Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in and presented him before Pharaoh. After Jacob blessed Pharaoh, 8 Pharaoh asked him, “How old are you?” 9 And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers.” 10 Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from his presence. Genesis 47:7-10 NIV
For me, July is “backpack month”. Through the organization, Backpack Connections, Pam and I work with a group of people to distribute first day school supplies to approximately 2000 children in our city and county schools. We ask for names from the schools for families with the most need, we gather supplies through donations and financial gifts, and then we work with 12 separate groups to distribute the supplies.
One of our fundraising activities is called Apples for Education. We set up a booth inside University Mall and ask people to donate money for Green apples ($1) or Gold apples ($20 or more) or adopt a Red apple to purchase the supplies for one student.
I fill in at the table, if we are short on other volunteers. You are supposed to engage people and ask “would you like to donate to help a child with school supplies”? The extraverts engage most everyone, sometimes even twice. The introverts, like myself, are NOT as aggressive in dialoguing. So I pray under my breath for people as they walk by and smile at them. The other day I added a new comment – “Blessings on ya or Have a blessed day!” This is not a common greeting for people which you do not know, BUT I could tell it put an extra pep in their step.
In today’s reading, the verse states that Jacob “blessed” Pharaoh when he met him and when he was leaving his presence. The interchange of Jacob’s age reflects Pharaoh’s honor of longevity. Some commentaries state that an Egyptian may live to 120 and Jacob is now 130. It is this honoring of age which allowed Jacob the freedom to speak and give a blessing to Pharaoh.
Who do you speak blessings over? Who should you speak blessings to? What does a blessing sound like or to put it another way, what words would you use in giving a blessing?
When our church would walk the streets to pray with and for people in their homes on Saturday mornings, we identified three areas which were safe to pray and bless others. Bless their health, finances (which included their employment), and relationships. We prayed something similar to this – “May God bless you! May He bless your physical health so that you wake up refreshed and thinking clearly in the morning. May God bless your finances so that you always have enough and you make wise decisions stewarding the monies which you already have. And, may God bless your relationships with love and forgiveness. In Jesus name amen”. Those same statements can be spoken without having to sound like it is a prayer.
People are thankful to receive a blessing. As a child of God you are blessed to be a blessing or speak a blessing. On this Monday Mantra, I ask that God would bless your health, finances and relationships. God is always at work and He IS involved in every one of those arenas in your life. Then I pray that you will have the privilege, the honor, and the joy of speaking blessings over others.
Blessings, Love y’all
PS Here are two different links if you would like to give to Backpack Connections to help a child in need.
Cash App – $backpackconx
Donorbox – backpackconnections.com/donate