Let’s Talk Q1-Q3

Welcome to my new Bible study, “Let’s Talk about the Elephant in the Room – Gluttony.”  Each Saturday, I will post three questions that correspond with three chapters from my Christian fiction novel, “Elephant in the Room.”  Grab your Bible and a notebook and let’s get started.  Throughout the study, click on a Bible verse reference to read it on BibleGateway.com. Continue reading

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How to Make a Gift Bag for the Needy

Many people have asked me about the Gift Bags that the Harvey family put together to give away to needy people (described in Chapter 21 of my book, “Elephant in the Room.”).  I’ve been making them for years with my daughters and friends, so I’m happy to share some instructions with you.

Rather than try to write out detailed directions to assemble the bags, I have made a four-minute video with my friend Charlotte showing you How to Make a Gift Bag for the Needy!  CLICK HERE to view the video.

KH and Charlotte 10 17

Charlotte and I had a fun time together making a video about How to Make a Gift Bag for the Needy!

I hope you find that video helpful so that you will try making Gift Bags and give them away at the next opportunity.  For more information, I have also provided some free printed documents that you can download (just CLICK on each item below):

  1. a list of supplies, non-perishable food and hygiene items to fill the bag,
  2. sample information about services from our local Rescue Mission, and
  3. a copy of John 3:16 for children to color and tuck into the bag for encouragement .

Please comment below if you make and give away some Gift Bags.  Or share your ideas of how you can meet the needs of hungry and hurting people in your community.

Natural Disasters: What Can You Do?

Hurricanes.  Earthquakes.  Fires.  These natural disasters have dominated our attention lately.  Because they have hit close to home, those of us who dwell in safety right now are looking for ways to help others.

KH with Liana 1 far with book

That’s me – Kristen Harper – with the former Volunteer Coordinator for CHF, Liana Hofer.

I would like to highlight my favorite charity: Children’s Hunger Fund.  It was the model I used to write about food distribution to the needy in my Christian fiction novel, “Elephant in the Room.”  Since 1991, 97% of all donations have directly supported programs that serve suffering children and families.  CHF has received a score of 100% from Charity Navigator for accountability and transparency. (Source: childrenshungerfund.org/disasterrelief/)

Children’s Hunger Fund has an ongoing ministry to deliver hope to suffering children by equipping local churches for gospel-centered mercy ministry.  They accomplish this by distributing food and care items in Food Pak boxes to churches whose members personally deliver them to families to meet their physical needs, along with the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to meet their spiritual needs.  In the wake of the recent natural disasters, CHF has activated its already-established ministry networks to deliver food and care items in the affected regions of Mexico, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Florida and Texas.

So, what can you do?

1. Volunteer: give time.  If you’re near Chicago, San Antonio, Dallas or Los Angeles, please consider spending a couple of hours at Children’s Hunger Fund.

2. Donate: give money.  Here’s a link to CHF’s Disaster Relief fund.

3. Collect: develop a habit of redistributing your resources

  • collect coins in a CHF Project Coin Pak;
  • clean out your closets to donate clothing and household items;
  • buy extra non-perishable groceries to share with others;
  • always have Bible tracts available to give away.  (My favorites are available from Living Waters.)

You might be feeling fearful in these uncertain times.  Just like all of the victims of these disasters, someday you will die.  (See the video 10 Out of 10 People Die.)  Now is the time to consider what you will say when you die and meet God at His judgment throne.  If you take the Good Person test, you will know that you are guilty and deserve to go to hell.  But God is offering to you the free gift of salvation. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23). Read your Bible to find out more.  Then live like you know that you’re going to heaven!

With all this attention on the global disasters, we don’t want to overlook people in our communities that need help, too.  Next week, I will share a video about how to make gift bags for the homeless.

You Are Invited (part 2)…

…To the Throne of Grace

In Chapter 3 of my book, Elephant in the Room, pastor Eric Leonard invites a young man to attend his church.  Before he issues this invitation, however, Eric confirms that Wayne is a Christian.  But what if this man had not been a Christian who was looking for a church?  Should we invite everyone we meet to come to a meeting at our church? Continue reading