Count your blessings

Published 9:49 am Monday, September 10, 2018

By John Warren

We have been singing out of the old Cokesbury Hymnal during our traditional services at 11 a.m. in the chapel and they sound so good!

These old traditional hymns take me back to my early childhood when I would sit next to my mama and lay my head on her lap as she sang. Mr. Ulysses Brooks lead the singing on Sunday nights and he would ask the congregation for requests.

My brother would ask for “When the Role Is Called Up Yonder” but my favorite songs were “Church In the Wildwood” and “Count Your Blessings.”

As I get older, I have found that it takes me longer to count my blessings as the list has grown. How about you?

I know this year has been a challenge for many and many of you are still not finished.

But this is what Mrs. Ruby Parks has taught me about life, just three words, that make all the difference in the world: count your blessings. Mrs. Ruby lost her home and her belongings and had to move and start over but when you ask her how she is doing she always, always answers, “I am blessed.”

A dear friend of mine went home to Amarillo when her grandfather died. On the night before his funeral, her grandmother asked her if she would sleep with her that night.   Of coarse she said yes, and they talked like schoolgirls into the night.

But it was what happened in the morning in that bedroom that has stuck with me.   My friend woke to her grandmother pulling open the curtains looking out at the sunshine and saying, “this is the day the Lord has made we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

My friend protested “but grandmother this is the day we will be burying your husband, how can you say that?”

And her grandmother replied, “I have started each day of my life this way I am not going to stop now.”

Every day we have a choice to choose to be a victim or a victor, cursed or blessed. Choose blessed. Monday evening September 10th at 6:30 p.m. we are starting a monthly group for folks whose lives have been marked by grief. This is not a “Methodist” function but a grief outreach to anyone who wishes to come. Some have lost spouses, some children or parents but we are willing to come together to help one another on this journey.

We meet in the Welcome Center at First United Methodist Church 502 North 6th Street in Orange.


John Warren is Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church, 502 North 6th Street in Orange.