I didn’t know it was pot. Honestly.
My first memory of what it meant to be generous was when I was in the third grade and I gave the lady who lived across the street from us a bunch of pot plants. Not just potted plants, mind you, plants that were pot. We had so many of them and she seemed so grateful and pleased as she accepted them from me. Her name was Mrs. Foley and she proudly displayed them in her front window for all our neighbors to see. This was when I first discovered how good it feels to bless others with your abundance.
Here’s the rest of the story. A “friend” that my mom had been dating at the time decided he would go into the pot growing business and he needed a place to store his stock. He chose the utility room at the back of our house as the place to incubate his crop. Apparently, no one felt the need to clue me in as to what was going down. I came home from school and noticed that we had somehow acquired a plethora of plants in our utility room. I was blown away by how many plants we actually had and felt moved to be generous. I gathered up a bunch of them (there were in little containers) and headed across the street to my favorite elderly lady on our block. You already know what she did with them.
The next time my mom’s friend came over, he went ballistic. It didn’t take long for him to come after me. I explained that “yes” I had found them, and “yes” I had decided to share our bounty with my favorite neighbor lady (since she had none) and asked why he was so uptight and unwilling to share. It was then that I was informed what these plants were. I was ordered to march across the street and collect the plants. Mrs. Foley was kind, and she was confused. She had no idea what they were either. I was instructed not to tell her. To this day I am very glad she was not arrested for possession of narcotics. (God only knows what effect that would have had on her grandkids).
I’ve learned a couple of things about generosity since that day in the third grade. First, you should only give away things that are actually yours. Second, you should make sure that whatever you give away is legal. Third, it’s never fun to “take back” something once you’ve given it. And lastly, giving is still fun. Seriously fun. Blessing people who don’t have with something you do have is one of the most incredible acts humans get to experience. It’s a feeling like none other.
So, I want to invite you to personally experience the thrill of generosity yet again.
As a church, we are embarking on a Summer Compassion Project called “Blessing Bags for the Homeless.” It is our desire to bless the homeless community with provisions that will be of help and let them know that they are not forgotten. In fact, it’s our desire that all of us learn just how to interact with the homeless in a way that leaves all of us just a little bit better off. As a church, blessing others always proves to be a huge blessing to all of us.
Here’s the deal. Our desire is to hand out 10,000 blessings bags this summer to the homeless community of the valley. This campaign will begin on June 27th and conclude on August 1st. Here’s how it will work:
*On the weekend of June 27th we will be handing out gallon-sized Ziploc bags during all our worship services on all our campuses.
*Inside the bag is a list of things we are asking you to purchase and place inside this bag.
*We will then return these bags filled to the church on the weekend of July 19th.
*On Friday, July 24th, from 6:30-8:00 PM we will be collating all these bags and adding some additional things to them. One of the things that we will be adding is addition gift cards that our youth and children are spending their summer hours raising the funds for! How cool is that!
*On Saturday July 25th, and on Saturday August 1st, all of us will be invited to help distribute these bags to the homeless.
Caring about others is the best way to care about Christ. This is a chance for us to be the hands and feet of Christ. Many people will experience kindness and grace in a way we believe will be extremely meaningful. Please consider how you, your family, your friends and your neighbors can help pull this off! Together we can make a HUGE difference!
Normally, addictions are considered a bad thing—something to be avoided at all costs. But this preacher wants to encourage you to get addicted. Get addicted to being generous! Get hooked! It’s a feeling like none other! Trust me, God will be OK with this.