New Year, Old Me
Well, here it is, 2019—and I’m just now getting used to writing 2018. The new year is traditionally a time of starting over, and everyone is making resolutions. I stopped making formal new year’s resolutions some time back, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve given up trying to improve. Rather, it means that I don’t wait until the first of the year to make a change when one is needed. And I try to make those changes permanent. I don’t always succeed, but I do try.
Although I’ve had two good careers in my life already—medicine and writing—in my heart I sometimes long to own a health club, especially around the first of the year. We’re all familiar with what happens then.  After the holiday meals and the snacks, we resolve to lose that five pounds (or whatever amount we seem to have acquired). “I’m going to go to the gym every day,” we say.
That’s why gym memberships go up about this time every year. But according to the best figures I can find, two thirds of them are never used beyond the first few months. Our spirit may be willing, but the flesh is weak. We become like the person who doesn’t go to the gym because they can’t find a parking place close enough, and they don’t want to walk all that distance! Our gym memberships go unused, and the treadmill we wanted for Christmas becomes an expensive coatrack.
My suggestion is that, rather than improving our physical bodies (or in addition to such measures, if we’re in the minority who really tries), we consider making a few adjustments to our personalities. My wife, bless her, saw me dragging my feet one morning as I made my way around the house. She pointed this out, while reminding me that—even though I may be piling up the years—I still have the prospect of some good ones ahead. Although I hadn’t formally joined the “give me a word” movement I’ve seen so much on social media lately, she used a word that has stuck with me: “purpose.” Rather than shuffling my feet, I needed to move with purpose.
So, for the year ahead, I intend to proceed with purpose. The subject of my purpose may change as the situation changes, but I want to keep the word before me. My purposes (and most of us have multiple ones) right now are to complete my next novel while not neglecting being the best family man possible. At some time, I may find that I’m being unusually short-tempered with those around me, and I’ll do my best to change that. I may forget for what purpose I’m writing, and if that is the case, I’ll try to correct that.
We all have purposes. Find yours. Do you need to add to it? Do you need to make a change? Continue those efforts for the long haul. You’ll be glad you did.
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New Year, Old Me
Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician, now writing “medical mystery with heart.” His novels have garnered critical acclaim and been finalists for ACFW’s Carol Award, both the Romantic Times’ Inspirational Book of the Year and Reviewer’s Choice Awards, the Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and the Selah Award. He is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the International Thriller Writers, and Novelists Inc. Emergency Case is his latest novella.
He and his wife live in north Texas, where he writes, works on being the world’s greatest grandfather, and strives to improve his golf game. You can learn more about him at his website, and via his blogand Facebook page.

Ruthy here, happy to announce that Richard "Doc" Mabry has offered up a copy of his newest release "Emergency Case" to one lucky commenter.... So do you need to add to your purposes? Can you identify them?  Leave a comment below to be entered in the drawing. Doc will pop in and out through the day to chat with us.
New Year, Old Me


The relationship between Dr. Kelly Irving and her husband, attorney Jack Harbaugh, has cooled recently, but she figures they’ll muddle through and repair it.

But when she backs down her driveway, her car hits a bump that turns out to be the partially snow-covered body of a man her husband recently represented. Not only that, the gun that killed him belongs to Jack, who seems to be the primary suspect.

As events escalate, Kelly can’t decide if her husband is a murderer or the next victim. Eventually, they put their marital differences aside and find the person masterminding the syndicate behind all this, while trying to keep Jack alive.