“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
~ James 3:17


Hi James and Ellen,

How big is your tongue? Do you know why you have a tongue? Do you like to talk? If you do not have a tongue, would you be able to talk? If you do not have a tongue, would you be able to boast? Have you ever said something that you wish that you could unsay? Have you ever had a guy, gal or kid become really angry with you because of something that you said? James – in James 3, wrote about the tongue. James refers to the tongue as being the most evil part of the body. James says that the tongue starts evil as a spark starts a forest fire. Even though the tongue may praise God, the tongue may also hurt guys, gals and kids who God in His own image has placed on planet Earth. Do you think that James knew what he is talking about in his letter – which became known by his name, that was sent to God’s specially elected guys and gals who had fled Jerusalem because of all the horrific things that were happening to guys and gals who had made decisions of faith to believe in what Jesus did for them when He died on a cross and rose from the dead? Do you know who this James is who authored the James Book? James grew up in Nazareth. Do you know who else grew up in Nazareth? Do you know who James’ big bro was?

A small thing – like a tongue, sure can mess up a day for a guy, gal or kid. Your grandmaa and grandpaa had a day messed up in Bolivia by a small car part that failed in the middle of nowhere. The road between Concepción and San Ignacio is often filled with potholes. Your grandmaa and grandpaa lived for three years in Concepción where they administrated the rural resident Bible education center program. A missionary couple lived in San Ignacio who your grandmaa and grandpaa always enjoyed visiting. The drive to San Ignacio from Concepción would usually take at least four to five hours to make. The road between San Ignacio and Concepción would become very slippery and treacherous when a lot of rain fell on it. After the South America Mission (SAM) leadership asked your grandpaa to be their South America Mission field missionary team leader in Bolivia, your grandmaa and grandpaa decided to travel in their Isuzu Caribe from Santa Cruz through Concepción to San Ignacio to spend time with the field team missionary couple who was living in San Ignacio. Your grandmaa and grandpaa did not run into any trouble on their long drive to San Ignacio. Hard, steady rain fell for a couple of days after your grandmaa and grandpaa arrived in San Ignacio. The torrential, continuous rainfall really messed up the dirt road between San Ignacio and Concepción. After staying in San Ignacio for a couple of extra days for the road to dry up some, your grandmaa and grandpaa left for Concepción. Your grandmaa and grandpaa had made it about halfway to Concepción from San Ignacio when the Isuzu Caribe that your grandpaa was driving had its front right tire slide into a deep dried rut in the road. After your grandpaa got the Isuzu Caribe out of the deep rut, your grandpaa checked to see if everything was okay with the right front tire. When your grandpaa saw some dark, greasy fluid running down the inside of the front right tire, your grandpaa knew that your grandmaa and grandpaa were in big trouble. Your grandmaa and grandpaa drove another fifteen or so minutes to the next village where they stopped and asked if there was a mechanic living in the small village. There are six villages between San Ignacio and the village where your grandmaa and grandpaa stopped to ask if there was mechanic living in the village who would be willing to look at their Isuzu Caribe. There are no villages between this village and Concepción. Your grandpaa really wanted to get to Concepción as your grandpaa knew a mechanic in Concepción who he knew could repair the Isuzu Caribe but . . . there was a mechanic in the village where your grandmaa and grandpaa stopped. The mechanic told your grandpaa that the right front bearing ring had gotten messed up when the Isuzu Caribe’s right front tire slid down into the dried up rut. When the bearing ring got messed up, the bearings in the ring began to grind on the axle which . . . the mechanic told your grandpaa that the bearing ring should be replaced before your grandmaa and grandpaa went on to Concepción. A bearing ring is a small, inexpensive part but . . . your grandmaa and grandpaa for the next twenty-four hours had to wait in their Isuzu Caribe while the mechanic went on his motorcycle to San Ignacio to look for a replacement bearing ring. Your grandpaa could have tried to get all the way to Concepción but if the small bearings really got into cutting into the Isuzu Caribe’s front axle, your grandpaa would have had a real mess – as very few vehicles traveled that road.

While your grandmaa and grandpaa waited in their reddish orange Isuzu Caribe, your grandmaa and grandpaa listened to tapes that had been loaned to them. The tapes were Jill Briscoe messages. Jill Briscoe on one of the tapes talked about being in Nazareth. While Jill Briscoe was in Nazareth, an elderly lady asked her if she wanted to come inside her small, rock walled house to drink a cup of tea with her. While Jill Briscoe was in the lady’s house, the lady told Jill Briscoe that her place was just like the houses that guys, gals and kids lived in during the time when Jesus lived in Nazareth. Your grandpaa started to think about what it must have been like for James to grow up in a small, rock walled house – with Jesus as his big bro. Can you picture Jesus talking and James listening to his big bro? Can you hear Jesus explaining how a guy, gal or kid can control his or her small, bad tongue by using wisdom? Can you envision Jesus saying what his bro James wrote in verse 17, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”? If your tongues are saying unloving words, your grandpaa really hopes that you will give them a heavenly wisdom fix.

James 3 (244)