In our continuing study of the characteristics of faith we come to a subject
that challenges us all, the things we say. Have you heard the old adage
“think before you speak”? We tend to speak in the heat of the moment instead
of considering our words carefully. Let’s take a moment and remember the
words we use and how they will be understood. Greetings in the name of our
Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
It is easy to get caught up in the moment and say things that don’t
need to be said. Keeping our mouth shut can be one of the most challenging
things for us. We tend to run off at the mouth. Think back about something
you have said that you regret saying. Once said it is impossible to take it
The racing world doesn’t corner the market on quotable quotes but
it sure has its fair share. I think the intensity of the competition has
much to do with that. I always wonder if the reporter really wants to get
the facts or is just hoping for a colorful quote when the microphone is put
up to a driver or crew chief’s mouth in the heat of the battle.
Racing is different from any other professional sport. I didn’t see
Colin Kaepernick have to answer questions from reporters when he came to the
sidelines after throwing an interception in the Super Bowl. There isn’t a
reporter waiting to interview the hitter who just struck out to end the
inning when he returns to the dugout. They are given time to collect their
thoughts and composure. That isn’t the case in racing. We have greater
access to the drivers and teams than any other sport. That in itself makes
controlling our tongue more important.
The things we say are often not qualified by the situation they
were said in. When we read someone’s comments we are not aware of the
context of the conversation. Were they made after they sat down and had time
to collect their thoughts or was the driver still buckled in the car as it
was towed back to the infield?
We face similar things in life. Many different things could be
distracting us when someone asks us a question. We shoot off an answer
without giving much thought to how it is received. Later on someone gets the
wrong impression and the things we say come back to haunt us and create more
problems then if we just spoke more carefully. What did you say?
Have you ever noticed what question is asked of a driver or
crewmember the week following a race incident? The question is “Have you
talked with them?” You see talking with someone can clear up many things.
Talking with one another has the ability to heal and repair relationships.
Talking can also damage and divide. The key is what is said. Just talking
about something doesn’t accomplish everything, it matters what you say. What
kind of messages are we sending? What did you say?
James talks about the things we say in another way. He states that
the things we say indicate where our faith and trust lie. If your faith and
trust are in God than the things you say will reflect that. Read what James
has to say;
James 3: 1-12,
Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers,
because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all
stumble in many ways.
If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to
keep his whole body in check.
When we put bits into the mouths of
horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as
an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they
are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise
the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider
what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a
fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole
person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire
All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are
being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It
is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse
men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise
and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt
water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or
a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
Have you ever wanted to tell someone what you really think of them?
Sometimes we have. We express our opinion whether they want to hear it or
not. We all think it is our responsibility to point out the way we think
others should be living. Then the familiar refrain, “who are you to talk?”
James points out that we should be careful when we take it upon ourselves to
teach others. The result is that our lives will be examined more closely.
Taking the time to consider everything is a good option. Taking the
time to get to know the situation is better. We need to consider all the
circumstances before we tell others what we think is right or wrong in their
lives. Many times what we think is going on is not the whole story.
God will help us with this one. When we have the urge to tell
someone where they are wrong we should first go to God and ask for His
wisdom. If it is necessary to say something we need to do it with grace and
mercy. I know it feels better when we yell and scream but the fact is that
we have a better chance at being listened to if we show how much we care.
James also points out that we cannot speak with a forked tongue.
That means a divided spirit. The tongue is a powerful weapon and it can be
used for good or evil. We need to decide how we are going to use it. James
reminds us that we cannot do both. He asks if salt and fresh water can come
from the same spring? I like this illustration.
It is a hot day at the track. You are thirsty and in need of
refreshment. You reach in the cooler and grab a water only to find that when
you drink it, it is salty and bitter. You spit it out and go in search of
one that will refresh your thirst. Words can be the same, salty and bitter
or comforting and refreshing.
Which words are more effective? Words that comfort, encourage,
refresh and restore are some of the most welcome words you can receive. In
the Scriptures we see God’s promises as these types of words. They give us a
security in God, someone we can trust and put our faith in.
How do people see us and the words we use? Will they discount our
words as worthless? They will if we don’t reflect the love of Jesus. We need
to develop a consistency in the things we say. We need to reflect the
character of God in the things we say. We also need to refrain from cursing
people with the things we say.
The way we say things and the things we say make a tremendous
difference in the lives of others. When we use our tongue to build up others
instead of tearing them down we start to show people who we put our faith
in. When we grow as Christians we realize some things are better left unsaid
and other things can be said in such a way as to be encouraging.
Try this week to be aware of the words you use and the things you
say. Ask yourself if your words are the same words God would use. Ask
yourself if by saying these things you are trying to lift someone up or are
you lifting yourself up. How are the words we use perceived by others? We
may intend one thing but another meaning is received. Choose your words
carefully and remember who you belong to.
FROM THE ROAD
MISSING PART OF THE PAST
- It is with great sorrow in my heart that I share with you that a fire
destroyed Emmanuel Baptist Church in West Springfield , MA this past week.
Thankfully no one was hurt but a great part of history was lost; not only
the Church but personal items and town history.
This century old train station was the first church I served as
pastor back in 1999, and after a gap of a few years was called back there in
2009. This past Christmas Service was the last service I led there. If you
look at the sign in the online photos you will still see my name as pastor.
My heart goes out to everyone there, the hearing and deaf
congregations. There was so many things accomplished there for God, so many
good times, so many led to the Lord.
One of my fondest memories was when a young man came forward at the
end of service with his bathing suit in hand, wishing to be baptized. We
filled the baptismal, ordered pizza and had a service later that day to
celebrate his following the Lord in obedience.
Then there was the time I was able to let a son help in the baptism
of his 82 year old father. And the day I baptized nine believers from Nepal
. They just kept coming forward, inspired by the faith and obedience of
God accomplished much there, through the hands that allowed Him to
work. I am sure there is a future for them, but it is difficult to see that
through the smoke and flames. Please pray for them as they gather and
rebuild. Pray that God would give them the faith to rise from the ashes.
SNOWED IN - As I prepare to head south for speed weeks a
major speed bump was placed in my path, or should I say snow bank. After two
days of shoveling and the town back hoe, I am glad to say the road is clear
to head south.
We have a busy schedule in store for us and I am looking forward to
seeing many of you. Please keep our travels in your thoughts and prayers as
we traverse the highways and byways for God.
WoO DIRT LATE MODELS SEASON GETS UNDERWAY - My trip to
Florida is a short one compared to Steve Fowler’s trip. Steve is our
chaplain who heads up the effort to reach out to the WOO Dirt Late Models.
Steve lives just outside of Helena , MT and made the drive to Georgia for
the first event of the season at Screven Motorsports Complex. He did it on
faith. Ask me sometime and I’ll tell you the story.
He is headed down the road to Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala , Fl and
then he will join us at Volusia for the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals. Please keep
his travels in your prayers also. I am so glad God has called Steve to serve
Him through RWJM; we are truly blessed.
And if you doubt God’s hand is in this, our West Coast Coordinator,
Gary Dionne, just happened to be driving to Atlanta , GA from LA for a movie
shoot and was able to join Steve for Saturday night’s show. Only God could
put those travel plans together!
Me, I am headed south on Tuesday with a slate of eleven races over
ten days starting Wednesday night at Volusia and ending the following Friday
night at New Smyrna. Look forward to seeing some of you there.
As we head south I would like to thank the Rosarius Family in
Florida for providing for the ministry’s lodging needs during Speed weeks.
Without their generosity we would not be able to make the trip.
Until next time, be a witness for our Lord with the ministry decals
and apparel. See them at the Show Your Faith Apparel Store at
http://www.rwjm.com/store. Send us your prayer and counseling needs no matter
what part of our racing family you are in, or give us a call. Remember that
God loves you, we love you and
Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing. GOD BLESS.
Mail reaches us at Racing with Jesus Ministries, PO Box 586,
Tolland, CT 06084.
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Please remember, we can only do what we do because of your prayerful
Numbers 6:24-26 "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord
make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face
toward you and give you peace."
May God always Bless you, everyday in everyway. Rev. Don
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