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                                    In I Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT) Paul writes:             Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.             Three commands for we as believers in three short verses! May I add that these three commands are not always easy to be consistently obeyed!             The last few days have had their share of cold winds and rain. I think that all of us have at least a little gardening or farming desire buried somewhere in our hearts. These rainy cold days are frustrating our desire to be out there tilling the ground. Add to this the ongoing concern associated with covid and its ‘cooped up’ implications and it is easy to fall short of living out these commands of Paul.             But I awoke this Mothers Day to bright sunshine, the absence of wind resulting in a glass like surface on the lake, and birds happily feasting at our feeder.  It is a reminder that even in our darkest moments, in the most difficult of life’s circumstances, there are always brighter days ahead for we as believers.             And we can always be reminded of things, people, and our God to be thankful for. Today among many other things I’m thankful for my wife, and her amazing motherly and grandmotherly skills, my own mother and step-mother, for my family, and my church family.             I am thankful for the blessings we enjoy as Canadians and while many have tough sledding with the logistical and financial demands of our lives we are certainly well blessed compared with millions around the world. In just the last few days I’ve had requests for help from three friends in three different countries, people struggling to survive in lands without any social safety nets.             Tabulating our troubles and trials is always a depressing exercise. Substituting that exercise with counting our blessings will make the challenge of living out Paul’s commands much easier!                                                                                                 Pastor Dave