Living & Growing: What is your ‘Blessing Count’ today?

By Guy Crockroft

“Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

The words of this old hymn, written by Johnson Oatman in 1897, remind us that no matter what situation we find ourselves in, there are still some blessings in our lives, and it is wise to focus on them when times are tough.

At Love Imc., we have an intake interview process where we get to know our clients and their overall situations so that we can understand how best to help them. One of the questions is “What are you grateful for today?”

Some clients say they are happy to be alive, or that their situation isn’t worse; others have said they are glad they have a new apartment, or a new job; that they are thankful for their family, their friends, their church, or “God loves me and answers prayer.”

Some readers may be thinking, “What do I have to be thankful for today? Things look pretty bad right now — I’ve suffered a bad relationship, lost a friend, can’t get a job, have serious health issues, the news is full of angry people, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, political turmoil, and of course, the pandemic!”

Could be it is time to take a lesson from the 17th century Presbyterian minister and writer Mathew Henry, who found four things to be thankful for after he had his wallet stolen: first, he was thankful that it was the first time he had ever been robbed; secondly that although he had been robbed, he was not killed; thirdly that it was he who had been robbed, not he that had done the robbing, and finally, that although the robber took everything he had, it wasn’t very much.

Henry was living out the scripture — I Thessalonians 5:16-18 — that says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

While life can indeed be tough, an attitude of gratitude and focusing on positive things will help. Reaching out to God in prayer will give you peace in the midst of the chaotic storms of life.

As Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6-8, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

What is your blessing count today?

• Guy Crockroft is the Executive Director of Love Inc, Juneau. “Living & Growing” is a weekly column written by different authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders. It appears every Friday on the Juneau Empire’s Faith page.

Guy Crockroft (Courtesy Photo)

Guy Crockroft (Courtesy Photo)

More in Neighbors

Living & Growing: The importance of forgiveness and peace 20 years later

I pray that we will find a way to become the physicians who heal themselves.

Living & Growing: What is your ‘Blessing Count’ today?

By Guy Crockroft “Count your blessings, name them one by one, and… Continue reading

Thank you letters for the week of Sept. 5

Thank you, merci, danke, gracias, gunalchéesh.

Gimme a Smile: I’m so tired of not sleeping

At least there aren’t Death Eaters.

Michio Hoshino, the late Japanese photographer, was honored this week by the Alaska Legislature in a citation that recognized his “breathtaking photos of Alaska’s wildlife and scenery” featured in magazines and books that have inspired “his countrymen to travel to Alaska for three generations, strengthening ties between the two regions.” Bob Sam of Sitka, a friend of Michio and the Hoshino family, proposed the citation that was sponsored by Sitka Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins. Both flank Michio’s widow, Naoko Hoshino following a brief ceremony on Thursday. (Courtesy Photo / Peter Metcalfe)
Late, great photographer feted at Alaska State Capitol

His work, which captured Alaska’s wildlife and scenery, were featured in magazines and books.

Thank you letters for the week of Aug. 22, 2021

Thank you, merci, danke, gracias, gunalchéesh.

This photo shows Russ Stevens, who won four gold medals during the Alaska International Senior Games. (Courtesy Photo)
Juneau man wins gold at senior games

Russ Stevens of Juneau struck gold in Fairbanks.

Living & Growing: Love has the power to overcome

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Leaders from 100+ Women Who Care present contributions from members to Southeast Alaska Independent Living. (Courtesy Photo / Gloria Ramirez)
Thank you letters for the week of Aug. 8, 2021

Thank you, merci, danke, gracias, gunalchéesh.