Thursday, December 24, 2020

In Remembrance of Christ



Did you know that December 25th is not the actual birth date of Jesus Christ? 

Did you know that it was originally a celebration of Christ that was established by the Roman Catholic Church when they initiated a Mass during the same season that many civilizations were already engaged in various winter solstice celebrations of the sun god? 

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 assert that this church-initiated celebration was never an attempt to celebrate December 25th as Christ's date of birth

It was intended 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 in the Spring when sheep were giving birth). 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 sun-god-worship origins of December 25th. As Spiritual leaders and Searcher educators, 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 allow your freedom to 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 (Luke 22: 14-20). 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 CARE 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 Spiritual Wellness Hub that provides personal and professional development for Christian Leaders and Apostolic oversight for home groups, house churches, and ministers.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Giving is Already Our Lifestyle

 


In the midst of a global pandemic people are struggling, trying to find a way to celebrate the holiday season. The entire year has been challenging and even as it wraps up, it still shows no sign of letting up on the relentless assault on our lives.

In years past, people of various faiths and religious beliefs have furiously battled over the appropriate way to deal with the holiday season. Even within Christianity there are debates about the way December 25th should be celebrated, or if it should be celebrated at all.

Over the past few weeks we have been offering very important points for us to consider for making Godly responses to the pagan origins of December 25th. As Faith leaders and Community Life CARE Coaches, we have decided to provide practical answers and suggestions 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 December 25th controversy:

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

2.) Don’t allow your freedom to 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 of giving 

- 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. 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 holiday thing. It's simply a Godly response. December 25th just happens to be a great time to do what should come naturally for Believers all year.


Many people claim that they give presents to others because December 25th is Jesus' birthday. Hopefully, we have made it clear that Christmas was never intended to be celebrated as the birth date of Christ, but instead, the celebration of the fact that Christ came into the world to take away the sin of humanity.


Therefore, even though the reasoning behind the gift-giving claim is a bit misguided, the practice of gift-giving is not.

Today, we are urgently trying to communicate that in spite of the historical 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 the winter holiday season. However, we believe that it is one thing to expose all the problems with December 25th, 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 December 25th, 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 December 25th thing; it's a Godly thing. God gave us the gift of His son. For God so loved the world that He gave..... 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

UGCSI Vice Chancellors, Chris and Carol Green Collaborating with Life Esteem Holistic Wellness Center

 

Chris and Carol Green with Pat and Nate Gadsden 
on the Life Esteem TV Program.

Pennsylvania, USA --- UGCSI Vice-Chancellors, Chris and Carol Green officially joined the Advisory Committee of the Life Esteem, Inc's Holistic Wellness Initiative in South Central Pennsylvania. 

“I’m honored that these two phenomenal people accepted my invitation to join our Advisory Committee,” said Pat Gadsden who is the co-founder of the Life Esteem Holistic Wellness Center; and for more than 40 years, has been the Capital Region’s recognized leader in health and wellness for the urban community. 

“We met the Gadsden about three years ago when we were asked to speak at a fund raiser for another wonderful organization in our community,” shares Professor Carol Green, “At the conclusion of that event, the Gadsdens invited us to their Life Esteem television program.  A few months later, the Life Esteem team went through our CARE-Ready Coaching training. Afterwards, we worked with Pat, providing co-training for the staff of a local women’s shelter. And of course, we’ve been present together at several community events.”

Pat is a successful entrepreneur and respected trainer. She provides consultant services to businesses, state agencies, institutions of higher education, and human-service organizations. When the opportunity came from the State's Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs for Life Esteem to extend services to the Opioid Recovery Community through Holistic Wellness workshops, the Greens were not only brought on board to co-facilitate, but to also join the Holistic Wellness Committee. 

As Vice-Chancellors of Administrative Leadership at United Graduate College and Seminary International (UGCSI), the Greens emphasize and teach "The Process that Leads to Success" in their Professional Development of the institution's global consortium of Searcher Professors. In this role, they not only provide instruction through experiential success, but they also lead by example in their local community.

“We were honored and humbled to be asked to join this prestigious Committee,” commented Professor Chris Green, “The Gadsdens are major influencers in this community and we felt it was a natural fit to unite our efforts with this initiative. We believe we can all be much more effective through innovative, solution-based collaboration.”

As the world's leading producers of CARE-Ready Coaches™, Vice-Chancellors 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.

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

Saturday, December 12, 2020

UGCSI Vice Chancellors, Chris and Carol Green on Spiritual Wellness Panel, Engage Opioid Recovery Community

UGCSI Vice-Chancellors address attendees of Spiritual Wellness Panel Discussion

Pennsylvania, USA ----UGCSI Vice-Chancellors Chris and Carol Green participated as Panelist in a Spiritual Wellness Workshop at the Life Esteem Holistic Wellness Center in Harrisburg, PA, USA.  The session was one of eight workshops that were provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. The workshops walk through the Eight Dimensions of Wellness and are designed to help individuals and family members of those who are recovering from opioid addiction.

The Eight Dimensions of Wellness are: Environmental Wellness, Occupational Wellness, Intellectual Wellness, Emotional Wellness, Social Wellness, Financial Wellness, Physical Wellness and Spiritual Wellness.

“It was an honor to be part of this today,” stated Prof. Chris Green. “We met two other awesome panelists, and their journeys and perspectives on Spiritual Wellness were inspiring.”

The other panelists were Jennifer Parsons, who is pursuing Chaplaincy and a Master of Divinity Degree at Eastern Mennonite Seminary; and Vikram Pattarkine, a keen student of yoga and practitioner for over four decades, who follows and actively promotes a natural plant-based diet for personal health and the planet’s sustainability.

All of the workshops have been facilitated by La-Verna Fountain, an influential and respected expert in the fields of Communications, Conflict Resolution and Transformational Speaking, who is an in-demand resource for corporations, organizations, non-profits, and community leaders across all sectors. She brought the Greens on board as presenters of the Occupational Wellness Workshop and as guest on the Spiritual Wellness panel. The workshops were conducted from September through December 2020.

“For us, Spiritual Wellness is about having every aspect of your life to come from a motivation of love,” the Greens shared with the attendees. “By love, we mean God, because God is love. It was the fundamental motivation in our 40 years of marriage, our parenting, in our evolutionary process, and in all of our experiential success.”

The main objectives of today’s session were for the participants to come away with an understanding of what is meant by the term  ‘Spiritual Wellness’, to have considered their own spiritual health, and to know the difference between spiritual wellness and religion. From the feedback that was offered at the conclusion of the 3-hour session, the goals were achieved and the audience was thoroughly enriched and encouraged in their spiritual health pursuits.

Editors Note: Watch a brief video clip of the Professors' presentation at   https://vimeo.com/490334971

Friday, December 11, 2020

The Gift of Forgiveness

 

A couple weeks ago we started discussing the controversies surrounding various December 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 allow your freedom to 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, haters and persecutors. 

In years past (before our current Covid-19 lock down), many people were giving in to the pressure to buy gifts and they’d run up huge credit card bills to do it.  One holiday season, 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 financially struggling people in America 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.

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 (both of these are blessings) 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. Before covid-19, many people were going to scramble through shopping malls trying to find the perfect gift for someone who is very special to them. But what if they had included in those lists, a couple of people who don’t like them very much?

In these harsh economic times, most people don’t have very much money for purchasing gifts and the holiday season has become more of a burden of obligation. However, we encourage you to consider those who spitefully used you or even persecuted you. It might be something as simple as sending a greeting card or sending a text message or greeting.

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 season to respond like a child of God. Give the gift of forgiveness. 

Respond by blessing your enemies.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Professors of Process Teach Validation Through Experiential Success

 

With Chancellor Pitzl and Chief Chancellor Rivers, online professors 
Chris and Carol Green address the Searcher Professors of UGCSI


UGCSI - Today, Vice Chancellors, Professors Chris and Carol Green, joined with the Chief Chancellor (H.E. Sir Clyde Rivers) and Chancellor (Prof. Michal Pitzl) of United Graduate College and Seminary International in the final online Professional Development session of 2020.

"Professors Chris and Carol were phenomenal today," commented Chancellor Pitzl following a 1-hour course titled Experiential Success and the Searcher Model. "They are the perfect example of what it means to obtain success through experience and process. This is the reason they are Vice-Chancellors at UGCSI."

The UGCSI Professors of Process provided practical tools and tips on various methods and strategies to engage communities, build goodwill, and establish a foundation for success in owning a stage (or number one position) in one's field of expertise.

Searcher professors are the front-line evidence builders and experiential success pioneers of an entirely different model of education known as Searcher Education or Authorship Education. In this model, Searcher Educators are experts by experience.  That experience is the foundation of Authorship Education: A Lifelong Learning System. 

According to Rivers and Pitzl, "Authorship Education came from a collective need, from all walks of life, from several continents of the world; from everyday people looking for solutions to everyday life issues. Authorship Education drives to real life and is a lifelong learning system that changes societies. It believes that each person has a gift, skill and solution that was given by God, and therefore can 'author' their own philosophy." 

UGCSI is a private, fully accredited Christian College and Seminary, headquartered at Kayiwa International University, that provides its students an e-learning education model for their ministry training. With excellent Biblical programs, as well as accelerated ministry degree programs, it offers a truly practical, well-rounded international ministry education experience.

In June of 2020, Chris and Carol Green were announced as UGCSI's new Vice Chancellors of Administrative Leadership. This couple was positioned to lead the Professional Development of its Global Consortium of Searcher Professors/ Educators.

As affiliate members and International Statesmen with iChange Nations™, Chris and Carol Green partnered with UGCSI to provide an accelerated, ministry-accredited life coaching certification program. After successfully establishing this International Leadership Life Coaching Program in the United States, the Greens were invited to join the leadership team as Vice Chancellors.

"The Greens helped our professors see that their experiential success brings validation," concluded Chancellor Pitzl. "We consider Professors Chris and Carol to be at the top of their field and leading experts in educating the world about the process that brings success."

Chris and Carol Green received formal Christian Leadership Training (a 5-year school of ministry) from Dr. Raphael Green (D.Ed.Min) who founded the Metro Christian Discipleship Academy in Saint Louis, Missouri; earning licenses and ordinations as ministers in May of 1991. To further enhance his education, Chris completed two business certification programs at the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ School of Professional and Continuing Studies. They both completed a lay-counseling certificate program from the American Association of Christian Counselors.

They continued to expand and grow in their professional development through their enrollment in United Graduate College and Seminary International (UGCSI), where they received Bachelors and Masters degrees in Christian Leadership, as well as certification as master life coaches through its Colleges of Christian Education and Divinity: Educational Department.

Friday, December 4, 2020

A Matter of Conscience


It might be difficult to conceive, but there are millions of people who have real issues with 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 that date 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 allow your freedom to 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, but as Spiritual 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 their culture.

Why abstain? Well, because we have an extremely important mission and purpose for being in Pennsylvania. 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 even 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 December 25th 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 December 25th practices don’t cause people any internal conflict because they have no knowledge of the history. But if you are closely connected with 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, personal understanding, personal interpretation, cultural or familial upbringing, history and life-long experiences. 

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 December 25th. Don’t let your freedom cause your brother to stumble.

Respond with understanding, patience and love.