Advent Challenge 1 – 4

Hey-ho! I meant to blog every day about this but somehow I never quite managed it.

Kezzie pointed me towards the Bible Society’s Advent Challenge.

Spreading generosity and goodwill with our Advent calendar of good deeds You’re about to help your community rediscover the true meaning of Christmas. As you reach out to friends and neighbours, you’ll spread true love, hope, joy and peace. And you’ll reconnect with God and his word along the way…

It appealed to me as it seems similar to Stewardship’s 40 Acts, which I take part in, and blog about, each Lent. So here I am in Advent doing a similar thing….Each day there are three challenges to choose from. I suppose you could try to do all three, but I’m sticking with one.

DAY ONE: Be a Good Samaritan: We all like to think we’d help someone in trouble, but sometimes we feel too awkward or embarrassed to step in. We’d do anything for a friend, but what about a complete stranger? In the Bible story of the Good Samaritan, where Jesus urges us to ’love your neighbour’, he isn’t talking about our good friends next-door. Step out of your comfort zone and bless someone a bit different today

Together with 55.2% of the other Challenged people, I gave food to a homeless person. Well, I assume he was homeless, or, at least, short of money, as he sat outside the Casino supermarket with a paper cup…on one of the coldest days so far this year. I often buy him a Coca-Cola if I see him (as that’s what he asks for) but today I bought him a bag of shopping…Not that much: some bread, fruyit, meat and biscuits. And a litre of Coke!

but no cats were provided!

DAY 2: Shine A LightIn the Bible, Jesus calls his disciples to be ‘salt and light’, to reflect God’s light and his love in a hurting world. Let’s go out of our way today to brighten someone’s day, especially someone who is going through a difficult time.

27.5% of the participants took this challenge – buy someone flowers. Our friends Monique & Michel are very sad as their canine companion of 15 years died – not very peacefully. I bought them a plant for the garden, which flowers in December, so they can plant it in remembrance of Canelle their golden retriever.

DAY 3: Put Others First: We’re only human and so we naturally look after number one. Yet, the Bible calls us to put others first. In fact, it goes further and calls us to ‘consider others better than yourselves’. If we truly took that on board, how might we act differently? Think of ways today you can show humility and serve others. It doesn’t mean being a doormat: it means allowing more of God to shine through us.

78.4% of people took up the same challenge as me – Tidy up a shared living space. It was a bit of a cheat, as we had to do this anyway, but Mr FD & I spent most of Saturday cleaning the house. It was enormously dusty after the bathroom renovations (which are almost finished – huzzah!) so we did a fine job.

DAY 4: A Word of Encouragement: Today is a day to make other people feel great about themselves! Too often, in our world, gossip and point-scoring tear people down and make them feel small. Just pick up a newspaper and you’ll see. But the Bible urges us to use our words carefully, to build others up. And it promises that, when we choose to be encouragers, harmony and peace are the result. Give it a go and see how the mood changes.

19.7% of challengees chose with me to give someone a note of encouragement…Mine was to the Rector and his wife, thanking them for everything they do for our Church. It was anonymous though. They won’t know who it was…

I’m not blogging about doing these challenges so you all think Oh isn’t she wonderful… but just in the hope that you too might be inspired to make people’s lives a bit brioghter this Advent. It doesn’t matter if you’re of a religious bent or not, each action will bring some light into another person’s life. And if there’s one thing this world needs right now, it’s kindness and light and peace and all those good things.

do-not-be-dismayedn

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