All posts tagged: Blessing

Brussels, Belgium Credit: Francisco Antunes/Flickr/Creative Commons

God Bless You

Do you feel better now? I hear people getting blessed all the time, when they sneeze. In ancient times, people worried that the soul would come out with the sneeze, where the devil might steal it. A blessing would put it back safely. But really, what is the point of a blessing? Is there something we should know here? I learned some lessons about blessing yesterday. Lesson 1) I already know that words spoken into the air have no power, unless God does a miracle. OK, not ‘no power’; I might feel better about myself if I hear myself saying the words, but the other guy only gets words. “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2: 16) Lesson 2) Blessings are common in the Bible, so they must be a good idea. In ancient Israel, the priests were told to say these …

Credit: Richard McHowat/Flickr/Creative Commons

So, what is a blessing in the real world?

“Bless you” is something you might hear from your grandmother, or if you sneeze. The very old superstition is that you sneeze your soul leaves your body when you sneeze and it must be blessed back in. My sneezes can wake up babies and make them cry, they are so loud, and by that standard I have no soul. The concept of blessing is getting outdated in our modern world. A blessing is just something good, usually from God, or from someone who is close to God and acts as His agent. Some Christians still say “God bless you.” I believe the problem with blessing is us. The way God sees people is very different from the way we see, and we don’t appreciate good things from humble people; make that ‘unimportant’ people. A few years ago, I worked in a large university, surrounded by people who were trying to be important in the world. I wrote about this a few days ago. When I reached early retirement age, I was retired against my will. …

Did a Dutch researcher discover evidence of God’s promise to Abraham?

When God called Abraham to leave the ancient city of Ur to found a new country, it promised to be a perilous journey. Abraham would encounter a wide range of peoples — some who would be friendly, others his foes and many indifferent. God knowing Abraham’s concerns made a promise to His patriarch: And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3 NASV) It was an interesting verse as God promised to bless those who blessed Abraham. It’s a promise I believe not only follows the physical descendants of Abraham, but his spiritual ones as well — those grafted into the root (Romans 11: 11-24). 

A tale of two notes: One a blessing, the other a curse

Ashley England of China Grove, N.C. has a special-needs, 8-year old child. The family was at a restaurant in the city on Friday, August 30, 2013 when their son, Riley, began to act up. Riley was shouting and loudly banging the table. It was obvious a number of patrons were becoming agitated by the noise. Ashley was embarrassed and frustrated as Riley had been acting our more in public lately. Then something incredible happened. A person in the restaurant