Hi y'all. I haven't been on-line much lately, as I had gone to see my dad who is very sick with cancer, and have been catching up at work. I'm praying things settle down a little now....<P>I got this in an email and wanted to share with you. It touch me.<BR>=============================================<BR>FIRST I refer you to ... <P>1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing,<P>[WHY?] because to this you were called <P>[WHY?] so that you may inherit a blessing. <BR> <P>Psalm 133:3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. <P>* * * <P>THE POWER OF BLESSING <BR>By Mary Jo Clouse, payroll supervisor for Strang Communications, conference speaker <BR>and prayer team coordinator for Charisma Women's conferences <P>Many years ago when my daughter, Karen, was a little girl, we had a yearly problem. Every <BR>summer Karen would get a bee sting just before we went on vacation so she could not <BR>wear her shoes due to the swelling. Every summer we would say, "Next week is vacation, <BR>and she will get a bee sting and not be able to wear her shoes." Sure enough, that was <BR>exactly what happened. <P>After three years of having our negative words fulfilled, my husband, George, and I heard a sermon on angels. The minister who preached it said that each one of us has a guardian angel. About the same time George's aunt told us: "You are putting a curse on Karen with your mouth. You need to speak positively about your child." <P>We repented and asked God to forgive us for putting "word curses" on her. From that <BR>point on, George and I changed what we were saying. We blessed Karen with our words <BR>and spoke encouragement to her. As we prayed for her and spoke positive things over her, <BR>our words dispersed ministering angels to look out for her, and she never had another bee sting. <P>In addition to receiving the bee stings, Karen had had her arm broken two or three times prior to our speaking blessings over her. But after we began to bless her, she never again had a broken bone. <P>We still use the same principle of blessing we did when Karen was little, although she is grown now and has four children of her own. And there is power in it! <P>About three years ago Karen's husband, Kevin, was barely making enough money to feed their family. They were having a difficult time financially. <P>Before she had children, Karen had been a manager in a large corporation and had made <BR>good money. But afterward she determined not to go outside the home and work. She felt <BR>in her heart that she should stay home and raise the children God had given her. <P>But there was not enough money to make her heart decision work. So God gave her the <BR>idea to start keeping children while other mothers worked. However, the home they were <BR>in was much too small. <BR> Being human--and typical parents--George and I often made negative comments about the <BR>way Karen and Kevin were managing their money--until God reminded us of the power of <BR>blessing. Now whenever we have a meal we bow our head, pray over the food and ask God <BR>to bless our daughter and her family. Less than two months after we began doing this <BR>daily, Kevin got a job paying three times what he had been making, and they were able to buy a larger home. <P>Most of us have never had a father's blessing, yet, as the Scriptures show, there is power in receiving one. When George and I minister together I often ask him to come up <BR>and pronounce a father's blessing over anyone there who has never been blessed by his or her earthly father. It is amazing to hear the testimonies later of how God reversed the curse when the blessing was released on them. <P>George begins with the "Father's Blessing" from Gen. 49:25: "By the God of your father <BR>who will help you, and by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb" (NKJV). <P>Then we add our own words of blessing taken from Deut. 28:1-14: "Blessings of health in <BR>your physical body. Blessings of long life as you continue to serve the Lord your God. <BR>Blessings of peace and happiness for you and your entire family. You will be blessed as <BR>you come in and as you go out. And all that your hand touches will prosper. I proclaim this father's blessing on you this day in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost." <P>Before the start of the new year, I asked God to give us a key to blessing others. A <BR>friend of mine gave me a book called The Prayer of Jabez. I began praying this prayer <BR>daily for me and my household. <P>It comes from verses nine and ten of 1 Chronicles 4, which contains a powerful message: <BR>"Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, 'Because I bore him in pain.' And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, 'Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!' So God granted him what he requested." <P>Jabez chose not to accept the fact that his name meant pain. He asked God His Father to <BR>reverse the curse that His mother had put on him when she named him, and God answered <BR>his prayer. <P>God is no respecter of persons. What he did for Jabez he will do for anyone who asks. <BR>Why not resolve to pray this prayer every day in 2001? Think about what your home <BR>would be like if you caused no pain to anyone in your family the entire year! <P> And while you are asking God to bless you, make a habit of speaking blessings over <BR>others, too, as George and I have learned to do. You may be surprised by the power of <BR>your words to bring life (see Prov. 18:21). <P>