Count Your Blessings
I grew up singing a hymn that goes like this, “Count your blessings, name them one by one, count your blessings, see what God hath done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” The Thanksgiving season reminds me of how blessed I am. Just this week, we moved into the new Larry R. Moore Nursing and Administration Building, and as I looked around at this beautiful facility, I couldn’t help but be thankful for the many donors who helped make it possible for us to move into this new building debt free.
Earlier this month, we hosted Acrofest 2018, a two-day acrobatic clinic for 600 students from 16 high schools and 4 universities. The different teams performed on Friday in local high schools and elementary schools with a finale performance by all the teams in our University gymnasium on Saturday night. The show of strength, agility, and teamwork was amazing. The programming also included some powerfully rich worship services. As I sat in a special afternoon church service for our guests, I noted how the church was completely full! We were blessed to have the many schools visit our campus.
We are blessed to have dedicated and talented faculty at our University. Communication professors Mike Agee, Kyle Portbury, and Glen Robinson, were honored to be nominated for an EMMY award this year. They traveled to Houston to attend the 16th Annual Lone Star EMMY Awards ceremony, and after five hours of listening to other nominations and awards, their category of Historic/Cultural—Program Feature/Segment was called. With great surprise, they were selected to receive the EMMY. Each of them received an EMMY for their work on “Truth.” In addition, writer/director Kyle Portbury received an EMMY nomination for outstanding achievement in directing. What a blessing for them and for the University!
On November 19, 1893, just a week before Thanksgiving, pioneer A.M. Woodall, traveling by covered wagon, arrived in Keene. Years later recalling that first winter, he wrote “For several weeks fathers and mothers with their children had been arriving. It meant much for … [them] to leave their homes and come and locate in this wild, barren place, but they believed that the Lord was leading them… The early settlers of Keene sacrificed much in blazing the trail for our present…college, but we see the results… We feel that the Lord was directing them, and they have been well paid for their efforts.” Our University is blessed to have a rich heritage that spans 125 years.
On a personal note, my wife Ann and I received the new title of grandparents! Our first grandchild was born just a few weeks ago. Little Arthur and his parents are doing well. We are so very blessed!
I recently listened to Bing Crosby singing, “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep” from the Irving Berlin’s classic musical, White Christmas. The song goes like this, “When I’m worried and I can’t sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep, and I fall asleep counting my blessings. When my bankroll is getting small, I think of when I had none at all, and I fall asleep counting my blessings. I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads, and one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds. So if you’re worried and you can’t sleep, count your blessings instead of sheep, and you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.”
I am hopeful you will join me in setting aside life’s worries and taking time to reflect on the many blessings we enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving!
This article is an opinion piece written by President Shaw for the Cleburne Times Review.