Rich and Linda Case were living the American Dream, US Christian-style. After they bowed together at their coffee table and met their Savior after Rich’s MBA program, his first corporate job and their first child during their second year of marriage, they began to get everything right–at least from the outside. Rich rose rapidly through the corporate ranks while Linda managed their beautiful homes and growing family. Rich even went back to Seminary and earned his Masters degree and ordination. While Rich established a career as a senior executive in a Fortune 500 company, together they started churches and handed them off to solid leaders. They also stepped in as interim pastors for troubled churches and fixed them. And Rich wrote a book on Biblical financial management. All this while Rich was still climbing the business ranks. Their financial life and ministries were thriving. All was well.
They began to get everything right, at least from the outside.
Except, behind the door to their beautiful home all was not well. Rich, with a powerful academic mind (he was awarded his MBA from USC in one quarter the normal time with a 4.0 GPA) and a natural ability to juggle many complex matters at once was unknowingly dominating family life. Linda, an intuitive and sensitive soul, was unable to compete with Rich’s logical and aggressive justifications for his ideas. Layered on this often one-way decision-making was the appearance of a happy, well adjusted Christian couple. But despite growing repression of what Linda truly thought and felt, Rich’s growing sense that he could do no wrong locked in their approach to life. They were doing what they wanted–actually usually what Rich wanted–and to anyone looking in it was a successful Christian marriage.
Then came a defining moment. Rich, while still performing at top levels as a corporate executive, made a lucrative commercial real estate development on the side yielding a multiple of his hard earned salary in only two years. Rich thought, “This was so easy I should take the considerable profits and reinvest them in three projects. Then I won’t have to work so hard any more. This will be great for my family.” But Linda, her intuition screaming, begged him not to reinvest in commercial real estate. A sense of warning flooded her. She was a praying woman. She was troubled. This, however, hardly slowed Rich down. Everything he touched turned to gold. And this would, too. Lots of gold. And certainly “they would give large sums to God”. So once again Linda’s intuition and emotional state was no match for Rich’s arguments. Rich went ahead and built three more commercial buildings in his spare time.
Then, out of nowhere, a worldwide real estate crisis erupted. Though Rich prayed and worked every angle to save their investment the heavens were apparently silent. In the end, they lost everything they had built over decades to forced bankruptcy. Linda’s jewelry. Their furniture. Their cars. Only their home, protected by homesteading laws, was left. A complete and total reversal. It was as if a tornado had passed over leaving only their lives intact.
It was as if a tornado had passed over leaving only their lives intact.
But the Lord was not done with Rich and Linda. Rich, now humbled to the core, was willing to listen. To Linda. And to the Lord. And He quickly indicated that they had been living selfish lives despite the appearance of the perfect “Christian marriage”. And that Rich needed to carefully listen to his wife, respect the Holy Spirit within her, and ask the Lord what He had to say about their choices and issues, especially Linda’s feelings and insights. And Linda learned she must not “cave in for sake of peace” but speak her heart and mind. And they both heard that they must forgive each other before the Lord led them anywhere else. They did. And then He did.
They both heard that they must forgive each other before the Lord led them anywhere else. They did. And then He did.
What Rich and Linda learned, they shared. And the more they listened to the Lord and shared the more they heard. Soon they were completely restored financially. But now they also enjoyed a joy-filled marriage, a partnership, a two way relationship. Retreat after retreat was held, and then other retreat leaders were joined to the effort. And then books were written. And it was done under the ministry name All for Jesus, a good name because it was no longer for them, but for HIM.
Now, after 15 years of sharing what they’ve learned in private retreat settings, the call has come from the Lord to go global with the supernatural wonder of what happens when hearts are turned to listen to His Voice. Turned to hear from the Lord directly, personally, and live in what is heard. To Abide. In the Vine.
And so All for Jesus and Affiliates is born.