Two days ago, we (excluding our wise friends in AZ, HI, Samoa, and Puerto Rico) “lost” an hour.  In an attempt to lengthen the day, governments (No, it actually was not Ben Franklin) decided to adjust our schedules.  If you planned ahead, you intentionally fooled yourself on the 10th by setting your clocks to make the impact on the 11th less severe. That is a good trick you can use next year if you didn’t already know it.

Whether you are a fan of changing clocks twice a year or not, I am sure you understand the desire to lengthen our days. Unless you are in times of deep despair you, like most, long to extend not only a day but the number of your years. There is something about the four numbers that follow the dash on a headstone that concerns us.

You and I want to live longer so we can enjoy time with friends and family, contribute to society, and simply have time for memorable experiences. These are not faulty desires.  They can, however, be hindrances to a life well lived. For, by focusing on the number of our days rather than the value of each day, we in many ways miss the point of living. 

Living well does not necessarily mean living long.

What, then, is the appropriate measure of a life’s worth?

The Apostle Paul wrote: 

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Philippians 1:21 (NIV)
“To live is Christ” – Now that’s succinct.  It must be the correct answer – how can any answer be wrong when it is “Christ” after all? But, what does it mean?

 At Rabbit Creek Church, we define our purpose as “equipping people to live their everyday lives for Christ”.  When we consider Paul’s words from Philippians as well as his words from Romans (from which we as a church derived our purpose statement), we realize that to live for Christ is an everyday activity. It is also an everyday decision. This proves true for each 24-hour period as well as each week, each year, each decade, each lifetime.

Anyone who desires to live for Christ commits to living with His words and the example He set, as He lived on this earth, before him or her at all times.

We do well to consider our days - to consider them as time periods which are to be dedicated to Christ. Christ is glorified each time one makes the decision to live for Him. Whether it is time to “spring forward’ or “fall back”. Whether it is a day full of sunshine or a night filled with shadows.

No matter what our clocks say, our Lord says that we are to take every moment and use it to His glory.


Library Days

Years ago, a friend of mine told me about a habit of his involving his schedule. At periodic, and nevertheless intentional times, he calendars what he calls “Library Days.”  Soon after he told me about this, I adopted the practice as well as the name.

What is a Library Day?

It is a day set aside for reflection. I surround myself with various forms of literature, my laptop, white legal pads, and a few snacks(Please do not tell the librarian, for I am usually sitting in a “no food allowed” section of the library.)  As a Christian, such periods of reflection involve prayer and reading the Scriptures. I always have my 0.5 mm Pentel P205 at the ready.

I read. I write. I pray.
I fall asleep.
I wake up.
I read. I write. I plan.
I read. I snack.  (Again, please do not tell the librarian.)
I write. I prepare.

Somewhere along the way, the morning’s chai tea and the snack-accompanying drinks of water, require that I arise from my spot of study.  As I make my way through the halls and rows of books, I see others reading, writing, falling asleep, and even snacking.  (Returning the favor, I do not report them to the librarian.)  As I walk, I also wonder. What are my fellow readers reading?

I see some patrons looking as if their presence is accomplishing their goal of killing time. I see others appearing to discover places of employment that best suit their abilities.

I also see children.  And I am reminded of other Library Days of a different variety.

As a father of three, over the years, I have spent much time in the buildings which bear books, mostly on Mondays. Upon the carpet squares and Art Deco beanbags, I read about Mr. Brown and Mrs. Brown going out of town and of Frog encouraging Toad to be brave. I read of bears snoring on and gray days when nothing moved and circus seal days. I laughed (“Shh!  People are reading.”) through the pages where the pig talks to a spider and a swan plays the trumpet. As my children grew, as they continue to do, the books grew longer and the pictures fewer.  (I must admit that I still enjoy the pictures!)

Oh, how I loved those alphabet-carpet-square Library Days!

What is it about libraries? How can it be that professionals looking for professions and time-killers executing time enjoy the same space?  How can it be that a pastor looking for a restroom and a preschooler utilizing his diaper instead, can somehow relate to the same building?

What is it about that literary space?

Go see for yourself. Enjoy a Library Day. 


The Marriage Knot

Marriage is not about you; it's about two.  This past weekend, couples gathered for our church’s marriage conference - "Behind Closed Doors."   During that time, I reminded couples of this truth.  I derive that truth from two biblical texts:
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 
Ephesians 5:21 (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.    
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)
Marriage is true companionship; not true competition.  When one spouse grows overly focused on his or her own needs - success in business, personal goals, recreation, sexual desire - then he or she becomes too focused on self and neglects the one with whom he/she shares life.

At times in marriage, one person will be the stronger one and at others, the weaker.  Each must adjust during such times.

Marriage is a journey – a tie-the-knot journey.  Have you ever noticed how on a hiking trip or another outdoor adventure, the knots that you tie on your pack, on your sack, or on your shoes, begin to loosen along the journey?  This loosening of knots occurs in the journey of marriage, also.  Sometimes couples loosen them and sometimes others loosen them.  Couples need to keep the marriage knot tied.  Keep it tied by committing to . . .
1) Paying attention.
2) Recognizing that temptation is real and looks good.
3) Keeping their vows -
        “Keep Only Unto You”; “Till death do us part”; etc.
4) Enjoying one another (See 1 Corinthians 7).
5) Remembering that God sees all.