Can man fix himself?


A couple of months back I passed up reading a book from the All Grace Outreach series in the Life Leadership program from Pastor Stephen Davey .  I think I passed the chance to read it because it was under 100 pages long and kind of looked like a cartoon book.  Having 4 kids under 7 I read enough play books “I thought.”  It is titled “Overcoming the ME Attitudes” and boy did I need to read it. He is going through the Sermon on the Mount found in Mathew Chapter 5. It is a great short book about the understanding of how morally bankrupt man is aka, totally depraved. Jesus says “blessed are the poor in spirit” which doesn’t mean “feeling bad about self, always looking sad, broke financially or weak physically.  The word translated poor is poctos, which is extremely descriptive of facing total bankruptcy.  Poverty in spirit is best explained later on by Paul in the book of Romans 7:18 “for I know that in me [that is my flesh] nothing good dwells,for I have the desire but not the ability”.   The big idea as  here is that man cannot fix himself or another man cannot fix a man without the aid of the Holy Spirit.

Now, what field do you guess has the top rate of suicide?  Most of you already guessed it, it is Psychology.  When reading page 31 in “Overcoming the Me Attitudes” I was astonished at the time and began a study of why.  Here is a few nuggets on My personal belief of why it is at the top.

Psychology literally means “the study of the soul”.  Sigmund Freud, the Father of modern psychology, was an unbeliever, or humanist and devised psychology as a substitute for religion. Modern psychology can be summarized in several commonly held ideas that have their root in humanism. Trying many methods and behavior modification to have man help themselves become happy.  Here is a few Dr. MacArthur states

  • Human nature is basically good
  • People have the answers inside them
  • The key to understanding and correcting a person’s attitude and actions lies somewhere in that persons past
  • Individuals problems are the result of what someone else has done to them
  • Human problems can be purely psychological in nature, unrelated to any spiritual or physical conditions
  • Deep seated problems can only be solved by professional counselors using therapy
  • Scripture, prayer, and the holy spirit are inadequate and simplistic resources for solving certain types of problems

Christian Psychology has tried to become an intercessor between what the Bible teaches  and what Freud taught and caused confusion with believers that “this is how Jesus would counsel”.  I do believe there is many things man can do to make life better on himself but that ability does not come from himself . Jesus taught proper thinking on the Sermon the Mount and it flies in contradiction to psychology. Do not get me wrong though Christian Counseling is very important Proverbs 11:14 “Where there is no counsel, the people will fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety”. Christian Counseling and Psychology differ in where they get there information from , the Bible or Freud

 Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.

The Beatitudes      —– blessed is translated from greek word makarios meaning, happy or fortunate.


2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Jesus came along and said “happy” people are actually bankrupted, unappreciated, persecuted , reviled, needy, weeping, downtrodden, confessing people, who all know they themselves cannot fix themselves but only a true God can.  Happiness is not about our possesions, our past,  anything else, it’s about our positioning with our Savior. Romans 15:13 “now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the holy spirit” The  Psychology  field has many suicides because it attempts to fix what man was never meant to fix “himself.”   If we were meant to fix ourselves then God wouldn’t have needed to send down a savior from heaven “his only begotten son”  to save us from ourselves.  God bless Cody 


“Winning Aint Easy and Losing Aint Fun”


    Orrin Woodward is always quoting Malcolm Gladwell in the LIFE Leadership cds and talking about it taking 10,000 hrs in any profession to start mastering it. So if you are looking for easy than winning isn’t for you cause there is nothing easy about mastering anything. I remember when I started my concrete business, it would take hours just to set up a simple driveway and I and my partner would be super frustrated. After years in the business we could do it in just 30 min and it looked better than the 6 hrs it took at the beginning.  When I started community building it was more of an inside job and it took longer to begin the mastery but worth more in the long run. Id suggest reading this article at least the advice to young entrepreneurs.. Today I am still learning, growing and changing to continue the mastering cause losing aint fun.   god bless cody   RAGS TO RICHES
by Andrea N. Browne, John Miley, Susannah Snider and Michael Stratford

Catherine L. Hughes


Courtesy of Radio OneCourtesy of Radio One


Age: 64

Occupation: Founder and chairperson, Radio One

Advice to young entrepreneurs: “Sometimes the ones who love you the most will give you the worst business advice.”

By conventional standards, Hughes wasn’t destined to build a successful multimillion-dollar media company. She was a teen mom by 16 and a high-school dropout. However, she later completed high school, followed by brief stints at area universities in her hometown of Omaha, Neb.

Despite her limited formal education, Hughes, who credits publishing legend John H. Johnson as one of her mentors, worked her way up at Omaha’s KOWH radio starting in 1969 before heading to the nation’s capital to become a lecturer at Howard University. In 1975, she became general manager for the university’s radio station, WHUR-FM. By 1979, she bought her first radio station, WOL-AM in D.C., with her then-husband and founded Radio One a year later.

Those early years were rough. Hughes, who was divorced by then, slept with her son on the floor of her radio station because she couldn’t afford to live anywhere else. “My mother tried her best to talk me out of the radio business because of that,” Hughes recalls. It’s for this reason that she advises young entrepreneurs to be wary about who they divulge their challenges to — even family. “If I had listened [to my mother], I would be a government employee right now and there would be no Radio One.”

Thirty-two years later, in addition to the radio company, Hughes’ empire includes her television network TV One and several interactive ventures, including and Her charitable efforts include serving as a board member and the main benefactor for the Piney Woods School, a boarding school located in Piney Woods, Miss., that serves students from financially strapped families.

Bert Jacobs

Courtesy of Life is goodCourtesy of Life Is Good


Age: 46

Occupation: Co-Founder and CEO, Life is good

Advice to young entrepreneurs: “Try to shoot for a timeless business.”

You’ve probably seen the beret-wearing, smiling face of “Jake,” the Life is good logo, on the company’s tee shirts and products. Co-founders Bert Jacobs and his brother, John Jacobs, 43, started peddling their tee shirts on the streets of Boston — going door-to-door at college dorms and sleeping in their van to save money — in 1989. It would take nearly six years, however, before their shirts finally caught on with consumers, thanks to “Jake.”

The logo, which is infused with optimism, was created after a conversation about how the world was slammed with constant negativity. It became an instant hit. Now, the New England-based company has revenues in excess of $100 million, and each year more of it goes toward their charity, Life is good Kids Foundation, which helps children overcome life-threatening challenges.

“In the beginning, we made every business mistake in the book,” says Bert. The brothers didn’t have a business plan or growth strategy — a formula for disaster, if you go by what’s taught in business school. Bert credits part of their success to listening to their friends and customers as informal focus groups, rather than “experts.” He advises budding entrepreneurs to: “Try to shoot for a timeless business that will work through good times and bad.”

Ali Brown

Courtesy of Ali BrownCourtesy of Ali Brown


Age: 40

Occupation: Entrepreneur, business consultant and publisher,

Advice to young entrepreneurs: “It’s important you seek out other business owners for information, advice, support and resources.”

Fed up with her dead-end job at a New York City ad agency, Brown decided to quit in 1998. Armed with her brother’s hand-me-down computer, she launched her first marketing agency, AKB Communications, from her kitchen table.

While having her own business was exciting, the uncertainty of self-employment had its challenges. Brown remembers all too well maxing out credit cards and draining her bank account to stay afloat in the early days. One night in particular, she tried to withdraw $20 from an ATM but was denied because her balance was only $18.56. Thirteen years later, thanks to her hard work and perseverance, Brown has achieved many successes: She earned her first million before the age of 35 and has appeared on ABC’s reality show “Secret Millionaire,” where she donated money to several organizations. She still actively supports three of them.

When it comes down to deciding if entrepreneurship is the right move for you, Brown says, “Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. Every definition of entrepreneur I’ve found includes the word ‘risk’.” For those who are willing to take the leap of faith, she advises: “It’s important that you seek out other business owners for information, advice, support and resources. Today, would-be entrepreneurs have the Internet and social media, and it’s a great place to get started learning more about how to grow a business.”

Jill Blashack Strahan

Courtesy of Jill Blashack StrahanCourtesy of Jill Blashack Strahan


Age: 52

Occupation: Founder and CEO, Tastefully Simple

Advice to young entrepreneurs: “Having goals is absolutely critical.”

For Strahan, starting her multimillion-dollar company, Tastefully Simple, a direct sales retailer of specialty food products, began with “a dream and a shoestring.” She grew up on a dairy farm in Minnesota and later started selling gourmet food baskets, which inspired her business.

In the beginning, the entrepreneur fed her fledgling company with $6,000 of her own savings and some loans from a friend and the Small Business Administration. Strahan’s first headquarters was a 1,200-square-foot space with a concrete floor and no running water. Early orders were packed on a pool table. Today, the Tastefully Simple offices take up nearly 200,000 square feet on a 79-acre lot.

In addition to running a company that’s valued at more than $100 million, Strahan finds time to give back to the community. Tastefully Simple has donated more than $5 million to local causes, and in 2009 teamed up with Share Our Strength, a group that seeks to end childhood hunger in America. If you’re an entrepreneur with a good idea, she says to remember that there isn’t an easy road to building a profitable business: “The secret to success doesn’t involve pixie dust or a magic bullet. Having goals is absolutely critical.”

Farrah Gray

Courtesy of Farrah Gray PublishingCourtesy of Farrah Gray Publishing


Age: 27

Occupation: Founder and CEO, Farrah Gray Publishing

Advice to young entrepreneurs: “Keep your business small . . . niche yourself.”

When most 6-year-olds were worried about what time their favorite cartoon came on TV, Gray was already an entrepreneur. He was going door-to-door in his inner-city Chicago neighborhood selling hand-painted rocks as bookends to help his ailing mother make ends meet. “I can remember being very young and my mom having a heart attack. I wondered how we were going to pay the bills and thought to myself, ‘I don’t want to be poor like this anymore,'” he recalls.

Trying to figure out a way to improve his family’s home life sparked something big: By the time he was 17, Gray had founded and operated several businesses, including Kidztel, a prepaid phone card company, and Farr-Out Foods, a food company targeting young adults, which grossed $1.5 million in sales before he sold it. At 20, his first book, “Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich Inside and Out,” was published.

Now, Gray’s focused on his latest venture, Farrah Gray Publishing, a boutique celebrity book publishing house he started in 2009, which includes titles such as “Transparent” by CNN’s Don Lemon. Gray also spends his time contributing to charitable organizations, such as the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Marrow Donor Program. For anyone considering starting a new business, he suggests keeping things small: “A lot of times we get caught up in trying to be the next Facebook or Apple. That isn’t necessary — niche yourself.”

Jesse Conners

Courtesy of FirednFabulous/YouTubeCourtesy of FirednFabulous/YouTube


Age: 28

Occupation: CEO and founder,

Advice to young entrepreneurs: “There is constantly some fire that you have to put out . . . Don’t let it discourage you.”

Conners had an unusual childhood: When she was 9, her parents joined a cult and — believing that the world was about to end — sold all of their worldly possessions. From then until she was 18, Conners traveled across the U.S. and to Mexico with her family, following the cult’s message and searching for work along the way. As unconventional as it was, she says her upbringing spurred the independence she needed to succeed in business.

While in high school, she started doing the marketing for her father’s chiropractor practice, which eventually led to a job in real estate. At 21, she auditioned for and was cast in the first season of NBC’s “The Apprentice.” Although Conners didn’t win, her stint on national television landed her a job on the real estate speaking circuit. In 2008, she began building, a membership-based fashion and luxury brand online retailer. The Web site has been up and running for a little over a year and has a ten-person staff.

Earlier this year, Conners’s “outside the box” approach to business helped her to surpass a $1 million net worth. In addition to running her company, she has offered charitable support to Elephant Human Relations Aid and provides resources to women who are victims of domestic abuse, according to her Web site. Conners advises budding entrepreneurs to be aware that daily obstacles are the norm, not the exception. “There is constantly some fire that you have to put out. That’s what running a business is all about,” Conners says. “Don’t let it discourage you. Try again, start again.”

More from

The Hidden “F” – Thank’F’ulness

LIFE is here and changing lives and there is no one I have personally seen change more than Kris. He is a great friend and leader  fighting for truth. God Bless and have a great Thanksgiving


The Hidden “F” – Thank’F’ulness

By Kris White

The week of Thanksgiving tends to cause one to reflect.  The upcoming holiday season is filled with great excitement and anticipation, but for what?  Has Black Friday, Grandma’s mashed potatoes, peanut-butter balls and Christmas lists completely overshadowed the true spirit of the season?  In many ways it has.  Not that it’s all bad.  (Take a bite of Grandma’s mashed potatoes and gravy and I think you’ll agree.)  However, let us never take for granted those things in life that truly matter.  A proper perspective must accompany these traditions lest we forget our true joys.  This year let us remember to give thanks each and every day for our many blessings.  We all fall short when acknowledging the grace that God extends to us.  Nevertheless, be thankful.  Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.  Notice Paul says, “in everything give thanks”.  Through our challenges, fears, joys and victories, be thankful.  Each experience is designed for a special purpose.  We must learn to recognize these experiences as gifts and use them to become the man or woman God designed us to be.

That being said, I’d like to extend a special thanks to Cody and Tara Newton and Bill & Jann Newton for the direction they’ve led TEAM VIP over the last few years.  The courage and perseverance to follow right principles, under all circumstance, has provided a platform for thousands to pursue and fulfill their God-inspired purpose.  We are blessed to be a part of this LIFE business.

It’s a good LIFE, so let us give thanks.  And, oh, by the way, please pass the mashed potatoes.

The Father “FAMILY”

For sure God has put me on the planet to help boys become men and it seems the most important boys to help become men are my own first and then I can help others. One thing that I have tried to learn more about  in the last 7 yrs is being a Dad! “my oldest is 7!!” WOW IM Getting Old”. The Bible, my Church,  Life  materials, my dad, uncles and Tim Marks have all helped and all I can say is I have made many mistakes and made many memories… For sure one thing I know is that “it does matter”, and studys are backing up that fact. Listening to Josh McDowell I was totally convicted that I needed to become a better father and continue on the journey. Are you reading and listening to materials and individuals to help you become a better parent?? Here is a few of his statistics of fathering…

a.John Hopkins research of over 30 yrs shows the connection between the relationship between the  son and the father has to do with the amount of Hypertension- Tumors-Suicide-Coronary Heart Disease found in Patients!!

b. 300% to 500% higher percentage of suicide if your  son doesn’t have a relationship with his Dad

c..Study of all 15 school shooters shows

  1. all middle class and white
  2. all the father was absent, distant or not involved

Questions your son should answer YES too

  1. Son, Do you know I Love you??  “Love Cultivates the ground for excepting Gods Truth”  and “rules without relationship cause rebellion”
  2. Son, Do you know I love your Mother??
  3. Son, Do  you want to have a relationship with your kids and wife like I do?
  4. Son, Do you know how much I love JESUS

Fun ” the other F”


Sitting at a table with Orrin Laurie Woodward, Tim and Amy Marks and a dozen or so other couples in the Life Leadership program talking about our new business venture, I learned a very profound idea that should be implemented more.   Formerly owning a concrete construction company, leasing agency, rental homes, lawn care company, oil distributing company, auction company, and a few others I realized there was a distinct difference with this one.  WE WERE HAVING A BLAST!!

8 fs make up what we call Life. Faith Family Finance Fitness Freedom Fun Following Friendship.  It seems the more I have tried to lead, grow, and change, the more it seems there is one that becomes less prevalent. FUN!! Maybe I have seen to many shows where the boardroom is all fist slams and posture statements but this was nowhere near the same.

It started by all the parties laughing about our past and the things it has taken to get to this point.  The quote “tragedy plus time equals humor”  is a true statement and I listened at all the humor about what was tragedy ” we thought at the time” and all the excitement about what could be and felt so much joy in my heart to know good or bad this team was deciding to have fun from now forward. I’ve heard  “Laughing is medicine for the soul” and this next year will be about our Motto, Have Fun, Make Money and Make a Difference.

God bless


Vision,Faith and Purpose Driven Leadership

I met Hans a couple of years ago in his quest to grow, change and become all God meant for him to be in his LIFE. He and his wife are great students of the Life Leadership program and All Grace Outreach. We have discussed many things about the bible, leadership, family and finances.  We have discussed many issues that I learned prospective from my mentor Tim Marks, my dad and mentor Bill Newton, and my personal pastor, Kelly Randolph about what it takes to be a Bible centered Leader. After the learning process started he began the second stage, PERFORMING, and it scared him to death.  I have personally watched him face fear and keep moving.  Hans and Elly are a couple who I respect because of their convictions and more important,  because of their courage to move forward with their God-given convictions in the face of opposition and FEAR.  god bless Cody
   “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”– Eleanor Roosevelt
The thing that I have probably gotten most from the LIFE Team is a vision. As Andy Stanley would say, “a vision for what could be and should be.” To be more specific, a purpose. And actually, I didn’t get my purpose from LIFE; it just helped me discover my purpose and the fact that God had created me for a purpose. I’ve heard people say before, “God made me to be an engineer,” or “God made me to be a teacher,” or “God made me to be…[whatever].” I disagree. I believe that when God formed us in our mothers’ wombs, he fashioned us for a purpose, not an occupation. And before I was introduced to LIFE, I was not living for a purpose; I was just…living. As I believe Henry David Thoreau once said, “Most men die at the age of 25 and wait until the age of 65 to be buried.” That was me. Coincidentally enough, I was 25 when I saw the LIFE Team and I had become complacent in life. Most days, it was home to work, then work to home, and then an evening of the latest TV shows or movies with my wife (not exactly her idea of quality time).
The first book I read that gave me a sense of purpose was a book I received through our AGO series entitled The Principles and Power of Vision by Dr. Myles Munroe. This was an awesome book that made me realize my overall purpose—to lead people to Truth. The most recent book I read on purpose (no pun intended) was Visioneering by Andy Stanley. What an amazing book! A few things in particular stood out to me. He goes through a process to help one discover his or her purpose, but most importantly, to achieve a God-given purpose, he says one must have moral authority. Stanley says, “Moral authority is rooted in a desire to please God rather than man.” It is doing what’s right because it’s right and not even just for the sake of leadership or influence. Have moral authority in all your relationships, beginning in the home (which is a big one I’m still learning). “Moral authority is the overflow of character, not leadership ability.” So devote yourselves to what is right (Philippians 4:8). “There will always be people who won’t believe what you believe. But don’t give them grounds to doubt that you believe what you claim to believe.” Stanley says this is also extremely important because on the road to accomplishing your purpose, you will meet opposition. And if you’re like me, moving forward in the face of opposition does not come easily. But it is through LIFE that I have learned to act with courage rather than cowardice—not all the time, mind you. But as Bill Lewis said on a recent leadership audio, “sometimes, courage is the little voice at the end of the days that says, ‘I’ll try again tomorrow.’” What I pray every day is that I’ll grow in my courage to live fully committed to my God and purpose. “An audience can disagree with a position, but they can’t disagree with the reality of a conviction lived out.” Were it not for LIFE and the mentorship of Cody and Tara Newton, I don’t know exactly where Elly and I would be, but I imagine we’d be in a bad place getting worse. Today, I’m nowhere near fulfilling the vision God has placed in my heart. I still have a ton of growing to do and I certainly don’t claim to have perfectly applied all the principles above, but I do believe I’m on the narrow path. Thanks be to God for rescuing me and for the grace He gives me on a daily basis that I still have breath to move towards accomplishing what he planned for me before time began. “Everybody ends up somewhere in life. You have the opportunity to end up somewhere on purpose” (Stanley).
“Missions exists because worship doesn’t”
-John Piper, in Let the Nations Be Glad

“The Beginning of our Life Team”


Team Very Important Purpose was birthed out of a purpose to overcome business oppression that started the understanding of the difference between  free enterprise and capitalism.  That team was started by courageous men and women that I respect very much. Ive heard it said 

“Courage is the ladder on which all the  other virtues mount”
Just as a company has many divisions, Team VIP now has another division of it,  that was just named Team VIP PHALANX which is men and women that is willing to stand strong to help others out in a better LIFE         

Thumbnail for version as of 10:32, 29 March 2006

The Phalanx was a military formation put into practice by the Greeks as a strategy for overwhelming their opponents.  This was a very intimidating formation, especially at its inception.  It was a grouping of soldiers who carried a short sword, a long spear with a metal tip on both ends and a large, curved shield.  There was a leader in each row of the formation to give direction and keep order.  Each soldier was responsible for the purchase and upkeep of his own armor and weapons.  The phalanx is an example of a military formation in which the individualistic elements of battle were suppressed for the good of the whole.  A soldier fighting independently stood a much greater chance of defeat than if he was supported by those at each side of him and who were also committed to the success of the unit.

 The hoplites had to trust their neighbors to protect them, and be willing to protect their neighbor; a phalanx was thus only as strong as its weakest elements.  For this reason, the formation was deliberately organized to group friends and family closely together, thus providing a psychological incentive to support one’s fellow comrade.  Each soldier operated in very close formation with his comrades for the defense and solidarity of the unit.  Each man had to be committed to be trained and do his best otherwise the unit would suffer harm or defeat. 

 How it applies to us with TEAM and LIFE is that we as a team are on a mission with a Very Important Purpose, that of accomplishing Operation Freedom for our team members and society as a whole.  To accomplish that Purpose will require a band of committed people who will put aside their personal fears for the good of the team.  We figuratively link arms and move forward to meet the challenge facing our society today.  We are trained by those who have experienced the battle first hand and who are willing to help us learn the lessons discovered in the conflict.    

 We are in a battle for the hearts and minds of those people around us.  The onslaught against us is willful and determined and it will require us to be resolute in face of that onslaught.  Our purpose brings us together to stand strong, growing in numbers and strength of each individual so that we can overcome those who would seek to do us harm as a nation.


There was a song written to those who are courageous.    “Now of those, who dare, abiding one beside another, to advance to the close fray, and the foremost champions, fewer die, and they save the people in the rear; but in men that fear, all excellence is lost. No one could ever in words go through those several ills, which befall a man, if he has been actuated by cowardice. For ’tis grievous to wound in the rear the back of a flying man in hostile war. Shameful too is a corpse lying low in the dust, wounded behind in the back by the point of a spear.” TyrtaeusThe War Songs Of Tyrtaeus          

 thank you Don Schultz for the idea of the name and the better understanding of  Phalanx.. Team VIP PHALANX “OPERATION FREEDOM”