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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, May 26, 2014

Whom Do You Memorialize?

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

In God’s world, there is a time for everything, even a time for war and a time for peace. With every war, there are casualties. Some would choose to ignore those whom we have lost and those who have been injured. Memorial Day, just one day out of the whole year, we are given the blessed and scared task of remembering our fallen heroes.

This morning, the television news said, Halloween and Valentines Day are recognized far more than Memorial Day. We must never forget our heros. The injured and maimed live with their disabilities every day of their lives. The widows and widowers, and children of those lost, spend their lives with an empty chair at the Thanksgiving table, a vacant spot beside the Christmas tree, a missing place in the bleachers when a new record is set, and a lost song of birthday joy when another year is celebrated. Can we not remember the fallen for a few hours on a beautiful day when we can see the blue sky and walk the trails near our home with straight and strong legs?

Let us remember . . . as we pray.

"Father God, you have given us a land of great rivers, mountains and resources. You whispered in the ear of our forefathers, and designed a government fit for a free people. But, we have chosen to live as slaves, in exchange for being taken care of. Give us eyes to see those around us who need our help, until they can help themselves, and find creative ways to help those who cannot. Let us not forget. We have so much, Father. Touch our hearts and motivate us to live with less, so that others may live with more than they have, until they can live much and share all they can. Let us hold in memory all those who have done so much for us. There will always be those in need. May "need" never equal helplessness or hopelessness. May we help others into hopefulness and the ability to live freely . . . within their capacity to be independent. Fill us with your love and the ability to live extravagantly generous lives. In the name of Jesus, your son, we pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."Copyright 2014 Doris Gaines Rapp

I will be signing Smoke from Distant Fires at Barnes and Noble, Sarasota, FL, June 21 1-3 pm

http://dorisgainesrapp.blogspot.comSmoke from Distant Fires and Length of Days - The Age of Silence are available at,, or order from a bookstore


Facebook: Doris Gaines Rapp - Author Page

Monday, May 19, 2014

God Calling

"I will listen to what God the LORD says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants-- but let them not turn to folly." Psalm 85:8

Ding, ding, ding. Yesterday, while I rooted in my purse with the car door open, the familiar warning, "The door’s open. The door’s open. The door’s open . . . ding, ding, ding . . ." served to annoy. I got in the car, closed the door and smiled. I wondered if God tries to get our attention as much as our car door does. Then I thought, Of course He does.

When He calls us to a task we don’t want to do, or feel ill prepared for, He may even annoy us. When He calls and we prefer to focus on the playthings around us - the folly - I imagine it saddens Him. For, if we listen to Him, He promises us peace.

Try something: the next time your phone rings or your car door dings, imagine it’s God calling. One of my phrases applies here. What you do not naturally do, you must deliberately do. If your mind and heart tend to wander from Him, use an auditory cue to deliberately focus on Him. When you hear a ding, invite his peace to enter your life and fill it to overflowing. Let us pray:

"Dear father of peace and love and life, I bow before your awesome power. You bring your own peace to those who listen to you. Your peace is so much more than I can strive for on my own. I know I cannot earn it, Father. It is your gift to your faithful servants. I choose to listen to you today and, with my faith, I claim your peace. Forgive me when I have not learned from my mistakes and have chosen folly. I have accepted trinkets in trade for Manhattan Island all over again. This is the day when I choose to listen and receive your peace. 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 2014 Doris Gaines Rapp

I will be signing Smoke from Distant Fires at Barnes and Noble, Sarasota, FL, June 21 1-2pm
Facebook: Doris Gaines Rapp - Author Page

Monday, May 12, 2014


"Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with a promise; so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." Ephesians 6:2-3 (NIV)

"But, you make it sound so easy! Maybe I didn’t have a mother I could honor," some complain.

I was blessed with two wonderful parents. God does not call angels to be parents, he calls humans, flawed but trying to parents within their capacity to love, nurture and protect. Some parent’s capacity is not large enough to parent, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love.

I have heard this protest spoken about mothers and/or fathers from people who have had a difficult childhood - whatever their circumstances. But, read the passage from Ephesians 6:2-3 again. It’s really not for the parent’(s) benefit that you honor them; it is for YOUR benefit . . . "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."

We have all seen them, the walking-wounded who go through life with justified anger shooting out of every pore of their body. That hate/anger-acid is caustic to personal relationships, work opportunities and the body. That kind of acid eats away at the stomach lining, the heart and the brain, to name a few.

Anger erupts like molten lava and leaves stones in its terrible flow, not obsidian (beautiful Apache tears) but the cold, hard frozen sludge that buries us under its pain. You may not be able to trust your parent with the treasures of your life that bring you the greatest joy. They have had a history of trampling on your dreams. But, you can treat them with respect and leave the anger at the throne of God. Let us all pray for families: the broken, the resurrected, and the loving:

" Our father, you are faithful in your love for us. Like the angels in heaven, we enjoy your presence, when we believe you are there. May your love fill each home and create families of love and support. On this day after Mother’s Day, we ask to be released from any anger we may have for a mother, a father, a sister or a brother. We are so much more than the anger that people see and the anger we feel in our heart and body. We are yours and yours alone. Forgive us when we have not called on you to erase the negative emotions from our lives, and then lived lives of freedom. For today, we say, ‘Father, I give you all my anger May only your love remain in my heart. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear when I must lean on you more so as not to be taken down again. But, Lord, I believe in you and your promise of life.’ In the name of Jesus, your son, I pray. Amen"

"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."Copyright 2014 Doris Gaines Rapp

I will be signing Smoke from Distant Fires at Barnes and Noble in Sarasota. FL on June 21 from 1-3 pm. See you there if you’re in Florida.


Facebook: Doris Gaines Rapp - Author Page

Monday, May 5, 2014


"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 (NIV)

Don’t you just love the first line of an old song by Mort Dixon (1927)? "I’m looking over a four-leaf clover I overlooked before. One leaf is sunshine, the second is rain, third is the roses that grow in the lane. No need explaining the one remaining, is somebody I adore. I’m looking over a four-leaf clover I overlooked before." Well, I found another four-leaf clover in our daughter, Vicki’s front yard yesterday. Since it was her yard, I gave the clover to her. A few years, I found this one in our son Jim’s yard. I posted it on FB and someone asked if I look for them. No, I look down and the grass seems different, like something is there. I look closer and it’s a four-leaf clover. They find me. I don’t look for them.

Miracles are like that. While going about our day, little miracles step into our path. We wonder why they don’t appear large and bold as they did in the days of Jesus. It’s because we don’t need them. If we can’t see the little ones, we won’t see the large ones either. We overlook them each time.

We want to see healing and riches and mountains brought down in front of us. The little song says the luck or blessings of the four-leaf clover are, (1) the glory of sunshine, (2) the freshness of rain, (3) the beauty of roses, and (4) the healing power of love. We are to give thanks in all circumstances. Many of us want to dictate to God just what details of our circumstances we will tolerate and rejoice in. They are the ones for which we have placed an order. We can never see the rays of sun if we focus on the darkness of our wants. We cannot see the miracle of rain if we haven’t been parched by the dessert. The beauty of the rose is never seen if we are frozen by wounds of the thorns. And, the miracle of love is never present when we demand to be loved rather than offering the abundant love of the Lord. In ALL things be thankful and rejoice, praying every moment for His love to reach someone around us. Love can never be attained. It is found within the love we offer to others. Happiness can never be our goal. It is a byproduct of the way we live our lives. Live for Him, love in His place, and tiny miracles will stack up like cordwood around our lives. Let us pray:

"Father God, we thank you for your son Jesus who taught us that you are Abba, Daddy, not a god of fear and anger. Holy and sweet is your name. May we rejoice always, as the angels in heaven sing out your name and tell of your glory. May this be the very moment when we begin to see every miracle in our lives. Forgive us when we believe that miracles come in sizes and we want only the largest one. How many blessings have be turned down because the bragging rights were too small? We love you Lord and we choose to see you in the face of everyone we meet, find joy in every laughter-filled moment and give love away whenever we need loving. In the name of Jesus Christ, our savior we pray. Amen"


"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2014 Doris Gaines Rapp

My new novel, Smoke from Distant Fires, is now available at,, or you can order it from your bookstore. A review on Amazon or Barnes and Noble would be great!
Length of Days - The Age of Silence and Escape from the Belfry are now available at too - as well as the other online bookstores and ready to be ordered at your local bookstore.
Facebook: Doris Gaines Rapp - Author Page