Pick Your Battles

If you’ve spent any time on this earth, you know that life contains conflict. And there are times in the life of every leader when he or she needs to fight. But if you fight all the time, you can wear yourself out. That’s why it’s important to pick your battles. I am still on the road to learning and applying these. I’ve had victory and failure when it comes to picking my battles.

To gain a better perspective on when to fight back and when to “let it go,” practice the following disciplines:

1. Spend time with people who are different from you. This helps you appreciate and understand how others think and work. You will be less inclined to judge or battle them.

2. In matters of personal preference or taste, give in. Keep the main thing the main thing. If you don’t save your energy for what really matters, you’ll wear yourself out and wear out your welcome with others.

3. Don’t take things too personally. In general, hurting people hurt people. And they’re also easily hurt by others. Keep that in mind when you’re on the receiving end of someone’s anger.

4. Practice the 101% Principle. Whenever possible in a difficult situation, find the 1% that you do agree on and give it 100% of your effort.

5. Be a servant leader. If your mindset is to serve rather than be served, you will be less likely to encounter resistance.

The best team doesn’t always win;

it’s usually the team that gets along best.

Adapted from Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork — John C. Maxwell

Covenant for Integrity of Life and Ministry

I now renew my commitment to Jesus Christ.

With God’s help, I will be a person of integrity;

I will speak and live a relevant, authentic, consistent witness

I will pursue consistent spiritual growth in the context of an ongoing relationship with my Church and Pastor;

I will seek opportunity to serve in Christ’s name

I will honor my body as the temple of God, dedicated to a lifestyle of purity;

I will be Godly in all things;

Christ-like in all relationships, both professional and personal;

I will live without prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from me;

When I sin, I will repent and return to the Lord.

Warrior of Life

A man cannot walk this treacherous life alone,

There must be another with him.

One who is their friend, their mentor,

One who is their guiding presence,

Who shows them the path of goodness,

Even if it’s hard.

One who has open ears and a forgiving heart,

Yet has the power of authority on his shoulders,

Is one wanted, and is one loved.

But who is this man? Who is this mentor,

The friend, the guide, the authority?

By what name do we call him?

This is the name of the self-chosen warrior — Father.

Joshua Brandon Wagner

To his father, on Father’s Day 2001

Today Matters

Just for today … I will choose and display the right attitudes.

Just for today … I will determine and act on important priorities.

Just for today … I will know and follow healthy guidelines.

Just for today … I will communicate with care for my family.

Just for today … I will practice and develop good thinking.

Just for today … I will earn and properly manage finances.

Just for today … I will deepen and live out my faith.

Just for today … I will initiate and invest in solid relationships.

Just for today … I will plan and model generosity.

Just for today … I will embrace and practice good values.

Just for today … I will seek and experience improvements.

Just for today … I will act on these decisions and practice these disciplines,


Just for today … I will see the compounding results of a day lived well.

— John C. Maxwell


1. Leaders relentlessly upgrade their team, using every encounter as an opportunity to evaluate, coach, and build self confidence. Take every opportunity to inject self-confidence into those who have earned it. Use ample praise, the more specific the better.

2. Leaders makes sure people not only see the vision, they live and breathe it. There were times I talked about the company’s direction so much in one day that I was completely sick of hearing it myself.

3. Leaders get into everyone’s skin, exuding positive energy and optimism. Unhappy tribes have a tough time winning.

4. Leaders establish trust with candor, transparency, and credit. Leaders never score off their own people by stealing an idea and claiming it as their own.

5. Leaders have the courage to make unpopular decisions and gut calls. Don’t run for office. You’re already elected.

6. Leaders probe and push with a curiosity that borders on skepticism, making sure their questions are answered with action. “We’ll look into it,” is the all-too-common business head fake.

7. Leaders inspire risk taking and learning by setting the example. There is no edict in the world that will make people take risks or spend their time learning.

8. Leaders celebrate. Celebrating makes people feel like winners.

 — Jack Welch

Character vs. Talent

“Too often organizations have placed unfaithful people in positions of responsibility hoping to inspire a transformation of character. These have been both costly and painful decisions. When a person is placed into a position of leadership on the basis of talent, even though known to be untrustworthy, a great travesty has taken place. Power does not make a person trustworthy. Authority does not make a person responsible. When we are trustworthy, we can be entrusted with power. When we are faithful, our influence in the lives of others will naturally expand. Talent without character is a dangerous thing. Talent fueled by character is a gift from God. Character is formed in the crucible of faithfulness and refined through the gauntlet of perseverance. Remember, the shape of our character is the shape of our future. It is through the transformation of our character that God both points the way and lights our way. The character of Christ fuels us with a passion that moves naturally in the direction God desires for us.” — from Uprising, by Erwin Raphael McManus

My Prayer Today

Today, Lord, Wash me and I will be whiter than snow, purposed afresh to follow Your footsteps.

Lord, fill me with Your Spirit today. The tasks ahead are too much. If I must go alone, I cannot go at all.

Today, Lord, I’m not smart enough to know what is best, and not strong enough to choose what is righteous.

Today, Lord, My wife, my family, my friends, my church . . . I am not sufficient for these things, and I know it.

Today, Lord, Or what unfolds in the hours ahead will fade into the abyss of worthless, wasted time.

Lord, fill me with Your Spirit right now. Come, make these 24 hours all You created them to be.

Now, Lord, You know how to ‘give good gifts’ and I am so thankful to be called Your child.

Now, Lord, By faith, I receive the Presence You’ve promised, and delight to know that Your Word is true.

Now, Lord, You are filling my life with peace and purpose and freeing my soul to sing.

Galatians 5:16, 22, Walk then in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the desires of your flesh. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self control.