Saturday, December 12, 2015

Community Life Coaches Offer Hope to the City's Unemployed




Pennsylvania, USA ----Community Life Coaches Chris and Carol Green, returned to the Pennsylvania CareerLink's Job Club to again uplift, encourage and empower the unemployed in their community.

"That workshop was incredibly awesome!" said Coach Chris Green. "At one point our dignity-restoring workshop was going so well that someone actually said 'amen' during the presentation."

Held just weeks before the holiday season, the workshop literally captured the group. Every example, anecdote, story, and word of advice seemed to hit home in every heart. At the beginning, it was a very melancholy group with lots of heaviness hanging in the atmosphere, but by the end, people were talking and engaging.

"There is definitely something special happening with this community outreach," explains Coach Carol Green, "We believe we've been given this open door to restore dignity, give wisdom and heal hurting people, desperately trying to find jobs."

This was the Green's third successful monthly workshop. The class was at maximum capacity, having seen its numbers growing monthly. 

"How awesome is that?" added Coach Chris Green, "We're just trying to do our part to lift up and encourage people who are in a very tough season of unemployment."


As the world's leading producers of CARE-Ready Life Coaches, Chris and Carol Green teach and train community, government and education leaders, human service organizers, business visionaries, and neighborhood dreamers how to be much more effective by embracing the principles of CARE (Compassionate Awareness with Respect and Empathy) in their professional and personal lives. They LISTEN to people,  LIFT people and LAUNCH people. Then they equip and empower them to do the same for others.

Many coaching, mentoring and community outreach programs employ what is known as a "deficit model" of working with people. That's where you focus on the problems (deficits) of a person, and then apply a set of pre-determined, cookie cutter steps and treatments to address their issues. The deficit-based model is what many professionals and well meaning Helpers use, but it rarely works long-term, leaving Helpers wondering why their clients fail to break the cycles of addiction and recidivism.

However, CARE-Ready Life Coaching mirrors the principles found in the proven, evidence-based strategies of Strength-based, Solution-focused practices.  CARE-Ready life coaches are trained to connect with people in order to build a relationship/ partnership that empowers the client; thus allowing the client to discover the solutions that will work best for them.

Also, while many coaching programs focus on how to target potential high-paying affluent clients, and high-paying speaking opportunities, we train, equip and empower Care-Ready Responders and Coaches, who are willing to take on the most often overlooked people of society; those who live in under-served communities and can least afford, but benefit the most from professional guidance.

If you want to be trained and empowered to coach or mentor with a purpose that's greater than yourself, explore the possibilities at http://www.CandCconnections.com/lifecoachtraining


***

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Community Life Coaches Give Hope, Restore Dignity to the City's Unemployed


Pennsylvania, USA ----Community Life Coaches Chris and Carol Green have been conducting a Life Coaching workshop at EDSI - PA CareerLink® Capitol Region in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania since October of 2015.

EDSI operates the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program, serving the unemployed and underemployed populations in Pennsylvania. Their core services include job readiness workshops, job search, job club and other career development topics.

This is the area where the Green's life coaching workshops entered the picture. This is where they seized the opportunity to give hope and restore dignity to those who are unemployed in the city.

After that first workshop, one participant said the presentation gave them a new way to view themselves as they face a very tough job landscape. Most attendees were very encouraged.

"It's pretty hard to maintain your dignity when you're unemployed and dealing with one job interview rejection after another," Coach Chris Green said. "We had to think about how we would want to be treated if we were in the same situation. From our perspective, we were just thrilled to be able to move out beyond the walls of a church building and reach people who needed hope in a time of great despair."

After that first uplifting workshop, the life coaches were invited back to the Career Link facility the very next month (November).

"Our second workshop was just before Thanksgiving so it was kind of tough for the participants," Coach Carol Green explained. "That month, we had a wonderful, engaging conversation as we explored various workplace personality profiles. We offered tips on how to work with conflicting personality types and how to improve one's own responses to others."

The session came alive with conversation, questions and comments.  During the session, the Greens introduced their Life Coaching website and offered the opportunity for participants to attend their weekly group sessions.

The Career Link site-administrator sat in on part of the November workshop and later proposed that the Greens return to conduct a session for her staff. Afterwards, the Community Life Coaches were placed on the PA CareerLink regular monthly schedule, establishing another step in their CARE-Ready approach to uplifting lives in the urban community.

As the world's leading producers of CARE-Ready Life Coaches™, Chris and Carol Green teach and train community, government and education leaders, human service organizers, business visionaries, and neighborhood dreamers how to be much more effective by embracing the principles of CARE (Compassionate Accountability with Respect and Empathy) in their professional and personal lives. They LISTEN to people, LIFT people and LAUNCH people. Then they equip and empower them to do the same for others.

Many coaching, mentoring and community outreach programs employ what is known as a "deficit model" of working with people. That's where you focus on the problems (deficits) of a person, and then apply a set of pre-determined, cookie cutter steps and treatments to address their issues. The deficit-based model is what many well-meaning Helpers use, but it rarely works long-term, leaving Helpers wondering why their clients fail to break the cycles of addiction and recidivism.

However, CARE-Ready Life Coaching™ mirrors the principles found in the proven, Best Practice strategies of Strength-based, Solution-focused models. CARE-Ready life coaches are trained to connect with people in order to build a relationship/ partnership that empowers the client; thus allowing the client to discover the solutions that will work best for them.

Also, while many coaching programs focus on how to target potential high-paying affluent clients, and high-paying speaking opportunities, the Greens train, equip and empower Care-Ready Providers and Coaches™, who are willing to take on the most often overlooked people of society; those who live in under-served communities, who can least afford, but benefit the most from professional guidance.

If you want to be trained and empowered to coach or mentor with a purpose that's greater than yourself, EXPLORE THAT POSSIBILITY at http://www.CandCconnections.com/lifecoachtraining

***

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Exposing the Real Enemies



Way back in 1994, I wrote a song called ‘What If’ and our youth ministry’s rap/evangelistic group took the tune and added a rap within the chorus. In that rap, a brilliant young artist asked the question, “Who’s the real enemy?” She challenged many of the negative issues in the urban community, but she kept taking her listeners back to the question: Who’s the real enemy?

Now, 21 years later, we find ourselves still asking the same question. We’re in a city that’s 800 miles from where we started, but God is moving in a powerful way as HE leads us in the fight for our families. This week we want to answer that question and identify a few of the enemies of our families.

Nehemiah 4:7-8 reads: Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion.

Let’s take a closer look at these guys.

Sanballat was a Moabite. The Moabites were descendants of Lot, who had a child by one of his daughters and the child that was born was named Moab; Thus began the Moabite people. The Moabites worshipped Chemosh (ke-mosh). This god was honored with cruel and perverse practices like child sacrifices (burning babies alive) and heterosexual, homosexual and bi-sexual orgies.  

Sanballat represents the acceptance of heterosexual perversion and homosexuality.
He represents the willingness to sacrifice our children for wealth and personal success.
He represents those family secrets like molestation, incest, rape and abortion. These are major evil spiritual forces that are opposing your efforts to rebuild your family.

Tobia was an Ammonite. They were descendants of Lot also. Ben-Ammi was the child born to Lot after by his younger daughter. The resulting people group, the Ammonites, opposed the Israelites when they attempted to pass through their land in the Exodus. They had a history of making unreasonable demands in order to allow passage or when attacking others around them. They were bullies.

Tobia and the Ammonites represent those people and influences that seek to hinder your family from achieving goals and fulfilling purpose. They are constantly harassing and bullying anyone who is trying to do the right thing or live a Godly life. This is especially true when we observe this type of spiritual opposition to your efforts to rebuild your family.

The Arabs are the descendants of Ishmael, who was the son of Abraham from his wife's handmaiden, Hagar. Jews are descendants of Abraham's son Isaac from his wife Sarah. Therefore, Arabs and Jews both came from Abraham. Most Arabs, believe that it was Ishmael who has the birthright as Abraham’s first born. Jews and Christians hold to the understanding that Isaac has the birthright because he was the promised seed that came through Abraham’s wife.

In the context of this exhortation today, the Arabs represent the spiritual forces that contest your birthrights. They contest and fight against your rights to raise your children, your rights to protect your family, your rights to freedom of expression, and your rights to freedom of religious practice.

The last group we’ll talk about is the Ashdodites. They were Philistines and their name referred to the city in which they resided. The city’s name means, “I will spoil" The spoiler is that person who knows they can't defeat you, but they will do everything they can to cause as much hurt, harm and damage as they can anyway.

In sports, there are teams who have lost so many games that they no longer qualify for the playoffs or any championship bid. They take on the role as spoiler: to knock out other teams and put them in the same position.

Ashdodites represent the people who allow this evil spirit to work through them. They live in defeat. They aren’t going anywhere and aren’t going to do anything with their lives, yet they become envious and do all they can to prevent others from accomplishing their goals and dreams. That's the attitude and motivation of satan and demonic powers. They blew their chance with God, and now they work to spoil your life and your family. They know how things will end when all is said and done. However, they want to drag down as many people as they can.

As you can see, these are some formidable forces that are opposing us as we seek to fight for our families. Just remember that the human individuals or groups who are conspiring against you are not your real enemies. They are merely tools being used by satan and demonic powers. They have been so influenced by these evil spirits that they are convinced that they are right and you are wrong.

Now can you see how you and your family are being attacked? These are the spiritual forces that are at work against us. Please understand that the moment you decided to rebuild, restore and renew your family, these attacks were launched against you to create confusion and discouragement. But here is our response. Nehemiah 4:9 says - Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.

We're not going to launch political protests and campaigns. We are not advocating bashing anyone who is gay. We’re not approving the bombing of abortion clinics or the shooting of abortionist. We are not going to organize protests at city hall, the state capitol or at school district buildings. We're just going to set a prayer-watch against the enemy, day and night. Will you join with us this prayer campaign?

God didn’t tell us to come to Harrisburg and try to win, rally or revive the entire city. God sent us to Harrisburg and told us to bring FAMILIES together. That doesn’t mean all families will physically come to Urban Life. It just means God has given us a mandate to call the members of families to come together. God sent us to Harrisburg to share our lives and the Word with YOU. Our calling is not to necessarily reach ALL of Harrisburg. Our calling is to reach YOU. And then we are to equip you to reach your family. We’re just trying to do all that we can to help you and your household. We’re all in this battle together. 

That’s why we encourage you to keep pressing through all the opposition and continue to take advantage of our Sunday Life Coaching sessions. They are small gatherings, but they have proven to make a big impact on our hearts and homes.

Let’s keep pressing forward.

---Chris and Carol Green

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Setting a Watch, Day and Night



We just returned from another out-of-state ministry assignment which included speaking in our home church in St. Louis, MO, USA. We continued our Fight for the Family prayer campaign as we released the word on Restoring the Gates and Walls of our Hearts and Homes. It was the first time we were able to release this vital prayer strategy in our home church. 

Once again, we were able to give a Body of Believers the charge to Set a Prayer Watch against the demonic forces that are attacking our families. Back in 1995, we wrote a song to speak to teenagers about the social and moral challenges they would have to face. The closing chorus went like this:

WILL WE CONFORM TO THE SYSTEM?
AND BE LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE
BE A ZOMBIE INDIVIDUAL
LIKE THE ONES WHO NEVER REALLY CARED

WILL I CHOOSE THE RIGHT TO END A LIFE?
EXCHANGE MY SEXUALITY
LET SOMEONE ELSE DECIDE MY PATH
LET SATAN JUST RUN OVER ME?

….I DON'T THINK SO!

We realize many people will focus on only certain lyrics of this song. Activist groups will call us homophobic, fear mongering pastors. The liberal media will go forth with the popular political tactic of editing our videos and presenting quick 12-second sound-bytes taken totally out of the context of a 45 minute message.

We know the game and we are very familiar with this tactic. We don't care about their sound-byte, reputation-smearing tactics. There are just too many families in crisis in our city. There are too many hurting people for us to care about that anymore.

Through the years, we have been challenged to minister to people who were gay, straight, had gotten an abortion, who paid for an abortion, discovered they were HIV positive, or had some other STD (sexually transmitted disease). Some had children outside of marriage and many were broken, abused, addicted or unstable. We have never had a stone to throw at anyone.

By this we refer to the Biblical account of the woman who was caught in an adulterous affair. The religious leaders demanded her death by stoning. Jesus Christ, however, challenged them by saying, "He who is without sin, cast the first stone."

Let's be clear about what is happening today. When we speak about the many issues addressed in that song, we’re not casting stones. You see, casting a stone was not merely throwing out a protest or a disagreement with a choice or a lifestyle. Casting a stone was done to execute people; to kill people. That's what it really means to cast a stone. It means to attempt to execute somebody because of their sin.

Today, we officially declare to the popular media and to those who believe everything that they produce, that disagreeing with someone, challenging someone, or protesting against someone is not the same thing as casting stones to execute someone.

When we challenge the viewpoints to which we disagree, and more importantly, that disagree with the Bible, we are not attempting to execute anyone. We’re not trying to kill anyone. We have the right to disagree. We have the right to voice our disagreement. We have the right to base our disagreement on the Bible.

Please understand that the same Bible that addresses these issues also dictates our responses to people. We are supposed to be like the Father in heaven who loves everyone and provides sunshine and rain to everyone. We have loved, embraced, served and coached hurting people, even though we disagreed with their liefstyle choices.

So why bring up these issues at all? We bring them up because these controversial issues have wreaked havoc within our family relationships. Even though many of our opponents in society tell us to mind our own business and quit trying to force religion on them, here is our push-back statement:

"We’re not fighting to force our beliefs on them. We’re fighting because THEY have forced THEIR beliefs upon US and our children. And THEIR beliefs have affected the very foundation of OUR households."

Nehemiah wrote: Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion. Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night. (Nehemiah 4: 7-9)

We’re going to show you who your enemies have been.  Sanballat, Tobia, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the Ashdodites represent very strong spiritual forces who are our true enemies.

Your true enemies are not the people that we see fighting against family values. They are not the people that we see fighting for gay marriage. They are not the people we see fighting for the right to kill babies by building more abortion clinics in poor, minority communities. They are not even the people that we see stripping us of our rights as citizens. No, our enemies are old, ancient demonic forces that have risen again to oppose the will and purpose of God.

We’re calling upon the Urban Life family to take up your positions. We’re setting a watch against the enemy day and night.

Two years ago, we introduced the following prayer at the end of a gathering. Please take this prayer. Make copies and keep it with you. Look at it. Read it. Pray these words over your family every time you think about them. Join us in setting up this prayer watch for our families:

Recognizing that my fight is not against flesh and blood, political parties, activist groups or social movements, I stand here in the gap for my family.

With the spiritual weapons of prayer, praise, worship and the Word of God, I declare that I am not afraid of these spiritual enemies.

I remember the Lord, Great and Awesome, as I fight for my brothers and sisters, my sons and daughters, my spouse and my household.

According to the promise in Isaiah 54:17,” No weapon that is formed against us will prosper; And every tongue that accuses us in judgment, we will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And our vindication is from the Lord.”

So Father God, I receive Your grace, favor, protection and wisdom.  And I thank You for giving Your angels charge over me and my family, to keep us in all of our ways.

Amen

---Chris and Carol Green

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Repairing the Inspection Gate



This week we will talk about the tenth and final gate of our prayer walk around our hearts and homes. We will briefly discuss the Inspection Gate. The Hebrew word for the inspection gate means "the appointed place." 

Hebrews 9:27 reads, "It is appointed for man but once to die, and after that the judgment" -- the inspection!"

Restoring the inspection gate means restoring the understanding that one day we will all stand before God. This gate is a reminder that we must give an account of our journey in life. Many hearts and homes do not have this gate, so they tend to live shaped by iniquity (lawlessness) with a secular mindset (which is to have no regard for future consequences).

However, for the true disciples of Christ, who have established this gate, scripture encourages them by assuring them that the INSPECTION GATE, THE APPOINTED PLACE is where, according to First Corinthians 3, "....everyone shall receive commendation“ from God. 

For true disciples, the inspection gate gives them a sense of hope and expectation for receiving rewards and the acknowledgment of their faithful service.  1 Corinthians 3:8, 3:14 reads, "8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward."

Did you know that the Bible mentions three different judgments? There is a judgment of unbelievers, a judgment of Believers, and a judgment of the nations. For now, we want to focus on the judgment of Believers.

Romans 14:10-12 reads, “For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat…so then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” 

2nd Corinthians 5:10 reads, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

Let’s take a closer look at what the Judgment Seat of Christ experience will actually BE like.

1 Corinthians 3: 11-15 (NIV) reads:
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss, BUT YET WILL BE SAVED —even though only as one escaping through the flames.  

However, for many of our friends and family, this isn't the judgment they will face. They will stand before God to be judged as unbelievers. This will be a horrible moment. That's why Carol and I are so intentional when it comes to personal and corporate evangelism efforts.

We realize that when it comes to sharing their faith, many Believers are very timid. That's why we are thankful for ministries like the Billy Graham Association, who provide various tools that make it very easy to 'break the ice' and share our faith.

In fact, this weekend we are helping you participate in their release of another My Hope film.
We are encouraging each of you to make plans to download and watch the film. Once you see it, you will know why it is so important that you share it with someone else. We will also distribute DVDs to you guys over the next few weeks. We urge you to participate in this effort, especially during the upcoming holiday seasons. (See icon below)

As a family, we're showing one of the My Hope films as part of our son's video game party with his old college buddies on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Our family has always been very enthusiastic about personal evangelism. We understand that when we stand before Jesus, HE will deal with each of us on the issue of soul winning and discipleship. We don't want to have to tell the Lord that we did nothing to increase His Kingdom influence in the lives of others.

SO HERE IS OUR SUMMARY OF THE INSPECTION GATE:  Restoring the inspection gate means restoring the understanding that one day we will all give an account to God for our lives, including our lives after we got saved. We will answer to God about everything, including soul winning. SO LIVE LIKE YOU KNOW THAT YOU HAVE AN APPOINTMENT WITH GOD!

We’ve taken a journey from the sheep gate to the inspection gate and we’ve tried to present their symbolic meanings, their prophetic significance and their practical application. This completes our journey around the walls so that we can see the gates that must be restored in our hearts and homes. 

---Chris and Carol Green

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Repairing the East Gate



This week we will continue our prayer walk around the gates and walls of our hearts and homes. Today we take our prayer walk to the East Gate. It is located on the eastern side of Jerusalem, opposite the temple area and facing the rising sun.

What does the East Gate tell us? The East Gate speaks of hope because it faces the sunrise. The sunrise speaks of the daily reminder that God's mercy is new every morning.

During the prayer gathering, when we presented this aspect of the gate-restoration project to the Urban Life family, we displayed a picture of the sunrise as it appears at the East Gate. Sunrise at the East Gate was a daily reminder that a new day is always coming. No matter how difficult and dark life might be right now, morning is coming.

This gate is obviously in ruins in many lives because of the hopelessness that is growing throughout our nation. Hopelessness is the source of a lot of despair and fatalistic behavior in America today. Many families seem to have no ability to cope with the trials of life. They have no East Gate. They have no hope.

Here are three scriptures that express the HOPE that is revealed by the East Gate:


Psalm 30:5 (NKJV) reads: For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.

Psalm 42:5 reads: 
Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.

Psalm 146:5 reads: 
Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the LORD his God,

When we first gathered to pray about the East Gate, we rehearsed the words to a popular Broadway tune from a musical called Annie.

The lyrics are: 
The sun will come out tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow
There'll be sun

Just thinkin' about tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow 'til there's none

When I'm stuck with a day that's grey and lonely
I just stick up my chin and grin and say, oh

The sun will come out tomorrow
So you gotta hang on 'til tomorrow, come what may!

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow
You're always a day away!

SONGWRITERS: CHARLES STROUSE; MARTIN CHARNIN
PUBLISHED BY: CHARLES STROUSE PUBLISHING;EDWIN H. MORRIS & CO., A DIV. OF MPL COMMUNICATIONS, INC.


A more spiritual song to express the East Gate is this well-known tune:

God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me

He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way, He will make a way

SONGWRITER: DONALD JAMES MOEN
PUBLISHED BY: INTEGRITY'S HOSANNA! MUSIC

When we shared these lyrics with the Urban Life family, I began to weep because much of my life, as an inner city youth, was filled with hopelessness. I was the most pessimistic person you could ever have met. Since I was born into a grief-stricken household, sadness and sorrow were part of the core of my being. 

For Carol, after her parents split up, she had very little hope or expectations for life to ever get any better. Through the years, the East Gate was eventually built and established in our lives; especially in our marriage. Today we know, first-hand, why this gate must be built in our families. The EAST GATE is where Godly hope and expectation is established in our hearts and homes.

---Chris and Carol Green

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Repairing the Horse Gate





We have been taking a weekly journey around the walls of Jerusalem, stopping to observe the condition of the gates that surround the city. We leaned that in 587 BC, Babylon attacked Jerusalem. They burned the Temple, the palace, all the houses, and all the important buildings. They broke down the city walls and burned the gates.

In about 466 BC, Nehemiah was an exiled Jew in the service of King Xerxes in Persia. He learned the Jews who remained in Jerusalem were rebuilding the Temple, but that the city’s defensive walls and gates were still destroyed. The Persian King gave Nehemiah permission and support to return to Jerusalem and begin the restoration process of the city’s gates and walls. 

This week we want to talk to you about the restoration of the Horse Gate. 

The horse gate was located next to the horse stables. Horses were used in battles against Israel's enemies. The horse is always the symbol of battle in Scripture.  This is the gate that reminds us that we are in a spiritual war! We must restore this understanding in every household, so they are prepared for spiritual attacks. There will be surprising events, and unexpected circumstances in our lives. Everybody is going to face a battle. However, we can be equipped for the battles.

Ephesians 6:11-13 (NKJV) reads: 
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

This is what we are geared up for daily, in order to fight this battle. We are not fighting against people. Your heart and home must accept this or else you will find yourself fighting against those who are not your true enemies.

We need to be alert to this reality of spiritual warfare. Let’s restore  the gate of spiritual warfare; the Horse Gate!

 ---Chris and Carol Green

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Return to the Water Gate


  
Today, as we continue our prayer walk around around the walls of our hearts and homes, we want to stop now at the water gate. Water, in Scripture, is the symbol of the Word of God or the Spirit of God.  

Here is the account of the water gate restoration from Nehemiah 3:26-27 (NKJV) ---
"Moreover the Nethinim who dwelt in Ophel made repairs as far as the place in front of the Water Gate toward the east, and on the projecting tower. After them the Tekoites repaired another section, next to the great projecting tower, and as far as the wall of Ophel."

The interesting thing about this account of the renovations around the Water Gate is that there is no indication that this gate needed the same level of repairs as the others. Perhaps this is a prophetic indicator that the challenge for us is not necessarily the restoration of the water gate, but the restoration of the areas that are taking time and attention away from this gate's role in our hearts and homes. Perhaps, this is a gate that many households simply have to start accessing again, accessing more often, or accessing for the first time.

This is the gate that reminds us of our need for the Word and Spirit of God. We must have the Word and Spirit, like the physical body must have water.

Jesus said, "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."  (Matthew 4:4). 

We are receiving more than just inspiration and encouragement when we read the Word of God. We are literally drinking new life into our souls.

If we jump ahead to the completion of the entire wall and gate restoration project, we discover a profound event. We read in Nehemiah 8:1-3, 

"Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law."

The picture is very clear: Every family and household; every heart and home must restore and return to the water gate to receive the Word of God and the very presence (Spirit) of God.

---Chris and Carol Green

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Repairing the Fountain Gate


  
Let's continue with our prayer journey around the gates and walls of Jerusalem, which in this context, represent our hearts and homes. This week we're focusing on the fountain gate.

The restoration of the fountain gate speaks of the living waters of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said: ‘Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." (John 7:38)

There is a fountain that God wants to release from within us, however, our hearts are clogged and blocked by many negative issues.

Just look at what the Bible reveals in Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV); Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. This scriptures urges us to consider the issues that are important to people because these issues are directly connected to what has happened in their hearts. 

Hearts have been damaged, crushed, raided, abused, and ravaged by abandonment, divorce, divisions, death, disasters, etc.  Restoring the fountain gate touches the very purpose for which God sent us out. HE sent us to people who have been deeply wounded in their souls. The very soul of America cries out and wails in anguish.

While religion points out and judges the behavior and actions of mankind, God looks at the wounded sin-sick soul and starts there.

This gate is for those souls today.

For most of us, our lives were devastated in early childhood. In Isaiah 61:4, we read, "And they shall rebuild the old ruins, They shall raise up the former desolations, And they shall repair the ruined cities."

Former desolations refers to devastating things that happened in the past; in particular they refer to devastation that happened in the early years of your life.  

In my life (Chris), my soul was wounded before I was even born. My mom was pregnant with me when her youngest child was killed in a food-choking accident. Her grief and sorrow engulfed my unborn substance. I was an extremely melancholy inner city kid because I was always overwhelmed by grief, sorrow, and despair. I lived a very sad, depressed and pessimistic life, even after I gave my heart to the Lord. As human beings, we develop habits and vices as we turn to pacifiers and some other way to try to ease or comfort our pain.

I even developed a very violent and murderous temper and nearly killed my younger sister in an outburst of rage. Shortly afterwards, I was filled with the Holy Spirit and the rage was literally washed away in the streams of living water.

Last week, we talked about restoring the refuse gate and the many toxins that we need to eliminate from our lives, but this gate (fountain) is where we find the actual power and ability to follow through with those decisions to get the trash out of our hearts and homes.  

The Bible presents a very powerful admonishment: And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)

In this context, drunk means to be under the controlling influence of wine (or whatever it is that you turn to for comfort). The issue was not the mere drinking of wine, but the lack of moral restraint. The caution and warning is about becoming a person who is given to immoral and improper conduct. The emphasis is on being filled and under the controlling influence of the Spirit of God.

Let’s rebuild, restore and renew the fountain gate and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

This is where you and your family will become empowered! When the river is unleashed, you will no longer simply respond from the issues of a broken and damaged heart. With the fountain gate restored, your heart and home can be brought under the controlling influence of the Holy Spirit.
  
---Chris and Carol Green

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Repairing the Refuse Gate: Cleanse Ourselves


  
Over the last two weeks, we've been working on the restoration of the Refuse Gate, as part of our 10-gate restoration project to fortify our hearts and homes. The first part of the Refuse Gate restoration involved working on those acknowledgments, accomplishment and accolades that are revealed to be rubbish in comparison to gaining Christ.

The following week, we began to work on those things that we discover, over time and experience, are actually toxic to our souls.

This week we must deal with the things that we already know are refuse in our lives. We don't need a great revelation or sermon. We already know what needs to be thrown out.

Paul urges us, "Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (2 Corinthians 7:1)

Following is one of best Bible verses that expresses this aspect of the refuse gate restoration. Check out the various translations and reflect on how to apply it in your life today:

Galatians 5:19-21(NLT)
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:19-21 (NLV)
The things your sinful old self wants to do are: sex sins, sinful desires, wild living, worshiping false gods, witchcraft, hating, fighting, being jealous, being angry, arguing, dividing into little groups and thinking the other groups are wrong, false teaching, wanting something someone else has, killing other people, using strong drink, wild parties, and all things like these. I told you before and I am telling you again that those who do these things will have no place in the holy nation of God.

Galatians 5:19-21 (CEV)
People’s desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds. They worship idols, practice witchcraft, hate others, and are hard to get along with. People become jealous, angry, and selfish. They not only argue and cause trouble, but they are  envious. They get drunk, carry on at wild parties, and do other evil things as well. I told you before, and I am telling you again: No one who does these things will share in the blessings of God’s kingdom.

This is the secret sinful stuff they we know is trash. Most often it’s something we enjoy, so we don’t want to give it up. Sometimes it becomes a habit or an addiction that we really struggle to throw out. Can't you see how this is directly connected to what we talked about last week? YOU CAN BE LED INTO THESE SINS BY THE TOXIC THOUGHTS, TOXIC PEOPLE, TOXIC MUSINGS, TOXIC CONNECTIONS, and TOXIC LIVING (Patterns).

Jesus told us what it would be like to restore and rebuild this gate. He said it may be like cutting off an arm or plucking out an eye. But it is something that has to be done or otherwise it leads to ultimate ruin. If you have never committed your heart and life to Jesus Christ, don’t let some sin or vice cause you to miss out on what God has for you in this life and the eternal life. If you have committed your life to Christ already, don't allow some secret sin to steal your ordained purpose and destiny. 

Matthew 18:8-10 (NKJV) “If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire." 

So let’s get down to business and turn from our wicked ways. Let’s restore the refuse gate and get rid of our trash. We want to clean house so we can see the power and glory of God in our hearts and homes.


---Chris and Carol Green

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Repairing the Refuse Gate: Toss the Toxic


 
This week we will continue working on the Refuse Gate. Last week we discussed the first of three things we must become willing to throw out of our hearts and homes as we restore this necessary gate. We tossed out the things that we think of as being valuable, but they are actually rubbish in comparison to gaining Christ.

This week, let’s deal with the stuff that seems harmless, that we must throw away when we discover that it is refuse. There are some things that are of great value to us, but when we DISCOVER  that they are vile, filthy or harmful to us, we need to throw them away.

Hebrews 12: 1-3 reads:
"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls." 

As you grow in your relationship with God, you are going to discover things and people who are weighing you down or ensnaring you. Our job, as your life coach, is to point out some of those things that you will need to “watch for” along the way. You have already encountered them, so let this list serve as a brief reminder or refresher.

You must be willing to consider and watch for:

Toxic thoughts: Bitterness, worry, fear, anxiety, lust, envy, murder, an unforgiving heart. 
Toxic people: negative, critical, cynical, arrogant, boastful, selfish, narcissistic people.
Toxic musings: entertainment, music, movies, books, etc. that are reinforcing negative, vulgar, lustful, hostile, violent, prideful images, thoughts and behavior.
Toxic connections: mystical or spiritual items, objects and charms;  gifts, pictures, jewelry that binds you to the past or to demonic spiritual influences.  
Toxic living: Bad eating habits, bad sleeping habits, internet/phone addictions, video game addictions, TV addictions, alcohol, drug or pharmaceutical additions, etc. 

There is no way we can go into all of the details of this list, so when you are able, please check out our video podcast that covers this list at https://vimeo.com/53303264

You may discover that these toxins are the source of the weariness and discouragement in your soul.

Let's continue restoring the refuse gate and allowing the Holy Spirit to show us the things that have become toxic in our hearts and homes. 

---Chris and Carol Green

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Repairing the REFUSE Gate




It's time to resume our quest to restore the gates that surround our hearts and homes. Now we come to the Refuse Gate. This is not a very pleasant gate, but it is a necessary one. It is the gate of elimination; the gate where all the rubbish and corrupt things in the city were brought to the garbage dump in the Hinnom Valley, outside Jerusalem. This gate symbolizes the necessary activity of getting the trash, filth, and waste out of our hearts and homes.

2 Chronicles 7: 14 ….If my people…. Turn from their wicked ways….

Carol and I see three things we must deal with in the rebuilding, restoration and renewing of the refuse gate.

1. We must deal with the confidence we have in our flesh, which God considers to be refuse.
2. We must deal with the things that seem harmless, that we have now discovered to be refuse.
3. We must deal with the thing that we already know is refuse, but we keep holding on to it.

First, let’s deal with our confidence in the flesh, which God considers to be refuse. Let's look at all the things the apostle Paul called rubbish:

Philippians 3: 4-9 reads:
"....though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him...."

From Paul's words we can see several things that must become refuse to us (compared to gaining Christ):
1. Our ethnicity and nationality
2. Our carnal ability to fulfill religious requirements
3. Our zeal and enthusiasm for the earthly causes for which we fight
4. The accolades, awards and acknowledgments that come to us as a result of our accomplishments and achievements through our talents, skills, education and connections.

There are many in the urban world who champion the accomplishments of athletes, entertainers, educators, scholars, politicians, preachers and many, many others. Carol and I were raised in an era when the accomplishments of African Americans were used as the primary motivation for us to strive for success in our personal lives.

However, in later years, we discovered that many of those whom we idolized for reaching those lofty goals, were often horrible husbands, wives, and parents. Many left scores of wounded souls in the wake of their success. The few who managed to keep their families in tact, were often extremely bitter, seriously scarred, or emotionally crippled by all they had dealt with through racism and other issues in their lives.

We do not dismiss, disrespect or minimize the accomplishments of those who have paved the way for us. However, what we offer you today, is what we have learned as one couple, representing one family, from the urban world: We also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord, that we may gain Christ and be found in Him.

Nothing compares to Christ Jesus. He alone is the treasure. All else that we accomplish in this life, is trash by comparison to Him. Therefore, we restore the REFUSE GATE and dispose of the rubbish (all confidence in the flesh), carrying it out of our hearts and home. 

---Chris and Carol Green

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Repairing the Valley Gate



The Spirit of God led us to teach and then pray from the story of Nehemiah, and how the Jews took on the daunting task of rebuilding and repairing the walls and gates that surrounded the great city of Jerusalem.

There were ten gates that were embedded in strategic points along the walls of Jerusalem and each gate had a very specific purpose. Each gate has a prophetic meaning for our families today. Therefore, we are taking the time to look at each gate, understand its purpose and then pray about the significance of each gate in our hearts and homes.

Last week we prayed about the repairs of the Valley Gate.

In the Bible, a valley symbolizes sorrow, trials, and humbling experiences. We must restore the Valley Gate, which is the understanding that we will have trouble and difficult seasons.

As a nation, we have been spending millions of dollars trying to avoid trouble, and countless hours and days trying to get away from the Valley Gate. In America, comfort, pleasure and ease are gods. Therefore we are willing to do almost anything to get out of an uncomfortable situation.

This gate remains un-restored in many hearts and homes because most of our valley experiences have come in the family and in our closest relationships. However, rebuilding and restoring the valley gate is going to give us intestinal fortitude, determination, and a never give up spirit.

"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” 
(Romans 5:3‐4 NIV)

A big reason our families have no hope is because we don't know anything about rejoicing in our sufferings. We do not want to build the valley gate, but it is a necessary part of our journey. There is a closeness and resolve regarding our relationship with God that is established only by the material of the valley gate.

The valley gate also produces humility. Pride reveals itself as haughty arrogance AND in low self-esteem or self-hatred. It is obvious, in the haughty person, that pride is present. They never want to do anything to risk embarrassment and they loathe making any mistakes in public. They do everything they can to hide their secret faults and flaws. Many are passionate perfectionists.

However, the person who wallows in self-hatred and tearing themselves down can be just as prideful. They make negative declarations about themselves that defy what God says about them. It is pride that causes them to lift any thought, even if it is self-defacing, against the knowledge of God.

However, the Bible says, "God resists the proud, but he gives grace to the humble."  
(1 Peter 5:5)

The Valley Gate, and the embarrassing things that can be exposed about our lives, has a way of identifying pride. 

Finally, look at what the Bible says about trials and tough times in 2 Corinthians 4: 7-10:
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.  

Look at what Paul said when he prayed about a particular trial in his life: Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 
2 Corinthians 12: 8-9 

Next  time, we’ll continue our journey around the wall and begin making repairs to other gates that surround our families. Every gate that has been destroyed means that we are open to concepts and ideas that are against God and His ways. We have believed lies and followed philosophies that have led us to destruction. So let’s continue to repair these gates as we gather in prayer each week.

We close this email with this prayer for you and your family:

Father God,

We thank You for proving to be faithful to us through the Valley Gate. 

We rebuild the Valley Gate. You have provided the material to build this gate and we know that you have never left us in our most trying seasons. We will not seek a trouble free, trial free life. We will seek You; knowing that even if we must walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we fear no evil, because you are with us.

In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray, Amen.


-Chris and Carol Green

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Repairing the Old Gate



The Spirit of God led us to teach and then pray from the story of Nehemiah, and how the Jews took on the daunting task of rebuilding and repairing the walls and gates that surrounded the great city of Jerusalem.

There were ten gates that were embedded in strategic points along the walls of Jerusalem and each gate had a very specific purpose. Each gate has a prophetic meaning for our families today. Therefore, we are taking the time to look at each gate, understand its purpose and then pray about the significance of each gate in our hearts and homes.

The Old Gate: There are two theories why this gate was called the Old Gate. It might have separated old Jerusalem from the suburb of Bezetha, which was called “New Town”. 

Another theory is that it once belonged to the very ancient city of Salem, first built by Melchizedek. Regardless of where the name came from, this gate represents a foundational gate for our lives and our families.

This gate symbolizes a return to the OLD WAYS. It symbolizes the return to walking in the timeless wisdom of God. Jeremiah 6:16a declares; “Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls.”

Since the Old Gate has been destroyed in the eyes of millions of Americans, as a nation, we no longer understand the value of the old path. We live in an era where only the newest thing is valued. We want new philosophies, New Age beliefs, and new fashions. The focus is on youth and youthfulness. We have millions of people striving to look and feel young. We live in an era where the wisdom of age is despised.

However, Job 12:12 says, “Wisdom is with aged men, And with length of days, understanding.”

Look at this declaration by Elihu in Job 32:6-7, “I am young in years, and you are very old; Therefore I was afraid, And dared not declare my opinion to you. I said, ‘Age should speak, And multitude of years should teach wisdom.’

Can you imagine young people today saying this to someone in the older generation? 

If our hearts and homes are going to survive and thrive, we must rebuild and restore the Old Gate, which is basically, the Word and Wisdom of God.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”  Psalm 119: 105

Next week, we’ll continue our journey around the wall and begin making repairs to other gates that surround our lives. Every gate that has been destroyed means that we are open to concepts and ideas that are against God and His ways. We have believed lies and followed philosophies that have led us to destruction. So let’s continue to repair these gates as we gather in prayer each week.

We close this email with this prayer for you and your family:

Father God,

We thank You for proving to be faithful to us through the Old Gate. We restore the Old Gate and receive the wisdom that goes far beyond the newest and latest fad or witty invention.

In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray, Amen.


-Chris & Carol Green

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Repairing the Fish Gate



This week we'll look at the fish gate. This was the entrance for fishermen to bring in their catch. This gate symbolizes the place where we see the importance of our roles as fishermen. Jesus told His disciples, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”

Spiritual fishermen understand the importance of using lure and bait to catch fish.
They understand the timing of fishing. There are certain times of the day that fish are active. They even understand when some people are caught in the net of our influence; some are like the fish that have to be thrown back into the sea, until they are ready. The Bible says, “He that wins souls is wise.”

The fish gate symbolizes the importance of living a life that lures, baits, attracts and even catches people to come into the Kingdom of God. The fish gate expresses the priority of the Kingdom agenda for our lives. In a time when many people work and live only for themselves and personal survival, the fish gate symbolizes this new value of living for a purpose greater than our own. Today, we restore the fish gate. We follow Jesus so that He can make us fishers of men.

Next week, we’ll continue our journey around the wall and begin making repairs to other gates that surround our lives. Every gate that has been destroyed means that we have been allowing things that are the opposite of what God intended for us. We have been open to concepts and ideas that are against God and His ways. We have believed lies and followed philosophies that have led us to destruction. So let’s get these gates repaired as we gather in prayer each week.

We close this email with prayer for you and your family:

Father God, we thank you for giving us this opportunity to rebuild, restore and renew these vital gates to our hearts and homes. For some of us, this will be the first time the gates will ever be established. For others, it will be the first time, in many generations, that these gates will be set in place. No matter how long it has been, or if it has never been, we are just thankful that in our lifetime, these gates will be set in place in our hearts and homes.

Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion. Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.  *Nehemiah 4: 7-9

Even though there is opposition to the rebuilding of these walls and the closing of these gaps, we will do the same thing that Nehemiah did in their time. We will pray to our God and set a watch day and night.

In the authority and name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!"

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Repairing the Sheep Gate



The sheep gate was the place where sheep and lamb were brought into the city and taken to the temple to be used in the temple sacrifices. This gate symbolizes the place where Jesus, as the sacrificial lamb, comes into our hearts and homes.

This gate must be repaired and restored because it means we are establishing this one prevailing truth for our families; Jesus Christ is our ONLY savior and Lord. He must be welcomed into our hearts and homes to cleanse us and deliver us.  We must accept the truth that Jesus is the only salvation of our lives. If this gate is broken down, we will believe that there is some other way to find deliverance, freedom and success.

No President, Governor or Mayor can deliver us. The business community cannot deliver us. Education is beneficial, but it is not the thing that will deliver us. This gate has been destroyed in many hearts and homes and most people do not see Jesus Christ as the answer for themselves or their family. But today, we restore the sheep gate. Jesus is the answer for our families and communities.

Next week, we’ll continue our journey around the wall and begin making repairs to other gates that surround our lives. Every gate that has been destroyed means that we have been allowing things that are the opposite of what God intended for us. We have been open to concepts and ideas that are against God and His ways. We have believed lies and followed philosophies that have led us to destruction. So let’s get these gates repaired as we gather in prayer each week.

We close this email with prayer for you and your family:

Father God, we thank you for giving us this opportunity to rebuild, restore and renew these vital gates to our hearts and homes. For some of us, this will be the first time the gates will ever be established. For others, it will be the first time, in many generations, that these gates will be set in place. No matter how long it has been, or if it has never been, we are just thankful that in our lifetime, these gates will be set in place in our hearts and homes.

Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion. Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.  *Nehemiah 4: 7-9

Even though there is opposition to the rebuilding of these walls and the closing of these gaps, we will do the same thing that Nehemiah did in their time. We will pray to our God and set a watch day and night.

In the authority and name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!"

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Righteous Can Spare the Nation



Last week we came across a blog by someone who's blog name is Madame Prezident. She's an African American woman who was expressing her views about the Supreme Court's decision regarding gay marriage and the response of many Black Christians and church leaders. We don't know anything about her political, social or religious views, but she made some very serious points regarding the state of the Church in America.

Here's a condensed version of what she wrote:

Genesis: 18:22
The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. 23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 

Genesis: 18:26
The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” -

Genesis: 18:32
Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?” He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”

God is no liar, so God destroyed Sodom & Gomorrah because it’s evident that he couldn’t find at least ten righteous men to spare the life of the wicked...... what most Christians have failed at is “being the righteous to spare the city.”

America is not Sodom and Gomorrah because “gay marriage” has been legalized in all fifty states; it’s Sodom & Gomorrah because “Straight men” sleep with multiple women and sometimes men, all while spreading the HIV virus amongst the black community.

America is Sodom & Gomorrah because a pastor wants a 65 million dollar plane instead of a school, shelter, or hospital.

America is Sodom & Gomorrah because pastors sleep with the congregation.

America is Sodom & Gomorrah because Christians don’t believe in abortions until it’s their underage daughter who is pregnant.

America is Sodom & Gomorrah because women sleep with both men and women to satisfy their own filthy desires.

America is Sodom & Gomorrah because “straight” women are killing their children.

America is Sodom & Gomorrah because men like Bishop (she stated the name) dominate the Black church – pedophiles in the pulpit.

America is Sodom & Gomorrah because you have the Black church, White church, Methodist, Pentecostal, and COGIC; instead of the Christian Church.

America is Sodom & Gomorrah because straight women sleep with other women's husbands without conviction.

America is Sodom & Gomorrah because nine Black people were gunned down during a Bible study.

America is Sodom & Gomorrah because rich people refuse to help the poor.

America is Sodom & Gomorrah because there are more Black men in prison than inside the home.

America is Sodom & Gomorrah because you’ve been going to church your entire life & you know the Bible like the back of your hand, but you still don’t know God.

A great percentage of Americans identifies with Christianity as their chosen religion, so if you’re reading this and you’re a Christian – please ask yourself, am I one of the fifty righteous that God can count on, to spare the destruction of America?


We read this blog in last Sunday's gathering to open our session. Then we sang a couple of songs of dedication and worship, crying out to God that we would be considered and counted as part of the righteous who can spare our nation.

How about you today? Will you take your fear focus off the gay community, the racism, and the corruption in our government, to simply bow before the Lord? 

Will you become part of the solution and healing of our nation? T

hat's what we're doing. That's the direction we have taken.

Chris and Carol Green

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Brotherly Love


Opinion-Editorial

Last week I had lunch with a very dear friend and brother, whom God has used greatly in our lives. He and his wife have been what Barnabas was for the apostle Paul. Barnabas was the one that brought Paul into the confidence of the early church elders. This couple brought us into the confidence of many elders in this region. We've been in fellowship, friendship and covenant relationship with them for ten years, now.

For both of us, this lunch was a time to reconnect and get brought up to speed. In the midst of our conversation he asked some very sensitive questions, of which he felt that I was the only person he could direct them to and get honest answers, without being offended. He's White. I'm Black. We are worlds apart in life's experiences and therefore, our views can be vastly different.

He asked if it was true that the police stop and pull over African Americans for no reason.

I responded, "O' YES! I've been stopped by the cops just about all of my life. It's just a normal part of life where I grew up."

I gave him that response even as I recalled being stopped as early as 8 years old for merely walking down the street. All through my teenage years, young adult years, and right up until we moved to Harrisburg, being stopped by the police was just a normal part of life in St. Louis, Missouri.

I watched my dear friend's eyes become filled with tears as he observed the casual, matter-of-fact manner in which I answered him. In that moment, I knew why God had brought our lives together. My friend and brother was genuinely touched by the experiences of my life. He did not minimize my experience. He did not rationalize it away. He did not dismiss it with over-spiritualization. He did not try to offer any answers, reasons, or excuses. He simply absorbed my life's experience into himself and he was visibly moved by it.

He asked a couple of more questions, based upon my first answer, but those were matters of statistics and trends that neither of us could explain or substantiate. The key moment had already come upon us, though. I felt it was another one of those historical moments that happens in an obscure setting, but has powerful implications in the spirit realm.

Across this state, many are praying for brotherly love to sweep across Pennsylvania.

Well, this conversation was a manifestation of how that prayer is being answered.

Last week, we wrote to you guys about being unified in purpose and how coming together had to be much more than corporate gatherings that yield no fruit or change in our hearts and homes. Little did I know that the very next day, after sending that email to you, that I'd be sitting in a restaurant, experiencing another divine connection that would make a tangible impact.

I will forever be deeply touched by the look in my brother's eyes as I answered his sincere questions. What happened between us, in that moment, was the level of brotherly love, I know, that God will bring all across this region and state.

So, I encourage you today, to not only look to the huge corporate gatherings to experience these kind of moments, but look for God to invade your conversation with a co-worker or friend. God is going to set up one-on-one meetings like this, to break down barriers and flood our hearts, homes and communities with this kind of love and understanding.

Let His love flow through you this week. You never know who needs to drink from the overflow of your life.


Chris Green

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Corporate Deployment: Unified in Purpose




Carol and I have been in the ministry together nearly 30 years. Through the years we have always heard one particular cry from hundreds of people in various churches, para-church organizations, and prayer groups all over the country. There is a continual cry for coming together in unity. 

We have heard many reasons offered in gatherings, meetings and conferences, as to why the Body of Christ can't seem to come together. Reasons like: unforgiveness, bitterness, leadership abuse, competition, envy, strife, ambition, greed, prejudice, racism, sexism, imperialism, hypocrisy, apathy, and the list goes on and on and on.

Of course, these observations have been quite accurate. We have been in and around the church world over 50 years, so we can tell you, first-hand, that this has been a legitimate complaint and issue against the Church in America and right here in south central Pennsylvania.

However, we're not writing to add to the complaint. Nor, are we writing to offer a one-size-fits-all solution to the problem. Yet, we're writing to offer another way of approaching the issue of unity. Perhaps we're offering another way of viewing what unity will look like.

In our experience, many who call for unity are usually calling for everyone to come and join with THEIR movement, cause or mission. And if everyone does not "come together" to fulfill what they believe God has called THEM to do, then the outcry is again, "No one wants to walk in unity!"

Our brother and ministry overseer introduced this explanation to us while he was training and mentoring us. He said, "This is how we often view the next move of God: When the vision is in MY heart, it's the will of God. But when that same vision is in another leader's heart, I feel they're walking in selfish ambition."

So, why would God tell scores of leaders to do the same thing? Is He actually calling every leader, in every church, every prayer group, and every para-church organization to pool all of their people and financial resources into one massive effort, under one group's banner?

Personally, we believe many leaders might be missing a critical point.

We believe the Lord is calling for us to come together in unity of PURPOSE, not necessarily, unity of PRESENCE (physically coming together all the time).

Now we must share a story to clarify our point. Another local pastor was constantly trying to get us to bring our congregations together for a unity gathering. We were very reluctant to do that because the type of people we were mentoring in that season, were not regular church-goers, and most had been burned out or even hurt by church people. For us, a unity gathering would have been disastrous for our people. However this wonderful, caring brother kept insisting that we needed to come together in unity.

A few months later, his ministry had a need for a van. We happened to have one that we no longer needed. So, we gave it to them. After we completed the transaction we told him, "This is what it means to come together in unity. We don't need a church unity service. You had a need. We met your need. That's what it means to come together and work together in unity."

As our nation continues to fall apart, many church and ministry leaders continue to call for unity, but most seem to think unity means always physically coming together for meetings and gatherings. But what is the point of such gatherings if there is no action that deals with our hearts and homes at fundamental levels?

Now, on the other hand, there are other pastors and ministries to which God has caused our paths to cross and we have physically come together to host prayer gatherings and street outreach efforts. However, we don't get together merely for unity gatherings. These have been providential connections that have led to genuine fulfillment of God's purpose.

Carol and I see the call for unity as a call for UNITY in the SPIRIT. It is a call for unity in GOD'S PURPOSE. We must stop confusing corporate gatherings as a sign of unity and TRUST the Spirit of God as He unifies us through CORPORATE DEPLOYMENTS.

Our military is the perfect example of this. Our military is deployed all over the world, not gathered together in one spot, on U.S. soil. They are deployed by different branches (Air Force, Army, Navy, etc.), so again, they're not all doing the same thing, in the same place, in the same way. However, they are deployed with a common purpose.

For instance, God has deployed us into the urban community, to deal specifically with the urban Believer's wounds that were inflicted by their family, friends and even church leaders. So we can't command and demand that every church, every prayer group, and every para-church group join with our calling, under our marching orders.

We can't command and demand that all inner city ministries unite with us and our strategy because some of them are called to deal with drug and alcohol addictions, while others are deployed to supply food and clothes to the community.

We must each do what God has called us to do and perhaps, we're just simply supposed to make other branches of the Kingdom Warrior military AWARE of our assignment. In some cases, like we did with the other pastor, we might be able to HELP meet some of their battle needs, or supply COVERING IN PRAYER over their deployment. 

Sometimes, God's orders will cause our paths to cross and we will find ourselves "coming together" in certain sectors of the war zone. But that is something GOD must orchestrate, not us.

So, this is what Chris and Carol mean by, "coming together in unity." Some of us may never meet one another physically, on this side of eternity, but we still, will have worked together and come together in unity.

Everyone must follow the orders that the Holy Spirit is giving them and obey the assigned deployment that HE is giving them. We must understand that the UNITY we are looking for is in the SPIRIT of GOD because HE is commanding ALL of us. 


As human beings, we've got to relinquish this fleshly, carnal need to be in control, always knowing what everyone else is doing. We must stop striving to pull everyone into one position, under our authority. We have to simply obey our orders from the Lord, knowing that HE is speaking to others, and trust that they are doing their part as well.