Continuing from here, the “40acts challenge” to do Lent generously.

(In red was what the challenge said to do and in blue was what crossed my mind when I read it…followed by what I actually did do)

act #16: organise a swap

Kung Fu Panda, The King’s Speech, True Grit and Happy Feet. All (in one’s opinion) excellent films that we have enjoyed recently. Like all good things, films are better when shared. Gather together all of the pre-loved DVDs, books and CDs that are gathering dust on your shelves, crack open some Pringles and lemonade, and host a swap. Charge a £2 entrance fee, and donate the proceeds to your favourite charity. Double win! Today’s challenge is to think creatively about ways in which you can show your generosity through fundraising. Whatever you do, keep it simple and give the money to a charity you want to support.

Fundraising – exactly what I’m doing!

What I actually did do:

SCB Half Marathon next Sunday! I’ve signed up for the Run and during the month I’ve been collecting donations for the Pengiran Muda Mahkota Al-Muhtadee Billah Fund for Orphans (DANA) and Standard Chartered Bank’s Seeing Is Believing programme. Oh and, I’m also putting the same amount raised for this fundraiser into my giving jar (read act #1), which will go to the church on Palm Sunday tomorrow!

Verdict: Done, and done (act# 1)

act #17: make an emergency kit

What’s in your emergency kit to give away? Keep an emergency breakdown kit in your car (torches, high-vis vests, blankets, signs will do), an emergency make-up kit in your desk (for the moments when your female colleague has a meltdown in the office loo), or even a small first aid kit in your bag. Take a white umbrella to a wedding if it looks like it might rain – the bride’s mum will thank you later. Be prepared; it’s not the Scouts’ motto for no reason. Being a Good Samaritan is about making the effort to have the resources available when a need arises. Loving our Neighbour has practical implications as well as spiritual. How can you equip yourself to be a good Samaritan today? What items could you carry around to make a difference for someone in need? Share your ideas on the 40acts Facebook page:

Well, since I’m giving up Facebook for Lent, I’ll just share mine here.

What I actually did do:

I’ve been carrying mini tissue packets, a pack of wet wipes, a pen & a small bottle of ointment (for any pain and itches etc) and let me tell you, ALL have been pretty handy!

Verdict: Done

act #18: share a good joke

What did the ironing board say to the iron? “You’re hot”.

Why is laughter so important? I am told that laughter helps our social lives, reduces stress and releases health-giving endorphins which also relieve pain. Apparently laughing 100 times equals 10 minutes on a rowing machine or 15 minutes on an exercise bike! And it lifts depression. In fact children laugh up to 300 times a day, adults just 20 times. Maybe one change this Lent is that we learn to laugh more, to cultivate this rich gift God has made part of being human. We are not just telling a joke, we are celebrating the life God has given us. Why not learn a joke or a funny story that you can share? Post your favourite groan-inducers on our Facebook page:

Again, I’ll just share mine here.

What I actually did do:

Let me share with you a story. One day, me & some friends were gathered in the Bishop’s kitchen and our Parish Priest walked in. He was showing us his new toy – the new Motorola phone. Then he started to give us a homily on how Motorola is more than a mobile phone, that it is THE mobile phone when others use computers (iP….) and televisions (Sam….) as phones. At that time, another friend was talking on the kitchen’s cordless phone a little way behind him. He rolled his eyes, and with a playful grin on his face, took the “body” of the phone on the kitchen counter, waved it in front of her and said, “Hey, you forgot your casing.”

Verdict: Done

act #19: love your bags

Next time you visit the supermarket, do your bit for the environment and say “no” to plastic bags. Reuse and recycle the ones that you do have so that they don’t end up in landfill. Try and avoid the disposable carrier bag trap. Get some re-useable shopping bags. Keep one or more of them in your car; keep another one in your handbag (men – you’re excused that bit!) and give them to your friends. Then use them. They are an easy way to reduce waste, conserve resources and make a statement for God’s very good creation. Make a pledge not to pick up anymore plastic bags for the rest of Lent. Take some with you, reuse ones in your house, have a pile handy at home and a stack in your car. Say ‘no’ to plastic bags.

We have no plastic-bag weekends here so I’ll just extend them to weekdays too. 

What I actually did do:

I don’t carry re-usable shopping bags with me but when I do go shopping, I just literally carry the items with my hands instead of using the plastic bags so…

Verdict: Done

act #20: be polite on the road

It’s so easy to be selfish when we’re driving, wanting to get to our destination as quickly as possible, and getting annoyed with others who drive in a different way or at a different pace, or who in some sense get in our way. But, of course, when we choose to act like Jesus – to show kindness instead of selfishness, gentleness instead of annoyance, patience instead of impatience, it can change our experience of a situation – even driving! Even if the responses of other drivers to our actions remain hidden (you may get a wave or a flash of the indicators), it’s not hidden to God – and, let’s face it, it does tend to make our journeys feel a whole lot better!

These are pretty cool!

I forsee this to be quite a challenge…but do-able.

What I actually did do:

I had to really keep my cool with other road drivers – a very good practice if one wants to learn about patience & unselfishness. I plan to continue with this particular challenge even after Lent. Godspeed!

Verdict: Done

So there you have it, 20 acts – we’re halfway there!

And acts 21 to 25 will be published tomorrow. Stay tuned! ;)

40 days, 40 reflections, 40 simple acts…