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    Living well in the New Year 

    Everyone, it seems, thinks about New Year resolutions.  Some maybe just think about it briefly, others make bold plans.  Most fail to change the routines and habits so the resolutions quickly fail and become just ideas.  Others …… ‘just do it!’

    There is a lot of ‘self help’ advice available.  One journalist recently heard a year’s worth of self help podcasts in a few days and discovered some interesting, simple truths, although any of us who read the Bible regularly could have saved her the trouble! ... see https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/05/i-listened-to-75-self-help-podcasts-in-10-days-this-is-how-much-they-helped  

    Some of the self help advice can be useful, such as recognising that many of the things we do or eat cause us to become dependant on them as they release dopamines in the brain.  These ‘feel-good’ chemicals are released as we take in whatever we are dependent on.  But “much like lab rats on cocaine, we just keep pushing the buttons that will give us another dose of pleasure.”  It is short term pleasure for long term trouble through dependency, whether it is on social media ‘likes’ or drugs or salty snacks or pornography or whatever ….Self help gurus don’t usually put it this way, but we know that anything we depend on becomes an idol, competing with God for first place in our lives.

    How do we come off such dependancies?  The self help advice from Dr Robert Lustig is interesting - Connect  with people and Contribute to the community, Cope by getting undisturbed rest and regular exercise and Cook so you know what is in your food!

    We would start with connecting with the power of God through prayer and scripture, but this is good, biblical advice! 

    And “author Tim Ferriss says the three habits common to a lot of successful people he interviewed in his book Tribe of Mentors were meditation, walking and keeping a journal.”  Again that sounds very like the human aspects of some advice Ps Steve has been urging on All Nations in his New Year preaching, not just this year but most years!

    So what it comes down to, in the end, if we want to live well and live free, is 

    - let’s connect with God in genuine friendship, 
    - listening and speaking with Him in the power of the Spirit 
    - through prayer and scripture in particular, and 
    - let’s connect with the community of those He is rooting us with in church 
    - so that we can be a blessing to the community outside.  

    Seems simple, doesn’t it?  Spirit - Word - Community!

    And a mix of natural and supernatural aspects - because God made us to be whole people,  naturally supernatural and supernaturally natural.

    But former US Navy Seal Jocko Willink has some good advice too: “Here’s the reality … that book isn’t going to write itself, those weights out in the gym aren’t going to move themselves ... Stop researching every aspect and debating the pros and cons – do it now. Get after it. Here. And now.”

    Spirit - Word - Community …… let’s ‘just do it!’ 

    Chris Horton, 06/01/2018