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21 Days, or Thereabouts, To Change Your life

by Interim Pastor Jim Dougans 

At a meeting a few months back I heard something that has

changed my life. I heard that to instill a habit, do it for 21

days. Apparently this information has been circulating for

years. I don’t know why I missed it.

The idea that in three weeks you can create a new habit

was born in the 1950s. Plastic surgeon Maxwell Maltz observed it would take a

patient about 21 days to get used to seeing their new face or stop sensing a phantom

limb. He summarized his observations this way, “It requires a minimum of about 21

days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to jell.”

Over the years Dr. Maltz’s findings have become a maxim, “in 21 days you can

create a new habit.” Notice however, that Dr. Maltz wrote that it took a minimum of

21 days. Later scientific study has found that on average, it takes more than 2 months

before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. Notice again the

qualifier, “on average.” Depending on the behavior, the person, and the

circumstances, it can take anywhere from 18 days to 254 days to form a new habit.

Darn, I was hoping for a simple formula. Nevertheless, it is helpful to have some idea

about how to make a change in our lives. So what if it takes two months, if it is a

worthwhile habit, two months is not that long.

Which brings me to Advent. How appropriate to launch a new habit during the

season where we wait for the birth of the Christ child. Perhaps this Advent something

new will be born in you, a new routine or pattern.

On November 18 I launched a new thing, reading through the Bible in one year. I am

using an app on my phone called YouVersion. You can download this app at the

Google Play Store or Apple Store, or go to The reading plan is Bible

in a Year. If you would rather have a book in your hands, Wal-Mart is selling the

“One Year Bible” for $13.93. It has daily readings from the Old Testament, New

Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. A third option is a one year reading plan card. We

will have such cards available soon at the back table in the sanctuary. What new custom will you launch on December 3? Don’t worry if you miss a day. Researchers have found that “missing one opportunity to perform the behavior did not materially affect the habit formation process.”


Pastor Jim

The Limestone Chorale will be performing their 24th Christmas concert on Sunday, December 10th at 4:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Maysville. The concert will consist of traditional Christmas music, and will be open to the public.

The Limestone Chorale is a community choir led by Director Nicholas Denham, who is the music teacher at Mason County Intermediate School and the music director for First Presbyterian Church.


DEADLINE TO ORDER—Monday, December 11, 2017

Complete form and drop in offering, bring to the office or mail to the church

at P. O. Box 490, Maysville, KY 41056


Margaret’s Angel Tea

The Presbyterian Women cordially invite all women to attend Saturday, December 09, 2017 11:00 a.m.  Fellowship Hall of the First Presbyterian Church Maysville, Kentucky

A holiday tradition filled with delicious food reminiscent of the popular tea rooms. The perfect atmosphere for visiting with friends during the holiday season! A wonderful time to relax during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Mark your calendars now for this important holiday gathering!

                         RSVP (606) 564–3639 by December 4, 2017

                           Mark your calendars now!

                                                   Nativity Display

Trinity and St. Paul Lutheran Churches are planning their “Fourteenth Annual

Nativity Festival” on Saturday, December 9th from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

and Sunday, December 10th from noon to 4:00 p.m. There are over 200 nativity

displays and children may have their picture taken for free in their full

sized Nativity scene, dressed in provided costumes. The festival is free, but

canned goods are being collected for the local Food Bank. The church is located

at 621 Parker Road in Maysville, across from the Maysville Nursing and

Rehabilitation facility.

TYGs will ring the bell for the Salvation Army Kettle

at JC Penney on Saturday, December 16th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

   The Session will meet on Monday, December 18th at 5:30 p.m.

The John W. McNeill III Memorial Music Series

The John W. McNeill III Memorial Music Series, will present the

Kentucky Bach Choir and Orchestra in an Advent/Christmas Concert at

First Presbyterian Church on Saturday evening, December 2nd at 7:00

p.m. The Choir’s program will consist of Johann Sebastian Bach’s

Christmas Oratorio (Cantatas 3 & 4) for choir, orchestra, and soloists.

There are 24 members of the choir and 20 orchestra members. Soloists are

drawn from the choir. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students 18

and under. The tickets will be available at the door. For more information

call 606-564-3666.

    Candlelight Christmas Eve Service

Come join us on Saturday, December 24th at 6:00 p.m. for our beautiful candlelight Christmas Eve service. Sing Christmas carols and let the spirit of Christmas come into your heart.

               Christmas Family

See sign-up sheets in the fellowship hall for the family we are adopting this Christmas— providing gifts (clothes and toys). 

All gifts need to be wrapped and include a name on the gift. Please bring the gifts to the church office by December 12th. There is also a sign-up sheet for groceries used in preparing Christmas dinner for this family. 

Thanks as always for your generosity.

Christmas Dinner and Children’s Program: The annual Christmas dinner will be on Sunday, December

17th at 5:30 p.m. The meat will be provided and you are asked to bring side dishes and desserts. The children

will present a Christmas play before the meal. Santa will arrive at 6:30 p.m.

The Limestone Chorale will perform here on December 10th at 4:00 p.m.

Poinsettia Orders: The poinsettias are $15 each. Please fill out your poinsettia order form and place it in

the offering plate or drop it off at the office. There is an order form in the newsletter if you wish to use it.

You may also mail it to P. O. Box 490. The orders need to be in by December 11th. Please write

“poinsettia order” on the memo line of your check. Thank you!

Holly Day: Mason County 4-H Horticulture Present “Holly Day” on December 21st from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00

p.m. Kids will make and take a swag, centerpiece, wreath, and other crafts! Bring a plain sweater to participate

in decorating an ugly Christmas sweater activity. This event is free! Lunch provided will be pizza.

If your child has dietary restrictions please make alternate lunch arrangements for that child. Space is limited

to 10 youth ages 12+. Call 606-564-6808 and RSVP by December 15th.

The Session has purchased 10 journals. They are sitting on the back table in the sanctuary. In his sermon

in September, Pastor Jim suggested we keep an affirmation timeline, noting when we have received compliments,

won awards or were otherwise recognized. These journals are free for the taking.

The Christmas Joy Offering will be Sunday, December 17th during worship service. Please put “Joy Offering”

on the memo line of your check. Thank you!




Blessing BoxRotary Park (located near the playground) needs items such as toiletries, (soap, shampoo,tooth paste, etc); non-perishable food (canned, bagged, or boxed such as meat, vegetables, fruit, soup, etc.);drinks (no energy drinks); individual packaged food items; baby food, diapers, formula, etc.; toilet tissue,paper towels, band aids, etc.; new small clothing items such as hats, gloves, socks, etc.; cleaning supplies.

No sharp items (razors, scissors, etc.); no alcohol, tobacco products, chemicals, medications, and no used clothing. Thank you for your generosity!

There is a basket on the table in the back of the sanctuary with note cards, envelopes, pens, labels and
stamps. These cards will go to people on the prayer list and the homebound.

 If you know someone’s address on this list please give it to Gwen in the office so she can make labels with their name and address for your convenience. Thanks!

Click on puzzle to print

Click on the calendar to print.

Policy for Worship Service Cancellation Due to Bad Weather:  “First Presbyterian Church will almost always hold a worship service on Sunday morning.  The worship service will be cancelled when there is a Level Three Snow Emergency declared where only personnel are to use the roads.  On weekdays the church office and all church programs will also be cancelled when Level Three Snow Emergency is in effect.  During other storm conditions church members are advised to use caution and best judgment when determining whether to travel to church.” 

Over 200 families are served by the Mason County Food Bank each month. Please keep bringing non-perishable food donations each week to our basket in Fellowship Hall. Please also consider a financial contribution to Limestone Ministries, Inc. and/or the Mason County Food Bank, because despite regular food donations from area churches, food still needs to be purchased each month. Mason County Food Bank is the only one available since the Calvary Baptist Food Bank closed. Any non-perishable item will be accepted, but the most needed items are: spaghetti sauce, boxed spaghetti, macaroni & cheese dinners, dried beans, saltine crackers, cornbread mix, peanut butter, oats, cereal, canned soup, canned vegetables, and canned fruit. Cash donations are welcome also! If you write a check, please make it payable to the First Presbyterian Church and put ‘FOOD BANK’ on the memo line.