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OUT TO PASTOR: The end of all nonsense and other practical jokes

When it comes to practical jokes, Yours Truly is always on the ready.

Throughout my earthly passage, I have perpetuated my share of practical jokes. I will not enumerate them here, the simple reason being, I might want to bring one out of retirement.

Now, the practical joke I am thinking of has to do with New Year’s Resolutions. I always look forward to the last week in. For the first several weeks of January, I am nervous and sweating over those lousy New Year's Resolutions I am forced to make.

The first week in January is probably the worst week when it comes to these New Year's Resolutions. They are fresh in our mind not to mention fresh on our lips. A New Year’s Resolution would not be so bad if nobody knew that we made one.

During the first week, I entertain high intentions about my resolutions. And like the thought-challenged beggar that I am, I boast to everybody about the high quality resolutions I have put in force for the coming year. All this in an effort to improve my standing among my peers.

The second week of January is a high water mark for these New Year’s Resolutions. It is during this week that I begin to have suspicions about the legitimacy of my resolutions. The first week they look wonderful, but the second week the rose begins fading and I begin to see what I have strapped myself with for the coming year. Then, just when my confidence is beginning to shake, a friend of mine will ask, “How’s your New Year’s Resolutions coming along?”

Then the third week of January comes around. It is at this time I begin to see that my New Year’s Resolutions were made by a fool. There is no fool quite like the one in your bathroom mirror. By now, I find there is absolutely no way those resolutions will be kept by me. If only I could sell my resolutions on eBay, I might make out pretty good, because on paper they look terrific.

At this stage of the month, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage says to me, “How’s your New Year’s Resolutions coming along?”

She always says it with a silly little smirk on her face. She knows that the boast of January 1 loses its luster by January 21.

It is the fourth week of January I am most interested in. To go through the first three weeks of January is rather painful but by the time the last week comes around everything is forgotten.

Not only have I forgotten my resolutions, but everybody around me has forgotten them as well. At least they have given up asking me about those resolutions. I take what I get and am thankful. Some may have heard about my defriending policy.

There is something to forgetting the past. I find it interesting that the things we need to forget are the very things we remember, and the things we should remember are the ones we usually forget.

The apostle Paul understood this very thing. “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,” (Philippians 3:13).

The best resolution has to do with my relationship with God. And that is no practical joke.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail The church web site is

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