Say goodbye to old habits in the new year

The calendar page has been turned to January 2023. Just what does that mean? 

For most, it is a chance for a new beginning or at least a fresh start. 

Ephesians 4:22-24 speaks to this: “Change the former way of life that was part of the person you once were, corrupted by deceitful desires. Instead, renew the thinking in your mind by the Spirit and clothe yourself with the new person created according to God’s image in justice and true holiness.”  

Yes, life does go on and we still have our situations and problems that require us to continue seeking solutions and results. The new year makes us feel that we need to make changes in our life and say goodbye to old habits, problems and difficulties. 

One way is to start making new plans and new resolutions. However, this brings mixed emotions as we have feelings of inspiration as well as apprehension. The question is whether we will continue to persevere or quit our plans and resolutions. 

Will we revert to our old behavior and habits as we continue living the same kind of life, without making any changes or improvements? So, how do we make real changes in our life? To make significant changes, you need to take certain steps. 

Read Ephesians 4:22-24 again. To make your dreams come true you need to do something about them, not just daydream. And this takes more than just inspiration and desire. What can you do to persevere with your resolutions? What steps do you need to take? 

The first step should be to have a well-defined goal. Without this you will be just drifting and might lose interest and stop what you have started doing. To make real changes in your life, you should know what kind of changes you want to make. Sometimes it helps to write them down and post them where you can see them. You will find that you need inspiration and motivation, but you will also find that obstacles often quickly diminish your enthusiasm. Here is where your self-discipline steps in and helps you persevere. 

You must “cowboy up” and resolve to never quit! Here you should start thinking about the benefits you will gain after accomplishing your goal. It might require you to leave your comfort zone and be willing to do things in a different way. Take action right now, do not wait until tomorrow or anytime later, because that will put you in procrastination mode. 

Think positively, get facts and use common sense before making a resolution, but once you are sure of what you are doing, do not let anything deter you because you will be writing a new chapter in your book of life! And like this poem says, it’s okay to think back to your upbringing, because memories an’ God’s Grace will bless your days.



Time takes its toll, for nothing ever stays,

The way it used to be,

Oft times you sit an’ just ponder your days,

‘Neath the shade of some ol’ tree.


I see in my mind’s eye, the glory of my youth,

While trail dust rises toward the sky,

The good with the bad if you want to know the truth,

By now you breathe a wistful sigh.


An’ some things just sorta standout,

Like spyin’ your shadow slinkin’ towards days end,

Or listenin’ to your echo shout.

An’ it’s for certain, that time, is not your friend,


But somehow a glimmer will light up your soul,

To bring back fond memories,

That, across heartstrings, will gleefully stroll,

An’ these are moments for you to seize.


You recollect the smile of your Mother’s love,

When she kneels with you to pray,

Her touch as soft as the flutter of a dove,

Upon your brow, at end of day.


An’ her words of love as you drift off to sleep,

Seem to float cloud-like thru night air,

An’ she quietly asks the Lord your soul to keep,

Though you are oblivious to her prayer.


Though her words invade your memory at times,

‘Specially when you are low an’ blue, 

Her sweet prayers an’ laughter with stories in rhymes,

Will come lilting back to you.


She spent a lot of time liftin’ you in prayer,

That God’s love would keep you from harm,

Guide an’ safegaurd you from trails that might ensnare,

Protecting you from life’s full storm.


You think back to those carefree days so long ago,

When you rode the range at will,

With pards backin’ your play without misery an’ woe,

Memories that come to you still.


Like the schoolhouse with Saturday night dances,

Where fiddle music set the stage,

An’ you twirled that beauty midst your pards jealous glances,

Oh, what a wonderful age.


Shortly thereafter, you asked that gal to be your wife,

‘Course, you had to ask her Dad,

An’ you was nervous as you started to plan your life,

The two of you happy an’ glad.

An’ they was ups an’ downs, but together you worked ‘em out,

‘Cuz the Lord carried you through,

You trusted that He would always plan your route,

Guide your path as family grew.


Dad said children would make you pay for your raisin,

An’ in a way, seems he was right,

Truth is, they blessed our life an’ made life amazin’

An’ filled our lives with delight!


But the days go by, an’ time will take its toll,

Yet there’s thoughts you often seize,

That flit an’ glide, bringin’ tears an’ joy to your soul,

Leavin’ you with blest memories.


So, ‘neath the shade of that ol’ tree you kneel to pray,

An’ say thank you to your Lord,

For givin’ you the blessin’s that help make your day,

An’ you praise God for this reward.


 Yes, time takes its toll, for nothing ever stays,

The way it used to be,

 Yet memories an’ God’s Grace will bless your days,

‘Neath the shade of some ol’ tree.

  ©  Ol’ Jim Cathey     


Ol’ Jim Cathey and his young bride Stella continue to wish each of you a Happy New Year! 

 God bless each of you. and God Bless America!









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