Pray generously #40acts blog

Pray generously #40acts blog

This morning I am sitting on a 7th floor balcony in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.  It is a beautiful location with sun and sand and beautiful scenery.  I am also continuing my journey through Lent 2017 with the daily #40acts of generosity e-mails. On this journey through Lent, the 40acts continue to challenge me with doing and thinking about things that seem so sensible, but don’t often receive my attention as they should. The other morning I opened up my e-mail and found that prayer was the day’s topic: not really about how to pray as in “ACTS”(Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication), but in how to pray as in when and why, and in how to be generous with my prayers.  I thought that I was the only one who had trouble setting aside an hour in the morning to pray, or who wasn’t keeping a prayer journal listing every prayer I had ever made and tracking the results. I read about others and how they had worked to overcome prayer barriers in their lives: posting lists on the refrigerator, carrying 3×5 cards with names on them, praying as they walked step by step, consciously thinking of others, not just people they know, but strangers they pass as well. I got some good ideas that I am going to be able to incorporate into my prayer life as well. Have a great day, wherever you are, and keep on...
Chocolate Tuesday #40acts blog

Chocolate Tuesday #40acts blog

40 acts has been a bit easier the last few days.  We already have decided on a new charity to support for 2017, I wrote a note to my boss, thanking her for her support and leadership for the church, and I gave away chocolate! We do this as a church – we stand along a local street and hand out small chocolate bars to cars as they stop for the red light.  Last year it worked quite well, and we made lots of people happy as they headed home from work. The other day it was chocolate giveaway day on # 40 Acts, and I decided to try it myself. I was in Dollar Tree and saw Hershey bars on the rack as I was checking out, so I bought 4 of them.  After I paid, I took one of the bars and asked the cashier if she liked chocolate.  She said she did, so I offered her one of the bars.  She said no, but I persisted and she finally took it. Then I offered one to the person in line behind me, and she laughingly took it.  So did the lady in line behind her.  (That’s all there were in line.)  You could see and feel the positive effects in their smiling faces. The cashier said, “you are a kind man!”  I told them about 40 Acts and generosity and I left the store. Just as the door closed behind me, I heard one of the women say:  “He really is a kind man” I was tempted to eat the 4th bar, but I was visiting...
Unexpected Results #40acts blog post

Unexpected Results #40acts blog post

Unexpected Results We were driving into our condo community Saturday morning and saw lots of trash that had blown on the grass near the entrance.  As we drove up the street towards our condo, my wife said “they should have someone clean that up.”  I responded, “well, that’s today’s 40 acts – to help pick up litter and clean up the area – maybe we should do it.” Well, the day moved along and we got involved in all sorts of other things, including planning our vacation to Disneyworld later this month. About 2 o’clock my wife said that she was going to get her car washed.  I stayed home and continued planning our trip. She seemed to be gone for a long time, but I figured that everybody was having their car washed today, and she would be home soon. After a bit (I don’t know how long a “bit” is) the garage door opened and she said “didn’t you wonder where I was?”  I told her that I wasn’t worried, because everybody was having their car washed today, and I knew it would take a long time. She said, “I came home, put my boots on, and picked up the trash!  The bag is in front of the garage.  Would you take care of it?”  I thought, she sure took today’s 40 ACTS to heart….but, what did I do? Can you imagine how I felt? I’m still working at it as the journey through Lent continues. #40 acts – give it a try!...
changing thoughts and actions #40acts blog

changing thoughts and actions #40acts blog

I have to admit that #40acts is a challenge.  Every day there is something new to think about, and many, if not all of the Acts require changes in thinking or acting, and that’s not always easy. Day 1 got me praying for guidance on how to live a “generous life”. On Day 2 I made plans to keep a blanket and some $ 1 dollar bills in my car. Day 3 was all about helping or doing something in our community.  Faith is doing that as well.  I am still thinking about who and where to give “extra” support. On Day 4 I enjoyed an electronic-free day, interacting with several old and new friends at Faith’s spring congregational retreat. On Day 5 I realized that I know someone in prison, and I have blocked calls from the jail where he is awaiting trial because he is asking for money.  I have added him to my daily prayer list, and I have contacted his sister see if I can do anything. Day 6 made me actively concentrate on what others were saying.  I found that it worked really well. Day 7 made me conscious of differences in the backgrounds and ages of people I encounter.  There are things I can do when I am with them.  Whether it be in exercise class passing a ball back and forth with an 86 year old or making goo-goo eyes with an eight-month-old as I talked to her mother in line at COSTCO, I can offer a smile, a compliment, or a kind word to anyone.  Actually getting involved with someone from a...