Tag Archives: church

Delighting in God by A.W. Tozer

A.W. Tozer

Just like with music, I get hooked on a particular song, and I play it over and over, much to my husband’s cagrin.

As a teenager, I remember playing “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye so much that I thought my brother might rip the 45-rpm vinyl off the record player. I also obsess over topics and authors I investigate. I read an issue, or books by authors I like, until another new subject or writer piques my interest. 

The past few months, I have been obsessed with reading quite a few books by a true man of God— A.W. Tozer. During his life (1897-1963), Tozer was an American Christian pastor, Christian mentor, magazine editor, and author. As an author, he wrote sincerely! He wrote boldly! And he wrote with authority. Some of what he wrote contains many thoughts I have but am afraid to express. Maybe it’s my insecurity over being rejected, or perhaps it is my lack of courage or confidence. Either way, I am glad Tozer wrote what I mull over.

Tozer accepted Jesus Christ as his savior when he was a 17 year old teenager. His life was never the same after that. His schooling ended at 6th grade, but his education continued through extensive study in the Word of God. To read more about his life, click here. A.W. Tozer’s Biography from his Webpage!.

This past month, I wanted to read something happy, so I bought Tozer’s book, Delighting in God: True and absolute freedom is found only in the presence of God. This being a hectic time, I highlighted some sentences to share with you as I read the book. It turned out there was more conviction in the book than delighting. I know that conviction leads to confession, confession to a clean heart, a clean heart to a transformed heart, and a transformed heart to delighting in Him. So, I read on!

Below, I have quoted one sentence from each chapter of Tozer’s book, except in Chapter 7, where I splurged with two quotes, 

Two Activities

After I wrote, then reread this blog, I noticed something was missing.

What was missing was my thoughts on each profound phrase, so I quickly reread Tozer’s statements and jotted down the first thought that came to my mind. This activity reminded me of where I am at in my spiritual walk. You might find dialoguing over spiritual beliefs this way fun!

After reading Tozer’s chapter snippets, respond (aloud or on paper) to what you feel right after reading his quotation. You most likely will not have the same expressions as I did. That is to be expected, since we come from different backgrounds, encounter various trials, and experience wide-ranging circumstances. Also, our levels of maturity differ. It is an excellent dialoguing activity. To use a line from an old Alka-Seltzer commercial, “Try it, you’ll like it!”

Second, as a read-through activity, just read the chapter snippets I have noted from Tozer. You might become enamored of his writing style and decide if you want to pursue more profound readings along his lines. 

Chapter Snippets

Chapter 1: What I see lacking today is passion, but more defined, a passion for God, a deep desire to know God as He desires to be known.

“Oh Lord, give me a passion to be so close to You. Let me cling to You always.”

Chapter 2: What the Holy Spirit does not reveal to us is not worth knowing.

“This is hard, God. I want to know what the future holds for me, but I am not hearing from You. I remind myself You know the big picture of my life, but it doesn’t help my ruminations.”

Chapter 3: In evaluating the great advances and victories in the Christian church, we need to compare it to the New Testament pattern.

“Amen and Amen.”

Chapter 4 – Church problem – everything is programmed.

“So true Lord. I know for broadcasting, programs must be programmed, but I long for the days when we can be free to worship in our church without time restraints and just worship You until the Holy Spirit says to stop.”

Chapter 5 – You cannot reach the world by becoming like the world.

“I pray for me and my friends to not be like the world. I fail often. Let me see that as believers we are not of this world and accept that we may not quite fit in with some.”

Chapter 6: The average church . . . does not dare rise into high theology, because his poor backward sheep cannot follow him. It is hard to get people to think, but it is harder still to get them to thirst.

“Let our pastors and church leaders proclaim the Word of God without fear or trembling. Allow the Word of God to deeply infiltrate their lives, so only Your pure and righteous teaching may be preached. Let us understand church is for worshiping You, not for worldly entertainment.”

Chapter 7: What weakens us in evangelical circles is that we put a plus sign after Christ.

“Nothing can be added to You, God. I can’t add works, more Bible studies, more church work to add on to You. It is only a deeper walk with You that we need. Let us confess our sins and look to You for everything.”

Another Sentence from Chapter 7: Twenty minutes on your knees in silence before God will sometimes teach you more than you can learn even in church.

“This is so true, Jesus. When I am silent before You, You speak. Let my time with You be so much longer than just 20 minutes. I know I need so much more silence and solitude.”

Chapter 8: The first duty of every minister of the gospel is to bring God back to the church—not the intellectual God of the academics, not the palsy God of the gospelers, not the chairman of the board, but the God who reveals Himself in the Scriptures and who revealed Himself supremely in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Amen. Lord, I pray for my ministers and mentors. Do not let them fall into such spiritual warfare that God isn’t preached in truth and power. Let me always keep in my mind that in all I do, I must be humble before You as I face the hard things in life.”

Chapter 9: Whatever in my life is unlike God and contrary to the holiness of God must be eliminated from my life.

“Man, I so need to remember this. I pray for elimination over and over and over. I desire it, but it is so hard when the same thoughts keep seeping through my mind. Heal me of all ungodly thoughts and teach me what triggers I have that leads me astray.”

Chapter 10: To know about God and to know God are two absolutely, different things.

“I want my friends–even my church friends to understand this.”

Chapter 11: God cannot be manipulated.

“So true. Try as we may, God cannot be manipulated. He knows what is best for us and that is the direction He pursues for us. I sometimes try to get MY desires met through prayer and persuasion, but in reality, He is the one in charge–not us.”

Chapter 12: It is impossible to separate the Old Testament from the New Testament. It takes the whole Bible to make the Word of God.

“I heard once that when we read the entire Bible, we open ourselves up to hear ALL God wants to tell us. But, if we only read part of the Bible or only the parts we like, it is like us telling the Lord, ‘We DON’T want to know too much about Him.’ Lord, keep me in Your Word using all the different and creative ways I have seen You do, both in the past and currently.”

Chapter 13: So, God takes us through many trials, and it is not so important that we be happy right now. He is thinking about our enjoyment forever.

“Amen! If I can only live in the light of wanting Heaven more than anything else. I need Your strength each day to do that. I am so weak in this area.”

Chapter 14: Your own thoughts are heard by Him just as loud as Your loudest shout because God is as near to You as Your nerves, as near to You as Your thoughts and Your soul.

Jesus, I know You hear my thoughts and my prayers, but I sometimes wonder (maybe a lot) why You are not giving me relief in the areas that concern me. Come Lord Jesus and answer me with solid and specific ideas. Please take away any thoughts or prayers that I pray that might not be honorable to You. And, I need You to obliterate any distractions that Satan throws at me. Please.”

Chapter 15: I believe that the most important verse in the Bible is “In the beginning.” The most astounding and powerful phrase of all Scripture is “Thus saith the Lord.”

“Thus saith the Lord” is everywhere in the Bible. Let me hear You clearly when You say that phrase to me. Convince me it is You speaking and not my imagination or wishful thinking.”

Chapter 16: [Prayer] is more than a monologue—it is a dialogue. I am afraid most Christians have not progressed to the dialogue aspect of their prayer life.

“Lord, I know that is true. It hurts when I realize how difficult it is to dialogue–both myself and others. But, I know when we dialogue, it is a precious time between You and me. I love listening to Your Word, to the thoughts I obtain in the quiet times. I love dialoguing with my friends, but dialoging with You is the best. Please, do not let me get so busy where I am tempted to give my time with You up to do something else.”

Chapter 17: God is good.

Yes, I love that I have recently discovered Nahum 1:7, where it says, “The LORD is good.”

Chapter 18: Too many these days are going about the country making contented Christians. This is one of the worst possible things that could be done in the church—make a content Christian. We should not want contentment but a thirst for hunger after God. As long as we are without the thirst and hunger, we will be content.

“At church, make convictions a reality for us. Let us continually be reminded of sin. Why? So we will continue to become aware of our sins and shortcomings. Convict us, so we move to remove them from our lives. Give us Your humility to bow down in pure love to honor You. I want Your desires to be my desires. I want to become more and more like You. I want transformation.  I want (I need) to be transformed daily into Your image. Please take away any sinful or unpure thoughts, so my mind can be clear to hear Your Word.

Moving On

If anything caught your attention through my chapter highlights or quotes, I would love for you to share your thoughts with me through the comment section.

Okay, I feel it coming on again–that “hooked on a feeling” song. My song this time is “Til He Comes” by the Imperials! I know I am aging myself, but music is music. And the topic of this song is highly profitable as well! Right? Check it out on YouTube or through this link.

If you are a YouTuber, click here to hear “Til He Comes” by the Imperials.

Love y’all.

Bible Verses:

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied (Matthew 5:6).

Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature (1 Corinthians 14:20).

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you (John 14:26).

God Bless.

greenenpastures.org

Prayer:

Jesus, I want to hunger and thirst for You — for Your righteousness. Every day that I wake up, Lord, create in me a new heart. A heart that desires You more than anything or anyone else. Give me Your strength, wisdom, discernment, and joy until You come again to take us home to be with You forever and ever. In Your Name, Amen.

Work Cited

Tozer, A.W. Delighting in God: True and absolute freedom is found only in the presence of God. Ada, MI: Bethany House, 2015.

Bible verses come from The New American Standard Bible (NASB). “You” and “Your” references referring to God have been capitalized for consistency.

Edited by E. Johnson.

Fun Fact

Wondering what the A.W. stands for in Tozer’s name? His full name is Aiden Wilson Tozer. He never liked his name, so he became identified with his initials.

Subscribe: Join my blog by subscription to ensure you receive an email every time a new blog is posted. You can subscribe to the Greene Pastures blog site in the right-hand corner. You will receive an email to confirm your subscription. Feel free to forward this to your friends and family. I promise you won’t be overloaded with excessive emails — only when I post, which is no more than twice a month!

Books by Patti Greene

  • Awaken Me – Devotional Workbook
  • Anchor Me – Devotional Workbook
  • Answer Me – Devotional Workbook
  • Christian Caregiving

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

Sacred Snippet: Serving Christ

Do not ever belittle yourself thinking “small” service to the Lord does not count. Believe me, it counts!

In my quiet time this morning, I was thinking about ways I have “served” the Lord in years gone by and I could not get past this one time!

Years ago my husband and I were members of Autumn Creek Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. The building had just been built and we were getting ready for our very first service in the new church building. The day before our “grand opening” the congregation was helping to get the church ready. My job was to clean the inside windows of the church and dust the sawdust off the windowsills. No, there were no paid cleaners!!! We were all just doing our part–serving and fellowshipping together.

Why does this stand out in my mind as a significant contribution to the kingdom of God now? Maybe because it wasn’t huge like teaching a class or running Vacation Bible School; maybe because God was preparing me for more, or maybe He was showing me that sometimes it is the little, ‘behind-the-scene’ service that is just as important as big visual positions. As years have gone by, I think it was all these things.

When we serve God in the little things and are faithful to Him, He will give us more in His time; He will show us our spiritual gifts; He will smile down upon us. He is growing us.

So next time you smile at a lonely person, change a diaper in the nursery or send an encouragement card to someone, remember you are being the feet of Christ. He is working through you in the little things.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58 NASB)

greenenpastures.org

#ServingChrist

Photo Credit: Canva

Books by Patti Greene – Order Below!

Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending

Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer

Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer

Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer

Sacred Snippet: Watching a Former Church Online

FBC-O’Fallon, Missouri by Patti Greene

Since COVID-19, my usual Sunday morning consists of watching my own church Bear Creek Church, Katy online, then watching Southcrest Baptist Church, Lubbock, and then an “extra church” for variety.

Today, my “extra church” was our former church, First Baptist Church-O’Fallon, Missouri. We left there 24 years ago when we moved back to Houston.

It was an awesome feeling. I felt like I was back in time. Memories of areas the Lord privileged me to serve filled my being — the apartment ministries, the Christmas tree gifts ministry, the library ministry, and the fun times like when a lady leading a group I was in just got up, closed her eyes and laid down on the floor for 5+ minutes. Everyone else seemed to know what she was doing but for me! Turns out it was a menopause attack! I learned a lot at that church about God and life.

Of course, all the pastors have changed, but the music and “being in the sanctuary” was like being right there with my old friends and church family!

I even imagined my former and now late pastor Gary Taylor at the helm preaching. I was brought back to the day we all poured out our love to him when he rolled himself onto the platform shortly after his devastating car accident. He couldn’t wait to preach to us. And we couldn’t wait to love and pray him through his crisis time. He trusted us to love him through his difficulty because we were family-we really were.

The sermon today by the current pastor Dr. Michael Atherton was on “Spiritual Giftedness” in the church and I only took six pages of notes! I typed them up; and even distributed my notes. Okay, to be honest, I only emailed them to one person so far.

I say all this to encourage you to think back to a church that gave you great satisfaction and joy and join them online sometime. It will make you so grateful for all the experiences and love you have received from God.

At least it did for me🎚

How to Increase Church Attendance

Our youngest son Jimmy, always the adventurous type, decided to leave the safety and comfort of the Lone Star State (Texas) to continue his education after high school at Babson College—a private, but well-known business college founded in 1919 in Wellesley, Massachusetts, a town west of Boston.

So, it did not surprise his father or me that as an adult, he decided to collect the antique book versions written by the founder of his college—Roger W. Babson.

As most parents would be, we were grateful he did not want to start a collection of weird things like banana stickers, toenail clippings, or super-soakers! So, books were a great choice since I could find and give these rare books for birthday and Christmas gifts—if I could find them.

Babson was an American entrepreneur, economist, and business theorist. He predicted the Wall Street Crash of 1929, was the Prohibition Party’s candidate for President of the United States in 1940 although the election was won by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was also a religious man.

Babson authored over 40+ books on various topics—mainly business-related topics, but one book that he wrote, with the help of others, is titled How to Increase Church Attendance. It is this rare book that I found for Jimmy’s recent birthday present from a source I will not disclose to anyone.

Before wrapping Jimmy’s birthday gift, I read the book and took notes. Being a book published in 1936, it was fascinating to see how religious men from over 80 years ago perceived church attendance.

I desire that the following quotes from Babson’s book will make you laugh, ponder, and/or possibly change how you do church today!

Ministers, Leaders, and the Church

The personality and the pastoral work of the minister [is] very important. [It] is fundamental to a successful church.

If a church [cannot] afford a decent plant, it should consider consolidating with another church. In such cases, the churches with the poorer plants should sell their property and use the funds for renovating and extending [with] some other church in the community.

Trained teachers who are willing to give their services in the Sunday School should be exempt from making contributions.

All in the community, whether or not they attend church, should contribute to some church.

A Sunday should never go by without the minister making a public appeal for those who wish to give their hearts to Jesus.

The church is like a muscle—the more we use it, the stronger it becomes, while the less we use it, the weaker it becomes.

There are twice as many churches as there should be.

It is an outworn custom to count only those at the Sunday morning preaching service. We should also count the number who come to the church each week for any service of worship.

We should attend church . . .  to show our colors—to show the community and our family where we stand.

Every layman should go to church, irrespective of [the] preacher, music, ventilation, or cushions.

“Here [are] my suggestions for a church membership pledge,” exclaimed Roger Babson.

====================

To the ………………………………. Church,

I desire to develop my spiritual life and the spiritual life of others. As one means of doing this, I desire to join the ………………………………. Church.

I shall endeavor to bring my family or friends to your church, or to some other church if I am away, every Sunday.

I ask that you get in touch with me any week that you do not see or hear from me. I have checked the two lists on the reverse of this sheet showing the specific help which I most need, and also the line of work in which I may perhaps be most helpful to you.

Date ……………………………….            (S) ………………………………..

I FEEL THE MOST NEED OF:

Meditation

Learning to pray

Courage and Faith

Instruction

Help with my family

Better health

Economic assistance

New friends

General guidance

CAN BE THE MOST HELPFUL TO OTHERS IN:

Service of Worship

Teaching in Sunday School

Helping on the music

Leading young people

Caring for little children

Adult educational work

Boys’ Club Projects

Calling on the sick

Supplying flowers

====================

Causes for the Decline in Church Attendance

  1. Many seem to fear neither God nor man.
  2. Secondary motives for attending church, i.e. to help a man’s business or better his political prospects.
  3. Competing calls—competition; movies, reading newspapers.
  4. “The Waiting Mood”—People have ceased to seek. They wait to be sought.
  5. Indifference—church people are tremendously interested in many things. We must present the advantages of church attendance.
  6. Dissatisfaction with the tenets and teachings of the church. [Basically, the church does not seem to meet their needs and the needs of the age.]

The church should work for the well-being of the people.

Vitalizing the Sermon and Worship

  1. [There] must be an essential truth to the sermon. People want spiritual food they can understand.
  2. Holy zeal is necessary.
  3. Better craftsmanship is needed.
  4. Use other materials when necessary.
  5. Use the Bible.
  6. Sermons should be practical.
  7. Add news value to sermons. The use of such living materials … imparts a new freshness and impressiveness to the church service.
  8. Select “pulling subjects”—good topics and titles.
  9. Personal character—the personal life of the preacher must be a living example of Christianity.

Improving the Church Structure

  1. Ugly, badly arranged churches, if continued in use, will become more detrimental to church attendance.
  2. The equipment is very important.
  3. What, essentially, is required in order that a room be made effective as a place of worship? When one enters the room from the majestic out-of-doors, does he feel, upon coming within the building, a sense of uplifting and enlargement, even though the building may be small? Proportions [matter].
  4. Remove distractions—old chandeliers; Pleasant lanterns suspended from the ceiling will add much to the appearance and churchliness.
  5. Remove bad art glass.
  6. Good acoustics.
  7. Little things count for much.
  8. Eliminate all ugliness, barrenness, and things that divert attention from the holy exercise of divine worship.
  9. Cloakrooms will enable people to enter the sanctuary unencumbered without wraps, hats, and overshoes.

The Home and Church Attendance

  1. Regarding birth control, we do not have enough children in our church homes today to replenish our ranks in the next generation.
  2. The key individual to interest boys and girls in attending church is, of course, the minister. In the first place, he must be fond of children.
  3. The minister’s wife sets the example with herself and 5 children, and oftentimes four or five other children, [by] all sitting together in the fourth pew from the front.

Public Records on Church Attendance

Finance and attendance are both matters about which is the duty of all members to be informed.

Church Attendance and Theological Education

  1. A divinity school is a place for study. Its chief purpose is to train men in the major disciplines of theological education, not to equip students with a bag of tricks for drawing crowds.

Making the Community Church-Minded

  1. To have a great church, there must be two very essential factors; first-numbers; and second-loyalty.
  2. Two things impress the visitor—the height and central location of the pulpit.

Week-Day Religious Education

  1. For children and youth, religious education teachers should mostly be college or university graduates who have specialized in Bible and education.
  2. There is no need, however, for a church [to] lower its dignity by using the competitive methods of secular institutions, to draw people to its programs.
  3. [There needs to be] a firm belief that the church has something to offer.

Advertising

  1. The finest kind of advertising for any community, industry, merchandise, or even a church is the personal words [in] which one customer passes on to another.
  2. The great reason for non-church attendance among so-called Christians is the unregenerate conditions of their hearts.

Church Attendance and Prayer

  1. The heart of the church is prayer. If there is no place of prayer, or if the place of prayer is inadequate and weak, then no matter how enormous the church building might be, no matter how large the church membership, the church is a dying church.
  2. We cannot return to the old-fashioned testimonial meeting. It is as defunct as the old one-horse shay. (I had to look up the definition of a one-horse shay. It is a light, covered, two-wheeled carriage for two persons, drawn by a single horse.)
  3. But when we discarded the old shay, we did not leave our barn empty, we then filled it with a new automobile.

Six classes of people who attend church

  1. Those present every Sunday
  2. Others attending generally
  3. Others frequently
  4. Others occasionally
  5. Others rarely, and
  6. Others annually (on Easter)

Church Loyalty Projects

  1. Have a project.
  2. These works because they present specific achievements and friendly contests.

What about the Future?

  1. While the movies, the radio, comic supplements, and the automobile…have great power for good, they today are to too great an extent, undermining the character, health, and success of our children. Yet, we tacitly show our approval of these inroads by attending questionable movies and listening to everything on the radio.
  2. Before the development of modern advertising, motion pictures, and radio, many more of us spent our Sundays attending church services and reading good books.
  3. Today we are reading the sports and stock market pages, attending the movies, and listening to cheap radio patter.
  4. Hence, it behooves us to withhold a proper proportion of our time and money from these less important things and to devote the same to personally attending and financially supporting the churches.
  5. [To] help our children recognize the importance of character and the spiritual life, we must have them know that we put church attendance above the Sunday newspaper, the movie, and listening to the radio.
  6. [The most] efficient and inexpensive method of developing character among children and the community, in general, is to have them see us and their neighbors attend church.
  7. In conclusion, our studies would seem to indicate that the Protestant churches of America are today suffering from inertia, from lack of sufficient interest. Hence it would be time well spent if our clergymen and laymen would seriously consider an “over-hauling” and thorough examination.
  8. Statistics show that all institutions go downhill, which [does] not keep abreast or ahead of the times.

Miscellaneous

  1. Go through the list of church members with the thoroughness that a business organization would apply and prepare a list of those who do not go to church.
  2. Some may need to be dropped from the church roll.
  3. Others can be transplanted to other churches.
  4. But some will be quickened to resume their interest in the local church.

I hope you liked these quotes as much as I did. And, after reading this book, I am glad Jimmy no longer collects baseball cards, sneakers, or sunglasses! Books are good. And rare books are even better!

Bible Verses:

I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. Matthew 16:18

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:10

Prayer:

Jesus, let me love my church as You did. Let me honor and respect the holy place You have provided for me to worship in. Give me a love for the people in the church—no matter our differences, personalities, or Bible knowledge. May all I do within the church body be pleasing and acceptable to You. In the precious name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

God Bless.

 

Central Houston Inspirational Writers Alive! Associate Member; BibleGateway Blogger, Member; SBC, Church Member

Works Cited

Babson, Roger. How to Increase Church Attendance: The Commission on Church Attendance. New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1936.

[Roger W. Babson, Rev. Edwin H. Byington, Rev. Hudson E. Fiebiger, Winslow L. Webber, Rev. Gail Cleland, Elbert M. Conover, Rev. Clement F. Hahn, Rev. George L. Thurlow, Rev. Edwin B. Robinson, Rev. Vaughan Dabney, Rev. John L. Keedy, Rev. Robert W. Gammon, James B. McKendry, Rev. Daniel Bliss, Rev. Arthur L. Kingsolving; and Rev. Herbert D. Rugg.]

Bible verses are from the New American Standard Bible.

“Your Mission, Should You Decide to Accept It . . .”

 

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE

Any child of the 1960s will recognize those words, intoned from a clandestinely placed tape recorder each week as Jim Phelps calmly accepted one dangerous and logistically challenging assignment after another on the ironically titled TV spy series “Mission: Impossible”.

Phelps always accepted the mission, and never failed in his efforts!

We as Christians are given the Great Commission by Jesus Christ, a “mission” He urges us to accept. Like on the TV show we have great latitude in determining where, when and how we undertake this objective, as well as who will help with bringing it about.

Our success rate will probably be less than 100%, at least in our estimation, but the important thing is that we, at some point, in some way, “accept the mission”. – Ed.

Off to Belize City, Belize

In 1989, I boarded a plane with my husband and off we went from Houston, Texas on our first mission trip to Belize City, Belize, Central America. Our sleeping arrangements involved single bunk beds on a cement floor in the dank basement of a missionary couple’s home. Roaches flew by as I tried to fall asleep, and I recall the exact words I said to my husband: “How in the world could you take me to this God-forsaken place?” Of course, as I look back, it was mostly the cockroaches that invoked this question, which was more a declaration of my mental state at the time.

As I think about my comment, I realize that missions and evangelism are all about bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to “God-forsaken places” like this one but with my first experience, I could not get beyond the “cockroach mentality” and my disdain for the creatures. Fortunately, in time, I was blessed by many of the lovely people I met on my subsequent trips to Belize. Praise God!

Bible Verse

Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV) implores us to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

While some are called to give up money and their livelihood to follow the Great Commission, others will be called to a different mission, purpose, or place. What is important is to seek out God’s individual plan for our lives, and to obey His direction at every stage.

From a United States Citizen’s Perspective

As a resident of the United States, it is sometimes difficult to even imagine the poverty some people live in daily in other parts of the world. It is hard to conceive of worshipping in a run-down shack without air conditioning or sanitation. A.W. Tozer, a self-taught theologian, and a fearless preacher said, “Evangelical Christianity is now tragically below the New Testament standard. Worldliness is an accepted fact of our way of life. Our religious mood is social instead of spiritual.” ¹ We are now seeing churches sporting cafés, movie theaters, gymnasiums, and even local fashion shows.

For those reading this who are from an “advanced” country, have you ever considered that the reason we have been blessed with such relative abundance may be so that we can give generously to the cause of evangelism, rather than to our pleasures and wants? While many are trusting God in total dependency in living out their calling, so many others (even believers) have little regard for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and have become so “ME-centered” that the Lord hardly even seems present in their lives other than an occasional church service or a cursory glance at the Bible.

Satan’s Perspective

It is important to remember that Satan does not want us to be involved in any missionary or evangelical endeavor. Period! His desire is for us to either stay neutral on the subject or to become more centered in our own lives so that they revolve around us, and what makes us happy, rather than around the lives of others.

Sometimes those in mission work get so discouraged seeing so few showing an interest in their Christian beliefs or evangelism. This is another way our enemy seeks to degrade work done for the Kingdom, by attacking not only the missionary (through discouragement) but the supporter as well (through apathy, sloth and other distracters).

God’s Purpose

Regardless, God’s purposes will always be fulfilled. Even today, we can see the Holy Spirit operating around the world in many different nations. Many are coming to accept Christ where the Gospel has never been preached before. Salvations are occurring despite witchcraft, demonic influences, and secular rites and rituals. People are accepting Jesus Christ despite the fear of imprisonment, the fear of beheading, and the fear of being ostracized.

It is happening because of the prayers of believers. Maybe you are praying for a missionary, a specific country, a mission trip, or donating to help others participate in the Great Commission. If so, you are part of a wonderful opportunity by allowing the Holy Spirit to use you in His work.

As we pray for souls to be saved, let us remember the profound words of South African writer, teacher, and Christian pastor Andrew Murray. In Pray for the World, Murray is quoted saying, “Beware in your prayers, above everything else, of limiting God, not only by unbelief but by fancying that you know what He can do. Expect unexpected things, above all that we ask or think.” ² God does work in mysterious ways!

Advancing the Cause of Jesus Christ

Below are some ideas on how we can advance the cause of Jesus Christ. They are listed in alphabetical order, but all are worthy of equal consideration to the same degree.

  1. Adopt and pray for a country. Ask the Lord for the Holy Spirit to seek out the lost and lead them to Him­­;
  2. Be obedient to whatever or wherever the Lord leads;
  3. Befriend a person(s) from a different culture or country;
  4. Have a “missions fair” at your church.
  5. Participate in a mission trip – local or foreign;
  6. Provide mission-centered training in your church or organization;
  7. Research your country. Learn as much as you can about the culture, land, religion, livelihood, population, ethnic groups, economy, literacy, languages, education, and more. [This is a nice family activity to do.]
  8. Seek out opportunities for involvement.

What Happened Because We “Accepted The Mission”

Because we accepted the Great Commission and journeyed to Belize, we were able to be witnesses for Jesus Christ to the Belizean people. My husband John, our three children (ages 8, 6 and 4 at the time) and I spent our time in the Central American nation becoming lifelong friends with our hosts, Pastor Tony of Punta Gorda Baptist Church and his family, as well as other members of the local community. Fortunately, we still communicate with Tony’s adult children to this day.

John preached his first sermon there. I helped design the layout for a bookstore. Most importantly, John worked with the Southern Baptist Mission Board and trained Tony in the process of him becoming a fully-ordained pastor.

We ministered to Tony and his family well beyond that trip to Belize. When Tony developed kidney disease due to his uncontrollable diabetes, we let him stay at our home in St. Louis. Later, John arranged for him to get into a program at a downtown Houston hospital. At the time, dialysis was unavailable in Punta Gorda, and as a result, he had to travel regularly the 167 miles to Belize City for treatment, so we brought Tony here to the United States for more focused medical care.

Remember what I said earlier about the reason for having abundance is to share it with others? Recall that Luke tells us, “everyone to whom much was given, of [Him] much will be required. (Luke 12:48 ESV). We gave Tony and his family cars. We paid for their youngest daughter’s high school education. Some people might call my telling you this “braggy”, but I simply say it’s the kind of thing our Lord expects of us.

In sustaining the pastor and his family, we, in fact, supported the spreading of the Word by removing obstacles and distractions which would otherwise have hindered its free flow. That, above all other blessings we have been able to provide, is the most enduring.

Sadly, diabetes ended up taking Tony’s life, but his desire and work to bring the Word of God to the people of Belize lives on.

What I Learned on Our Mission Trips to Belize

Going to Belize was my first mission trip. It was “eye-opening—except when I closed my eyes to avoid those huge cockroaches at night. I learned I could do without my eyeliner and my eyelet bedspread.

But what I couldn’t avoid was the eyesore of poverty that confronted me every day. After urinating in a dirt hole in the ground, I was thankful for an outside toilet. After watching seven-and eight-year-old boys steal in order to purchase food, I was thankful we had enough to feed our own children. After seeing the native Belizeans shop at different grocery stores based on their political parties, I was thankful for our relatively stable public life in this country.

Secure in Their Faith

However, what amazed me the most was that the native Christians I met were solid and secure in their faith. They possessed a faith that I had never seen before. Their walk with the Lord was so evident by the fruits in their life, i.e. love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). I saw that they HAD TO depend on their relationship with God to sustain them for food, water, shelter, and more.

The churches we visited had pastors that cared that people accepted the gift of salvation. They preached with a firm voice as if it might be their last time to preach—and knowing the violence that surrounded them (at least in Belize City), any preaching experience very well could have been their last!

In all, my husband John has made ten trips to Belize. I myself have been along on three of those journeys. We keep “accepting the mission”, because, as long as there are unsaved people walking the Earth, it never ends…

Conclusion

Evil is abounding right now in every corner of the world. Let’s increase our faith, shape our Christian ministries, and pray sincerely for the Holy Spirit to be a mighty force in reaching the world for Christ. And let’s remind ourselves that God desires salvation for ALL people – even those in “God-forsaken” countries!

Bible Verses:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. (John 3:16-17)

But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:5)

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. (Titus 2:11-14)

Prayer:

Lord Jesus. Thank you for my salvation through Jesus Christ. Lord, please soften my heart so I am more sensitive to the eternal and spiritual needs of others. Let me pray for the Holy Spirit to gently guide me to the purposes and callings You have already planned for me. Provide opportunities for me to see through Your eyes and give me the courage and willingness to respond. In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Central Houston Inspirational Writers Alive! Associate Member; BibleGateway Blogger, Member; SBC, Church Member

Edited by E. Johnson.

Works Cited

¹ Tozer, A.W. “The Swamps of Low-Grade Christianity.” Global Christian Center. Web. Accessed 7 Oct 2019. https://globalchristiancenter.com/devotions/morning-muse/33922-the-swamps-of-low-grade-christianity.

² Murray, Andrew. “Andrew Murray Quote about #Everything, #Beware, #Prayer, Unbelief.” All Christian Quotes. Web. Accessed 7 Oct 2019. https://www.allchristianquotes.org/quotes/Andrew_Murray/141/

New American Standard Bible. BibleGateway.com. Web. 16 Oct 2019.

All Bible verses are from the New American Standard Bible unless otherwise noted.

Bible Gateway Bloggers
Bible Gateway Bloggers

===============

Patti Greene is a fun-loving (but serious) coffee drinking wife, mom, and Grammi! She serves as a Bible teacher and Sunday School helper in her home church where her husband also teaches in Katy, Texas. She writes and speaks with the sole purpose of leading and maturing others in Jesus Christ and His everlasting love. To receive blogs from GreenePastures.org delivered straight to your email, please email her at Patti@GreenePastures.org with your email address, and you will be added to the email listing. You will need to confirm your decision to be added to the blog by email. You can also catch up with her on her Twitter feed at (@PattiGreene13) or her Facebook Patti Greene-Pastures page at (https://www.facebook.com/author.greene).

Books by Patti Greene [Order today for Christmas]

Christian Caregiving

Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending

Devotional Prayer Journals

Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer

Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer

Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer

@PattiGreene13 #PattiGreene13 #bgbg2

The Book of Ezekiel: An Obedient Prophet, Reprobate Sinners and Disobedient Overseers

Who’s Who?

An obedient prophet—Ezekiel

Reprobate sinners—sinful people of Judah;

Disobedient overseers—shepherds/leaders of Israel who were not properly leading their sheep;

====================

Three Sisters

The story has been told of three sisters who lived together.

Three sisters, ages 92, 94, and 96, live in a house together. One night the 96-year-old draws a bath. She puts one foot in and pauses. She yells down the stairs, “Was I getting in or out of the bath?” The 94-year-old yells back, “I don’t know. I’ll come up and see.” She starts up the stairs and pauses. Then she yells out, “Was I going up the stairs or down?” The 92-year-old is sitting at the kitchen table having tea and listening to her sisters. She shakes her head and says, “I sure hope I never get that forgetful.” She knocks on wood for good measure. She then replies, “I’ll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who’s at the door.” ¹

While these three sisters can’t remember very well, they still want to help each other. They want to live in peace and harmony with each other. They want to serve each other.

In the Old Testament Book of Ezekiel, we see three people groups mingling and occupying the banks of the Chebar River during the Babylonian captivity: an obedient prophet, reprobate sinners and disobedient leaders. Unfortunately, they were NOT attempting to live harmoniously at all, like the sisters were above.

Historical Fact: The Babylonian Empire exerted influence over Judah. In 586 BC, they destroyed Jerusalem.

Ezekiel tries to lead the people in a godly manner. The sinners are living in the depths of depravity. Likewise, the disobedient leaders are living merely for themselves and for their pleasures.

Ezekiel: An Obedient Prophet

Wouldn’t it be nice to be so attuned to God that we would hear the word of the LORD come to us daily? Many leaders in the Bible were obedient to the voice of God; others not so. Some obeyed for a while and then retreated into sin.

The prophet Ezekiel was an obedient leader! Over and over in the Book of Ezekiel, we read, “And the word of the LORD came to me” or “The word of the LORD came again to me saying.” And he obeyed every time God told him to do something, no matter how bizarre it seemed.

In Ezekiel 33:7, Ezekiel is appointed to be a watchman for the house of Israel to give the people a warning. Ezekiel, as a spiritual leader, proceeds to warn the people of their sin and the upcoming prophecy of Jerusalem’s capture.

He lays out what happens when a group of people are not being led in the way of righteousness, like what was happening in Judah at the time: Babylonian leaders were threatening to overtake the people of Judah.

Ezekiel was exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem during the second deportation of the Jews in 597 B.C.—one year before Jerusalem was conquered by the Chaldeans. This important time period occurred when many Jews were taken captive and similarly exiled by King Nebuchadnezzar II.

While the nation of Judah had sunk deep into sin, Ezekiel was called and commissioned by God to prophesize to an ungodly people about their many sins—idolatry, apostasy, and wickedness. Ezekiel’s boldness and dedication to the LORD gave him the power to predict the siege of Jerusalem, denounce idolatrous worship, lament over cities, and predict judgment. He was the instrument God chose to declare His verdict and reaffirm an individual’s responsibility to obey the Lord. Towards the end of the book, he joyfully shares about Israel’s eventual restoration and the glory which will fill God’s temple.

Historical Trivia: Sometimes the term “Chaldeans” is used to refer to Babylonians in general, but normally it refers to a specific semi-nomadic tribe that lived in the southern part of Babylon. ²

Historical Trivia: The House of Israel and The House of Judah are NOT the same people. Both are parts of the nation of Israel but reflect the division of the country into two different Kingdoms. Bible prophecies tell us that [the] Messiah will rule over a restored Kingdom during His millennial reign, as King David ruled over both Houses during his own tenure. ³

I’ve always thought of Ezekiel as my kind of prophet—he’s flamboyant and colorful. He wails, slaps his thighs, and has visions of dry bones. But his obedience to God’s call and willingness to do whatever God asks of him is what impresses me the most.

Sinners: Reprobates from the House of Judah, Including the Capital City of Jerusalem; 

Ezekiel 16 catalogues the sins of the people of Jerusalem. Many of the people were trusting in their personal beauty, and out of this hubris became prostitutes. They had sex with everyone who walked by. They took the gold and silver that the LORD had given them and out of it made idols for themselves. They covered their idols with embroidered clothes and offered God’s olive oil and incense in their presence. They similarly pledged all the fragrances and food that God had given them as well. They sacrificed their sons and daughters to their idols as sustenance. They had sex with the Assyrians, but they still weren’t satisfied, so they had sex with land merchants and the Babylonians (Ezekiel 16:15-34).

Leaders: Disobedient Overseers

Ezekiel warned the leaders as to what will happen if the people continued in sin due to a lack of leadership. Those in charge have a responsibility to lead their flock ethically no matter where they find themselves—in the workplace or in ministry. The overseers of the people were all about themselves: they became a stumbling block of iniquity to the House of Israel. They followed their idols far from God, thereby rendering them unable to lead the people. God’s desire was for them to be ashamed of their transgressions, but they weren’t (Ezekiel 43:10).

The leaders at that time were going to be punished for their sins. Leaders have a great responsibility to their people, as do ministers have towards their “sheep”—those that they have been given responsibility to lead within their churches or ministries. In each case, there will come a time when God says, “enough of all your abominations, because judgment will come!” (See Ezekiel 44).

What Happens To The People When Leaders “Run Amok?” 

And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to them, the [spiritual] shepherds, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Woe (judgment is coming) to the [spiritual] shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? You eat the fat [the choicest of meat], and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the best of the livestock, but you do not feed the flock. You have not strengthened those who are weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bandaged the crippled, you have not brought back those gone astray, you have not looked for the lost; but you have ruled them with force and violence. They were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered, they became food for all the predators of the field. My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill; My flock was scattered over all the face of the earth and no one searched or sought them.”’”

Therefore, you [spiritual] shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: “As I live,” says the Lord God, “certainly because My flock has become prey, My flock has even become food for every predator of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock; therefore, you [spiritual] shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand My flock from them and make them stop tending the flock, so that the shepherds cannot feed themselves anymore. I will rescue My flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them”’” (Ezekiel 34:1-10 AMP).

Application to Leaders Today

The Drudge Report posted an article on January 15th, 2019 titled, “Staff at a Chinese company are forced to CRAWL on the street after ‘failing to hit their annual targets’” The article mentioned that a group of  female beauty company employees were made to crawl on their hands and knees through busy afternoon traffic in Zengzhou, China for failing to meet their company sales target. ⁴ I would classify their boss/leader as an uncouth, mean person. His flock wasn’t being led, or, to use a Christian term “fed” in an appropriate way.

The word of the LORD came to Ezekiel saying, “Son of man, speak to the sons of your people, and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming upon the land, and he blows on the trumpet and warns the people, then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head.’” (Ezekiel 33:2-4).

We can extend Ezekiel’s analogy to all venues where leadership is established. Leaders such as CEOs, political leaders, teachers, pastors, prophets, and evangelists are put in the position of either following the Lord’s guidance in this area, or suffering the consequences.

Conclusion

Whatever God does with wicked individuals, leaders or nations, He is always generous in extending grace. His final goal is always the same, both then and now: God declares twenty times in the Book of Ezekiel that “they will know that I am the Lord.”

When the leaders didn’t do “their job”, God eventually stepped in Himself to restore Israel.  God said, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out . . . I will feed My flock and lead them to rest . . . I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with judgment.” (Ezekiel 34:16)

No matter what kind of leader you are, obey God as Ezekiel did.

If you are in a leadership position, most likely you will not be carrying out a public humiliation upon your employees or congregants or forcing them to slap themselves in the face 100 times (which occurred recently in China), but you must remember you are accountable to God for how you treat people.

In the three sisters story above, the sisters were not fully able to remember each other’s call for help, but their love for each other was evident. That’s how God’s love for us is: let’s commit to obey Him and serve His people in whatever situation we find ourselves.

If you are not a believer, consider the love that Christ has for you and how you can be part of the Kingdom of God by accepting Him as your Lord and Savior.

Bible Verses:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22)

Shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; (1 Peter 5:2)

So, whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)

For the LORD will judge His people and will have compassion on His servants. (Psalm 135:14)

Prayer:

My heavenly Father, with all my heart, I desire to do Your will. Give me the courage of Ezekiel, the strength to remain strong in You, and to lead in a way that is honorable to You. Steer me away from all things which can send me astray. Prune me so I can serve You more and more each day.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

God Bless,

greenenpastures.org

Member of IWA-Inspirational Writers Alive!

Member of Biblegateway Bloggers #bgbg2

Bible Links are from the NASB unless otherwise noted.

To read more about leadership, check out the following article.

https://greenepastures.org/leadership-part-1-nehemiah/  (From this blog, you can link to Leadership Part 2-Nehemiah)

Works Cited

¹ “Unjokes #1002.” Jan 17, 2019. Web. Unjokes.com.

² “Who were the Chaldeans in the Bible?” GotQuestions.org. Jan 17, 2019. Web: https://www.gotquestions.org/Chaldeans.html

³ “Are the House of Israel and The House of Judah the same people?” Blog Post WordPress. Bible Insights from Jerry. 17 Jan 2019. Web. https://bibleinsightsfromjerry.wordpress.com.

⁴ You, Tracy. “Staff at Chinese company are forced to CRAWL on the street after ‘failing to hit their annual targets.”Drudge Report: Daily Mail. 15 Jan 2019. Web. www.DrudgeReport.com.

Bibliography

“Ezekiel.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. Jan 16, 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ezekiel.

Photo Credit: Lightstock.com

See Works Cited.

Edited by E. Johnson

Valentine's Day

Books by Patti Greene

Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending

Devotional Prayer Journals

Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer

Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer

Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer

Christian Caregiving: Behind the Scenes

My newly released book, Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending, was published in May 2018. To me, this is exciting news! I am amazed at how God worked in putting this book together, so I want to share some background information about how this new release came about. So, humor me for a few moments!

Here Goes My Story

Once upon a time, not so long ago, my church* asked me to teach a class on caregiving. When I was first asked to teach this class my first thought was, “Why in the world would anybody ask someone to teach a caregiving class while they are in the midst of it?” However, after pondering and praying, I felt the Lord say, “Go Ahead!” I had no curriculum to follow. The class was put together by my own research, prayer, my living circumstance, the Holy Spirit and by my husband who was willing to stay with my mom (with whom we live), so I could go to the church to teach the class.

I taught the class not just once but twice.

Just as I don’t know how to express my gratefulness for this teaching opportunity, I don’t know how to express my gratitude for how this book came into being.

I had no intention of putting the highlights of the class into a book until way after I finished teaching the second class, but then again God impressed me with His words, “Go Ahead.” Each of the chapters overviews one of the six class lessons taught at my church.

At the same time as God’s “Go Ahead” words impressed me, I was asked to teach a couple of classes at Houston’s First Baptist Church at the Inspirational Writers Alive Conference in August 2018. One of the classes I am teaching is titled Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing. This opportunity was another big catalyst for this book because if I were to teach on self-publishing I wanted to experiment with how publishing with Amazon was done so I could share it with the class. Thus, this book was created through Amazon. I published my other books differently.

As with all new ventures, there is a learning curve. I  learned how to purchase an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) on this publishing journey. In addition, I found out that companies can format books specifically for Amazon Print, Kindle, Smashwords and more.

I had an awesome editor. He’s the best. He tells me when what I write doesn’t make sense; he corrects my incomprehensible grammar, illogical expressions and unreasonable comparisons. Wow. I couldn’t do this without him. He lives in Michigan. (He’s probably reading this newsletter now, cringing and in tears!)

I was so excited to be able to use the photograph of a friend of mine on the front cover! The cover shows her with her mom in a facility while caregiving. [This is a good place to say that this wonderful person also designed the covers my other three books.]

But, with this cover, I just went with a pre-formatted cover using a photograph she sent me. I am so grateful to her. She lives in New York. And who else can put together someone from New York with someone from Texas! Can I mention that I have never met this lovely woman? That’s a God thing.

It is always scary to push the “SUBMIT” button on a book one has written, but I did. A week after this book was published, it was brought to my attention that I didn’t handle something correctly.  I was made aware of it and just in the nick of time, I was able to correct a serious problem. This issue cropped up because I totally ignored a major plagiarism rule that I knew and have taught to others for many years. It made for some tense days, but God worked it out perfectly by me being able to delete my book off Amazon and resubmit it with the needed adjustments.

On my first submission, I ordered 30 books which I assumed would come with the first submission’s printing, but miraculously when they arrived, they had the issues corrected. God even prepared me through my former career as a librarian. I didn’t realize I had to type up the publication page — the page after the title page — since I didn’t do it for my other books, but with Amazon, I had to. My librarian experience taught me how to prepare that page with ease. Now, that’s specific! And, God knew long ago that I was going to need to know how to figure out Library of Congress subject headings!

I say all that to say that what is available on Amazon is the “best copy” I could do!

And one more thing: discovering the identity of the front cover picture’s photographer came late, but it came just in time and I was able to get the release I felt comfortable with in using the lovely picture on the front cover.

My Final Remarks

God is good and when we obey Him, He makes things all work out. And, even when I faced those stressful days between copy 1 and copy 2, I felt very peaceful that He was working it out. I didn’t know how He would do it, but He did. I feel like it was like turning the water into wine. Just miraculous!

If you are in the caregiving phase of your life or you know someone who is, I recommend this book to you. My prayer is that it will be very beneficial to you, your loved ones, and your friends.

Here Are Some Fun Facts To Know About This Caregiving Book!

The hardest part of putting this book together was the Endnotes and Bibliography.

My husband wrote the paragraph describing the book on the back cover. I didn’t put his name on “his” paragraph. Sounded too nepotistic for me. Ha.

My picture on the back cover is five years old. I am now in the process of trying to become a blonde. Yes, you heard me correctly! But, it’s not turning out too well.

The book is now available on Amazon.com for purchase both in print and e-book format. If you have Amazon Unlimited, the book is a free download. The book retails for $8.95 and the e-book version is $4.99. I think if you purchase a print book, you can get the e-book for 99 cents.

Thanks so much for reading my story. My readers are my lifeline and guide to my writing.

With so many adult children facing caregiving questions, this book may be the answer to most of their questions. I am asking you to share, forward and repost this article to your friends and family members.

God Bless,

greenenpastures.org

CHRISTIAN CAREGIVING: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending by Patti Greene

ISBN-13:                                978-0692115381—Christian Caregiving—Print/Softcover

ISBN-Kindle:                      0692115383—Christian Caregiving—Kindle

Quotes:

Patti Greene’s book, Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending, is an excellent resource. It addresses the key points in what you need to prepare for. Written from a Christian perspective, it gives prayers and Bible verses to provide comfort during this difficult time. If you have read any of the author’s other books, you know she has a heart for God through her many years of prayer and journaling that led to her books. This would be a great resource for churches, caregiving groups, and anyone that has aging parents.

—JT, St. Louis

Christian Caregiving is a clear and concise resource for those of us who want and desire to care for our elderly family with the love of Christ. I have found the basic suggestions and information to be invaluable. Many of us who find ourselves in this season of life sometimes are simply overwhelmed with the magnitude of life decisions that have to be made. Knowing that this book has simplified topics and clear directives on what caregivers should do, consider and execute, has made the process much less daunting. Reading this book and taking note of the suggestions that Ms. Greene has so carefully put together has helped ease my concerns during my family’s caregiving season.

—AR, Houston

Bible Verses:

Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established. (Proverbs 16:3)

I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever. (John 14:16)

Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth. (Ephesians 6:2-3)

Prayer from Chapter 1 in Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending

Dear Lord,

Help me to be the best caregiver possible. Give me wisdom and a desire to honor You in how I serve. There are so many issues. You know my time and my schedule. Let me experience joy as I honor my loved ones. Let me seek knowledge. Let me be wise in my dealings with others. Let me be generous with my hugs and kisses. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Edited by E. Johnson

*Bear Creek Church, Katy, TX

Caregiving Part 5: Spirituality

Caregiving. My husband and I moved in with my mother when my father passed away a year and a half ago. Mom is a fragile 91-year-old. Her health is not good, but her mind is phenomenal. Today I drove Mom and her friend to their church for a special service. We stayed afterward for the end-of-the-year Women’s Club luncheon. The women chatted, laughed, and enjoyed fellowship with their friends. You might ask why I chauffer my mother around like this; I do it because I love my mother and I want her to continue to enjoy the church she has attended for the past 50 years. It is there she fellowships with her friends and shares a spiritual connection with others and the Lord.

As a caregiver, our concerns usually center around our parents’ emotional, physical and social life. One aspect often lacking in caregiving is an interest in the elderly’s spiritual life. Whether you are a part-time caregiver or a full-time caregiver, giving yourself to the spiritual needs concerning your parents is truly a privilege.

For those who take their spirituality seriously, a sense of purpose and fulfillment undergirds their lives. Despite this fact, some do not understand or take seriously this component of another’s life. Understanding spirituality is complicated because there are so many scenarios and so many definitions of spirituality at play. They involve answering questions such as:

  • Are you a part-time caregiver or a full-time caregiver?
  • Are your parents living in the same town or city as you are?
  • Are you a strong believer, a ‘sort of’ religious person, or an uninterested individual?
  • Have your parents lived a dedicated life for Christ and the church? Have they attended church sporadically? Or, have they rarely explored any ‘religious’ life?

Once you mix and match all these different dynamics together, it’s time to discern and pray about your part in your parents’ spiritual life. Regardless of your parents’ spiritual background, caring for them is one of the most compassionate undertakings you or your siblings can pursue. Included in regular caregiving responsibilities, being a part of allowing your parents to pursue or continue their interests in God, church, and spiritual growth is an important part of caregiving.

But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8)

Your Parents

Many seniors who have attended church all their lives develop a deeper desire for the things of God when they get older; but many do not. Some glide into old age making their spirituality more of an inward feat and not a community feat. In Spirituality and Aging, Sociology Professor Emeritus at Marquette University David O. Moberg says, “Many scientists who study spirituality and aging have concluded that spirituality increases with age. However, it is also important to acknowledge that other prominent researchers disagree with this premise.” ¹ Gerontologists are starting to see how the spiritual life regarding their patients yields an unexplainable peace and calmness as they face the future. As a result, their physical well-being is often affected in a positive way. They see their patients with faith as possessing strength and tranquility regarding their future.

Driving Forces Why Seniors Depend on God

  • Many seniors are concerned about their death and the afterlife.
  • Their faith provides strength as they face illnesses, loss of friends, and loneliness.
  • They have more time to pray and read their Bible.
  • Concern over a reduced income and the ability to meet their needs.
  • A renewed or deepening dependence and guidance by the Holy Spirit.

At a time when seniors tackle new challenges, many undergo losing their support systems. This should be a huge consideration in churches as “baby boomers” are starting to fit into the senior adult category.

Driving Forces Why Seniors Abandon their Faith and Church

  • Lack of activities for seniors—Feeling of alienation may occur when more emphasis is given to youth ministries, young adult ministries, or any ministries besides senior adult ministries.
  • Miss traditions—They feel left out, unwanted, unneeded in the congregation. Seniors enjoy the familiarity of things past, i.e. hymns, Sunday dinners, fellowship luncheons.
  • Difficulty adjusting to change—The new programs and facilities are too much for them. Adjusting to change is especially hard for the aging population.
  • Hearing loss—They can’t hear the preacher or Sunday school teacher.
  • Stimulating services (music, yelling, confusion)—The British Alzheimer’s Society discusses noise triggers by saying, “[People with Alzheimer’s] feel bewildered or anxious because there is too much noise, too many people around, or a change in a familiar routine.”
  • Other disabilities—There may not be handicapped parking or wheelchair accommodations at the church. They may be unable to get to church due to disability or inability to drive themselves. Or maybe, there is too much walking to get to their classes or sanctuary easily.

Caregiving and You

As a family caregiver member, it is imperative for you to be cognizant of your parents’ needs. This includes their spiritual needs.

Practical Ways You Can Help

  • If you live in the same town or city as your parents, bring them to church and church functions.
  • If you live out-of-town, contact their church organization, friends, or other family members to set up transportation.
  • If your parents are in a facility, investigate what kind of spiritual activities that are available.
  • Make their living environment familiar and comfortable, i.e. put their favorite cross in their room, be sure their Bible is easily accessible.
  • Provide notecards, stamps, and addresses so they can write and minister to their friends.
  • Get their hearing checked by an audiologist.
  • Get their eyesight checked by an optometrist or an ophthalmologist.
  • Purchase a large-print Bible for them if needed.
  • And, if you or family members live in the same city or town, be sure to visit them!

Whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:11)

Questions Caregivers Must Ask

  • What hindrances are my parents facing?
  • My parents used to attend church. Why don’t they go now?
  • How do I approach my unbelieving parents about Jesus Christ?

These are just a few of the many questions caregivers might have. You may want to spend some time thinking, meditating, and praying for what questions need to be asked and how you can be a part of the solution.

How to Pray: Ten Tips for a Better Prayer Life

Keep Yourself in Top Spiritual Shape

Being connected to God’s divine source can help you manage better as your caregiving duties progress. Continuing or starting to seek God’s presence and strength in your life will assist you as you care for and minister to your loved ones. Understanding you are not perfect alleviates a mindset of inadequacy. Remind yourself of all your parents have done for you. If they haven’t done much, it is time to ask God how He wants you to treat them and care for them regardless of the past. God is available to help you as you support your parents. By being their caregiver, you can be assured, God has given you a divine assignment—one that you won’t regret.

Salvation and Eternal Life

On our most recent visit to my mother’s oncologist, we were discussing mom’s diagnosis and future prognosis. In his matter-of-fact intonation, he said, “Mrs. —————, life is a terminal illness!” While we don’t want to think about life like this, it is true. We all will die and face an eternal future.

As we live our earthly life, let us be ever mindful about our eternal destination. Gaining an understanding of our future existence is significant in understanding life-and-death anxieties and angsts.

Both caregivers and parents and all humanity will die. CRU (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) discusses four laws in the booklet “Have You Heard of the Four Spiritual Laws?” ²

Four Spiritual Laws

Law 1: God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.

John 3:16

Law 2: Man is sinful and separated from God. Therefore, he cannot know and experience God’s love and plan for his life.

Romans 3:23

Law 3: Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Through Him, you can know and experience God’s love and plan for your life.

John 14:6

Law 4: We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.

Revelation 3:20

A Heart-to-Heart Prayer

If you or your parents have not accepted Jesus Christ, now is the time to have a frank conversation with God. If you are unsure how to pray for God’s salvation, a simple well-meaning prayer can be the best decision for both of your lives.

Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that you raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.” ³

If you have accepted Jesus Christ but your parents haven’t, now is the time to have a candid heart-to-heart with them.

Eight days before my father passed away, I had a candid heart-to-heart with him. He prayed a prayer akin to the prayer written above. As we sat on his couch at 5 am we quietly talked together and talked to God. Some may call this a deathbed conversion. No matter what it is called, my father accepted Jesus Christ and God used me to help him make the best decision of his life.

Caretaking means being responsible for various aspects of your parents’ life. As we face our parents’ sundown years, let’s do what we can to help them hold on to, delight in, and agree to take part in their spiritual life while at the same time progressing and preserving our own spiritual life.

Do You Fear Death?

Bible Verses: See above.

Prayer:

Dear heavenly Father, as I consider all the needs of my parents, let me be mindful of their whole being. I pray for their emotional, physical, social, and spiritual life. Make me aware of their needs. Let me offer my help. Give us both peace. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

God Bless,

Member Inspirational Writers Alive; Bible Gateway Blogger Grid Member

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

Works Cited/Bibliography

¹ Spirituality and Aging. http://www.nap411.com. Accessed 10 May 2017.

² Greene, Patti. Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer. Bloomington: WestBow, 2016. [Permission given from CRU for Have You Heard of the Four Spiritual Laws summary.]

³ Begin Your Journey to Peace. www.peacewithgod.net. Accessed 10 May 2017.

Coming Soon: Caregiving Part 6: How to Prepare, Embrace, and Survive the Final Moments


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

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

Fool’s Gold: The Folly of a “Semblance of God”

Many people today have what amounts to a “Semblance of God” in their lives, such as a figure of Christ in their churches, or a cross in their homes. In churches, Bibles have been replaced in the pew-back pockets by offering envelopes, social activity schedules and pencils.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines semblance is as, “an outward and often specious appearance or show.” Specious, in turn, means “having a deceptive attraction or allure”, and “having a false look of truth or genuineness.”

What will happen to “semblance churches,” which are deceptive and give a false appearance of what Christian living is all about? Will they survive in their fallen form, or go the way of many European churches which are now restaurants or museums—left standing solely to maintain the architecture and design of a historical time period? No more do the church bells chime. No longer do praises of our heavenly Father emanate from the holy sanctuary—they are only a memory and a remnant of days gone by.

“Sad” is the only word I can use to describe this situation.

Today there are still distraught and needy people the world over who seek the one true God. There are still shoulders that need embracing, hugs that need to be given, prayers that need to be heard—and a Savior who longs to reign in His church.

We show up for funerals, and leave unaware of the final resting place of the deceased. We mourn for those left behind, but not for too long, as we don’t want to face where our own eternal destination might be.

Christ is the only answer for the people, and Christ is the only answer for the church. Christ is also the only answer for our own eternal security.

How to Bring Christ Back into Our Churches by Relinquishing a “Semblance of God”

  1. Teach that it is the Holy Spirit who draws people to Christ. It is only through repentance of our sins and acceptance of Jesus Christ as our personal Savior we are rescued from hell. Only when this is done will we be ready for our eternal life with Jesus Christ.
  1. Invite to leadership positions only those who have accepted God’s gift of salvation, proven their integrity, possess the fruits of the Spirit, and are actively growing in their spiritual lives.
  1. Pray for the Holy Spirit to enliven our churches. Dead churches produce religion. Live churches, on the other hand, produce hope, comfort, assurance, and peace.
  1. Stand up for what is right. Talk about it. Whether you are the preacher or not, there are topics about which we can speak up when confronted, such as abortion and evolution.
  1. Stop bribing people to come to church for a free meal, a big performance, or with other such gimmicks. Get back to the basics of teaching God’s Word, praying, and seeking Him above all else.
  1. Stop segregating church attendees into age groups. Seniors have a lot of wisdom they can share with younger generations, while children and millennials offer their energy and vitality to their elders.
  1. Stop using church growth as the main metric of successful evangelism. Be more concerned that converts to Christ are truly repentant of their sins, and that opportunities exist for discipleship.
  1. Stop allowing weak and false doctrines to seep in and dilute church teaching. Many churches and their members choose to believe only the parts of the Bible that fit into their already-established lifestyles and cultures. Other churches may participate in Eastern therapies during the week, through certain forms of yoga or guided illumination.

Throughout the Old Testament God’s people went through continuing cycles of loving Him followed by periods of rejection. God had finally had enough and punished them severely. This punishment often caused factions and disagreements within the church and among the people who called themselves believers.

But Jesus Christ never gave up on His people or His church. He came to Earth to live an honorable and reputable life as an example to us. He suffered and died, then rose from the grave as propitiation for our sins, so that we may live godly lives.

And when we live godly lives, resembling His ways, our churches will come to resemble God, and not just be a semblance of Him.

Bible Verses:

So, Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.” John 8:28

Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 1 Timothy 4:13 KJV

Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited. Hebrews 13:9

Prayer:

Dear heavenly Father, let my heart and mind be sold out to You. Let my church family be sold out to You also. Let’s grow together—keeping You foremost in our minds. Let us learn to follow Your Holy Spirit in all You say and do. Make my priorities Your priorities. May I be ever careful to follow Your laws and rules with love. Give me the courage to speak out for You and to love You more and more each day. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.

God Bless,

PATTIGREENE.eps-(1

Patti Greene, Member Inspirational Writers Alive

Edited by E. Johnson; Bible verses taken from the NASB.


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.

Books by Patti Greene

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

A 90-day devotional prayer journal for all ages; This informative and how-to book on prayer is for seekers, new believers, and mature believers. It encourages a commitment and devotion to the art of prayer. Learn how God reveals himself through Bible study and prayer. ISBN: 978-1512760453 (Paperback) $11.95 on Amazon.

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

A 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) $27.95 on Amazon.

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

A 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) $19.95 on Amazon.

Blogger Badge - White background 100x100#bgbg2

From a Mother’s Heart: Praying Christian Community into Existence

From a Mother’s Heart: Praying Christian Community into Existence / by Patti Greene, Greene Pastures by Patti

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


Our family lives in Houston, Texas. In the fall of 2004, our son Jimmy started his first year at Babson College. It was during this time that God impressed on my heart the absolute need for believers to dwell in union and community in Jesus Christ.

In high school Jimmy applied to many colleges, but after much prayer he made the decision to attend Babson in the Boston, Massachusetts area – which is 1,848 miles away from home.

For background, we are a middle-class family. Jimmy attended a public high school and was raised in Bible-believing churches. Our church, and church friends, were always like family to us.

Jimmy stayed his first year at Babson, but the calls and emails home were increasingly breaking this mom’s heart. That first year was tough for him; for the first time, he was competing with private school kids, prep school kids, and kids much more ingrained in education than he was. The academic standards were higher than expected.

Jimmy was unhappy, stressed, and deeply regretting his college choice. He attended a high school with 3,500 students. He was class president for four years and an outstanding athlete. However, Babson was a D-3 school and there wasn’t much pride in the sports arena compared to D-1 schools. This college was strictly an upper level business school whose attendees consisted of those who considered attending other prestigious schools, e.g. Harvard, Yale, MIT. We were all astonished this was where Jimmy was being led by God to attend. It didn’t make sense to us other than Jimmy had a deep desire to attend a school in the Northeast where he would be challenged academically.

Every day I would come home from work, and I would pray long, hard, and continuously for him. It was sad because my two older children enjoyed their college life, but this post-secondary adversity was a new experience for both my husband, Jimmy, and myself.

I prayed more than I had ever prayed for anything in my life. I prayed for him to find a church family. I prayed for Christian friends. I prayed for him to find a Bible-believing church. I prayed for him to be strong in his faith. I prayed for him to become closer to the Lord. I prayed he would read his Bible. The list could go on and on.

This mom’s heart was breaking. Tears flowed almost daily.

I had been made aware of “prayer-walking” although I had never done it in a church situation before. GotQuestions.org, an online source for answering Biblical questions, defines prayer-walking as “the practice of praying on location, a type of intercessory prayer that involves walking to or near a particular place while praying.” ¹ While unable to be on the Massachusetts campus myself, I decided to prayer walk in my own creative way.

I sat down in the chair in which I normally pray in with a map of the college campus. I “walked” around the campus in my mind, praying for what happened in each dorm. I prayed for Jimmy to meet nice people in the cafeteria and prayed for his classes. Thus, within time, I had prayed for every building on campus, including the chapel, which was mostly used for lectures, not religious events.

I seemed to dwell and pray more in and around the chapel. Of course, in my mind, the chapel represented God, Jesus, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit.

I continued to pray fervently and long. I prayed for any Christian church to reach out in ministry. I prayed for Christian influences to show up. I prayed for spiritual strength. I prayed for the Lord to speak to others to help. I prayed for the community people. I prayed because I love my son and I wanted him to be happy and to keep his Christian faith strong during college.

Campus Crusade for Christ (now known as CRU for Crusade) had occasional meetings on the campus. While CRU was helping to fulfill the Great Commission by winning people to faith in Jesus Christ and building them in their faith, more was needed, e.g. fellowship, Bible study, opportunities to serve.

I was reading the Bible constantly looking for verses to help him and to guide myself in what to tell him.

I was touched by Bible Verses such as:

My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word! (Psalm 119:28).

Redeem [him] from the oppression of men, that [he] may obey your precepts. (Psalm 119:134)

And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night. (Nehemiah 4:9)

Most importantly, I prayed for students to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as their Savior. I claimed verses for these college students to have the ability to stay strong in their beliefs and to avoid evil and temptations.

Our son tried to transfer after his first year to the University of Texas where he was initially accepted, but they wanted him to do summer school first. The timing didn’t work out, and it became obvious that God had other plans. He was going back to Babson.

Long story short: in the fall of 2005, I received a phone call. Jimmy said he went to church. When I asked him where, he said, a church started on the college campus IN THE CHAPEL. When he told me it was a Christian church that believed in the Bible, I was absolutely thrilled!

Never, in my wildest dreams, did I think that a church (a CHRISTIAN church, no less) would be right on the college campus where students could just roll out of bed and be ministered to by the Lord and the community.

The vision of this church is to be a local supportive community of authentic followers of Christ who experience transformation by the grace of Jesus Christ and bring God’s love to the world. It was through their ministry that Jimmy’s attitude changed regarding being at Babson. He met fellow students who were believers – one to this day who is his best friend. He found solace and comfort in meeting Christians from the community. Being invited to meals, dinners, and functions by the members of this church boosted his faith and that of those who attended with him. He played his guitar during the church services.

Finally, after a year of zealous praying, my son and others had a spiritual community of believers that cared for them, guided them, fed them, and loved them for the next three years.

I asked Jimmy (who has been out of that scenario for 6 1/2 years) what his involvement with the church meant to him and his buddies. He said, in his business tone, “It was an excellent way for the campus students to mature in their spiritual life; to see how ‘older’ Christians lived their lives; and to see how Christian employers and businessmen act and conduct business.”

Then, the goose bumps came when I heard what God had been doing behind the scenes the entire first year I was praying. One of the founding members of the church shared with me about how their home-church contacted the chaplain at Babson to ask about the availability of their church meeting in the chapel for services. Much to their amazement, they were told that the only time the chapel was available was on Sunday morning.

What a blessing to see how the Holy Spirit was working things all together as only He can do. Only God can take the prayers of one mom in Texas and one congregation in Massachusetts to work things together for good. There was no doubt in my mind that God started the ministry on the Babson campus and there was no doubt why. He always knows the big picture and puts it all together for His glory.

College is hard enough. Having an outlet for fellowship, love, and good Bible-teaching is a true blessing and outreach. You may not ever know how much it means to these kids, but believe me, it does. I continue to see the spiritual fruits of this Christian community in Jimmy’s life. God knew his unmet spiritual needs and He chose to meet it through this church.

The fall after my son graduated from Babson, the church relocated from the college chapel to a different facility. While I was happy for the church when they moved to a new location, a part of my heart was saddened by the lack of spiritual needs that might go unmet with those college students. But, fortunately, their new location was close to the college campus!

All I can say to this wonderful church is “thank you from the bottom of my heart for being receptive to the Holy Spirit and heeding His call.” While I was praying for a local church, God was creating a “ROLL OUT OF BED CHURCH” for all those Babson students who attended. God answered above all expectations. He even knew that my son would thrive best when church was within a five-minute wake-up time to sitting in a pew.

Praying ‘community’ into existence is powerful. Not only was I impressed by the need for believers to dwell in union and in community in Jesus Christ, I experienced firsthand how prayer can spur Christian community into existence.

Bible Verses:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6).

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

Prayer:

Dear Father, Thank you for being with me during the difficult and painful times of my life. With your love and power, you can change circumstances and situations. You are an awesome God. May I always trust you to know best. Help me to always realize that through our tough times we grow more in faith and love towards you. Thanks you again. I love you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

God Bless,

PATTIGREENE.eps-(1

Patti Greene, Member Inspirational Writers Alive

Testimony given with permission from Jimmy.


Houdmann, S. Michael. Got Questions. GotQuestions.org. Accessed 27 Oct 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]

Edited by E. Johnson


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. You may order an autographed copy by clicking on SHOP on this site.

Just in time for Christmas! Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer has just been released by WestBow Press. I am so excited about this new book. If you or anyone you know is interested in developing a life of prayer, this 90-day prayer journal is perfect.

Answer Me includes:

  • An Undated Dateline
  • Topic on Prayer
  • Scripture Verse
  • Suggested Reading
  • Daily Thought
  • Prayer Request Section
  • Personal Reflection Section
  • Prayer

To Order from Amazon:

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

A 90-day devotional prayer journal for all ages; This informative and how-to book on prayer is for seekers, new believers, and mature believers. It encourages a commitment and devotion to the art of prayer. Learn how God reveals himself through Bible study and prayer. ISBN: 978-1512760453 (Paperback) $11.95 on Amazon.

Other Books by Patti Greene:

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

A 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) $27.95 on Amazon.

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

A 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) $19.95 on Amazon.

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 Patti@GreenePastures.org for confidentiality.

Blogger Badge - White background 100x100#bgbg2