Monday, August 22, 2016

The Golden Rule in Marriage

We stood before a minister, taking those sacred wedding vows, but five months later we were beginning to feel like this was not going to work.  Our marriage was in the first stages of disintegration. No matter how sincerely we were trying to communicate, we could not connect. Words, phrases and actions said something different to one than what the other was meaning. We didn’t have the same language because we didn’t have the same words.  We didn’t even have the same alphabet.

Chris’ A was not the same as Carol’s A. Chris’ B was not the same as Carol’s B. Chris’ C was not the same as Carol’s C. If our letters were not the same, then certainly our spelling wasn’t the same. If our spelling wasn’t the same, then our words were not the same.

We had to find a way to stay connected with one another while we engaged in this process of understanding one another.

We cannot recall the exact date and time, but following another one of those frustrating and futile moments of trying to communicate, we sat down together to try to reach some agreed place from which we could deal with one another.  It was really out of desperation that we came up with an agreement.  We weren’t trying to be deep or super spiritual. We were just trying to find some common ground.

So we made a PACT and it went something like this:

“I choose to believe that no matter how you say, what you say to me, that you are not intentionally trying to hurt me. I choose to believe that no matter how you say, what you say to me, that you meant it for my good. I choose to believe that no matter how you say, what you say to me, that you love me.”

Our pact was simply the golden rule being applied to our relationship. When we made this pact, we had no idea how significant it was going to be. We just felt a new sense of peace. It was like we were finally, really married. We had slowly moved beyond the soaring emotional connections of love and advanced to a solid unconditional acceptance of one another.

We had forged the Golden Rule into our marriage. We had each said, “I will treat you the way that I want to be treated. I will trust you the way that I want to be trusted.”

We had a new security. We had tapped into a secret place from which we could begin learning one another’s alphabet; and thus begin to piece together words and sentences.  Simultaneously, we could build a stronger connection between us. It was like working on our health while working on an injury at the same time.

The golden rule has been a huge part of the foundation of our marriage for more than 35 years. For many years we have been teaching it as a healing prescription for the couples that we coach.

Sometimes our family and friends comment on our present ability to communicate in a manner that seems almost telepathic. We can just say one word or give a brief glance across a room and we are able to conduct an entire conversation in a few seconds.

This new level of communication began when a couple that had only been married for six months, in a moment of desperation, made a golden rule choice for their relationship.

Marriage Coaches Chris and Carol Green

World Peace Ambassador, Dr. Clyde Rivers calls Chris and Carol Green the leading skilled experts in rebuilding, restoring and renewing hearts and homes. The Greens are certified master life coaches who founded the Fruitful Life Network, Inc. an innovative community care and coaching outreach. They are international columnist/writers with the award winning team of Dr. Clyde Rivers and iChange Nations Social Media News™.  


Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Creative Download

Countless mornings I have awakened with all kinds of wonderful thoughts and ideas. Sometimes it’s a single idea or it might be lyrics to a new song. It’s amazing how you can wake up with fresh new thoughts. Then as you become even more awake, all those wonderful ideas fade away with the realization of the bills, the deadlines and the various struggles you may be having with the people. Then you spend the rest of the morning simply rehearsing the monotonous movie that can sometimes be your life. 

I have written 14 books and well over 100 songs. I’ve produced 70 online video channels (1100+ videos), I’m a blogger, and I write for a Global Journalist award winning team. 

How can I possibly keep my creative flow when, at the same time, were running life coaching initiatives through our NPO (Fruitful Life Network) and our business (C & C Connections, LLC).  We have the constant pressure of fundraising and seeking customers, so that our work can do more than survive, but actually thrive.  

I have learned to pay attention to the overnight download.  Those first thoughts that come to me as I wake up, are usually pure creativity. It’s as if though my brain was given a total reset while I slept. Often the thoughts have nothing to do with what I dreamed. Many times they are simply ideas, images, impressions that just come in the very first seconds and minutes when I wake up or in the early hours of the morning while the house is quiet and the sun is just peeking over the horizon. I learned, through the years, to get up and write what’s coming to me.

I don’t try to organize the thoughts. I just write them down. I don’t know if it’s going to be an article, a song, a poem, or an idea for our business. That’s not the point. I’m not trying to edit, organize or categorize. That will come later. The only thing that’s important in the moment is to get the overnight download on to paper.   

Most of our best articles, songs, or business strategies have come from last night’s download. So I encourage you to do the same. Before you let all the cares and concerns of your life drive away that creative flow that fills your first-awakening thoughts, pay attention to the download. Exercise the discipline of getting up and writing it down.    

I realize the wonderful, rapturous feeling of enjoying the last seconds of the snooze. You may want to simply roll over and go back to sleep. I’ve lost some million-dollar ideas when I did that. I always assumed I would remember it later, but it never came back.   I discovered that hidden within those downloads, were solutions to my problems. When I was actively trying to come up with a solution, many times I simply could not find it. But many of those overnight downloads had answers buried within the thoughts. It was amazing.   

Besides, it is far better to get up and continue in the creative flow, than to allow yourself to just lay there drowning in worry, fear and all the negativity that you can’t change anyway. Why waste the moment with worry, when you could have seized the creative download and released ideas that can often times, provide the solution to many of our problems.  

It may not happen every time you wake up, but when it does, it’s important that you recognize it and get up immediately to write it down. You could be on the verge of the greatest breakthrough in your life.  

Monday, August 15, 2016

They are Still Just Lost Souls

As the election draws closer and the lines of division increase, we have found ourselves privy to a wide variety of views and opinions concerning Black and Brown people in the cities of America. With their often-times violent responses to police actions, reactions from many Christians have ranged from “Shoot to kill” to “They’re just getting what they deserve.”

In this era of very low social media IQ, I won’t waste time trying to explain the negative history that has led to the explosions of violence and the eruptions of protests that we have watched on our televisions and mobile devices from the comfort of our homes and offices.

A couple of years ago, a brother in the Lord asked Chris if it was true that Blacks get stopped by police officers for no reasons. Tears filled this man's eyes when Chris told him that it was just a normal part of our lives. He was one of the few who have actually tried to understand what was happening beyond the headlines, sound-byes and the 10-second video clips of riots.

For the record, Chris grew up in the city where the Black Lives Matter movement got its launch, following the shooting of Michael Brown in the same St. Louis suburb and apartment complex where we lived as a young couple trying to make our way in the world. Although we do not agree with all of the ideologies of the movement, you need to know that in some cities in America, these terms are synonymous: KKK, Christian, Republican, Conservative, Racists. Chris' home town is such a place. Following the shooting of Michael Brown, the KKK was passing out flyers that read: Be a Good Christian Brother and Join the Klan.

Our personal history there is very, very negative. It is nearly impossible to describe what it is like to live in a city where the following words were spoken from its downtown historic courthouse: “The black man has no rights, that a white man is bound to respect.” And the spiritual powers and influences of that statement dominate all aspects of society there; be it business, education, media, government, family, law enforcement, etc.

Just last month, a black employee came in to work, in a major downtown corporate office, to find a noose hanging over his cubicle. That just happened in 2016!  So there are many pockets in America where many things have not changed since the 1960’s. So we simply cannot sit in judgment of people’s reactions, basing our verdicts solely upon our own personal experiences from our small parts of the world. 

It was the late 1980’s, when we lived in Ferguson, and police pull-overs were regularly part of life. It was frustrating. It was humiliating. Did you hear me? It was humiliating. What do you think happens to a person who has to endure constant and persistent moments of humiliation?

It's easy to judge from the outside and say,"All you have to do is just comply." But you don't know what happens to you over months and years of this type of humiliation. And somehow, you’re supposed to try to maintain your composure and not give any officer, any reason to mistake your actions as aggressive or threatening, because in all fairness, he or she does not know if you are carrying a weapon or not.

Now we fast forward thirty years and from our perspective, things are far worse for everyone. Another generation of young adults has come forth and they are not like us at all. Many of them are not optimistic and hopeful for the future like we were at that time. The systems have failed and they have been raised on a steady diet of fatalism and despair.  They have grown weary of the stories of their parents, grandparents and great grandparents. We’re the ones who were alive in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80, and 90’s; and we have passed on that history to them. 

Special note* - the phrase, “Slavery and racism was a long time ago.” - has no meaning in our communities. It wasn’t a long time ago. It was yesterday. It’s today. It’s tomorrow.

Many of our family members, since they were not necessarily Believers, could not pass on any spiritual understanding regarding the future. So we must stop expecting a Godly, biblical, or spiritual response from desperate, hurting people.

And that’s what many don’t understand or choose to ignore. The historical disconnect is REAL. There is a reason for the unrest. It’s not just a bunch of lawless, wild and out of control animals. This is a multi-generational outcry of lost and hurting souls, who are desperately searching for peace and justice. We are not condoning their methods, but we are asking for TRUE Believers to stop this ungodly reaction where there is no compassion, love, or mercy for lost souls. 

Do you see them as lost souls, or have you allowed the media and your personal prejudice to make you hardened and indifferent? 

When you blast away at what is happening in our community, you are talking about OUR people and OUR families; the same people God called us to reach with His love and power. We do not and cannot see them as a problem in society. We feel like Moses did about his people, who were under the heavy hand of Pharaoh. Our people are under the heavy hand of satan, and true followers of Christ must see it that way or else, they will become just another st of religious executioners. 

When we hear Believers say that a kid deserved to be shot because they talked back to a cop, ran from a cop, or was disrespectful to law enforcement, then I wonder if that’s the way God responded to you when you were rebellious against Him.  Did the Holy Spirit take on the role as Judge, Jury and Executioner when you lashed out against Him in your moment of hurt, anger, rage and despair?

As long as Believers see the emotional responses of people of color as merely acts of lawless rebellion, instead of an agonizing cry for help in the midst of unimaginable despair, then they are no different than the religious folks who wanted to stone (execute) the woman who was caught in adultery. 

Jesus saw a woman who was so desperate for love that she was willing to risk death, just to be with a man who was not her husband. Do you see hurting people who are willing to risk death, just to experience what it is like to have peace and justice?

Many Believers say they live by the Golden Rule; wherein we are supposed to treat others the way we want to be treated. That does not mean you wait until people of color respond to life in the same way that you do. It means just what Jesus said. In fact He actually gave Believers a new commandment under the golden rule. He said we are to love others in the same way He loved us. 

If we actually live by the Golden Rule, we will realize that we’re called to reach the lost. Why is it so easy to reach across the globe and help the less fortunate on the other side of the world, and yet remain callous and unfeeling with those who are trying to survive only a couple miles away?

After all, they are still just lost souls.

For the least of these, 

Chris and Carol Green (doctors honoris causa)

World Peace Ambassador, Dr. Clyde Rivers calls Drs. Chris and Carol Green the leading skilled experts in rebuilding, restoring and renewing hearts and homes. The Greens are certified master life coaches who founded the Fruitful Life Network, Inc. an innovative community care and coaching outreach. They are international columnist/writers with the award winning team of Dr. Clyde Rivers and iChange Nations Social Media News™.