In HOPE 8.17 

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David Timms  

A Prayer

Eternal Father, Who holds all things together and Who knows the beginning from the end, open our eyes to see Your path before us, open our ears to hear Your voice within us, and deliver us from the driving obsession to manage and control our own lives apart from You. In the midst of our fear and conflict, our frustration and isolation, may we encounter You afresh. Guide us not into balance but into abundance, as we incline our hearts towards You this day. Amen.

Hope Happenings

Do you know any Fall 2008 High School Juniors and Seniors with great leadership potential? Hope International University has created a cutting edge conference designed to equip High School Juniors and Seniors for the next level of leadership. Dare to Lead is a unique and special conference that is offered September 12-14, 2008 in Palm Desert, California and September 26-28, 2008 in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information, go to

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831


"The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man." ~ Euripides, 480-406 B.C.

Off Balance

"Keep a balance in your life." We might blame the ancient Greek playwright, Euripides, for this somewhat misguided advice that persists today.

Every season of our lives brings different demands, and well-meaning advisors continually urge us to find balance. But the quest for balance in our lives eludes and frustrates us. Balance today becomes imbalance tomorrow; balance for one person is imbalance for another.

The notion of "balance" hardly has Christian origins nor is it consistent with New Testament teaching. In our time perhaps it emerges from western psychology as a prescription for the middle-upper-classes who have the luxury of over-programming their lives.

The idea of "balance" in our lives has achieved almost biblical proportions. Margins, boundaries, and balance are buzz-words of our day -- generally defined in terms of time. Is my lifestyle well-proportioned? Of 168 hours per week, the perfect life allocates 56 hours to sleep, 6 hours to church-related functions, 14 hours to "time with the kids," no more than 50 hours to the workplace, etc.

But we'll struggle to find the word "balance" on the lips of Jesus. Nor will we find the apostles Paul, John, or Peter using the term in their epistles.

The gospel words and phrases that ring so loudly include: "die to yourself, be a servant of all, be led by the Spirit, surrender, and abide in Christ." As Christians, the solution for harried lives and collapsing marriages is not a new way of allocating our hours but a new attitude with which we approach each other and all of life.

The answer to our fragmentation and isolation lies not in the reapportionment of our lives but in the refocusing of our lives ... on Christ. Greater attentiveness to the living, compelling, and guiding Presence of Christ will steer us into much richer and fulfilling lives than any effort to artificially recalibrate our day-timers.

May we grow more aware of His voice rather than the ancient Euripidean advice.

In HOPE --



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David Timms chairs the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.