Back to School


For students, this season marks the end of summer and the beginning of a new year.

Every beginning has an ending. Time gets by so quickly that sometimes we can hardly keep up with the memories we are collecting along the way.

Endings sometimes come all too quickly. So there’s something to be said for taking every moment as something to be embraced and savored for as long as it lasts.

The God we serve, though, is not limited by time. The moments we spend in the presence of God, then, hold the possibility of timelessness.


Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house; and of all that you give me I will surely give one tenth to you.”

Genesis 28:20–22


“If-then” statements have always interested me. Jacob had one of the most powerful “if-thens” that you’ll come across. It was profound not only for him, but also eventually for his people, which include you and me.

It seems like Jacob said something like, “If the Lord will give me all of this in my life, then I’ll take it, make the Lord my God, and give back one-tenth.” Seems like a great deal to me, and Jacob might say that it helped build his character and life in God.

What if we chose to give one-tenth of our time, our talents, and our lives back to God? Where and when might you find the chance this school year to do that? How can you be helpful to a classmate, or get away to pray, or offer yourself in service to others in your community, or make time with family?

Rich Clark


God, I am grateful to offer one-tenth of my time and talents to you and your work on earth. In doing so, I hope to better know others, you, and myself. Amen.


Go ahead and take that first step.
Is it risky? Of course.

That’s faith for you.

But remember,
Your faith is in God Almighty,
And God will not be moved.

You’re going to be just fine.