Lou broke down unable to get the remaining words out. He turned and made his way back to his seat, found a piece of paper and began to scribble a message. When Lou was finished he carefully folded the paper and made his way back to his dead son. Sobbing, Lou took the paper and stuffed it into Brads suit pocket behind the silk handkerchief. After one final look Lou returned to his seat, the coffin was closed,
And another son went to his grave without his father's blessing. I don't think a son or a daughter should go to their grave without hearing their father bless them, do you?
I don't think a parent should be left with only one option, a hastily scribbled note stuffed in the dead child's pocket. I believe with all my heart that . . . "Your child's future is influenced by the praise you give today. Blessings don't penetrate sealed coffins."
Twenty years ago an old Lutheran preacher from Seattle pointed me in a direction that has become a life passion. He opened Psalm 109:17,18 to my understanding. Daily I think about the implications of these verses. "He loved to pronounce a curse may it come on him; he found no pleasure in blessing may it be far from him. He wore cursing as his garment; it
entered into his body like water, into his bones like oil (Psalm 109:1718)."
This verse is likely referring to the time King David was fleeing for his life and Shimei threw stones at him and cursed him. You'll read about it in 2 Samuel. 16:5-12.
One of the applications of these verses is that there are two types of parents, BLESS parents and CURSE parents. He suggests to us that curse parents usually suffer the same fate as their curses. Bless parents tend to enjoy the same results as the blessing they give. CURSING is the opposite of BLESSING. The Devil has "Deadly Six Pack" of curse words that many parents use by default. You've all heard and felt Degrading, Derisive, Derogatory, Destructive Displeasing and Disapproving words and looks. That's cursing and those were the kind of words Lou spoke to Brad.
Brad said to me, "I never measured up to Dad's standard. I can't remember ever hearing my dad praise me." All Brad ever got was the deadly six pack of curse words. That's sad because . . . "Your child's future is influenced by the praise you give today. Blessings don't penetrate sealed coffins."
The opposite of curse means to bless. James says, "Blessing and cursing my brothers are coming out of the same mouth."
We need to bless our children with the HEAVENLY 5A'S. Words of; Acceptance, Affection, Appreciation, Approval and Attention. "Bless and curse not." What does that mean? When you curse, you tear down, speak negatively and critically. When you bless you speak pleasing, pleasant and profitable words to and about them. IF YOU SPEAK CURSE, CURSE SHALL COME. "You are snared by the words coming out of your mouth (Proverbs. 6:2)." If you speak blessing, blessing shall come.
God has decreed that words shall play a dominate role in shaping the character and destiny of human beings. Words are the most powerful, potent, human force on the face of the earth. If that which comes out of your mouth is a delight to the Lord, then He brings into performance that which you speak. Jesus told his disciples, "If you say to this mountain, be cast into the sea, it shall be done even as you say it."
If the Lord wants the mountain moved, He'll tell you to speak and it will move at your word. God spoke and the world came into existence. Things that were nothing sprung up because God spoke them into existence. "The mouth of the righteous is a well of life." (Proverbs. 10:11) Bless words are like cool refreshing water. If your mouth doesn't speak it you will never see it. "My reigns rejoice when your lips speak upright things." Prov. 23:16 Meaning, inside I'm happy when positive words are spoken to me. Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Parents, I encourage you to connect boldly with this power God has given you to bless, because . . . . "Your child's future is influenced by the praise you give today. Blessings don't penetrate sealed coffins." Deep down in my heart I longed to speak bless words. I secretly envied people with the ability to speak the 5A's. I believe negative words, feelings and attitudes helped put Brad in that coffin. No medical report will state it, but he died from a hole in his soul. Brad met the Lord in Oct. 1980. He didn't grow much and continued to use drugs off and on. In Nov. of 87 Brad brought his family to our first service. Over the years I kept praying for consistency in his life. Brad had this deep need to prove that he was adequate. He always seemed to have his eye on the big deal, but the big deal was a mirage that constantly tantalized him. This is a common characteristic of men who have not been blessed by their fathers. I know, I was one of them. They have not experienced the calling out their manhood by dad. A year ago Brad admitted that he was back on cocaine. Evangelical men have a very difficult time admitting they have a hole in their soul. We mask it with perpetual motion, sound, T.V. and some like Brad use drugs. I tried everything I could to get Brad to slow down, and be still and learn to hear the voice of God. He desperately needed to hear his heavenly Father whisper the 5A's in his ear. "Brad, you are my beloved son. I accept you as you are. I give you my affection, I have loved you with an everlasting love. Brad, moment by moment I focus my attention upon you. Brad, I long for you to understand and feel my deep appreciation of you because of what Jesus did on the cross for you." It's been my experience that wholeness will not come to you until you hear your heavenly Father whisper those 5 A's in your spiritual ears. It seems that children who hear the 5 A's from their earthly parents recognize them more quickly when Father God speaks them.
It's so refreshing to be blessed by the 5A's. "Barry, I thank God that you are part of our family, and by the way, that new song you wrote is fabulous, both the words and music." Those are wonderful words of ACCEPTANCE to my Son-in-law. "Melanie I love you, you're such a caring, capable mother." Those are sincere words of AFFECTION that give my daughter security, and affirm her role and gifting of motherhood.. "Tarina, thank you so much for bringing me the paper." Words of APPRECIATION ascribe value and worth to your child. "Cynthia, you handled that dicey situation with wisdom." Encouraging words of APPROVAL that give your child confidence and credibility.
"Steve, I've been noticing the sensitive way you lead worship. V.I.P. words that tell I've been paying ATTENTION. Deep inside your child is a bucket labeled, praise and approval.
It is essential to his/her well-being that Dad and Mom fill this bucket. All of us know how we thrive and blossom when our bucket is full. I get angry when I meet parents who refuse to fill their child's bucket. It seems like its against some parent's religion to fill their child's emotional bucket with positive praise. I went through life with an empty bucket. Three years ago I asked my mom, "Mom, why didn't you and Dad fill my bucket?" She replied, "Our parents didn't fill our buckets, they were afraid we would get proud. How can I fill your bucket if my bucket is empty?" Now my mother is filling my bucket and it sure feels good.
Be sure and distinguish between praise and flattery. Flattery calls attention to physical features over which the child has no control. That's the way they were born. Praise calls attention to the things they can change. A perfectionist dad once said, "Sometimes when I see the good behaviour of my teen age son I think to myself, "What a wonderful studious, considerate, helpful son I have. I can hardly keep myself from telling him."
I have a question for you. Why are we so reluctant to fill our child's emotional bucket with the tonic he needs from dad to make him blossom? It costs us nothing to give it. Its one gift that will always be appreciated, always in season. And we know God wants us to give it because . . . "Our child's future is influenced by the praise we give today. Blessings don't penetrate sealed coffins." Are you ready to make a personal commitment to be a 5A person,
A FEW PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS 1. Don't try to bless horizontally until you have blessed vertically. "Bless the Lord O my soul and all that is within me bless His holy name. If you can bless vertically, then the bless horizontally can work. 2. Harness the power of positive praise to encourage the process of character development in your children.
At birthdays and Christmas I like to write a special note of 5A's to each of my children. I keep a record of it so that I can systematically call forth those wonderful things that God has placed within them.
When I think of Cynthia I see a happy mountain stream, sparkling and clear, purposely making it's way down the mountain to the sea. At times it rushes along like the little figure skater I remember dashing around the ice. My little stream twists and turns in small whirlpools, then jumps the rocks and goes on it's way. I still see you jump and spin then turn and look up in the stands to see if your frozen Dad is still watching.
Yes Cynthia, I'm still watching and I still love what I see and I know my Heavenly Father loves what He sees. We both love the way you express in with your spirit the joy of your soul. Enthusiasm should have been your second name. We love the way you cheerfully share your food, home and spiritual refreshment with those God brings across your path. Hospitality is a grace that will cause you to meet many angels un-awares who will bring special blessing to your home.
I pray that you will never lose your gracious touch. We pray that God will pour blessing, upon blessing into your life and upon your home in 1994. You are a wonderful daughter, wife, mother and friend. We love you dearly.
That note was loaded with the 5A's. Acceptance, Affection, Appreciation, Approval, and Attention. The note also contained a strong affirmation of the positive character traits in her life of joy, enthusiasm, hospitality and graciousness. Sometimes this takes 1 or 2 hours to write. Before I begin I pray, "God I desire to speak into the life of my daughter from the depths of my spirit. Please give me some wonderful words of positive praise and blessing." You begin reading your Bible and seeking to be sensitive to God's spirit and gradually God begins to speak a message into my heart that I long to pass on to my child. I do that because I know . . . "My child's future is influenced by the praise I give today. Blessings don't penetrate sealed coffins."
I began writing to my grandchildren on their third birthdays. The following was to Jacey on his fourth birthday. Jan 23/94
Today I said to Grandma, "God made a wonderful grandson when He made Jacey (acceptance). We are so glad that you are a happy boy. We love the way you say thank-you so quickly. We love to hear you pray and I know God loves to hear you talking to Him. (approval) It's fun to watch you jump on the trampoline. (attention) Sometimes you jump so high it looks like you will touch the sky. God gave you such a strong body. Thank you for being so kind to us, and to your sister and cousins. (appreciation) Here is our birthday prayer for you. "God, please bless Jacey with a healthy body. Please keep him safe and loving you. AMEN. Jacey, we love you. (affection)
Did you notice the 4 character traits of Gratefulness, devotion, kindness and joyfulness that I drew attention to. Those are the result of decisions that he makes. I talked about the strong body that God gave him
June 23, 1994
Dear Tarina, (my 10 year old granddaughter)
Happiness is having a wonderful grand-daughter like you. Happiness is remembering that wonderful day when you arrived. I didn't think that the little baby I was holding would have a com-passionate heart that would comfort others when they hurt. I didn't imagine that little baby girl would become a sweet young lady who is fair to others, a young lady who looks at her decisions from the viewpoint of others. That little baby I saw then has become a very dependable person who does what she says she will do.
That little bundle of joy has developed the gift of peacemaking, a girl who delights in fostering harmony among others. Our prayer for you this year is that God would give you a bold spirit which is the confidence that what you do or say will result in lasting blessing to others. We pray that you will experience the wonderful truth of Psalm 84:11b. Tarina, we love and appreciate you.
To help you get started I've prepared a work sheet titled, "61 Opportunities To Build Character." You're on your way to becoming a BLESS PERSON. Today's the day to throw out the Devil's "Deadly Six Pack" of Displeasing, Disapproving, Degrading, Derisive, Derogatory, Destructive curse words. Today I will begin making a positive impact for Jesus with heaven's 5A's of Appreciation, Approval, Affection, Attention and Acceptance. "Your child's future is influenced by the praise you give today. Blessings don't penetrate sealed coffins."
Thank-you to that dear old Lutheran Pastor from Seattle. Many times since that day I've looked up and prayed, "God please release my tongue so I can keep my children's praise bucket full and overflowing. God transform me into a bless man who speaks words of. . . Acceptance, Appreciation, Approval, Affection and Attention. I believe those 5A's that come to us from the heart of Father God. I further believe that . . . "My child's future is influenced by the praise I give today, I'll give my praise today because Blessings don't penetrate sealed coffins."
On June 4/94, Mark Andrew Calvert, a young 31 year old father picked up a pen to write his farewell note before over dosing on cocaine. Here are his final recorded words. "How many times must I stumble and fall, Too tired to stand, and too proud to crawl? Trying to make sense out of nothing at all, because nothing is all that is left. How many times must I relieve the pain, chasing the needle that drives me insane? Watching the families as they bury the shame, another lost soul with no one to blame.
Another lost boy who missed the blessing of Daddy.