Leading Happy

Where Leadership and Happiness Collide

Category: Life (page 1 of 13)

Christmastime is Here!

As we sing songs, buy gifts, spend time with family, and run, run, run; we can easily miss the meaning and reason of Christmas.

So for a brief moment, let us refocus on what Christmas is truly about. Let us remember the meaning and reason that make this one of the most unique and celebrated holidays in the world.

THE THREEFOLD MEANING

Luke 2:10-11 “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

The meaning is threefold:

  1. The birth of CHRIST THE LORD is GOOD NEWS
  2. The birth of CHRIST THE LORD brings GREAT JOY
  3. The birth of CHRIST THE LORD is for ALL PEOPLE

The meaning of Christmas is best understood as God revealing himself completely to us in his son, Jesus.

Just as there is a meaning to Christmas there is also a reason:

THE TWOFOLD REASON

Matthew 1:21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Sometimes we miss the deep value of this phrase. At the time Jesus was born, Israel had lost hope. The prophecies of the Old Testament had yet to be fulfilled. The Messiah had not yet come.

As was the history of Israel they were in a time of exile, ruled by Roman law. Caesar lorded over the people of God as supreme. Caesar Augustus was hailed by the Senate as God and legend of his virgin birth and the peace and good news he would bring to Rome surrounded his life. But Jesus, not Caesar, was the true son of God. Jesus came to lead his people out of exile and bondage.

Therefore, the REASON for Christmas is the story of Reconciliation and Celebration.

A | THE RECONCILIATION

Through Jesus, God reconciled the world back to him. Remember, it was GOOD NEWS for ALL PEOPLE. Through Jesus, the Savior, God SAVED HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS.

Jesus would break the chains of Roman domination by ushering in the Kingdom of God.

Exile would be no more, for Jesus would be King of a Kingdom that has no end (Luke 1:33).

B | THE CELEBRATION

So, we celebrate this time of year because of that HOPE. A HOPE that springs from a life that began in a manger.

Jesus Christ’s amazing birth is the beginning of the story of HOPE. HOPE that God will restore us. HOPE that brings GOOD NEWS. HOPE that Jesus will SAVE HIS PEOPLE and welcome us into a KINGDOM that has NO END.

There is a reason we celebrate and that reason is Christ the King:

There’s a reason that the lights are shining.
There’s a reason that the wreaths are hung.

There’s a reason that songs of joy
and peace are being sung.

There’s a reason for the celebration.
There’s a reason that the silver bells ring.

There’s a reason for the season
and the reason is Christ the King.

Enjoy thinking about these things, or maybe as Mary did — pondering them in your heart.

Merry Christmas to those Leading Happy!

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?

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