Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blessing Bags

A blessing bag? What is it? What do you put in it?

This is not my idea. I got it doing last year's Happy Day Project and Julie got it from Leslie. Phew! (But I wanted to make sure I gave credit where it was due.)

It is a ziploc bag, usually gallon sized filled with small useful items that you can stash in your car to give when you come upon a homeless person. Or a person holding a cardboard sign. Or a person in need. (Who gets to decide this? Read tomorrow.)

I started with the ideas given by Julie and Leslie and have over time added more things. So much more that I need to get wide-bottom bags to put everything in! 

Just give less.

Oh, I'm sorry. But I dare you to look into a man's eyes. A man who could be your father's age. A man, if your father's age, might have been married once. Might have had children. He could have a child your age. Was definitely somebody's son. Then tell me, could you give less. Wait, I'm getting into tomorrow's post.

Get a bigger bag if you need to.

Ideas of what to put in a blessing bag
  • applesauce or fruit cup
  • raisins
  • granola bar
  • bag of nuts
  • bottled water
  • tic tacs
  • washcloth
  • soap
  • toothpaste
  • toothbrush
  • mouthwash
  • kleenexes
  • hand sanitizer
  • comb
  • deodorant
  • shampoo
  • chapstick
  • hat 
  • gloves
  • socks
  • first aid kit
  • small stationary
  • postage stamps
If it were summer, I would leave out the hat and gloves but then I read somewhere to put in sunglasses. I haven't done that yet. 
My friend, Lisa, has also given a magazine our church put together of God stories. Stories of people who were lost, in despair, going down the wrong path and how God intersected their lives and changed them forever. How awesome is that?

There are times when I have seen someone and not had a bag in the vehicle I was in. And I wished I was more prepared. There is a way. It's called GIFT CARDS!! Gift cards to Wal-Mart, a favorable grocery store, McDonalds or other restaurant. Why Wal-Mart? Why McDonalds? Because that's where homeless people go.

This is how I know. I love, Love, LOVE shopping at Target! If you are Target fanatic, you understand me. But when I started looking out for needy people- physically needy people- to help, I didn't find them at Target. I saw them in Wal-Mart. (Though plenty of other types of needy people shop at Target.) It might be a different place in your town. I urge you to pick up a gift card or two and stash them in your wallet. It will make a difference.

Isaiah 58. So, so much is wrapped up in this one chapter that it's hard for me to not just put the whole thing on here! Go ahead and read the whole thing on your own. But here is just a snippet. 

Isaiah 58: 9b, 10
If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

I didn't put these in to Bible beat you; to guilt you into doing this. I want it to be encouraging to you. These five action commands can be worked out in so many ways. Filling and giving blessing bags or gift cards is just one way. A very doable way.  

So, what are you thinking of this whole idea? Have you done this before? What other items would you add?     


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Thanks for reading. Kind comments are always welcomed!