Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Collecting Benedictions

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“Don’t forget who you belong to.” This slightly ungrammatical but loving benediction was pronounced by my mother over us children every time we went somewhere, especially when we went to school. It had two meanings. First, we were to remember the family we belonged to and maintain its good standing and reputation by good behavior. Second, we were to remember that we belonged to God and that He would watch over us.

“Don’t take any wooden nickels!” My dad had a sense of humor and occasionally used this one, just for fun. The expression goes back to the Depression when some towns actually issued a form of money on thin pieces of wood. Obviously, these coins weren’t worth nearly as much as a metal coin. So it essentially is a warning, “Watch out.”

“Be careful,” my late, elderly sister-in-law would always say. This clearly meant she wanted us to stay safe and implied a bit of worry on her part. She had had her share of serious falls and it was understandable that she would be concerned about her loved ones.

“Keep it in the road,” Joe, my college roommate’s boyfriend would say as he left. It made sense, because he drove a truck for a living. We adopted it and still use it, many years later.

“May the Good Lord take a likin’ to ya,” is what cowboy star Roy Rogers would say at the end of each TV show. This godly man and his sweet wife, Dale Evans, were famous names in the years when I grew up.

We can’t be with the people we care about 24/7, so we send them off with these little verbal shields, some humorous, some devout. Even the often-used “goodbye” is derived from a blessing in English, “God be with you.”

Do you have a benediction, blessing or slogan you like to use? Please share them in the comments, if you like.

It’s a good and time-honored practice. The Bible is full of many wonderful benedictions. My favorite is from Numbers 6:24-26:

“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”

This is what I wish for you all.

Columnist: Behind the Mystery


E. E. Kennedy is the author of IRREGARDLESS OF MURDER, DEATH DANGLES A PARTICIPLE, MURDER IN THE PAST TENSE and INCOMPLETE SENTENCE, a cozy mystery series about a high school English teacher.
She grew up in far northern New York State where these mysteries are set. As an advertising copywriter, she wrote interview articles for art magazines and produced radio/TV commercials and print ads. She is a graduate of Huntingdon College and studied counseling and guidance at the University of Alabama. She and her husband live in North Carolina, are born-again Christians, and the happy, blessed grandparents of five little answers to prayer.
Her mystery website is:

There you'll find fun info, characters with their own pages and free preview chapters!
Join E.E. on Facebook (as Ellen Edwards Kennedy) and Twitter @eekmystery


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