Saturday, October 18, 2014


Someone sneezes and we quickly respond with a vague “God bless you”. We sign our e-mails and greetings cards with “Blessings” and it sounds nice and Christian and friendly. When we don’t know the full power and potential of this age old cliché, we throw it around like a meaningless penny.But I came to realize that speaking blessings has unparalleled power.
 I discovered this power of blessings two years ago when I was privileged to write devotionals for “THE STORY” for Scripture Union Canada.  I was given the task of writing in Genesis and one of the first eye opening and starting revelations about blessings was the story of Jacob and Esau. “When (Esau) heard his father’s words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, ‘Bless me-me too, my father! “(Genesis 27:34 NIV). Why was a blessing so powerful that a mother and son would conspire to manipulate and steal a blessing from its rightful owner? I set out to find out why.
I discovered that when we speak blessings into each other’s lives, we are, by faith, imparting God’s image into their being. Blessing is God’s primary mechanism of imparting deep into the heart of a person His help that person understand his identity (Who am I?) and purpose (Why am I here?).
The Hebrew word to “bless” is “baruch”, which means to kneel. So picture this: When you and I bless someone, we kneel before them in humility, speak God’s words over them and literally empower that person to prosper. If you and I bless our children, we empower them to prosper in every area of their lives-spiritual life with God, physical health, emotional well-being, marriage, children, finances, careers, ministry... every area. And when I read this last part: “Children who were blessed by their parents tend to prosper in their adult lives, and children who were never blessed by their parents tend to languish and not prosper”…it stopped me dead in my tracks.
I had never done this with my own children, but I had a plan for all of our grandchildren.  As Jack and I were preparing for a family reunion in the summer of 2012, we orchestrated a family “Blessing Evening.” To begin writing a blessing for each grandchild, we started with the meaning of their name.  For example: Mya meant “Great One” and Breanna meant “Strong, virtuous and honourable”. From the meaning of their names we saw how God had already prepared their character through their names. Then we began to list all their beautiful qualities, gifts and strengths and ended the blessing with a bible verse and prayer.  It went something like this:
It is said that the name MYA means “great one.”  You have already shown your family and friends what “great” things you can do…..
You are one of God’s great little girls. He sent you down from Heaven just at the right time to bring so much joy into this family. God has great plans for you Mya. He has given you beauty, a radiant smile, a loving heart, a creative mind, a tender but bold and courageous spirit.  God has wrapped many wonderful things up in a great and package called “Mya.”
There is nothing more beautiful than a girl that knows she is loved. Mya…you are Loved! God has blessed you with a family that loves and adores you. May God’s love always strengthen you and give you courage.  God has great plans for you and let Him help you discover all that life has for you on this earth. Do not be afraid!  Even in your young years may you learn to trust God in such a way that you know that there is nothing in this world that can stop you from fulfilling the purposes God has called you to.  You are great…and you are greatly loved. We bless you in the name of Jesus”.
 “For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need” (Phil. 4:13 NLT).
We wrote a blessing for each of our nine grandchildren and read it to them on the evening of our family “Blessing Night.”  There was not a dry eye on family deck that beautiful summer evening.  As we heard the words of blessings spoken it evoked and stirred our souls in their most vulnerable and deepest places; those places of longing that only God’s words can fill.
I have actually seen the power of God’s blessings at work, and I can never again say, ‘Bless you” with a cavalier attitude.  I know that when we speak God’s words over our lives, it changes is from the inside out and causes our souls to prosper. 
In the name of Jesus, I bless YOU! 
 Heidi McLaughlin lives in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia. She is married to Pastor Jack and they have a wonderful, eclectic blended family of 5 children and 9 grandchildren. When Heidi is not working, she loves to curl up with a great book, or golf and laugh with her husband and special friends. You can reach her at:


Peter Black said...
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Peter Black said...

Heidi, thanks for sharing this delightful focus and your anecdotes. The area of blessing is truly a significant one in the Scriptures and in the Kingdom of God and Christ. Our three sons were all purposely named with significance.
Your account of Jack's and your sharing those blessings with your children and grandchildren warmed my heart. ~~+~~

Violet Nesdoly said...

What a beautiful post describing a powerful and memorable occasion. I'm going to tuck these ideas in my back pocket for someday...

Marianne Jones said...

Love this. I will think of the right time and way to do this for my family.

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