaged our son on FB in Afghanistan. The point is, bad things happen to other people - not to us - or so I thought.

We have our spiritual heart prepared for a daily commune with the Lord, but we do not prepare our physical heart nor our relationship heart. There’s always time to put a few phone numbers in the cell phone to make sure we an contact people when illness strikes. There is always time to eat and exercise properly before the heart attack happens - that’s later, not now.

We are neither thoughtful nor prayerful when we aren’t prepare-ful. Imagine a few scenarios and see if you have a plan in place - something as simple of putting a few contacts in your cell phone. Asking friends and family to pray for a loved one, is not possible if you don’t have access to phone numbers. Be prepared for Life as will as Heaven. Let us pray:

"Holy Father, we bow before your sweet presence. We admit that we have prepared for life in Heaven and life in the Kingdom of God, be we are ill prepared for Life in your world here on earth. We cannot draw others to you if we can’t find their phone number. We ask that you give us a heart for living this life you have given us as well as preparing our soul to dwell with you. May each day be a joy because we are prepared to live it and prepared to share it with you. In the name of Jesus Christ, your son and our redeemer we pray. Amen"


"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2013 Doris Gaines Rapp
Friday July 12, 2013 7pm - Author Discussion & Book signing, Barnes & Noble Mishawaka, IN

Saturday July 13, 2013 2pm - Book Signing at Barnes & Noble, Jefferson Point, Ft Wayne, IN

Saturday July 20, 2013 1pm - Book Signing at Barnes & Noble, The Shoppes of Beavercreek, Beavercreek, OH



Monday, July 1, 2013


"But you are holy, O you that inhabit the praises of Israel." Psalm 22:3 [King James 2000 Bible (©2003)]

I have heard unhappy people rehearse these complaints over and over. You can think of others:

"When I win the lottery, then I will be happy!"

"When I retire, I’ll finally be happy."

"If my spouse would change, then I’ll be happy!"

My friends, you can’t find happiness, because it was never lost. It lives in the joy of each moment. Happiness is not in when or if. Happiness can never be a goal. It can never be captured, won, or conquered. You already have joy, but you let others and future events, real or imaginary, define you.

You cannot change anyone else: your spouse, your child, your family, your boss. You can only change yourself. Other people’s behavior does not have to dictate your happiness or change your beliefs about yourself. Joy is found within each one of your thoughts, each praise to God.

The Bible tells us, God lives in (inhabits) our praises. When we choose joy in all we do; when we praise God in our daily activities, we find joy. Rehearse a favorite Scripture verse or sing a beloved hymn or chorus . . . and dwell on that. Since happiness can never be a goal, the place to find the joy and peace of the Lord is in our praises of Him. Let us pray:

"Oh loving Father, you inhabit the praises of Israel, and by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the praises of Christians as well, I bow before your glorious presence. I am filled with awe that you actually live in the praises I offer you. Holy, holy, holy is your name and the love and grace you offer every moment of every day. My happiness lives in you as you live in my words of praise. Forgive me when I let the world tell me if I am happy or when I let acquiring the things of the world define my happiness. I know that is completely impossible, so now I admit to my fantasy-living. I welcome the realness of you in my life, every moment of every day. Happiness rides in on the melodies of the praise songs I sing to you. In the name of Jesus, your son and my savior, I pray. Amen"


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