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South Texas Living

Happy New Year!

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January 8, 2014 | 8,852 views | Post a comment

Well, here we are; another year has started, and to my knowledge, so far, I haven’t chalked up any notable demerits. Over the next 360 days I ’spect to end up with a few black marks, and I’ll try my best to keep them as small as possible.

My philosophy on New Year’s resolutions has changed a lot over the years. I used to make myself a lot of promises at the beginning of the year, which I either failed miserably at or gave up on before my birthday in February. Each birthday I would renew my resolutions, which normally got pushed aside by springtime. I think the only time I’ve ever accomplished a task of self-improvement is when I got sick and tired of being sick and tired, put my foot down, and made a change of mind. Hooray! I think I’ll work on a change of mind and have a New Year revolution. “Opportunity knocks; Persistence keeps knocking; Passion knocks the door down!” I don’t have very many more years to be passionate, but it can’t hurt to try. On the other hand, maybe I ought to think before I leap too high.

After Christmas, a teacher asked her young pupils how they spent their holiday away from school. One child wrote the following: “We always spend the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa. They used to live in a big brick house, but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Florida. Now they live in a tin box and have rocks painted green to look like grass. They ride around on their bicycles and wear nametags because they don’t know who they are anymore. They go to a building called a wreck center, but they must have got it fixed because it’s all okay now. They do exercises there, but they don’t do them very well. There is a swimming pool too, but all they do is jump up and down in it ... with hats on. At their park gate, there is a dollhouse with a little old man sitting in it. He watches all day so nobody can escape. Sometimes they sneak out and go cruising in their golf carts. Nobody there cooks, they just eat out. And, they eat the same thing every night ... early birds. Some of the people can’t get out past the man in the dollhouse. The ones who do get out bring food back to the wrecked center for potluck. My Grandma says that Grandpa worked all his life to earn his retardment and says I should work hard so I can be retarded some day too. When I earn my retardment, I want to be the man in the dollhouse. Then I will let people out so they can visit their grandchildren.” I can’t wait to get retarded so I can go to a wrecked center to exercise.

[2 Corinthians 4:16-18] There is something thrilling about a new year. I think most of us feel a prospect of doing better, not making the same mistakes we made last year. It’s like a clean page, a fresh beginning, a clean start. So much of the Christian life is like that. We have begun with a “new birth” and with Christ have entered into a “new covenant” with God. Our hope is based on the Resurrection and one day being in the presence of God forever. As an obedient Christian, the Word of God tells me, though I am wasting away outwardly, spiritually I am being renewed day by day. As I study the Word of God, I am growing daily in the grace and knowledge of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). As an obedient believer, I’m instructed to forget the things that are behind and press on toward the goal of a life dedicated to Christ (Philippians 3:13-14). The child of God who truly believes the Father’s promise, “ ... I will not leave you or forsake you” (Joshua 1:5), cannot have anything but a Happy New Year. So, be of “good cheer,” for the One whom we love and follow has “overcome the world.” Amen!

Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at Find his column on his blog at

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