Count Your Blessings

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From the pastor's desk,


"Count Your Blessings" is a hymn I think of often, but especially at Thanksgiving.  Part of verse's 1 & 3 specifically speak to me and remind me why I am one very lucky and blessed guy.

vs 1, "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 has done."

vs 3  "Count your many blessings money cannot buy, your reward in heaven nor your home on high.  Count your blessings-name them one by one ---and  see what God has done"

I was invited to attend St. Paul Lutheran Church in Haskins, Ohio the first Sunday in May my sophomore year in high school.  I only went to be eligible to play on the church's softball team.  When I left church later that day, I had said YES to Jesus.  I received the greatest blessing of my life that day.  That day changed my entire life.  Jesus was now in my life.

More blessings awaited me at Capital University.  It was my Freshman year that I felt God’s call to Ministry.  What a life changing blessing this has been.  At Capital, also my Freshman year, I met Bess who became my wife after graduation.  What a blessing she has been, a great companion and fellow worker in ministry in many churches. 

We are blessed with a wonderful daughter (Evelyn) and son (John David).  Both love the Lord and raised their children to also love Jesus. Evelyn lives near Madison, Wisconsin and is a Graphic Designer. John David lives in Goshen Indiana with his wife Patty and is the CEO of a large construction company. Bess and I count it a blessing to know they continue to be active in the church.

Our 5 grandchildren are also doing well, Stephen, with a masters degree in Physics lives in California, his sister, Tricia, is about to graduate from Indiana University with a degree in Finance and already has a job when she graduates.  Lydia is a Junior in college and is headed into the medical world.  Anna, a college Freshmen is in graphic arts and already has 3 art pieces in a prestigious museum.  Natalie is a high school senior and is looking forward to college.  As a Junior she led her high school frisbee team to the state championship.

There have been blessings in each of the 6 churches where I served full time, and in each of the 7 Interim churches, but the greatest blessings have come from our final church, St. Mark's.  Your love for both Bess and myself have been a tremendous blessing which we dearly appreciate.  Yes, I am one very lucky and blessed guy.

May each of you sit down and count your blessings, name them one by one and see what God has done in your lives.  It will surprise you what the Lord has done. Yes, you also will say, "I am one very lucky and blessed guy/gal.

Blessings, my good friends,

Pastor John

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John Place