Showers of Blessing

Image © Krieg Barrie from

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse,
that there may be food in my house.
And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts,
if I will not open the windows of heaven for you
and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. Malachi 3:10 ESV

Image © Krieg Barrie from

I was four-going-on-five when my father died. My oldest sister was married, two others were college age and the one closest to me was 12. Mother […]

Hopess: Taming the Tongue

Derek Morris 14d

You can view a discussion of the current lesson in the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris. (Adobe Flash Player version.) A Youtube version of this week’s lesson at Hope Sabbath School is below. You can download the video, the MP3 audio, and the lesson outline from the HopeTV Sabbath School Site. You might also want to bookmark the HopeSS Youtube channel.

07: Taming the Tongue – Thought Starters

Image © Krieg Barrie from

[Thought questions for Taming the Tongue November 11, 2014]

Image © Krieg Barrie from

1. But it’s so strong! Have you ever heard that the tongue is the strongest muscle in the human body? That’s actually a myth. When it comes to strength, the tongue comes in behind the strongest group of muscles—those that close the jaw. Do both types of muscle play a role in what we say? Do the words we speak reflect what we think? Have you ever […]

Wednesday: Damage Control

James 3:5-6
Wildfire in California from Wikimedia Commons

We’ve all experienced it. Something we said gets magnified, perhaps even exaggerated, to the point that we don’t even recognize it anymore. As James says, See how great a forest a little fire kindles (James 3:5, NKJV).

James 3:5-6Wildfire in California from Wikimedia Commons

Read prayerfully and carefully James 3:6. What is he saying about the power of our tongue, of our words, to defile everything about us? Why should this verse make us tremble before we speak?

While fire, when […]

Why Didn’t He Say Anything?

Several years ago one of my superiors made a false accusation against me at church. I asked a couple of friends how I should refute what was said. One friend answered wisely, “Don’t defend yourself against the accusation. Doing so will only give the accusation merit.” My friend was right. Sadly, the leader who made the accusation left the Adventist Church shortly after. As I continued my ministry I realized everyone forgot what he said. It may sound cliche, but some […]

07: Taming the Tongue – Lesson Plan


Key Thought : Words hold tremendous power. Words can soothe and reassure, or poison and contaminate.

[Lesson Plan for Taming the Tongue November 10, 2014]

1. Have a volunteer read James 3:1,2.

a. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
b. Why does being a teacher or leader bring a greater condemnation? How do we offend in many things?
c. Personal Application: Has anyone influenced you in a positive way? How did they impact […]

Tuesday: “Little” Things Are the Big Things

Image © Jeff Preston from

Read James 3:3-5. What do the two illustrations have in common, and how do they relate to the tongue?

Image © Jeff Preston from

Both the bit in a horse’s mouth and the rudder of a ship are very small compared to what they control. Yet, with a slight movement of the hand, the horse’s or the ship’s direction can be completely changed. By the same token, even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things […]

Monday: Word Power

Test explosion at the US Government Big Explosives Experimental Facility
from Wikimdeia Commons

For we all stumble in many ways (James 3:2, ESV). What a refreshing admission, especially considering James’s emphasis on behavior! Still, our acknowledgment of the real need not dim our belief in God’s ideal for us as His representatives on earth.

Test explosion at the US Government Big Explosives Experimental Facilityfrom Wikimdeia Commons

If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body (vs. 2, ESV). The form of the […]

Sunday: Accountability

Image © Lars Justinen from

Read James 3:1. What important point is he making here about accountability?

Image © Lars Justinen from

Teachers in the church and in Christian schools have an especially heavy responsibility because they shape minds and hearts in ways that will last for years. This effect includes the rippling impact they will have on many others beyond their immediate sphere of influence. The more we know, the more responsible we become for utilizing and imparting that knowledge.

At the entrance to […]

Sabbath: Taming the Tongue


Read for This Week’s Study: James 3:1-12; Deut. 6:6-7;Luke 9:51-56; Prov. 16:27; Matt. 7:16-18.

Memory Text: For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned (Matt. 12:37, NKJV).

Words hold tremendous power. A word fitly spoken (Prov. 25:11)-praise, poetry, stories can shape lives in profound ways. What we say may linger for days or even years. Children, for example, absorb words like sponges. That’s why they soon speak fluently whatever language they […]

Inside Story: By Faith I See

Told to Enoch Iglesias by Victor Vergara

I was born into a very poor family in a little town north of Medellín, Colombia. Our poverty carved out a hard life for us. Our town has no adequate water supply, no electricity, no telephone. Our houses are made of mud pressed over bamboo poles, for we have no other building materials.

When travelers pass by, they wonder how we stay alive. Everyone looks hungry. Even the dogs are only skin and bones. […]

Friday: Further Study: Faith that Works


Further Study: “When self is put entirely away, then you can obtain a new and rich experience, you will discern your own imperfections as you lie low at the foot of the cross, and as you view the perfections of Christ, self will sink into insignificance.

Christ will appear to the discerning eye the perfection of attractive loveliness; then His mould will be upon mind and heart, and will be revealed in the character. The impress of the divine mind […]