Release Date: April 14th 2017
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- Count Them All (Radio Version)
Counting blessings. Something we all as people should do much more of than what we currently do right now. Now I know I’m a culprit as well, but often, I see this world is much more focused on what we don’t have rather than being thankful and counting the ‘blessings’ we have received instead. And now we are leading up to the national day of thanksgiving in Australia (Saturday May 27th 2017), I thought it’ll be fitting, appropriate and even timely and necessary for me to ‘review’ this song “Count Them All” from JJ Weeks Band, a re-recording radio version of their song originally from their 2016 album As Long as We Can Breathe. Though the original recording did not interest me that much (because after all, how can a song really interest you if there’s only keyboards in the track), this newly recorded radio version has delivered such an earnest hope and enthusiasm attached to it, and has made me appreciate not only the song thematically, but remind me to count my own blessings in a personal and daily basis. Will the song be as popular as it should? Probably not, considering that JJ Weeks Band is still trying to find their feet amidst the sea of CCM bands that are more popular than them. Nevertheless, “Count Them All” is a song we all need to listen to if we are to be reminded about the blessings we all have, no matter how small or insignificant we believe our blessings to be.
Carrying on from the theme fleshed out in “Blessings” from Laura Story, maybe, just maybe, our blessings are in fact disguised as ‘curses’, mishaps, hurts and discouragements… and because of their disguise, we wouldn’t know them to be blessings, until hindsight comes into effect. JJ Weeks have given us a song that, while on the surface discusses an issue that is considered to be trivial above anything else (of course we count our blessings, of course we appreciate the good times in our lives, right?), looking deeper we realise just how relatable we are to this song. “Count Them All” encourages listeners to look deep within us and be thankful for the lives we have led thus far. To realise that ‘…every blessing great and small, every breath, every step we walk, is a gift we don’t deserve from a love we cannot earn, there’s still a song to sing even in our deepest need, the valley’s low and the mountains tall, take a breath and count them all…’ And while at times it may seem unnatural and even unholy and insensitive to count blessings during dark days, we ought to remember that in every circumstance, God is working for our good and His glory. He does not cause the darkness, but He will indeed use the darkness to shape our character as we’re moulded more into His likeness, understanding that whatever we face, His purposes and ways are higher than any and everything we can conjure up. And for that alone, we ought to be thankful. Thankful that Jesus has our best interests at heart, so much so that He went to the cross and took our sins, died and rose again for us to come back to the Father. And that is enough to ‘count them all’!
‘…I grew up in church and remember singing the old hymns out of the hymnals. This song is a play on one of those old hymns, Count Your Blessings. It is a great reminder that even though this life brings us hard times that even in the hardest moments we have a reason to sing. Because every breath we take, every single heartbeat is reason to be thankful. Worry, the Bible says, doesn’t add a day to our lives and if we can learn to leave the big stuff in God’s hands and start counting all the blessings God has given us today, we would shortly realize that we have so much more to be thankful for than to be worried about. Go ahead try to count all the good things God has put in your life…’ Amazing quote right? Written by JJ Weeks himself on April 14th on the band’s facebook page, we are met with an honest portrayal by the band of what they want the song to convey to listeners. “Count Them All” is a song that can be lifechanging if we are indeed open to a different way of looking at the word ‘blessing’ and what it means to embrace all types of ‘good things’, not just what we believe to be good for us and us only. Blessings doesn’t necessarily mean blessings to us in the short term, the thing about hindsight is that a blessing may not look like that to begin with, but with time, we see that the blessing we wanted to be ours was in fact for someone else all along, and that blessing given to that person enriched our own lives in the process. So the moral? Just be thankful, for whatever circumstance we find ourselves in. Because whatever we’re facing, there’s always a reason to give thanks, if only to thank God for who He is and who we are in Him. Well done JJ and the team for such an inspiring and impacting song. Can’t wait for more singles and chart topping tracks in the future!
3 songs to listen to: Not an EP, but you can listen to the song as many times as you want. Preferably more than three times in a row!
RIYL: Big Daddy Weave, Carrollton, MercyMe, Tenth Avenue North