New Year’s Resolutions?

Did you make any resolutions for 2019? It’s seventeen days into the new year, so are you still sticking to that/those resolution/s?

The subject of New Year’s resolutions brings to mind a period in my life back in the late-1970s and early-1980s. I was in my twenties, married with a couple of young children, and had my whole life ahead of me. My goals included:

  • Attending night college to earn a degree so I could ascend the Kodak corporate ladder.
  • Following a fitness regime that included running, weight lifting, and eating a very clean diet. My plan was to die a very healthy one-hundred-and-ten-years-old.
  • Becoming more spiritual. I was a Roman Catholic at the time and I knew all about institutional religiosity, but I desired to find “something” that really fulfilled my soul.

To the above ends, each December I went to the local stationary store and bought a red, hardcover, At-A-Glance Standard Diary-Daily Reminder (see photo) for the upcoming new year. Wow! Those things were expensive and they still are; $31.54 at Amazon! The idea was that every day of the year, I would diligently record my efforts to improve my mind, body, and spirit. In fact, that became my personal mantra: “Mind, Body, and Spirit.”

So how did I do? Well, I was attending night college at the time and definitely making progress toward improving my mind and earning a degree. I was also pretty good about working out and eating well. But becoming more spiritual? What did that mean? I had no answer for that one. I wasn’t a regular at mass. Did becoming more spiritual mean delving back into Catholic ritualism, legalism, and formalism? I’d been down that road as an altar boy for four years in grammar school and I knew that wasn’t the answer.

So my impressive daily diary was filled with henscratch ONLY under the categories of “mind” and “body” for the months of January, February, and March, but I usually fizzled out after that. The following December, I would go out and buy ANOTHER expensive diary and begin the process all over again. Repeat cycle. Repeat cycle. This went on for several years. At some point, I got the very bright idea that becoming “more spiritual” might include reading the Bible. Well, that was a life-changing thought! Through God’s Word and several other factors the Lord led me to the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. In 1983, I repented of my sin and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior by faith alone.

I’m no longer thrashing about, trying to become generically “more spiritual.” I know exactly who my Savior and Shepherd is and my goal is to better serve Him each day by His grace.

Billions of people in this world would like to be “more spiritual.” They try a multitude of different approaches. But Jesus Christ is the only way to spiritual truth and life. Resolutions and goals are fine and can be helpful, but if you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone, you’re on a spiritual Titanic and nothing else really matters.

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” – Matthew 9:36

Update: As for climbing the corporate ladder, that dream fizzled out years ago with Kodak’s plunging fortunes. I eventually did earn a degree in 2000, which has helped keep me employed at a company that has leaked employees like a sieve for the last thirty-four years. My only goal now in that regard is to retire in one or two more years. As for that old fitness regime… Fitness? What’s that?

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53 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolutions?

      1. I think it went well Tom. The preacher actually made it back but I spoke anyway. That’s the second time i have spoken with him there which is sort of intimidating. I try to take these doctrinal things we believe and break them down so people can put then in use in a real way. The Wednesday night crowd is really the doctrinal heavy hitters so they don’t need that teaching so much. But, they are not as ready as they could be to engage outside of our little world. Thanks for asking

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    1. Thanks, Jim! That was fun to write. Those diaries were my “religion,” at least for the first three months of the year. Another treadmill. Yup, praise God for showing me what being “more spiritual” really meant!

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      1. Yeah, It’s amazing that such calendar/planner companies as At-A-Glance and Day Runner are still in business. Their sales must be only a fraction of what they used to be.

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      1. Thanks for the link, brother. I see via the internet that Kingstone’s Comics will shortly be coming out with a Catholic edition of its Kingstone illustrated Bible. I don’t know which is worse, DC’s blasphemy or Keystone’s ecumenical compromise with Roman Catholicism?
        https://rushtopress.org/3737-2/

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      2. Your welcome that’s new to me I checked it out but will keep checking. I think both is bad are you saying we can’t read Kingstone Comics just wondering.

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      3. No, I’m not advocating that we boycott Keystone. It’s just very sad that they are compromising the Gospel. They are doing what all the major “Christian” publishers did long ago; publish Catholic materials and thereby muddy the Gospel of grace. In my mind, what Keystone is doing is just as dangerous as DC’s blasphemy. Christians need to be wary of all books/materials and judge them on a case by case basis. The compromise is too widespread at this point to consider boycotting this or that publisher or media source.

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      4. Same. When I come across a name I’m not familiar with, I’ll often google the person’s name and “Catholic.” If I see that they’re ecumenists, then I’ve learned all I need to know about them.

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      5. Most pastors still draw the line at the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses but cave to some degree when it comes to Catholicism. I live only 20 miles from Palmyra and Hill Cumorah where Joseph Smith started Mormonism and studied it quite a bit back in the 80s.

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      6. Ok I didn’t know you lived close to were Smith started Mormonism. I was told by people I know I think that Mormons are my brothers nope they are not.

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      7. Mormons believe some really strange things that are contrary to Biblical orthodoxy but bottom line is they believe in works salvation like JWs, Catholics, and all other false religionists.

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      8. I’ve read that 40% of Catholics don’t believe priests change wafers and wine into the literal body and blood of Jesus. Only 12% of Catholics go to confession at least once per year, which they are all required to do under threat of mortal sin.

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      9. Yes, go ahead. I think many Christian bloggers, including me, feel like they were led by the Lord to write various postings, but none of these could be considered inspired in the same way as Scripture.

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      10. Ok here it is.In closing my question to each and every one of you here today is have you been Born Again as John 3:3 says 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born [a]again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
        You may say I was baptized and confirmed in the church but those things will not save you or make you Born Again of the Spirit of God or born from above and it’s not about religion but a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and any ism religion you name it is not true Biblical Christianity. Religion says do God say done and it is faith+nothing and Only Jesus can save you. I agree none of these postings are considered inspired in the same way as Scripture.

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      11. Here is what Kingstone in a description about a comic book on Martin Luther from there website. The 500th Anniversary of arguably the Reformation’s seminal event – the posting of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, occurs in 2017. In commemoration of this epic event, Kingstone is making available this new graphic novel that details the stormy monk who ushered in a return to Biblical standards among both Protestant and Catholic faiths. Luther describes the religious and historical forces that shaped him and how the course of Christianity itself was shaped by his influence.

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      12. That comic about Luther caught my eye as well. It’s just too bad that Keystone is also supporting the sworn enemy of Luther and the Gospel by publishing a Catholic edition of its illustrated Bible.

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