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Monday, November 25, 2013

In All Things Be Thankful

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

"But it’s not big enough, flashy enough, or located in the perfect spot." It seems to me, we are not thankful in all things, because our appreciation changes with our socks.

I know that the economy is not where we would like it to be. But, try comparing our financial lot with the simple living of the Pilgrims, the hardships of the pioneers, or the devastating diseases of the early settlers. How arrogant are we? Are we owed riches and a mansion on the hilltop?

If we want a life of happiness and joy, then we must life as if we were filled with joy and Thanksgiving. If nothing is enough for us, then nothing will ever be enough for us. Happiness is an attitude of the heart, not a measure of what we have.

Give thanks to the Lord God for his son and know that we live in him when we choose to rest our "enough" in his hands. Sometimes we pray, "Thank you for all you have done for me Lord . . . but what have you done for me today?" Or, "I know you died for my sins Jesus . . . but what miracle will you perform for me today?"

Praise the Lord in ALL things, for it is His will for our lives. There is nothing more joyous than living within the will of God. Let us pray:

"Holy Father, love divine, I yield my desires to the will you have for me. I thank you for all you have given me for it is enough for today. You have stood with me when I have cried out to you and you wrapped me in your peace. Praise the Lord for your love. Because I want to place an order for the little miracles I dream up, I do not recognize all your many blessings that come my way, for they are in your will not mine. I could never imagine all the plans you have for me. I thank you Lord with outstretched arms, eager to embrace your love. In the name of, and by the power of, Jesus Christ, your Son, 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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Monday, November 18, 2013

The Night the Wind Blew

"And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock." Matthew 7:25 (KJV)

"Tornado warning!" I called to Bill who was relaxing at his tinkering bench in the garage.

As you know, a "Tornado watch" is posted when the weather conditions are right for the possibility of a tornado. A "Tornado warning" means a twister has been spotted in the area.

So . . . we spent another Indiana late afternoon in the basement. Thank the Lord for the "garden level."

We have been through the Palm Sunday tornado in Elkhart County Indiana; we saw the Eaton, Ohio tornado from our back yard in Germantown, Ohio; and, on May 30, 2012 a small tornado took the roof completely off our little country church in Whitley County Indiana (Washington Center UMC). We respect the wind.

When we got up this morning, we found many broken and downed limbs from our weeping willow tree all over our back yard. A tragedy or a blessing? Those branches were overdue for trimming. The wind did it for us.

Are we assured that nothing bad will ever happen to us? Of course not. But, our soul is claimed and owned by the creator of the wind . . . and we are safe upon the rock on which our soul is grounded. The wind will blow and the house may be damaged; the body may become injured or ill, but that which belongs to the Lord will be safe in His mighty hands. Let us pray:

"Father God, creator of the pruning wind, I praise your holy name. When you have trimmed me and shaped me and re-created me, then you can use me, for I know I will ‘fall not.’ I thank you for never giving up on me. For this day after the wind, I ask that I may be used by you a little more than the day before, but I realize not as much as later. Only you know the time when your creation in me has knocked off enough raw edges and sufficient dead wood that I will not scrape splinters on others. Forgive me when I race ahead of you, so eager to serve that I don’t do the warm-up necessary or yield to your pruning sheers long enough to be of service. I pray that you will use me, in spite of myself, in ways of your choosing, that you, and only you may be glorified. In the name of your son, my savior Jesus Christ I pray. Amen"


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

Join me: Book signing at the Bookmark Book Store on Anthony in Fort Wayne, Indiana next Saturday, November 23, 2013 from 11:00 to 2:00 p.m. Then - we’ll celebrate Bill’s birthday!


Monday, November 11, 2013


"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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." Ephesians 6:10-12 (NIV)

"The night sky is clear and every glorious star is visible. But, James Rapp is not sitting on his front porch in the crisp evening air. And, the air quality is not as pure as it is in Indiana or even the space above the distant mountains. Military personnel are burning the base’s crap with diesel fuel and the air hangs heavy with black soot, smoke and burning waste. At 5:30pm on August 31, 2012 it is 106 degrees in his tent with the A/C open wide and the fan at full speed. James is far from home, embedded with the Marine’s in Afghanistan. It is hot as hell and nasty flies circle around his sweaty skin. The showers have been shut off and he has only a few bottles of water and packages of baby wipes sent from home to clean the sand and dust from his body." (From Holding on the Sand)

We at home have no idea of the sacrifices our military family endures in far away places. We can read the words, but have no experience in our own lives to compare it to. On this Veteran’s Day, we thank all who have served in our place and for our sake in distant lands.

There is also a different kind of warrior, one who must stand up against the evil that is around us. On this Veteran’s Day, have the courage to speak out against injustice; speak truth to lies; stand up for the broken, weak and those in need of a friend. That is so small a sacrifice. Care not what others may call you. Only speak love so that the voice you hear is the One who calls you Home. Let us pray:

"Father, God, Dear Hound of Heaven, I slow in my fleeing pace to let you catch my soul. You are the only one whose opinion of me I cherish. Fill me with your love and strength that I may speak out for those who need a voice, and stand up for those whose message has been trampled on. May I be a warrior in your army of saints who stand for you and yours. Forgive me when I have held my tongue for fear of my own reputation. Some will have no voice if I do not speak for them. Give me your grace and love that I may pass them on, in full measure, to those around me. In the name of Jesus, your son and the Captain of my soul, I pray. Amen"

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

Monday, November 4, 2013

Give Thanks in all Things

. . . "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

Wow! You found ten dollars in an old jacket pocket?! Fantastic! But then, it’s easy to give thanks for the positive things and for the lovely people who form your friendships. You have to take a little time to search for the blessings in the pile of junk that is sometimes dumped in your path and the miserable grumps who cluster about.

The blessing for which I give thanks is for my laryngitis! Yes, the close-your-mouth-there’s-nothing-coming-out kind of laryngitis. Why have I chosen to be thankful?

I am participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in which the 268,003 novelists (so far) from around the world have accepted the challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November! Where’s the blessing in that? Since I have laryngitis: I don’t have to answer the phone; I don’t have to engage in never-ending discussions; the house is really quiet - which is very conducive for writing! So - you can easily see my blessing in the laryngitis.

What are you calling an obstacle which could be re-labeled a blessing? Find the good in your negative circumstances and dwell on that. God can bring a blessing out of anything if you choose to look at it through God’s plan for you when you are in Christ! Let us pray:

"Holy Father, Love of the world, we bow before your holy name. May your kingdom and your plan for my life fall on me this day like a new baptism. May this be the day I learn to turn challenges and regret into joys. May I learn from my mistakes, find empathy in my grief, and motivation in my disappointments. Forgive me when I hang my head and mope when my plans have been thwarted. May your plans be my plans and my circumstances be your circumstances that I may find the joy of living in you and for you. In the precious and powerful name of your son, Jesus my redeemer, I pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2013 Doris Gaines Rapp
See you at the Allen County 2013 Author Fair - Saturday, November 9 from noon to 4:00 pm!
Go to for book signing events.