Taming the Tongue

Lessons from James

This is the third of five talks given at Lee Abbey in the summer, do take a listen or download it below. The previous two in the series were:

  1. Persevering Through Trials
  2. Walking the Talk

An old legend tells how a man was once lost for days in a dark forest and stumbled across an imposing barn. He sought shelter inside it because of the howling winds. His eyes grew quickly accustomed to the dark, and he was amazed to discover that this barn was where the devil kept his storehouse of seeds. These were the seeds that were sown in the hearts of humans. He lit a match and looked at all the different types of seeds. Most of them, surprisingly, were labelled ‘Seeds of Discouragement’. Just then one of the devil’s helpers arrived to pick up a new load of seeds. The man asked him, “Why so many discouragement seeds?” The helper laughed and replied, “Because they’re so effective and they take root so quickly.” “Do they grow everywhere?” the man asked, to which the helper suddenly grimaced back at him and said in disgust, “No. They never seem to grow in the heart of a grateful person.”

Father’s Love Letter

…or watch at fathersloveletter.com

My Child, 
You may not know me, but I know everything about you.  Psalm 139:1 
I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27
In me, you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28 
For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28 
I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5 
I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12 
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26 
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14 
I knit you together in your mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13 
And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16 
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1 
Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11 
For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48 
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33 
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11 
Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3 
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalm 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 
I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40 
For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5 
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41 
And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3 
If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29 
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 
For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13 
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20 
For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18 
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11 
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4 
And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4 
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23 
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3 
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31 
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 
His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32 
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7 
I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15 
My question is…Will you be my child? John 1:12-13 
I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32
Love, Your Dad. Almighty God

Well-known pianist Ignace Jan Paderewski’s concert in New York had been sold out for six months. On the night of the concert, those who came were dressed in tuxedos and fancy dresses. A mother brought her nine-year-old son because he was beginning to complain about his piano lessons, and she thought hearing a great pianist might motivate him to keep practicing.

You can dress a nine-year-old in a tuxedo, but he’s still nine. Restless and impatient, he continually had to go to the bathroom and, much to the irritation of those sitting by them, kept walking back and forth. Finally, the mother became exasperated, grabbed her son by the shoulders and sat him down hard in his seat. “Now stay there and don’t move!” she said sternly. But a few minutes later, while the mother was distracted by the person on the other side of her, the boy slipped out to the aisle. The mother turned to see her son walking toward the stage, where a huge Steinway piano was standing. Panicky, she yelled at him to come back. Startled the little boy panicked, ran toward the stage, ran up the stairs straight to the piano, sat down, and began to play “Chopsticks.” People in the audience were furious.

“Get that kid off the stage!”

“This is an outrage!”

“What is this boy doing here!”

As the startled ushers began moving toward the young boy, Paderewski heard the commotion and looked out of his dressing room. He saw the boy playing “Chopsticks”. He quickly grabbed his tuxedo jacket, walked to the edge of the backstage area, and then stepped into full view of the audience. There was a collective hush. Everyone wondered what the great pianist would do. The boy, oblivious to what was happening, continued to play. Paderewski came up behind him, went down on his knee, and whispered in the little boy’s ear, “Don’t stop. Keep on playing. You’re doing great.” While the boy continued to play, the great pianist put his arms around the boy and began to play a concerto based on the tune of “Chopsticks.” While the two played, Paderewski kept saying to the boy, “Don’t stop. Keep on playing.”

As you look at your life, as you contemplate embracing the faith of a little child, as you wonder what difference your bumbling, flawed life will make, I hope you have heard God’s whispering voice, “Don’t stop. Keep on playing. You’re doing great.”

One day we shall all be gathered in that great concert hall of God, and we will hear the glorious beauty of the concerto God was playing while you and I plunked out our childlike version of “Chopsticks.”

3 Comments1931 views


  • this brought me to tears………..thank you

  • I still play chopsticks every time I sit at a piano! This brought tears to my eyes. The love of God is so good. Thank YOU for the encouragement. May you be refreshed in encouragement as well.

  • Thank you for your encouragements.
    I’m rebuilted.
    May God bless you more.

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