Margin Monday – Overcoming Overload

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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, ...

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Margin Monday (week 2): The Pain of Progress

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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 ...

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Theology Thursday

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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 ...

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Margin Mondays!

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Dr. Richard Swenson, in his popular book Margin (NavPress, 2004) defines this important concept: “Margin is the space between our load and our limits and is related to our reserves and resilience. It is a buffer, a leeway, a gap; the place we go to heal, to relate, to reflect, to recharge our batteries, to focus on the things that matter most.” Swenson explains that our culture is enthralled with progress, accomplishment, and busyness.  The result is chronic overloading of our personal, spiritual, ...

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