I am going to attempt to blog more regularly in 2021 and therefore each Friday will be releasing a blog post. These scribblings will include something I have read, something I have listened too and an interesting idea. This is both an attempt to offer you, my lovely reader, some new ideas but also to keep me accountable. It is very easy to settle into a pattern of watching the latest TV and not striving to learn. Yet, the most important thing we can do is experience new ideas.
So, in an attempt to keep me learning please indulge me and maybe you too will learning, or uncover, something new too.
Something I have read
This week I have been reading atomic habits by James Clear. This is a great book for anyone who wants to achieve their goals and make sustainable changes in their life. I am only partway through as it is quite a slow read if you want to really address the issues discussed. This week I have been thinking about the habits that form my daily routine.
James Clear argues that one of the main challenges to changing habits is maintaining the awareness of what you are doing. Clear recommends making a list of your daily habits and putting a +, -, or = sign next to each one. The “+” recommends positive habits, i.e. taking a shower, the “-” equates to negative habits, i.e. checking your phone when you get up, and the “=” sign reflects neutral habits like getting up.
I definitely recommend atomic habits to anyone who wants to make a positive change to their life in 2021.
Something I have listened too
Every few months I like to change up the routine of my daily quiet time. Last year I was working through the Bible in a year and tended to read chunks of scripture in my quiet time. At the start of January I picked up the app “Lectio 365” which is a great prayer app that you can listen too where ever you are. It’s a great one for the commute, for the kitchen sink, or sat at your desk. The app tends to take a theme for the week, or a longer period, and the daily prayer time uses that “theme” as its structure.
The app is currently looking at the Beatitudes from Matthew 5 so each day you are offered a time to pause, a piece of scripture to reflect on and a time then to pray. Each “episode” is only about 10 minutes so it truly is a great way to start the day with God!
An interesting Idea
Those of you who know me well know that I have a real love of coffee, in fact I am drinking a coffee as a write this, so I thought it would be interesting to learn a bit more about caffeine this week and see what effects it has on the human body.
While reading some interesting articles I stumbled across a piece of research which suggests that caffeine can help improve Bee’s memory. Researcher’s found that caffeine, which in high doses, can be poisonous to all animals, is, in small amounts, helpful in improving the memories of bees. In fact, in one study, it was found that the reward is such that caffeine can pharmacologically manipulate the behaviour of pollinators and reward them by improving their memories of which plants to return too.
The study may not have impacted my consumption, but at least I learnt something new!
A prayer from the week
This week the Church has celebrated the Epiphany. It has remembered the visit of the Magi to the Christ child. In a week where authority figures have caused great chaos, and demanded to be worshiped, it is good to remember that it was not the Jewish leaders who first worshiped Jesus but foreign travellers. I wonder what that could teach us about our lives and worship.
who by the leading of a star
manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth:
mercifully grant that we,
who know you now by faith,
may at last behold your glory face to face;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Collect for the Epiphany,
Church of England, Common Worship