How can your life become a “green zone”? By Ray Woolridge

When I served in the Army deployed in the Middle East, the only “green zone” was near the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.  It may have been the most protected zone in the city, but green it was not. 

The “green zones” I think of now are not places guarded or protected in a war zone. 

How would we recognize a “green zone”? 

We would find a zone where there is increased joy, plentiful peace and healthy community.  Green zones exude generosity, hospitality and increased maturity. We would celebrate to see the growth that matters most to Jesus: fearless people who love like He does. People who are not controlled by their fears experience character transformation, so they spontaneously love even their enemies. 

This is the essence of the most transformative green zone of all. New brain patterns grow and new habits are formed that change our character. Life Model Works practices the neurotheology which values both new brain patterns that become “white matter” and new habits that show transformed character.

Where do you see green zones in your life, your family or community? I have been married to Deborah for 36 years.  They have not all been “green zone” years.  Sadly, I have been living too often in “enemy mode.”  But I can see signs of a “green zone” spreading in my life in recent years.  Here is what it looks like for me:

  • A recent Immanuel prayer session with a trusted person revealed a deep wound from my childhood.  She asked me, “where was Jesus back then?” I sensed Him, in my memory, right there and then, feeling my sadness and with me in my pain. He is “Immanuel, God with us” in the present and in the past!
  • Discovering my attachment style was a revelation. My brain had been shaped to attach in a dismissive way by placing highest value on what I do and what people could do for me. I have begun to notice my unhealthy attachment style.  A green zone of awareness has opened up.  My journey to a healthy attachment style has begun.
  • I was shocked to see that I had been living in simple enemy mode, with my Relational Circuits not normally online.  Worse, when I was determined to get my way, I would use Intelligent Enemy mode to manipulate people and situations to my advantage.  I have begun to monitor my body more closely so I can notice enemy mode operations, and receive input from people around me if I miss it.

Those are just a few examples of “green zone” indicators these days.   

It is not too late to grow.  You can begin today.  Thank the Lord for neuroplasticity and the transformation of character than can happen at any stage of life.  Let us help you. 

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Where do you begin?  Here are two simple steps I am taking these days that are making a big difference:

  1. Quiet yourself.  Use the “Shalom my Body” exercises.
    • Remind yourself of an appreciation memory and notice how you felt in that moment.
    • Ask Jesus, “what do you want me to notice right now?”
    • Listen to what Jesus tells you in that quiet moment of appreciation.
    • Share what Jesus told you with someone else. (Passing the Peace)
  2. Find an Immanuel prayer practitioner who can help you connect to Jesus in your painful memories.  

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