Written by Steve Washechek
Last year we attended a Christian Legacy Conference in Minneapolis, MN sponsored by the Christian Grandparenting Network. Our goal was to come away with a couple practical ways we could share our lives more effectively with our grandchildren. Instead we came away with much more than we had been anticipated.
Like most concerned grandparents, we have a desire to see our grandchildren succeed in life, and we want to develop a good relationship with each one. Unfortunately, many of us are a little fearful about sharing our personal feelings of faith. We do not want to risk alienating our children or grandchildren or intrude in their upbringing. Therefore many of us remain silent on spiritual issues and personal values. Contrary to this way of thinking, we were told that it is our right to share ourselves and exhorted to pass on our values and dreams to future generations. Building strong relationships through special experiences where a lesson is taught, a faith is shared, encouragement is heard, forgiveness is experienced, and love is felt becomes the norm and not the exception. In fact, it is our spiritual obligation and responsibility to make sure this blessing is passed on from one generation to the next (Deuteronomy 4:9).
These new charge orders gave us the authority and freedom to apply some of the ideas given at the conference. One of the workshops my wife attended dealt with the power of the family blessing. So we decided to take the risk and have a time of blessing during our Thanksgiving weekend. We prayed each day leading up to the time of our gathering. We made a list of all the special attributes and characteristics we had observed in each of our children and grandchildren. We prayed that the Holy Spirit would provide the right timing and location for this special occasion. And He did!
All the men and boys were playing football together and decided to take a break and sit around the campfire to relax and warm up. The setting was perfect! We shared how proud and fortunate we were to have a family like ours. We asked the question, how is a family like a football team? And to our surprise, everyone was hooked into the discussion. Even the three-year-old shared ideas about helping and loving each other. Others shared that we all had different roles to play, and we need to encourage each other and work as a team. We could not have scripted a better introduction to the time of personal blessing. One by one, each child came and sat on our laps while we shared the special God-given talent or characteristic we had seen in them. The children listened intently with a serious attitude that we never seen before. Something very special was happening that was totally unexpected! God’s presence came and was felt by all. Even our ten-year-old grandson asked if we could do this again.
After having our prayers of blessing, taken from blessings in the Old and New Testaments, the boys resumed their football game. We’ll never quite know the impact this experience will have on each life, but we do know that our whole family was unified like a team with God as our captain for that one very special moment in time! We will continue to have future family blessings.
An excerpt of an article by Sid Buzzell
Paul wrote four prayers to churches and they reveal crucial facts about his deepest concern for God’s people. In Paul’s letters he told people what he knew they needed to hear. But some things were so important that he didn’t just talk to people about them; he also talked to God about them.