Saturday, 29 October 2016

Count Your Blessings Hymn Story and Lyrics

The History and Story Behind Count Your Blessings

Count Your Blessings is probably one of the most popular Christian hymns in the world. I would not be surprised if it made the top Christian hymns of all-time list for millions of Christians. 

I have heard this song sang on television, radio, church, etc. I remember one of the most popular musicians in my country included it in his album and it caught fire with millions singing along or listening to it. 

The author of this hymn is Johnson Oatman Jr. He was born on April 21, 1856, near Medford, New Jersey.

His father was a local merchant who also happened to be a favorite singer in his town. He had a beautiful and powerful booming voice that captivated many people.

The young Johnson Oatman, Jr wanted above all else to follow in the footsteps of his father and be a musician. He wanted to grow up and be like his dad in many other respects besides music.
Johnson Oatman, Jr

He initially joined his father’s business as a junior member in the Johnson Oatman & Son firm. Due to this, he did not have enough to fulfill his religious ambitions.

He later studied for the ministry in the Methodist church. While he tried his best in his work as an ordained minister in the Methodist church, he soon realized that it was not his thing. He had gone about preaching in various congregations in his area but was not happy.

He knew that he was not going to be a great preacher even though he felt the call of God to ministry. He, therefore, determined to seek God's will for his life

At the age of 35, he found his calling and never looked back. He realized that while he could not sing like his dad he could write hymns.

Thus began a journey that led him to write 200 hymns a year and eventually wrote 5000 hymns. Thus he was able to find a way to "preach the gospel".

Though his favorite hymns were the popular, "NO, Not One" and "Higher Ground" it was Count Your Blessings written in 1897 that had a meteoric journey.

The words of this song were put to music by Edwin Othello Excell. Edwin Othello Excell was born December 13, 1851, in Stark County, Ohio. He too was pastor's kid.

His father was Rev. JJ  Excell was the minister in the German Reform Church in Ohio. 

I would guess that it must be a popular hymn during the Thanksgiving holidays in America. A very fitting song to remind us of the many blessings we experience daily.


It is very easy to forget to Count Our blessings when we go through difficult times. The mind usually will focus on the slights and disappointments of life neglecting the multitude of good things that happen to us every day.


Below are the lyrics of this beautiful hymn, Count Your Blessings.


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.

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!

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 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.

Count Your Blessings Video


Below is a video featuring Guy Penrod a regular musician on the Gaither Homecoming concerts singing this beautiful hymn, Count Your Blessings.

For more links on old and popular hymns visit here.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Be Still For The Presence of The Lord Lyrics and Story Author: David J Evans

Story Behind "Be Still For The Presence of the Lord"

For me and many Christians I believe, Be Still For The Presence Of The Lord, ranks high among worship hymns of all time. It is a beautiful song with a clear and simple message.

It is a call for us to tune out everything and focus on the Lord. The Holy One is here and nothing else matters.

It is one of the most beloved modern hymns that are full of the teachings of the scripture. It reminds me of the tradition long gone where hymns were used as vehicles for spreading the teachings of the church.

The author of this hymn is David J Evans who wrote this song in the 1980s.

The inspiration for this hymn is the story of Jacob fleeing from his brother. While in the wilderness he had a dream where he saw angels going up and down a ladder to heaven. The old Testament says, " ‘then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it.”

I have also read somewhere where it is said that this song is also based on Exodus 3: 1-6.

This is the story of Moses and the burning bush where the fire did not burn up the bush. This made Moses curious and as he approached the fire the Lord called him by name from the burning bush.

God told Moses not to come closer and to take off his sandals as he was standing on holy ground. At this Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.

This hymn was used as a call to worship in one of the churches I used to attend and has been one of my favorite hymns ever since.

David J. Evans was born in 1957 in Dartford, Kent, United Kingdom. However, as a child, he grew up in Winchester and was educated at the University of Southampton. He still lives in the city of Southampton, United Kingdom.

He has written many songs but this one is the most popular by far. He leads in contemporary worship in churches and is also currently doing a Ph.D. researching into the psychology of music at the University of Southampton.

Be Still For The Presence of the Lord Lyrics

Below are the lyrics of this powerful call to worship. For links to other songs please visit Popular and Old Hymns History.

Be still, for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One, is here;
Come bow before him now with reverence and fear:
In him no sin is found - we stand on holy ground.
Be still, for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One, is here.

Be still, for the glory of the Lord is shining all around;
He burns with holy fire, with splendor he is crowned:
How awesome is the sight - our radiant King of light!
Be still, for the glory of the Lord is shining all around. 

Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place;
He comes to cleanse and heal, to minister his grace -
No work too hard for him. In faith receive from him.
Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place.

Find below a youtube video featuring this song, Be Still For The Presence of The Lord.




My Faith Has Has Found A Resting Place Lyrics and Story

This hymn "My Faith Has Found A Resting Place" was composed by Elizabeth Edmunds Hewitt. Ms. Hewitt’s pseudonym was Lidie H. Edmunds which is used in other copies of her hymns.

She was a native of Philadelphia where she was born on 28th June 1851.

Early in her life, Ms. Hewitt suffered from a spinal malady that incapacitated her for a long time.

It was while she was convalescing that she found her passion for writing poems for her church's primary department.  She later became a Sunday School teacher in the Presbyterian church.

This song is the result of one of her poems and I know you will be blessed by it as millions have.
EE Hewitt

Below are the lyrics of this much-loved hymn.

1 My faith has found a resting place,
Not in device nor creed;
I trust the Ever-living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.

Refrain:
I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.

2 Enough for me that Jesus saves,
This ends my fear and doubt;
A sinful soul I come to Him,
He’ll never cast me out. [Refrain]

3 My heart is leaning on the Word,
The written Word of God,
Salvation by my Savior’s name,
Salvation through His blood. [Refrain]

4 My great Physician heals the sick,
The lost He came to save;
For me His precious blood He shed,
For me His life He gave. [Refrain]


For links for most hymns on this site please click here.

Below is a video of "My Faith Has Found A Resting Place" which was filmed by Fountainview Academy as part of The Great Controversy in Rome, Italy.