I’ve come to a conclusion. Best practices are called best practices for a reason. Having spent the good part of the last two days working on other people’s web sites where they did not follow best practices, I am firmly in the camp of following best practices. (No, no rewards for how many times I can say “best practices” in one post, I promise!)

I was talking to my dad this afternoon and it seems that best practices extend far beyond the world of web design. They are in the middle of remodeling their kitchen right now and the previous remodelers did not follow best practices when installing tile, cabinets, etc.

As we live our lives, are we following best practices? Are we eating right? Are we growing our relationship with God? Are we moving?

As we start this year, what are some best practices that you either want to follow or are following?

For those who don’t know, I am a Seventh-day Adventist. For most of the three people reading this, that is not a shocker whatsoever, but hey, one of y’all may not have known.

As a Seventh-day Adventist, one of the things that people notice (besides the whole vegetarian thing) is the whole Sabbath thing. “You can’t work on Saturday? You can’t do x, y, or z?” It seems like there is always a negative connotation to it. Can’t do this, can’t do that.

Why is that?

I love my Sabbaths! I love that there is a God who cared enough about me and my sanity enough to set aside a day where I don’t have to work. A day of rest. I love that!

Now some might say that it was nailed to the cross (so now we can kill, steal, and always dishonor our parents, right?) but what would be the point of that? God creates something at the very beginning of the world and then 4000+ years later decides, meh! never mind?

To me, the Sabbath is a blessing in that it allows me to be able to have downtime. Time to recharge. Now for those who know me, I don’t exactly sit still around on Sabbaths. We tend to be all over West Texas and New Mexico seemingly every weekend. But for me, it is a rest not having to worry about getting this website finished or that thing designed. To allow myself to look and think on other things is a break I don’t necessarily get all week. It’s a happy day for me. So I say to you: Happy Sabbath!

So yesterday as I was looking for a good quote for a video, I came across something interesting.  Ellen White talks a lot about exercise, but she makes it clear that it should be outside, not in a gym.  She also talks about how we should have balance and that we shouldn’t just exercise just to exercise but that there should be a point to the exercise.

Do we have things backwards?

Why do we exercise? Are we doing it to get buff?  Are we dong it to lose weight?

It seems to me that the real reason we should be exercising should be more to strengthen our relationship to God, so that our mind and body are in better shape to listen to Him.  That’s not something I would have thought about yesterday, but today, after reading what Mrs. White had to say about it, it makes perfect sense.  Not only that, but if we are doing it to strengthen our relationship with God, it changes the motivation to do it.

For me, I am a social exerciser. I exercise with people but have a hard time moving myself to get outside and move on my own.  Will this new outlook change my actions?  Let’s find out together!

So if you know me, you know that I’m very involved in something called “Pathfinders”.  It’s a youth ministry group from our church that focuses on young people from 5th to 10th grade.  Every 5 years, there is a big event up in Oshkosh, WI, where they have 35,000 people show up for a week-long get-together.

For me, part of the fun of going to Oshkosh is the trip there and back.  So today I put together my ideal trip.  Where would I want to go?  What would I want to see?  So here it is, my ideal Oshkosh trip:
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I had an epiphany yesterday.

How much time do we spend with our spouse where we really spend time with them?  Not just going home and watching TV with them, not just watching a movie, actually spending time with them?

Just spending time in the same room as someone isn’t building or improving the relationship – there’s no interaction there.  You really need to take time out and do stuff together.  My wife and I went to dinner last night and then drove around El Paso.  We turned off the cell phones, turned off the computers and the iPads, and just hung out with each other.  Best date night we’ve had in a long time!

Sometimes we get so caught up in what we are doing and forget to really spend time with each other.  It can happen to anyone.

Don’t let it.