Leading Happy

Where Leadership and Happiness Collide

Category: Life (page 1 of 12)

No Easy Jesus: A Review

Where in the world did the idea that following Jesus would be easy come from?

Jesus life was anything but easy. Grew up poor. Lived among the marginalized. Didn’t start a public ministry till his 30s. Then he was loved, booed, cheered, hated, hunted, betrayed, mocked, beaten, and killed in a most public and humiliating way. Anything but an easy life.

All this to say, we need more books like No Easy Jesus: How the Toughest Choices Lead to the Greatest Life by Jason Micthell.

Throughout the book Mitchell draws a distinction between the easy Jesus of pop culture and the real Jesus found in Scripture.

Easy Jesus is made in our Jesus. The real Jesus call us to be made in his image!

Easy Jesus would have stayed in the place where God dwells, heaven. The real Jesus came to earth and, “moved into the neighborhood.” (John 1:14, MSG)

Following the easy Jesus takes us no effort. He looks and conforms to the images we love. Following the real Jesus, however, takes grit, determination, and often times doubt.

The book is a call to forget we have it all together. We don’t. Life is hard. Nothing is easy anymore. And easy Jesus and easy answer help no one but the fool. It’s time to follow a real Jesus who asks questions, seeks justice, and often finds himself on the wrong side of the debate on holiness (and yet is the holiest of all).

No Easy Jesus by Jason Mitchell is a great reminder to stop and evaluate the version of Jesus we follow. One Jesus has a narrow path leading to life and the other a wide path leading to easy now but death later.

I highly recommend this book to pastors tired of the same ole Jesus who looks like the mega preachers and televangelists of this world. Sometimes we need to be shaken by our long held beliefs, because, put simply, they are wrong.

We all must choose to follow the pop culture Jesus or the Jesus defined by Scripture. You may the call. If you need help figuring it all out, Micthell’s book is sure to delight!


I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers as a member of the Tyndale Bloggers Network program in exchange for an honest review of the book.

Pain Doesn’t Define Your Future

This post is a short little reminder that pain doesn’t define your future.

It may have shaped your past, but keep moving forward.

Allow the pain to be your teacher, but not your master.

Learn from it.

Then move into the new season of strength you have now gained for a brighter future!

I honestly believe this is for someone today! Maybe it’s me? or maybe it’s you?

Three Ways to Know Yourself Better

As fun as Dr. Seuss was to our childhood, his advice above is more needed now than ever. There is only one you. And no one can be a better you than you can. Nevertheless, knowing who we are takes time, reflection, and study. It takes us making more margin in our time – daily, monthly, and even yearly!

When we are busy, it is tough to find time to be introspective. We have little time to ask the ultimate questions about life. We tend to get a lot done. Nevertheless, we have no idea who we are. We have no idea if we are growing. We have no idea if we are living out our full purpose in God’s calling over our lives.

So here are THREE ideas to help you build more margin in your time so you can self reflect on who you are and who God desires you to be.

FIRST, EVERY DAY WORK IN 90 MINUTE SESSIONS

I was listening to a TED talk once, that led me to a book, that then found it’s way into my life pattern, but the brain works best in 90 minutes cycles. In other words, your focus and willpower is at its best for about an hour and a half. After 90 minutes, you will more than likely be able to keep working (we have all prove that true, but you are not working at your best.

You need a brain break.

The organization I currently work for rewards employees on their health so many take walks around the property multiple times a day. Not only is that healthy for our waste line and respiratory system, it is great for our brains!

So when I take my walks, I tend to spend that time, not thinking about what to do next in my work, but bigger life questions, which can only be discussed with a higher power. God and I have some great conversations on these short but vital walks.

So if you are like me and simply cannot plan out 2 hours a day to search the face of God and ponder life’s great questions, break it down throughout your day and pick one question or idea to ponder about your life each day. It may seem small and simple. Maybe even a bit insignificant. But trust me, it has added tremendous value to my life.

TWO,  EVERY MONTH FIND A FEW HOURS TO BE ALONE

I say every month, because I know for my life stage, trying to find an hour or two each week would be tough with younger daughters. But once a month is plannable and do able, even by parents with younger kiddos. If you do not have kiddos in the home anymore, even better!

In Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline, one of the 12 disciples is silence. We often find it hard to process deep and important work, because we do not understand how to unplug from the wired world we live. When Foster wrote the book, the internet wasn’t even a reality, so I find his words even more needed for an always jacked in, digital society.

The only way to find health in our souls is to find an hour or two each month to be alone, to be in silence, and to think. We will not find the answers we seek while the kids are yelling, work is calling, or while we drown out our concerns with mindless media. It may work for a season, but we all know when our soul longs for something more.

Once we find a time and place to get away (not your backyard or locking yourself in a room in the house), but a place you can find as sacred, a healthy conversation can develop in your mind and especially with your thoughts towards God, your work, your family, and your future. These truths are to vital to ignore. So time must be made for them, because they will not addressed, discussed, or answers discovered on their own.

THIRD, EVERY YEAR FIND A WEEK TO RECHARGE

Americans are getting worse and worse at using up all their time off from work.

Last year, 54% of US employees didn’t use up their vacation, which is up from 42% in 2013. Although I am not a huge stats fan, that statistic is shocking. It should give us all pause.

Although there are many reasons why – like fear of losing their job, not being supported by a supervisor, or even wanting the money back at the end of the year as extra pay – but the idea of time off is truly for our benefit. To have fun. To be refreshed. To get away. To play!

I know when I was younger, I would have added to this stat. I liked working hard and then cashing in my vacation time for an extra check at the end of the year! But after going through four major surgeries from 2012-2015, I found the value of taking time off.

Each year, we all need to find time to get away from what is normal – what is routine – and by breaking the routine find times of refreshing. This can be a family vacation, a camping trip, a guys/gals-only-getaway, road trip, or a spiritual journey. As long as it is not part of your normal routine, its a break from the pattern.

When we break patterns, our minds have a way of filling in those spaces with creativity, innovation, and new ideas. These are great times to open up to thinking about our lives and the ultimate reason we are here on earth. To ponder the questions we avoid through media and medication. To see life at 30,000 feet instead of the parking spot the plane of our mind is docked at through the rest of the year.

Feel free to ignore the advice. My desire is to help. My hope is to see your THRIVE, not simply SURVIVE in life.

Sadly, most people end up burning out from exhaustion instead of burning bright with purpose. Click To Tweet.

So I will end with an ancient prayer about the prosperity of our souls…

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 2 (NKJV) 

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