Monthly Archives: August 2021

Working on Work Episodes

I spent time today recording and posting next week’s episodes. They are focused on work in honor of Labor Day. I’ll return to the Beatitudes the following week. I hope you enjoy!

Elmer Recording

The Meek – Tue – 21-08-31

This week we are focusing on meekness, which is usually called “gentleness.” In my search for examples, I came across Andy Mort’s blog site. Andy wrote a post entitled, “Gentleness is Strength: The 7 Habits of Highly Gentle People.” In the post he said some very interesting things. Here is the quote I liked the most:

“I have also come to believe that acting with gentleness is an act of rebellion. It stands counter to the expectations of a quick tempered, blame-fuelled culture where we want to take our frustrations out by criticising others, shirking responsibility, and fearing and fighting anyone or any way of life that we don’t understand or subscribe to.”*

Wow! He hit the nail on the head! Our culture does not encourage gentleness. That may be why we have a hard time finding it!

In his post, Mort goes on to detail the seven habits of gentle people. One of them is that gentle people leave time and space between what happens and how they react to it. They choose if they will react, as well as how.

With this description in mind, can you think of a gentle person. Someone who doesn’t explode in anger. One who thinks before replying, whether verbally, in email or text, or on social media? Think about how much better this world would be if we all were more gentle and meek!

*Andy Mort, “Gentleness is Strength: The 7 Habits of Highly Gentle People,”,, emphasis in original.

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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.

The Meek – Mon – 21-08-30

If you were going to look for an example of meekness, where would you look? Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” So, what do the meek look like? Where can we find examples that we can emulate? Would you look at film or music stars? What about political leaders? Do we know where to find examples of meekness? If you’re like me, it is easier to know where NOT to look!

I find it interesting that Peter talks about Christian women in 1 Peter chapter 3. He describes their inner spirit of meekness. Most translations use the word gentle. He describes the purity and reverence of their lives. These women are a contrast to others who are absorbed in style, clothes and jewelry. All those adornments fade or go out of fashion. Not so the inner beauty of a gentle spirit. It is unfading. Listen to Peter talk about the source of their beauty in verse 4: “It should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”(NIV)

Meekness is the opposite of being harsh or irritating. It does not have an anger problem! If you want to see meekness, look for Christian women who love and respect their husbands, as well as, everyone else. Learn to treat others with the gentleness they display!

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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.

The Meek – Sun – 21-08-29

Have you noticed there always seems to be something to get angry about! The news cycle reports one outrageous thing after another. It may be inflation, unemployment numbers, the way people react to Covid, acts of racism or the latest political flap. We should stop calling it the “news cycle” and just call it the “outrage cycle.”

What we really need, are the words of Jesus. He told us how to have a blessed life. His Sermon on the Mount begins with sayings called the Beatitudes. This week, our focus will be on the Beatitude recorded in Matthew 5:5, which reads, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (NIV)

When Jesus spoke this Beatitude, he may have based it on Psalm 37. That Psalm is a contrast between the righteous and evil doers. More specifically, it urges us not to get bent out of shape at those who do wrong. Our focus should be on trusting God and doing what is right, rather than on being anger or envious at those doing evil. Verses 10 and 11 echo the Beatitude. They read, “In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there. But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.”(NIV)

So join me this week as we reduce focus on the negative news. Let’s focus instead on meekness!

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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.

Those Who Mourn – Sat – 21-08-28

As we finish our look at the Beatitude about blessed are those who mourn, we need to examine one more area where mourning is required. We’ve already examined mourning the death of a loved one, mourning with those who mourn, as well as mournful repentance for our sin. But did you know we should also mourn when other Christians sin?

In 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 Paul challenges the church in Corinth. A man was living in a type of sexual immorality that even the pagan citizens of the city condemned. And Corinth was renowned in the first century as a sexually loose city! The pagans condemned the man’s behavior, but the church did not. It was proud. I’m not sure what they were boasting about, perhaps about being loving and forgiving people. Paul says they should have gone into mourning.

Followers of Jesus so often get this wrong. Some see sinful behavior and respond with hateful condemnation. Others see the same behavior and congratulate themselves on how tolerant they are. But when another follower of Jesus sins, it should cause us to mourn. We should also take the action specified in Galatians 6:1, which says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”

If we mourn the sins of fellow believers and work to restore them gently, I know God will comfort us!

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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.

Those Who Mourn – Fri – 21-08-27

What did Jesus mean when he said in Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”? (NIV) Did he refer only to those who mourn the death of a loved one? I wonder, maybe he was thinking of something else.

There is a time when Scripture commands us to mourn – and it is not about funerals. James 4:8-10 reads: “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”(NIV)

Is the second Beatitude talking about this level of repentance – that is, mourning our sins? We can’t be sure. But it certainly applies to the situation. James says when we are grieved by our disobedience to God and express that with mourning, God comes near to us. If we humble ourselves before him, he lifts us up.  When we trust in Jesus with a repentant heart, God forgives us. Not only are we forgiven, but God comforts us and reassures us of his forgiveness through the Holy Spirit.

Our assurance of God’s love transforms our grief over our disobedience into the comfort of God’s love. Man! That’s the kind of comfort I want to live in, don’t you?

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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.

Those Who Mourn – Thu – 21-08-26

As I write this episode, the summer heat is scorching the town where I live. The heat index this week will rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit! I find that when it is hot in the summer, I want cooler weather. And when winter sets in, I want summer again! I want sunny days, that is, until we need rain. Are you the same? The changing seasons are a normal part of life, even if they don’t change exactly when we want them too!

This natural rhythm is something Solomon observed when he wrote Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens, a time to be born and a time to die.” (NIV) In verse 4 he said there is “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” (NIV)

We all recognize this. We all know there will be times of mourning and grief in our lives. That’s why I find the advice of Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 so intriguing. Paul said that the present world is passing away and the time is short. This should change the way we live. One change he says is those who mourn should live as if they do not mourn. As believers, remember that Jesus is coming soon. It will change our perspective in mourning.

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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.

Those Who Mourn – Wed – 21-08-25

As I write this, I’m looking forward to attending a Major League Baseball game. We’re getting together with a couple of nephews and their families in a couple of weeks. We’ll probably eat peanuts or hot dogs and cheer for our team. Elaine and I follow one team and our nephews follow the other, so we may tease each other a bit! But we’ll all enjoy the fireworks after the game. Although I want my team to win, just being together with family will be a lot of fun!

This reminds me of the first part of Romans 12:15, which says “Rejoice with those who rejoice.” (NIV) Fun times are even more fun when you can share them with others. No one likes to have a party by themselves!

Then there is the second part of Romans 12:15, which says, “Mourn with those who mourn.” (NIV) So why should we join with others in mourning? It’s not much fun. It is certainly no party or ball game! No, but it’s like the old saying that many hands make light work. Mourning with others provides comfort to them.

This is one fulfillment of Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” Our presence with others when they mourn provides comfort. So, remember – rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.

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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.

Those Who Mourn – Tue – 21-08-24

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted,” says Matthew 5:4 (NIV.) This truly is a promise that God can make, because he is the God of all comfort. Just listen to Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (NIV)

Do you think of God in this way? As the God of comfort? Do you expect God to comfort you in troubles? Remember the 23rd Psalm? God is described as a shepherd whose rod and staff comfort us. A shepherd used the staff – a long thin stick – to guide the sheep.  He could reach out and redirect sheep that were heading into danger, or just wandering off. The shepherd’s rod, was the big club carried to beat off predators. So, God’s presence, guidance and protection provide comfort in the troubles we face.

We are also comforted by God’s love. Philippians 2:1 speaks of the comfort of Christ’s love. When we truly realize the extent to which Jesus loves us, that is, the sacrifice of his life for our forgiveness, we are comforted in knowing God cares. May you find God’s comfort in the troubles and mourning you face.

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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.

90+ and Going Strong!

Mary Tuggle is over 90 years of age. You can find her most Sunday mornings encouraging people at the Golden Valley Christian Church. She has a keen sense of humor and enjoys teasing her friends. Mary also writes a weekly article for the church website. It always starts with some interesting tidbit, usually of history. Take a moment to check out her creative reporting in the site’s sermon archive. She is an excellent example of encouraging others!

Those Who Mourn – Mon – 21-08-23

Have you ever been comforted following the loss of a loved one? Often, it is just the presence of another that is comforting. They may share memories of the deceased with you, or words of encouragement or simply be silent. They may hug you or shake your hand. Their presence is encouraging in the face of grief.

My father died a few years ago. I appreciated all the people who came to provide comfort. Some knew Dad. Others only knew a family member and wanted to comfort them.

The second Beatitude in Matthew 5:4 says “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” The word comforted is more interesting than the word mourn. In the original language it means “to call someone over” or “to call someone to your side.” It is translated in many different ways. It can mean to summon, to invite, to exhort, to ask, to help or to comfort. The noun form of the word can be translated as “comforter” or “counselor.” In fact, the noun form of the word is used to describe the Holy Spirit’s work in the lives of believers.

Was Jesus referring here to the comfort that God’s Spirit gives? Perhaps – but there is no way to conclude that for sure. We do see that the Beatitudes begin a sermon about the kingdom of heaven and the proper way to live. I think it safe to conclude that followers of Jesus who mourn will be comforted.

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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.