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Count Your Blessings

The season of thanksgiving is upon us, and in celebration I’m presenting the hymn, “Count Your Blessings.” Johnson Oatman penned the lyrics in 1897. Oatman was born near Medford, NJ in 1856. His father was an accomplished singer and as a young boy Oatman would delight to sit and hear his father sing in church. Oatman joined the Methodist Episcopal Church when he was nineteen. After several years, he was granted a license to preach the Gospel. He served as minister to local congregations after receiving his ordination. During his lifetime Oatman wrote over three thousand hymns including favorites such as “Higher Ground” and “Count Your Blessings.”

Edwin Othello Excel wrote the music in 1897. He was born in Uniontown, OH in 1851. Excel was a prominent publisher and composer, writing over two thousand hymns, and was song leader and singer in the church. He founded several singing schools across the country and worked as song leader for evangelist Sam Jones. He composed several well-known hymns including “Amazing Grace”, “Count Your Blessings”, and “Since I Have Been Redeemed”, for which he also wrote the lyrics.

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, ev’ry doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands 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.

Refrain:
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

12 Both riches and honor come from You,
And You reign over all.
In Your hand is power and might;
In Your hand it is to make great
And to give strength to all.
13 “Now therefore, our God,
We thank You
And praise Your glorious name.

1 Chronicles 29:12-13

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

Ephesians 1:3-6

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