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SHINING GOD'S LIGHT: Linda Bishop opens heart to others at Be Blessed Day

SHINING GOD'S LIGHT: Linda Bishop opens heart to others at Be Blessed Day

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The number 21 is a lucky one for some, but 21 had a particular significance for Linda Bishop at this year's Be Blessed Day in Troutman.

"21 years cancer-free, 21st Be Blessed Day, and today was the 21st. That's powerful, think about it," Bishop said.

Linda said 21 years ago, God told her to give almost anything out of her house to the needy and the poor.

"It's a service that the Lord pressed on my heart to give to the needy and less fortunate people," Bishop said. "When I first did it, I was just being obedient. I was just doing what the Lord said."

She said 21 years ago while working in her yard, God told her she would be healed of cancer and God asked her to be willing to selling anything in her house. That's how Bishop's Be Blessed Day began.

What started off with just a few items in Bishop's driveway some two decades ago grew into what it is now: an event that covers most of her front and back yard, with sections of different household items and with clothing 'departments.' Clothes for men, women and children are separated and hung up on racks as they would be in any other 'store.'

There was also a meal of fried chicken at the end of it.

"It has grown a lot in 21 years. It makes me feel good to see the people that need it." Myrtle Martin said. She's helped Bishop with Be Blessed Day for all 21 years now.

Martin said when Bishop first asked her to help, she went to her closet and started to look for what she could give, inspired by Bishop. "She really is a blessing. Even when she had cancer, it didn't stop her, she just kept on going."

Bishop said friends and people from the Living Water Ministry in Troutman have volunteered over the years to help prepare for Be Blessed Day. She said her planning starts three months ahead of time before the final days of turning her yard into a (free) shopping center.

There were gloves, masks, hand sanitizer on hand, and social distancing encouraged in light of COVID-19. She said the pandemic likely was the reason for fewer people coming by on Saturday, but that she still felt good about helping those in need.

"It's a beautiful opportunity to shine God's light. We thank the Lord for minister Linda Bishop's vision that God gave her, we support it 100%," the Rev. Jeffery Wallace said. "Giving is an attribute of being Christ-like, amen. Jesus said it was more blessed to give than to receive."

"Be Blessed Day not only gives an opportunity for others to receive but for some to be able to give, to be able to give from the heart."

There were roughly a dozen volunteers spread out in the different sections of her lawn-turned-shopping center, and all were quick to point out how it was Bishop's vision they were able to join in. The reward is in helping others, they all said.

"Joy, to see it on their faces, that's a blessing to me," Eula Abram said.

"It's just a blessing to help people. You don't know the situation people are in," Audrey Mayes said.

Follow Ben Gibson on Facebook and Twitter at @BenGibsonSRL

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