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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, January 27, 2014


“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

“Red Alert” - the phone message announced on Saturday, around 1:00 p.m. That meant no one was permitted to be on the roads from that point, through 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. And, even after that, the Warning status was changed to Watch, which meant no driving, but we wouldn’t be arrested if we did.

Some may have said, “Ain’t it awful?” I prefer to focus on the promise behind the difficulty. Since most churches in the area had to be cancelled, we stayed home and watched Joel Osteen. His message was about believing the promises of God, even when the world doesn’t give us signs of His fulfillment. 

I thought about that this morning. With the books I have been writing, I am sure I am obeying the words He gives me. It doesn’t matter if only one person reads them or many. I have done my job. Just recently, Cokesbury has opened their on-line book store to my book, Escape from the Belfry. Only God can direct us when we have no idea where we are going. 

Then I thought of the promises He has given us over and over and how some of us dwell only on the downside of life. Wait. Be patient. Be obedient. Be faithful as He is faithful. There is an “after” that follows the hardship. What comes “after” is God’s promise.

There is heat in every snowflake. 
There is sunshine in every cloud. 
There is laughter in every tear. 
There is hope in every failure. 
There is love in every rejection. 

I know because: It’s not about you. The snow wasn’t sent to inconvenience you personally. The clouds are not above your head only. A rejection is usually more about what is happening in the rejecter’s life, not because of who and what you are. 

Look for the green leaves that will appear on the barren tree. See the goodness in those who mask sadness with anger. And, feel the promise of warmth in every snowflake. Let us pray:

“Holy father, you are faithful in everything, in every seed, in every promise. Let my faith increase to accept those promises. May this be the day when I say, “I believe you Abba.” Let me live each day, showing the world whose I am. In the name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord, I pray. Amen”
"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”Copyright 2014 Doris Gaines Rapp 

Escape from the Belfry is available at Cokesbury:, bookstore, and www.b& and others. 


Monday, January 20, 2014

AThree-Note Rapper

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100: 1-5 (KJV)

Yesterday, my Sunday morning wake-up call was the Christian radio station, playing a contemporary praise song. I love the wonderful choruses that bury the precious words in my heart. Still, I would encourage composers to create real melodies, rather than one-note rap songs. While Christian Rap has some great lyrics, there are no melodies that bore their way into the seat of the soul.

There is a neurological phenomenon called, The Mozart Effect. Research studies found that Mozart’s Sonata K.448, decreased epileptiform activity in those with epilepsy. It seems to bring into balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain. There may be debate on those findings but those who report improvement, testify to the effect.

Certain musical note progressions seem to have the power to settle the mind and lift the soul to God. Songs with only three or four notes, while the words may be a real blessing, are not attached to melodies that cause the heart to sing them over and over. Find a musical theme that represents you and your life. Let those be real melodies that allow your soul to soar.

I often wake up in the morning, still singing songs I must have been singing in my sleep. They usually stay with me all morning, and sometimes all day. Three-note wonders would not be able to do that, since there aren’t enough tones to form a theme. Find melodies that stir your soul and bury them in your heart. What is your theme song? Let us pray:

“Holy Father, your words are the very song of songs. May your kingdom come to my life so that I can hear the songs the angels sing as I go about my day. May today be the day I listen to the music all around me: the harmony in a mother’s lullaby, the sweet silent song of love between couples who have been married for many years, and the rhythm of a peaceful day. Most of the time, I am too busy complaining to hear the songs around me, and then I miss the song of songs. Forgive me for making noise instead of music. Attach my heart to themes that set my soul free to meet you in the music room of heaven. In the name of Jesus Christ, the one who set the whole world singing, I pray. Amen”
"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2014 Doris Gaines Rapp

Escape from the Belfry is available at Cokesbury:, bookstore, and www.b& and others.

Monday, January 13, 2014


Doesn’t 2014 just sound good? Words mean a lot to me, and in this case, the words that represent numbers, and 2014 has a nice ring to it. But, do not forget, any word or number or year sounds good if you believe it does.

Many of us waste a lot of time fretting over things of which we have no control. Then, we blindly do not do the very things that would propel us forward. So, we remain stagnant and stuck where we are. Why? Because that’s what we believed.

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”  John 3: 19-21 (NIV)

Those who remain in negative thinking are not engaged in evil thinking. That is old world thinking. But, they may believe the lies of pessimistic thinking. They may have been trapped in pessimism for so many years that it is actually where they feel at home. The darkness has become a place to hide when real-world events are overwhelming. The problem is, there are no solutions there in the dark. Just more darkness.

One has to be brave to step into the light. Especially since it is so unfamiliar there. We can rest in the knowledge that Christ not only abides in the light, and is the source of light, he reaches into our darkness to lift us out - if we believe.

The year 2014 can be the best year we have ever had, if we believe it will be. It can also be the worst, if we believe it will. Some of our bravest people are afraid to live in the light. They’re afraid they will be disappointed. Their fear, makes them weak, so they hide in the familiar shadows of the darkness. It is our prayer that they, and we, can love the light enough to conquer our fear and step into the brilliance of its blaze. Love the source of light and let him guide you or meet you there. Let us pray:

“Holy Father, creator of Light and Love and Hope, we bow before your holy name. May 2014 be the year that you return, either to the world as we understand your message, or in the manner of your choosing. For 2014 we choose to live in your Light. Take away our habit of hiding in the shadows or even in total darkness. Life does not dwell there. Give us courage to stand in the light, and the compassion to lift others into the sun. In the name of Jesus Christ, your son and our savior we pray. Amen”
"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2014 Doris Gaines Rapp

Escape from the Belfry is available at Cokesbury:, bookstore, and www.b& and others.


Monday, January 6, 2014


“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”  (Matthew 6:26 - NIV)

The snow is about twelve inches deep here at our house. We are safe and warm inside. I remember the great ice storm that hit our area about five years ago. Transformers burst all over town and downed power lines left us without heat, or TV reception to monitor the progress of the storm. Yet, we survived. Our grandson and his little family, who lived in our basement at that time, went to spend the day at the baby’s Grandma’s house. We went to the library and then to our daughter and son-in-law’s house for a warm dinner. Like the birds of the air, the Lord God found ways to provide food, warmth and shelter for Bill and me. Even Mother Goose had it right.

“The North wind doth blow and we shall have snow,
And what will poor robin do then, poor thing?
He'll sit in a barn and keep himself warm
and hide his head under his wing, poor thing.”  (Mother Goose)

We are not promised gold or riches beyond our greatest wishes and dreams. But, we are promised food, shelter and rest for our souls.

Think of the robin. He is not promised a three-story bird house, with hot and cold running water, hardwood floors and a marble birdbath. Mother Goose wisely taught that he is given shelter from the storm and food that the Father in heaven provides.

Stay warm, my friends. Know that the Lord knows your state and will provide your needs. Let us pray:

“Father God, your holiness fills my icy day and makes me feel your warmth. May I realize your kingdom here in my safe, ice-covered shelter, or celebrate your presence if I have sought refuge from the storm away from home. May this be the day when I find you in every tiny corner of my life, guiding me to the work you have for me, and leading me to embrace those who need your touch. May I finally realize that my life is not about me; it’s about you, and how I bear witness to your work in the world by testifying to your blessings in my life. May I finally realize that a true mega-lottery win, is discovering your dear face in everyone I meet. In the name of Jesus Christ, your son and my savior, I pray. Amen
"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2014 Doris Gaines Rapp

Escape from the Belfry is available at Cokesbury:, bookstore, and www.b& and others.