Wednesday, June 3, 2020

A Song that Requires a Symphony of Lives to Play It and an Entire World to Sing It

Chris and Carol Green respond to the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd


There’s a lot of noise right now; a lot of noise; a lot of screaming. There are screams of pain, screams of anguish, screams of vengeance and retaliation, screams of mocking, screams of silence. I don’t like getting caught up in a lot of the noise.

For some of us, our silence doesn’t mean we’re complicit. Have you ever seen that person at the funeral who cries, but no sound comes out? They shake and convulse. They sob. But they don’t wail or scream. That’s me. My silence is pain that’s so deep, that it has no sound.

So I had to pull back before I spoke, because I wasn't interested in merely adding to noise, but to contribute to a specific sound. It’s a sound with a frequency that is beyond the human ear, and heard only by the heart. It's a sound that comes from not only pain, but from prayer, and being in God's presence. I have to worship before I speak. So now I speak.

One of our spiritual daughters (from St. Louis, MO) sent me a message this morning and said she noticed that I hadn’t said anything (publicly) about the latest police killings. I must confess that I have been so triggered that it was best for my wife and I to not say anything because we were just filled with pain and rage.

For a couple of days, I posted and re-posted all kinds of stuff on social media, but one night me and one of my sons had dreams on the same night, and I felt like God was telling us that we needed to go back and delete all that stuff and regroup. So we did.

There’s nothing else I can say that hasn’t already been said. I was sickened; I was overwhelmed by it all. It was too much, too back to back. It was a rapid fire punch, punch, punch, slam! I couldn’t breathe. Before we learned what George Floyd had said, we had all experienced it. We literally could not take another breath. We collectively, could not breathe.

It brought back everything: The last few years of police shootings; the last 52 years of futility, since Dr. King’s death. It brought back the years of our parent’s Civil Rights struggle. It brought back the cruelty of the years of my sharecropper grandparents. I say that for those who say that this was all a long time ago. But you don’t understand. For many of us, our grandparents, and certainly our great-grandparents were alive when Harriet Tubman died. It’s not ancient, forgotten history. It is the substance that is part of the sub-atomic material that makes up the DNA of the African American soul.

So when I say that we collectively could not breathe, you better believe that there are those who read what I just wrote and tears filled their eyes, because that’s what hit us, all over the United States. It’s not an ancient history. It’s an embedded soul-and-spirit-memory connection that knows no time and no distance.

It's an implicit PTSD response to:
246 years of official slavery (1619 - 1865)
99 years of Jim Crow Laws (1865 - 1964, and I was born in 1959)
86 years of Lynching (1882 - 1986) Did you get that? 1986
14 Years of Fighting for Civil Rights (1954 - 1968)
52 years of systemic incarceration and ravaging of Black families through government programs. (1968 - 2020)
401 years of Oppression (1619 - 2020)

And then there is the empirical evidence of shared experience. Black people from all walks of life, who have never met one another, have expressed, almost word-for-word, the same experiences. No one got together in a forum and put together a narrative that we would spread across the country like news reporters all reading from the same page. This is pure empirical evidence.

The problem with communication is that I have 12 different things that I need to say, all at the same time. I should be talking about my Faith in Jesus Christ and my commitment to the Kingdom of God. I should be talking about the need for love and hope in the midst of chaos. But I can only address one thing at a time. So bear with me and forgive me for what I failed to say, and just give me a minute to finish the Book my wife and I are writing right now, and then you can have at it. I can only say one thing at a time.

Today is just the introduction; the opening musical notes of a song that requires a symphony of lives to play and an entire world to sing.

The unrehearsed, collective words my sons, nieces and nephews have used have been these: “We are angry and we’re hurt. We don’t need your opinion. We don’t need your judgment. We’re just hurt.” They were not looking for sympathy or pity. They had been expecting at least a small measure of empathy. And they were shocked to learn that a lot of their White friends, co-workers, and even classmates, going back to high school, had no empathy for them.

I would ask if you would bring judgment into a conversation with a hurting friend, but I now realize that some of you would. You’d do the same with your own friends and family. You’d have no compassion, no respect and no empathy for them either.

So, many things have been stirring in us the last few days. We are people of Faith. We are people of Peace. We try to always choose wisdom's way. And now I'm getting to what we feel at liberty to say.

Carol and I wrote a speech a few years ago (2017). We shared it with an audience that was predominantly White. We were invited by two White gentleman with whom we shared a bit of our story, and they were willing to take the risk to have us share it with their supporters.

It's a speech about the value of listening to others and understanding others, and we invite you to that table to dine today.

Here is that speech: https://www.facebook.com/notes/chris-and-carol-green/it-only-take-one/2708202862749486/

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Chris and Carol Green Announce New Book Release for 2020


Pennsylvania, USA ---Community Life Coaches, Chris and Carol Green announced to their ministry family and followers that they are currently writing a new book that captures the essence of their ground-breaking approach to life coaching, mentorship, community outreach and human services. The book will be titled, Who CAREs?: A Case for Compassionate Accountability with Respect and Empathy.

Posting the news on their online community group, Fruitful Life Hearts and Homes Online Community, the Greens hinted that the book would be available at some time near the end of 2020.

“Our life coach certification and training continues to grow,” explains Coach Carol Green. “With that growth has come a request and a hunger, if you will, to know more about the concept of CARE and CARE-Readiness.”

Since 2018, this couple has trained and certified nearly 80 Life Coaches in CARE-Readiness, and another 50+ community outreach volunteers as CARE-Ready Responders.

In their various training sessions, the Greens have presented the CARE initiative this way:

What is CARE-Readiness?

It is a more responsive approach to the world of mentoring and coaching people. The CARE-Ready individual is an accountability partner who is equipped with the right tools to ask the right questions, in guiding someone to life's answers. They are trained to recognize and respond when someone is searching for direction, and they are capable of providing Compassionate Accountability with Respect and Empathy.

CARE-Readiness is Inspirational, Intuitive and Instructional. However, it is much more about being an intentional listener who earns the trust and privilege to make an impartation in someone's life.

CARE-Readiness Coaching is NOT COUNSELING OR THERAPY.  We never use these terms to describe the work or practices of CARE-Ready Coaching. Unlike counseling and therapy, which involve looking back and working through one's past, CARE-Readiness is about looking ahead and navigating through the present, to reach a future with purpose.

“Post covid-19, the world is going to be very different,” adds Coach Chris Green, “We believe there will be a dire need for CARE-Readiness in the aftermath. We’re not trying to replace counseling or therapy because that will always be extremely important. But for the ‘average citizen’, parents, educators, case-workers, ministers, or just people who want to know how to best respond to those who are lost and hurting, this book will be a timely resource.”

See other books by Chris and Carol Green at https://www.fruitfullifenetwork.info/books

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Fruitful Life Relaunches WISDOM TO LEAD E-Learning Initiative During Covid-19 Shutdown


Enola, PA ---- Chris and Carol Green announced the relaunch of their Fruitful Life E-Learning initiative WISDOM TO LEAD, in an effort to provide a practical way for their ministry followers to take advantage of the opportunity to dive into the Bible and build their spiritual muscles.

"Our message to our online learners was this, explains Chris Green, "You promised yourself, 'If I ever have the time, I'll take an online class or course in Leadership, Biblical Foundations, Improving my Marriage/ Family, or Prayer.' So we have extended an invitation for them to begin fulfilling that personal goal during this time."

"Not only will students gain some critical understanding in biblical foundations," adds Carol Green, "But they will also find these lessons very timely and encouraging during this very serious moment in history."

The Fruitful Life Learning Community continues to move forward in its mission to help Believers learn  how to genuinely connect with, and successfully disciple family and friends who don't share their social, political, spiritual or cultural views and beliefs.

Chris Green shares, "It takes more than good intentions, enthusiasm, and sincerity to maturely and effectively reveal Christ in our households, neighborhoods and culture.  We must follow the biblical directives that tell us to:

Take My yoke upon you and LEARN FROM ME... Matthew 11:29a (AMP)

Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman who has no reason to be ashamed,  accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth.   ---2 Timothy 2:15

Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect.  ---1 Peter 3:15"

Explore the Fruitful Life E-Learning classes and sessions at

The Fruitful Life Learning Community is a unique merging of a Life-Development Ministry with an alliance of Families, Home Groups, House Churches and Ministries.  They convene in strategically orchestrated weekly and monthly online sessions that resource, equip and empower people from all spheres and aspects of life; giving them access to healing within their own hearts and homes, and then the ability to extend their extraordinary transformation to their friends, neighborhoods, colleagues, and anyone in their world. 

As a neighborhood-supporting faith family, Fruitful Life is patterned after the 1st-century Followers of Christ, who continued steadfast in the Apostle's teaching and fellowship, in Breaking of Bread, and in Prayers. They met privately in their homes and corporately as a community on a regular basis; and they took care of widows, orphans and the poor, while experiencing miraculous signs and wonders.  In its DNA, Fruitful Life carries the Ephesians 4 directive of equipping and empowering Believers to do the work of ministry.

Before there was a religion called Christianity, there was a movement known as THE WAY.  Chris and Carol Green launched the Fruitful Life Learning Community as an intentional effort to help people of faith and Christian leaders return to that simple mission and lifestyle that demonstrates God's love and healing to hearts and homes.

Monday, March 23, 2020

COVID-19 Outbreak Did Not Catch Us Unprepared



On Friday, March 13 the word came to us that the Governor of Pennsylvania was closing schools and businesses for at least two weeks due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The following week saw the edict expand to public gatherings being reduced to 250 people, then 50 and then 10.

Suddenly there was a scramble throughout our city, state and country for many ministries, organizations and churches to formulate plans and rethink ways to conduct meetings and weekly gatherings.

For the Fruitful Life Alliance of Families, Small Groups, Churches and Ministries, there was no scramble, no panic, and no last minute planning strategies.

Why?

We were already prepared. We saw this day coming nearly six years ago. We not only saw it coming, but we made the necessary transition and have been practicing for a time when we would not be able to physically meet together.

We trained our leaders in CARE-Readiness, Life Coaching, and Home Church facilitation. We held online training, posted videos and even got our followers and supporters to adjust, by watching worship videos and teaching videos as part of their Sunday in-home gatherings.

We shifted and moved out of a church facility and into our homes. We took our ministry and outreach directly to the Harrisburg, inner city community, dropping the titles of pastors and becoming known as community life coaches.

So when the COVID-19 outbreak was announced and the gathering bans were set in motion, we simply kept doing what we have already been doing for several years, now.

We share this with you, not to boast or brag, or even to say, “We told you so.”

We share this to let you know that God is truly in control. If He can speak to us as a group, and give us detailed instruction in wisdom and preparation for this moment, then certainly HE will continue to speak to us, giving us wisdom and instructions that will carry us successfully through this.

We don’t know what the future holds, but we know the One who holds the future.

----Chris and Carol Green

Learn more about our Home Church Connection HERE.


***The Fruitful Life Learning Community is a unique merging of a Life-Development Ministry with an alliance of Families, Home Groups, House Churches and Ministries. They convene in strategically orchestrated weekly and monthly online sessions that resource, equip and empower people from all spheres and aspects of life; giving them access to healing within their own hearts and homes, and then the ability to extend their extraordinary transformation to their friends, neighborhoods, colleagues, and anyone in their world.

As a neighborhood-supporting faith family, Fruitful Life is patterned after the 1st-century Followers of Christ, who continued steadfast in the Apostle's teaching and fellowship, in Breaking of Bread, and in Prayers. They met privately in their homes and corporately as a community on a regular basis; and they took care of widows, orphans and the poor, while experiencing miraculous signs and wonders.  In its DNA, Fruitful Life carries the Ephesians 4 directive of equipping and empowering Believers to do the work of ministry.

Before there was a religion called Christianity, there was a movement known as THE WAY.  Chris and Carol Green launched the Fruitful Life Learning Community as an intentional effort to help people of faith and Christian leaders return to that simple mission and lifestyle that demonstrates God's love and healing to hearts and homes.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Merry Christmas!


  
Did you know that December 25th is not the actual birth date of Jesus Christ? Did you know that this was a date that was established by the Roman Catholic Church when they initiated a Mass during the same season that pagans were already engaged in various winter solstice celebrations? That's how the term Christ Mass was established. It was all part of an effort to covert people to Christianity. However they failed to steer the people away from the sun god rituals in spite of the new church-initiated Mass to celebrate the Son of God.

We share this with you because many skeptics use this well established historical fact to attack Christians who are ignorant of church history. They feel that this discrepancy, concerning the birth of Christ, gives them leverage to deny the Bible and the Son of God.  

We're just providing a little more understanding as to why there is so much confusion and controversy surrounding December 25th. 

Many Believers already know that the Bible never says that Christ was born in December. The point is that it doesn't matter that He wasn't born on December 25th. We believe this church-initiated celebration should no longer attempt to celebrate December 25th as Christ's date of birth. Now it should be used to celebrate the REALITY and PURPOSE for His birth.

Since millions of people have come into the Faith as Protestants, they have never been aware of the history behind December 25th. Most of that history is very negative and even involves an annual persecution of Jewish people on that day.

Over the years, the Christmas (Christ Mass) celebration has embraced many not-so Christian-like traditions and those traditions have become disconnected from historical facts and understanding. Of course the history is far more complicated than this, but we really don't have space to cover every detail in a simple newsletter. Hopefully, this will get you started in pursuing answers in your own personal study.

As a side note, many Biblical historians believe that Christ was actually born at a much more significant God-ordained time (perhaps the Feast of Tabernacle). However, for most Jewish people, December 25th is directly connected with a negative history of persecution, and it is a 24-hour celebration declaring that there is another way to come to Jehovah God; so they want no part of it.

Over the past few weeks, we have been offering very important points for you to consider for making Godly responses to the pagan origins of December 25th. As Community and Spiritual life coaches, we have decided to provide practical answers and solutions for you and your family. 

Here are the four points we asked you to consider for responding to people who are caught in the midst of this controversy:

1.) Become all things to all men - 1 Corinthians 9:18-23 

2.) Don’t cause your brother to stumble - 1 Corinthians 8:4-13

3.) Use the opportunity (holiday) to bless your enemies - Matthew 5:43-45; and

4.) Continue in the early church lifestyle of giving to others/helping the poor 
- Acts 2: 40-47

This week we are offering the fifth response:

5.) Consider a foundational Christian celebration: Partaking of the Lord's Table in Remembrance of Christ (Luke 22:14-20).
  
Jesus instructed His followers to partake of the communion table in remembrance of Him. The holiday season is another perfect opportunity to place emphasis on Jesus Christ by gathering to do what HE instructed us to do. That's what we choose to do every year with our Fruitful Life Learning Community

Millions of Believers will gather in sanctuaries or in their homes to partake of Holy communion and truly reflect upon the reason Christ came into the world. 

These special gatherings remind us that the Son of God is not to be merely thought of as a baby lying in a manger, but as our Savior who was brutally beaten and nailed alive to a wooden cross. We should remember that He rose again from the dead to usher all of us into the Family and Kingdom of God.

As we stated last week, we are simply trying to communicate that in spite of the historical facts, controversies and conflicts that surround December 25th, CHRIST must truly become YOUR reason for this season and all year round.  

The world will continue to celebrate the sun god (in all of its many names and forms) as part of their annual winter celebrations. WE must celebrate the Son of God and give a Godly RESPONSE to our non-believing family and friends, and to our Christian brothers and sisters who may not have this insight.

Enjoy the day and enjoy the season!



Chris and Carol Green have been called under-the-radar leaders in rebuilding, restoring and renewing hearts and homes. The Greens are certified professional life coaches who founded C and C Connections, LLC, a coaching and consulting business that specializes in equipping leaders in the principles of CARE (Compassionate Awareness with Respect and Empathy); and the Fruitful Life Learning Community, a unique merging of a life-development church with home groups, house churches, ministers and outreach ministries.