Monday, March 29, 2021

Be Strong

 In my community address last week, I described how I felt the collective mood of humans in general right now is ‘tired’. So it is with all of you. You all have gone above and beyond this year. I am forever indebted to you and all you have done to make this year a ‘go.’ But I know you are weary…


In my community address last week, I described how I felt the collective mood of humans in general right now is ‘tired’. So it is with all of you. You all have gone above and beyond this year. I am forever indebted to you and all you have done to make this year a ‘go.’ But I know you are weary…


That said, in a perfect world, I would give each of you the Super Mario Power Boost. At once, feeling small, scurrying to and fro, facing daunting challenges- to devouring a mushroom, now able to smash bricks and run through the walls of life. 


But I can’t. So I will do the next best thing. On the heels of National Poetry Month, I will share with you one of my all-time favorite poems. 😊 I truly hope you can find some level of inspiration from it. It truly is a battle song of victory. 


Be Strong!

We are not here to play, to dream, to drift;

We have hard work to do and loads to lift;

Shun not the struggle, face it, ‘tis God’s gift. 

Be strong, be strong, be strong! 


Be Strong!

Say not the days are evil- who’s to blame? 

And fold the hands and acquiesce- O shame! 

Stand up, speak out, and bravely, in Gods’ Name. 

Be strong, be strong, be strong! 


Be Strong!

It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong, 

How hard the battle goes, the day, how long;

Faint not, fight on! Tomorrow comes the song.

Be strong, be strong, be strong! 


-Maltbie Davenport Babcock


I’m in your corner. Get after it…and win the day ~ pja


*53 Seconds to Read

Monday, March 22, 2021

The Battle for Your Mind

Prior to writing this message this morning, I was reading through my email. 4 different weighty situations happening right now; all 4 have the power to consume and suck the life out of the room.  

You are all dealing with similar. So how do we move forward, lead, and give life to those around us when the trials of life and our professions threaten to exhaust and completely derail us? 


I was reading a leadership article this weekend from Craig Groeschel. He was discussing the importance of winning the battle in your mind. This statement has stuck with me for days now:


“Our lives are always moving in the direction of our strongest thoughts. What we think shapes who we are.” 


Think on that for a moment. You win the battle in your mind by the words you are speaking to yourself. Not the message (s) being sent to you. 


Remember, lead yourself first. If you accomplish this, the rest will take care of itself. 


I’m in your corner. Get after it…and Win the Day. -pja



*48 Seconds to Read

Monday, March 15, 2021


I was recently challenged by my brother to read 22 books this year. He said, “All great leaders read at least 22 books a year.”

As I was doing some quick research this morning to fact check him…I stumbled across this stat:


The average person reads 12 books a year. 


Not one person reading this message would be ok with being ‘average.’ No true competitor/leader wants to be average, right?! 


So…where does the time come from to accomplish this? 


Two quick anecdotal stories for you:


First, I was listening to a podcast about two years ago (Michael Hyatt). He said, “You are shortchanging yourself as a leader if you are not exercising at least 30 minutes a day.”


My weight had ballooned to 204 pounds. I knew it was time to pay attention to my health… and get after it.


And, truth be told, I am not a fan of yard work. I am quick to remind my wife I only have so much time in the day…and I’m busy. 


And she’s quick to remind I can devote three hours on Sunday afternoon during football season for Steeler games. 


We make time for what we deem a priority. I am challenging you to grow yourself…and commit to reading 22 books this year. You still have 75% of the year left. 


I’m in your corner. Get after it…and Win the Day- pja


(51 seconds to read) 

Monday, March 8, 2021

Finding Purpose in the Daily Grind

 As my Monday messages have evolved over the past few months…I am continually exploring ways to encourage you as you slog your way through an unprecedented, challenging year. 

We currently lead in a time filled with a limitless amount of distractions. I know for me, a majority of those minor distractions can become increasingly annoying. 


Yet, as each day passes, we are creating and building, and leaving our legacy all at once. 


For the last portion of my dad’s life, he served as a lay pastor. I have all of his sermons on CDs. Recently, every time I get in the car, I put them on. They provide a great sense of comfort…and, it dawned on me this morning: it has been over 5 years since my dad passed. Yet his legacy lives on…all because he pursued his purpose in life.


So it is with you- determine your purpose- then go live it out. Your purpose transcends your vocation. You were meant for more than that. 


And when the storms of life come…as you know they will, always point back to your purpose in life. 


When you are able to do this, and actively speak purpose into your life, the distractions subside.  


Finally, perhaps one of my favorite reminders, “Fly with the eagles, Don’t let the turkeys get you down.”


I’m in your corner- Get after it…and Win the Day- pja



*50 seconds to read…

Monday, March 1, 2021

Lead the Fight

One of my all-time favorite books is Lone Survivor, the true life story of 4 Navy Seals who took on 200+ enemy fighters in the mountains of Afghanistan (Operation Red Wing). Even if you are not a military aficionado, it is an amazing book about the power of the human spirit. 


Recently, the US Navy named one of its newest war ships after Lt. Michael Murphy (who was one of the Seals featured in Lone Survivor). 

As I was reading about the USS Michael Murphy, I learned the motto of the ship is “Lead the Fight.”


I have always enjoyed and appreciated reading about various mottos of different ships and units in the military. 


I believe they serve as a great motivator and unifier. 


In John Maxwell’s best seller Leadership Gold, he asserts…’the hardest person you will ever have to lead is yourself.’ 


To make it more personal and pertinent to your daily leadership…do you have a motto you live by…or, what is your personal leadership motto? 


We are living in challenging times. Getting up every day- and ‘Leading the Fight’ proves more challenging by the day. 


Yet, we need you to be your best. First and foremost, we need you to lead yourself. And, we need you to ‘Lead the Fight.’ 


If you do not have a personal – leadership motto, I highly encourage you to take some time to reflect…identify your core values, and pen your own. 


Lead. And win. Get After it. I’m in your corner. pja



*Here are some of the more famous Military Mottos if interested…


**(57.7 Seconds to Read)