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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Let All the World Know

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that thy may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5: 14-16

Each week, I check the stats from my blogs. This week, on my Prayer Therapy blog, besides readers from here in the United States, there were also some from Germany, Romania, China, the United Kingdom, Portugal, and Ukraine. Week after week there are similar readers. I have been blogging for several years so far and have a total of 12,452 pageviews. That’s not a lot as compared to Laura Ingraham's new blog, (Life Explained), which was just placed online a few months ago and probably has that many readers already. Ingraham, introduced as the Editor-in-Chief when she appears as a guest on TV shows, is another case of a successfully self-published author/editor with her online publication.

You may not want to blog, or write, or speak in public, but what you do and say in your family and in your community is your opportunity to “let the world know,” to “let your light shine.” I often wonder how my light shines in the world around me. Is my glow so dim I fade into the corner? Or, do I blind others with the wattage I try to push into a space?

Don’t hide your light by dimming it with modest, low self-esteem. We are not to esteem ourselves brighter than others. Our Light from the Lord is not about measuring up, or down, to the luster or dullness of others. We are to shine with the light of the Father within us and share His love with others. Let us pray:

“Father of Light and Love, I bow before your brilliance. You are the Light that gives Life to all. Fill me with your brilliance so that your light spills out of my being and shoots out like life-changing bolts. Let this be the day when I choose to shine for you, so that others may see your light and therefore - live. Forgive me for the times when I have hidden your beams from others, for fear the light would put me in the center. I know I will never be alone in the middle when you are the one who shines inside me. Take away my fear that others will misunderstand my motives, when my only purpose is to serve you. In the name of your son, my savior, Jesus Christ I pray.  Amen”
Doris Gaines Rapp
"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2015 Doris Gaines Rapp 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Love Never Fails

“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  1 Corinthians 13:8
“Oh, come on. What do you mean, ‘Love never fails?’ It has failed me,” a friend protested.
“Maybe love didn’t fail you,” I suggested sympathetically. “Perhaps you failed to love.”
Love creates, Love heals, and Love defines our lives. Love cannot fail us. Failure means we have not achieved our goal. Love cannot be a goal. It is the purpose of our lives. It is “doing” not “achieving.”
Love everyone every day, not for what they do or what they say or how much they have or don’t have. If you fully love, love will fill you. We don’t love for what we will get out of it. When we are filled with Christ, with Love, we are loving.  We are not an imitation of Love; we’re a true reflection of the original. Love cannot fail us. We can only fail Love. Let us pray:
“Father, Holy God, I bow before you, so when I bend to others, Love will spill out. For today, I want to so love that Love is all others see. Forgive me when I have withheld any measure of love, for it is you and your son I am keeping from those I meet. Love is all I have to give, everything else is false bravado. May I not be strong, or brave, just open to you. In the name of your son, Jesus, the embodiment of Love, I pray. Amen”
Doris Gaines Rapp
"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2015 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, August 10, 2015

Go Then . . .

Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works. Let your clothes be white all the time, and let not oil be lacking on your head. Enjoy life with the woman [or man] whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.”  Ecclesiastes 9: 7-9

“It’s time for the World’s Longest Yard Sale,” I reminded my husband with excitement. I had wanted to go to this opportunity to buy a lot of what I really didn’t need for a long time. I would watch the highlights on HGTV later each fall.

Truly, it is the world’s longest yard sale. It’s 690 miles long and follows Route 127 through six states: Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama.

“Hey, Doris, didn’t you have back surgery in May? Aren’t you still using a walker and rest frequently?”

“Yes,” to both questions. But, I spent the day my way, with a cheerful heart. I didn’t moan because I couldn’t do it all. I rejoiced that I could do it at all.

What was my style? I didn’t sit at home. Last Saturday I “went,” following the “go then . . .” instruction in Ecclesiastes. Bill, Katy and I drove over to Decatur, Indiana and had a wonderful lunch at the Back Forty Junction, a fantastic buffet of more food than I could even taste. As I looked around the dining room I saw it was not too much for some who carried two plates of the main course, plus salad, a cheese and bread saucer, and desserts piled high. I tried not to stare.

Then, we crossed the Ohio line near Van Wert and stopped at half-a-dozen booths, roughly one-eighth of a mile long out of the 690 miles in total. Was I disappointed? No - I was tired! We ate our bread in happiness, drank our coffee and cola with a cheerful heart, in clean clothes and combed hair. Most important, we enjoyed life with the ones we loved.

No one can tell another person what portion of a yard sale is “enough:” enough joy, enough sunshine, enough food or enough love. For some, there will never be enough. Others find “enough” in an unfolding rose bud, the warmth of a setting sun, the smiles of those around them and the loving sacrifice of their Lord. Let us pray:

“Dear Lord and God of bounty and plenty, Holy is your name. You are my all in all - enough of all there is to satisfy the most restless soul. Fill my life with your magnificent love and beauty. Let this be the day when I realize that my cup has been running over all the time. I have been too greedy to notice, always wanting more, never satisfied with what you have given me. How could I possibly say that your gifts are not good enough or big enough? Forgive me, Father, for being your ungrateful child. May your light shine so brightly all around me that I cannot help but see all of your blessings and be grateful for them. In the name of Jesus, your son of light I pray. Amen”
"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2015 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, August 3, 2015

Never Alone

“And He who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him. As he spoke these things, many came to believe in him.” John 8: 29-30

A few days ago we had a “blue moon.” When I was young, I thought that meant the moon would actually appear as a blue sphere in the night sky. An azure moon is rare. A moon that appears blue is created when the atmosphere is filled with dust and/or smoke particles that are slightly larger than 0.7 micron. According to an article, Blue Moon, July 31, 2015, “the particles scatter the red light making the moon appear blue in color,” like when there’s a dust storm, large forest fire or when a volcano erupts.

The lunar event that appeared last Friday, a blue moon, was the appearance of a second full moon in a single month, July 1 and July 31. As a singer, however, when I hear the term Blue Moon, my mind always goes back to an old song by the same name.

In the words of Blue Moon (1934), lyricist Lorenz Hart (music by Richard Rodgers) describes a lonely, desperate person. “Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own.” My friends, we do not have to be alone and unloved. God is with us.

Jesus said that the one who sent him was with him. Why, or how? “. . . for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” If we are feeling that God isn’t with us, perhaps we are asking Him to honor our plans rather than seeking to follow His order for us and please Him. Let us pray:

“Dear Father, God, you are all that is divine. May your dream come and conquer my heart, so that I may always do the things that please you so that you may dwell within me. Today, I choose to begin a life of doing the things that honor and please you. Forgive me when I have done things that attempt to lift me up and please me. A life lived for myself is a lonely life.  I cannot do these things alone. I need the Holy Spirit to take up residence in my life, to guide me and help me make choices that please you. I know these things are true and possible because Jesus said they were. And, like those you heard him speak over two-thousand years ago, I have “come to believe him.” If the Son of the everlasting God has told us it is true, it cannot be otherwise. Amen.”
"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2015 Doris Gaines Rapp

Blue Moon, July 31, 2015. Viewed 8/3/15