Pastor, author, and Bible teacher Alan Wright. We need others to impart to us, here's something special I see in you, and it becomes part of us.
That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today from the book, The Power to Bless with Pastor Alan Wright in our special in-studio session. And with Pastor Alan here, this is going to be another great day as we unpack more excerpts from the book and a little more practicality on how you can learn to bless others. Now, if you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. As you listen to our discussion today, go deeper as we send you today's special offer.
Contact us at pastoralan.org, that's pastoralan.org, or call 877-544-4860, 877-544-4860. More on this later in the program, but right now let's begin our broadcast with Pastor Alan. And again, we're so enjoying paragraph upon paragraph of this new book. Pastor Alan, thanks for your time in the studio today. Well, what a privilege, Daniel, it is to join you in the studio today and to have time to talk about some of the inspiration and some of the meat and potatoes of this book that I'm so thrilled that God's given me the chance to put out into print. And that it's now finally available stores and online everywhere because this is, The Power of Blessing is like a thread that runs all the way through the scriptures. It starts with God blessing Adam and Eve in the beginning and the Hebrew patriarchs blessing their sons and grandsons and granddaughters. And it moves through David blessing his household and Jesus himself being blessed when he was born and blessing the children that are brought to him.
And the very last thing he does, lifts his hands up and blesses his disciples. So something that is scripturally important, but I think that many, many Christians have never really dived in deep to discover what is this all about? And especially this mysterious blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh, which is a blessing that has been spoken over Hebrew children now every Sabbath day for 3,700 years. And it seems like the Jewish rabbis don't really know why.
And maybe even the Jewish dads who are doing it, telling their children, may God make you as Ephraim and Manasseh, maybe don't really know why. Well, I unveil that as one of the most beautiful pictures of the gospel and as a lens through which you can understand all the blessings. So, Daniel, it's a life message. It is a timely message.
It's a practical message. And we're very excited it's finally out. The Power to Bless and you, by the way, available as Pastor Alan said, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, online retailers in your favorite good bookstore that would be carrying this. And also at pastorallen.org, we can connect you to the many ways to get it both in book form, hard copy, e-reader or audio book as well. Now, Pastor Alan, last time we had some excerpts, and I just kind of want to pick up where we left off there and talking about, I think, understanding and believing the blessing is where this comes from at the very beginning of the book.
Yeah. You know, I think that it might be a good place to start, Daniel, chapter one, the problem when our lives haven't been blessed. And let me read some of that. Beginning chapter one, on her rare visits home, this foster child spent most of her time hiding in the closet so she wouldn't bother her mother. But sometimes she sneaked out to stare at a single frame on the wall. I would stand looking at this photograph and hold my breath for fear.
She would order me to stop looking, she said. It was a picture of the dad that she'd never met. It felt so good to have a father to be able to look at his picture and know I belong to him. But it was just a picture, and she never belonged to him.
The little girl loved a picture in place of a real person. The night I met his picture, I dreamed of it when I fell asleep, she said. And I dreamed of it a thousand times afterward. During a childhood stay in the hospital for a tonsillectomy, she imagined every day that her father would suddenly mysterious appear. I kept bringing my father into the hospital ward and walking him to my bed. And I kept bending him over my bed and having him kiss my forehead. And I gave him dialogue too. You'll be well in a few days.
I'm very proud of the way you're behaving. The father, of course, never visited her, never kissed her forehead. Maybe that's why the little girl emerged from her foster homes and orphanages to spend her life acting out a role rather than being real. Her real hair wasn't blonde. Her real chin wasn't so angled. Her real nose wasn't so rounded. Her real intellect wasn't so empty. And her real name wasn't Marilyn Monroe. Norma Jean Mortensen was like every child.
What she wanted was a mother and father to bless her. I got interested, Daniel, in that story of Marilyn Monroe became such an icon. And when you really understand who she is and actually read some of her writings and poetry and journal entries, there really actually was an interesting level of depth to her that she was seen so much more as just this image and wasn't really who she was. And, of course, she was just troubled up until her very last days. You could see her death certificate that reads that it was acute poisoning from overdose of drugs. But I really think the death certificate could have just read died for lack of being blessed because she missed it and the struggles of her life.
And I think that's a dramatic example. But in everyday life, all of us, when we've missed the blessing, there are just some ways that we'll never be all that God has made us to be. I think one of the things could happen is that we can have a lot of vague drift in our lives, especially if you never had a dad who could speak some sense of direction and destiny and help.
And I think part of it, Daniel, might be that there was a whole generation of dads that they weren't comfortable telling their kids they're proud of them and they loved them and they weren't comfortable. We got taught to not try to impose your will on somebody else. But there is a way in which we need others to impart to us, here's something special I see in you. And it becomes part of us.
And without that, you can spend a lot of your life drifting. You also could spend too much of your time feeling the pangs of shame. Essentially, shame is a lie that says, I don't feel like I measure up as I am now. And I need to measure up. And in order to be blessed, I must measure up. So for a lot of people, blessing becomes something like it's dangled in front of them. Like if you really will perform well, then I'll bless you. See, God does just the opposite. He blessed Adam and Eve and then he said, be fruitful and multiply. So shame carries with a lot of anxiety and often leads to a lot of pretending.
Because if you feel like the only way to be blessed is to perform better, if you feel like you're not measuring up, then you'll just try to hide your deficiencies. Well, that leaves us feeling very lonely. So a bit of all of that is my story.
It certainly is Jacob's story, as I tell in the book. But I think all of us at some level can identify with that. What would happen in your life if someone were able to really speak into the essence of your worth and the gifts and virtues of your heart and life and begin to call it out and put it into a scriptural context and help you to see who you really are?
Well, what happens with that is that we begin to be secure and we begin to flourish. And so early on in the book, that's why I think it's important just to deal with it. It's a major problem, the unblessed life and probably listeners right now you're identifying with this at various levels because it's probably most of us that never were fully blessed.
We've talked a lot about how this book has been really a life's work for you and I'm sure part of the job description of being a pastor is counseling. Have you noticed this being a theme of many people when you go back to a childhood absence maybe? Whether it's a physical absence or even like Norma Jean, aka Marilyn Monroe here, I really could tell I was missing. There was an absence of blessing.
Absolutely. If you kind of look under the surface of your own soul and you go, what is it when I think about the parts of my life that are either just in that vague drift or the outright rebellion or that I never feel content? What really is underneath that? There's a real good chance that if you go far enough that you could see, if you're honest, that there was some deficit of blessing. That if it had been there, you wouldn't feel the need to act the way you do or think the way you do. And a lot of this is our thought processes, the way we think about our own lives.
You know, Daniel, if we can't ever be told and given a vision to see a different vision for our lives, it's very difficult to ever live it. Here's an excerpt from page 59 in the book. There was a time when the East Lake area of Atlanta was gorgeous, anchored by the historic Bobby Jones golf course. But by the 1960s, the former getaway for Atlanta's affluent citizenry had fallen into utter disrepair.
And in 1970, a public housing project was erected on East Lake's former number two golf course. The East Lake Meadows public housing development never was good, but by 1995, it was awful. Drugs and gangs had taken over and the crime rate was 18 times the national average. Conditions in the neighborhood grew so bad that local police dubbed it Little Vietnam. When Ann and I lived in Atlanta in the 1980s, Ann volunteered at the women's shelter and I worked at a downtown church, but honestly, I wouldn't have dared spend time in East Lake. Trash covered the streets, bullet holes, dotted windows and doorways, thugs traded drugs in broad daylight.
The employment rate, employment, not unemployment, was 14%. It was one of the worst neighborhoods in the country and everyone had given up on it except one man. Tom Cousins, humble real estate developer, had brought professional sports to Atlanta, built its biggest skyscraper and quietly given away millions. But when he saw the East Lake neighborhood, he couldn't believe such a thing could exist in America and decided to do something about it. When he discovered that the famous East Lake golf course was in disrepair and on the edge of bankruptcy, he decided to buy it and use it as a catalyst for change in the neighborhood. He invited 100 businessmen to join the club for $200,000 each and pledged to use the $20 million to revive the crime-ridden housing project across the street.
They tore down the decrepit apartments and replaced them with attractive new buildings that were occupied half by publicly assisted residents and half by full-paying middle-income families. I saw an interview in which Cousins said something like, I realized if I'd grown up in that neighborhood, I probably would be uneducated, selling drugs and in jail. So I just wanted to see what would happen if underprivileged children had the opportunity to see what normal, happy, hardworking families look like. I just wanted a disadvantaged child to have the chance to see a father get the newspaper from the driveway with his cup of coffee, go to work, come back home in the evening and help his kids with their homework. What would happen if children saw what they could be? See, we're talking about a vision for your life. That's what Blessing does.
It paints that vision. Well, I continue reading here on page 60, the results were astonishing. In 1995, only 5% of fifth graders in East Lake met state math standards. Within 10 years after a new charter school was developed, 78% did.
The crime rate dropped 95%. On and on, the statistics go on that, Daniel. It just proves that I think what we need is not somebody telling us that we need to try harder. I think what we need is not somebody telling us what we ought to do. What we need is somebody showing us what life can be. Someone painting a picture for us of who we really are designed to be. And when we can see it, we can be it. And so when you bless somebody's life, you're in a sense doing what Tom Cousins did for that neighborhood.
You're showing a different vision. You're showing, because we all need that. And the power to bless is within the heart of every single one of us. And I wrote this book, Daniel, to help people learn how.
And that's important. I think if anyone listening right now has been deeply involved in evangelical circles, maybe they're thinking, why have I never heard it exactly this way before? And that's exactly the reason Pastor Alan wrote the book, The Power to Bless.
By the way, it's available and out now. So what would you say, especially with an evangelical mindset of kind of what you were just talking about there, if you just start with the gospel, that in itself is a blessing. And then I guess you could dive down or drill down deeper into more specifics about the person, your child, your spouse, your friend, even a stranger on the street, as we've talked about many examples before. So those two definitely go hand in hand, you would say, right? Absolutely. Well, see, the gospel is the ultimate blessing, right? It is God in the person of Jesus Christ saying, I am showing you unmerited favor. I am showing you that you are worth the Son of God dying on a cross, whether you can see that now or not, that's who you are.
You're worth that much to God. And the good news of what God has done in Jesus Christ and comes to us and says that while we were still in our sin, Christ died for the ungodly and that he who knew no sin became our sin so that we, who were so sinful, could become his righteousness. You see, essentially, that is, Daniel, that is, that is the blessing. And what we do when we impart blessing is we are cooperating with what God has already done.
We are flowing with the very nature of God who wants to, in a timeless and powerful, truthful way, to really let us know who we are and what our real destiny, the reason he made us. And that's what we're doing when we bless as well. It's very, actually, a simple process that towards the end of the book, Daniel, I lay it out and there's a section on how anyone can learn to bless. And in the section on crafting a personal blessing, I thought it might be helpful just to give a couple excerpts here as we come towards the end of our program, just to let people know this is really how simple it can be. I mean, I think if you're someone you want to bless, of course, pray about it.
Ask God to help you. I encourage you, of course, to get the book and learn all about the Ephraim and Manasseh blessing, which symbolizes, I think, the essence of the blessing. And then when you look at someone's life, I think what you want to do is highlight others' virtues that you see more clearly than they do. That I think all of us, if there's someone you know and love, you probably can see something in their life of good, maybe more clearly than they can. I think listeners probably understand what I'm talking about. You know, maybe if you think of your spouse and there's something like when I think of my wife, there are things that I see in her that I just know there's such wonderful virtues. And she may not see it as clearly. Well, those are the things that are very best to bless because what we're trying to do is to help them to see it.
I think that then you want to affirm a true identity. So if you were to say to someone that I see this particular gift in you, there's a further part of blessing that says, and therefore this, it makes up part of who you are. I tell a story about when Bennett was little and we'd played a round of golf.
He started out on a frustrating double bogey, but he held it together and he played a good round of golf and he was probably 10. And on the way home, I said, Bennett, I said, I saw today that that was frustrating, but you really held it together. And I said, I see that as self-control. That's what the Bible calls self-control. And I think that you are growing into a young man of self-control. Well, you see what I'm doing there is I'm pointing out the virtue. Hey, that was self-control.
That's what that was. But then I take it and I make it into a blessing statement that helps shape his identity. I see you becoming a young man of self-control.
See, what's the child thinking? He said, oh, that's who I am. Right. But then I'll take it a step further. And this is the next step in blessing someone is attach a positive possibility to that identity. I said to him on that day, I said, Ben, I said, my experience, men who have a lot of self-control go far in this world. So now I've recognized something that he wouldn't have noticed or taken note of and called it out. I've said an identity statement.
This is who you are. And now I've attached a positive possibility to it as relates to the future. And that is where the blessing gains its power. So that's really the simple steps of blessing someone's life. There's actually in the book an actual worksheet.
You can take it and use it and sort of fill in the blanks even. It must be said, Daniel, to bless someone's life, you don't have to be among some spiritually elite group. This is for a frustrated mother who's got three children who aren't acting the way that she would like them to act today. And how in the world do you speak to them without just showing your frustration or cursing them?
How do you speak to them? It's for that mom. It's for the woman at work who is just looking for a way to interact better with a coworker that she's not getting along with.
How do you speak in a way that can help change that relationship? It's for a dad who's trying to help his teenage son go in a better direction. This is just practical stuff and it works. It's God's way of bringing about empowerment and transformation. And that's why it works because it's God's way and it's in His Word.
And it's all really simple to do in the end. Alan Wright, today's good news message, the power to bless on our special in-studio broadcast. Pastor Alan is back with us here in just a moment sharing his parting good news thought for the day. Stick with us.
But how? What's missing might be the timeless power of blessing. We all need a positive, faith-filled vision spoken over our lives. Without it, we'll never rise to our God-given potential.
With it, we can let go of the past and move forward confidently under the favor of God. If you'd like to replace every curse with blessing in your life, and if you'd like to learn how to speak life and empower the people you love, contact us today to get Pastor Alan Wright's new Amazon bestselling book, The Power to Bless. And when you do for a limited time, we'd like to send you four additional life-changing resources to help you discover the power to bless. We'll send you Pastor Alan's video masterclass and study guide called Speak Life. And we'll also include Pastor Alan's new video course, The Power to Bless, perfect for small groups or individual devotions.
It also comes with a study guide. Contact us today to get Alan Wright's beautiful hardcover book, The Power to Bless, and receive the four additional life-enriching resources. It's time to learn how blessed you are in Christ and to discover the power to bless. Learn more at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org, or call 877-544-4860. In the studio today on our special blessing broadcast with Pastor Alan and the new book, The Power to Bless, is now available everywhere, both in hardback, also for your e-reader, audiobook, wherever good books are sold, and of course your favorite online retailers should have it as well.
PastorAlan.org will connect you. Pastor Alan, as we close today, would you mind sharing a blessing with us? How about I'll share an excerpt from the parting blessing that's towards the conclusion of the book. It begins this way, Beloved, you belong to God. Before God's voice thundered into the unformed cosmos, sending forth light at 186,000 miles per second, before He created the Canis Majora star large enough to house seven quadrillion earths, before He set the earth on its elliptical course and started its spinning, God imagined you. His eyes saw your unformed substance, and your days were written in God's book when as yet there was none of them, Psalm 139 16 says.
Before the Lord formed you in the womb, He knew you, Jeremiah 1 5. The pinnacle of God's creation is not seen in the expanse of the Grand Canyon or in the towering sequoias of the redwood forest. You are the pinnacle of God's handiwork. His greatest masterpiece is not unveiled in a multi-hued sunset over a rolling ocean or in a radiant rainbow arced across freshly emptied clouds. You are God's masterpiece. God made you in His own image. You reflect His glory in the earth. He made you a little lower than the angels and crowned you with glory and honor. He wove His majesty into the mysterious into the mysterious DNA hidden in each of your hundred trillion cells. You are unmatched. No one has your fingerprints. You belong to God. That's part of the parting blessing, and it's a blessing that is for you and can be for any person on this earth, for that is the truth of God's word about who you are and who every human being is. Allen Wright Ministries.
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