November 25, 2021

Count Your Blessings

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.

Here we are, Thanksgiving Day 2021. Early this morning, this song came to my mind, Count Your Blessings, see what God has done. In other words, take a moment, look at your life and give an evaluation of the journey and then give God praise for His blessings. What a better day to do this than Thanksgiving Day!

In doing so, what has the year been like that has led you to this very day and how should the journey impact how we see this day. For me, it has been one heck of a ride to say the least. I have a feeling I am not the only one on the rollercoaster. In fact, I know many who have had a wilder ride than me. Full of difficulties, thrills and even some chills and a few unexpected turns.

Funny thing about rollercoaster rides, no matter how it went, when I got back into the station, I was always glad I got on and would not take anything for the experience.

I feel the same way about the journey to this Thanksgiving Day, there were loops, some moments that took my breath away, there were some joys, but in it all, I would not take anything for the experience.

For this reason, I sit here this morning with a greater appreciation of what God has done. Because, just like the song says, I am blessed and God has done some amazing, underserving things in my life.

Last Thanksgiving, we were unable to gather like we always had. My brother and his family had Covid and then from that point on, the ride picked up quick. Christmas came and found me in a hospital room separated from my wife, daughter, and family as we faced Covid ourselves and the long road to recovery. There are those of you who fully understand and have been there and have the t-shirt like we do.

Then to see so many lose that battle and be hit hard in our families and communities. On top of the political, social and financially crisis our nation has been in, life does not stop. Family and friends still get cancer, people still get sick and bills must be paid and stress does not take a vacation.

So far, I know you are glad you clicked on this blog post.

But stay with me, I am going somewhere.

Take a moment, even in the challenging times and hills and twists and turns, and count your blessings, we can see them one by one, all that God has done. We have all still been blessed.

This does not mean it is easy or we just whitewash the tough times. It means we give thanks during them, not because of them. One writer says about this song and concept of counting blessings, “The wonderful encouragement to “Count your blessings” is often misused. It does not mean to deny that you are having problems. It does not mean to ignore your troubling emotions. It does not mean, ‘Cheer up and act like everything is fine.’ That doesn’t work!”

In fact, the song itself says so:

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 keep 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.

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.

So, what does it mean? That we take a moment, pause and amid the burdens and the battles, look around and find those blessings. They are there! No matter how small or insignificant, God has blessed us.

Today, let us all pause and give Him praise for ALL God has done and is still doing.

Maybe even write them down or at least think through them. This does a couple of things.

Our minds can only focus on one thing at time and by focusing on our blessings and giving thanks to God, it will help not only your mood but your attitude. May not change your circumstances but will certainly change you.

Then, you in turn, can change others. Once you count your blessings, you become encouraged and then you can be an encouragement to others.

Today, on this Thanksgiving 2021, you and I can be Ambassadors of Gratitude. With all that is bad that will be discussed today and trust me at some dinner table somewhere, somebody is going to get negative and controversial and stir the pot.

You and I can go in and be Ambassadors of Gratitude and share a blessing and be a blessing.

For some of you, you do not need to be around drama to bring you down, it is the loss of a loved one this year or a loved one who is sick or you are the one facing sickness or pain. I do not minimize what you are feeling or going through.

I promise you will see a blessing in all you have been through to give God praise. If nothing else, His grace to get your through and His mercy and strength that is getting your through.

Having said that, let me start us off and give blessings that from my journey this past year just to kick start us today:


  • Jesus Christ came, died, rose again to make a way for me to get to God. Then, He personally saved me and know Him as my Savior and Lord and He is with me and has NEVER left me. He is faithful. And is not only with me now but will one day carry me home to heaven with Him.
  • I am alive to be able to celebrate this year. Last December, that was in question, but I am here and grateful. And all of those in my family that faced Covid, by God’s grace they are well, and I will see them today.
  • God has given me the most amazing wife in Courtney! She is awesome inside and out. This past year we celebrated 25 years of marriage; I am so grateful!! I count her as one of my biggest blessings aside from my salvation.
  • Just a few weeks ago we celebrated Mikalyn’s 22nd birthday, today, she is one amazing blessing.
  • I have a wonderful family. Many I will see today when last year we could not!! Praise the Lord!! There will be a few I will not get to see because of where we live, but I am blessed we can still talk and connect. Some, I will not see because they are in heaven, but I blessed they are healthy and whole with Jesus and one day I will see them again. For all of my family, I am grateful for you all!!
  • I get to, that right, I get to pastor the most wonderful people on this side of eternity, Center Baptist Church. Today, I count it the highest honor and one of my greatest blessings to be your pastor. Love you all!! And I have had the joy to pastor some wonderful churches over the last 26 years, God bless you all.
  • I have great friends that love me, pray for me and are there for me. And trust me, I am a lot to deal with, so I am grateful for you all!
  • I can breathe today without the aide wearing oxygen, which I did have to have for the first part of the year.
  • I can preach, teach, write, and share about the love of God in so many ways, I am so thankful. I am blessed that you would take time to even read this today!
  • I have food upon my table, clothes upon my back and a warm place to sleep (although my family would say, it could be a little warmer if I would turn the heat on already…….)
  • This one is going to sound strange. But this is an example of seeing the blessing and not the burden. I am thankful for my new CPAP machine that I started this week. For the first time in, well let’s just say a long time, I have not dreaded the night and have slept soundly and woke up refreshed. I am blessed.

I could go on and on, and so could you. Take time today, no matter what, and Count Your Blessings, see what God has done.

I pray this helps and encourages you in your journey.

God bless you for reading today and I pray you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and go out now and be an ambassador of gratitude.

Pastor Michael