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Saturday, February 6, 2016

40 Days of Decrease

40 Days of Decrease by Alicia Britt Chole "invites readers to walk with Jesus through the holy decrease of less and loss that led Him cross-ward and beyond. Each day offers a meaningful consideration of Jesus’ journey through reading and reflection and then issues a challenging daily fast. Instead of social media, chocolate, and designer coffee, 40 Days of Decrease calls communities to a Lenten fasting of apathy, injustice, resentment, hypocrisy, and more for the love of God."

Like the advent season leading up to Christmas, Lent is the season leading up to Easter. A quick Google search explains that 
"Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means "spring." The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.
Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others."

While we often sacrifice something we enjoy for those 40 days in solidarity with Jesus sacrifice for us (it's often sweets, caffeine, etc.) I love the idea that Chole brings to us in this book on giving up more - and focusing on different fasts each day. Topics such as regrets, sorrow, stinginess (for example, day 13 which deals with stinginess asks us to seek an opportunity to be irrationally lavish toward someone who cannot possibly return the favor). 

Each day "features a devotional based upon Jesus' life, guidance for reflection, suggested daily fasts, an inspiring quote for prayerful meditation, an optional and somewhat academic sidebar chronicling the historical development, practices, and images of Lent, and a suggested Scripture reading with journaling space."

While the season of Lent is often only celebrated by Catholics and Protestants, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to take some special time each day starting on Ash Wednesday (this coming Wednesday!) until Easter to grow closer to God and learn to be more like Him as we decrease our wishes and lean upon His.

This book was given to me by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. 

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