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Thursday, July 24, 2014

A time to count your blessings

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I have been blessed! And I am so grateful for all of the blessings that God has given me.

There's an old hymn that I have been singing to myself lately that reminds me to think about the many ways that I have blessed.

Johnson Oatman, Jr. wrote these words:

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.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,

Count your blessings, see what God hath done!

Count your 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 keep singing as the days go by.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,

Count your blessings, see what God hath done!

Count your blessings, name them one by one,

And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

We have just celebrated the national holiday of Thanksgiving. It is a good time to think about all that we have to be thankful for; to take the time to count our blessings.

Let me do some counting.

I have a wonderful wife. She's as beautiful today as she was the first time I laid eyes on her. She's sweet enough to see something worthwhile in me. She loves the Lord and she loves me. I have been blessed!

I have three children that I thank God for. I love them and they love me. Our love is there for each other in spite of our imperfections. I have been blessed!

I have two granddaughters that love me unconditionally. And my heart is warmed at the mere thought of them. I have been blessed!

I have the awesome privilege of serving as the pastor to two wonderful church congregations. What a blessing that is for me. These churches are filled with sweet, caring, loving Christian people who allow me to minister among them. They are kind enough to say "Amen" when I preach, and sweet enough to laugh at my dumb jokes, and courteous enough to help me count my points at a pot luck dinner. I have been blessed!

The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ."

Paul recognized that God was the one that has given us all the good things in life. And when things happen that may not seem real good, He is there to walk with us through those times too. We have been blessed!

Good times or bad. God is there with us.

I was visiting with a family in the hospital earlier this year, and the mother reminded me of what Romans 8:38 said. The apostle Paul wrote, "All things work together for the good for those that love God and are called according to His purpose."

Whether we are going through seasons of abundance or seasons of drought, God is there with us. We have been blessed.

Take the time to count your blessings, as the songwriter said, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

I know that I have been blessed, and I pray for God's blessings for you too.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,

Count your blessings, see what God hath done!

Count your blessings, name them one by one,

And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

-- Doug Dezotell is the pastor of Mt. Lebanon UMC and Cannon UMC. He is a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette, and he is a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a friend to many. He can be contacted at dougmdezotell@yahoo.com.



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Doug Dezotell
Memories and Musings