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  • 40 Acts - Day 22

    This Lent is hurtling past at a somewhat alarming pace!  I suspect the relentlessly full days are contributing to that, but mostly I am enjoying what I'm doing  and it does seem to be reasonably productive! 

    Today is a bit self-indulgent - snatching back some 'me' time, having a lie-in (for as long as the kitties would allow), enjoying a few treats and catching up on a few jobs (only I could knock over a full bucket-size mug of tea onto a beige carpet, and will shortly commence the third attempt to remove the stain!).

    So it made me smile that today was about 'time' and giving of 'time... see what you think:


    Time is money – or is it more precious than that? Giving your time and talents to a cause or to someone because they need some help, moral support, company or just plain because can be priceless. Whether it’s a whole day or an hour, this act is about blessing others with the gift of your time.


    HIGH 5:

    Book five minutes into your daily schedule now and commit to give that time to someone who needs it. Perhaps your family, a friend, or even more time in prayer.



    Got behind with 40acts? Take 30 minutes today and whizz back through some that you’ve missed. You’ll be surprised at how generous you can be in 1800 seconds


    DONATE A DAY: What could you do for someone with a whole day? Could you book one day’s annual leave this year and spend it helping others?

  • 40 Acts - Day 21

    And it's Red Nose Day, which I have supported since it began way back when (have cupboards full of noses and oodles of mugs.  Way back when I even bought the cohange tomato teeshirt in C&A!!)

    Anyway, dor day 21 we are invited to be silly, to make someone laugh, to have a laugh ourselves... hopefully this photo will bring a smile to my readers (clearical shirt for a bit of officialdom later today!)



    Remember being told ‘Don’t be so silly’ as a kid? Well here’s your excuse to ignore that instruction. Hurrah! This act is about the generosity of laughter – whether it’s raising a smile with a wry observation, cracking a corny joke or donning a daft outfit – we make life a little lighter with humour.


    Crack a joke. Cheese jokes are our favourite (they’re brie-lliant!). Send it by twitter/facebook/snapchat/email/text or the good old-fashioned telephone, and make a friend smile.


    It’s Red Nose Day so go on – buy and wear a red nose. You’ll be donating to a good cause and looking ridiculous all at once! How long can you put up with one?


    Go all out and either organise a fundraising event or host a last-minute Red Nose party. Invite yourfriends, neighbours and colleagues to a comedy-themed meal with mandatory red noses.



    They ask how long you can wear a red nose for... in my case just long enough to take the photo, wearing it actually makes me gag :-)

    Speaking of gags, here's a cats and cheese joke...

    What happened after the cat ate the cheese?
    It waited by the mousehole with baited breath


  • Lack of news

    Of late, this blog has consisted almost entirely of 40 Acts posts.  Life has been busy to point of stupidity - last week I worked around 70 hours in five days, this week I've already done about 24 in two.  It's not sustainable and there's no sense that this level of madness will continue.  It does, however, mean that in the short term I am not posting much here... normal drivel will be resumed as soon as possible.  In the meantime, here's a cat photo!!


  • 40 Acts - Day 20

    I have a feeling that the degree of challenge in this one will depend to quite a degree where a person is from - reserved English southerners will find it more demanding than those from the northern English cities; Weegies will find it more natural than those from Reekie.

    Talking to poeple we don't know... saying hello or goodbye to people in shops, chatting to peopple in waiting rooms or on buses... for some it's easy for others it's terrifying.

    So here are today's options:

    As children we are always taught to be wary of strangers. But when does that change? Stranger Danger is real, but so are the opportunities that we miss when we block the world out. After all, friends were once strangers and you never know where life may lead after starting up that initial conversation.


    Try stepping out of your comfort zone and speaking to one new person today. It might be someone new to a forum online, your supermarket cashier, a bus driver, or a colleague you haven’t spoken to before.



    Make an effort to deepen the relationship you have with people you see every day but don’t really know: shopkeepers, bus drivers, postal staff, office cleaners. Ask their names, share a story or two, and take some time to find out a little bit more about them.



    If this challenge ticks your box, try and spend as much time as you can talking to strangers. Strike up a conversation in an unusual place – like a tube carriage, a GPs waiting room or a lift. Make the awkward less awkward. Watch this video for inspiration.

  • 40 Acts - Day 19

    This is one I find pretty challenging - simply because the logistics are more complex than other days and the responsibiltiy to get it right very great.  Writing to a stranger - how do you avoid being patronising or simplistic?  How might words be misread?  So in one sense I'm going to wimp out and do the 'green' option.  The reality is that I already give a few hours a month as as support volunteer for women affected by primary breast cancer - helping to normalise their experience, reassure them and if necessary journey with them through part of their treatment.  This support, by phone or email is both demanding and rewarding, is easily fitted in around my church responsibilties and allows me to 'give back' which I find important.

    Anyway, here's the challenge - see what you make of it and how you might do or adapt any of it:


    Today we've chosen two groups of people who could do with being remembered. Prisoners: isolated because of their own wrongdoing. Victims of domestic abuse: isolated because of someone else’s. Both groups need to know they aren't forgotten, or lost. We've all been given grace, and today we're extending that grace and friendship elsewhere.



    If you can't get a letter of encouragement to someone today, spend five minutes praying for them instead.



    Write a simple letter to a prisoner or a family in a refuge. Make it encouraging, positive and genuine.



    Write a letter and then either commit to writing a letter each month or search for a domestic abuse charity or prison intervention programme and set up a monthly direct debit to support them.