I spent a whole bunch of time on Twitter and Facebook – some days probably more time then I should but there you go! I’ve seen #40acts being talked about but hadn’t really thought about getting involved – so technically I’m 4 days behind but hopefully I can catch up even if I don’t complete all 40 acts. Here are the first few and what I’ve done.
1) Create a Giving Jar
Let’s start with something simple and familiar: let’s find something to give up. Find a jar (or open up a note on your phone) and every time you forgo that coffee, that cinema trip, bus fare or whatever it is that will help sharpen your focus, put in the money saved. By the time Easter comes around, you’ll be able to give it all away to a charity or cause that has caught your attention.
I thought I had a jar in the kitchen that I could use but it seems to have vanished so for now I’m keeping a running total on my phone as suggested by 40Acts – I’ll try and get something tomorrow while I’m in town during Our Sidekick’s contact time. I’ve decided that my “collection” is going to go to The Fountain. Given that I very nearly bought chocolate in the canteen on Friday I think that makes it £1 to start with (canteen chocolate is expensive but sometimes it’s needed lol)
2) Cross a Social Divide
Reach out in friendship to somebody from a different background. It could be a neighbour whom you see but hardly speak to, a colleague, or somebody you meet at the shops. A smile goes a very long way; but you could also move on from the weather and sport to talk about their family, for example.
I think I kind of did this today. We had a ministry time after the service today at church, recently we’ve been having more people lying down in the spirit (is that the correct terminology?), the guest speaker was praying with one lady and I was stood behind her ready to catch her. She didn’t need catching in the end so I darted off to grab Our Sidekick and then go back to catching other ladies. When she’d finishing being prayed for I went to find her and gave her a massive hug. I also told her that her hair looked nice. She’s one of these ladies who always comes to church looking super fab and I don’t say it that she looks nice so I made the effort today and I think it made a difference (or at least I hope it did.)
3) Share Your Skill
Write down a list of things you enjoy doing. Then write how those things can have a positive impact on your church and community. Are you a people person? Set aside a few hours a week to be a ‘listening ear’ to friends. Play the guitar? Teach a young member of your church and they’ll lead thousands in worship during their life. Enjoy baking? Everyone loves free cake, go and bless them! Graphic designer? Brand a local community project, and create some flyers to increase publicity.
If you’d asked me last week then I could tell you about how I sat at my Mum’s Embroiderer’s Guild meeting with her, my Dad and her friend Kathy and we answered all sorts of IT questions about emails and sending photos. I tried to help a friend on Friday organising his email signature but it didn’t work. It then occurred to me. On Thursday I got a call from Caz – could I help one of the ladies at church by taking some pictures for a conference that’s being organised. Well erm yes I think so. So Thursday evening I got to church for band practice and there was the lady from church and we took some pictures. So there we do it! Ah ha! I shared my skill! (That means I’ve caught up but it’s now day 5 and so I could still be behind! It’s 2337 and I want to finish this post before I go to bed – then again it means that I have another blog post to write but that’s another story.
4) Grab a Cuppa
Seize the moment and this weekend, “invite some people who never get invited out (for a coffee or to your house for dinner), the misfits from the wrong side of (your) tracks.” Luke 14:13 MSG. Get to know your neighbours and ‘grab a cuppa!’
So this one was a bit hard. I guess getting cups of tea for my hubby doesn’t count. Does serving refreshments at church count? Well this one I think I am going to have to come back to. I’ll put a pin in it and get back to you.
5) Buy Fairtrade
Today will mark the beginning of Fairtrade Fortnight where organisations and charities aim to raise the profile of Fairtrade. Why not ensure that you buy one more Fairtrade item in your next shopping basket? Or perhaps you could hold a Fairtrade Big Brew to promote Fairtrade Companies.
Again this is a get back to you one because it’ll be in my next shopping basket. We have Fairtrade tea bags and Fairtrade bananas in our house anyway. We went food shopping on Friday and bought Fairtrade bananas so I guess that kind of counts because it is in Lent. BUT I’m not going to give up there because I can make a difference – I have the tendency to get peckish around 11ish so I think I might need to get some Geobars or something similar. Maybe even get some more Fairtrade bananas (BTW banana loaf is an awesome idea to make with the bananas when they are a bit squishy)