Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Daily Encouragement (09/10/13) "The Power Of The Blessing"

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Amish quilt with hats
Hats find resting place on Amish quilt
Photo by Nick Nichols

"The Power Of The Blessing"

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"This is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him" (Genesis 49:28).

Steve Grant with Ester 9/9/13
Yesterday I assisted SportsWorld Ministry by picking up Steve Grant, a former NFL football player at the Harrisburg Airport. Steve will be speaking in school assemblies and to youth groups the next several days here in Lancaster County, sharing his testimony and a challenge to stay on the right path. He uses a card with this quote: "I was stumbling through life, wondering who I was; trying to find myself through fame, money, power, women. It wasn't until I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior that everything became clear, and I finally became who I was destined to be."

As we drove along I asked him to share his testimony of living for Christ with me. He was raised in a single parent home, with his father leaving when he was young. But his paternal grandmother was a godly woman who took him to church. In college he made a decision to follow the Lord and when he told his grandma she told him she had been praying for him since he was born.

He told me of his various ministries since retiring from pro football and his continued love and esteem for his grandma. Before her death he was called home and shared with me a very specific blessing she had placed upon his life from her deathbed that was very meaningful to him.

That brought to mind a blessing that has been very important in my life. Bill Shibilo, a dear older member of the congregation we served in New England, was one of the kindest men I ever met with sterling Christ-like character. At the end of his life we gathered with Bill's family in his hospital room at New England Medical Center in Boston. We sang hymns, read Scripture and prayed. Bill had a debilitating lung disease which made his breathing very labored.  He could hardly speak but mustered the strength to solemnly speak from the depths of his heart, "May God bless your ministry."  That blessing came with an anointing that strengthens me to this day!

Jacob's blessing
Today we want to challenge you, our readers, to place a thoughtful blessing upon others. We are not speaking of the typical general blessing we share with many such as "God bless you" which is a part of so much conversation we often utter it with little thought.

The Book of Genesis established the practice of conferring blessings; Isaac to his sons and later Jacob to his. We are probably most familiar due to Jacob's deceitfulness but we must see the pattern established by Isaac in Genesis 27 and later used by Jacob to his sons in Genesis 49.

In his book "The Blessing" John Trent lists five elements of a Biblical blessing:
  1. Appropriate Meaningful Touch - Before a word was spoken, there was the laying on of hands, a hug or reaching out to touch. Appropriate touch conveys in powerful, non-verbal ways, our love and affirmation – preparing the way for our words.
  2. Spoken message - Biblically, a child wasn’t left to “fill in the blanks” whether they were valuable to a parent or grandparent. Words were verbalized, including written words today, which can place unconditional love and acceptance into the heart of a child or loved one.
  3. Attaching high value - But what words do you say or write? The word, “Blessing” itself carried the idea that the person you’re blessing is of incredible worth and value – even as an imperfect person. In short, you’re helping a child “get the picture” that you see things in their life today, that make them special, useful and of great value to you.
  4. Special future - With our touch, with our words that attach high value, come a response in a child or loved one’s heart that can be nothing short of transformational. The light going on in their heart and mind that the way God has made them, they can do more than they ever dreamed in living out a God-honoring future.
  5. Genuine commitment - “Blessing” a child doesn’t mean we never discipline them or point out areas where they need to grow. But children “know at an incredibly deep level if they have their parents' “blessing” – if that mom or dad, grandparent, aunt, uncle or other loved one really sees high value in them – even during the tough times. Genuine commitment is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person that says as long as I have breath, I’ll be there to seek to build these 5 elements of the Blessing into your life and life-story.
Today we encourage each of our readers to consider the power of the blessing, both formal blessings such as might be conferred at our time of death but also spontaneous, heartfelt blessings that we thoughtfully share through the course of everyday life.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we pray that You will give us Biblical thoughts and expressions of blessing that we can share with those whom we seek to influence. Not only can we pray for them, but we can also bless them in the name of Jesus. We are instructed to bless even those who curse us, hard as that may be to do. When Jesus instructed His disciples to enter the house where they lodged and place their blessings upon that family saying, "Peace be to this house" Your peace rested upon it. So, we too have power with our prayerful words to make a positive difference in one's life as we speak blessings upon them. Grant us confidence and meaningful expressions of blessings as we reach out in the name of Christ, for it is in His name that we pray. Amen.

Amish beet harvest 9/10/13
This morning we bought some mums from our Amish neighbor. John was harvesting beets for sale through our Lancaster CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Like most Amish we know he prefers to work barefoot!

Amish children gathered for school lunch
We passed this Amish one room schoolhouse with Amish children gathered together sitting in a field for lunch. The Amish children bring their own lunches to school prepared at home. There is no government funded school lunch program (or breakfast for that matter)! However sometimes a parent will bring lunch to feed all the children which we participated in several years ago. See here for a description and photos.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"The Blessing"  Video   John Waller

"Bless Us And Keep Us"  Video  
John Waller

"As for Me and My House"  Video  John Waller

"The Blessing" website with ideas and resources.

SportsWorld ministry  Steve Grant's profile

Nick Nichols 7/27/11 Today's photo of the Amish quilt was taken by our friend Nick Nichols who shares an extensive collection of his photos here.

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Stephen, Brooksyne and Ester Weber 04/21/13

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