Publication: One-to-One, Autumn 2009
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.
Now, laying aside for a moment the fact that I thought the lyrics said, “pillows,” I managed at my young age to get the gist of the song, which is that sometimes, we need to stop and remember the great things the Lord has done…to meditate upon His goodness and give Him thanks.
Since that time, I have been tossed upon many billows-and, come to think of it, pillows-but I have always found that even in the middle of these tempests, it is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord. Thanksgiving takes our eyes off of ourselves and our circumstances which are temporal (no matter how formidable they may seem), and focuses our vision on the eternal, faithful, unshakable, wise God and His Kingdom. We are lifted out of the pit of self-awareness and up to a higher perspective.
Autumn is traditionally a time of year when we focus on thanksgiving for what God has done in the past, and we begin looking ahead to what He will do in the future. We “count our blessings,” and consider our future investments where we want to sow our time, energy, money, faith, and hope. We sow in expectancy, and with a sense of ongoing gratitude, that “He Who promised is faithful.”
This year, 2009, has been a significant one for us at CSM, as we have celebrated 40 years of continuous publishing. During that time, we’ve seen enormous change take place in terms of how communication is conducted, and we have sought to grow and innovate in that environment. We have greatly expanded and improved our website at www.csmpublishing.org to include more specialized content, audio downloads, and interactive discussion. We have continued to publish One-to-one Magazine and the Monthly Pastoral Letter from Charles Simpson, and to provide other media resources for you.
However, nothing is more effective than face-to-face fellowship and outreach, which is why we are already planning our annual CSM LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which is scheduled for April 14-16, 2010. We’d love to see you there, and we will be getting more information to you soon about this event.
Between now and then, all of us should be engaged in the business of giving thanks and sharing the Good News with others. Your testimony has power! The Psalmist says, “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so….Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:1-2; 8).
My encouragement to you is that regardless of your current circumstances – smooth or difficult take some time to remember what the Lord has done in your life, thank Him for it, and tell somebody about it. As you share, you’ll be encouraged, and it may be the key to someone else’s deliverance.
“Count Your Blessings” Words: Johnson Oatman, Jr.; Music: Edwin Excell (1897)
Scripture Reference: Psalm 107:1-2, 8
STEPHEN SIMPSON is the Editor of One-to-One Magazine and the Director of CSM Publishing. In addition to publishing ministry, Stephen has served in leadership for churches and ministries in Costa Rica, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, and Michigan, as well as being the Senior Pastor of Covenant Church of Mobile (2004-2013). He continues to travel in ministry across North America and in other nations.