With over 5,000 hymns to his credit, this songwriter had a much different aspiration for his life. Thank God, His wonderful purpose for this man’s life continues to bless us all.
See if you can guess who this hymn writer is.
He was born in Medford, NJ, in 1856. His father had an excellent voice, and this boy traveled with his dad to his many singing engagements. At a young age, he aspired to following in Dad’s footsteps.
Though he become an ordained minister at age 19, his preaching left something to be desired, and his ability to sing? Well, let’s just say he wasn’t his dad.
None of these setbacks diminished this man’s desire to love and serve the Lord and to preach the Good News. And the Lord honored his commitment.
In 1892 at age 36, he put his pen, faith, and musical talent together and began composing one brilliant song after another – for others to sing. From that time on, he wrote an average of 200 songs a year.
Early in his songwriting career, he penned the dedication to a book as follows:
Let others sing of rights and wrongs,
Sing anything that pleases;
But while they’re singing other songs,
I’ll sing a song for Jesus.
And he wouldn’t accept more than one dollar for a hymn.
Maybe some of these titles can help you identify him:
No. Not One
I Know He’s Mine
Sweeter Than All
When the Fire Fell
I’ve saved one of my favorites for last.
Along with thousands of other songs, Count Your Blessings was written by Johnson Oatman.
We overlook so many opportunities to thank God for all He has done, is doing, and will continue to do for us. Johnson conveyed reasons to pause and give thanks – for the large and small things, and especially for salvation. Each and every day.
Should we do any less?
“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so…” (Psm. 107:1-2a, NKJV)
By author eMarie
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