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Thursday, September 24, 2015


Have you ever felt down-in-the-dumps, blue, or sad? We all have at some point. So, don't feel bad when your emotions experience a little melancholy every once in a while!

A lady having a sad day!

One morning I noticed that too many of my friends were down-in-the-dumps. I realized they were all experiencing sadness as I was writing down their prayer requests in my prayer journal.

My prayer list that day included:

  • A friend who was dealing with a child getting involved in a deviant and criminal lifestyle;
  • Another friend was grieving over the loss of a close friend whose move was imminent; and
  • My third friend was dealing with a psychiatric situation in her family.
The bottom denominator was that they were all sad – one maybe more than another, but all were feeling blue. So, I thought back to some moments in my life when I was down. I remember being so sad when no one asked me to my senior prom. I remember sitting on my bed around 7:30 p.m. that night thinking about all my friends who were out having a good time. [I was in high school at a time when unaccompanied students did not go to prom, so that wasn’t an option.] Then, when our daughter was not accepted into the college she dreamed about going to her entire life, I felt sad feeling sorry for her.

Most definitions of sadness call it an emotional feeling usually triggered by some kind of a loss, sorrow, disappointment, or helplessness. Many times it is an event that is out of our control that leads us to sadness we wish we could avoid.

Being down-in-the-dumps usually starts rapidly and lasts for a relatively short period of time, while depression is persistent and can last for a long time and can reoccur. While sadness is not the same as depression, it can lead into depression.

Vince Havner, a Southern Baptist preacher, wrote in his book Though I Walk through the Valley, about three different levels of experience that Christians go through. First there are the “mountaintop days” when everything is going well and the world looks bright. These experiences are temporary: they can’t go on forever. It is unrealistic to expect, as many people do, that we can spend life leaping from one mountain peak to another as if there were no plains or valleys in-between. Instead, most of life consists of “ordinary days” when we work at our usual tasks, neither elated or depressed. Then, third, there are “dark days” when we trudge heavily through confusion, doubt, despair, and discouragement. Sometimes these days string out into months or even years before we begin to experience a sense of relief or victory. When they persist, dark days are days of depression.¹

When sadness turns into depression, it is time to seek out help. Many Christian counselors or physicians are trained and insightful to help with your situation.

But, what about those days you just feel a little blue? During these times, I have had people say:

“Don’t feel sad."
“Just trust God."
“It’s not that big of a deal.”

And honestly, while those friends may be trying to help, those phrases just don’t work most of the time.

Let’s look at two Biblical examples to see how Jesus and Habakkuk dealt with their sadness.
  • Habakkuk rejoiced when facing an international crisis.
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no heard in the stalls, yet I will rejoice I the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. Habakkuk 3:17-19.

  • Jesus wept when Mary and Martha were leading Jesus to see Lazarus’ dead body. Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” they said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. John 11:32-35
On a practical basis, what are some things we can do when we are in a slump or are feeling sad?
  • First, look to see if some sin is causing your sadness, and the Lord to forgive you for whatever it may be, i.e. an action, a thought;
  • Cry. Let off some steam;
  • Listen to some calming music;
  • Read the Bible;
  • Exercise;
  • Find a friend to talk to;
  • Continue to eat and drink to keep your strength up;
  • Pray and ask others to pray for you;
  • Realize that with a little time, your blues will fade; and
  • Be grateful for your down-in-the-dump days.
In my opinion, the last suggestion is the hardest to follow. But, per the Mayo Clinic, “Scientists are finding that gratitude . . . not only helps explain a high sense of well-being, but also can be fostered in simple ways to increase happiness and fulfillment.” Interesting how the Bible says the same thing. In Colossians 3:16, scripture says, “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” Throughout the day, be thankful for little improvements in your situation, acknowledge that God knows what you are going through, and thank Him for His help in seeing you through this sad and difficult time.

Having a sad day or two does not mean you are not a good Christian. It is just life happening, “. . . but, joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:6.

And guess what? I did end up going to PROM! Not in high school, but as a chaperone at the high school where I worked and my date was the absolute best – It was my husband and best friend. And, my daughter was finally accepted into her dream school. In the end she decided to go elsewhere, which was a blessing, as she went to the college where she met her husband.
On our way to PROM! And, I was so EXCITED!
God always knows what He is doing even when we can’t see it. Trust Him always.

Be blessed.
Patti Greene

Bible Verses for when you feel sad:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1Thessalonians 5:16-18

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7

Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us.
Ecclesiastes 7:3

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to weep, and a time to laugh.
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4


Oh Lord, help me to remember that periods of sadness will come upon me at times and for various reasons. Give me assurance that you are with me throughout these days. Let me cry if I need to. Let me rejoice as I seek your guidance. Let me be joyful as I strive to look at everything from your perspective. Let me stay in your Word. And, may the Holy Spirit’s presence be upon me daily. Thank you Lord. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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¹ Havner, Vince. Though I Walk through the Valley. Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1974. p. 104.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Something's NOT Right

It’s so easy to pray when a crisis is looming or when we have a huge problem, but what if you just have a little nagging feeling that something just isn’t quite right? You might be questioning a church doctrine, feeling a little uncomfortable about where your child is going Friday night, or just wondering if a friend might be talking about you behind your back.

Concerned about your children? Talk to God about them.
Thinkstock Photo. Purchased by Patti Greene
These “small” areas of concern can pop up at any time or at any place. They can occur at a party, in a job interview, in church, or in a business meeting. While these unsettling feelings may or may not be as major as a marriage falling apart or a serious accident, they are important to God. And, they are worthy of our prayers. Many people assume that they shouldn’t bother God with small “insignificant” concerns, and they reserve their prayers only when there is something big that requires His wisdom, skills and resolutions. That is unfortunate.
If you are like me, the first thing I do when I encounter a little unsettling emotion is I try to rationalize the feeling away. I wonder if it is just me feeling that way due to my personality or insecurities. Others may try to ignore those feelings. But, some may really want to know why they are encountering that "on-and-off-again" gnawing feeling over an inconsequential person, event, or emotion.

Back in our early marriage, we were on our way one Saturday morning to purchase a new home. We prayed about it, had our appointment all set up with the new home salesman, and all we had to do was to sign on the dotted line. While we felt “pretty sure” buying this house was a good thing to do, we decided to pray specifically that morning about it. We prayed that the Lord would stop us from purchasing this house if it was not in His will. Of course, in my mind, I could not fathom any way our decision would be changed. Our appointment was in 15 minutes. We lived 1.5 miles away from the sales office.  We only lived a few streets over from the babysitter where we were going to leave our 2-year old daughter. What could go wrong?
As I was driving home from dropping our daughter off at the babysitter’s house, a car slammed right into the side of my car rattling me to no end. It was my fault. I failed to notice that the cross street had a two-way stop - not a four-way stop. Immediately, I knew that we could not go through with the purchase of this home. My husband and I could not ignore the fact that we just prayed for the Lord to stop the purchase. This car accident seemed a big enough reason to call the salesman and tell him we changed our mind.

This isn’t the best example to use because purchasing a home is a big decision. And, while most situations are not as cut and dry as this one, all of our decisions or areas of concern should cause us to reach out to God. Let's ask Jesus to call upon our Heavenly Father on our behalf. We need our Lord and Savior with us to know HIS mind in all matters – big and small.
There are incidents when we know something is wrong because our moral upbringing, values, or Biblical understanding has been engrained in us. If that is the case, we should ask the Lord to give us the courage and speed to run from that situation. We need His strength, His help, His protection, and His Word to convict us so much that the only relief is to get out of whatever ungodly pursuit we are involved in. It could be an unhealthy relationship, a “feeling” it might be time to change jobs, or a time to seek out a specialty doctor.

Other times, we just can’t pinpoint why something isn’t right. In these situations, we need to have a heart-to-heart with God. Maybe it is because we are too judgmental, selfish, or stubborn and the Lord needs to work in our hearts to weed out some of our character or personality flaws. Maybe an uncomfortable feeling is to show us we need to change something within ourselves and our own spirit.
If we honestly, seek out the reasons why we are feeling this way, we will be opening up our hearts to receive what God has to say to us. We may need to talk to a mature believer to help us. God may want to work on our pride or some other character trait, or he may just we wanting to move us to the next level in our walk with Him.

As a side note, some character/personality traits God may want us to work on are us being less:
  • Argumentative
  • Arrogant
  • Bossy
  • Critical
  • Gloomy
  • Hot-tempered
  • Jealous
  • Materialistic
  • Scared
  • Self-centered
  • Shy
  • Stubborn (the one my husband says is the main one I need to work on!!!)
  • Timid
  • Withdrawn
The bottom line is that when we feel something isn’t right, it is easy to keep things as they are and just keep pushing those feelings aside so we don’t have to face them. However, no matter how hard we try to push the nagging feeling away, they are still there and can pop up at any time. The best approach when you feel something isn’t right is to:

1. Ask God why you are feeling a certain way, and ask Him to show you why you are experiencing that “something isn’t right feeling.” Occasionally an immediate decision needs to be made, for example, if you find yourself in a dangerous situation, leave immediately. Maybe you need to break up with that boyfriend you are having sex with. Maybe you need to leave that job that is asking you to be unethical.  Maybe you will need to find a new church if the preaching isn’t Biblical.

2. Read the Word of God and earnestly ask the Lord to fill you with His Holy Spirit so you will be able to see the situation through Jesus’ eyes.

Trust Jesus!
Crosses from Hobby Lobby. Photograph taken by Patti Greene
3. Find a quiet place where you are all alone to unload both your little nagging concerns and your colossal concerns. Be accessible to God through passionate praying by being reflective and intense in praying. It takes courage to get into a prayer-closet.  It is in our prayer closet that we will hear the secrets of our Heavenly Father through our praise, worship, confession, and time spent seeking Him. Oh, what a blessed spirit we will have when we receive a fresh revelation from God. Listening to God with our innermost being and with all our heart places us at His disposal. And, with time, our prayers will change so we will not seek what we want or need. We will be seeking what He wants and needs from us. It is such a joy when we learn to wait on His voice, labor with Him in prayer, and leave our quiet time with the confidence that He has spoken and everything is under His control

Blessings Always,
Patti Greene

Bible Quotation and Verses:
“The Word of God, the Bible, is our sole and final authority in all matters of faith and practice. Instead of being some heavenly ‘answer book’ to support our selfish desires, it is God’s standard for our lives in helping understand His Person and Program.”
James D. Devine, Author Find God’s Will for You. Page 111.

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
1 Timothy 2:5-6

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7


My Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your son Jesus who can go to You on my behalf and plead for me. Lord, thank you for caring about everything that concerns me – my big and little thoughts, cares, and impressions. Give me the wisdom to know I can come to you for everything. There is no concern that is too small for you to care about. Give me the time, energy, and desire to give everything I own and everything I am to you. Use me to help others and to be a vessel for you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Books by Patti Londa Greene: Awaken Me: a devotional prayer journal and God, and God, It’s Me: 181 Days for Young Adults to Become Passionate about Prayer and Bible Study
[Second edition books will be out shortly.

If you would like to order one of the first edition books, please e-mail me and I will arrange a signed copy to be sent as soon as possible AT A VERY REDUCED PRICE.]

To comment on this post, go to the blog at and scroll down to the end of this blog. To receive an e-mail alert whenever a new blog is posted by author, either fill out the “Follow by Email” feature on the blog, email your email your address to the author below, or join my RSS feed. If you “Follow by Email,” you will receive an e-mail from FeedBurner. You will just need to open that email and confirm your subscription. To send an email to the author, email Website:

Friday, September 11, 2015

Sabbath Rest

“Sabbath Rest” has become a popular term in the Christian circle vernacular. Using my own words, a “Sabbath Rest” means living a daily life of peace, trust, and security in our Heavenly Father.  We can achieve a “Sabbath Rest” by following these actions in our lives:
  • Preparing;
  • Dedicating;
  • Spending;
  • Bearing;
  • Trusting;
  • Expecting; and
  • Turning.
A restful beach in Belize, Central American

How to prepare for your Sabbath rest

We must make plans for our Sabbath Rest. In Mark 3:9, Jesus was teaching and the crowds were pushing in on him.And He told His disciples to have a little boat in [constant] readiness for Him because of the crowd, lest they press hard upon Him and crush Him.”
*Linked verses are in NIV translation for more clarity!

We see Jesus planning ahead. He knew that there might be some tough and anxious moments ahead, so he pre-prepared for a boat to be available as a retreat. Many times in the New Testament, Jesus retreats to a boat for rest.

The same goes for us, we should plan ahead to have a quiet time alone with God. God knows if we have children, jobs, and spouses to care for. This week, let's try to do what Jesus did by planning ahead for time away from people and for time alone with God.

How to dedicate yourself to the Lord

We should ask ourselves if we have a saving relationship with Christ through the forgiveness of our sins. If so, are we daily dedicating our life to the Lord?

In Mark 4:8, we see seeds planted in different types of soil and a description of the soils. As believers, we should be people planned in the good, rich soil.

Jesus said, “And other seed [of the same kind] fell into good (well-adapted) soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing, and yielded up to thirty times as much, and sixty times as much, and even a hundred times as much as had been sown.” [Mark 4:8]

As believers, we are like the good seed. Through our dedication to the Lord, we should be growing up and increasing like the seed. Our Christian growth should be in a constantly growth and germination mode.

We do that by being sure we are truly dedicated to the Lord. Settling our salvation is the most beneficial and joyous way one can truly know God. We accomplish this through confession of our sins and acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Only then can we have the strength and support to live in a daily relationship with the Lord through the power of His Holy Spirit.

“For on this day atonement shall be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins you shall be clean before the Lord. It is a Sabbath of [solemn] rest to you, and you shall afflict yourself (by fasting with penitence and humiliation) it is a statue forever.” [Leviticus 16:29-31]

How to spend time with the Lord through Bible study and prayer

We need to take time to consider and understand the Lord through His Word and Prayer.

In Jesus’ words, “He said, He who has ears to hear, let him be hearing [and let him consider, and comprehend.] . . .  And He said to them, To you has been entrusted the mystery of the kingdom of God [that is, the secret counsels of God which are hidden from the ungodly]; but for those outside [of our circle] everything becomes a parable . . .” [Mark 4:9-11]

Jesus is saying that once we have truly entrusted our life to God, and are reading our Bible and praying, we will begin to see mysteries and things of God through the Holy Spirit. We will begin to understand the Bible and we will learn how to listen to God. *If you do not own a Bible, I suggest purchasing an easy-to-read version. Many Christian bookstore employees are willing to help you find one that will meet your needs or reading ability.

Without being able to connect with the Lord, our business is seen through our eyes only, but now we can begin to see things through God’s eyes.

How to bear fruit

As we spend time with Him through Bible study and prayer, we will notice we are beginning to develop the fruits of the spirit.

And those sown on the good (well-adapted) soil are the ones who hear the Word and receive and accept and welcome it and bear fruit.” [Mark 4:20]
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Galatians 5:22 NIV '84
“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].[Galatians 5:22-23]

How to trust Jesus for protection and security

Let’s go back and look at the seed and how by planting our lives in the good soil of Jesus Christ we are protected and kept secure in Him.

In Mark 4:32, Jesus says, “It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all seeds upon the earth; Yet after it is sown, it grows up and becomes the greatest of all garden herbs and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air are able to make nests and dwell in its shade.” From a small start (like a seed), we can become strong in the Lord. God’s branches will protect us as we grow in Him and His Word.

As we grow, we will most likely notice people come to us for Godly advice or others asking us to participate in Christian service alongside of them. This is because God is ready to empower us for His service. Everyone has different gifts and callings. Sometimes it takes trying a few different “projects” to see what our gifts are. I once volunteered to help in a pre-school choir class. Almost immediately, I realized that was not a position for me. But, I was thankful for the opportunity to try it out. It moved me along to the next step to see what God had for me. In my case, most of my service has been along the lines of writing and using words in some capacity. I laugh sometimes when I think of that because I failed my first college writing assignment I wrote as a freshman. God does have a sense of humor!!!

Expect Storms

“And a furious storm of wind [of hurricane proportions] arose, and the waves kept beating into the boat, so that it was already becoming filled.” [Mark 4:37]

In this situation, the disciples were scared; they called to Jesus for help. But look what the end result was – they looked to Jesus (as we should) and Jesus was right there taking care of their business.

How to turn continually and consistently to Jesus

One time Jesus was in a boat with his disciples and a storm erupted. The disciples were scared, but they turned to Jesus Christ to help them - as we should also.

Where was Jesus when the storm prevailed? “He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on the pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest though not that we perish?” [Mark 4:38]

These steps are not necessarily to be followed in a chronological order but in a cyclical order. As you see the cycle chart below, you may jump from one step to another one. Notice how the arrows change representing the different paths God may use to get us from one step to another. As long as we are rotating within the cycle - even jumping across to a step (not shown in diagram) - Jesus is right in the midst of our own personal journey with His hands reaching out to us guiding and loving us. Only then will we experience a true Sabbath Rest.

Cycles to a Sabbath Rest
Image Credit: Copyright Greene Family
I love Psalm 37:25 when King David says, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

That is because God is doing His thing and He knows what He is doing. Remember, God sees the big picture of our life, and we don’t. The sooner we understand this foundational truth, the sooner we will experience His peace, His trust, and His security in our lives.
God Bless You and may you find HIS REST this week.

Bible Verses: See above.
My Heavenly Father, You have walked where I have walked. You know what struggles I have. You know what decisions I have to make. You know what paths You want me to take. Lord, I want to dwell daily in Your presence. Allow me to use this cycle to guide me to be all I can be for You. I want to be in a “Sabbath Rest” every day. With Your help, I know I can. I love you Lord, In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Books by Patti Londa Greene: Awaken Me: a devotional prayer journal and God, and God, It’s Me: 181 Days for Young Adults to Become Passionate about Prayer and Bible Study

[Second/Updated editions will be out shortly. If you would like to order one of the first edition books, please email me and I will arrange for one to be mailed to you as soon as possible at a reduced cost.]
To comment on this post, go to the blog at,
then scroll down to the end of this blog. To receive an e-mail alert whenever a new blog is posted by the author, either fill out the “Follow by Email” feature on the blog, email your email your address to the author below, or join my RSS feed. If you “Follow by Email,” you will receive an e-mail from FeedBurner. You will just need to open that email and confirm your subscription. To send an email to the author, email Website:

Friday, September 4, 2015


The Office on Women’s Health defines stress as “what you feel when you react to pressure from others or from yourself . . . Stress comes in many forms and everyone feels stress.”

We all experience stress, pressure, despair, dread, and discomfort at one time or another in our lives. It can hit you on the most relaxed beach; it can hit you while overlooking a beautiful green pasture; it can hit you at the funeral of a loved one; and it can even hit you in the comfort of your own secure home.
Out of a Train Window
A Beautiful Farmland between The Hague, The Netherlands and Brussels, Belgium
Photo Credit: Copyright GreeneFamily
No matter how or why it hits, it can last for days, weeks, months, and/or years. Your blood pressure might rise, your heart might flutter, or you may overeat or starve yourself. The pangs of stress might even cause an uncontrollable panic. But, despite what you experience or how you react to the stresses in your life, remember that God knows exactly what you are going through. He knows and understands the circumstances surrounding your present-day state of anxiety. He really does.

It may be difficult, almost impossible, to sense His presence. But Scripture promises us that God is omnipresent meaning He is always with us. He is also omnipotent meaning His power can lift us out of the violent stressors we are presently enduring. If we can remember those two principles we can rest assured that soon we will be out of our pit.

Resting in Him isn’t easy at this point. It may be a season you must go through to learn some mighty truths from Him or a situation you must plow through so you can be used in service to others. In John 10:14-15, Jesus says, "I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep." If Jesus loves us enough to lay down his life for us, He loves us enough to see us through whatever situation we find ourselves in until a point of rest.
Out of a Train Window
A Beautiful Field where Sheep are Grazing between The Hague, Netherlands and Brussels, Belgium
Photo Credit: Copyright GreeneFamily

Today, just imagine God wrapping His loving arms around you, comforting you. Ask Him to allow you to see your present trial through His eyes. Exhale your stress and inhale God’s love, peace, and presence right now.

And, if your stress becomes unbearable, please visit a physician and discuss your situation with him or her. God can and many times does work through the medical profession.

God Bless You,


Bible Verses:
As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands. Your laws are always right; help me to understand them so I may live. Psalm 119:143-145 ESV

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 ESV

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27 ESV

Lord, please let me always be aware of your special presence. Help me know and feel that that you are there guiding me and giving me directions in all situations. Grant me the faith needed to know that you are always right there beside me. As stress is overwhelming me today, allow me to give all my current hardships to you - knowing that you always see the big picture and know what is best for me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

“Feeling Stressed.” Girls Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Mar. 2015.

Books by Patti Londa Greene: Awaken Me: a devotional prayer journal and God, and God, It’s Me: 181 Days for Young Adults to Become Passionate about Prayer and Bible Study

[Second edition books will be out shortly. If you would like to order one of these books, email me and I will arrange one to be mailed to you as soon as possible.]

To comment on this post, go to the blog at and scroll down to the end of this blog. To receive an e-mail alert whenever a new blog is posted by author, either fill out the “Follow by Email” feature on the blog at the address above or email your email address to the author below. You will receive an e-mail from FeedBurner. You will just need to open that email and confirm your subscription. To send an email to the author, email Website:

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