Margin Monday: God creates boundaries!

Posted by:

One of my students recently stated that we don’t face the sort of persecution that confronted the early church.  He was right – in this country most of us don’t worry each day about whether we will lose our jobs or our lives for our faith. However, we do face a different and in some ways more challenging form of persecution here.  We are continually blasted with non-Christian worldviews.  We are tempted to be distracted from our “primary calling” – to know God/abide ...

Continue Reading →
0

Margin Monday: Faith and Margin

Posted by:

How does our faith in God create and sustain margin?

Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith involves 2 things: “assurance of things we hope for” as well as “conviction of things we cannot see.”  Faith has to do with our vision for the future (that God has made promises for the world, the church, and our individual lives and will certainly fulfill these promises) and faith allows us to hold fast to the spiritual convictions we hold so dear – without wavering.

Martin ...

Continue Reading →
0

Margin Monday: Calling and our Life-Mission

Posted by:

Recovering and keeping “margin” in our frenetic culture is next to impossible without a strong sense of mission. Knowing my mission gives me a strong filter for deciding what I will and will not do.  But what does it mean to establish and specify my “personal mission”?

First, let’s define “mission.”  Mission is one of 3 ingredients of “calling”:

1) Purpose. This is our vertical “calling”–to know God, ...

Continue Reading →
0

Margin Monday – The “Details” of Calling

Posted by:

How does calling secure margin?  The notion of calling is more profound, and its influence more subtle, than we may realize.  Though we may tend to think it is discovered through a blinding light or in an other-worldly experience, the pattern seems to be the opposite.  Douglas Schuurman states,

“Many assume that ‘hearing’ God’s call is an extraordinary, miraculous event, and so fail to discern God’s calling in their lives. The vast majority of my Christian students are perplexed when I suggest that their ...

Continue Reading →
0

Margin Monday – Calling and Discernment

Posted by:

How can I retain Margin in my life on a daily basis?  Today we will examine the need to understand our “callings” from God by discerning His “voice” within our daily lives. Then we will discuss how God’s voice helps us create and maintain margin.

Martin Luther articulated the sense of our “holy calling” with precision and clarity. Luther spoke often of our “callings” in this world, which are part of the general law of Christ – to love God first, and also to love our ...

Continue Reading →
0

Margin Monday – Know your “Calling”!

Posted by:

This week we begin a new focus for Margin Monday.  For the next few weeks we will examine the concept of “Calling” and how it relates to maintaining “margin.”  Perhaps the most important factor in living with margin is focus.  Since today’s society seems to specialize in distraction, we need a well-thought and well-executed strategy to achieve and maintain focus.  How do we do this?

The answer, perhaps more than anything else, lies in understanding our “Calling.”

We lose our margin – our physical, mental, emotional, ...

Continue Reading →
0

Margin Monday – The Formula for Margin

Posted by:

Is there a formula for recovering “Margin” in our daily lives?  Dr. Richard Swenson describes it this way: “Power – Load = Margin”  (Swenson, Margin, pages 70+).

“Power” is the amount of energy, skills, time, strength, faith, and other resources in our “plus column.”

“Load” is made up of factors as work, problems, obligations, expectations, commitments, debt, conflicts, etc.

When the load is greater than our power, we operate on negative margin. Over a long period of time this will lead to burnout.

The ...

Continue Reading →
0

Margin Monday – Overcoming Overload

Posted by:

By John A. Studebaker, Ph.D.

In his book Margin, Dr. Richard Swenson describes 17 types of overload we experience in our Western culture.  Notable types include:

Activity overload: trying to pack too many things into a day, which only takes away the pleasure of anticipation, the chance for mental preparation, and the delight of reminiscence.

Commitment overload: As Christians we mistake Paul’s model of “being all things to all men” (a call to contextualize the gospel) with making too many commitments, ...

Continue Reading →
0

Margin Monday (week 2): The Pain of Progress

Posted by:

Last week we defined “Margin” according to the definition provided by Dr. Richard Swenson in his book Margin.  Lets look now at how margin-less living is a symptom of our culture’s fascination with progress, busyness and “success” – and touch on how to live differently.

Swenson holds that “the marginless lifestyle is a relatively new invention and one of progress’s most unreasonable ideas. Yet in a very short time it has become a nearly universal malady. . . Even those with a deep ...

Continue Reading →
0

Theology Thursday

Posted by:

Theology of Joy … What is it?

Someone once said to me, “Theology is so textbook … and ‘Joy’ is so confusing.  How can these two ever get together?”

For many people these terms are indeed polar opposites.  Why the separation?  Theology is often thought of as something only for intellectual types, while the expression of joy is sometimes reduced to the feelings of faith. Many Christians end up feeling they must pitch their tents in one camp or the other.

For you ...

Continue Reading →
0
Page 1 of 2 12