10 Questions to Ask Yourself
1. When I wake up on Resurrection Sunday morning, how will I be different?
2. From what do I need to repent?
3. Is there one particular sin in my life that repeatedly gets in the way of loving God with my whole heart or loving my neighbor as myself? How do I address that sin over the next 40 days?
4. Is there anyone in my life from whom I need to ask forgiveness or pursue reconciliation?
5. What distractions most commonly interfere with my time in prayer/Scripture?
6. What spiritual discipline do I need to improve upon or want to try?
7. What are some things in my life that I tell myself I need but I don’t?
8. Why am I giving this particular thing up? How does giving it up draw me closer to God and prepare me for Easter?
9. What am I going to tell myself when self-denial gets hard?
10. Is it necessary/helpful for me to share the nature my fast with others or should I keep it private?
10 Book Recommendations
1. 40 Days of Living the Jesus Creed by Scot McKnight
2. Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
3. The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
4. The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns
5. Following Jesus by NT Wright
6. Wondrous Encounters: Scriptures for Lent by Richard Rohr
7. Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ by Dallas Willard
8. A Place at the Table: 40 Days of Solidarity with the Poor by Chris Seay
9. Show Me The Way: Daily Lenten Readings by Henri Nouwen
10. Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter - Orbis Books
10 Creative Ways to Give Up AND Give Back
1. Choose to make water your only beverage for the 40 Days of Lent. Donate the money you save to an organization that provides healthy drinking water abroad. Examples include sponsoring water filtration systems for our Rwanda partnership or checking out bloodwater.org.
2. Eat porridge or rice and beans for a day (or for 40 days!) and donate the money you save to an organization that combats world hunger. (Ex: World Vision, Church World Service)
3. Give up eating out for 40 days and donate the money you save to an organization that combats world hunger.
4. Do a 40-day purge of all your excess stuff and donate the best of it to Goodwill or a local thrift store that benefits the needy in your community.
5. If you are giving up social networking (like Facebook and Twitter), commit the next 40 days to getting to know your neighbors better and meeting any needs you perceive.
6. Ladies – Give up your favorite beauty products for a month and make a loan to an organization such as kiva.org, which provides "microloans" for as little as $25 to help those trapped in international poverty begin a business.
7. If you are really brave, try living on $2 a day for 40 days, the way millions of families around the world live every day.
8. Give up your favorite little luxury purchases (chocolate, iTunes, magazines, books, shoes, specialty coffee, electronic gadgets, etc.) and send the money you save to an organization that provides help to the victims of the Haitian earthquake.
9. Write a list of 40 names for the 40 days of Lent. Every day of Lent, pray for and write a letter to one of those people.
10. Pray the news. Upon seeing or reading about tragic situations, pray for those affected and pray for our enemies.
10 Mediations--Spend time each day with these words; meditate upon them, take them as your own. (Don't have room to print these litanies or prayers, but they are easily found online!)
1. Psalm 51
2. Psalm 139
3. Isaiah 58
4. The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12)
5. The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)
6. Litany of Penitence
7. Litany of Humility
8. Prayer of St. Francis
9. Penitential Prayer of St. Augustine
10. Consider reading the Sermon on the Mount (alternating between Matthew’s account and Luke’s account) every day for the next 40 days.