“Trust” You Must Change Your Mind

26 10 2012

Having become a student of leadership, I recently read an article posted by my personal mentor and coach, Bill Lewis. Bill is mentored by Orrin Woodward, who received the top leadership award for 2011 from the IAB. Trust is certainly what our nation has lost. In order to restore trust, you must change your mind! I trust you will enjoy his article below.

GOD Bless

Brian

Trust

I know this subject is talked to death but it is the most important one in developing any successful relationship.  Spousal, children and business partner relationships are all forged on the anvil of trust.  If the anvil is weak then the relationships will be forged in weakness and eventually fall apart.  If the anvil is strong then the relationship will be equally strong.   Think about when someone asks you, “Do you trust that person?”  That’s a strong question because it also speaks to your ability to evaluate people.  So, what we are going to dig into is a few ways that you could be losing trust?

Becoming trusted also requires reciprocity, awillingness on both sides to enter into dialouge and conversation.  It takes time, because while trust may sometimes be forged in moments of great drama, it is more likely to be formed by many small, moment-to-moment encounters.

Kouzes and Posner in

I believe the quote you just read is implying that most people think about trust from this perception.  When a big event happens and we display our trustworthyness that that is it but there is also the day to day events where you could be losing your friends trust.  Worst yet you could be losing trust with yourself.

Is your behavior predictable or erratic?

I would guess that most people wouldn’t expect this question to determine your trustworthyness but let’s take a look.  Think about the person you know that is always erratic in how they respond, how they feel, or how they act.  It becomes hard to know how they will behave so that makes us uneasy.  Consistency of action and reaction is what makes people feel secure with us.  Let me give you a personal example.  I was erratic with my mood. I would let situations control my reactions.  Someone would call me while I was eating and I would answer the phone and I sounded like that person just spit on my sandwich. “Helloooooooo!”  I am sure my tone sounded like, “What are you calling me for.  Don’t you know I am eating.”  I am sure it sounded like that because that was what I was thinking.  The next time they called me I would be like, “Hello :) :):):):):):)”  sounding like, “I have been waiting for you to call.”  Now, after a few times of this teeter-totter that person just stopped calling.  Whether your in business, speaking to your spouse, or  talking to your kids no one feels comfortable with erratic responses.  What areas of your life are inconsistent?  The more inconsistent we are the weaker our bond will be with people.

Do you communicate clearly or carelessly?

What we are talking about here is do you make promises and then don’t keep them.  Do you do what you say you are going to do no matter what?  This one is interesting because the people that violate it the most don’t do so intentionally, however,wether they realize it or not, they are still causing the foundation of trust to crumble.  You see, when you tell people you are going to do something, be somewhere at a certain time, have something done, etc… in your mind you might have good intentions but to the other person it was a promise.  If a promise isn’t kept then the other person starts to lose trust with you in that situation.  If it happens enough times you might start to erode their overall trust.  The key here is under-promise and over deliver.  The next step is to start determining why you do this: Are you trying to feel involved, are you a people pleaser, do you over extend yourself, not plan enough, don’t have the skill to do what is being asked of you.  Whatever the reason is we need to identify and fix it before we damage relationships.

Are we forthright and candid or are we deceptive and dishonest?

Basically are you intentionally lying or are you telling the truth.  It’s shocking how easy it is to get to the point that lying seems easier then telling the truth but in the long run it creates more havoc.  I have seen people get to the point that they lie so much they believe their own lie.  This one will obviously destroy relationships.  We need to figure out why we do it.  Are we afraid of what the other person will think? Are we afraid of what we will have to face? Have we convinced ourselves that it is easier to lie then change the thing we are lying about?  Whatever it is I can guarantee you that the statement,”The truth shall set you free” is correct.  If it wasn’t the statement wouldn’t exist.

I have been very blessed to be able to associate with people like,Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady, who have shown me what it is like to totally trust someone.  Not only what they say and do but their motives as well.  I hope you are blessed to find someone who can help you establish a firm foundation of trust.

God Bless

Bill Lewis 

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My “Inner Voice”

16 08 2012

Well over ten years ago now, we were introduced to, and confronted with truth. A program of personal development created by Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady, was introduced to us by my now great friend and mentor Bill Lewis. The personal development program is called TEAM.

Having worked for the State of Michigan nearly 20 years at the time, I was confronted with my “Inner Voice”. Yes, we all have one (some of us have more than one) that speaks to us with truth. We can deny things all we want, but we know truth when confronted with it.

The following are some truths my inner voice was shouting very clearly!

I was a poser in my walk of faith

I was a poor example of a husband and father

I had created a debt my wife did not deserve

My occupation had become my primary focus

These four are plenty for this post. When Bill contacted me on the phone, I had no idea who he was, but we had a mutual friend named Carrie Will. When Bill asked me if I had ever heard of Orrin Woodward, I honestly had not. When he explained to me that Carrie had told him I was a sharp person and he was expanding a leadership team in the area, my inner voice (ego) said yes I have been a leader of lots of people for a long time. funny heh?

I explained to Bill that I was a supervisor and really did not need to read as he asked me if I had read a book called the “Cashflow Quadrant”. I’ll bet he thought I was an idiot. Well, to help you understand, I did read the book and that is how I know I was a financial moron. I had no stinking clue what that book was talking about. Talk about a wake up call!

You see a leader takes responsibility, listens to the inner voice of integrity and character, and then makes a decision based on his or her courage to do the right thing.  A leader by definition not only does not do what is the wrong thing, but also does what is the morally right thing. My financial decisions at that point in my life were made based on what made me feel good. That was my inner voice that received the most attention no matter what the outcome was. My financial choices were made based on how it made me feel. How selfish is that?

As I began to get involved with the leadership program that Orrin and Chris were establishing, my courage improved. When management at work would ask me to do things that I knew directly violated union contracts, I had the character and the courage to make my choice based on the correct moral solution. Many times today, natural resource management decisions are based on how they may impact the state’s budget, not necessarily what is truly in the best interest of the protection of the resource. And that is what I took an Oath to do when I was hired! My inner voice has spoken very loud and clear lately, as a result of one of the states largest wildfires in history that burned nearly 25,ooo acres. Nearly 100 structures were burned, and the truth is, suppression efforts are not what stopped the forward spread of the fire, GOD did. It is known as Lake Superior!  My inner voice is wishing I would have been more vocal with the recommendations I made for forest treatments. Praise GOD, no one was hurt or killed.

Lastly, This thing called Team, has led Sherry and I both down a path to restore our Faith. And that my friends, is the decision that has improved every part of our lives. That decision affects every part of a person’s life. The Biblical principles that this great nation was founded upon have deteriorated to a point where Sponge Bob cartoons are what is looked to to entertain our youth. How sad!

Sherry and I were recently honored to host Oliver and Rachael DeMille at an International Leadership Conference in Wisconsin. What an amazing man. Oliver explained to us that no one is really looking out for our grandchildren to tell them the truth!

Well ladies and gentlemen, someone is! They are Team and they have launched and education program called LIFE that is sweeping the world with truth. We find it so easy to blame others for the situation that our lives are in today.

We certainly have a long way to go and a short time to get there, but please do this. Ask yourself and have your inner voice be truthful

How is my faith?

How is my relationship with my wide and family?

How is my financial situation?

Has my job become the most important thing?

Am I making choices based on integrity and character or what makes me feel good?

Am I making my choices based on integrity and character regardless of what others think?

What will people say about me when I’m gone?

We all have a duty to fix things. I encourage you, come join Team Leadership!

Ladies and Gentlemen, my inner voice is “The Holy Spirit”

Your inner voice may tell you this is hard, BUT…..

Your children deserve it!!

GOD Bless

Brian





“LIFE” Values

23 06 2012

“LIFE”, newly launched Leadership and Personal Development Mastermind of Orrin Woodward, has folks restoring their personal belief all around the world. Orrin has worked nearly 2o years to establish a foundation of men and their wives that are of true integrity and character. Those are Laurie (Orrin’s wife) Chris and Terry Brady, Tim and Amy Marks, Bill and Jackie Lewis, George and Jill Guzzardo, Claude and Lana Hamilton, and Dan and Lisa Hawkins. These brave men are sort of like the men who signed the “Declaration of Independence”  They have created a variety of educational subscriptions whose value is actually priceless.

We certainly have selected all of the LIFE Education Subscriptions. GOD knows I need all the truth in education I can absorb. As I considered this post, my thinking took me to the variety of subscriptions that most folks invest in today without really considering them as a subscription.

Allow me to identify a few.

Auto Insurance, Health Insurance, (gives us protection against the tobacco subscription we have) Electricity, Drinking Water, Grocery, Soap Opera, Hunting, Cable TV, Public Education, Marriage, Occupation, Children, Snowmobiling, (any outdoor enthusiast may have more than one sporting subscription). This could be a very long list. My softball subscription was very important to me. All of these are a subscription in their own right if you were to think about it. We have to ask ourselves, what is the true value to some of these subscriptions we involve ourselves in?  What should your top 3 life subscriptions be?  What is your “life plan” for personal development?

Why so many and what do they satisfy? As I ponder these questions, having learned a great deal about ego and selfishness, the answer is very clear. Most of the subscriptions we have enjoyed satisfy a feeling. Some might even say a temporary escape from reality, just something that makes us feel good for a time.  Some we will invest time in, some we will invest money in, and some we will invest both time and money in and never think twice about the outcome because of a to date, poor financial subscription.

One of the things we enjoyed prior to getting involved in this new concept of Compensated Communities, was camping. Yep, we started like most, in a tent. Did not take long to figure out we were not keeping up with the Jones’ so to speak. Didn’t matter that the checking account was going backwards every month, we were satisfying our ego’s. Paid more for the last RV than I did my first house. How smart was that? We even had our children thinking we were doing good by them. I was a financial moron.

The greatest thing we’ve enjoyed in LIFE is the truth in financial literacy. We now know it’s not a good thing to lease a new vehicle every three years. Or, that our house was not and never has been an asset. Well, maybe for the bank. The other great thing we have learned and continue to learn is marriage is hard work. It takes a committment from both spouses to make a marriage a home.

And, the number one most important thing we have accomplished is having a restored relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. HE is the most important Subscription anyone can have.  As we ponder the dilemmas we are facing today, no one can argue, a better marriage subscription, financial subscription, domestic violence awareness, integrity and character subscriptions are needed.

Today  starts with a LIFE Subscription, Leadership Subscription, AGO Subscription, Edge Subscription. All of this can start with the all new “Mental Fitness Challenge“. This is how to identify our strengths and weaknesses. None of us are perfect and everyone has the seeds of greatness that GOD instilled in them.

I’m saddened by the number of people who will agree with all the issues our nation is faced with but are too busy or not willing to become part of the solution. We have learned more truth in the last 10 years being partners with this outstanding group of men and women, then we’ve learned in the rest of our entire life

I can not wait for the new book to be released, 1913 by Oliver DeMille and Orrin Woodward. The truth is what your children deserve, starting from 1913.

The LIFE Subscriptions will help protect your children’s FREEDOM!!!

Leaders are Readers

GOD Bless

Brian





Who is the Hero?

25 05 2012

In the book “Pointman”, recommended by my friend and leadership expert Orrin Woodward, much of our society’s issues become more clear. The author of the book, Steve Farrar, begins with a fantastic analogy, placing the reader in the jungles of the Vietnam War. You are the one responsible today for your patrol’s safety. Today, you are the “point man” to insure Americas Freedom for the future. We live in a world today where most have lost their Mental Toughness. The real war goes on in our own mind. A lack of mental toughness you might say.

The recently released “Mental Fitness Challenge” by the LIFE Founders Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, Tim Marks, Bill Lewis, George Guzardo, Claude Hamilton, and Dan Hawkins, is taking the USA and Canada by storm. The P90X for your brain! A real life assessment of your Mental Fitness developed by two of the Top Leadership Experts in the world, Orrin Woodward (#6) and Chris Brady (#11). As Orrin has pointed out, so much education today, yet so little wisdom. Our Nation’s Founding Fathers were Mentally Tough!

What is the Mental Fitness Challenge?

A program that will cover the 13 Resolutions for a better life laid out by Orrin Woodward in his new book “Resolved”

Created to help you “live the life you’ve always wanted” this 90 day Mental Fitness Challenge is the oil change for your brain. Our Nations need Leadership and that begins with an assessment of your mental toughness. It is Fun, Fast and Easy. Everyone is a leader at some point in their life. Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.

My friend and Co-Founder of LIFE, Bill Lewis has become an incredible leader and coach to hundreds of people all across the USA and Canada. I’m certain he would tell you that it is a direct result of the mentoring he has received from the two master minds behind this Mental Fitness Challenge.

Best Selling Author  John Maxwell states, “everything rises and falls on leadership”

It has been said that everyone wants to change the world, but few feel the need to change themselves. NFL Football star and Author Tim Tebow is a great example of a man of true leadership. He has developed a “Mental Toughness ” that far exceeds all of his critiques. Talk about “mental toughness”, I encourage you to read his book “Through my Eyes”. It is nothing less than amazing!

GOD has planted the seeds of mental toughness in each and every one of us. We are all destined for greatness and you can live the life you have always wanted.

I encourage you, take the mental fitness challenge. http://www.mental-fitness-challenge.com. You are the Pointman for your children’s free America tomorrow. The Pointmen of today must develop the mental toughness to be tomorrows Hero’s!

Your children are counting on you………

GOD Bless

Brian





From Fear to Faith to Freedom

18 02 2012

As we celebrate our 10th anniversary of Community Building and now Leadership and Personal Development, with Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, and Bill Lewis, I’ve learned one very important lesson. Most people are living a life of fear. Henry David Thoreau said “most men live lives of quiet desperation”  In his book “The Fifth Discipline”, Peter Senge says we have become a society that identify ourselves by our occupation. Many questioned our wisdom when I chose to terminate my government employment. It was that safe secure job by most people’s standards. Speaking from personal experience, when Bill told me it was costing me money to be employed, it generated great fear. As Bill said that, I told him that scared me and he responded, I know, that is because of the failure to educate you about financial literacy.

As we look across America today, it becomes very clear, that not only have we failed to educate the general populace on the matters of finance, but we have really failed in the arena of people skill development also. That is what makes me so excited about the future for my grandchildren.

Allow me to share some examples:

Personality Plus by Florence Littauer, How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success by Frank Bettger, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing With People by Les Giblin and The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz. In over 20 years of public education, no one had ever recommended any one of these books to me.

The above referenced books are some recommended to me in the last ten years, all of them read several times, that have created a belief in me that we can help other people succeed simply by encouraging them and providing a different source of information and a positive environment of folks to associate with. 

Ask yourself this question, If I said to the person in the mirror that this is a person who is here to be the best I could be and serve other people, would the world be a better place?

Charlie Tremendous Jones, author of the book “Life is Tremendous”, says that 5 years from now we will become the books that we read and the people we associate with. 

All of us have some degree of faith. Moving from fear to faith, I’ll use the example of teaching our granddaughter to ride a two-wheeled bicycle. And, certainly not the using the example Orrin used with his children. It took her a bit, but when she had received enough encouragement and belief in herself , she was off to the races with her bike and a great sense of accomplishment was enjoyed. What an exciting time for a grandparent. As adults, we could all relearn a valuable lesson by watching our infants and toddlers. You see, there is increased freedom as we have given them the belief through encouragement that riding their two-wheeler gives them more freedom than scooters or tricycles. 

See, many have said, Oh you are in one of those things! Well folks, we are not in one of those things. The “thing” as some call it, is in us and it is called purpose.

The Team/LIFE Organization of folks we are involved with is a loyal Community of people who have stepped back to listen to truth. Truth is our Nation and the World needs to have its foundational and biblical principles GOD created this earth with restored. Nothing more, nothing less.

At a recent International Leadership Conference in Columbus Ohio, we were honored to be introduced to Oliver DeMille, author of “The Thomas Jefferson Education”  “The Coming Aristocracy” and “Freedom Shift” I learned more in two hours from Oliver that I had learned in nearly twenty years of education about how and why our government was formed, what has happened to it since 1913, and what needs to be done to restore it based on principles with morals and integrity.

Moving from Fear to Faith (you will have to have faith) to Freedom, will require encouragement to develop belief and all of that will require COURAGE.

Courage and belief that we can restore Americas Freedoms. Freedom is a privilege that must be fought for and maintained.

In Orrin and Chris’s New York Times best-selling book “Launching a Leadership Revolution” there is a Tri-Lateral Leadership Ledger. This ledger evaluates your leadership effectiveness. I challenge each of you to read it and score your leadership effectiveness.

See, Leadership is For Everyone

GOD Bless

Brian





Dream Chasers

23 01 2012

In his now famous CD “Nobodies can be Somebodies”,(Team 323) Orrin Woodward shares the importance of having a dream. This upcoming weekend will mark the culmination of nearly 20 years of a man chasing his dream while restoring the belief in hundreds of thousands of others, that they too can have a dream come true. In 1999 Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady witnessed a presentation by Michael Dell at the Detroit Economics Club. Michael Dells key point in the presentation was the importance of community. At that moment Orrin knew his dream would become a reality.

In 1999 Orrin and Chris founded a Leadership and Personal Development organization called TEAM. The purpose of Team was to find and develop a community of leaders with a dream. Orrin and Laurie Woodward have dedicated their life to fulfill a dream of restoring the foundational and biblical principles our great nations were founded upon.

Together, Chris and Orrin have authored or co-authored no less than 8 books. Their 4th book “Launching a Leadership Revolution” is a New York Times Best Seller.  These two gentlemen have scoured the United States and Canada and have assembled a Policy Council of Leaders across our nations that will come together to hold the first LIFE International Leadership Convention in Ohio and California this weekend.

Read for yourself what Chris Brady had to say about a recent accomplishment of Orrins. Yesterday I received an innocuous email seemingly no different from the other 100 that come in on a daily basis.  I opened it with no more anticipation than one opens a phone bill.  But as I read through its contents I was warmed by its announcement that my friend and business partner Orrin Woodward had received the prestigious IAB Top Small Business Award Top Leadership Website for 2011.  IAB is the International Association of Businesses, a worldwide membership of business owners more than 1 million members strong.  For this year’s award, Orrin Woodward was up against the likes of leadership giants such as Jim Collins, John Maxwell, Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard, Tony Robbins, and Jack Welch, among others.  It is an incredible honor just to be among such icons of the industry, but to finish first is absolutely impressive.

These incredible men and their wives have become the pinnacle of Leadership today.  

Dan and Lisa Hawkins, George and Jill Guzzardo, Claude and Lana Hamilton, Bill and Jackie Lewis, Tim and Amy Marks, Chris and Terri Brady, Rob and Susie Hallstrand, and Orrin and Laurie Woodward are the LIFE Founders that have built the leadership community that Michael Dell spoke of.

Ten years ago, my wife Sherry and I were introduced to this group by a young man from Saginaw Michigan, Bill Lewis. It was clear to me Bill had a dream. Bill helped me to see that even though I was doing what I loved to do, GOD had bigger plans for us. We have been honored to work with this incredible organization and are fired up about attending the first International LIFE Leadership Convention.

What we have come to understand is that many folks have lost belief that there is something else out there or that they have what it takes to be successful.

In a recent book authored by John Maxwell titled “Put Your Dream to The Test”, John asks 10 questions that we must answer to determine if we really are living our own dreams or are we the catalyst for others to accomplish their dreams.

Make no mistake, there will be a “Muskavilla” somewhere where it is warm. Leaders like Jason Tingley and Roy and Brenda Hatcher have become part of a team of people known as the Musketeers”. Together we have a vision to insure our children and grandchildren will be “Somebodies” and be incouraged to DREAM!!

See you in Columbus Dreamers

GOD Bless

Brian





Orrin Woodward “Todays Warrior”

3 01 2012

Orrin Woodward is truly “Todays Warrior”

In a time of uncertainty, there are people who stand out above the crowd. Orrin Woodward, born and raised in Columbiaville Michigan, has stood above the crowd for over a decade. Believing in his creator first, and not listening to his critiques. He knew in 1999 that he would become the Top Leadership Business Community Builder in the world, because he has a vision of truth and a focus on leadership.

I am proud to be associated with this young man because he stands by his convictions. Below is his expression of appreciation to those who have chosen on a daily basis to fight to restore the foundational principles that this great Nation was founded upon. The number one thing I admire and respect about Orrin is his ability to recognize the good in others.

The International Association of Business has just recognized Orrin Woodward with the Top Leadership Award in America in 2011. I encourage you to check it out. iabusa.wordpress.com

Ranked as the Number 7 Leadership Expert in the world today, and a New York Times Best Selling Author, and a True Man of Faith, no one is more worthy of this incredible award!!

Thank you Orrin for your unwavering committment to serve others.

GOD Bless you my friend!

Written By Orrin & Laurie Woodward
1/3/2012 7:42 AM  

After receiving the news that I was awarded the International Association of Business (IAB) Top Leaders Award, my mind immediately reflected back to all the people who encouraged me on my leadership journey. I first want to thank the IAB for this prestigious award. I am truly humbled and honored at the same time. I also would like to share this honor with each of the leaders mentioned below, since it was thanks to their contributions into my life that made this award possible in the first place.

I will begin by thanking the LIFE TEAM community. Leadership, by definition, is a team sport and I have been blessed with the most enthusiastic, hungry, and driven community of winners in the world. This isn’t hyperbole, as I have never witnessed anything quite like the LIFE TEAM leaders. In fact,  no one could afford the level of service provided consistently by the leaders if they charged by the hour. Thankfully, the leaders are long-term thinkers, knowing that through serving people, eventually others become leaders willing to serve as well. This process creates positive duplication, forming a winning culture that rises the tide for all ships. Thank you LIFE TEAM leaders!

I would like to thank the Policy Council (Chris Brady, Tim Marks, Claude Hamilton, George Guzzardo, Bill Lewis, and Dan Hawkins) for their superhuman effort to lift the TEAM community and the LIFE business to excellence. Surrounding myself with this caliber of leadership has made all the difference in my leadership journey. Each one of these men displayed unwavering courage to do what is right regardless of the personal sacrifice demanded. I could write complete books on each of these great men as they are true heroes to me. Thank you PC and LIFE Founders!

I would like to thank Dallin Larsen (2009 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year) for believing in the vision of the TEAM PC enough to get in the ring and fight for it. Instead of cowering on the sidelines, Dallin stepped into the ring, willingly sacrificing his peace, money and time to help the TEAM stand on its principles. Without Dallin, its questionable whether the TEAM could have endured the punitive legal and financial war. Dallin Larsen shined his light into the darkness, providing a principled path to freedom. Thank you Dallin Larsen!

I would like to thank Larry and Marsie VanBuskirk for introducing Laurie and me to community building. Even though the business model he introduced was outdated and had many shortcomings, it was the VanBuskirks’ posture that helped us believe we could change through improved leadership. Indeed, it was Larry who scribbled down three books (Magic of Thinking Big, Psychology of Winning, and Seven Habits), which started me on my leadership journey. He spoke with such conviction that I wanted to believe him and this belief changed our lives. Thank you Larry and Marsie VanBuskirk!

I would like to thank Art Jonak for his immeasurable encouragement. Art, along with his wonderful faculty and students from his MasterMind Events, spoke encouraging words to me during an exceptionally tough period of time. You all know who you are and I will never forget the level of kindness displayed. Art has been a true friend to me when I needed one the most. His unconditional love, belief, and advice during my desert experiences were invaluable. It is the many friends I am blessed with like Art that make the leadership journey worthwhile. Thank you Art Jonak!

I would like to thank my mom and dad (Kathy and Orrin “Bud” Woodward). When I was young, I remember my dad and mom teaching me two invaluable lessons that stuck with me ever since. The first is to work hard which my mom displays every single day or her life. In fact, I can remember as a kid wondering why she wouldn’t just sit still for a bit. :) She was constantly improving something around the yard, house, or community. My dad, on the other hand, was constantly thinking. There was never a day, where after arriving home from work, that he wasn’t thinking and sharing on some subject he was researching. He was always dreaming up potential solutions to the problems of life. It was this combination of hard work and thinking that was foundational in my leadership journey. My mom is still working hard on earth and I am sure my dad is still thinking continuously in his heavenly home. Thank you mom and dad!

I could not finish my thank you’s without including my amazing wife, Laurie. How was I to know what a champion this young lady was when I met her? Yes, I knew from the start that she was beautiful, smart, and genuine. However, what I only learned through the leadership journey was her indomitable will to win; her sacrificial love for those in need; and her endless reserve of energy to finish what she started. No one in his right mind could expect the level of commitment and patience that Laurie displays daily. Not only is she a superb mother for our four wonderful children, but she is my soulmate who somehow understands my crazy dreams. She simply is a blessing from above. Thank you Laurie Woodward!

Which brings me to my final thank you. I thank Jesus Christ for saving a ruined sinner like me. I was living a life only for myself until He slowly taught me the meaning of true grace. The Bible says it’s more blessed to give than receive; however, it’s also easier to say it than to live it. The grace and mercy I received from Christ, forgiving my sins can never be repaid directly. Thankfully, with His guiding hand, I plan to pay as much of this grace forward into other people’s lives as possible. It’s the least I can do for Him who gave Himself so freely to me.

I know I have missed many others names who deserve specific recognition. However, in order to keep this blog a reasonable length, I will end here. Please know how thankful I am to everyone who wrote letters, commented on my blog, encouraged me in person, or served another human being sacrificially. If enough people like you shine their lights, we can scatter the darkness in this world! Let’s make 2012 a monumental year to remember. Sincerely, Orrin Woodward








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