Tag Archives: Bible reading

Voices: Four things help us find God’s call in our lives

Reprinted from The Baptist Standard


I hesitated for a few weeks about posting an article I wrote for The Baptist Standard on my blog, mainly because I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. However, today in my quiet time, the Lord impressed me to post it because it might just be what someone needs to read. My prayer is that it will touch someone’s heart today. God bless you.

After many years of working outside the home, I “retired.” With time to serve God more fully, I appealed to my heavenly Father and cried: “Lord, how can you use me? I don’t play the piano, and I don’t like hanging out at the gym.”

God said: “Patti, I have been preparing you all these years. I allowed you to grow up in a family that loved books. I surrounded you with books all the time. You have created your own library of prayer journals during 40-plus years. Now is the time to write a book and share with others what I have let you experience. This is your destiny.”

So, I penned my first prayer journal, and a new call in my life evolved, that of writing.

People all over the world ask the question, “Lord, how can you use me?”

Once we genuinely believe Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, we can ask God confidently what his will for our lives might be. Through our obedience in doing the small things, he will show us more ways we can serve him.

Four things help us find God’s call in our lives: (1) preparation, (2) practice, (3) prayer and (4) Bible reading.


I wanted to prepare myself for ministry. I needed God to direct my path and mold me to be used for his purpose. A series of books on spiritual maturity helped establish the foundation of my Christian beliefs. I also deepened my obedience to whatever God had in store.

All the while, I wondered how God could use someone like me—someone who failed my first English essay in college, was terrified of being called on in Bible study classes and was still learning sin had consequences. But God cared for me and was preparing me to be used for his glory, and I knew it.

The foundations of my faith grew through Christian books and my first two churches in the Baptist faith. God led me to University Baptist Church in Fort Worth, where I was baptized, and First Baptist Church in Houston, where my faith deepened beyond measure.

To know where God wants to use you, experiment in different gift areas, listen to what others think you do well, take a spiritual gifts inventory survey, read books that address the topic, and pray for God to show you where you fit in the body of Christ. Then practice what you have learned.

Everyone has at least one spiritual gift. Romans 12:6-8 gives us a partial list of spiritual gifts—prophecy (explaining Scripture), service, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading and mercy. You might consider these.

I read the Bible continually during my time of discernment, wanting to know more about God and how he could use me. I began to serve in little ways, such as writing notes, putting short Bible studies together and organizing biblical materials.

Reading materials written by solid Bible-believing authors opened the door to a deeper dependence on the Holy Spirit through prayer. The Bible and these books confirmed God loved me, and in his infinite wisdom, he had a spiritual plan for my life. God does for you, as well.


While I have read many books on prayer, it differs from carving out time daily to give praise and worship to our heavenly Father. God loves us as no one else can. He wants us to pay attention to him. Prayer gives a person time to think, meditate, confess sins and share burdens.

Sometimes we limit our call, believing only pastors and those in ministry can be used by God, but God wants everyone to seek his kingdom and to engage intimately in prayer with him.

Bible reading

The primary way God speaks to us occurs by reading the Bible. Through God’s word, we recognize what is right and wrong, what is honorable and what is not, and what he wants us to do or not do.

A new life of salvation, hope and trust opens for us when we continually read the word of God. God desires to show us his will and direction, and we can find that in his holy word.

Get Ready to be used by God

We are on a journey, and God has a purpose for us. Don’t allow fear, laziness or perfectionism to stop you from seeking God’s will.

While my passion for reading is what God uses to show me how he can use me, it may be different for you. God has given us all diverse backgrounds, passions, personalities, talents and quirks. Look at your experiences, hone your skills, prepare yourself, practice ministry, pray and read God’s word. Don’t expect to be good at everything at once. Wait for God’s timing.

When God revealed to me it was time to write a book, it occurred in my messy bedroom closet. Not only did he show me what to do, but he also confirmed it by prompting me to look at the top shelf to see my prayer journals.

That’s when he said: “Now is the time to write a book and share with others what I have let you experience. This is your destiny.”

What is your God-given destiny?

Patti Greene is a graduate of Baylor University and Dallas Baptist University, a member of Second Baptist Church in Houston, and the author of seven books. The views expressed are those of the author.

How To Recharge Your Bible Reading Habits: Catalogs and Bible

How To Recharge Your Bible Reading Habits: Catalogs and Bible / by Patti Greene, Greene Pastures by Patti

Do you read your Bible like you read catalogs?

I’m an expert on catalogs—at least I feel like I am. Catalogs swamp my snail mail. A fleeting look at the front cover and I know immediately whether a catalog ends up in the trash, in my bathroom, or on my coffee table. Many times, particular catalogs deserve my immediate attention!

In my email, I receive so many advertisements that I know whether to delete them, file them, or order from them immediately. I know which ones run out of items quickly, which ones have the best sale section, and which ones are not worth ordering from because their shipping is horrendous.

It has to be a very trendy catalog or an impressive advertisement to warrant my attention nowadays.

Some of the marketing headlines that enticed me with last week’s group of catalogs and advertisements were:

Elegant accents to add to your bathroom!

Wrap Yourself in the Beauty of Authentic Irish Knits!

Look for the Jumbo Almond Butter Crunch Buttery Toffee That’s Twice as Thick, Ten Times as Tasty!

Have a CHUCKLE—Then Try to Keep a Straight Face!

Safari and African home decor will unleash your wild streak!

True Classics that Never Go Out of Style!

September Classy Shopping Spree

Guaranteed Forever!

All these appeal to my sense of want, comfort, and style. If I like the color, the layout, the design, and the uniqueness of special catalogs, I look forward to those special catalogs coming! When I open those kinds of magazines or emails, I anticipate feelings of joy and comfort from perusing the pages, whether I eventually purchase from that catalog or not.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we read the Bible with the same anticipation as our favorite catalog? What if we couldn’t wait to sit down and pore over God’s Word. What if we were anticipating God’s love, comfort, and support? What if we knew we would find the perfect gifts and direction in the Word of God?

The Bible is not a dull book. It is a book filled with God’s love, guidance, and purpose for our life. His Word also lays out how He wants to involve each of us in the lives of others.

How To Recharge Your Bible Reading Habits

  1. Make opening His Word a habit. “But I, O Lord, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.” Psalm 88:13
  2. Find a quiet place [away from distractions] to read and meditate upon His Holy Word. “I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.” Psalm 77:12
  3. Open the Word with anticipation that God has something to tell you today. “But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.'” 1 Corinthians 2:9-10
  4. Look at the subheadings within the various books of the Bible. “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” Proverbs 18:15
  5. Ask Him to enlighten you by the power of the Holy Spirit. “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore, I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” John 16:13-15
  6. Ask Him to show you any shortcomings for which you may need help or forgiveness. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
  7. Make a decision to read God’s Word and pray for specific things. “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15
  8. Have a journal or notebook to write down what impressions you receive as you delve into the Word. They may be certain verses or prayer requests that come to mind. “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:2-3
  9. Close the Bible with anticipation on how it will affect you today. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

When I receive my Touch of Class catalog, I want to get away by myself, browse the catalog, dog-ear the pages, circle what I need (or like), and/or possibly buy.

My prayer is that we may all open the Bible with even more excitement and awe as we do our favorite catalog. The entire Bible was written for us. I heard someone say that if God gave us the entire Bible, let’s read the entire Bible. There is something we can learn from every word, every sentence, every chapter, and every book of the Bible.

Just as we may browse our favorite catalog looking for those snappy gadgets or voguish apparel, let’s peruse the Holy Bible looking for God’s truth, wisdom, and spirit.

Bible Verses:

See above.


Heavenly Father. My heart’s desire is to read Your Holy Word with all the enthusiasm I can muster. I am busy. I get tired. And, sometimes I just don’t want to pick up my Bible or pray. Lord, I need the desire to spend time with You more than anything else. Please take away all distractions. Communicating with You and listening to You and Your words need to become the major priority of my life. But, I need Your help. Thank you for listening to my honest cry for help. I love you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

God Bless,


Headlines from Ballard Designs, Current, Grandinroad, Touch of Class, and The Vermont Country Store.

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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devotional prayer journals
Devotional Prayer Journals by Patti Greene

Awaken Me – 365-day devotional prayer journal for in-depth Bible study; Fun words or phrases from the Old and New Testaments! Perfect for mature believers. ISBN: 978-1490893181 (Paperback)

Anchor Me – 181-day devotional prayer journal for growing individuals; The Bible and social issues. Perfect for new believers. Comes with a group study guide. ISBN: 978-1490893174 (Paperback)

Answer Me – Coming Soon: 90-day devotional prayer journal; All about prayer! Perfect for everyone who wants to deepen their prayer life.

To Order:

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

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Edited by E. Johnson


Choosing a President: Psalm 72

Choices are everywhere for everything under the sun. You go to the store and you decide what bread you want: whole wheat, grain, barley, oven-baked, or rye. You decide between vacationing in the mountains, a remote island, or a busy city. You pore over hair styling magazines to see if you want a pixie, a shag, a French twist, or even hair extensions. Some decisions are easy and some are not quite as easy – like choosing the next President of the United States.

Let’s assume you are wondering how to choose a candidate worthy to be our next president. The first U.S. Presidential debate is over. You had the choice to watch it or not. You have the choice to whom you liked and whom you didn’t. Soon, you will have the choice to vote or not to vote. You may be the silent type who keeps your voting history to yourself or you might be one who purposely visits the nearest candidate headquarters to pick up yard signs, bumper stickers, and buttons to advertise your choice.
Many extremely important and volatile issues will face our next leader. Many issues that faced other countries have now infiltrated into the United States of America. Global issues that previously did not affect us now have an impact on us.
Psalm 72 suggests that a leader should be one who:

  • Judges the people with righteousness;
  • Judges the poor with justice;
  • Defends the cause of the poor;
  • Gives deliverance to the children of the needy;
  • Crushes the oppressors;
  • Delivers the needy when he calls;
  • Pities the weak and needy; and
  • Saves the life of the needy (redeems their lives)

Some commentaries say Psalm 72 was written by Solomon himself. However, most commentaries believe it was written by an older King David as a prayer for his son Solomon and for his future leadership as King. Regardless, this chapter is a prayer for Solomon and his reign and Kingdom, it is also a prophetic look toward Jesus’ reign in future times.

But, what else did both Solomon and Jesus do consistently and purposely? They prayed. Unfortunately, towards the end of King Solomon’s reign, he fell into idolatry and disobedience. But for the majority of his life, he prayed for the welfare of those God allowed him the privilege of leading.

While we should pray for our government leaders, I am convinced that we should also pray that our government leaders be Bible-reading, praying people themselves. Something we might want to consider as we evaluate all the candidates and who the next leaders of our country will be.

Abraham prayed. And through his prayers, he received guidance and direction. King Hezekiah prayed and through his prayers idolatry was destroyed. He also prayed for his health and God restored 15 more years to his life. That is a powerful testimony for prayer.

Prayer can change the course of history, of cities, and nations. According to E.M. Bounds in The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer, Bounds states, “Prayer and the divine providence are closely related . . . Prayer brings God’s providence into action. Prayer puts God to work in overseeing and directing earth’s affairs for the good of men.” And because of this I am praying for a “Praying President.”

Let’s lift up all the candidates in prayer and seek God’s wisdom and guidance as to a new leader. Let’s pray for our leaders and future leaders as they will shape and govern the affairs of this world. But, more than that, let’s pray for a President, who fits the mold of Psalm 72 and who is dedicated to prayer and praying for God’s wisdom as he leads our nation and faces issues, such as, education, foreign policy, immigration, energy, healthcare, homeland security, social security, and more.

Let’s seek a future leader that:

  • Has proven himself/herself;
  • Has shown evidence of God’s preparation for the office of Presidency; and
  • Will pray consistently and fervently to the Mighty God.

As for me, I am praying for a PRAYING PRESIDENT! How about you?

Bible Verses:

And the Lord said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you have made before me. I have consecrated this house that you have built, by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.1 Kings 9:3 [ESV]

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7 [ESV]

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.James 1:5 [ESV]


Our Heavenly Father, as we seek to pray for Your person to fill the office of President of the United States, give us wisdom and discernment. Let us listen to candidates with Your ears. Let us see with Your eyes. Allow us understand the issues that will affect ourselves and Your will upon the earth. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Have a blessed day.


Bounds, E.M., The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer. Grand Rapids: Baker Books. 1990, (p. 213, 216).

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