[dropcap]Rich[/dropcap] 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 e