Act 28: Clear the Diary by Roy Crowne
Wipe your schedule so that you can serve others. Take a break from your own to-do list, and let other people’s needs drive your day.
Verse of the day:
“…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
(Matthew 25:40 NIV)
Wipe your schedule for an hour to serve someone at home.
Wipe your schedule for part of the day: message someone and say, ‘I’m free between X and Y and I’m happy to help with anything you need to do.’
Wipe your schedule for a whole day! Fill it entirely with others’ needs (one person or lots of people). See how much serving you can fit in!
What did I do?
We were on a family holiday visiting friends the day this arrived so it was a tricky one. I watched and waited for an opportunity. I washed their dishes whilst they had a lie in but was struggling to find other opportunities to serve. The opportunity came a couple of days later and I was able to complete this task. Green complete and partly yellow. Not bad considering we were on holiday.
Act 29: Anything Else by Alex Elsaesser
Today we’re looking at going that extra mile to change someone’s life. What can you do to lavish generosity on those who ask you for something? Matthew 5:40–42 tells us that if we’re asked for our shirt, we need to hand over our coat as well, and if we’re asked to go one mile, we should go two. Today’s challenge could change your life as well as someone else’s.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
(Romans 15:13 NIV)
Only one option today:
There’s only one action today. How far can your generosity go? Is there anything else you can do?
What did I do?
I won’t detail who, what or why this came about as we agreed to be legal guardians for two children in the event of the parents death. This conversation took place on the day I received this act. God’s timing is perfect.
Act 30: Yikes by Ruth Leigh
That sharp intake of breath as you decide to do something truly generous, as you click donate, as the notes leave your hand. Maybe you’re getting used to that feeling this month. But what if that wasn’t just a one-off moment? What if it was an invitation into a sacrificial lifestyle? Today, take the hit. Gulp, and click donate – on a monthly direct debit or pledge that takes some real sacrificial giving.
“In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations…”
(2 Corinthians 8:2–5 NIV)
Renew an old giving pledge that you let go by the wayside.
Look at causes or people you already give to. Can you increase your giving by 1, 5 or 10%?
Make a brand-new sacrificial gift.
What did I do?
I find the concept of sacrificial giving and giving beyond our means an extremely difficult one as a retired insolvency professional. For over 25 years I have dealt with people who have lived beyond their means and become unstuck due to an unexpected life event. It causes untold misery; children, marriages and family relationships all suffer and usually the family home is at stake. So reading an email telling people to step out in faith and give more than they can afford goes against everything I know – and of course is a huge step of faith. It is also difficult (read: impossible) trying to explain sacrificial giving to my non believing husband.
I looked at the options and I knew I could complete them without it being ‘too’ sacrificial but that wasn’t the point of today’s challenge. Also I needed to give cheerfully and not in a sense of obligation either.
I decided to dive in at the deep end and go with the red option. I looked up Derby City Mission. They organise a churches night shelter, run by volunteers, in winter as well as debt counselling, street pastors and a food bank. I have dealt with people throughout my career who have had to access all of these services (nationwide) and in this day and age I think it is scandalous that such services have to exist – but I won’t start in that hobby horse here.
Derby City Mission is currently fundraising for ‘Boredom Busters’ to give addicts something else to do. Their landing page on the internet takes you straight to the donation page. “Of course it does” I thought. God knew where I was going. So I had a figure in mind but the donation options didn’t have that – nope, just 50% more than I had planned to give. “Of course it does” I thought again. I proceeded with the donation and right at the end it asks to add in a little extra to cover the processing fee as well. I laughed. Give more than you planned and give more than that. Yup that is sacrificial giving. I clicked to cover the processing fee and donated. Job done. God created the sense of humour and He was enjoying this I’m sure!