This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

40 Days of Decrease: A Different Kind of…

40 Days of Decrease: A Different Kind of Hunger. A Different Kind of Fast.

by Alicia Britt Chole

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
221685,705 (4)None



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Summary: A collection of 40 readings, reflections, and different kinds of fasts that encourage us to "thin our lives to thicken our communion with God."

I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I first looked at this book. Would this be a collection of cheesy meditations and gimmicky ideas of what one might fast from? Having walked through the book, I would confess myself pleasantly surprised, as well as personally stretched, by the meditations, reflections, and ideas Alicia Britt Chole gives us in these pithy, thousand word entries, designed specifically for the season of Lent, but usable at any time of the year.

Each one of the days is designed as follows: a meditation focused around the journey of Jesus to the cross, a brief reflection, which leads into the fast of the day. These are followed by a more scholarly piece on the history of the Lenten fast, around which this book is organized. There is then a reading for the day taken from a passage in John 12 to 21 (consecutively) and room for one's own reflections to be jotted down.

In the introduction to the 40 days, Chole writes, "As we experience this sacred season and the holiness of loss and less in Jesus' journey cross-ward, may our hearts open vulnerably to a greater commitment to love and be loved by the Savior." The aim of the "decreases" of the different fasts she proposes is an increase in our hunger for communion with God.

While she does include some of the more expected kinds of fasts from food, from speaking, and from sound, she also proposes a number of "fasts" one might not consider but in fact open us up to encountering God in new ways. For example, early on she encourages fasting from regrets for a day, recalling that our gospel hope is that Christ is "making all things new." Another day, she challenges us to fast from "religious profiling" that underestimates the spiritual potential of certain groups of people. Another day, we are encouraged to fast appearances, and the ways we inflate or deflate, exaggerate or conceal who we are and come to Jesus to help us understand why we do this. I liked one of the later fasts, as one engaged in ministry, which was fasting from "God as job", which involves "taking care of Jesus' stuff but not attending to his voice."

One of the last fasts was one of the most powerful. On Day Thirty Nine, we are encouraged to fast "guarding the tomb" of our past sins, shameful acts, and dead things. She encourages us that in rolling the stone away from such "tombs" that the grave is empty, forgiven by the Risen Lord who "is not here."

The short pieces at the end, most of which focus on the history of Lent and how this came to be a forty day period related to the preparation of baptismal candidates, are quite informative. Providing a daily reading in John's passion narrative leaves room for God to speak and meet us in the gospel narrative. All told, what Chole gives us are carefully crafted meditations and reflections, "fasts" that uncover many of the unhelpful attachments that accrete in our lives, and space to decrease that He might increase in our lives.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ( )
  BobonBooks | Apr 10, 2016 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0718076605, Paperback)

“What are you giving up for Lent?” we are asked. Our minds begin to whirl: Chocolate? Designer coffee? Social media? Forty days later, some feel disappointed in their efforts (it was a limited-time blend . . . ), some feel surprised by their success (didn’t even miss it . . . ), but perhaps precious few feel spiritually renewed.

Can such fasts alone truly prepare us to celebrate Easter? Or any other chosen time of reflection during the year?

Or could it be that before we can be duly awed by resurrection, we need to daily honor crucifixion?

40 Days of Decrease emphasizes a different type of fast. What if you or your church fasted comparison? What if your family fasted accumulation? What if your office fasted gossip

40 Days of Decrease guides readers through a study of Jesus’ uncommon and uncomfortable call to abandon the world’s illusions, embrace His kingdom’s reality, and journey cross-ward and beyond.

Each daily, 1000-word entry will include

a devotional based on Jesus’ cross-ward life; a reflection question to guide journaling or group discussion; a fast to inspire a tangible response; a thought-provoking Lenten quote; a sidebar into the historical development of Lent.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 21 Jan 2016 15:35:22 -0500)

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4)
4 1

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 131,801,728 books! | Top bar: Always visible