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The Blessings Surrounding Us

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
March 20, 2022 10:00 pm

The Blessings Surrounding Us

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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March 20, 2022 10:00 pm

What is a blessing -- both receiving it, and blessing those we love? Author Alan Wright offers simple, biblical skills to impart life-changing affirmations.

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And I know that every single person needs this. We need it as much as any plant needs water, as much as any child needs physical bread. We need this. We're designed for it. We're made for it. God made us to receive positive, affirming, spiritually based, biblically laden vision over our lives that helps us know who we are.

And if we don't get it, we're going to run into all kinds of problems. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Ann Wilson. And I'm Dave Wilson. And you can find us at or on our Family Life app. This is Family Life Today. So one of the first things I remember about your dad, we started dating. Oh, this is going to be interesting. Well, I mean, the first thing I remember, honestly, was him barring me from your house.

Yes. Saying you will never date Dave Wilson. And well deserved. Why? I still don't know. I still don't know why he did that. Because you had such a terrible reputation. And he was your coach.

We're not going into that. And my brothers were going to school with you. Yeah, I guess I did have a pretty bad reputation. I wasn't a follower of Christ yet.

But now I am when I want to court you. And here's what I remember, though. And it's still true this day. Yeah.

He was a man that blessed others with his words. Totally. He still does it.

I mean, in a restaurant. He even did it with me once he finally allowed me to date you. When I came over to date you, I remember him saying this young man is a quality young man.

Dave Wilson, I've loved being your coach. I mean, it was like I didn't know what he was doing then, but I've watched him do it a thousand times. You see a person's face light up when he starts talking about it. Which is super interesting, because when my dad was in assisted living, the nurses that worked there would all congregate in his room. And I told him one time, Dad, the reason they congregate there is because they are being blessed by you. And I think this is so true, because we're all drawn to people that bless us. Yeah, we all long to be blessed. And so we have in the studio today Alan Wright, who's an author, a pastor.

And I think if anybody knows the power of blessing, it's this guy. Alan, welcome to Family Life Today. Oh, thanks so much for having me, Dave. And I've just loved already being with you guys. And thank you for the privilege. I'll tell you what, I mean, we'd never met until we had lunch today.

And you're a little bit like her dad. I mean, immediately you feel this sense of blessing in the room, because I mean, looking at you now, you're smiling, you bring a blessing in your life. Is that always been the case?

Thank you. I don't think always. I think I might have always wanted to be authentically caring about the well-being and wanting the very best for others. But I don't think it was always my case. I think that I was as a child through the brokenness of childhood and dad's struggles with alcohol, the internal soul messages that I took hold of, I had to get healed of a lot, because if our soul is hurting, then we're going to be thinking about ourselves. And so I had to have a lot of healing of the soul and to learn about the power of blessing.

I think they go hand in hand, because until we're really set free from self-absorption, it's hard to be other centered. But wow, I tell you what joy there is in taking delight and seeing someone else flourish and having faith for others to flourish, maybe more faith than they have themselves. Obviously, we're going to talk about your book, The Power to Bless, how to speak life and empower the people you love. But I want to know a little bit about you.

I know you're a pastor in North Carolina, but tell us a little about your family. Well, I have a beautiful wife of 36 years who is a better teacher and preacher and communicator and storyteller than I could ever be. She is wonderful and the sense of she is full of wonder always has been. She celebrates life. And at first when I met her, I thought there's something wrong with her.

You can't celebrate that much. But she taught me all of that. And we've got two grown kids. Bennett's been married for four years and he's just starting a law practice.

And our daughter, Abby, just graduated college and took a job, moved to Washington, D.C. to work with a PR firm. And you're a radio show host? And I host a radio program, daily program that's featured around the nation for over 10 years now. And we pastor this wonderful church, multi-site church in North Carolina.

And I write books. And so life is good and life is full. So why The Power to Bless? I mean, you start the book saying we all long for the blessing and if we don't get it, we go on a search for it. Explain what is the blessing? It has become for me much more than an idea of a book or a little practice that's part of your life. It is in many ways the substance of life, relationship and ministry.

This is in many ways a life message for me that I began learning about early in our marriage. I didn't know anything about it. I began to read a little bit about how the Hebrew patriarchs blessed their children. I remember being mesmerized by the sense of raw power that was being released in blessing. I remember the first time really reading the stories of Isaac and his twin boys, Jacob and Esau, and the familiar story how Jacob, that conniver and deceiver, stole the blessing by pretending to be his brother Esau. And when he tricked their blinded father, old Isaac, into blessing the wrong son, I was just amazed. The text said that once he realized he'd blessed the wrong son, and I thought, well, you know, in America, we'll say, you know, my mistake, come on in here Esau, let me bless you instead.

Not so. Instead, the text said he trembled violently and he said, I have blessed him and indeed he will be blessed. And I started becoming fascinated with this irrevocable power that mysteriously weaves its way all throughout the Scripture. It's everywhere. It runs through the patriarchs and it runs all the way into Jesus's ministry, where everybody wanted to bring their children, not just so he could pray for them, so he could bless them.

What was he doing? Alan, I have been fascinated about that for years because I've thought the same thing. They always laid their hands on them. It was their right hand that had the most blessing in it. And so I always thought, like, where is that power? Is it through his words? Is it prophetic?

Is it, what did you come to discover? Yes, it's all of that in the power of blessing. And this is something that is so pervasive in the Bible that in many ways I would say you could say this is the theme. In the beginning, God created Adam and Eve and then he blessed them. And then he said, be fruitful and multiply. And I think that for much of my life, you know, and maybe our listeners can understand if you've come from any measure of brokenness, there can be a thought that gets into the child's soul that if I perform well, then I'll be blessed.

And I think that's the way of our culture. Prove yourself and show us your worth and then maybe we'll rise up and bless you. How interesting, not so with God. Blessing with God was not the reward for productivity, it's the fuel for it. He blessed Adam and Eve and then he said, be fruitful and multiply. And so when I see all this in the scripture, I became fascinated by it. And then through a process of soul healing and looking at my own life and being willing to take an honest self inventory of the ways that maybe blessing wasn't spilling out of my mouth towards my wife the way I wanted it to in our early years and starting to understand, I started realizing this may be one of the most important things for me to learn. And thankfully, God began showing me about it and I not only became a student, I just began to put it in practice. So long before we had children, we were already building our household on the idea of blessing much more than mere encouragement. I'm talking about that positive and even prophetic faith filled vision that you speak over someone else's life. It's rooted in scripture and confidence that it can come to pass.

And when people receive that watching, then they can rise up to meet it. And so it became the most important principle in our parenting and in my pastoring of a church every day. Well, take us back because you didn't have that necessarily growing up. Tell us about your childhood and what that was like, because you didn't get that. I loved my dad. He was a TV newsman and he was brilliant.

He could make a new song sing. He was doing investigative journalism before it was a thing. Before TMZ? Dateline?

Before 60 Minutes. And he was truly a pioneer in the industry of TV. And everybody in my city knew him because there was only three stations and you could only get about one of them. And that was his.

So everybody in my hometown, everywhere we went, they knew my father. He was gracious. He was humble. He was artistic. He was creative. He was so intelligent and I loved him. In fourth grade, he called a family meeting and it was the only time I ever saw him cry.

He said he was going to be leaving. And I didn't know why. And I had only begun to understand what then I would later understand that dad had a lifelong struggle with alcohol.

He had times of sobriety and other times not so. And when you grow up in that environment, the child internalizes all of this. Nobody ever said, Alan, if you will be better, your dad will come back home. Nobody ever said that.

Nobody would want me to believe that. My dad was never abusive. He never held it over my head. He never said, Alan, you need to make straight A's or else I'll never be proud of you. He never said you need to be somebody special. Of course, he was not like that. But what did I think?

What did I believe? And so those internal messages of shame, something wrong with me, I must not measure up and there's something wrong with my family. And, you know, if your dad is an alcoholic, you don't want to bring people over because you don't know maybe he's drinking that day. So on the one hand, I'm so proud of him and I love him so much. And yet he was this man who was distant because of alcohol and then distant because he wasn't there. And he was also a man like so many in his generation that never had seen it modeled or knew how to express his feelings. Didn't know how to just to look deeply in my eyes and say, Alan, here's how I see who you are as a gifted person.

And here are some of the richest traits and attributes that I see in you. Here is what I believe that God could do with your life. And here's a destiny that I'd like to speak over your life. I never had a moment like that. One time when I was in college, my first year, I made straight A's and I let him know.

And he sent me a note and said he was proud of me and I held on to it because I never had anything like that. So at a time when dad, after all three of us in the family, my two brothers and I, we're all grown and we're growing. We're growing spiritually.

And dad is going through a time of growing also. And I said, let's get some counseling together. And we did. And then one of the counseling sessions, I said, I'd really something I'd like. I said, Dad, I'd like you to bless me. And he didn't know I was talking about an injury.

And the counselor didn't know what I was talking about. I said, I'm not talking about something that you say after somebody sneezes or what you say before the meal. I'm talking about speaking a positive vision. I want to know why you're proud of me.

I want to know what you see in me, dad. And you told him that. I told him that.

How did you? And he said, sure. And he went home and he brought back at our next counseling session three index cards and he'd written out a small blessing for each of us. And it wasn't profound.

It wasn't scriptural. It was the best that he could do. He wrote on his card. He said, when we brought you home, I was the youngest of three boys. He brought you home. Your older brother, Mark said, why did we have to get him? And he said, I now know why we would need you. It's small, but I could cry about it right now because to a malnourished soul, that's like a treasured morsel.

And I talked to so many people who they've never had their dad once, once look them in the eye and affirm something to them. And I knew that I needed it. And I know that every single person needs this. We need it as much as any plant needs water, as much as any child needs physical bread. We need this. We're designed for it. We're made for it. God made us to receive positive, affirming, spiritually based, biblically laden vision over our lives that helps us know who we are.

And if we don't get it, we're going to run into all kinds of problems. And my problems weren't outward. I was the conformist.

I was the guy who was going to try to perform. But inwardly, it produced angst. Inwardly, it made me feel like I'm striving. Because, Dave and Anne, I just think everybody in this world is either who's working hard, and that's not everybody, but people that are trying, they're either doing so because they want to prove themselves worthy so they'll be blessed, or they know themselves blessed and they're just looking to make a difference joyfully. And I always wanted to be the latter.

But for a long time in my life, and I was the former, and God healed me of so much and showed me so much that I want everybody to understand about this principle, the blessing. What do you think would have happened? How old were you when your dad did that? I was in my 30s. I mean, some of us would think, gee whiz, you're a man now. You've gotten beyond that.

You never got it, but you're good, right? But you weren't, in a sense. I mean, you might have looked fine and been able to accomplish a lot of things, but deep down your soul was still longing for the blessing at 30 years of age. Oh, the unaffirmed soul longs for blessing for a whole life.

You can be 95 and belonging. And there is no substitute other than receiving it. And so I sought it from him. And then I also learned the value of finding spiritual fathers. You know, authentic fellowship, where our accountability is not, hey, quit doing that behavior.

Our accountability is blessing. This is who God made you to be. This is your design. This is how I see your life. And so I began to find people who knew how to speak that into me, to receive it in order to give it.

My question would be, if you hadn't got it that day from your dad, maybe he refuses to or says, I don't know how to do it or I don't think it's that important. So there's a lot of people that never do get what you got. There are so many.

What happens? Well, A, I think that all of us need to be on a journey of healing our souls so that we let the love of Christ, the assurance of that love from the deposit of the Holy Spirit, who is our guarantee of our inheritance, letting God through his word, through his presence, through his people, letting the gospel go more deeply and richly into our souls until we know that we know that we know we are accepted in the Beloved. This, the healing that we get from knowing ourselves loved by the Father and blessed of the Father, regardless of our performance. That's where we're healed. But we need people on this journey. Yeah, I was going to say, do we need, I mean, what you said is obviously true. We can get it from the Heavenly Father.

Do we need people? I remember years ago, you know, I'm a preacher, I'm looking for illustrations. I find this one about a little boy hugging his dad's leg during a tornado. I guess true story, you know, he's looking out the window or maybe a thunderstorm. But anyway, the little five-year-old grabs his dad's leg and says, Dad, I'm scared. And the dad says, it's okay, Jesus is with you. And he goes, yeah, but right now I need someone with skin on. Someone with skin on. I've never forgotten that illustration. I thought, you know, if we get it from our Heavenly Father, is there still a sense that we need somebody with skin on to bless us? Whether it's our mom or dad, if we don't get it from there, do we still need to get it?

We absolutely do. I tell in the book the story of my daughter, Abby, when she gave her first public speech. I was in seventh grade and our teacher for some reason wanted everybody to give a speech. It fascinated me and I loved it.

Everybody else hated it. And I started pursuing it as a seventh grader. I entered into speech contests. We had a little speech contest in our city sponsored by the Optimist Club. I gave a five-minute speech about the assassination attempt on Reagan's life or something like that, you know, and I won the contest.

They gave me a trophy and I wish my dad had been there because he is such a communicator. He's such a writer. And wow, what would have happened if he'd been there and could have said, Alan, you have a gift of communication.

No telling how much God might use that. Words make a difference. Words are shaping the world.

And I see a gift in you. What would have happened? But he wasn't there. And I took my trophy home and I pursued learning to communicate, but I didn't have my father's affirmation of it. Our daughter, Abby, she came home. She said she had an assignment.

She had to give a speech. I said, OK, Abby, I'll help you on it. I mean, in the first place, part of blessing is just you got somebody who's for you.

Right. That's what we do as parents. I'm for you.

I'm not going to do it for you, but I'm for you and I'm with you every step of the way. So she went and she gave her speech. I said, well, let me hear it. So there I sat on the blue couch in the living room and she stood up this awkward teenage girl giving her first public speech to an audience of one. And I don't even remember what it was about, but I remember sitting there spellbound by the way that she had a natural flow and rhythm and inflection points in her voice and content that was clear. And it was just great.

I could hardly believe it. And she got done and I looked at her. I said, Abby, I said, you have a communication gift. I said, that was wonderful. She's giggled a little bit and said, oh, dad, you're just saying that. I said, no, I am a communicator.

This is what I do in my life. Now, let me tell you everything that I saw that was very special about that. I get a little emotion with this because. It went into her. It went into her.

What do you mean? Well, at first she resisted, but then she believed me and I had to tell her over and over how gifted she was until she finally we got her into a national speech organization. She said she didn't want to do it. I said, I really think you'd like it.

You know, it's one of those parenting moments, like I didn't quite make you do it, but I'm on the edge of making you because I see it. And her first very first speech contest was at a national level. And we're riding to the event. And I was kind of preparing her like, you know, they're going to be some of the best high school communicators in the nation here.

And, you know, don't worry about it if you don't. This is just a beginning point. You know, I was kind of like, no faith, even though I believed how good she was. And one of her speeches made it into her very first I made a top five. The next year, she qualified for the national tournament, which was a big deal in this particular speech organization. But instead, we had scheduled to go to Papua New Guinea on a mission trip because we had been supporting a missionary who for 30 years had been working, translating the Bible into the native language of a tiny island of Papua New Guinea and we committed to go. And so she had to give up going and she forced, you know, might never make it to nationals again.

But we went and we had the time of our lives watching a people get the word of God for the first time in their written language. She came back the next year. She wrote a speech on it and she did it locally, regionally, and it qualified for the national tournament in the Twin Cities in Minneapolis. They had the national tournament and through the grueling event came to the end and her name was announced as the national champion.

Two years later, she won another national championship. She's just delightful to listen to, especially as she speaks of the things of God. And I just wonder, you know, how many people have a gift that wasn't affirmed or watered by the power of blessing? And I look at the difference in what she had from me alongside of her being able to authentically discern what her gifts are.

See, I think that's the thing we need. Our culture is so full of the lie that tells you just look inside yourself and find yourself. Look for your inner guide.

You know, don't let anyone tell you who you are. And it's gone so far that our children are just utterly confused with no one speaking into their life. And that's not God's design.

God's design is for people who love, who know the truth, who have faith and who really want to see someone flourish with authentic discernment, help them know, here's who you are. And then we grow into it. And so we raised our kids in that.

And it was almost like an experiment because I hadn't lived in it myself firsthand. And wow, it has been a beautiful thing just to watch the power of blessing at work. I think as I hear you, Alan, and I get emotional about it, too, because as you talked about the malnourished soul, so many of us haven't had the blessing. And I know that we talked about my dad at the opening of how he does give blessing. But he didn't do that when we were growing up.

He changed. And the only time I would ever hear him say something positive about me when I was little was when it was to someone else. And I remember thinking, wait, he does think something good about me? And I think so many of us long for that blessing. We long for somebody to see us and point out, oh, I see you and I see who God made you. I see the gifts that he put in you, just as you did your daughter.

That was such a powerful illustration. And we have so much power in our words. But sometimes we're so lost of looking at ourselves and our deficits or our striving for someone to see us or someone to approve of us that we don't always give it back. And I think it'd be interesting to talk more about that.

Like, why don't we give it? Because when I listen to you, I'm so inspired. Like your daughter, of course she's going to go on and do those things because you're calling out what God had put in her and what power God has given us to not only see it, but to say it.

Yes. And I tell you what, just listening to both of you, actually, my thought is I really don't want to go another day without using the power to bless somebody else. Whether as a dad to my kids or as a neighbor to my neighbor. You know, I think the church, the followers of Christ should be known as people who bless others, you know, because that's going to be a magnet to draw them to the one who's blessed us. I mean, honestly, I would say to a dad or a mom today, right now, if you haven't today spoken words of life and blessing over your child, you got today.

Yeah, do it. I think we're all familiar with how to tear down people, whether verbally or in our minds, yet it's difficult to do the work of blessing people, building them up, communicating something that encourages them, that points them to the Lord. All over scripture, we see this exhortation that we are blessed in order to be a blessing. God blesses us that we might bless other people.

David and Wilson have been talking with Alan Wright. He's the author of The Power to Bless How to Speak Life and Empower the People You Love. This is the kind of book that you could read yourself or give to a friend or a family member that would encourage you and give you some practical insight on how to bless others. We want to make this available to you as a way to say thank you with a donation of any amount at, or you could give us a call at 1-800-358-6329.

That's 1-800-F as in Family, L as in Life, and then the word today to make your donation. And again, we will send you a copy of Alan Wright's book as our thank you called The Power to Bless. Thanks in advance for your support, and we hope you enjoy this book.

I think you will. If this conversation with Alan Wright and David and Wilson today or any of the Family Life programs have been helpful for you, we'd love for you to share today's podcast with a friend or a family member. And wherever you get your podcast, it can really advance the gospel effort of what we're doing at Family Life today if you'd scroll down and rate and review us. Now tomorrow, we're going to explore this topic of blessing others by specifically talking about how we can bless our kids and the kind of major impact that can have on their lives. That's coming up tomorrow. On behalf of David and Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry, helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-20 01:01:25 / 2023-05-20 01:12:38 / 11

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