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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » John Bradshaw » John Bradshaw - Conversation with Ron Price

John Bradshaw - Conversation with Ron Price

John Bradshaw - Conversation with Ron Price
TOPICS: Conversations

He is an author, a speaker, a mediator, a life coach. He's a humorist. He's Ron Price. I'm John Bradshaw, and this is our conversation.

John Bradshaw: Ron Price, thanks so much for being here. I'm glad you have taken your time to have a conversation. Thanks.

Ron Price: John, it's a thrill. Thank you.

John Bradshaw: Hey, thank you. Okay. We've talked about a little bit about what you do a moment ago... an author. You're a mediator. That sounds like dangerous work. You're a humorist. We'll ask about that in a minute. But who are you? Where are you from? Where'd you grow up? Tell me a little bit about the early years of Ron Price.

Ron Price: You made an assumption, John, that I don't agree with.

John Bradshaw: Oh, what's that?

Ron Price: Well, people ask me, where did I grow up? I say I'm trying to do it in Farmington, New Mexico.

John Bradshaw: Okay.

Ron Price: I started life in Rhode Island...

John Bradshaw: Oh! Of all places.

Ron Price: a Jewish family...

John Bradshaw: Yeah? A Jewish family?

Ron Price: ...Jewish family, middle of three children.

John Bradshaw: Let's make this clear. You're a Christian today.

Ron Price: I'm Christian today, absolutely.

John Bradshaw: There's a story.

Ron Price: But you know what Christmas and Easter Christians are. We were Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Jews.

John Bradshaw: Ah, okay. Okay.

Ron Price: It was ethnically and socially and all the rest, very much Jewish.

John Bradshaw: Tell me about the ethnically. Where'd you guys come from?

Ron Price: That's a great question. Russia, I think...

John Bradshaw: Okay.

Ron Price: ...Poland...

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Ron Price: ...somewhere. I don't know that much about my heritage.

John Bradshaw: You weren't going to the synagogue every Sabbath day?

Ron Price: I was going to Hebrew school...

John Bradshaw: Yes?

Ron Price: ...during the middle of the week, which was... how do I say this on television?

John Bradshaw: Yeah, I think you just say it.

Ron Price: Not what I wanted to do.

John Bradshaw: Ah, yes.

Ron Price: Not what I wanted to do.

John Bradshaw: Typical for a kid.

Ron Price: To me, and I don't wanna disparage Judaism by any means...

John Bradshaw: Sure.

Ron Price: ...but for me, it was always, it was just a system of worship. There was no connection with a loving God, and it didn't make any sense to me. It was a foreign language.

John Bradshaw: There are many people going through Christian churches who are finding exactly the same thing. Just a system, just a... you're doing things by rote.

Ron Price: Right.

John Bradshaw: You're doing what you're told to do. There's no connection to a personal God.

Ron Price: Do this, you're fine. Do that, you're bad.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Ron Price: Yeah. No.

John Bradshaw: Well, I've got a handful of books here with me that we're going to discuss, but before we get to that, let's talk about your journey from Rhode Island to Christianity. So you're raised in Rhode Island. What happened next?

Ron Price: Raised in Rhode Island. Mom didn't stick around very long.

John Bradshaw: Ahh.

Ron Price: That's a key point in my life. When I was 6, we found out she had cancer.

John Bradshaw: Ohhh.

Ron Price: And that was back when they could barely spell the word "cancer".

John Bradshaw: Right.

Ron Price: She fought it for two years and then lost the fight. So at 8...

John Bradshaw: You were 8 years old without a mother?

Ron Price: I was without a mother. I had a brother, two and a half years older, and a sister, four years younger, and my dad, bless his heart, he held it together somehow. People told him that we should, you know, he should just send us to relatives...

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Ron Price: ...and he can't do it.

John Bradshaw: Your dad raised three kids?

Ron Price: He did.

John Bradshaw: Wow. Tell me about your dad.

Ron Price: It was hard on him.

John Bradshaw: Had to have been quite a man.

Ron Price: You know, he owned a drug store...

John Bradshaw: Uh-huh.

Ron Price: ...on the east side of Providence, Rhode Island, a very Jewish neighborhood, and he and his brother, and they were very successful, but when Mom passed, he realized that was taking too much of his time, so he gave it up. He sold the business.

John Bradshaw: Did he really?

He really did. He became a traveling salesman. He was home every night, but he traveled quite a bit.


Had to hire maids, live-in maids, to help with the kids, but yeah, it was a journey. It was a journey.

No, that's really something, that your dad just did that.


I mean, he... no one would've blamed him if he'd said, "This is just too much for a guy, and I'm not going to do this".

That's exactly right. And, you know, one of the things I'm real pleased with is... he's passed on now... but probably about 15, 20 years ago, I wrote him a thank-you note.


And he just said, "Oh, thank you," to me, but my stepmom told me that he would show that note...


...and, you know what?


Talk about heartwarming.

Nice. I was going to ask you what kind of relationship you had with your dad.

Yeah. It was, you know, it was not... I wouldn't say it was close...


...but it was loving, and yeah, we'd talk every week, and yeah, it was...

How fantastic.

...he was a good man in a lot of ways.

So you went to high school in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island, went to the University of Rhode Island.

Oh, yeah? Yeah, what'd you study?

I have to think back now.

Oh, yeah. It was so long ago.

Actually, I started off in engineering.


Because my stepmom and dad told me engineering was a good field.

Oh, they say it is.

Yeah, for some.

Wasn't good for you?

Ron Price: No, no.

John Bradshaw: Oh, okay.

Ron Price: Didn't make it a year. Calculus was enough to tell me.

John Bradshaw: Oooh, yeah, no.

Ron Price: Yeah, I didn't belong there.

John Bradshaw: Okay.

Ron Price: So I quit school for a semester, and then I came back in business, took one business course, and dropped it...

John Bradshaw: Yeah?

Ron Price: ...found sociology.

John Bradshaw: Oh yeah.

Ron Price: And that was a good fit for me, studying how systems work and how people work, and so I graduated with a BA in sociology.

John Bradshaw: And clearly... you're a mediator, among other things today. That's something that stuck with you and gave you a leg up.

Ron Price: You could probably make that connection.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Ron Price: I never have, but yeah.

John Bradshaw: All right.

Ron Price: You know, as I look back over my life, John, and see how God has led, it, oh, now it makes sense.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Ron Price: You know, at the time I didn't notice.

John Bradshaw: How'd you become a Christian?

Ron Price: And you said this is a three-hour show?

John Bradshaw: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but might be now.

Ron Price: Maybe. I moved to Ruidoso, New Mexico. Some friends had worked at the ski area there the winter before and came back and told me all about it, and I said, "You know what, I gotta get outta Rhode Island. There's gotta be more to life than the smallest state there is".

John Bradshaw: And you went to New Mexico?

Ron Price: Ruidoso, New Mexico. Couple of friends and I, we worked at the ski area.

John Bradshaw: Yeah?

Ron Price: And it was one day I was cutting wood... I was helping a friend cut wood... and he started talking to me about the Bible, and, John, it's a funny experience in my life, because I remember hearing inside... my voice, you know... I know I didn't raise this subject...

John Bradshaw: Uh-huh.

Ron Price: ...but I don't remember him raising it either, but I was interested, and he started talking about Bible prophecy.

John Bradshaw: Oh, interesting.

Ron Price: And he gave me a book by Robert Pierson... I'm sure you remember him...

Yes, of course.

..."Good-bye, Planet Earth".


And I was fascinated by that. So that began my journey into discovering who this Jesus Christ was.

How interesting.

I had always heard His name.


You know, anytime somebody hit their thumb with a hammer...

You hear His name.

...I would hear His name, or they got money stuck in a coin machine, I'd hear His name, but I, as a Jewish boy...


...I had no idea who that was.

That's really interesting, isn't it, that you can have neighbors... let's say they're Jewish... absolutely completely different frame of reference. Like, how do people not know the name of Jesus? Well, they just don't.

It's true.

Some people just don't, even living here in the United States.


So.... this idea of becoming a Christian, was there any fear involved? "My whole community or my family, they'll reject me. My dad will be mad". How did you work through that?

You're correct that in many, especially Orthodox families, they hold funerals.


If you leave the faith, you're dead. You're dead.

Yeah. A friend of mine told his mother he had become a Christian. She said two things: one, "You are finishing what Hitler started".

Oh! Oooh.

That's a lot for a young man to take on board.


And she said, "It would've been better if you had simply plunged a knife into my heart".


Oh yeah.


Yeah. Well...

Oh, how sad.

...did you get any of that?

No, I didn't get any of that, no. Because, again, we weren't...


...we weren't really of the faith.


We were of the culture, of the society, but not of the...

Yeah, yeah.

...not of the faith. There was... it was pretty well clear: "Hey, that's good for you. We don't wanna hear about it".


So I never did get a chance to witness to my family at all, which is a...

Yeah. a deep regret.

That's a tough one.

But I had to honor that because any attempts to bring it up would've been shut down...

Yeah, yeah.

...right away.

Yeah. So you became a Christian, and... you were in New Mexico working at the ski field. Did you ski?

Oh yeah.

You still ski?

Some... no.

No? No? But you skied at the time?

I did.

That's great fun.

Yeah. I started too late in life, though. I should've started earlier.


You ski a lot. You started young, I bet.

I... no, I ski a little.


I ski a little to remain dangerous to myself on a ski field.


I ski enough just so that I think I'm probably a little better than I am, but I love to ski. It's about the most fun you can have...

Oh yeah.

...that and scuba diving. I'd love to ski more. Great, great fun. So yeah, and I think to myself, "Oh, if I fall over, I'll be fine". But...I'm not as young as I used to be. If I fall over, I might break into pieces.

Yeah, but you were still willing to hang glide. I saw that episode, and that looks like fun.

Well, you know, you know, after hang gliding, they said, "We gotta get you to jump out of an airplane".


I don't think they thought with the parachute, based on who was saying this... but we'll do it. Once they get around to it, I'm going to do it.

I caught your humor, thank you.

Yeah, yeah. But I'll do it. If we do it for a TV program, I'll do it.


And I've got a son who said once that he'd like to skydive. So where did life take you then? You clearly didn't stay working in a ski field, and somehow you got to the place that you're wading into the thick of other people's conflicts.

I... boy, I gotta shorten this. I got married.


I got married on July 6th, 1977. We probably should have waited one day; I could have gotten married on 7/7/77.

That would've been something.

Might have been luckier, I don't know. We didn't make it. We didn't make it two years.


No kids. And again, I was... this is even before I had had that visit with my friend, talking about Bible prophecy.

So I wanna ask you... this is personal, of course, and I didn't plan to ask you this, so answer it however you want.


Marriage didn't make it two years. Do you know why? Did you sense at the time why? What happened to this young guy? Married the girl of his dreams, and it didn't...

We made a very common mistake. People think, you know, "You wouldn't buy a car without test driving it, so you shouldn't get married without test driving. You should live together first". Statistically, that's a mistake.

It's a disaster, statistically.

It is, and we fell into that trap. We lived together and then one day said, "Hey, you think we ought to get married"?

There you go.

Had no idea what we were doing.

Yeah, because what happens is you start to live as though you're married, and then you say, "Well, we might as well, because here we are," and you haven't cleared all those other hurdles.

Right, right.

It's really easy to cohabitate.


It's pretty low stakes. Marriage is really high stakes.

But the... and the really... and to add to that, the relationship starts with the "Hey, I'm just, we're just trying this out. If it doesn't work, I can leave any time". You bring that same mindset into the marriage without realizing it.

Right. Yeah, interesting.

So when things get bad, which every marriage is going to experience difficulties...

That's right, yeah.

"Well, I said I could leave whenever I wanted to, so, see you later".

And all kinds of people believe that they ought to be happy in marriage, and while that's true, your happiness is not the primary function of a marriage. There are other, frankly, far more important things, and so you get a little unhappy... "It's broken; I'm gone", and that's unfortunate.


Was that a really traumatic thing for you to go through? Or not so traumatic? I'm not meaning to say if it's less, it's disrespectful.


Fair question.

..."How difficult was that"? is my question.

It was traumatic in that I never saw myself as getting divorced.

Yeah. Sure.

I came from a culture where divorce was not prevalent...


...and I know I'm rare in being able to say that, unfortunately.

Yeah, it's true.

I just... you know, commitment is, was then, and still is an important matter to me, and...

Yeah, yeah.

...and I felt like a loser.


I felt like, you know, I failed.

Yeah, sure.

And I was part of the problem.

It's not something to shrug off... "once divorced, always divorced"... and so that's difficult.


Did you regroup? Did you find your footing pretty quickly? Or did you wander a little bit for a while?

That woman, her dad was an oil and gas land man.

Oh yeah?

And he brought me in, and I started traveling the country, different... mostly in the West... but buying oil and gas leases, and I happened to come to Cortez, Colorado.


And at that time I was reading a book... I don't know if you're familiar with it... called "The Desire of Ages".

It's funny you should say that. I'm actually reading parts of it every day right now.

It's a good book. I think you'll enjoy it.

It gets better and better. I'm reading it right now.

You know, on a funny note, though, that friend that I talked about that was witnessing to me from Robert Pierson's book...


...couple of weeks after that, I'm excited, 'cause I'm starting to, "Hey, who's this Jesus? Maybe this is who I've been looking... I've been looking in a lot of wrong areas. Maybe this is what I've been looking for". And a friend of mine said, "Oh, I got a book for ya: Edgar Cayce on the Life [and Times] of Jesus Christ".

Oh, wow. So...

And fortunately, I mentioned that to my friend Bob.


He said, "Ron, I wouldn't touch Edgar Cayce with a 20-foot pole, let alone a 10".


He said, "You wanna learn about Christ? Here's the book".

Have I gotta a book for you.

And the timing was just providential. So I went to Cortez, and I stayed there five weeks, and I was having breakfast in a restaurant, just happened to see a flyer up on the wall: "Revelation Now".

No way.

Had no idea what that was.

How fantastic.

But when you're a stranger in a strange town, you don't need a lot of excuses to get out of your motel room at night...


...and I thought, "Hey, this sounds good". And that's where I went to, and that's where I really solidified my commitment to Christ.

"Revelation Now," that's a title Jac Colón uses, or used, recently, so who was the speaker then?

Dennis Sellers was the evangelist back then.

And Jerry Page, who I know you know, he was my pastor.

How about that?

And he did our wedding, which we'll come back and talk about in a moment, I'm sure.

How fantastic.

He baptized me and... yeah.

Man, so you got off to a good... this is God leading you with the right people and the right books and the right poster. Do you ever wonder what would've happened if you hadn't seen that poster?

I wonder about a lot of things. What if my mom hadn't died? Would I still be a Jewish boy in Rhode Island? I mean, I wonder... I don't let myself wonder too long. I mean, that's wasted energy.

Yeah, sure.

It's fun to speculate now and then,, God wanted me to see that poster. There's no...

He works... "All things work together for good" with God, even the trauma of losing a mom.


Somehow God's able to bring beauty out of that.

That's a good point. You're right.

Okay, so how long did you sell oil and gas leases? Was that a long-term thing?

That was in Cortez. I only lasted probably another six months...


...because I was tired of traveling, and so I decided to settle in Cortez, and I became a colporteur for six years, a literature evangelist...

Yeah, how about that, selling Christian books.

...for six years, selling Christian books.

How wonderful.

It was an interesting experience...


...lot of good stories, lot of challenges.


Lot of challenges.

That's a life of faith. I've colporteured myself, not full-time, but over summers and so forth and...


...have an immense amount of respect for literature evangelists. They do a herculean work. The cool thing about LE work, one of the cool things, LE's have the best stories, the best stories...


...of how it was, "I was at the end of my tether, and I thought I was going to quit, and the Lord worked a miracle". Or I, I've... you've heard this story.

Mine is called "Go see Gail".

Oh, tell me. Come on now.

Well, you sure we got time?

Oh, we'll make time.

A lady had sent in a card. I'll try to shorten this, 'cause I can go long.

Oh yeah.

She had sent in a card. "I wanna see your books". So I called her. "Oh, I love these books. I can't pay for 'em right now. Can you come back"? I said, "Sure". So I'd come back. "Oh, I'm not ready yet". But, you know, we had a nice visit. I'd pray with her. This went on for months.


One day I call on her, and she says, "Oh, I'm ready. I got the money".


"Can you come back in 10 minutes"? I said, "Gail, I've been coming here for 10 months. I can come back in 10 minutes".


So I drive around the block and eat a sandwich. I pray, whatever. I come back; I knock on the door. She's not there.

Oh, come on.

That's what I said.


I said, "You gotta be kidding me". I said, "Lady, I don't know who you think you're dealing with, but you are not going to play me that way. I am never coming back to this house again". Fast forward a year... year and a half?


I don't know. They were having a contest, and I feel funny about contests. You ought to be selling for the love of the Lord, love of people, but...


...they had an incentive, and I was this close. I needed one more sale.


And so I went to the payphone... you remember phone booths...


...putting in my dimes, calling. I had all these cards of people that I had met with before, and, oh, you know, "Come back, whatever". Nothing. I'm driving home, and I said, "Lord, thank You. I had a good week". It was a good week.


I came this close to the incentive.


And I heard a voice that said, "Go see Gail".

"Go see Gail".

And I know I heard that voice, John, 'cause I said, "No, I'm not going to go see Gail".

Uh-huh, uh-huh, I've had that same thing.

"Go see Gail". "I'm not going to go see..." Three times. "All right, I'll go see Gail". I knocked on her door. "Come in". She said, "Hi". I said, "Hi". She said, "How are you"? I said, "I'm fine". I said, "I have one question for you and one question only. Where were you that night"? She said, "You're not going to believe me". I said, "You're right, but tell me anyway". She said, "My neighbor fell down, and I had to go help". I said, "Gail, is that really true"? "Yes". "Are you ever going to buy my books"? "Yes. I've got the money right here". I said, "Don't you move". I had left my case in the car...


...O me of little faith.

Yeah, sure.

John, I walked out that door with tears in my eyes...


...and just said...

God is good.

..."Thank You, Lord".


Came in, wrote the order, met the incentive for the week. I didn't drive home. I flew home.

Yeah. Amen.

Such a high.

Yeah. God is good, isn't He?

God is good.

God is really good. So, you got outta literature evangelism work. I'm going to make the bridge to the work you're doing today. How did we get there? Or is there something in between that's just...

Just a couple of items. We lived in Cortez at the time, but most of my territory was Farmington, New Mexico...


...which is about an hour, a little over an hour away. And so I'd go down there for two days and one night each week, and finally I said to my wife, "You know, we ought to move to Farmington". And she said, "No". She had grown up in Cortez. Her mom was there; her sister was there; her roots went deep. And I said, "Yeah, you're probably right. It's a bad idea". But I couldn't let it go. A month or two later, I said, "You know, I'd really like to talk about us moving to Farmington". She said, "Well, I'm glad you feel that way. Thank you for sharing". She didn't quite put it that way.

Sure, I get ya.

But finally I went to her. I said, "You know, sweetheart, we've got a situation here. I don't have the right to tell us we're moving to Farmington. You don't have the right to tell us we're not".


So I said, "I got a deal for ya. You give me the next year of our lives. You let me move us to Farmington. Whatever happens, you get the next year. If you're happy in Farmington, you wanna stay, we stay. If you wanna move back, I get the moving man". She said, "You mean that"? I said, "I do". I said, "I'll sweeten the deal. I will never ask you... you let me move us to Farmington; I'll never ask you to move any further away from your mom than the 70 miles that Farmington is from Cortez".


John, that was 30-some years ago.

Still going well?

And every now and then, I say, "So what do you think, sweetheart? Was it a good idea to move to Farmington"? "Shut up," she says.


No, she's not a violent woman. But it was a brilliant move for us.

Hey, how about that.

I stopped being a literature evangelist. I got... I became a food stamps worker for a while.


Just because it was a job.

Yeah. You had it right there.

And then I moved into probation parole work for nine years, and that was a fascinating chapter of my life.

Yeah, I can see there might be some conflict resolution and mediation involved in some of that. And by the way, you just outed yourself as a pretty good negotiator. That thing you did with your wife there, that was, that was...

It was Solomonic, wasn't it?

That was pretty slick.

Thank You, Lord. Yeah.

Worked out okay.

Yep, yep, really did.

Well, I've got a handful of books here that we're going to look at in a moment, the "Playing Nice in the Sandbox" series of books.


We deal with at work and at home and in church. There's plenty of conflict around today, isn't there?

Ya think?

Do we have more conflict today than we did 20, 30, 40 years ago?

You know, maybe, but in different levels. I think people are more sensitive today.

Yeah, yeah.

It seems to me, my observations, that we take things, we take sleights where maybe we don't need to.

John Bradshaw: Mm-hmm.

Ron Price: So, more conflict? I don't know. I think there's been conflict from the beginning of time.

John Bradshaw: I think... do you see that people are more apt to do their thing, devil may care? "I don't care nearly as much about your feelings as you do. I'm just going to do my thing". I see society getting a little more hard, and people just doing their thing, "And you can take it or leave it".

Ron Price: Yeah.

John Bradshaw: You see some of that?

Ron Price: I thought that was a rhetorical question, and, yeah, you're right on.

John Bradshaw: Yeah? You see that?

Ron Price: Yeah. I think the enemy knows he's running out of time, and he is redoubling... I think that's an actual word- his efforts...

John Bradshaw: Yeah. It is right now.

Ron Price: get us to turn to ourselves and forget everybody else...

John Bradshaw: Yeah, yeah.

Ron Price: ...totally unbiblical, but... even in the church, unfortunately.

John Bradshaw: Well, you've carved out quite a groove for yourself as a mediator and a conflict resolution guy. We are going to talk about how in the world you became a humorist, but we'll do that in just a moment. Let's talk about some of these things. We'll let people know about the books, how they can get 'em, but, more importantly, how people can start to implement these things into their life to avoid conflict or to work through conflict. And undoubtedly, you know a thing or two about conflict because it's everywhere, and we all experience it. We can't possibly be without it. What do you do about it? He's Ron Price. I'm John Bradshaw. More in a moment from our conversation, brought to you by It Is Written.

John Bradshaw: Welcome back to "Conversations," brought to you by It Is Written. It's my good fortune to be talking today to Ron Price, who is a mediator. That's a very biblical term. But what do you do as a mediator? Tell me about that.

Ron Price: Here's another God story that I'll shorten for you, but I was...


Ron Price: ...a probation parole officer, and I was happy; I was enjoying what I was doing.


Ron Price: But I was looking at the wanted ads one day. Again, don't ask me why.


Ron Price: And I saw an ad, the district court was starting a new program called Divorce Mediation, and again, I was still reeling, even though I was happily remarried, everything was fine, that divorce did still strike me, and I said, "I don't know what this is, but I gotta find out".


Ron Price: And as it turns out, they were starting a program. If parents are getting divorced, don't go to a judge and ask the judge, "Hey judge, what should we do with the children"? That makes no sense whatsoever.


Ron Price: Go to a mediator where you can talk to and with each other, instead of at each other, and focus on the needs of the children. So I did that for 29 years, John.

No way.

For 29 years, I put myself between people who didn't like each other very much at all, and if that doesn't tell you I'm a sick man, I don't know what will.

How do you take that home at night when all day long... and maybe that's a stretch... you've been... people are at each other.


How do you de-stress from that?

You just do. I mean, you've been a pastor. You've seem similar. You can't bring everything home. It'll ruin you. So I was able to just separate, "Hey, I'm home now. Their problems are not my problem".

Hey, so let me ask you. Tell me about a success story.

Well, the most successful...

You're dealing with angry people. Some of 'em are hard-headed...


...and you're working to help them, and...undoubtedly at times you came home and said, "That was great".

Yeah. Yeah. And it's funny 'cause no image is popping into my mind of specifics, but I had a few couples that said, "You know what, if we can really talk this well together, maybe we don't have to get divorced". And, John...


...that was a huge blessing. Oh, that was a "thank You, Lord" moment.

Isn't that fantastic?

Didn't happen a bunch...

No, no. >...but over the years, yeah, there were some couples that decided, "Maybe we could..." So I was able to direct them towards marriage...


...marriage encouragement efforts and instructions and so forth.

Yeah, fantastic.

But my whole goal... you know, they came to me for a parenting plan.


And I was right up-front: "I don't care about the parenting plan. I don't care if you reach a parenting plan or not". And they're looking at me like, "What"? "Right now there's a word between your names in the courts". It was somebody versus somebody, and I'd always ask, "What does that 'versus' mean"? "Well, we're against each other. We're enemies". "Our task is to get rid of that word".


"And replace it with 'and.'" Not necessarily back together and as a couple, but "and" in the sense of working together.

No, you are right. That's adversarial, isn't it? That "V"... adversarial.

And what child wants to think that the two people that created them


...can't stand each other?

Yeah, yeah.

That's just not right.

Yeah, yeah. Let's talk about... I asked you about success stories, and you mentioned couples who said, "Why are we doing this? Let's get it worked out". But let's go in the other direction. I'm not asking for a specific case. Divorce is really destructive. I don't say that to criticize anybody, condemn anybody. People who've been through it, we have a heart for, we're very sorry about that, but man, the toll on kids and the stuff they go through and have to wear, that can be really hard, can't it?

Yes and no. Divorce is hard on kids, yes.


Yes. But... here's a big "but"... it's how the parents handle the divorce.


If a child goes to dad's home and he says, "Oh, you're probably sick and tired of mom, aren't ya? What a"... you know... "lousy person she is".


And then they go back to mom. "Oh, you had to get rid of your dad, didn't ya, 'cause he"... how does a child do that?


How do they deal with that? Because they know they're half-mom, half-dad.


"If Mom doesn't like Dad, Mom doesn't like me. If Dad doesn't like Mom, Dad doesn't like me". So if parents can handle the divorce well, the impact can be significantly lessened.

That's really interesting.

The damage can be significantly lessened.

Yeah, yeah. That's important to know. Okay, I'm going to do this. Somebody's watching right now, and their marriage isn't going great, and they don't wanna get divorced, but they feel like this is an inevitability. Let's say both parties feel that way. "Boy, things are failing. We've spoken about this. It looks like we're gonna get divorced. We don't really want to, but..." What's your advice to them? They're trying to save a marriage.


How do they save that marriage? What do they... no guarantees here, but where do they begin? What do they do? Who do they talk to?

Admit that they need help, and they can't fix it on their own. If they could have fixed it on their own, they would've done it...

They'd have done that...

...before now.


One that jumps to mind is FamilyLife Today ministries has Weekend to Remember.


They have 'em at various parts in the country, and it's a wonderful weekend. Most of the time you're learning as couples, but then they have a separate session for women and a separate session for men...


...where they can really get down and say, "Hey, quit blaming the other. You are contributing to the condition of the marriage, because it's you".

Mm. Can a marriage be saved?

It... I'm hedging, aren't I? In most cases, yes.


Should a marriage be saved? I wouldn't necessarily say yes.

That's interesting.


Okay, I had... my next question was, can any marriage be saved? I'm not going to ask that. I wanna come back to your point. Should a marriage be saved? And you're a little hesitant about that.


The Bible says God hates divorce.

Yes, He does. Oh yes, He does.

All that stuff, and you know what kids go through. But you are open to the idea that maybe some marriages shouldn't be saved. Explain.

The common scenario is that a man is physically abusing his wife.

Yes, yes.

And some people say, "Well, you said, 'I do.' You're committed. You have to stay".


I don't believe that for one moment. If he's not willing to change, if he's not willing to "man up" and admit he's been doing wrong and get help, I think she has every right to say, "Uh-uh, I'm done".


She doesn't have to put herself and her children...

We wouldn't advise anybody to stay in a dangerous situation where they're going to be...

No, no.

...subject to harm.

Or if one of the spouses says, "You know, I like you a lot, I love you, but, you know, there's other people I kind of like to"...


"...spend weekends with". You know, come on.


That's not what marriage is. There are two forms of commitment in marriage. Scott Stanley is where I learned this from. There's dedication commitment, and constraint commitment, and we need both.

Mm. Interesting.

Dedication commitment is, "You know what, I'm in love, You're meeting my needs. I enjoy meeting your needs. I want in. I'm committed to you". That's dedication commitment.

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Constraint commitment is, "You know, I'm not very happy right now, but what would it cost me to leave? What would it do to the kids to leave? What would others say? You know, what other options do I have"? Those are constraints that keep you committed to help you get through those rough valleys...

Yeah. where you can get back to a place of dedication...


...because every marriage is going to have moments where you don't like each other very much.

Sure, there's going to be difficulties and barren patches and so forth.


Yeah, that's not unusual.

At all. It's... no, it's absolutely common.

And it's the people who feel like marriage should be a barrel of monkeys at every moment of every day... they're... it's gonna be hard for them.

You know, I heard of somebody recently say that, "You know, I've been married for 40 some years, but it seems to me like only 15 minutes... underwater". That's not funny. I'm sorry. Maybe we'll edit that out.

I know what you mean.

No, on a serious note, though, I tell people my wife and I have been married for... we've had 40 wonderful years together. We've been married 42.


But we've had 40 wonderful... and people need to know that.

That's right.

They need to know. I don't do premarital counseling, by the way. I do not believe in premarital counseling. I believe in premarital preparation.


There's a difference.


People need to be prepared, and so my favorite premarital preparation is have a couple of sessions before the ceremony...


...but then more sessions after, at three months, at six months, at nine months.

I salute you for saying that. There's an immense amount of wisdom. So, once you've been thrown the keys to the car, you're walking out of the church... I mean, I remember a guy throwing the keys to his car to me; it was a Dodge Viper. Wha-ha!

I got in that vehicle and put my foot down and put the car sideways immediately. I just, I didn't know how to handle this. I had to really go carefully with this.

Really? Too much power?

A lot of power. I wasn't expecting that.

Yeah. Yeah.

Marriage is like that for people. Now you're in; you've gotta figure out how to keep it between the lines and so forth.

Yep, yep.

Counseling afterwards... I tell you what. This is a bit of a hobby horse of mine, but...I tell you who need to be counseled are parents planning a baby dedication. The average kid doesn't know a thing about raising kids.

Yeah. Yeah.

And they get married; they have this baby. "What do we do with this"?


They need to learn what it means to be a parent.

Yeah, yeah.

They need to learn how to raise a kid. You know, you gotta get a license to have a dog in most places, but anyone can have a child. I'm not saying we should remove that agency, but boy, there should be work put in...

Yeah. help young parents be actual parents.


Of course, they're just all at sea. They don't know what to do.

Arguably the two most important aspects of our life are marriage and parenting.

Oh yeah.

And we think we can do those without any preparation...


...any pre-knowledge, and we're wrong. That's why so many families fail...


...and so many kids are not doing so well.

So you've written several books, and this is... just the title is fascinating: "Play Nice in the Sandbox". This one is "Play Nice in the Sandbox at Work". Okay, look, the title is self-explanatory. How do you come to that, and what are you driving at?

It's actually an acronym. The "PLAY" is a four-step model to prevent conflict when you can. Notice I didn't say "avoid conflict". People try to avoid conflict, John, and that's a mistake.

It's unhealthy, isn't it?

Well, you can't do it.

Yeah. Yeah.

Conflict will find you. And yeah, usually trying to avoid it, you're sweeping it under the rug; it makes it worse, not better.


But you can prevent a lot of trivial, insignificant matters from blowing up on ya and becoming something you don't need, want, or deserve.

Right, right.

So that's the "PLAY"... push the pause button, list of 10, assume good intent, and yield... yield to understand the other person.

Run through that again for me.

Push the pause button.


Choose your attitude in advance. You know you're going to go into a meeting or into a family gathering that could be tense. You'd better decide in advance that you're gonna maintain your composure.


You'd better choose your attitude, or somebody's gonna choose it for ya, right?

No, no, no, but you're getting that brother-in-law who wants to get his hand on grandma's silverware. Even though she promised it to you, he's going to come at you, so that's just going to wind you up, Ron. You can go in there...

If you're not careful.

You can go in there as, you can choose whatever you want, but isn't brother-in-law Larry just gonna press all the wrong buttons?

There's a chapter in there on button-guard...

Oh, no kidding? to stop people from... you can't stop people from pushing your buttons.


You can't.

But you can deactivate the switch.

The truth is people can choose to think about what they wanna choose. Broadly speaking, you can choose the emotions you wanna feel and what to do with them.

Within reason.


I mean, you know, you lose a loved one, even a pet.

Yeah, sure, sure.

I mean, come on.

Fear, grief, and so forth...

Right, right.

...but you don't have to be envious and malicious and hateful. You don't have to be angry. Right?

You know that old expression, "You make me so mad"?


Oh really? Have I given you that much power that you can determine my emotions? So, no, I totally agree.

Yeah. Okay. Pause button... before you get into a situation, I guess you're saying, stop and think about it and choose how you are gonna be in that situation.

Quick example, you come home from a bad day at work.


Things didn't go right, people didn't show up, orders didn't come in, what have you.


You have every right to barge right into that house and bring everybody down with your hostility, and what have you...


...from that bad day. Don't do that.


Turn off the vehicle. Pause. Have an internal dialogue. "All right, I had a day that I don't ever want to have again, but I'm home now. I'm with people I love, people who love me. I'm going to do my part to make this a great evening".


You walk in that door... "I'm home". What kind of evening are you more likely to have?

Oh yeah.

Up? Down? I mean, come on.

Yeah, what kind of evenings everybody else going to have? And by the way, I've said this to people many times: Who in the world gave you the right to spread your garbage all over a bunch of people who had nothing to do with your situation?


Well, where do you assume that right? What gave you that authority to come home and immediately make everybody miserable? That's just not fair.

It's not fair at all.

It's not productive.

Nope. Nope. Push the pause button. Choose the attitude. And especially going to work, you might have had a fight with your spouse or your teenager...


...on the way to work. Don't walk into work with a lousy attitude. Pause. Say, "All right, I'm at work now. I'll deal with that other, those other matters later".

I like that.

"Right now I'm at work. Here we go".

If that's all we took away from this conversation, there'd be a whole lot of people like, "Wow, that's revolutionary. This man is wisdom". "He used that word, 'Solomonic.'" This is... no, but it is, it's very, very wise.

I learned it when I went to Walmart on Christmas Eve Day. No, I'm serious. Christmas Eve, I needed something.


And I decided if I didn't choose my attitude going into a store with hundreds if not thousands of people who were all stressed out...


...and frazzled, somebody probably would've chosen my attitude for me, and I wouldn't have liked it, so that's where I learned...

That's right. Otherwise someone's gonna choose your attitude for you. I like it. So the "P" in "PLAY"... choose your attitude; press the pause button.



Can we skip to "A," just for fun?

Oh, sure, why not?

Assume good intent. John, when I do workshops, I often ask this question. I'll put you on the spot. It's an easy one: Have you ever hurt, frustrated, disappointed, or offended another human being when you really didn't mean to?

Oh, never.

What took you so long? Stop it.


You're being recorded. You know that, right?

Oh, oh. Yeah, okay.

And when I say that, raise your hand if that's true, and every hand shoots up.


We've done that. Well, what's the chance if somebody has just hurt, frustrated, disappointed, or offended you? Maybe they didn't mean to.


Maybe it was incidental. Maybe they're going through something, and if you react, you created the conflict, not them.

You know, there's something that really helped me early in my marriage, when I paused and said, "Now, wait a minute, she loves me. She means me no harm".

Thank you.

"Whatever it was she said, she wasn't trying to get under my skin. That's just me taking it that way". And that changed an awful lot.

That's assuming good intent...


...that she's not out to get ya.


Now, sometimes people are; that's a whole different matter.


But most people aren't.

Most people are not.


That's right. It's interesting, the coworker said something in a snippy way, and you wanna take offense. Well, hold on, that coworker on the production line is under immense pressure and simply didn't pause to say something like a newsreader might; they just let you have it and moved on.

Yeah. Yeah.

Assume good intent.

I heard a speaker one time say that when somebody says something attacking to him...


...he'll just gently say, "Well, that sounds like an attack. Is that how you mean it"?

Ahhh, interesting.

Do you hear how disarming that is?


"Well, that sounded like a putdown. Is that how you meant it"?

Is that how you mean it? I like that.

Right, he didn't say, "Well, that sounded like an attack! Is that..."? Fight's on.


Just very calmly, and it just, it brings... and the person's probably going to say, "You know what, no, I'm sorry".

That's right.

"I've got this going on". Hurting people are gonna hurt people.

That's right. That's right.

And we are surrounded by hurting people.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. And so you really ought to have compassion on the people who are just not doing well.

It's a chance to minister to their pain...


...rather than react to the attack.

Yeah, Christians oughta be in that situation...

Ya think?

You know, Jesus was around hurting people all the time who were trying to hurt Him...


...and He worked on every occasion for their salvation. Something to learn from that.

Yep, yep. Absolutely.

Okay, so we changed "PLAY" to "PALY," which is fine.


It's now P-A-L-Y. But the "L" in "PLAY"?

The "L" is list of 10. You have an imaginary list of people's faults that you work with, that you live with, just an imaginary list, but then when they do those, you just say, "You know what? That's on the list. I'm going to overlook it". And there's a quick story... I think I have time to tell it... about a guy who retired, a 40-year career, never got upset with anybody. They had a retirement party. A new worker comes up and says, "How'd you do that? How did you never get upset"? And he told that, you know, "I made an imaginary list of everybody's top 10 faults". And the new person said, "Hey, how about if, just for fun, I make a list real quick of our boss's top 10 faults, compare it with your list, and see how close we come"? And the guy kind of chuckled and said, "Well, to tell you the truth, I never really wrote them down, but every time she did one of those, I always said, 'Lucky for her, that's one of the 10.'"

That's on the list.

Ron Price: "That's on the list".

John Bradshaw: How about that?

Ron Price: What an attitude.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Ron Price: What a mindset.

John Bradshaw: Absolutely.

Ron Price: That's going to keep you within yourself and not getting upset.

John Bradshaw: Press the pause button. Choose your attitude. Okay. The "A" in "PLAY": assume good intent.

Ron Price: Yeah.

John Bradshaw: That changes everything. I can tell you that.

Ron Price: Oh yeah, oh yeah.

John Bradshaw: And "L," list of 10.

Ron Price: List of 10.

John Bradshaw: When I see something manifesting... "Ah, it's on the list. So that shouldn't come to me as a surprise".

Ron Price: Right, right.

John Bradshaw: I know what "Y" is. You said it a moment ago.

Ron Price: It's yield.

John Bradshaw: We're gonna ask about that in a second.

Ron Price: Ooh, I can hardly wait.

John Bradshaw: So we go to "Y," the yield, we'll go to that in a moment, and we've gotta find out why it is you're a humorist. It's even on your business card. There's gonna be some stories there. He's Ron Price. I'm John Bradshaw. This is our conversation. More in just a moment, brought to you by It Is Written.

John Bradshaw: Welcome back to "Conversations," brought to you by It Is Written. I'm John Bradshaw. Ron Price is with me. He is a mediator, helps people work through conflict, helps organizations work through conflict. He's an author; he's a humorist, gonna find out about this humorous thing in just a moment. We're talking about the "PLAY" acronym. And "P" is push the pause button; choose your attitude. Now, "L" is list of 10. "A" is assume good intent. "Y" is yield. How does that work in conflict and conflict resolution?

Ron Price: There's not a lot of English words that begin with the letter Y, John.

John Bradshaw: Aha.

Ron Price: So in all three books, the "Y" is yield. In the at-work book, it's yield to understand others. So many conflicts are caused because two or more people are trying to be understood at the same time.

John Bradshaw: Yes, sure.

Ron Price: It's a basic need that we have, given by God above.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Ron Price: We wanna be understood by the important people in our life.

John Bradshaw: Mm-hmm.

Ron Price: So, oftentimes you have two or more people each trying to be understood, so they're all talking, nobody's listening, and conflict ensues.

John Bradshaw: Mmm.

Ron Price: Yield to understand the other first; then it's your turn to be understood by them.

John Bradshaw:'re at home. The spouse comes in from a difficult day, ratty; another spouse got home from his or her job earlier. This person comes in, and they've had a bad day, and they're letting you wear it. How do we yield in that situation?

Ron Price: You give them a hug. I know it's hard to hug a porcupine or a cactus...

John Bradshaw: Uh-huh.

Ron Price: ...but you hug them anyway and say, "Hey, why don't you go relax for a while? Let's talk about this later". Don't try to talk when one or both are so stirred up, so frazzled. It's not gonna go well. But here's an important rule. If you call the timeout, you must call the time-in. You've gotta let the other person know, "Hey, I'm rejecting the discussion, the argument. I'll be back. Let's talk about this in 30 minutes. Let's talk about this in an hour," typically within 24 hours, because if one or both are all upset in that emotional brain, you're not going to converse well.

It's really good to give it time, isn't it?

You can't just say, "Time out," and storm off.


That's leaving the person wondering, "Well, are we ever going to talk about this? Are you rejecting me"? So you say, "Hey, time out for right now. I'll be back. We'll talk about this," using the love talk that we talk about in one of those books.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. There have been times I've written emails, and I've looked at it and said, "Yep, I should send that". And then something has said, "Why don't you wait"...


..."and just read that again in about an hour".

Yeah. Yeah.

And I'll come back...


...and read it in an hour and say, "No, no, no, I shouldn't send that".

Delete. Yeah.

By the time it's done, it's just, it's a horse of a different color altogether.


And I'm sure people are happy as a result.


So you've written "Play Nice in Your Sandbox at Work," " Home," and " Church". Clearly, then, you've looked at the different dynamics that take place in various situations. They're different. Principle of dealing with that are the same. Let's talk here about this one: "Play Nice in Your Sandbox at Church". Now, a friend of mine, when he was much younger, was in the foyer of the church and witnessed the pastor and the head elder engage in a fistfight.


Yeah, so they may have wanted to read this. Talk about conflict at church and why it comes up, what we can do about it.

You know the answer to why it comes up. We have an enemy.

That's right.

It says in Ephesians our battle is not against each other; it's against our common enemy. But we forget that. He is so wily, so consistent, persistent...


...skilled, and gifted. Let's give him credit where credit is due.


I heard of a lady that had a complimentary word to say about everybody, and one day a sister challenged her, "I bet you could find something nice to say about the devil himself". And she thought for a moment, said, "Well, he's a hard worker".


That's not funny, is it?

Yeah, he's a hard worker. Boy, he's a hard worker. And the challenge too is we're dealing... we're selfish, and the battle really in conflict is self. If you just let it go, most conflicts would just disappear.


But because you get yourself involved...


...and you wanna strike back.

"I am crucified with Christ", therefore I live, and I get to maintain all of my rights, and I get to have it my way. Now, that's not what it says, is it? I've given up those rights. I'm Christ now. It's not about what I want and what I prefer. Now, it doesn't mean I have to be a doormat and, you know, serve everybody else, but Philippians does tell us that we are supposed to put others' interests ahead of our own. Colossians says that; Roman says that.

I have some, at times, direct words for congregations... not my own. Pastors are sometimes just crucified.

Mmm. Mmm.

That's not to say all pastors are above reproach or that they don't make poor decisions at times, but pastors will leave the ministry because of nasty church members.

Ninety percent, isn't it, of people who start as pastors don't finish as pastors? I hope I'm wrong, but I think I've heard that.

And the percentage of whatever that number is that leave due to just getting it in the neck from church folks...

Yeah. Yeah.'s very high.


We don't have a right to turn the church into a battlefield.


Just don't have a right. But it doesn't stop people, and that's because they're broken and they're hurt and they're faulty and so forth.

So before you go on, let me point you to the "L" chapter in that book. Of all the chapters, it's my favorite book...


...favorite chapter.


It's love yourself as you love your neighbor. Now, as a student of the Word, you're gonna say, "Ron, you have that backwards".

But I think I know where you're go with that.

It's a commandment that we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

That's right.

John, it's also a prophecy. We will love our neighbors the way we love ourselves, and most of us don't love ourselves.

Oh, that's interesting. Talk about that.

I don't wanna sit here as if I've mastered it. It's a battle that I fight...


...but we have the enemy all the time pouring thoughts into our mind: You're not this enough; you're not that enough. We have heard it from others: "You don't measure up". You, you... whatever. And so we have a negative self-image.


We're down on ourselves. We're going to take that out on somebody else.

I was told a fascinating story recently. It was shared in a public setting. There was a... long story short... church member was just very disruptive, very disruptive, very disruptive. The young pastor called a mentor: "What do I do with this guy"? The mentor said, "When you get a chance, ask him what he's trying to hide".




Yeah. So he went to visit the guy, and he realized, "This is it". "Ooh. How do I ask this older man"? And he said... and the older man started with his criticism. The young guy said, "Listen, what are you trying to hide"? The man broke down. He wept. He revealed that he had sin in his life, that he didn't know what to do, how to address. That was the cause. I'm not going to pretend that's true for absolutely everybody, but in his situation, he didn't love himself, he despised what he'd become, and so he was just projecting that on people around him.

You have to. You've gotta live in here. You can't beat yourself up nonstop. You've gotta at some point start taking that out on others.


And so many churches, that's what it is. People not at... here's my solution.


I want to know that God loves me, and I have ample evidence from His Word...


...from my own life.


I know that He loves me.

He does.

Then I must be lovable. I can love myself. Not in a braggadocious, egotistical, you know, look-at-me kind of way, but I can have a calming love of self.


That frees me up to love everybody else.

It does, doesn't it?

I wanna be so at peace with God. If I can be at peace with God, I can be at peace with myself, and then I can be at peace with others. But you sever that link?


If I'm not loved by God and at peace with God, I can't have it myself; I can't share it with anybody else.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, speaking about the church, there's somebody right now who's trying to order 50 copies of this book, "Play Nice in Your Sandbox at Church". But I'll ask what someone's wondering and wishing: Do you work with churches? You visit churches?

Funny you should say that, John. Yes. In fact, I work with churches. I have a seminar that I do that's more on the preventative; it's for healthy churches...


...and healthy families that, you know, maybe a little bit off, but I'm working with somebody now who is a church interventionist, is what I call him. If a church is in serious trouble, and they're thinking of splitting, that's what he does, so we're bringing my mediation skills, giftedness, if you will... thank You, Lord... and his training, and we're gonna put together an academy where we're going to equip people to be mediators for interpersonal disputes...


...and come into churches that are at odds and intervene so that maybe they can bring it to a better conclusion.

Mmm. Okay, so you're going to be doing that. People are picking up the phone right now. They were gonna call as soon as I said the number. But without a number, how do people reach you? How do people chase you down?

[email protected].


[email protected].


My email is under... my email!... my web address, website, is under massive renovation at the moment, but that's gonna be


I was advised to keep it simple.


So [email protected] or

Yeah. an easy way to get ahold of me, and I'll be happy to visit with anyone.

Isn't it a sad thing that there needs to be something such as a church interventionist? But I'll tell you this, lest anyone be discouraged... "Oh, you oughta see my church". When I was a brand new Christian, I walked into the church, and I thought I'd walked into heaven. It looked just like I thought heaven would look. It sounded like I thought heaven would sound, and it was wonderful. The food was kinda like I imagined the food would be in heaven. More green olives at the church than I thought there'd be in heaven. But I did learn to like them when I saw a 6-year-old girl eating green olives. I thought, "How do you do that"?


She said, "Easy. Watch". I thought, "Well, if you can, I can". And so I do. So I thought it was heaven, and then I hung around, and I realized, "Oh, this isn't heaven".


Oh man! People with deep issues, and people doing things that even baby Christians knew, fully-grown Christians, or people who acted like fully-grown Christians, shouldn't do, but you know what I realized? I'd read Revelation 12, verse 17: "And the dragon was wroth with the woman"...


...devil was angry with the church... "and went to make war with the remnant of"... I said, "That's what we are seeing. We're just seeing war. It's the devil". Right?


The fascinating story in the Bible. I don't know... I know I'm interviewing you, so pardon me for taking your time.

No, Please.

The demon-possessed girl was following Paul around Philippi...


...and making an absolute nuisance of herself, and the Bible says, Paul turned and said to the demon...

"Come out of her".

He didn't address the girl. He realized the girl wasn't the problem.


It was the demon. So we're dealing with people at church. Let's be honest. It's not the people, really; it's whatever's going on. It's whatever the devil is doing to tilt them one way or another.

You know, I heard of a book, the "Sacred Marriage," I think, by a guy named Gary Thomas. The subtitle is, "What if God gave us marriage not to make us happy, but to make us holy"?

Holy, sure. Oh, no doubt He did.

What if marriage and family are living laboratories...

Yeah, yeah.

...where we can practice out...

Hundred percent.

...same with churches. What if God gave us churches...


...not for our own benefit, but where we can learn to serve.

Well, I'm going to just clarify. I say He did give us marriage to make us holy... happy too... but undoubtedly that you will learn something about yourself and learn how to grow, and you say church for the same reason.

Why not?

Yeah. We shouldn't expect it to be perfect because it's full of people like me...


...very imperfect, and so that's going to manifest, right?

That's right.


That's right.

Okay. Quickly, three things, you go to a church, you're unhappy with some situation. What are those... you may just go P-L-A-Y, I dunno, but what are those three things that you say, "Don't get discouraged, don't get discouraged"... instead, do what?

The "P" might come in handy here.


In the " Church" book it's pray, pray, pray. At home, it's play, play, play. The family that plays together stays together.

So the "PLAY" is different in every book?

Yeah, the "P," yeah, all of them, the "PLAY" and the "nice" are different in every book.

Just yield is the same.

Pray, pray, pray. If you're at odds with a church member, ask God to give them a double portion of whatever you're asking for yourself.


You want God's mercy? That's fine. Ask for God's mercy.


Ask Him to give a double portion. It's hard to be in conflict or at odds in conflict with somebody if you're praying to God, "Give them a double blessing".

Right. Amen.

Of whatever it is you want.

Okay, that's one thing: Pray.


What else, what else? I mean, two other things. You go into a church; it's driving you nuts. You're unhappy; you don't like that person. You're sick of the pastor, or whatever the case is, but you wanna maintain your experience and growth through this in a mature way.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

So pray, pray, pray.

The "Y" in that is yield to God's will.


Yield to God's will. You're not there... again, "I am crucified with Christ," it's one of my favorite verses in the Bible. I'm crucified. It's not about me. God, how can You use me to serve others? Now, bless me in the process as well, please, benefit me as well, but what, why am I here, Lord? How can I serve You best in this situation?

Nice. Yeah. And part of the challenge is too many of us go to church to consume and not to give and serve. Once we have a servant mentality, a lot of this stuff just disappears.

I hate that expression, "I left that church because I wasn't being fed".


We don't have time. What does that mean?

Yeah, right.

"You weren't being fed"? But anyway, I'm sorry.

Yeah. And so, one more, you've given me two; gimme another one. Someone's going to a church. They're unhappy, they're beside themselves, and maybe they're angry. Maybe the church is manifesting, I don't know, bad characteristics. Gimme one other thing that someone can keep it together and be part of the solution, not the cause.

Romans 12:18, again, is becoming one of my favorite verses: As far as within your ability, live at peace with others.


"As far as it depends on you," some versions say, get along with others. Well, if you're not getting along with others... others aren't getting... I don't wanna say, "Read my books," but there are other books out there as well. There are other resources.

We're talking about these ones.

There are plenty of resources. Use this as a learning opportunity. Maybe confide. I don't mean run to the pastor right away, but maybe an elder, not a whole lot of people. Don't, please. If there's trouble in the church, everybody doesn't need to know. The fewer that need to know, the better...


...but a prayer partner to say, "Hey, counsel me. How would you advise it"? What you said earlier, I wouldn't have the courage to say, "What are you hiding"? I wouldn't have the courage.


I would have the courage to say, "You know, here I got a dilemma. I got a problem. Help me with this". "What's that"? "Well, it seems like there's a division between us, and I'm sure I'm contributing to it, but I don't know how".


"What's your perspective? Can I buy ya some tea"?

Peppermint tea.

"Buy ya lunch? Let's go talk". Go to a public place that's going to keep ya on your best behavior. You know, we don't wanna have loud outbursts when we're in public...


...and just go there with a question: "Hey, I'm concerned". But then listen. Let them tell you. And don't be ready to defend yourself, or, "No, that's not..." "I just want your perspective. If you're willing, I'd like to share my perspectives too 'cause I have a serious hunch that the enemy is behind this"...


..."and if we fight him together, we can win".

Mmm. Yeah.

A lot of people right now are saying, "Ah! I wish I could be like Ron Price".

Oh, so do I.

Hey, let's talk about this thing on your business card. We don't have long. You're a humorist, which I don't find at all hard to believe, but what does that mean, and how'd that come about?

I spoke at the chamber of commerce event in my town, and the lady introduced me as "Ron Price, author, speaker, and humorist," and I didn't say that. I had never said that. But, John, as soon as she said it, I went, "Yeah, that's who I am". People ask me, "How are ya doing"? You're normal. You say, "Well, fine, thanks. How are you"?


I say, "Well, I think I'm doing okay. Why? Have you heard something"?

Yeah. Yeah.

I go into a store; people come up and say, "Can I help you"? I'll say, "Do you have psychiatric training"? We don't laugh enough, John. That's another problem inherent in conflict. We're not laughing enough. We're not having enough fun together.

Mmm. Mm, mm, mm.

If we can laugh more, it soothes. Laughter... I've read it somewhere... is a good medicine.

"Like a medicine".

Think you've read it there too.

Think I've read that somewhere.


Yeah. That's right.

It can bring people together. Now, be careful with laughter. If people think you're laughing at them, uh-uh, uh-uh.


Uh-uh, don't do that at all. But if you get people laughing with you... I'll call people; I'll say, "Hey, can I speak to" So-and-So? "Oh, no, I'm sorry. They're in a meeting. Would you like to leave a message"? I say, "No, just interrupt 'em. Tell 'em it's me. I'm sure they'll take it".

Yeah, they'll come right on out.

And some people go, "Oh, sir, I couldn't". "Stop it. I'm kidding".

Yeah. Yeah.

People don't always get my humor, which is frustrating, but I'm going to keep trying. We need to laugh more.


I won a trivia contest on a radio one time that said, "Children do this 300 or 400 times a day, adults less than 12".

Oh wow.

You can probably guess the answer is laugh.

Smile or laugh.

Laugh. Yeah.


I picked up. I knew it right away. I said, "It's gotta be laugh". They said, "You won". We don't laugh enough.


So it's my job... I'm not a comedian, although I've done some funny things, but I just try to get people to laugh.


I'm in a store, and people are looking at an item, and I say, "You know, just buy one of each; it's easier".

You're good. Yeah. Yeah, one of each.

And it puts a smile on people's face.

Yeah. Yeah. Well, if there was a little more good humor and a little less crankiness, we'd be sharing a lot more of Jesus... and looking like we are. And what does the Bible say? "They'll know we are"... well, I shouldn't say "the Bible". I remember singing a song when I was a kid: "They'll know we're Christians by our love". Written by a priest, but it was a very nice...

Oh, was it really? Okay.

...very nice, very nice idea.


I think it's appropriate.


Hey, thanks for coming by.

John, it's been a joy.

I wish you much more of God's blessing than you've ever experienced before. Thank you for sharing about your work as an author. "Play Nice in Your Sandbox at Work". "Play Nice in Your Sandbox at Home". Amen. "Play Nice in Your Sandbox at Church". Ron Price. [email protected]?


And You can run, but you cannot hide. We know where to find you.

There you go.

Outstanding. God bless you. Thanks for taking your time. We have been encouraged and blessed.

Thank you.

I think there'll be a little less conflict in somebody's world after this.

One more, just real quick. I'll make it quick. There's an Irish poem: "A good night's rest and a good hearty laugh will cure a bunch of ills". We don't sleep enough. We don't laugh enough. We certainly don't pray enough and study our bibles. That's a whole different area, but...

The solutions can be simple.

...thank you for this.

Thanks so much. I'm sure you're grateful too. I know you were blessed, but remember that you can reach out to Ron and read more and watch more, and there's plenty more where that came from. He's Ron Price. I'm John Bradshaw. This has been our conversation.
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