CTPress and October 25, 2020 Worship and Songs

Count your blessings, name them one by one…

That is the beginning of the chorus of “Count Your Blessings,” the famous hymn written by Johnson Oatman, Jr., in 1897 [lyrics below]. For years I had thought that this was one of those simple songs we used in Sunday School to teach children something basic about the faith – that it was similar to songs like, “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” I was surprised the learn that Oatman was a minister who wrote hundreds of songs, many of which are still sung today.

Counting our blessings is important. Though there is no direct command in scripture to count our blessings, there are several verses that encourage us to remember, or count, those gifts that come from God. Consider, for example, James 1:17,

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

In my work area at home, I have a “Joy Jar,” which is part of an idea I saw two years ago on social media. The idea is simple – throughout the year, every time something good happens, write it down on a little piece of paper, and stick it in the jar. On December 31, empty the jar and spend time remembering all the of the good things that happened throughout the year.

In addition to prayer and study of the scriptures, I cannot think of a more important practice during the pandemic. It is so easy to get discouraged, right now. As I have mentioned a few times from both the pulpit and in this newsletter, the pandemic has made everything harder. Every. Single. Thing. It would be so easy to sit back and catalog every terrible aspect of 2020, but what good is that? How will that help is to grow? How will our faith be stronger because of such negativity?

Friends, make it a point to keep track of the good. Not only will it bless us at the end of the year, but it orients us to look for the good. It will shape our attitude and perspective in a positive way. And we can certainly use more positive.

Pastor John

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God has done.
Johnson Oatman, Jr.