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Minister's Column

We're always counting something in order to improve our physical health. We count calories, carbs, fat grams. We keep track of salt, fiber and calcium in our diets. We may even count points, or keep track of the ups and downs of our blood pressure. Numbers become important to our health.

While we're thinking about counting, how about counting our blessings? Do you remember the old hymn, "Count your many blessings, name them one by one, count your many blessings, see what God hath done?" That may sound trite, but keeping count of our blessings can have a positive effect on our health, just as counting calories may help. A recent study on the Science of Happiness found that smiling, counting your blessings, and reliving happy memories will make you a happier person.

It isn't always easy to focus on blessings, especially if we're feeling discouraged or tired. It won't diminish our salt or fat intake. It may, however, help lower blood pressures.

What could you put on your list? A beautiful sunset? A vivacious grandchild? A good meal with family or friends? You might add to your blessings good memories, and good moments in ordinary days. They won't change the present circumstances, but they will help balance the difficulties.

In this season of Thanksgiving, we are often more apt to think of blessings. How many take a few minutes around the Thanksgiving Dinner table to share something good that has happened to them in the past year. Try a little experiment. Take a good sized cup. As each person shares a blessing, add a little liquid to the cup. See how quickly your cup overflows.

And don't forget to give thanks for God's presence in your life, for your faith in Jesus Christ, for the peace and comfort that faith brings to your life, and for the challenge that faith gives you to serve others. For we are called to love God, and to love our neighbor.