This afternoon we (the Americans) had to go to the Police Station to fill out some paperwork. From what I understand, I guess it is so that they can have proof of us living here. Also, in case we were to get in trouble with the law or something they would have our information. Hopefully the latter doesn’t happen ;)
I wanted to share with you some verses from my reading tonight:
“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 saltwater 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. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 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 3:9-17 (New International Version)
James is an incredible book in the Bible. There are so many nuggets of gold that can be found throughout the entire book. I love the above verses that talk about the tongue. I think there are many times that we say or do something before we think about it. Speaking of language and the tongue, it is my goal while over here to be able to encourage my teammates and those around me. A team is a family working together for a common goal. I am sure many of you have heard the saying, “There is no ‘I’ in team”…how true that saying is. James 3:16 says, “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” The above verses not only apply to the game of basketball, but also in life. We need to put others before ourselves. When we are humble and have a servant attitude, we are ultimately reflecting Jesus. Sure, we are going to fail and make mistakes, but that is the neat thing about Jesus. Jesus will pick us up and carry us, because He knows we can’t do it on our own. All He is asking from us is complete surrender to Him J. When we live striving to follow the Lord, we WILL be a reflection of Jesus to those around us. James 3:17 says, “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.” Wow!!! If we work on putting these characteristics into practice, our mouths would portray and reflect the Lord. We would not be fighting, gossiping, or backstabbing with our words, but we would rather be encouraging and helping those we come in contact with.
I encourage you to live a life of love. Take the time today to be an encouragement to someone who needs it. The reality of it is, we all need encouragement from time to time J...encouraging words go a LONG way!