I took this photo on our building site of the colorful dirt layers.
In the process of building our home we were supposed to pour some concrete this last week, but it didn’t happen, pretty much again. My husband had some health issues and had to spend a few days in the hospital, but praise Yahweh we are home now. Sometimes it seems that just when things are going fairly well, something unforseen happens. That is life though, isn’t it? Home building is one obstacle after another. This is a great lesson in patience, so I am giving thanks for the many blessings that I do have.
Here is another excerpt from the book, Then Sings My Soul, 150 of the Worlds Greatest Hymn Stories, by Robert J. Morgan. This hymn is Count Your Blessings, (1897) by Johnson Oatman:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. ~James 1:17
It’s impossible to be thankful, and at the same time, grumpy, cantankerous, critical, or ill tempered. That’s a lesson Johnson Oatman wanted to teach young people in his song, “Count your Blessings.”
Johnson was born in New Jersey just before the Civil War. His father had a powerful voice whicj some people claimed was the best singing voice in the East. That’s why as a boy, Johnson Jr., always wanted to stand beside his father in church.
When Johnson was a young man, he stood alongside his father in another way. He became a partner in Johnson Oatman & Son, his dad’s mercantile business. At age 19, Johnson joined the Methodist Episcipal Church and was ordained into the ministry. He often preached, but Johnson never entered the full time pastorate, for he enjoyed the business world and found it paid his bills, giving him freedom to minister without cost.
In 1892, with his fathers voice undoubtedly ringing in his memory, Johnson began writing hymns. He averaged 200 hymns and gospel songs a year—5000 during the course of his lifetime, among them, “Higher Ground,” “No, Not One,” “The Last Mile of the Way,” and this one, “Count Your Blessings,” which was published in a song book for young people in 1897. It reflected Johnson’s optimistic faith, and has been a lesson to many ever since.
Martin Luther wrote in his book, Table Talk: “The greater God’s gifts and works, the less they are regarded.” We tend to exhibit a degree of thanksgiving in reverse proportion to the amount of blessings we’ve received. A hungry man is more thankful for his morsel than a rich man for his heavy-laden table. A lonely woman in a nursing home will appreciate a visit more than a popular woman with a party thrown in her honor.
If the birds only burst into song once a year, we’d all pay close attention. But because they are singing every morning, we scarcely bother to listen.
Now is a good time to lay this book aside and deliberately thank God for something you’ve never before mentioned in thanksgiving. Count your blessings. Name them one by one.
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
(Right now I’m thanking Him for healthy teeth. I don’t know, it was the first thing that popped into my mind.)
Count Your Blessings
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, Name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Are you ever burdened with a load of care,
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear.
Count your many blessings Every doubt will fly
And you will be singing as the days go by.
When you look at others with their land and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold.
Count your many blessings Money cannot buy,
Your reward in heaven Nor your home on high.
So amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged God is over all.
Count your many blessings Angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
Guy Penrod sings it well.
Count Your Blessings