Category Archives: Politics and Current Events

I am not a None—One of the Religious Unaffiliated

I am NOT a none. I have never desired to be a none! And with God’s grace, I will never become a none. So, what is a none? Merriam-Webster dictionary defines nones as “the ninth day before the ides according to ancient Roman reckoning” or “the fifth of the canonical hours”.

However, those are not the nones being spoken about in this article. I am talking about the nones as defined in the Oxford University Press website in an article titled “3 Things You Might Not Know About Nones” by Elizabeth Drescher. Drescher defines nones as “a name for people who answer ‘none’ when asked what religious group they most identify or to which they belong.”

It is based on this definition, I will be providing informational quotes from various writers and researchers that will provide enough information for you to understand and intelligently discuss nones with others. In addition, I have included links for easy location of the entire articles.

Currently, nones or my personally made-up word noneship are not within my everyday vernacular or even official words yet, but I daresay that in the next few years, they will join the Merriam Webster’s New Dictionary Word List along with their most recent newest words such as cryptocurrency, wordie, Chiweenie, Schnoodle, ooh, mm-hmm, and welp.

Who is a None?

Becka Alper from Pew Research says, “a growing share of Americans are religiously unaffiliated. [They] recently asked a representative sample of more than 1,300 of these “nones” why they choose not to identify with a [particular] religion.

Out of several options included in the survey, the most common reason they give is that they question a lot of religious teachings. Six-in-ten religiously unaffiliated Americans – adults who describe their religious identity as an atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” – say the questioning of religious teachings is a very important reason for their lack of affiliation.

The second-most-common reason is opposition to the positions taken by churches on social and political issues, cited by 49% of respondents (the survey asked about each of the six options separately). Smaller, but still substantial, shares say they dislike religious organizations (41%), don’t believe in God (37%), consider religion irrelevant to them (36%) or dislike religious leaders (34%).”

Alper, Becka. “Why America’s ‘nones’ don’t identify with a religion.” Pew Research Center. 8 Aug 2018.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/08/08/why-americas-nones-dont-identify-with-a-religion.

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“The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing, according to an extensive new survey by the Pew Research Center. Moreover, these changes are taking place across the religious landscape, affecting all regions of the country and many demographic groups. While the drop in Christian affiliation is particularly pronounced among young adults, it is occurring among Americans of all ages.”

“America’s Changing Religious Landscape.” Pew Research Center. 5 May 2015.

http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/

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“Curiously, the religiously unaffiliated are “about twice as likely to describe themselves as political liberals than as conservatives.”

  • 63 are either registered Democrats (39%) or lean toward the Democratic Party (24%)
  • 72% support legal abortion
  • 73% support same-sex marriage

Hess, Andrew. “The rise of the nones.” Focus on the Family. Focus on the Family. Accessed 21 Sept 2018.

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/about/focus-findings/family-formation-trends/rise-of-the-nones

What is Interesting about the Nones?

“Look at any survey about the state of religion and you will find the same story of decline. Fewer Americans today than in past decades identify with a religion, attend church, engage in religious practices, and view faith as an important part of their lives. Those who advocate the secularization of society applaud such cultural change because they see it as evidence that people are turning away from all things supernatural. However, these trends may be less about our abandoning the supernatural and more about our abandoning each other.”

Routledge, Clay. “Americans quit church but still search for meaning, now as loners.” Nation Review. 14 July 2018.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/07/traditional-religion-has-social-value-individual-quests-leave-people-isolated/

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This seems like a circular argument: “The nones are growing because the nones are growing! But sociologically, it makes a kind of sense. Some nonbelievers might have stayed in organized religion in previous generations just because it was socially expected, and there were consequences for not joining the religious crowd. The numeric growth of the nones has removed some of those barriers so that other closeted nones feel more comfortable leaving religion too. There is an infrastructure and support system for them.”

Riess, Jana. “Why millennials are really leaving religion (it’s not just politics, folks). Religion News Service. 26 June 2018.

https://religionnews.com/2018/06/26/why-millennials-are-really-leaving-religion-its-not-just-politics-folks/

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“In 2014, 23% of adult Americans identified as what media and academics have come to refer to as religious “nones.” Although the term covers a lot of territory—atheist, agnostic, unaffiliated, “nothing in particular,” and “spiritual but not religious”—it does not include anyone who identified with a particular faith tradition.”

Winston, Diane. “Millennials and the ‘none’: Why 40 years of religion in US Elections may change in 2015. Vice News. 30 June 2015.

https://news.vice.com/article/millennials-and-the-nones-why-40-years-of-religion-in-us-elections-may-change-in-2015

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Nones are building communities in myriad ways, some of them more organized than others. From meditation groups to the very church-like Sunday Assemblies,  the religiously unaffiliated are finding ways to connect with one another.”

Blumberg, Antonia. “How the ‘Nones’ can find a sense of community outside of religion.” Huffington Post. 22 July 2015.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/religiously-unaffiliated-nones-community_us_55afe508e4b0a9b948535f3a

Why Do the Nones Believe Like They Do?

“Today’s young nones, immersed in their online lives, may feel as though they are very connected. But as many are collectively realizing, online connections are weaker than advertised. We may have many [acquaintances] within digital reach, but numerous online relationships are no substitute for deep, real-life friendships. Similarly, a wave of spirituality apps promises to supercharge your mindfulness and positive thinking. Although beneficial, app spirituality, too, leads to a solitary practice.”

Asma, Stephen. “Religiously unaffiliated ‘none’ are pursuing spirituality, but not community.” L.A. Times. 6 June 2018.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-asma-nones-spirituality-20180607-story.html

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“As a pastor, as a researcher, as an educator, as just a Christian who cares, the single greatest contributor to the attrition rate [of the Christian faith] has been the breakdown of the family,” McFarland said in an interview with the Christian Post.

Blair, Leonardo. “Parent Failure to Transmit Faith to Kids Helping Fuel Growth of Religious ‘Nones,’ Study Suggests.” Christian Post. 20 Sept 2018.

https://www.christianpost.com/news/parent-failure-transmit-faith-kids-helping-fuel-growth-religious-nones-study-227489/

How Can the Nones Come to Know Christ?

An important new survey by Pew Research asks, “why people who were raised in religious homes but who now identify as religious “nones” — having no religious affiliation — decided to leave the faith of their childhood. The results were varied, but according to the survey, “Half of ‘nones’ left childhood faith over lack of belief, one-in-five cite dislike of organized religion.

So today, America needs another great awakening, one which will convert the unconverted, restore the backslidden, and set the complacent on fire. Whether they know it or not, the “nones” are crying out for this very thing.”

“God’s solution to the ‘Nones’ who have left the faith.”  The Stream. Accessed 21 Sept 2018.

https://stream.org/gods-solution-nones-left-faith

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Conclusion

So how can you know God? It all starts with accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ provides a relationship with the Father and eternal life through His death on the cross and resurrection (Romans 5:10)

Lord Jesus, I ask You to forgive my sins and save me from eternal separation from God. By faith, I accept Your work and death on the cross as sufficient payment for my sins. Thank You for providing the way for me to know You and to have a relationship with my heavenly Father. Through faith in You, I have eternal life. Thank You also for hearing my prayers and loving me unconditionally. Please give me the strength, wisdom, and determination to walk in the center of Your will. In Jesus’ name, [A]men.

“How do I accept Jesus as my savior.” In Touch. Accessed 21 Sept 2018.

 https://www.intouch.org/read/content/how-do-I-accept-Jesus-as-my-savior

While some people have no idea what is their purpose in life, some are convinced their life journey is to seek knowledge, to pursue status, to become wealthy, to promote tolerance, to reproduce or a host of other purposes.

The bottom-line is, what do we believe is the meaning of life?

As believers in Jesus Christ, we should believe that our purpose is to fulfill what God has appointed us to accomplish on this earth. When the spiritual dimension of life is void of the Trinity—God, the Father; Jesus, the Son; and the Holy Spirit, we become part of the none community. Let’s not let that happen!

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Bible Verses:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)

Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, help me to believe in You. Help me to see You with new eyes. If You are real, let me know that. I’m tired of the life I am living. I want to know that beyond what I can see, there is a God that loves me and wants what is best for me. Help me to leave my proud behavior and unbelieving thoughts at Your feet. I want to know if You are real. Amen.

God Bless.

greenenpastures.org

Member of IWA-Inspirational Writers Alive!

Member of Biblegateway Bloggers #bgbg2

Edited by E. Johnson

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Please share, forward, retweet, and/or comment if you liked this article or find it might help someone you know. Thanks.

In addition, I would love for you to join either my blog or newsletter. Just go to GreenePastures.org and look on the upper right-hand side of the blog to join!

Books by Patti Greene: Available on Amazon

No More Christian Celebrity Quotes – Except Here!

Once upon a time, I wrote a devotional prayer journal titled, God, It’s Me. In the book, I put a quote from a “celebrity” Christian at the bottom of each page. I thought it was a reasonable thing to do and the publisher encouraged it. However, the book hadn’t been out long before I regretted my decision since a few of the “celebrities” had fallen from grace shortly after publication. I have since republished the book under the title of Anchor Me; Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer without using any quotes from anyone. Okay, I have quoted Jesus, maybe Paul too, but that is permissible. You get the drift.

I learned my lesson or, so I thought.

In this blog, I am taking some liberty and I have decided to do something different! The reason is that I have been super busy, and I have been reading a lot of good books and I would like to share some of the quotes I have read with you. Note that I usually read both sides of an issue and compare anything questionable to the Bible, so you might not like my chosen authors. Another reason is that if I find someone who is no longer in good Christian standing, I can delete the quote using one click on my computer. A blog is not a book that is FOREVER in print. As mentioned, you may not like or approve of the people I quote, but maybe their quotation, thought or illustration will give you room for thought.

So here goes!

Taking a creative approach to my blog and for time’s sake, I will be taking my quotes from pages 32, 34, or 36 from the books—only because those are the ages of our children. I could just use my age, but . . . Nah, that’s not any fun!

Enjoy!

Book Quotes

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“The ambassadors Satan prefers are chiefly of four sorts: persons of prominence and power; persons of superior intellect and diplomacy; persons of holiness, or at least reputed to be; and persons able to influence those in power.”

  • The Christian in Complete Armour by William Gurnall; p.34.

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“Stop telling God how big your storm is. Instead, tell the storm how big your God is.

  • Adrianisms: The Collected Wit and Wisdom of Adrian Rogers by Adrian Rogers; p. 32.

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“Now, our Lord Jesus Christ is a Counselor in a threefold sense. First, he is God’s Counselor; he sits in the cabinet council of the King of heaven; he has admittance into the privy chamber, and [he] is the Counselor with God. In the second place, Christ is a Counselor in the sense which the Septuagint translation appends to this term. Christ is said to be the angel of the great council. He is a Counselor in that he communicates to us, in God’s behalf, what has been done in the great council before the foundation of the world. And thirdly, Christ is a Counselor to us and with us, because we can consult with him, and he doth counsel and advise us as to the right way and the path of peace.”

  • Spurgeon’s Sermons by Charles Spurgeon, Volume 5; p. 32.

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“You are never too old to start again. My favorite people are those who have grown older biologically, but never stop growing spiritually.”

  • Principle Preaching by John R. Bisagno; p. 36.

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“God created the family to provide the framework for us to learn about relationships—how to relate to one another. Those first relationships often affect how we communicate and establish friendships for the remainder of our lives.”

  • Friendship: Iron Sharpening Iron by June Hunt; p. 32.

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“Doctors often say that persons who work seven days a week, only to spend months in the hospital trying to regain lost health, are really just catching up on their Sundays in arrears.”

  • Positive Obedience by John R. Bisagno; p. 34

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“Just because a brilliant mind can’t conceive of God does not mean that God doesn’t exist; it simply means that God’s reality exceeds the intellect and imagination of the human mind.”

  • Receiving and Giving by David A. Peterson; p. 34.

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“What biblical examples show the benefits of joint ministry? Who ministers alongside you? If no one, why not?”

  • Be Distinct: Standing Firmly Against the World’s Tides by Warren W. Wiersbe; p. 32.

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“It’s been a long time since I got a thank-you note for a Christmas present.” ‘Oh, that’s my training from my mother,’ she said. “We were always told that a written thank you was important and required for any material gift. And we couldn’t use the presents until the thank-you notes were written.”

  • A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life by John Kralik; p. 32.

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“I sleep with a BIPAP machine. Somehow, I lost the location of the store where I get my supplies. It was time for new supplies. For six weeks “it was time for new supplies. Three or four different times, I spent hours searching the part of our city where I just knew it was, trying to find the store. I know now why God blotted the memory of the place out of my mind. He wanted to show the great power of His hand. Sitting down to write this morning, out of nowhere (yes, I know where) came a thought. It was extremely clear and accompanied by a warm glow. ‘I wonder if I forgot to mention my presidency of the Southern Baptist Pastor’s Conference in the biographical sketch that I send to my speaking engagements?’ I walked over to my filing cabinet and pulled up the tab, BIO, for ‘biography’ to check it out. Guess what’s right next to ‘BIO’? BIPAP! I excitedly opened the file and there was the name, address, and phone number of the BIPAP store, complete with directions. What can I say, but ‘Hallelujah!’ I think that’s Latin for ‘YAHOO!’”

  • The Power of Positive Praying by John Bisagno – 50th Anniversary Edition; p. 36.

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“Obedience to Him is always the issue. Filling [water pots] may not have made sense to those servants, but they did it anyway. God’s command may not make sense to you, but don’t parade it by the judgment bar of your reason. Just obey. That’s the secret to a miracle.”

  • Believe in Miracles but Trust in Jesus by Adrian Rogers; p. 34.

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“Often the Enemy will put an easy solution in your way. He points to someone and whispers, ‘That woman over there, that man over there. If you want happiness, break free from your spouse and start again.’ Now I’m not denying that a marriage can end up in a heartbreaking mess, but if you put happiness before everything else, you will not only persuade yourself into a divorce, you will probably wreck your next relationship too. That’s how the Enemy works.”

  • Conquer Your Battle Plan for Spiritual Victory by Michael Youssef; p. 36.

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“When communicating with others, those of us who have Powerful personalities need to remember the ‘magic words’ and be especially careful of our tone of voice . . . a good verse for the Powerful personality to memorize is Proverbs 16:24: ‘Kind words are like honey—enjoyable and healthful.’”

  • Talking So People Will Listen: You Can Communicate with Confidence by Florence and Martha Littauer; p. 32.

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“So many of us feel like failures when we try to share our faith—all but the few who can really do it well. That may be the way we feel, but it’s not supposed to work that way. Somehow along the way we’ve become confused about what it means to represent Jesus to the lost world around us.”

  • Conspiracy of Kindness by Steve Sjogren; p. 34.

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“God employs anyone and anything to expose and extract the flaws that keep you from being established at the center of His will. Without haste, He deletes distractions. Thrashes those nearby crutches that provide alternative routes. Dispossesses your demigods secretly tucked away in your pockets. Strips you of all attractions. Shuts you in. And out. Beyond the reach and help of man. These and much more, God allows in order to make you absolutely dependent on Him. Completely surrendered to His will.”

  • Shekinah! Manifestation of the Sons of God! by Glory C. Odemene; p. 35. (I’m breaking my own rules on sticking to pages 32, 34, and 36! Oh well!)

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“And Abraham said, ‘God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.’ So, the two of them walked on together.”

  • Hebrew-Greek Keyword Study Bible-NASB; p. 32.

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And how awesome is God!!! This quote from Genesis 22 (on page 32) is the exact key verse I am using for a “Hot Topic” class I am teaching at my church. God is so good in confirming I’m on the right track. I love how He works! Even in these blogs!

Conclusion

So now you have seen the last 15 books I have read plus what version of the Bible I am using, I would love to know what your repertoire of reading consists of. If you don’t mind, please comment, and let me know . . .

  • The last book you have read (Christian, non-Christian, fiction, non-fiction, biography, ebook, audiobook)
  • The author of the book
  • A  ‘cool’ quote, thought or illustration from the book, and
  • Don’t forget to share the page number if available

And one more thing . . . Next time I decide to do this, I might take the quotes from the page of my age. It seems the books get deeper and more interesting by the time I get to my age page!

God Bless.

greenenpastures.org

Member of IWA-Inspirational Writers Alive!

Member of Biblegateway Bloggers #bgbg2

Bible Verses:

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding. (Proverbs 2:3)

Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things. (Romans 15:27)

Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank You so much for all the wisdom You provide to us—through ministers, Bible studies, and books. But, let us always remember that Your Word is the #1 go-to source for all our needs and desires. Give us discernment and understanding in all we read and hear knowing that many false prophets abound. I pray for Your Word to penetrate my heart, mind, and soul. I want to serve You. Keep me balanced and loving to all. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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Please share, forward, retweet, and/or comment if you liked this article or find it might help someone you know. Thanks.

In addition, I would love for you to join either my blog or newsletter. Just go to GreenePastures.org and look on the upper right-hand side of the blog to join!

Books by Patti Greene: Available on Amazon

What Is A Hoarding Disorder?

One of my relatives is a hoarder, and a friend has two middle-aged sons also affected by this condition known as hoarding. Being someone who loves to research social issues, the topic piqued my interest enough for me to investigate hoarding disorders for myself.

Famous brothers Homer and Langley Collyer, well-known wealthy Manhattan residents, are recognized as hoarders. After the death of their parents in the 1920’s, the two men withdrew from the public. They split their time between the family’s Manhattan residence and their Harlem brownstones.

In 1947, a neighbor notified the police about an overpowering odor coming from their home. When the police arrived, they found Homer, who was blind and crippled, dead and surrounded by trash. David K. Israel, author of “7 Famous Hoarders” said, “His corpse was amid tons of junk, including an early X-ray machine, the jawbone of a horse and bundles upon bundles of old newspapers.”

After a full and lengthy search, Langley’s dead body was found in one of their brownstones, buried by newspapers. His death had occurred weeks before. Israel noted that Langley “had been dead for weeks and rats had eaten most of his body. It was ultimately determined that Homer died of starvation when Langley, who fed his crippled, blind brother, was crushed to death under . . . a bunch of junk.” ¹

History of Hoarding

The study of hoarding is a relatively new study. In the 1990s, many psychologists and neurologists assigned hoarding into the category of an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) for lack of a better classification. However, owning many possessions makes a person with OCD feel anxious and unnerved while a hoarder finds extreme delight in finding bargains and purchasing a good deal. In 1993, psychology professor Randy Frost at Smith College attempted the first methodical study on hoarding. Now 24 years later, there has been an obsession with TV shows such as TLC’s Hoarding: Buried Alive and A&E’s Hoarders.

Hoarding is a brand-new disorder. In The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition: DSM-5 published in 2013, hoarding is now listed among other psychiatric diagnoses.

In the article “Why Do You Hoard?” by Bonnie Tsui states that most scientists believe hoarding has three defining characteristics:

  • the excessive acquisition of things that appear to be of little or no value
  • the inability to discard possessions; and
  • the disorganization of those possessions, which clutter up living spaces and make them impossible to use for their intended purposes.” ²

Hoarders

Hoarders often live alone and other people are frequently unaware of their hoarding. Other times hoarders are just considered “pack rats” by those who know them.

Hoarders may save newspapers, papers, plastic bags, pill bottles, shoes, food, mail, photographs, magazines, household supplies, flyers, bottle caps, beer bottles, clothing, or more. Some people even hoard animals.

Jill, a recovering hoarder whose last name was withheld, says about her hoarding:

“I just have too much stuff. I’m a “packrat.” There is stuff everywhere in plastic containers and in drawers. I have enough clothing to dress all the neighbor women for a couple of weeks each. This stuff is mine and I see a use for all of it. I just can’t bring myself to throw away any of it. I like it all! I really wish every space in my house wasn’t a collect-all.

We don’t even get to sit at the table as a family. My husband complains we hate to have unexpected family, we eat out because there is no space on the counter to cook, important papers get lost and we buy more stuff because so many things get misplaced. Everyone passes the blame on someone else. To top it all off, we live in a small ranch home with little closets. How will I ever overcome all of this hoard? I want to live like the normal tidy person—Stuff is ruining MY LIFE.” ³

Types of Hoarding

Many types of hoarding occur because of one’s background, education level, different personality, DNA, and other factors.

The “Address Our Mess” website discusses five main types of hoarding. ⁴

Shopper or Shopping Hoarder

This individual might shop daily. Many of the items purchased find themselves years later in the hallway or closet with the original price tags still on – unused. They might purchase clothing, collectibles, technology. They may feel incapable and experience severe anxiety if they pass up this “basement bargain.”

Food Hoarding

Some shoppers make runs to the grocery stores even when their refrigerators, freezers, and pantries are at full capacity. Throwing away outdated food seems wasteful and rarely occurs. Dealing with spoiled food, diseases, and unsanitary conditions may lead to severe illnesses and possibly death.

Garbage and Trash Hoarding

This type of hoarder is unable to discard their waste and trash. Some hoarders are known to go through other people’s garbage to see if they find valuable items. One might find trash hoarders storing garbage in their homes, garages, yards, or storage facilities.

Animal Hoarding

Many animal hoarders believe that they are helping animals by keeping them safe and loved in their living quarters or on their land. However, they fail to take into account that the lack of grooming, accumulation of waste, and non-existent exercise creates an unsatisfactory environment. Due to deplorable situations, animals are being starved and/or disease-ridden.

Paper Hoarding

Paper hoarders cannot throw away, shed, or discard anything on paper, i.e. bills, flyers, magazines, newspapers, forms, books. Stories abound of people who have been missing and later found injured or dead from being hidden under an extraordinary amount of paper products.

An excellent article written by the National Study Group on Compulsive Disorganization was reprinted in the Dec. 1, 2010, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper issue. The article was titled, “Levels of Hoarding: Some Guidelines for Recognizing the Problem.” The organization created a scale for professional organizers making their initial contact with their clients. Although the study took place in the early 1990s, it is still relevant and informative today. Click here to read the article:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/north/2010/12/02/Levels-of-hoarding-some-guidelines-for-recognizing-the-problem/stories/201012020349

Causes of Hoarding

Genetics, anxiety disorders, lack of organization skills, loss, being raised in poverty, fear, psychotic tendencies, and even dementia are reasons why someone might hoard.

For many hoarders, it is incomprehensible to pass by a bargain. They love to shop or purchase items online which they don’t need. They feel they might need the item one day in the future. Hoarders pile things up around their home, office, or yard in an unorganized fashion. Afterwards, they become emotionally attached to these things to the point of being unable to part with them. A vicious cycle occurs with purchasing and saving items. Year after year, the hoarding becomes more harmful and unhealthy.

However, hoarders rarely realize the extent of their hoarding. While it may be obvious to an outsider, the hoarder’s mind may not see the devastation and destruction occurring due to their accumulating and stockpiling.

Carol Mathews of the University of California, San Francisco, and others have studied the cognitive patterns of hoarders. Mathews’ MRI studies try to simulate emotions relating to hoarding, i.e. how a hoarder sorts, categorizes and thinks about discarding items. ⁴

Signs and Symptoms of Hoarding

Hoarders may not recognize how much of a burden their possessions create on their physical, social, emotional, psychological, and spiritual life. Many signs and symptoms indicate potential or established hoarders struggle to pay bills because they keep repurchasing items or devices they have “misplaced.” A few hoarders even lose custody of their children when their environment creates a needless safety or health hazards for their family.

Other indications of a hoarder may include having . . .

  • Limited or no livable space in their home.
  • An isolated and depressed life.
  • A regulated or non-existent social life.
  • Things replace human relationships.
  • Marital problems. (Many divorces occur due to the spouse’s inability to deal with the appalling living conditions.)
  • Children who will not invite their friends over to their home.
  • Financial problems.
  • An inability to organize their possessions.
  • An unfounded fear of running out of items, i.e. shampoo, boxes, food.
  • An inability to sell, give away, or part with their possessions. (This often creates an intolerable anxiety in hoarders.)
  • No power to keep their home functioning due to their clutter, i.e. not being able to reach a light fixture to replace a light bulb.
  • To live with broken household items in their home for fear of inviting repairmen into their extremely cluttered home.
  • An inability to bathe or reach their toilet.
  • An inability to cook due to broken equipment or being able to reach their stove, oven, or microwave.

Hoarding vs. Collecting

Hoarding and collecting are different entities. Both are characterized by acquiring possessions, but their purposes and intentions are different. Having a collection involves a sense of pride about what a person amasses in their acquisitions. Collectors usually display their items in an orderly fashion—on a shelf, in a curio cabinet, over the fireplace. A collector loves to talk to others about their collections.

On the other hand, a hoarder may be embarrassed by their “prized” possessions and they may be uncomfortable with others seeing their accumulation of “stuff.”

Recovery for Hoarders

Ample reasons abound regarding why hoarding should be addressed and why hoarders should be treated. However, the most important reason is that all the accumulation affects the health and safety of the individual and those around them. Hoarding can lead to hospitalizations, children being taken away from parents, fire, evictions, homelessness, and even death.

Help is available for hoarders. A clutter specialist, accountability partner, a 12-step program, and/or a physician is often needed to help with the remediation of this disorder. Understanding that recovery is a continual process is imperative. If someone came into a hoarder’s home and cleared out everything so the home was relatively clean and orderly, the home would quickly become ‘unlivable’ to the average person unless the emotional aspects of hoarding had been dealt with. To overcome a hoarding lifestyle, group involvement must occur. A hoarder needs to find a friend, family member, or support group to help with the initial stages of cleanup.

Many great articles are available on the Internet where support groups and help can be found. Talking to one’s family physician about the problem is an excellent starting point.

Christian Perspective on Hoarding

Just like any other difficulty we face in life, we need hope to overcome it. Making wise choices give us hope while addressing the problem and reaching an actual solution. Hoarding is difficult to treat. God is willing and waiting to help. Nevertheless, there must be a desire in the individual to want to do something about their hoarding problem. God and others will help hoarders free their attitudes regarding possessions and He will help in maintaining a clutter-free lifestyle. This is accomplished through God, therapy, friends, and PRAYER!

GotQuestions.org speaks to hope on its website. “No matter where a hoarder falls of the spectrum, there is hope. A hoarder needs to learn how to make healthy decisions that will lead to resisting the urge for more buying/acquiring, disposing of unneeded items, and putting things in a regular place . . . The underlying cause of hoarding is our human tendency to want things and our inability to discern what is truly valuable. For those with severe compulsive hoarding, anxiety or loss or genetics may prompt the behavior and limit a person’s ability to discern value and worth. But for all of us, Jesus is the most precious treasure we can possess, and His followers should value what He values. Trusting in Him means we no longer should rely on ourselves in a hopeless effort to meet our needs or satisfy our souls. Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)” ⁶

Conclusion:

Informational blogs like this one sometimes lack the compassion which should accompany them. My desire for believers is to have compassion for those unable to free themselves from anything they find themselves in bondage to—including hoarding. When held in bondage, we are unable to be a useful witness for the Lord to others. But, when we are released from that bondage, we open ourselves up to living a full and meaningful life. Let’s be compassionate and caring. At times in our lives, we might find ourselves in difficult situations. We don’t need judgment during those times. We need love, compassion, and help.

If you like this article, let me know, because the flip side to hoarding is when people possess an extreme and excessive need to PURGE themselves of their possessions. It’s a tough concept to comprehend, but it will make for an interesting blog topic someday! And just remember, we are all on the spectrum between the two extremes!

Where do you find yourself?

——–

Bible Verses:

Thought: We live in a word filled with idolatry. Our cars, our homes, our stock portfolios, and our vacations have become idols to us. It’s not rocket science to see how a person can become a hoarder. But believers should be set apart from idolatry no matter what form it takes. The Bible tells us not to love our money or possessions but to serve the Lord with our entire heart. The verses below will help us to see God’s perspective on storing possessions, greed, compassion, and how to overcome any problem we might be facing.

You shall have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:3)

There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun: riches being hoarded by their owner to his hurt. (Ecclesiastes 5:13

Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and the justice due me escapes the notice of my God.” (Isaiah 40:27)

Ah Lord God, Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You. (Jeremiah 32:17)

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. (Matthew 6:24)

Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:33-34)

You, in Your great compassion,
Did not forsake them in the wilderness;
The pillar of cloud did not leave them by day,
To guide them on their way,
Nor the pillar of fire by night, to light for them the way in which they were to go. (Nehemiah 9:19)

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. (1 Peter 2:17)

Prayer:

My heavenly Father. Thank you for teaching me daily more about Your people. Help me in the areas I struggle with and give me compassion for those who are different from me. Give me Your wisdom and grace. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

God Bless,

GreenePastures.org

Member Inspirational Writers Alive; Bible Gateway Blogger Grid Member


Edited by E. Johnson; Bible verses are taken from the NASB if not noted otherwise.

If you found this post helpful, please like/share it so others can get the benefit. Thanks. If you would like to receive email notifications of new posts or to receive monthly newsletters, please click here and scroll down on www.GreenePastures.org to subscribe.


Books by Patti Greene

To order, please click the links below.

Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer (A Devotional Prayer Journal) by Patti Greene, click here

Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer (A Devotional Prayer Journal) by Patti Greene, click here

Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer (A Devotional Prayer Journal) by Patti Greene, click here

Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer by Patti Greene
Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer by Patti Greene
Anchor Me
Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer
Awaken Me
Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer

Works Cited

¹ Israel, David. “7 Famous Hoarders.” Mental Floss, 22 Oct 2009. http://mentalfloss.com.

Accessed 11 Aug 2017.

² Tsui, Bonnie. “Why Do You Hoard?” Pacific Standard, 29 Apr 2013. https://psmag.com.

Accessed 10 Aug 2017.

³ “How to Recover from Hoarding—Getting Organized.” Living on a Dime. Livingonadime.com.

Accessed 10 Aug 2017.

⁴ Types of Hoarders. Address Our Mess. https://www.clutterhoardingcleanup.com/types-of-hoarding/

Accessed 17 Oct 2017.

Got Questions. “What Does the Bible Say about Compulsive Hoarding?” Accessed 10 Aug 2017.

⁶ “Types of Hoarding.” Address Our Mess. Clutterhoardingcleanup.com, 18 Sept 2013. Accessed

August 9, 2017.

Hurricane Harvey and Survivor Syndrome

Hurricane Harvey and Survivor Syndrome: Today, I am being completely vulnerable in hopes that my words will encourage someone who has encountered “survivor syndrome” symptoms.

You may have kept hearing, “WE ARE HOUSTON STRONG!” while you sit there thinking, “Maybe Houston is, but I’m not.”

If you have encountered emotional numbness and anxiety during Hurricane Harvey like I have, this newsletter is for you.

Survivor syndrome is defined as, “a characteristic group of symptoms, including recurrent images of death, depression, persistent anxiety, and emotional numbness, occurring in survivors of disaster”—not to be confused with survivor’s guilt which is defined as, “feelings of guilt for having survived a catastrophe in which others died.” ¹

Both these syndromes come in varying degrees. Some dissipate when the disaster is over while other symptoms linger.

What I Have Learned Through Hurricane Harvey

1. I’m not as strong as I thought I was;
2. I stress out easily;
3. I can live for a while on other peoples’ prayers, but it’s not recommended;
4. Too much TV and social media during a crisis are not good for me;
5. Sitting too long hurts my back;
6. Being cooped up in a house for days on days is not cool;
7. Don’t expect me to make rational decisions when I am stressed, and please don’t add to my stress by requiring me to make decisions;
8. I tire more easily in traumatic situations; [More than usual that is.] 9. I should expect palpitations; and
10. I need to become a stronger Christian.

This doesn’t sound like the kind of believer I hoped I would be during this crisis. I’m a little ashamed at my own demeanor during Harvey.

You see, my home did not flood; my roof did not leak; my cars did not get flooded out; I did not walk through waist-high waters; I did not get helicoptered out of my home; I did not have to take my important papers out on a boat; I did not have pets to care for; and I didn’t have to deal with my insurance company or FEMA.

Yes, I did evacuate for a few days due to street flooding and possible higher waters. However, my family could move back home a few days later unscathed.

The news was filled with dramatic rescues in and around Houston—tempered by dramatic losses of all kinds.

Instead of hearing the usual local Houston colloquialisms like . . .

• It’s still under construction;
• It’s close—only 30 minutes away;
• Inside the loop;
• It’s the humidity, not the heat; or
• On the feeder.

I was hearing . . .

• My house is underwater;
• I’ve lost everything;
• I don’t know where to go;
• I don’t have flood insurance;
• Houston combating Harvey looters;
• The bayou has overflowed;
• Harvey continues to bring catastrophic floods;
• The rain is rising; and
• Evacuations are mandatory.

So, What Would I Do Differently or More Intentionally Next Time?

1. Be more prayer-prepared for crisis situations—any kind of crisis! [I need to start today praying for “NEXT TIME.”] 2. Have a preplanned idea of how I can help both others, myself, and our family when the next emergency occurs;
3. Pray and read the Bible more than watching the news and participating in social media;
4. Move around more even if it means walking up and down the stairs;
5. Understand that every person is in a different situation. [I wish I would have recognized early on that my calling during Hurricane Harvey was to care for my 92-year-old mother.] 6. Encourage others to participate in God’s work and validate their calling during times of trauma;
7. Be prepared to share Jesus and His love at every opportunity possible;
8. Recognize that we are all growing in the Lord at different rates and through different circumstances;
9. Give more hope to those facing catastrophic situations;
10. Pray for my church and for other churches to be the hands and feet of Jesus; and
11. Listen to Christian music.

I hope this newsletter touches those who need to hear it. My prayer is that we will all work through this tragedy in a manner that is pleasing to Him. And, that we might grow to become more like Jesus through it all. God uses our circumstances to grow and mature us. Let’s recognize this and be pre-prayed up for the next time.

For my Houstonian friends, we are Houston STRONG! But God is STRONGER! He is great and abundant in strength. His understanding is infinite. He gives us sound wisdom.

And, don’t worry about me. I’m on the road to recovery—Yes, I really am!

Bible Verses:

So, teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)

. . . But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)

For this reason, I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (Matthew 6:25)

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” (James 4:13)

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I love you. Forgive me for areas I have not been as faithful and strong as I should have been. Help me and prepare me for the next time I encounter devastation. You are my rock. I need You always. Thank You for always being by my side. Be with my friends who have lost their homes, possessions, and livelihood. Send Your ministering angels to them. For it is in in the name of Your son Jesus I pray. Amen.

God bless you.

If you would like to receive email notifications of new posts or to receive monthly newsletters, please go to www.GreenePastures.org. If you found this post helpful, please like/share it so others can get the benefit. And, if you’ve experienced similar emotions, I’d love a comment! Thanks.

Books by Patti Greene: Click here.

¹ Dictionary.com. Accessed 5 Sept 2017.

No-Nonsense Prayers for a Divided Country: The First 66 Days

N0-Nonsense Prayers for a Divided Country: The First 66 Days / by Patti Greene

[From Email notifications, click the title for best web viewing]

What a WEEK!

[Please feel free to PRINT, SHARE, and FORWARD this post. She “share” features at the bottom of this article. Comments are awesome too!]

 

Pre-inaugural events—Swearing-in ceremonies—Fancy dresses—Speeches—Parades—Marches—Vulgarity—Activists—Signs—Creepy men in face masks—Pink hats—And, kids!

I have tried three times to write this blog over the past few days. Each time was for naught. Each blog just didn’t seem pertinent enough for the current state of affairs in the United States. When I prayed hard for direction the word “Scripture” kept coming up in my mind.

So, I finally found what God wanted me to share. SCRIPTURE. Below you will find 66 prayers along with 66 Scriptures that address how we can pray for our leaders, government offices, and agencies. There is one verse from each book of the Bible.

Commit today, on the first FULL day of Donald Trump’s presidency, to pray daily for a smooth and peaceful transition into this new era.

Click here for an A-Z Index of all U.S. Government Agencies

66 No-Nonsense Prayers for a Divided Country: The First 66 Days

Day 1: Pray that the Spirit of God will hover over the world.

  • Genesis 1:2 – Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Day 2: Pray that Christians will be fed through church and Christian ministries.

  • Exodus 20:8 – Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

Day 3: Pray for our leaders to remain pure.

  • Leviticus 20:10 – If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.

Day 4: Pray that our leader’s burdens are given to God.

  • Numbers 11:14 – I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me.

Day 5: Thank God that our leaders are taking oaths in Your Name.

  • Deuteronomy 10:20 – Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name.

Day 6: Pray for strength not to be discouraged with all you see happening.

  • Joshua 1:9 – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Day 7: Ask God to place good, honest judges over our land.

  • Judges 2:16 – Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.

Day 8: Pray that God will become a refuge to the people of the land.

  • Ruth 2:12 – May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.

Day 9: Pray that pride and arrogance be kept from our leaders.

  • 1 Samuel 2:3 – Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed.

Day 10: Pray that God’s anointed will be appointed to be officers.

  • 2 Samuel 7:8 –  Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel.

Day 11: Pray that the Judicial Branch will recognize liars.

  • 1 Kings 22:23 – So now the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you.

Day 12: Pray that the Lord will remove the sins of the people before his anger prevails.

  • 2 Kings 17:18-20 – Because the LORD was very angry with Israel, he swept them away from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah remained in the land. But even the people of Judah refused to obey the commands of the LORD their God, for they followed the evil practices that Israel had introduced. The LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel. He punished them by handing them over to their attackers until he had banished Israel from his presence.

Day 13: Pray for evil in the land to be stopped.

  • 1 Chronicles 21:22 – And David said to Ornan, Give me the site of the threshing floor that I may build on it an altar to the LORD—give it to me at its full price—that the plague may be averted from the people.

Day 14: Pray for our leaders to pray and seek God’s face.

  • 2 Chronicles 7:14 – If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Day 15: Pray for our leaders to have courage to take matters into their hands.

  • Ezra 10:4 – Arise! For this matter is your responsibility, but we will be with you; be courageous and act.

Day 16: Pray God’s anointed to not rationalize the sins of this nation.

  • Nehemiah 4:5 – Do not cover their guilt, and let not their sin be blotted out from your sight, for they have provoked you to anger in the presence of the builders.

Day 17: Pray for Israel.

  • Esther 4:14 – For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

Day 18: Pray for the force of evil attacking our nation.

  • Job 1:6 – Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

Day 19: Pray that you will not fret over evildoers.

  • Psalms 37:1-2 – Do not fret because of evildoers, be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb.

Day 20: Pay that our country will be established by righteousness.

  • Proverbs 16:12 – It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for the throne is established by righteousness.

Day 21: Pray for the proper time and procedure for all negotiations our leaders encounter.

  • Ecclesiastes 8:6 – For there is a proper time and procedure for every delight, though a man’s trouble is heavy upon him.

Day 22: Pray for sexual integrity when leaders make decisions on sexual issues.

  • Song of Solomon 8:4 – Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.

Day 23: Ask the Lord to renew the strength of those in authority over us.

  • Isaiah 40:31 – Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

Day 24: Pray that our leaders will ask God where the good way is and strength to walk in it.

  • Jeremiah 6:16 – This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.

Day 25: Pray for the Department of Housing that laws and decisions are fair and just.

  • Lamentations 5:2 – Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to foreigners.

Day 26: Pray for the Legislative Branch to make good laws and to eliminate bad laws.

  • Ezekiel 5:6 – Yet in her wickedness she has rebelled against my laws and decrees more than the nations and countries around her. She has rejected my laws and has not followed my decrees.

Day 27: Pray that our President will give attention to God’s truth.

  • Daniel 9:13 – Every curse written against us in the Law of Moses has come true. Yet we have refused to seek mercy from the LORD our God by turning from our sins and recognizing his truth.

Day 28: Pray for our citizens to accept and respect the Office of the President and vice-President.

  • Hosea 1:11 – The people of Judah and the people of Israel will come together; they will appoint one leader and will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.

Day 29: Pray our Armed Forces’ protection and focus.

  • Joel 2:7 – Like warriors they charge; like soldiers they scale the wall. They march each on his way; they do not swerve from their paths.

Day 30: Pray for people to be healed for the offenses and sins prevalent in our country.

  • Amos 5:12 – For I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins. There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.

Day 31: Lord, help me not to ever gloat over the misfortunes of others.

  • Obadiah 1:12 – Do not gloat over your brother’s day, The day of his misfortune. And do not rejoice over the sons of Judah In the day of their destruction; Yes, do not boast In the day of their distress.

Day 32: Lord, show our leaders who is causing the trouble in our nation and how to address them.

  • Jonah 1:8 – Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou?

Day 33: Pray for the Secretary of State to make wise decisions in settling world disputes.

  • Micah 4:3 – He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

Day 34: Pray that our Armed Services will be strong and mighty.

  • Nahum 3:13 – Your troops will be as weak and helpless as women. The gates of your land will be opened wide to the enemy and set on fire and burned.

Day 35: Pray that injustice and violence will cease in our land.

  • Habakkuk 1:3 – Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.

Day 36: Pray for swift punishment for those with violence and deceit in their heart.

  • Zephaniah 1:9 – Yes, I will punish those who participate in pagan worship ceremonies, and those who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit.

Day 37: Pray for your state governor to possess godliness and wisdom.

  • Haggai 1:14 – So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the LORD Almighty, their God,

Day 38: Pray for the Supreme Court and judges to administer true justice.

  • Zechariah 7:9 – This is what the LORD Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.

Day 39: Thank God for freedom of religion and for that freedom not to be diminished.

  • Malachi 1:10 – How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not pleased with you, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, and I will not accept your offerings.

Day 40: Pray that our leaders will be servants to those God has given them to serve.

  • Matthew 20:26 – Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.

Day 41: Pray for the House of Representatives and the Senate to be at peace with each other.

  • Mark 9:50 – Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.

Day 42: Pray that the men or women voted into office choose God’s salvation in Jesus Christ.

  • Luke 18:18 – A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Day 43: Pray that our leaders will finish the work God wants them to accomplish.

  • John 4:34 – Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.

Day 44: Pray for the President to speak words of encouragement to the people.

  • Acts 20:2 –  He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece,

Day 45: Pray for God’s authority to rule our land.

  • Romans 13:1-4 – Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.

Day 46: Pray that our leaders will lead with speech that enrich and encourage.

  • 1 Corinthians 1:51 – For in him you have been enriched in every way–with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge.

Day 47: Pray for godly sorrow to lead to repentance.

  • 2 Corinthians 7:10 –  Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

Day 48: Pray that our leaders do not grow weary of doing good.

  • Galatians 6:9 – Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Day 49: Pray against spiritual wickedness in high places.

  • Ephesians 6:12 – 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.

Day 50: Pray that we do not become anxious about issues facing our nation.

  • Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Day 51: Pray for wisdom as our nation’s leaders deal with outside countries.

  • Colossians 4:5 – Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

Day 52: Pray to proceed with good motives in all our dealings.

  • 1 Thessalonians 2:3 – For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you.

Day 53: Pray our leaders will recognize the works of Satan.

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:9 – The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie.

Day 54: Pray for all who have been put in authority over us.

  • 1 Timothy 2:1-2 – First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

Day 55: Pray our nation’s leaders will turn to the Bible as their source of truth.

  • 2 Timothy 3:16 – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

Day 56: Pray that the religious leaders of our government officials are blameless before God.

  • Titus 1:6-7 – An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.

Day 57: Thank God for the leadership of our country when we pray.

  • Philemon 1:4 – I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers.

Day 58: Pray that our leader’s eyes will be fixed on Jesus.

  • Hebrews 12:2 – Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Day 59: Pray for our leaders to be peacemakers.

  • James 3:18 – Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Day 60: Pray that those who lead our nation have alert and sober minds.

  • 1 Peter 1:13 – Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Day 61: Pray for God’s divine power to abound in our nation.

  • 2 Peter 1:32 – His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Day 62: Pray for those who practice unlawfulness.

  • 1 John 3:41 – Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.

Day 63: Give thanks for the joy you give us when we walk in your truth.

  • 2 John 1:4 – It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.

Day 64: Pray for health and healing for our nation’s leaders.

  • 3 John 1:23 – Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

Day 65: Pray freedom and peace in your local cities.

  • Jude 1:7 – In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

Day 66: Thank God for his prophecy of hope for a new nation.

  • Revelation 21:24 – The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.

God Bless. And as always, please share and forward this email to your friends and family.

PATTIGREENE.eps-(1

Patti Greene, Member Inspirational Writers Alive


Bible Verses:

See above.

Prayer:

Dear God, the election is over. We have new leadership in our country. As believers, let us unite in prayer. Use me to pray for our country, its leadership, and for your truth every day for the next sixty-six days. Fill me with your Holy Spirit as I pray. Let my prayers be in accordance to your will. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


Verses taken from various Bible versions: ESV, NIV, KJV, NASB, and NLT.

Bible text verses are taken from Bible Hub.


Books by Patti Greene:

Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer (A Devotional Prayer Journal) by Patti Greene, click here

Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer (A Devotional Prayer Journal) by Patti Greene, click here

Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer (A Devotional Prayer Journal) by Patti Greene, click here

Comments are always welcome. And, I would love to see you subscribe to my blog. To sign up for Newsletter and/or blog, click here.

 

Pokemon Go: What No One Else Will Tell You

Pokemon Go: What No One Else Will Tell You [From Email notifications, click the title for best web viewing]

The Pokémon Go  phenomenon is everywhere — in the streets, in the malls, and in the news. The following headlines will be outdated by the time this blog posts, but for those unaware of this physically active walking-running game, being aware may be eye opening.

“Cy-Fair fire station dealing with Pokémon Go” Click2Houston

“Florida teens, mistaken for thieves, shot at playing Pokémon Go” BBC News

“Pokémon Go is getting everyone to exercise.” Yahoo News

“Men fall from cliff playing Pokémon Go” CNN

“Pokémon Go crashes and hackers claim responsibility.” money.cnn.com

“Pokémon Go; Sex offender caught playing game with child.” BBC News

“Gump: How one game is bringing everyone together” Montgomery Advertiser

“Man in New Zealand quits his job to play Pokémon Go full-time.” BBC News

“Crazy right-winger believes that Pokémon Go was created by Satan to locate and kill Christians.” Daily KOS

“Drug dealers selling Pokémon ecstasy pills to target youngsters and cash in on computer game craze.” Mirror News-UK

“Pokemon Go T&Cs [Terms and Conditions] trip users of legal rights.” Drudge Report

Janissa Delzo at CNN defines Pokémon Go as, “a free-to-play app that gets users up and moving in the real world to capture fictional ‘pocket monsters’ known as Pokémon. The goal is to capture as many of the more than hundred species of animated Pokémon as we can.” ¹ In terms a little easier to understand, Pokémon Go meshes real life and virtual life together to create a game where Pokémon are captured and used to fight other Pokémon held by other players. Many are calling it fun technology at its best while others believe it is just creating a bunch of people walking all around looking at their phones like zombies.

Since the “fad” has only been around for a few weeks, I am not here to go either way on the spectrum as to its greatness or insignificance. However, informing my readers about how to react to ANYTHING that distracts us from the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit is my goal. Spending too much of our time on anything can become an idol in our life. As we seek God’s will, ask him how we should be spending our time and do not get suckered into a life of chasing things of the world. Set limits and be obedient to God.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Hebrews 3:12

As in other cultural idols or distractions, Nintendo’s Pokémon Go may distract people from what really is important in life – taking care of our families, creating distractions at work, and/or filling our time with hours of meaningless activities.

Satan’s goal is to distract us from walking in the Spirit. It happens every day. We sit down to read our Bible and the phone rings or a bill needs to be paid, taking us away from staying in God’s Word. Satan wants to steal our time. The bottom line is that Satan wants to distract us from trusting in Him, spending time with Him, and having a relationship with him. Those distractions are idols.

King Solomon’s claim to fame in history involves his reputation for possessing Godly wisdom. He honored God and built a magnificent house for the Lord. However, when he became older, he gave into his worldly desires and married women who worshipped idols and he succumbed to the same idol worship. This idol worship distracted him from worshipping the most-high God whom he served so faithfully for God in his younger years.

Anything that distracts us from God can become idol-worship. That includes spending an inordinate amount of time on anything — including Pokémon.

What Does the Bible Say About Idol Worship?

What Does the Bible say About Satan?­­

If we find that Pokémon is distracting us or taking up too much of our time, there are Bible verses to help keep us focused on what is important.

Time for God

Distracting us from God’s will is Satan’s job. Just remember that however Satan “steals” our time away from God, he is not going to show up fashioning a pitchfork, wearing a little red outfit, and sporting a “twist and bend craft tie” tail.

Moreover, as of this moment, I do not know what to think about these little Pokémon characters. The phenomenon is too new. The fact that people are exercising and having fun together “outside” is not debatable. However, we must be aware of our safety and the possibility that the game might become a ‘time distraction’ for us.

Whatever we do . . .

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be a healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Proverbs 3:5-8

After reading this article, do you think you are spending too much time playing Pokémon Go?

All things considered, Pokémon Go Plus will be launched soon,  so if you think you might be tempted to spend even MORE time on the upcoming game, start now asking God if its involvement will be a wise use of your time AND YOUR MONEY!!!

God Bless,

PATTIGREENE.eps-(1png-300x9

Bible Verses: See above.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to make the best use of my time. Give me wisdom. Do not let anything distract me from giving you the time you desire from me. I want to serve You. I do not want to be “addicted” to any idols. Guide me to always acknowledge You in everything I do. As I read your Word, bring your words alive. If I am spending too much time doing anything that draws me away from You, give me the strength and courage to change my ways. I love You LORD. In Jesus’ Name. Amen


¹ Delzo, Janissa. Men fall from cliff playing Pokémon Go. 16 July 2016. Web. 16 July 2016.

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version containing the Old and New Testament. Wheaton: Crossway, 2001. [All verses come from the English Standard Bible unless noted otherwise]

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Qualities of a Bad Leader from Proverbs: Part II

Qualities of a Bad Leader from Proverbs: Part II

[From Email notifications, click the title for best web viewing]

Bad leaders come in many varieties. There are bad military leaders, bad dictators, bad bosses, bad presidents, bad labor leaders, bad church leaders, bad business leaders, bad parents, and more. The Book of Proverbs mentions good (wise) leaders and bad (evil) leaders all throughout the Old and New Testament. If you missed my last blog on the Qualities of a Good Leader from Proverbs, you might want to check out the following blog link.

https://greenepastures.org/2016/06/qualities-good-leader-proverbs.

When my youngest son was in 5th grade, he joined the YMCA’s basketball class. It was his very first encounter with team basketball. He was a novice while some of the other boys were very experienced in the game. I will never forget one Saturday morning game. The two teams were running up and down the court acting as if they were big shot basketball players playing like their win would get them into the Basketball Hall of Fame. [I might mention that my son was skipping up and down the court.] Actually, it was somewhat cute to me. Long story short is that my son just happened to get his hands on the ball during the last few seconds of the game and he dunked it good! His surprise dunk won the game for his team. He was the hero. He got the applause, the high-fives, and the pats on the back.

Then, the fireworks began. There was a more experienced and aggressive fifth grader on the team whose father felt his son should have made the winning dunk. Out in the lobby of the YMCA, this father could be heard hollering and seen hitting his son for not getting the ball away from my son and making the winning points himself. I will never forget the look on that little boy’s face as he was belittled, hit, and humiliated by his own father. The next thing we saw was his father being pushed in the back of a police car in the YMCA parking lot. Someone must have called and reported him. Now, this is a real-life example of a poor leader. Not only did he belittle and embarrass his son, he exhibited jealousy, violence, and arrogance.

Some commentaries call the Old Testament King Ahab one of the most wicked kings Israel ever had. Even God said that King Ahab did more evil than any other king before him. King Ahab was the king of Israel around 869 to 850 BC. While he was an able warrior, he was completely disloyal to God and embraced his wife Jezebel’s paganism. The LORD gave Ahab a chance to redeem himself through the Prophet Elijah, but he refused. His legacy is intermingled with his wicked wife Jezebel, but even his father King Omri taught him to be wicked and as such he is remembered as an evil and corrupt king. In Richard R. Losch’s book All the People in the Bible, Losch describes Ahab as being “one of [Scriptures] more notorious scoundrels.” ¹

Some of the traits Success Magazine mentions about a bad leader in 15 Traits of a Terrible Leader are:

  • Lack of transparency
  • Dismissing ideas others than your own
  • Ego
  • Lack of empathy
  • Poor communication
  • Closed-mindedness
  • Inconsistency, and more. ²

In Biblical history, Herodias, Jehoram of Judah, Abimeleck, Herod, and Judas Iscariot were leaders in the Bible known as bad leaders. In Worst Presidents: Warren Harding (1921-1923) by Jay Tolson, President Warren Harding was mentioned as being one of the worst Presidents of the United States because he was more concerned with his womanizing, poker, golf, and mistress. ³ Even Harding admitted it. He said, “I am not fit for this office and should never have been here.”

I hope the basketball father mentioned at the beginning of this post made a turn-around. Watching ‘bad leadership’ is not a nice scene to witness. Ever!

Qualities of a Bad Leader: Book of Proverbs [Not exhaustive]

God Bless You.

PATTIGREENE.eps-(1

Bible Verses: See above.

Prayer: 

LORD, help me to recognize bad leadership. Let me discern between good and evil. As I evaluate others, let me look for their integrity, character, and their relationship with you. Let me always remember that just because someone is a leader that it does not mean that they are good leaders. O LORD, let me also remember that Scripture commands us to pray for all those in authority over us.


¹ Losch, Richard. All the People in the Bible: An A-Z Guide to the Saints, Scoundrels, And Other Characters in Scripture. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008.

² “15 Traits of a Terrible Leader.” Success 13 Jan. 2015. Web.

³ Tolson, Jay. “Worst Presidents: Warren Harding (1921-1923). U.S. News and World Reports. 16 Feb. 2007. Web.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version containing the Old and New Testament. Wheaton: Crossway, 2001.


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Comments are always welcome. And, I would love to see you subscribe to my blog. To sign up for Newsletter and/or blog, click here.

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Qualities of a Good Leader from Proverbs: Part I

Qualities of a Good Leader from Proverbs: Part 1

Most of us have had “leaders.” They come in the form of parents, employers, church leaders, principals, mayors, and presidential leaders. The Book of Proverbs delves into the qualities of good leaders and bad leaders. The Bible mentions good (wise) leaders and bad (evil) leaders all throughout the Old and New Testament.

Today, in all occupations we find leaders from both extremes and some in-between. Just as in the Bible, there are leaders today who are:

  • Good leaders who remain good all their lives;
  • Bad leaders who remain bad all their lives;
  • Bad leaders who turn into good leaders; and
  • Good leaders who turn into bad leaders.

As a point of trivia, it is interesting the House of Israel had more bad kings than the House of Judah. Today, let us look only at the Southern Kingdom of Judah.

The Southern Kingdom consisted of two tribes (Judah and Benjamin). The Kingdom extended in the north as far as Bethel, while in the south it ended in the dry area known as the Negev. Its eastern and western boundaries were the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Jerusalem was its capital and it lasted from about 922-586 B.C. ¹

During this period in history, there were eight kings considered good kings and eleven kings considered bad kings in the Southern Kingdom. Out of the eight good kings, two bounced between the two extremes during their lives. King Asa, King Jehoshaphat, King Uzziah, King Jotham, and King Hezekiah, and King Josiah are noted in most commentaries as “good” kings. King Joash and King Amaziah are recognized as kings who did right in their youth, but evil in their old age.

Let us take King Jehoshaphat as an example of a good king. Jehoshaphat ruled the House of Judah between 873-849 BC. He was 25 years old when he became king. He established peace between the Kingdom of Judah and the Kingdom of Israel. He eliminated Baal worship in Judah. He desired the approval of God when attempting to recover Ramoth-gilead from the Syrians. Jehoshaphat had a very successful military career. He encouraged the worship of God and reformed the justice system. He died when he was 60 years old leaving a Kingdom who loved him. ³

Qualities of a Good Leader: Book of Proverbs ²

  • Knows wisdom and instruction [discipline]; Proverbs 1:2
  • Receives instruction in wise dealing in righteousness, justice, and equity; Proverbs 1:3
  • Gives knowledge and discretion to the youth; Proverbs 1:4
  • Listens and increases in learning; Proverbs 1:5
  • Obtains guidance; Proverbs 1:5
  • Fears the Lord; Proverbs 1:7
  • Walks in the way of righteousness; Proverbs 8:20
  • Embraces God’s instructions; Proverbs 8:32-33
  • Walks with integrity; Proverbs 10:9
  • Gives thought to his steps; Proverbs 14:15
  • Acts cautiously and turns away from evil; Proverbs 14:16
  • Their prayers are acceptable to God; Proverbs 15:8
  • Speaks with divine wisdom and never judges unfairly; Proverbs 16:10 (NLT)
  • Commits their work to the LORD; Proverbs 16:13
  • Life shows in their face; Proverbs 16:15
  • Acquires and seeks knowledge; Proverbs 18:15
  • Shifts out the wicked from the good; Proverbs 20:26 AMP
  • Conducts themselves with purity and unrighteousness; Proverbs 21:8
  • Possesses strength and their knowledge enhances their might; Proverbs 24:5
  • Has an abundance of counselors; Proverbs 24.6
  • Leads their land [their territory] towards stability; Proverbs 28:2
  • Understands justice; Proverbs 28:5
  • Builds up their land [their territory/the people]; Proverbs 29:4
  • Knows the rights of the poor; Proverbs 29:7
  • Possesses self-control; Does not listen to lies; Proverbs 29:12a
  • Faithfully judges the poor; Proverbs 29:14
  • Not hasty in words; Proverbs 29:20
  • Does not drink excessively [or at all]; Proverbs 31:4b
  • Judges righteously; defends the rights of the poor and needy; Proverbs 31:9

List is not exhaustive.

Today, as we look at our bosses, our parents, our government leaders, or anyone who has a leadership role over us, look and see how many of the qualities above they possess. While we are all human and not perfect, possessing some of these qualities is a good start to becoming a good leader in whatever field or occupation we find ourselves in today.

Next Week: Qualities of a Bad Leader from Proverbs: Part II

God Bless You.

PATTIGREENE.eps-(1


Bible Verses: See above.

Prayer: 

LORD, help me to be a good leader. Allow me to follow good role models in my life, so I can become a person with integrity and good standing with You and others. My heart’s desire is to become more like you in every situation and circumstance I face.  In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


¹ “The Kings of Judah.” Web. 22 June 2016. <bible-history.com>.

² The Holy Bible: English Standard Version containing the Old and New Testament. Wheaton: Crossway, 2001.

³Losch, Richard R. All the People in the Bible: An A-Z Guide to the Saints, Scoundrels, and Other Characters in Scripture. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2008.


If you liked this article and would like to receive email notifications of new posts or to receive monthly newsletters, please click here and scroll down on www.GreenePastures.org to subscribe. It is an easy way not to miss any posts in your feed! Moreover, I would love seeing you as part of the Greene Pastures Community.

My Books – Available on Amazon or can be ordered at any retail book store.

To order Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer (A Devotional Prayer Journal) by Patti Greene, click here.

To order Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer (A Devotional Prayer Journal) by Patti Greene, click here.

Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer


Comments are always welcome. And, I would love to see you subscribe to my blog. To sign up for Newsletter and/or blog, click here.

On my blog, I want to write about topics that serve your needs and about what matters to you. I strive to help you with your needs and interests. Therefore, I am inviting you to share your interests with me so the content I write about will be more relevant to you. Please comment on this blog or email me at pattilondagreene@gmail.com for confidentiality.

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Poverty and The Poor

Poverty and the Poor

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The last few days I have been thinking a lot about poverty and Lagos, Nigeria. My husband and I resided in Lagos during 2013-2015. We saw a lot of poverty as we traveled within the city. I know there is poverty in the United States, but the poverty in Lagos was different than what we had seen in the United States of America.

Poverty is a global problem, but the poverty I saw in Nigeria was more bothersome than what I had seen in the USA. Maybe it was because I was unaccustomed to it – maybe not. Each nation may have different issues to consider, but the results usually involve what most people think poverty is – a lack of food, clothing, and shelter.  Knowing that poverty is a very complex issue, I decided to look at some of the issues that led up to poverty in Nigeria.

In Nigeria, many politicians were corrupt and governmental money was not being used to help the people in the country. We saw the imported products being unloaded from the docks because manufacturing, agriculture, and entrepreneurship were limited due to lack of education or funding available. Buildings dangerously toppled down from lack of codes or enforcement. Transportation and roads needed a throughout upgrading. Getting used to an electrical system where your electricity goes out 5-10 times per day was strange. Schools, hospitals, and medical facilities were in need of an upgrade. The majority of the economy’s focus was on oil production, but there was pilfering of oil, unequal distribution of the oil’s wealth, and disdain by many locals towards the oil companies. Beggars were commonplace. I ran into a lot of “workers” who felt they deserved a handout just because we supposedly had more money than they did. Paying a bribe for safety or special favors began to seem logical after a while. In our short time there, we experienced two close calls with criminal behavior. And being an avid newspaper reader, I read many newspaper articles about the living conditions of the people in the northeastern part of the country being killed and displaced due to the terrorist organization Boko Haram.

The first step of my research for this blog involved trying to figure out who really were “THE POOR.” I decided to search the Bible to find out what God had to say about the poor. While I couldn’t find a definitive definition in the Bible of who exactly the poor are, I found multiple words and phrases about the poor in Strong’s Concordance with Hebrew and Greek Lexicon. From various verses throughout the Bible, the poor were noted as weak, hungry, indigent, needy, of the lowest class, impoverished, reduced to beggary, afflicted, wretched, lean, powerless to accomplish and end. In addition, Strong’s mentions the Greek word ‘ptόchos’ defines the poor as:

One who crouches and cowers; beggarly; destitute. The Greek word ptōxόs defines the poor as deeply destitute, completely lacking resources (earthly wealth) – i.e. helpless as a beggar. It relates to “the pauper rather than the mere peasant, the extreme opposite of the rich.”

Andrew Wilson interviewed Natalie Williams in his article Who Are the Poor. In that article, Williams states,

One biblical characteristics of poverty is [you are] powerless to raise yourself out of your circumstances.”

It is my opinion that since not all poor people are destitute, it would be wise to look at poverty and the poor in the context of each Scripture that addresses the issue. That is a challenging task since the word ‘poor’ and/or related words are mentioned in the King James Bible hundreds of times.

  • Poor – 205 times
  • Poorer – 1 time
  • Poverty – 15 times
  • Beggar – 3 times
  • Destitute – 8 times
  • Needy – 38 times
  • Penury – 2 times

Living in Nigeria made me wonder what God’s attitude toward poverty is. I noticed that poverty was affecting good people as well as bad people —maybe not equally, though. I noticed many Godly people who were poor and I noticed many ungodly people who were rich. It saddened me to see the shame, struggles, and ruin that affected many poor people, but it also saddened me to see the rich and famous lack humility, peace, and an ungodly lifestyle. My conclusion regarding poverty is that poverty does not have to lead to an ungodly life, but life is still tough. In the Bible, the word ‘poor’ most often referred to a person’s economic situation. But in each Biblical and/or current story on poverty, the causes and circumstances surrounding poverty are very different and complex.

Possible Causes of Poverty

  1. Sin; Genesis 3:17-19
  2. Trials/Misfortunes/Bad decisions i.e. stock market crash, bad investment, illness; Job 1:13-21
  3. Lack of discipline; Proverbs 13:18
  4. Idleness; Proverbs 10:4
  5. Neglect in giving; Proverbs 28:22
  6. Divine punishment; Proverbs 22:16
  7. Injustice; Proverbs 13:23
  8. Debt; Matthew 18:23-25
  9. Natural occurrences, i.e., tsunami, famine, tornado, hurricane, flooding; Genesis 47:20-22

Sometimes our attitude towards the poor has to do with why we “feel” a person is poor. We might not feel sorry for a person when they are poor because they don’t want to work and are just expecting a handout. When I see people asking for money on the street corners, I am a skeptic most of the time. I wonder why they are experiencing poverty or if they are really poor or even a fraud. I wonder what the cause of their poverty might be and then I make a judgment call. Whether that is acceptable or not, I do know that God is very specific about how He wants the poor to be treated.

How Should ‘The Poor’ be Treated?

  1. The poor should be treated fairly. Exodus 23:6
  2. The poor should not be mistreated. Galatians 6:9-10
  3. The poor should be cared for. Luke 3:11
  4. The poor should be helped generously. Jeremiah 39:10
  5. The poor should have special privileges. Exodus 23:11

We should show compassion for the poor among us. When we look at the early church, we see a Godly attitude shown by the first believers toward the poor. We see Jesus having compassion on the poor. The Bible says that when we show compassion toward the poor we will be rewarded. The Bible even gives some examples of the poor we should help – the orphans and the widows specifically. [Note: The family should be the first to help relatives, especially the orphans and widows in need.]

Poverty Principles

  1. Poverty will always exist in this world. Matthew 26:11
  2. God is concerned about poverty. Psalm 14:6
  3. People in poverty are expected to work if possible. 2 Thessalonians 3:10
  4. Family members are to help their poor relatives. 1 Timothy 5:8, 16
  5. People who are financially able should help the poor, i.e. gifts, food, clothing. Ephesians 4:28
  6. The church should help the poor. Acts 15:26

So far, I have spoken only of the physically poor. However, there is also the spiritual poor – those without Jesus Christ in their lives. And just as there are reasons for physical poverty, there are reasons for spiritual poverty. One may lack faith, understanding, or knowledge of God. This is where those who understand the redemptive power of Jesus Christ must pray for the Holy Spirit to change a person’s heart so that they will be drawn into loving relationship with Jesus. God does hear the prayers of the poor in spirit who are willing to trust Him for their daily needs.

I once saw a lady in Lagos on the street begging as she wearily walked up and down between the cars. Her shirt top was pulled down as she was nursing twins – one on each breast. She wore raggedy clothing. Her facial expression exhibited true despair. Her body screamed “malnutrition.” I don’t know about you, but in my estimate, she qualified as being one of the poor. You will run into people throughout your life that God will call you to minister to. They may be needy; they may be destitute; they may even be faking poverty. But by using your God-given wisdom and discernment abilities, He will show you what He wants you to do or how to help the poor! He really will!!!

God Bless,

PATTIGREENE.eps-(1png-300x9

Bible Verses:

Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him. Proverbs 14:31

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? Matthew 16:26

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, when we see weariness, distress, and poverty, please allow us to discern who you want us to minister to – both physically and spiritually. Open our eyes to see everything we encounter through your eyes. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


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Strong’s Concordance with Hebrew and Greek Lexicon. 14 March 2016. Online. EliYah.com.

Wilson, Andrew. “Who are the Poor? A Conversation with Natalie Williams.” 14 Oct 2015. Web. 13 March 2016.

Zondervan Dictionary of Bible Themes. Ed.Martin H. Manser. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999.

State of Emergency

I read a lot of news articles – many involving a particular state of emergency I have them sent directly to my iPhone. I use Google Alerts so I will be notified immediately on certain topics. I read many online newspapers. And I subscribe to “real” magazines.

One day one of the articles that came through one of my sources and printed in the Star Tribune was entitled More than 40 people killed by 2 female suicide bombers in northeastern Nigeria. The article was about two teenage girls that entered the busy marketplace in Maiduguri, a provincial capital in NE Nigerian state of Borno. In their vests were explosives hidden beneath their full hijabs. The first girl detonated her bomb killing 3 women. As rescuers rushed in, the second girl screamed and set off her explosives, killing many more.

While bombings and killings like this occur frequently in Nigeria, I wondered if we are getting desensitized hearing about it. The answer is probably YES. But, with this article, I wondered if the two girls were being used by the Islamic Extremist group Boko Haram who were immediately suspected to be the insurgents responsible for the attack. Were the girls forced to carry the bombs? And were these girls from the group of the 200+ girls kidnapped from Chibok (78 miles southwest of Maiduguri) in April, 2014 that are still missing? Then, my mind wondered if people are really “suicide bombers” if they are forced to carry out a task such as this. I also placed my heart into the minds of those 200 girls’ parents still missing – wondering if they were all now concerned that these two girls might have been their daughters. There must be nothing like losing a child, double that with your child being kidnapped, double that with thinking that your child might be used by an Islamic militant group to carry bombs, and double that with not knowing if your child is dead or alive.

Maiduguri is the largest city in Borno state. The city had already been placed under a state of emergency because of the extreme violence there.

But what happens when a city has been declared in “a state of emergency?” The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English states a state of emergency is, “when a government gives itself special powers in order to try to control an unusually difficult or dangerous situation, especially when this involves limiting people’s freedom.”

No matter what your ‘State of Emergency’ might be, God is the only one that can come to your rescue, answer your questions, and get you to a place of safety. He can do that, but you must first place your trust in Him as your Lord and Savior. With your relationship secure in Him, He has provided you with His Holy Spirit who can guide you in prayer and help you to understand the Bible in new and exciting ways. Look to Him, read His Word, and believe He will touch you and guide you.

While cities and countries depend on the government to help them during these states of emergencies, we must depend on God through our Lord Jesus Christ to get us through our own personal emergencies.

Ephesians 4:19 – And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. ESV

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