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Daily Encouragement - May 1

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. — Philippians 4:8-9 Some years ago I attended a seminar with the staff of the church I was serving at the time. The presenter was speaking about our tendency to focus on the wrong things and he made the statement “on any given Sunday more people will not attend your church than will. Count the yes votes.” That expression, “count the yes votes” became something of a mantra for that staff. It was a way for us to remind one another to think about the good things we were seeing rather than the obstacles. During these challenging times, it is easy for us to think about the challenges themselves: my hair is getting unruly, I can’t see people I love, I miss attending worship with the congregation, and the list goes on. It is easy for us to become irritable, snapping at the folks around us, shaking our fingers at the sky wishing things were different. The challenge is to count yes votes. To see the blessings in our midst and to hold on to all that is good, right, true, honorable and lovely. Today is my sister’s birthday. Usually a text would fly between all of us in the family wishing her a happy day, but this year there will be a Zoom gathering. We will see each other and laugh together. That is a good thing, and I for one will treasure it. Look around, my friends, and see the things that are good and honorable, just and pure, that is how we find the God of peace in our midst. “Count Your Blessings” v. 1 When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done! Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, see what God has done. Beautiful One in our midst, teach us to see your grace. Open our eyes to all that you bring and grant that we may treasure your presence in all times. In the name of Jesus Christ, who is your peace. Amen. Pastor Tom

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