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South Texas Living

It’s time to turn the page

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December 30, 2015 | 1,759 views | Post a comment

Well, my list of things to get accomplished before the end of the year seems to be growing, not getting smaller as the days are counting down in 2015. Last week, short as it was, I did get most everything in the office communicating with the new computer with its new operating system. There were a few hair-pulling hours of, “Why won’t this work?” along with hours of downloading and installing updates to get printers and the like to work right. I must be mellowing a little because through all the frustrations of last week I never threw anything or broke anything. I sort of feel real proud of myself even though I wanted to scream a few times. I think I’ve got most all the wrinkles ironed out and the new computer looks to be ready for work in the coming new year.

Most years, many of us are looking forward to turning the page and starting a new chapter in life. My years are certainly flying by and the chapters are adding up, yet I’m happy to be as healthy as I am and busy in life as I am. I pray your new chapter in life is full of happiness, prosperity, and good health. Get right with the Lord if your conscience is guiding you that way. Remember, it’s an election year. Get out and vote!

There’s a lot of traveling this time of year. A six-year-old boy announced in school that his grandmother was coming for a visit. When asked where his grandmother lived, he replied, “She lives at the airport. When we want her to come for a visit we just go and get her. Then when we’re done having her visit we take her back to the airport.”

Ninety-five-year-old Mary found that shopping for Christmas had become too difficult, so she decided to send checks to everyone instead. On each card that would accompany the check she wrote, “Buy your own gift,” and made sure she mailed them early. Only after the Christmas season was well over did she get around to clearing the clutter from her desk. Under a stack of papers she was horrified to discover all the gift checks which she evidently had forgotten to enclose with her cards of good will.

[Luke 6:38] Now that the gift-giving season is over and the time has come to figure out how to pay for it all, may I suggest seven gifts that don’t cost a cent and can be given all year long? 1. The gift of listening. But you must really listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listen. 2. The gift of affection. Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back, and hand-holds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends. 3. The gift of laughter. Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.” 4. The gift of written notes. It can be a simple, “Thanks for the Help” note or a full sonnet. A brief hand-written note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life. 5. The gift of compliment. A simple and sincere “you look great in red” or “you did a super job,” or “that was a wonderful meal” can make someone’s day. 6. The gift of favor. Every day go out of your way to do something kind. 7. The gift of a cheerful disposition. The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. Really, it’s not that hard to say “Hello” or “Thank You.” I’m not so good at a lot of this, but what a way to get the New Year started and grow in our Christian maturity.

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Happy New Year, y’all.

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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