October is a special time for the Bladen Journal. It’s the one month each year that we open our doors to those in our county who are generous and have a true servant’s heart for those who are less fortunate and in need.
With cooler weather on its way, the Bladen Journal has kicked off its fifth annual Roger’s Wish project, which urges folks to donate new or gently used blankets and sleeping bags so that, in early November, they can be offered to those in the area who could use a little warmth.
And there are many out there.
We still recall the story told by former Bladen Baptist Men’s Missions Director Bruce Cannon, who said he had witnessed many children who were forced to sleep on concrete slabs with the thinnest of blankets under them. That story, and others like it, break out collective hearts.
Roger’s Wish was sparked back in 2013 by our friend, Roger Grunder, a homeless man who couldn’t do enough for others. His life’s journey was cut short by a car accident just hours after he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior, but his vision for a blanket and sleeping bag drive to assist the county’s needy was kept alive in his memory.
Roger spoke with Bladen Journal GM/Editor W. Curt Vincent numerous times about the idea and his reasons for it — at times those talks included scriptures from the Bible on why folks should give to those in need. We feel those are appropriate here, in case you might need a gentle nudge:
— Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. (Proverbs 19:17)
— Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:16)
— In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Acts 20:35)
— Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)
— But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? (1 John 3:17)
And finally, there was a favorite of Roger’s, probably because it was a guide for his quiet yet strong compassion toward those in need. He never planned for the drive to bear his name — we did that. The scripture reads:
— Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:1-4)
There are many other scriptures in the Bible that focus on the importance of giving. We hope you will heed those calls to be generous — round up friends, family, co-workers, church groups, youth groups and make October a month-long challenge to give.
Blankets and sleeping bags can be dropped off at the Bladen Journal office Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Oct. 31.
We feel certain that Roger is watching.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“When you open your heart to giving, angels fly to your door.” (Unknown)