I am pleased to share my first book review with you. This review is for Alicia Britt Chole’s 40 Days of Decrease: A Different Kind of Hunger, A Different Kind of Fast. With Lent starting on February 14th this year, I wanted to review this just in time for anyone who may want to purchase it.
In October 2016, I had the privilege of attending a women’s conference where Dr. Alicia Britt Chole was the keynote speaker. She shared on the topic of “Selah” and spoke of ways we can interpret the term in our daily walk with God. Her gentle yet dynamic speaking style captivated me. This unique presentation manner caused me to lean in with heart and ear to hear what God wanted to say through her.
I purchased her book, 40 Days of Decrease: A Different Kind of Hunger, A Different Kind of Fast because I was so impressed by her teaching and unique style of oration. This wise, quiet woman was unlike anyone I had heard before. I would soon discover that her reflections on Lent would also be wildly different.
The book focuses on each of the 40 days of Lent as an individual opportunity to reflect upon and abstain from something, instead of a “blanket fast” such as giving up sweets or Facebook for the season. Working through this book really was work, forcing me to confront my own habits and attitudes as I prayed and studied. The setup is interactive, inviting the reader to jot down reflections on the pages. I love keeping a journal of what God is speaking to me and what I’m feeling so that I can return to it later, so this book was perfect.
My sister and I read it last year, along with a friend from church. We were constantly texting one another over the course of the 40 days with our “mind blown” thoughts about it. I’ve never had such a meaningful fasting period during Lent because this book challenged me to burrow well below the surface into the heart and soul. The Holy Spirit used it to convict me and minister to my weary heart.
Some of her sample “fasts” include:
- Day 2 – Regrets
- Day 10 – Avoidance
- Day 18 – Appearances
- Day 26 – Comparison
- Day 30 – Self-Confidence
Every morning, as I read the entry for the day, I found myself at once challenged and uplifted. Her direct approach to each issue, always supported by scripture and conveyed with encouragement, invigorated me. I’m so grateful for this book and plan to make it a regular part of my Lenten reflections each year. It’s worth noting that you can do this study any time of year. It is great for when you feel overwhelmed and just need to create some spiritual breathing room.
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As you prepare to draw nearer to God during Lent, I highly recommend this book. Use it as a tool to reflect deeply and truly delve into the places within that may need clearing out and tending. You can click the above link in this post to find out more information about the book and how to order it. It is available in paperback and for Kindle. I pray it blesses you as much as it did me.