Archive - Balanced Life

James 1:27 – Is Giving Your Money Enough?

James 1:27
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Repeatedly in the Bible, we see God instructing his people to care for the needy. But how are they to do this?

Notice it’s not by tossing a few dollars their way and going back to our busy lives. We are to visit them.

The word visit here is more than simply dropping by – it implies a real concern for someone’s total wellbeing. It comes down to using our money and our time to ensure that physical, spiritual, and emotional needs are met.

…Really?

I know what you’re thinking. Probably the same thing that I’m thinking.

My schedule is already maxed out. I’m trying to be a good dad and husband, I’m trying to have regular devotionals, I’m trying to exercise, I’m trying to serve in my church, I’m trying to bring home the bacon… Do I really have to give of my time?
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Our Culture is Addicted to Entertainment – Are You?

Hi, my name is Average American, and I’m a TV-aholic.

Nielsen just released a factsheet summarizing American TV usage for 2010 – and the most amazing thing for me was this: The average American watches 35.6 hours per week of TV – slightly over 5 hours per day.
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Don’t Deny the Gospel: How Wanting to Reduce Stress Can Be a Bad Thing

This is part two of the five-part series: Don’t Deny the Gospel.

Are you looking for relief from the stress of busyness?

Busyness can absolutely fry our minds, wear out our bodies, and damage our relationships. The allure of time management is that, through living a balanced life, we can find peace and serenity.

But that allure is a lie.
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Why You Secretly Love Being Way, Way, Way Too Busy

Think for a minute about this question: Would you say that you’re a busy person?

Let me guess: you only needed to think for half a second – and the answer is a definitive yes. I know that because everyone answers yes.
Seriously. Everyone.

Why is that the case?

The reasons are many, but I want to address a hidden and particularly nasty reason.
In a nutshell, I believe we like to be overly busy. We enjoy having way too much to do.
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How to Bring Sanity to Your Priorities

It seems sometimes like it’s just too much to juggle. How are you supposed to fit it all in?

You definitely want to spend quality time with your spouse. Your kids too. Family is a priority. You want to glorify God through your job, to provide for your family, and to work “as unto the Lord,” so your career is a priority.

You want to attend church, and perhaps you serve in a ministry in or outside of the church. That’s a priority. And, of course, don’t forget your own personal devotional walk with the Lord – so your quiet time is a priority.

Plus you want to regularly fellowship and maintain great friendships and relationships with people. That’s a priority. Oh yeah – and you want to exercise and take care of your physical health. That’s a priority.

As if that isn’t enough, you’re very aware of the importance of rest and rejuvenation. So that’s a priority too.

I can’t even read that list without feeling tension – as if I am being pulled in a million different directions at once. So imagine the feeling when we try to live this way.
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Busyness Leads to Hypocrisy: A Psychological Study

If you were a seminary student on your way to give a talk on the Parable of the Good Samaritan, and you happened to walk right by someone in obvious pain groaning in an alley – what do you think you’d do?

I mean, think about it. You are walking a short distance, surely thinking the whole way about what you’re going to say and how you’re going to share insight on the Parable of the Good Samaritan. You’re then presented with a situation that’s practically straight out of the parable – don’t you think a little voice inside your head would chime in, “Hey, genius! Maybe you should practice what you preach”?

I’d like to think I’d stop and offer help, but part of me doubts I would. Because in a 1973 psychological experiment seminary students were put in that exact situation, and the results are surprising (and slightly disappointing).
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