Done with Acts 26 to 30 so now the “40acts challenge” countdown begins!

(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)

TEN!

act #31: listen well

‘Well I think that…’  ‘In my opinion…’  ‘My feeling is that…’

It’s nice to feel heard. The first rule of most relationships is good communication – but that requires speaking and listening. Make a point of zipping up and opening your ears instead of your mouth. And be on the lookout for those around you who might need someone to talk to today. Resist the urge to give advice unless it’s welcome, and just provide a sympathetic ear to someone in need.

Isaiah 50:4 “I listen like one being taught.” Sadly we live in a world where we have forgotten to listen well to others. I reckon that at least once in every person’s life they need to tell their story and know that they have been heard. By allowing someone to tell their story you are giving them a gift – one which is beyond price. Make a point of providing someone with your undivided attention. Turn off your phone, remove any other distractions and really try to focus on the person you are speaking to. Acquire the skill of listening well and then give it away as a gift so that others can get an opportunity to tell their stories.

I am not that much of a talker, so by default I should be a good listener…

What I actually did do:

I put it a more conscious effort to be more attentive when people are talking to me. I do my best and give them undivided attention & if I did find my thoughts wandering, I was quick to bring them back to the person in front of me.

Verdict: Done

NINE!
act #32: make a cake
Flour, eggs, butter, sugar and a whole lot of love. That’s the recipe sure to put a smile on someone’s face. Of course, it isn’t the only recipe. Make whatever your speciality is, and then give it away. The example was set by Jesus. He went much further than the extra mile. He went to the sinner, the stranger, and the outcast. He showed us the greatest act of hospitality, kindness and generosity, when He invited all us sinners, strangers and outcasts to receive His free gift of salvation. A time is coming when Jesus will take us to His Father’s house, where it will not be possible for us to outstay our welcome. And now you have a recipe too, so follow it, bake it and show hospitality today!

Bake? *Gulps!*

What I actually did do:

Thank goodness for the clause that doesn’t just limit it to baking! Unfortunately, too busy now with the prep for the Run & Easter coming up so I guess I can only do this after Easter…but I’m consider this as..

Verdict: Done

EIGHT!

act #33: steward your money
Stewardship of your money is a vital foundation for generosity. Are you in debt? Sit down today and make a plan of action. Never really thought about proper money-management before? Try a budgeting tool that encompasses charitable giving too. One of the best ways to be available to help others is to sort your finances out first. Many of us worry about money. We get caught up with the here-and-now, seduced by slick advertising and drawn into thinking that we ‘need’ a certain standard of living. And if recent economic events have shown us anything, surely it is how dangerous all this can become. When it comes to us and money, surely, as Christians, we are required to look towards the glories of eternal life rather than getting weighed down with the present? And if we really believe that God will meet all our needs, won’t that have a profound impact on the way we relate to money? The Bible reminds us of the importance of being good stewards of that which we have been given – including money. Good stewardship doesn’t just mean avoiding the sort of dangers listed above. It can mean taking a far bigger view of things: mirroring the very generosity that we have received from God, blessing others with our money and resources.
Put aside a whole hour to properly review your finances – or help a friend or family member examine theirs. Use the Budget Builder tool http://budgetbuilder.stewardship.org.uk to help you. You also could put aside time to review the charitable organisations which you support: should you give more, offer them other help or support other charities as well?

Not that much to begin with…

What I actually did do:

I do do my own budget now and then.

Verdict: Done

SEVEN!

act #34: power down
How much was your last electricity bill?  The truth is, burning fuels costs us both individually and globally. Flick the switch to show you care with Earth Hour – a global event organised by WWF (World Wildlife Fund). From 8.30pm on Saturday 31 March, Earth Hour is asking people to turn off their lights for one hour to raise awareness about climate change. Grab some candles and power down. Looking at the stars really puts us in our place (even in a large city!). Living without light, even for one hour, can help us remember our dependence on technology, and our waste of earth’s resources (think of all those empty lit-up office blocks). That’s why Earth Hour, organised by WWF, is such a great idea. Join the global ‘switch off’- to find out more go to earthhour.org.

Owh, it’s that time again?

What I actually did do:

Thanks to 40acts for reminding me of this hehe. Powered down alright!

Verdict: Done

SIX!

act #35: invest in someone
There are a lot of people in your community who have big (or small) dreams, and no way to make it happen. Investing in someone doesn’t just mean giving them money. Can you help them make a website? Show them how to use social media? Sit down with them and map out their ideas? Find someone to invest in today and make it a long-term thing. Give them support and let them know they can count on you. Over the past year, the press has bombarded us with more negative stories about young people – whether they are stories about gang crime, alcohol abuse or sexual promiscuity: young people rarely seem to get much positive press. Each young person has the opportunity to pitch an idea or project that will benefit others. It’s all because we said ‘we believe in you!’ Think about how you could invest generously into the young people that you know with ideas, belief and maybe even a small grant. May they then go on to demonstrate that same generosity. This year, let’s believe for some more good news stories about young people. Ask a young person how they would change the world and generously invest in their vision.
Mentor someone…in what?
What I actually did do:

I guess in some small way, I do invest in the youth in general since I’m involved in youth ministry.

Verdict: Done

Only 5 left!

Acts 36 to 40 of the “40acts challenge” will be published come Easter! ;)

40 days, 40 reflections, 40 simple acts…

HAVE A BLESSED LENT!

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