“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
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, and
Just for today … I will see the compounding results of a day lived well.
John C. Maxwell
November 25, 1984 & April 21, 1990 were days my life flashed before my eyes. Days I have often reflected on the last 29 years. This is a letter I wished I had written those years ago. I hope my sons will share this with their sons.
To see you enter the world fills my heart with joy, expectancy, and fear.
- Fear of not surviving the smell of your diapers.
- Fear of not living up to the expectations I’ve rehearsed.
- Fear of not being the best Dad in the world.
But this I know, my sons – you are going to change the world.
You will face tremendous problems yet find epic solutions.
You will stare sin in the face and say, “Christ is better.”
You will live your life to serve others and make the name of Jesus famous.
But it isn’t just what you’ll do that makes your life count. It’s your very existence that speaks of the majesty of God.
You are unique, marked, and set apart. Your tiny breaths declare God’s greatness. Your high pitched cries shout loud His sovereignty. Your precious frames pronounce the vast creativity of our God.
Joshua & Austin, I just want to say, I love you with my whole heart. You have a father who is flawed, yet filled with love for you. Though I won’t always respond perfectly, I will always be there for you.
I will listen when you want to vent.
I will watch when you need to show off.
I will be there no matter what the circumstance.
I will brag about you for the rest of my life.
And may you see in my few strengths and endless weaknesses a man who hopefully does not trust in himself, but a man who depends on Jesus with every breath.
Not a man who just talks about Jesus, but actually lives the life with a ferocious passion.
So here’s to many laughs, jokes, and good times together. Here’s to many tears, hugs, and Scriptures shared through struggle. Here’s to not just enjoying you for the wise decisions you make. Here’s to you for who you are.
You are loved just as you are. You have nothing to prove.
I love you, boys.
A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”
She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”
Remember to put the glass down
- “An organization is not truly great if it can’t be great without you.” – Jim Collins
- “Too often we argue about Christianity instead of marveling at Jesus.” – John Ortberg
- “Don’t just delegate tasks to the next generation. If you delegate tasks, you create followers. Instead delegate authority to create leaders.” – Craig Groeschel
- “You are the most difficult person you will ever lead.” – Bill Hybels
- “The signature of mediocrity is not unwillingness to change. The true signature of mediocrity is chronic inconsistency.” – Jim Collins
- “People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed.” – Patrick Lencioni
- “When you are angry, you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” – William Ury
- “When you’re in a position of authority, you need truth-tellers around you.” – Condoleezza Rice
- “I failed him for two years because I was too chicken to have the difficult conversation.” – Bill Hybels
- “The morale failure of a leader will challenge the integrity of others as well.” – Mario Vega
General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) was an outstanding figure in the events during and after the Second World War. In early 1942, when leading outnumbered United States forces in the Philippines, General MacArthur prayed this prayer for his son Arthur many times during his morning devotions:
“Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.
Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know Thee and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.
Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.
Build me a son whose heart will be clean, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.
And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.”
Here are some tips to help us keep the right perspective:
Throughout each day in my life I strive to be loyal to my friends and family, lead a successful career that I will enjoy, stay healthy, and take on any challenges that come my way.
WHAT IS YOUR STORY?
Today is not a rehearsal for anything. Today is your life.
It’s who you are and who you’re following and what matters most and where you’re headed…today.
The person you will be is the person you are becoming today.
So don’t waste it.
The challenge you face today is your chance to conquer as Jesus did.
So don’t miss it.
The fear you feel today is your chance to be strong in the Lord.
So grab it!
The tempest all around is driving you out of the storm and onto your knees.
Don’t fight it.
Today matters more than you know. You don’t even know if you’ll have tomorrow.
So stop the excuses. No more delays.
It’s not about others. It’s about you. Today.
Today is the day to love the people closest to you and forgive the people furthest from you.
Today is the day to embrace the humanity all around—as Jesus would, if He were in your shoes. Because He is, in your shoes.
He asks you to put yesterday behind, because it can’t change today.
He asks you to forget about tomorrow, because it only cares for itself, not today.
Today is all that matters—this is your life, your chance to live like Jesus.
It’s happening right now. Today.