Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Count Your Blessings!

If you want to hear a different version of this familiar hymn check out the new "Christmas Companion" 2 CD album from the Prairie Home Companion and Garrison Keillor. This has John Mc Donough singing a charming version with accompaniment by the PHC regulars Dwarsky and Stein. It makes you think at this time of year especially. I miss not hearing that wonderful, weekly, old fashioned radio show from "Lake Woebegone" (St. Paul, MN) It is such a throw back to my early days of listening. I'd lay on the living room floor with my head right next to the old fashioned console speaker for hours. I last heard this perrenial standard when we could get the college station from Pasadena City College which carried the Public Radio feed. There is no station out here in The Pass. Betty and I used to listen to it every Saturday night, even in the car coming home. It was always good for a chuckle and some "pretty good" music too. Garrison is famous for his writing and his "sound-effects man" on the show. He used to produce a daily 5-min. show in the early morning with a poem. I'd listen on the way to my job teaching. It was an inspirational start to the day. His voice, modulation is unique and very rich. His jokes about scandinavians, especially Norwegians and Lutherns are a bit "old and moldy". With the CD I got, unsolicited, a "bobble-head Martin Luther" I'm using it for a "white elephant" gift tomorrow at the office party.

When Betty and I were in Hastings Ranch last week visiting Clark and his new job at Ethan Allen, I happened to sit in a "lazy-boy" type chair near the front of the store. I often do this when Betty is "shopping" which she was for a long time with her "favorite salesman". Next to the "easy" chair was a hand-crafted piece of pottery ie. a candy dish/ash tray. I usually don't do this kind of thing, but I turned it over to see who made it since Clark also "throws" pots. The artist had carved into the back some good advice: "Count your blessings each and every day." What good advice. I need to be more mindful and thankful for all the good things that have happened to me and my family...not just at Thanksgiving time or Christmas but each and everyday. I think that this kind of awareness has a "self-fulfilling" effect. Expecting "a blessing" and "things" to work out for the best is not "naive" and unrealistic, but just the best way to handle what does come our way, ramdomly or not. You never know..."the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-comin' down the street..." (Music Man) and it might just be full of lots of surprises for you and me. Bob


At 4:56 PM, Blogger BOB! Your Life Preserver said...

"Count your blessing, name them one by one, Count your blessings see what God has done..." can't remember the rest of the words to this hymn our mom used to sing. Can you? Bob

At 3:29 PM, Anonymous Bette said...

The words I remember are just a re-iteration of the same words:
Count your blessings,name them one by one, County your many blessings, see what God has done.

I'll look it up in my Covenant Hymnal!

At 6:26 PM, Blogger BOB! Your Life Preserver said...

Yeah, that sounds right. My memory is not a "blessing" I can really count I guess. Bob

At 12:46 PM, Blogger shanesimps said...

1. 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 has done.

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.

2. Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings; ev’ry doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.

3. 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.

4. 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.

Text: Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1856–1922

Music: Edwin O. Excell, 1851–1921

At 6:46 PM, Blogger BOB! Your Life Preserver said...

Thanks Shane. You must've had easy access to a hymnal. Yes, those words do sound familiar, especially the 1st and 2nd verses. Good advice. Bob

At 7:19 PM, Blogger shanesimps said...

Even better, all the Church music is posted on LDS.org. Here is a more direct link if you were interested in anything else - http://www.lds.org/churchmusic/0,17932,4586-1,00.html

Also I noticed a pretty neat interactive musical "tool" which can allow you to play any hymn and adjust tempo, bass, tenor etc. Let me know what you think!

At 7:55 AM, Blogger BOB! Your Life Preserver said...

Thanks again Shane. I'll check it out. Bob


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