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.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Giving Is Our Lifestyle



Now we're really into the festive, winter holiday season. People of various faiths and religious beliefs are battling over the appropriate way to deal with the season. Even within Christianity there are debates about the way Christmas should be celebrated.

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

Here are the three points we asked you to consider for responding to people who are caught in the midst of the Christmas 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

This week we are offering the fourth of five responses:

Response #4: Continue steadfast in the early church lifestyle - Acts 2: 40-47


In the early church, they developed a lifestyle of sharing with others and making intentional efforts to help those in need. This was not a practice that came out of pagan rituals or Christmas. The church did this as part of the overflow of the life of Christ within them.

Never think of gift-giving and helping the needy as only a Christmas thing. It's simply a Godly response. Christmas just happens to be a great time to do what should come naturally for Believers all year.

Today, we are urgently 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 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.

Many religious leaders are preaching strongly about the negative issues that surround Christmas. However, we believe that it is one thing to expose all the problems with Christmas, but it is another thing to actually offer a way for people to RESPOND in this season and bring Glory to God the Father.

Yes, we must speak the truth about Christmas, but what does it matter if we cannot present TRUTH in LOVE and take advantage of the opportunity to lead people to a genuine relationship with God through Jesus Christ?

Giving gifts and helping the needy is more than a Christmas thing; it's a Godly thing. God gave us the gift of His son. For God so loved the world that He gave.....



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.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

The Gift of Forgiveness



A couple weeks ago we started discussing the controversies surrounding various Christmas celebrations and traditions; and how we, as Believers, must stop merely REACTING to the negative origins of December 25th and begin making a wise RESPONSE to this season.

We are offering at least Five Godly Responses to December 25th. 

So far we have presented two responses: 
#1: Become All Things to All Men from 1 Corinthians 9:18-23 (NKJV)
#2: Don’t cause your brother to stumble from 1 Corinthians 8:9-13 (NKJV)

This week we’re offering response #3 - Use the opportunity (holiday) to love, bless, do good and pray for your enemies, cursers, haters and persecutors. 

Many people are giving in to the pressure to buy gifts and they’re going to run up huge credit card bills to do it. Recently, we saw a celebrity on a talk show and he said the only thing he asked his family and friends to give him was a gift that doesn’t cost any money. So he simply asked for a letter, a poem, a song, a phone call, etc. It is truly amazing how one of the richest people in America has a request for the most important things in life. Meanwhile, many of the poorest people in America will try to spend money.

We plan to enjoy the holiday by spending time with one another. We are focusing on our relationships; even the relationships that are not doing so well. We encourage you to do the same.

In Matthew 5:43-45 (NKJV), Jesus said: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."

This may seem radical, but we believe that we can use this holiday season as an opportunity to bless those who are our enemies. Jesus actually tells us to bless those who curse us. 

What a marvelous time to do something so completely unexpected that it truly personifies what it means to be a child of our Father in heaven. Just like HE provides sunshine and rain to evil and good people, we can express His goodness and mercy in a tangible way as well.

For many of us, we don’t have to think too hard to come up with a name or two of people whom we could bless in this way. Many people will be scrambling through shopping malls trying to find the perfect gift for someone who is very special to them. But what if we include in our lists, a couple of people who don’t like us very much?

In these harsh economic times, most urban dwellers don’t have very much money for purchasing gifts and Christmas has become more of a burden of obligation than a time of blessing. However, we encourage you to consider those who spitefully used you or even persecuted you. It might be something as simple as sending a Christmas card or extending an invitation to dinner.

One year the Holy Spirit showed me that I had buried unforgiveness regarding a childhood bully. Just mentioning his name brought up old feelings of anger and resentment. So the Lord impressed upon me to start the cleansing process by sending a Christmas card with a letter. It was to be the first step in blessing someone who persecuted me long ago.

What names and faces come into your thoughts as you consider this Godly response? Don’t hesitate. Take advantage of this Christmas season to respond like a child of God. Give the gift of forgiveness.

Enjoy the holiday, enjoy your family!


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.


Saturday, November 30, 2019

It's a Matter of Conscience: Godly Responses to December 25th



Last week we began discussing some of the controversies surrounding December 25th and how we, as Believers, can stop merely REACTING to the negative origins of Christmas and begin making wise RESPONSES to this season.

We are offering at least Five Godly Responses to December 25th.

Last week we presented response #1: Become All Things to All Men, according to 1 Corinthians 9:18-23.

This week we offer response #2: Don’t cause your brother to stumble - 1 Corinthians 8:4-13 (NKJV)

In his first letter to the church in Corinth, Paul was dealing with a matter that was very similar to the controversial Christmas issues. Some Believers were participating in the practice of eating food that was offered to idols. They didn’t feel restricted because they knew that the idols were not real gods and they also knew that what goes into a person is not what defiles them.

It’s the same for Christian Believers today who participate in modern Christmas rituals that have proven historical foundation in idol worship. They feel, just as those early Believers, that they are free in Christ Jesus. Therefore, they have no problem with the negative origins.

However, Paul admonished those early Believers to not allow their freedom to cause another brother to stumble. He explained that due to his brother's conscience, he did not have internal permission to participate in that practice of eating food offered to idols.

If another Believer is struggling with our practices, it may wound their conscience. Paul actually says that we sin against our brother and Christ. The sin is not the practice itself, but it is in how the participation affects our brothers.

Let’s read the letter: “Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.

However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.


But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”


We realize that even though there are many things that are okay for Chris and Carol to do, as Christian life coaches and spiritual leaders in this community, they are not always expedient. Some things are not wise for us to do. Some things are not beneficial for us to do. There are many things that we were at liberty to say and do in Missouri that have proven to be offensive in Pennsylvania. So we don't do them for the sake of our brothers and sisters in this region and culture.

Why abstain? Well, because we have an extremely important mission and purpose for being in Harrisburg. Some of our freedoms could go beyond merely offending another brother, and could actually cause them to stumble. Paul says that some of our freedoms could actually wound another brother’s conscience. Our freedoms can cause others, who are outside of the Faith, to continue in their ungodly practices. So, we have learned that some things are just not worth it. Why risk losing potential brothers and sisters or wounding current brothers and sisters?

What are we saying to you today? We're saying, please be very careful of what you practice in this controversial season. Allow the Holy Spirit to give you the 'yea and nay' about what you do. Don't question Him. Just obey Him.

We cannot, do not, must not, and will not dictate what goes on in your home. We’re not the Christian Christmas police! God knows who is in your family and He knows the people who are part of your life. You might be connected to people with whom your response is based upon what we mentioned last week ….I have become, to those who are without law, as without law.

Most of today’s Christmas practices don’t cause people any internal conflict because they have no knowledge of the history. But if you are closely connected with Believing family members who have issues with these things, be very wise and sensitive to where they are in their conscience. They would require the response from last week's scripture .…I become to those who are under the law, as under the law.

Remember, a person’s beliefs are often deeply rooted in teachings, upbringing, history and life-long understandings. It really is a matter of their conscience. Don’t force someone to violate their own conscience. It’s not simply a matter of whether THEY are right or wrong about Christmas. Don’t let your freedom cause your brother to stumble.

Enjoy the holiday, enjoy your family!



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.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

The Holiday Challenge




It’s that time again. It’s the holiday season. It’s time for family, fellowship, food and.... controversy. As we prepare for Thanksgiving, we're going to start talking about Christmas as well. That's because, the day after Thanksgiving is the "official" start of the holiday shopping season. Therefore, we're going to take advantage of this annual launch to start talking about Christmas and what it truly means in America today.

Did you know that many people feel that Christmas should not be celebrated?


When you learn about some of its history you can understand why. Here are just a few reasons why it is not celebrated in many sectors of American society. You might have family or friends who feel this way:

1.) Christmas is just a capitalistic marketing ploy to manipulate the masses to spend money.
2.) There is no Christian church validation that Jesus was really born on December 25th.
3.) December 25th is a day on which Jews have been shamed, tortured and murdered.
4.) Many of the most popular Christmas customs – including Christmas trees, mistletoe, Christmas presents and Santa Claus – are modern incarnations of the most depraved pagan rituals ever practiced on earth.
5.) Most Christmas customs evolved from pagan rituals and practices and, therefore, should never be observed.

We agree that these are all very strong arguments for not participating in the festivities of the holiday. Many preachers across America will accurately and systematically destroy any reason a Christian Believer could possibly be connected to this season of the year.

However, as you know, we have built a reputation on controversy since moving to Harrisburg and we’re about to add more fuel to that fire.

Many Christians and religious people have taken the position that it is wrong to embrace things that were perverted and sinful in their origins. They feel we should never attempt to use these things for God. However, that's exactly what God did for us. Even though we were born in sin and shaped in iniquity, Christ died for us while we were still sinners. For anyone who receives Him, He gives them the power to become children of God. He changes us and sets us apart for His purpose. He didn't allow our sinful origins to keep us away from His divine purpose.

Now, as His children, we have the opportunity to take advantage of a season that has very negative origins and highly commercialized, money-making schemes. This is one of the special times in which our families can be exposed to the reality of Jesus Christ and the true reason why He came to earth.

We believe that we must do much more than just debate about all the reasons why we should not celebrate Christmas. Most people simply REACT to the negative aspects of Christmas. We believe that we need to provide Believers some Godly ways to RESPOND to this season.

Beginning this week, and up until Christmas, we want to give you Five Godly Responses to December 25th.

This week we’re presenting response #1: Become All Things to All Men.

In 1 Corinthians 9:18-23, Paul writes, "For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you."

We see the Christmas season as the perfect opportunity to connect with many different kinds of people. This scripture does not mean that we become hypocrites and pretenders in order to indulge in secular practices. This is talking about connecting with people ON THEIR LEVEL of understanding. This is about identifying with them, the same way Christ identified with all of mankind.

Don't shun people because of what they believe or practice during this season. Don't isolate yourself from the office party or the family gathering because they may have traditions or rituals that are against your beliefs. Become all things to all men, so that you might by all means save some.

Enjoy the holiday; enjoy your family!


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.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Why Can't You Always Be There for Me?

Carol L. Green (D.Hon.Causa)


Welcome to Listen, Lift, Launch Letters!

As most of you know, we are ministering on the front lines in Harrisburg, PA as community life coaches; particularly as marriage coaches. God has been using this aspect of our coaching to provide practical tools for people who are trying to rebuild their lives in the midst of great devastation. Part of that recovery process involves helping them recognize the lies that played a big part of throwing them off track.

According to Dr. Chris Thurman, who wrote a book, The Lies We Believe, there are at least five categories of lies that are affecting our lives. Those categories are: self-lies, worldly-lies, marital-lies, distortion-lies, and religious-lies, and they have been received and believed by millions of people.

As we continue in our effort to expose the marital lies, I want to discuss the lie that says,
“My spouse can and should meet all of my emotional needs.”

In our many years of marriage coaching, we have found this to be one of the toughest lies to overcome. Although we make promises in our wedding vows and have sincere intentions in our hearts, eventually we come to realize that no human being can always be there to meet all of our emotional needs.  Dr. Thurman lists emotional needs such as attention, acceptance, appreciation, approval, affection, affirmation, comfort, encouragement, respect, security, support and understanding.  How unrealistic it is to expect a human being to be able to always meet all of those needs.

This week I’m going to quote Dr. Thurman a lot because he helps us deal with the false hope that a spouse will perfectly meet all of our emotional needs.  Many believe this lie because they feel that the person they married should somehow automatically know their every need and meet those needs without them even communicating it.  This expectation presupposes that our spouse is perfectly, emotionally healthy themselves.  It presupposes that they can read our minds, thoughts and feelings on some hyper-spiritual level.  When our spouse does not meet our expectations, we often assume that they are the one who is somehow lacking. We conclude that our unmet emotional need is their fault, alone. 

Dr. Thurman explains: The reality of any relationship is that NO one person can be the perfect “need meter” for another person.  Our needs are too many and can be met only through a variety of people and activities.  People who depend solely on one person or one thing usually haven’t developed other resources such as a best friend, hobbies, satisfying work, and a close relationship with God.  So rather than recognizing and accepting the fact their expectation is unrealistic, a husband or wife will turn to their spouse and say, “Here’s my life.  You take care of all my needs.”

In healthy marriages, there is a mutual commitment to meet each other’s emotional needs as much as possible, and there is a mutual commitment to recognize when we can’t.  In healthy marriages, neither spouse depends solely on the other for all of their emotional needs to be met.  In healthy marriages, both spouses make every effort to be honest about when they are not meeting each other’s emotional needs and try diligently to do better.

My husband and I have done a lot of pre-marital and marital coaching over the years.  It not only helped the couples we coached, but it helped our marriage as well.  It helped us to stay in communication with one another about meeting emotional needs and has helped us to develop a habit of staying in communication with one another regarding those needs. The coaching taught us to not accept the lie that our spouse should always be there to meet all of our emotional needs.

Dr. Thurman adds:

When you have emotional needs that are not being met in your marriage, you can basically do the following:
(1) remind yourself that having emotional needs is healthy and it is okay to feel hurt when they are not met;
(2) identify what emotional needs are not being met
(3) ask your spouse if he or she would be willing to meet them (be specific as to which ones and how you would like them met);
(4) affirm and appreciate your spouse for meeting your emotional needs when he or she does; (5) keep meeting your spouse’s emotional needs as best you can, even if he or she is not willing to do the same for you; and
(6) look for other morally appropriate ways for your emotional needs to be met (a close friend, an interesting hobby, volunteer activities, ongoing education, church involvement).

He concludes:

It is normal to have emotional needs. We all have them.  It is unrealistic to expect one person to be able to meet all of our emotional needs. Expecting your spouse to meet all those needs is one of the reasons why there are marital problems. This lie puts too much pressure on our spouse and causes damage to our marriage.

The truth is, we are healthier when we have several sources to meet our emotional needs; especially our ultimate source, which is God.

Philippians 4:19 says “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

There is nothing that we need (even emotional needs in marriage) that God cannot supply.


We Listen, We Lift, We Launch,

Coach Carol Green

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Right for Each Other Means Working for Each Other

Carol L. Green (D.Hon.Causa)

Welcome to Listen, Lift, Launch Letters!

A couple of years ago my husband and I met a Nigerian Bishop by the name of Dorothy Tee. God sent her and her husband to this region just like us. Many times we heard her say that God had showed her that the way to reach people in Harrisburg was going to require that we go out into the community and rake the people in; similar to the way one has to use a rake to get to the leaves that are hidden under bushes and dark places under porches.

God stirred our hearts with her admonition even as he changed our circumstances in such a way that we were literally forced to leave the comfortable church setting and go out into the community in the manner God had shown Bishop Tee. Then the Lord gave us a powerful way to go into the community and begin to rake in the souls. It was through life coaching.

God has been using this aspect of our ministry to provide practical tools for people who are trying to rebuild their lives in the midst of great devastation. Part of that rebuilding process involves helping them see past the self-lies, worldly-lies, marital-lies, distortion-lies, and religious-lies that they have received and believed.

I have been sharing with you, from a book titled “The Lies We Believe” that was written by Dr. Chris Thurman. His book has revealed some of the ways we are also helping people to identify these lies that have held them back. This week, we continue in our discussion about the marital lies, as we address the lie that says: “If our marriage takes hard work, we must not be right for each other.”

Dr. Chris Thurman makes this statement on this topic: “Marriage is hard work.  Make that, marriage is very hard work; tremendously hard work.  Underline it.  Boldface it.  Tattoo it on your forehead.”

Dr. Thurman helps us to see that every marriage that is intent upon success has to be worked on.  It’s a truth few couples seem to realize when they first get started in life together.

There are times the marriage will hit such rough spots and hard situations that the resulting fear and insecurity can be so strong that a couple can start to believe they may have made the wrong choice in their partner.  Hollywood movies and romance novels have caused many to believe that their marriage shouldn’t be so hard. They can begin to think that they wouldn’t have to work at it if they were right for each other.

I want you to hear the truth that emotions and magical feelings don’t make you right for each other. Couples must learn to work on their relationship to make things right. When you see a marriage that is successful over many years, it’s not just because they are right for each other. They have learned to work for each other.

During the time my husband and I worked as Associate Pastors at our church in St. Louis a young couple called us one evening to say they were splitting up and wanted to talk with us. They arrived at our home and when they came in the house they sat on the couch next to each other.  They had come to an impasse in their relationship and they didn’t know how to navigate.

The first thing we told them was that they did not really want to split up. We pointed out the obvious, showing them how they had ridden together to our home. They had just demonstrated that they were willing to come and ask for help together. They had even unconsciously sat next to each other on the couch. We told them that the fact that they even took the time to argue, said that they cared enough about each other to try to come to a mutual understanding.  We helped them realize that they didn’t really want to split up. Their actions had shown that what they really meant was that they didn’t know how to go beyond the point of disagreement.

We explained that if they didn’t care about each other they wouldn’t have even taken the time to argue or try to make the other person understand their viewpoint. We were able to give the couple the tools they needed in order to bring resolve to their disagreements.  We helped them to understand that they were going to have to work on their relationship. We helped them to understand that this is what it takes to make a marriage successful.

Like that young couple, many believe that an impasse means the end of a relationship. They get tired of the real work. They wish their relationship could stay in the stage when they were living on an emotional high.

But the truth is that there will be times when we will come to a place of impasse and won’t know how to navigate past it.  When that first happened between me and my husband, we learned how to pray for God’s guidance and wisdom. We had to learn to agree with God’s word about the situation and to humble ourselves and obey God’s word.

As I said in previous letters, we all come into marriage from two different household cultures with specific viewpoints and lifestyles.  I learned that marriage is often a clash of cultures, viewpoints and lifestyles.  Marriage is a blending that takes place in the midst of these collisions and conflicts.  As we learn to live with our partner, we will have to work out the difference between what is a personal preference and what would actually bring harm to the other person and the relationship.

This was a major point of discovery for us. Most people take their stance in their impasse based upon a personal preference. Their stand is not based upon seeing what is actually harmful to their spouse.

We can feel as though our spouse brings out the worst in us, but what is being exposed are preconceived ideas, personal preferences, hidden fears, selfishness, self-centeredness, and just plain untruths.  These are things that need to be brought to the surface and dealt with for the health of our partner and the marriage.

Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”

The hard times expose the unhealthy attitudes in our own hearts and give us the opportunity to change them through the Truth of God’s word.  It also gives us the opportunity of going through our process of maturing and healing in the company of someone who loves us.

Marriage isn’t for cowards, escape artists, people who are bored, the selfish or the self-centered. It is not for the one who is unwilling to deal with their flaws.  Marriage is not for the person who is locked into the negative survivalist mentality.  I repeat, marriage is hard work and it brings out the areas of our lives that need to be changed.

This Truth also applies to the person who divorced based upon this lie that Dr. Thurman has exposed. If they don’t deal with their flaws, they will repeat the same negative patterns in any future marriage. If they are unwilling to work in the next marriage, they will come to the same conclusion as before, and terminate the relationship.

Your marriage can be happy, healthy and whole as long as you are both willing to do the work necessary to make it successful.

Dr. Chris Thurman says:
The Apostle Paul was right when he said, “Those who marry will face many troubles in this life.” The wisest couples use marital problems as an impetus to work even harder, not as an excuse to bail out.  If your marriage is hard work, you have a golden opportunity to use that reality to make needed changes in who you are.  You do not want to pass up that opportunity.


We Listen, We Lift, We Launch,

Coach Carol Green


Saturday, July 13, 2019

"It's All Your Fault!"

Carol L. Green (D.Hon.Causa)


Welcome to Listen, Lift, Launch Letters!

As community life coaches, we help people walk through the process of discovering truth so that they can recapture their lives. To help in that process, we expose our clients to the wisdom and revelations from Dr. Chris Thurman’s book, The Lies We Believe. He categorizes the lies we believe as Self-Lies, Worldly Lies, Marital Lies, Distortion Lies and Religious Lies.

I have been sharing with you, some of the ways Dr. Thurman is helping people identify these lies that have held them back.

Last week I started a new discussion on marital lies. Marriage is a major topic for me and my husband.  This week, I want to get into the specific lies that have wrecked countless marriages. This week I want to take a closer look at the lie that Dr. Thurman reveals as, “All my marital problems are my spouse’s fault.”

There are many who believe that their spouse is the sole reason for the failure in their relationship. The truth is that it takes both partners to make a relationship successful. Although one person can inflict more damage than the other at any given time, it still basically takes two to make and break a marriage. It’s not demolished by one single act by one person.

One place to begin, in the laying of a good foundation for the relationship, is by understanding the blind spots, strengths and weaknesses of each other.  The blind spot or past hurt of one partner may be causing problems or offense in the relationship, but the offended spouse must push past their hurt feelings and try to help bring God’s perspective to the issue.  The conflict is often compounded when the offended partner does not receive or respond according to God’s viewpoint on the situation.

We are all imperfect human beings and we go into relationships needing to make adjustments in our own hearts and minds. We must learn how to let go of the past and not to be selfish or self-centered. Two people go into a relationship with blind spots, preferences, prejudices, weaknesses and strengths.

Internal vows might have been made that affect and negatively impact the relationship.
Internal vows are promises that one has made to oneself, that they will never allow anyone to hurt them again.  One partner will inevitably say or do something that will cause the offended partner to flash back to an incident or conflict from the past that did not end well. This often causes them to respond to their present partner out of the pain from the past.

A lot of the conflict that came up in my marriage was due to the affect that the separation and divorce of my parents, had on me. I was not raised in a Christian home. My mother and I received Christ when I was twelve years old. I was raised by a mother who was sexually abused as a child by a relative. She often kept us away from extended family. Then my parents separated and I later carried all of that hurt and pain into my marriage.

We fail to realize that our backgrounds, societal pressures, past decisions, and the emotional reasoning we have formed and lived by, will affect our relationships.  Our marriage was affected by the way I grew up in Pennsylvania. My husband brought all of his negative experiences and reasoning from his life growing up in St. Louis, Missouri.

When Chris and I began our relationship, I was afraid to argue with him because while growing up in my household, I saw that arguments led to separation and divorce. So I wouldn’t say anything.  That was childish reasoning that developed into a fear of doing something that would cause my husband to want to leave me.

The “It’s all your fault” lie is basically the message that if it weren’t for you, everything would be fine.  We must be aware that we all have baggage that we bring into our relationships. 

Dr. Chris Thurman relates this scenario from his book:

In the case of an affair, the offended spouse feels crushed by the revelation, as anyone would, but it can be taken to a deadly conclusion.  The offended spouse sometimes concludes that the offender is the reason their marriage is on the rocks and that their spouse is to blame for all the misery they are now going through.

The offended spouse is understandably in a lot of pain, but at the risk of sounding insensitive, the offended spouse must also face the part they played in the marriage not being a good one.  Yes, the act of the offender was very selfish and destructive, but was the offended spouse loving, caring, supportive, attentive, affectionate, understanding, etc?  Was the offended spouse consistent in showing these attributes toward their spouse?

It is essential that the offended spouse comes clean about what they contributed to the marriage being so troubled.  Intense emotional pain triggered by something such as a spouse having an affair has a way of interfering with our willingness to do any honest self-examination, but it has to be done if the marriage is to be saved.

Notice how Dr. Thurman does not place all of the blame on the offender. He provides the balanced perspective in which both the offender and the offended must do self-examinations.

For a marriage to be successful, both partners must look at their own flaws and work on them according to biblical principles.

Matthew 7:5 says, "Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."

This doesn’t mean you don’t express how you feel. This scripture is talking about the manner and the viewpoint from which you approach your partner.

Ephesians 4:2 says, “….with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love.”

That’s how we walk together in unity and how we respond to our spouse when they make a mistake.

It’s wonderful when a couple chooses to follow these biblical principles and makes them a lifestyle.  When they do, they are fulfilling what it means to walk in love, to sanctify and cleanse one another with the water of the word, submitting to one another and respecting one another.

So the next time your spouse makes a mistake, resist the temptation to blame and lay all the problems you’re both experiencing at their doorstep.  Try to recall what they have experienced and what those experiences have caused them to believe and live.

Think about how your actions or decisions impact your spouse.  Remember what the Bible says concerning the issue you’re dealing with and pray before you speak. Wash them with the water of the Word in love, gentleness, longsuffering and humility because you have made mistakes as well.  Remember to always take the plank out of your own eye first.


We Listen, We Lift, We Launch,

Coach Carol Green

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Engagement Ring, Wedding Ring and the Suffering

Carol L. Green (D.Hon.Causa)

Welcome to Listen, Lift, Launch Letters!

As most of you know, we are ministering on the front lines as community life coaches. God has been using this aspect of our ministry to provide practical tools for people who are trying to rebuild their lives in the midst of great devastation. Part of that recovery process involves helping them discover the lies that they have received and believed.

We have been presenting several quotes from Dr. Chris Thurman, author of the book, The Lies We Believe. He categorizes the lies we believe as Self-Lies, Worldly Lies, Marital Lies, Distortion Lies and Religious Lies.

I have been sharing with you, some of the ways Dr Thurman is helping people to identify the lies that have held them back. This week, we begin our discussion by addressing marital lies.

In the book we have been discussing, The Lies We Believe by Dr. Chris Thurman, there is a quote from William Lederer (American Author) and Don Jackson (Psychiatrist):

“To understand the realities of the marital relationship it is essential first to recognize the unrealities.”

There are many nice people who were very much in love that have gotten married, but they came to the place of wondering if they had made the biggest mistake in their lives.

Chris and I have done quite a bit of premarital and marital consultation over the years.  One of the things we have consistently seen is the unrealistic expectations of what married life is and what it takes to have a successful marriage.  The trouble always begins when one person does not meet the expectations of their partner.

Hollywood and romance novels have blurred reality and skipped over the messy aspects of relationships, especially marriage.  Nowadays marriage is viewed by some as being unnecessary and unrealistic. What God intended marriage to be has been redefined.

It can be disappointing to find that marriage is hard work, but if you invest in your relationship, what you reap is far more than you could have imagined.  Over the next few weeks, we will again walk through Dr. Thurman’s observations to expose the faulty, destructive beliefs. We will explore six lies that many couples have embraced, causing much heartache.

Dr. Thurman quotes an old joke and says: “(There is) the engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the suffering.  The lies we are about to examine are the primary cause of the suffering that many couples experience.  They are also the reason why so many people divorce.  If we want to save our marriages, we have to overcome these lies.”

Marriage is a topic that is near and dear to me and my husband. For more than 20 years, we have been working with people before, during and even after marriage. We have written a book that shares our experiences, as well as the principles that saved our relationship. We also produced several online courses and continue to provide marriage coaching. Most of our marriage-advisory time is spent dismantling lies and misconceptions, so I look forward to sharing from Dr. Thurman's book and from our personal experiences.

Just as the crumbling institution of the family is at the core of most of our challenges in society, we believe the breakdown of marriage is a huge part of why we have seen the collapse of our urban communities. We seek to do our part in rebuilding hearts and homes.


We Listen, We Lift, We Launch,

Coach Carol Green

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Damaged Goods


Carol L. Green (D.Hon.Causa)
Welcome to Listen, Lift, Launch Letters!

Did you ever stop to think that God purchased mankind "As Is"?

When someone purchases a house, car or furniture "As Is" that always means that they see something of value in spite of the obvious damage. When God looks at human beings, He sees His greatest creation; that He loves more than we can imagine. He doesn’t love us because we’re good. He loves us because He sees His image in us. And His image is good, although it is marred and distorted because of our fallen nature.

When we bring our life coaching foundational teaching to individuals and groups, we tell them that they were created in the image of God. We tell them that they were created to do more than just work, pay bills and die. We tell them that they have a purpose in life. We tell them that each person has a part of God’s dream locked within them. We tell them that each and every life was brought forth to make a contribution to the world.

However, we also let them know that every person needs to be connected with God in order to bring forth all of that potential. This divine connection is necessary because we all have a propensity toward selfishness and self-destruction.

I have been sharing with you, some of the ways we are helping people to identify the worldly lies that have held them back. This week, as we continue in our discussion about worldly lies,
I want to discuss the lie that says, “People are basically good!” 

All we have to do is watch the daily news reporting of people murdering other people simply because of their skin color, religion, ethnicity or nationality, and we know that people are not basically good. They can have good intentions and good potential.  If we are honest with ourselves, we know that we daily fight our baser instincts of selfishness, self centeredness, dishonesty, greed, etc.

The idea that we are imperfect human beings bothers those who don’t want to look at themselves or their motives too closely. They would prefer to think of themselves as decent human beings who always have pure motives.

In his book, The Lies We Believe, Dr. Chris Thurman quotes a view held by noted humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow:

"This inner nature, as much as we know of it so far, seems not to be intrinsically or primarily or necessarily evil {but rather} neutral…or positively 'good." …Since this inner nature is good or neutral rather than bad, it is best to bring it out and to encourage it rather than to suppress it.
If it is permitted to guide our life, we grow healthy, fruitful, and happy.”

Dr. Thurman goes on to say, (It always annoys me when people who have no children and was never married, come up with these theories that they have never put into practice in their own lives first, before making them public to be put into practice.)

I agree with Dr. Thurman!

This perspective of human nature can’t be true in the light of human history. If humans are the saintly creatures some would like us to believe, then we wouldn’t have experienced all of the horrors of human-on-human crimes.  Our history has shown the murderous heart of man, his greed, hatred, subjugation of the helpless, and the subsequent establishment of systems that have been put in place, and made to be self-perpetuating, in order to keep various people groups imprisoned in various forms of slavery all over the world. 

If humanity was basically good, this could never have happened. We would be able to live peacefully with any people group, without any malice or wanting to be in control of others. We would actually be able to enjoy the diversity of others instead of being insecure and threatened by it.

Humanity is usually not as selfless as we would like to think. We tend to be more self-destructive than healthy in our lifestyles and discontented than happy with what we have.

We are not only out of shape physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.  If we were basically good people, we would be physically fit, emotionally whole, and spiritually strong.

From this self-centered perspective, mankind wants to decide what is good and what is bad.

Therefore, we find it easy to kill an unborn child and call it a choice. We find it easy to bully people (in the name of tolerance) into submission to the majority, even if the majority's rule is wrong. We find it easy to defy the laws of nature and nature's God. We find it easy to call these ways of thinking, good.

Now that’s not to say that humanity has no value and is without any redeeming qualities.

In fact, we know that mankind was created in the very image of God. We also know that mankind was so important to God that HE sacrificed His only begotten Son to reconcile mankind back to Himself. You might say that man’s worth is the price paid by Jesus Christ.

However, we cannot confuse the image of God within man, with the fallen nature of man. Although man has the potential for good, man needs the power of God to bring forth that goodness.

Think of it this way: God purchased damaged goods.

In our early years of marriage, I was so disappointed with myself because of my own selfish tendencies.  I knew that I had to fight those tendencies in order to have a healthy marriage.

It was a part of my growing in my thinking from “me” to “we” and becoming one with my husband.

Most of us have a desire to be better than we are, and we strive to be so. To believe that we are all intrinsically good is just not true.  We have to see ourselves for who we really are, look at our responses to daily life and tell ourselves the truth.

Refusing to recognize our own short comings and horrible potential for adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like,
is a sign of pride.   

If people were basically good, God wouldn’t have needed to send His only Son to die on the cross for our sins.  In Isaiah 53:6 it says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."

Iniquity is a weakness toward a particular sin or a harmful habit. For example, any kind of addiction is an iniquity. However, iniquity has an even deeper meaning. Iniquity is more than just wrong acts and deeds. The deeper meaning of iniquity is lawlessness. It’s a mindset that there are no rules and it is the belief that we can do whatever we want to do because there is no right or wrong.  That’s why we say that man is not basically good. The Bible says that man is basically lawless. And that’s not good.

The way to see that divine image come forth in a human being is for that person to come into relationship with God the Father through His Son. As citizens of the Kingdom of God, which means God is ruling in one's heart, we must develop a lifestyle of walking in the Spirit. This new lifestyle will exemplify the fruits of the Spirit, which are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. This is the potential God saw inside of us.

So, we don’t tell our clients that they are already good. We tell them that they are already loved, valued and extremely important to God. We have found that these declarations plant a seed of desire within people to not only want to BE good, but to know the God who will make them good.


We Listen, We Lift, We Launch,

Coach Carol Green

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Worth the Wait

Carol L. Green (D.Hon.Causa)

Welcome to Listen, Lift, Launch Letters!

As most of you know, we are ministering on the front lines in Harrisburg, PA as community life coaches.  God has been using this aspect of our ministry to provide practical tools for people who are trying to rebuild their lives in the midst of great devastation.  Part of that recovery process involves helping them see past five categories of lies, according to Dr. Chris Thurman who wrote a book called, The Lies We Believe. The five categories are the self-lies, worldly-lies, marital-lies, distortion-lies, and religious-lies that have been received and believed by millions of people.

I have been sharing with you, some of the ways Chris and I are helping people to identify the lies that have held them back. This week, as we continue in our discussion about worldly lies, I want to discuss the lie that says, “You shouldn’t have to wait for what you want.”

In my last letter I talked about the ‘You can have it all’ lie. The ‘You don’t have to wait’ lie is a similar version of last week’s theme.

There are many who feel they don’t have to wait until they actually have the money to buy what they want. We have an entire financial system that allows us to just use plastic money.

I have noticed that in social media, we don’t spend the time researching an issue before we try to speak authoritatively about it.

If we arrive at school to pick up our children and see a teacher scolding one of them, instead of finding out what’s really happening, parents tend to go charging in to let the teacher have it, for correcting their child. 

Being able to have the job you want, buy the things you want, or eat the food you like is very gratifying, especially when we can do these things without having to wait. We don’t want to take the time to think about the consequences of these quick decisions. We don’t want to think about the bills we have to pay after those impulse purchases or the calories associated with the foods we love to eat at any time of day or night.  I don’t know about you, but just thinking about exercise makes me tired!  The way many people live is, “Eat, drink and be merry, but don’t think about tomorrow.”

No one likes to face the reality that it takes time to accomplish the most important things in life and that we must resist the strong urges for instant gratification.

As life coaches, we are often asked for answers that would quickly solve the client’s problems. They often want instant solutions without having to endure a process of healing or restoration. Some clients, when they understand that it took a long, long time to get into their present situation and that it will also take a while to heal and correct the issue, will sometimes choose not to come back to complete the process.

Dr. Chris Thurman states in his book The Lies We Believe:

“Waiting is a lost art in our country today. Far too many consumers aren’t waiting until they actually have the money before they buy something, far too many couples aren’t waiting to give their relationship time to grow, far too many teenagers aren’t waiting until marriage to have sex, far too many people don’t wait until someone is finished speaking before they start saying their piece, and far too many drivers don’t wait to merge.  It is an ‘I shouldn’t have to wait’ culture, and credit card debt, divorce, unwanted pregnancies (or unwanted children), rudeness, and highway deaths are just part of the price tag.”

In our unwillingness to wait on the things we want, we do ourselves harm and we harm others around us.  A man and woman, or boy and girl can become parents, but because they don’t want the responsibility, they may abandon the child. if fact, they might choose to abort the baby before it is even born.  A teenage boy or girl seduces the other person to satiate a desire without thinking about the other person. Their only concern is with fulfilling their desire with no thought about how this decision will affect the other person (pregnancy, STDs, emotional soul tie, etc.).

We can hear part of a conversation, assume we know what was being discussed, and assume we understand the positions of the people talking.  We can jump into the conversation and create a huge and unnecessary argument.

In this impatient, impulsive culture, people think of themselves as being far more important than those around them. That’s certainly true when they feel they must text while driving; putting everyone around them at risk.

The truth is that the most important people and things in life are worth waiting for. In order to be more sure about the decisions we are making, we need to take the time to not only do some external research, but take the time to do some internal research.

Find out what is at the core of your impatience. We must stop and deal with this very strong urge for instant gratification and its accompanying desire for that which is forbidden.  It’s a powerful drive that we’re born with. No one has to teach us this response to life. Just delay the feeding of an infant and you’ll see it. Just tell a toddler to wait and you’ll see it.

For many people, they never matured in learning how to curb or control this basic instinct.  Now we live in a society that encourages everyone to give in to and indulge their cravings.

I encourage you to pay attention to your own behavior and see if you have believed and received this lie. Do you actually take time to get to know the people you choose to be in relationship with? Do you stop and reconsider the consequences before you make a purchase or respond to another person’s words and actions?

From my position as a coach, I believe we need to ask questions and receive counsel from those who have demonstrated discipline and success in this area of their lives. Talk with people who have healthy spending habits and healthy relationships. You’ll discover that they have learned to resist the lie that you don’t have to wait for what you want. They know the value of those things that are worth waiting for.

We Listen, We Lift, We Launch,

Coach Carol Green


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Thank You Daddy




I have some very fond memories with my dad. He was a fun-loving dad who always threw caution to the wind. It got him in trouble many times, but it also gave his children a sense of adventure and daring that proved to be very helpful for us when we found ourselves called in to the ministry.

My dad saw my love for sports and took me to my first baseball game. The St. Louis Cardinals were playing the Montreal Expos and Jose Cardenal hit a two run double in the seventh inning that gave them a 4-2 victory. I couldn’t believe I was actually there, in a 50,000 seat stadium, looking at the high tech scoreboard, the massive crowd, and experiencing all the sounds I always heard when I listened to games on the radio. I had become a devoted fan; and dad gave me a chance to experience the real thing; to actually see my heroes live and in person. I have cherished that memory all of my life. 

There were many other games in the years that followed. I especially loved the day I sat between my dad and his dad and watched Bob Gibson, my all time favorite Cardinal baseball player, pitch on Labor Day. I actually realized I was experiencing something very special that would never happen again; three generations, sitting together, enjoying our favorite sport.

James Green (My Dad)
Those were the times that established something in my heart that I have tried to give my children. There are once-in-a-life-time opportunities that come your way, and I tried to stay prepared for those moments with my sons. Then there are some things you cannot wait for, because some memories you simply have to make.

Through the years, I hope my children have had special moments that they can recall with the same kind of fondness and deep impacting love that I feel when I think back on special moments with my dad.


My dad didn’t always put his arms around my shoulder, or say 'I love you' in those moments. He wasn’t that kind of man. He gave us nicknames and he always told us he was proud of us. When I was struggling in arithmetic, he started calling me 'math major' and it built my confidence to try harder and I found success. I became a straight-A student in math.

My dad is not perfect. He had his issues with his children from time to time, like any father. I was sort of a middle child. He married my mom, who already had a precious little girl, and they had three sons before I came along. One son died while my mom was pregnant with me. Then they had two more children after me. 

There were many times when life was very hard. It was downright harsh and cruel for him. I was angry with him a few times, mainly because I had no idea what it took to be the head of the household. I learned from his mistakes, as well as his resiliency. And maybe that’s the greatest thing my dad gave us; resiliency.

Just like my dad’s journey, as a husband and father, life has been hard, sometimes harsh and downright cruel for me, but I learned from my dad how to get up and go to work every day, no matter how you feel. When I lost jobs, opportunities, homes, friends, and loved ones, I knew how to get up and keep going. Dad demonstrated to us that you should never give up, even after a failure. You never stop, no matter how you feel.

So in honor of my dad and ultimately, God, my heavenly Father, I wrote a song many years ago that expresses thanks. I gave it an informal title: Thank You Daddy.

I just want to share that song with you this week. 

The original recording can be heard HERE.

The lyrics are:

There’s so much I take for granted, Like the rising of the sun
Every time I see the morning, Never thankful for the dawn

Like a father who’s always there, With the same things every day
So consistent and expected, Sometimes I forget to say

(Chorus)
Thank you daddy
For the blue that’s in the sky
Thank you daddy
For the light that’s in Your eye
Thank you daddy
For the life beat I’ve been handed
I get so busy
I'm taking you for granted

There’s so much you’re always doing, You watch my life and keep me safe
Sometimes you throw in extras, Giving me a little bit more grace

You take the time to listen, When all I bring are complaints
You carry me on your shoulders, And you sing to me in the rain

I can always recall the discipline you gave
All the nights you spent with me, And the path that you have paved

You’ll give more love tomorrow than all my yesterdays
So please forgive me daddy, I never take the time to say 

Thank you, thank you
For every single day

Thank you, thank you
For every breath I take

Thank you, thank you 
You made us sons and daughters

Thank you, thank you
Because you are our Father

Thank you

© Green, Christopher 2001



When Life Isn't Fair

Carol L. Green (D.Hon.Causa)

Welcome to Listen, Lift, Launch Letters!

As most of you know, we are ministering on the front lines in Harrisburg, PA as community life coaches.  A few years ago, my husband began teaching about Believers moving in stealth-mode in order to be more effective in soul winning and discipleship. He said we must learn to operate under the radar, not seeking attention, acclaim or accolades. Then the Lord gave us a powerful way to minister in stealth and under the radar. It was through life coaching.

God has been using this aspect of our ministry to provide practical tools for people who are trying to rebuild their lives in the midst of great devastation. Part of that recovery process involves helping them see past five categories of lies, according to Dr. Chris Thurman who wrote a book called, The Lies We Believe. The five categories are the self-lies, worldly-lies, marital-lies, distortion-lies, and religious-lies that have been received and believed by millions of people.

I have been sharing with you, some of the ways Chris and I are helping people to identify these lies that have held them back. This week, as we continue in our discussion about worldly lies,
I want to discuss the lie that says, “Life should be fair!”

We all would prefer the people we have to interact with to treat us fairly; without wondering if they’re being honest with us.  As a child I was taught to treat others fairly and to expect to be treated fairly by most people.  The problem comes when you interact with people who don’t believe or live that way. And then there are things that happen in life that simply are not fair.

In 1986, after we had our first son, I went back to work after taking the customary six-week maternity leave. I returned to work only to discover that I had been laid off.  My co-workers, knowing that I was coming back to this situation, gave me a baby shower and large item gifts.  The company gave me a two-week severance package.  Life was certainly unfair at that time because we had just bought a house and a second car, and I knew this lay-off would mean the loss of the house or the car since we depended on two salaries to maintain our household expenses. 

I admit to wishing that somehow, something would happen so that we wouldn’t have to lose anything.  Wishing the situation would change didn’t make it change. That was the reality that my husband and I had to accept.  It was very hard, hurtful and embarrassing to accept that I couldn’t find a job in time enough to keep our house and car. It seemed so unfair that we were losing everything while others, who were often wasteful and frivolous with their spending, still had their jobs and vehicles. Why was this happening to us?
 
King Solomon said this in Ecclesiastes 9:11, “I returned and saw under the sun that— The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.”

Simply put, the fastest person does not always win the race, the strongest person doesn’t always win the battle, the wisest person doesn’t always reap the benefits of their wisdom, the person who understands how to obtain riches doesn’t always get the money, and the person with the most skills doesn’t always get chosen to do the job.

Why does this happen? Solomon says it’s because time and chance can happen. The fastest runner might stumble and lose the race. The strongest person might slip and lose the fight.

The wisest person’s decision might go awry. It might be the wrong time to invest and the financial genius might not see the expected return on their investment. The person with the most skill might be ignored in place of a person who arrives at a job site first. We can find ourselves in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong people, and it simply might be a matter of timing and chance.

At the time that company laid me off, they had a last hired, first fired policy. Their industry was suffering due to national economic problems. I was one of many who fell into the last-hired category.  Was it fair to fire me for that?  It was one of those things that was unfair in life and not a personal attack on me.  People from all ethnic groups and ages were laid off as well.  I had to take the time to really look at the situation and choose not to take it personally because it wasn’t personal.  It did not feel fair, but it was prudent for the company’s survival.

As a kingdom of God citizen, how will you handle the unfair situations of your life?  Dr. Chris Thurman, author of the book, The Lies We Believe, gives a few suggestions in handling unfairness when you experience it in life’s circumstances or directly from people:

First, call things what they are, so that the starting point in dealing with unfairness is to call it unfairness.  That may be obvious, but far too often we make excuses for others. We act as though what they did wasn’t unfair, or we call unfairness by some other name just to smooth things over or keep the peace.

Second, allow yourself to feel hurt and angry when something unfair happens.  Notice I said hurt and angry.  I didn’t say bitter, resentful and enraged.  There is a big difference.  It is appropriate to feel hurt and angry when something unfair happens, so let yourself feel these emotions.

Third, decide whether you want to assert yourself and try to correct the unfairness.  Some things are worth speaking up about such as being overcharged for repairing your car because you’re a woman.  Some things are not worth the fight such as someone gets a few more french fries in their order than you did.  There is a time to stand up and say, “I am not going to take this!” and a time to say, “No big deal, I’m gonna let this one slide.”

Fourth, you need to work on not taking what happened personally.  Whether someone intentionally or unintentionally acted unfairly, what happened wasn’t a personal statement about you.  Some of us are so personally insulted when something unfair comes our way, we grossly overreact. Though easier said than done, we must realize that unfairness toward us is not always personal.

That job layoff was one experience in which I learned not to take a decision that went against me as a personal attack.  There will be times that life won’t go as planned and it will feel unfair. We don’t always know all of the variables surrounding the circumstances of our lives, but God does!  Trust Him!  He is fair and He will turn it for your good!

We Listen, We Lift, We Launch,

Coach Carol Green