Weíre really living now! We have talked about this before, are we living
or surviving. One of the hardest things in life to do is to live, really
live. Thatís because we think really living is ours to achieve. The
source of real life is in none other than Jesus Christ. Greetings in the
name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Have you ever noticed that when you get your racecar dialed
in it only lasts for a little while? You can have it setup perfect and
then something changes. Maybe the clouds move in or the sun comes out,
anything that will have an affect on the car. When that happens you have
to adjust, make the car fit the conditions.
In racing we all want to compete and win. In our quest for
victory we sometimes lose perspective. We get so wrapped up in getting
to the next race we donít have time to fix the issues, we just put
bandaids on them and try to get by.
In life things are much the same way, we are constantly
adjusting to the circumstances around us. Sometimes we loose sight what
we need to be focused on. When that happens life gets turned around,
like a dog chasing after itís tail. We spin so fast from one thing to
another we do not notice we are spinning around in circles. We need to
stop spinning and find the one thing that will keep us focused in one
Racing teams change personnel to find the right mix, the
right chemistry necessary to focus on and achieve their goals. When the
team loses sight of that goal and gets caught up chasing their tail then
it is time for a change. Either they have to stop, regroup and refocus
or they change people.
In our lives we have much the same decision to make. We have
the information we need to decide, we just have to take the plunge.
Over the past few weeks we have looked at the process we go through
to enter into a saving relationship with God through Jesus. They all
start with the same letter, ďRĒ so they can be called the three Rís of
our relationship with Jesus, Recognize, Reconcile and this weeks topic,
Reality. The final step in completing the transaction is to make Christ
a reality in our life. How do we do that?
Well, as you might have guessed it has something to do with focus.
We need to adjust our focus and tune into something other than
ourselves. Listen to the way the writer of Romans puts it;
Romans 12:1-2, Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of
God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and
pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform
any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what
God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
We are encouraged to put ourselves aside and surrender to God
and His plan for our lives. Sounds simple enough, but in reality it can
be one of the hardest things we attempt to do. That is why forgiveness
comes before reality. In the process of becoming useful servants of God
we will make some mistakes. Jesus provided His life so that those
mistakes can be forgiven.
Let me chase a rabbit here, the sacrifice that Jesus made on
the cross cover everything we have done, are doing and will do. That one
event covers it all. I think that is one of the most amazing things
about God, He covers it all. Anyway letís get back to making Jesus a
reality in our lives.
If you remember we were discussing Peter and his development
into a servant of God. Remember his denial, he promised to support and
follow but when push came to shove he denied even knowing Christ.
Remember how Jesus forgave him, on the shore early one morning Christ
reinstated Peter and left with the command to feed His sheep. Now we
come to the put up or shut up time. Will Peter make Christ a reality in
his life? Yes, and this is how he responded;
Acts 2:1-16, When the day of Pentecost came, they were all
together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent
wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were
sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and
came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy
Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from
every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came
together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his
own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are
speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own
native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of
Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and
Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome
(both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs--we hear them
declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" Amazed and perplexed,
they asked one another, "What does this mean?"
Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too
much wine. "
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and
addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem ,
let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men
are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! No, this
is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
Peter preached his first sermon that day and over 3,000
were added to Kingdom of God . He had become a useful servant of God and
because his relationship with God was restored by trusting in Jesus he
was able to speak boldly without fear of failure. His focus was adjusted
and he brought the message of hope and forgiveness to the people that
day. He made Jesus a reality for those 3,000 plus people.
Where does that leave us? God has a todo list for each one of
us. When we recognize who Jesus is and reconcile our sin with His
sacrifice we have the opportunity to receive that list from God. We only
need to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit who has been placed in our
hearts to reveal to us what God want us to do. I would ask you this week
to stop surviving and start living. Put the shovel down and climb out of
the hole. Turn to Jesus and give your life to Him. Restore your
relationship with God. Adjust your focus, tune your ears to His Spirit,
let your heart feel His presence and let your feet be ready to take the
steps necessary to spread the Good News.
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
The Midwest odyssey has come to a close, two
states, three tracks, one dirt, two asphalt, and three races. Dan and I
had a great time traveling to the breadbasket of our country to
experience some of what the Midwest has to offer. Driving from Minnesota
to Iowa reminded me of one of our favorite sidekicks, Ken Spring ,
stories. If you miss part of it donít worry it will be repeated. The
landscape didnít hold to many surprises around each corner. At one point
I was sure we had traveled down a certain road only to find out it
wasnít the same road after all, just looked the same.
Speaking of Kenny, he had a rookie stripe of sorts due the
wonderful weather we experienced on the trip. He wore his hat backward
on Friday to shoot photos and forgot to wear his sunscreen. When he
removed his hat there was a distinct line where the back bar of his hat
was. Check out the photographic evidence on
www.eastseries.com. As Alan
questioned, ďGot Sunscreen?Ē
Once again, Kenny kept us awake during our travels but we
added another member to our eclectic entourage, Dale Quarterly. Actually
when we realized how close we were to Knoxville ís famed half-mile of
dirt we set out Saturday night to take in the show. Dale heard we were
going and joined in on the fun. Youíll have to ask him if he will ever
be the same.
We had a ball at Knoxville and are making plans on retuning,
possibly for the nationals. It was an interesting perspective for us,
sitting in the stands and all. I think it was the first time in a long
time that any of the four of us entered through the front gate, paid
admission and sat in the stands. What a show! The regular weekly drivers
showed their stuff and the 360ís and 410 sprint cars flew around the
track. We hope to go back again when we can spend time going through the
Sprint Car Hall of Fame located in turn two.
Oh yeah, there were those other two races we went out there
for. Friday night at the Elko Minnesota bullring reminded me of some of
the tracks we have back east. The racing was tight and plenty of bumping
and grinding was evident. The crowd was a disappointment but the
facility was top notch. I had a similar feel to Lake Erie and Irwindale,
polished and well thought out, but it still was short track racing at
Iowa Speedway was everything it was proclaimed to be, first
class all the way. With the influx of cup teams and their equipment this
race had the feel of the big dance. The most amazing stat of the day;
Paid attendance 21,000 +. Thatís right, in the middle of a corn field in
Iowa 20,000 people came out to watch the Grand National Series headline
the show. It can happen and did. What a great facility and tremendous
fan support. I left with the conviction, we will be back.
I am sitting in the airport waiting for my flight home. Iíll
share some more of the goings on of the weekend in the days to come.
Suffice to say it was a great weekend with two races run on very
different tracks. You hated to see so many cars go home but all in all I
think they would give it a shot again. A call goes out to that crazy
purple racing family, the Bouleys. They made the trip and as luck would
have it didnít make either show. But, as always, they smiled and lived
to race another day.
Dan received a call from S.J. Evonsian this week, check out
the Checkered Cheers for a note about his Mother-in-Law. Dan remembered
S.J. and the kindness he showed his son Aaron at Stafford Motor Speedway
during a pit party. He let Aaron get into the car, strapped him in and
put his helmet on him. Aaron was thrilled and needless to say an S. J.
fan for many years to come. Please keep the family in your thoughts and
prayers as they endure this loss. You can send a card to the address in
the Checkered Cheers column.
I guess weíll stay close to home this weekend, the
traditional Friday night race at Stafford to kickoff the holiday weekend
and then some R & R. Have a great week and weíll see you at a local
track near you soon. God Bless, Rev. Don.
Be a witness for our Lord with the ministry decals and
apparel. See them at the Online Apparel Store at
www.RWJM.org. Call us with your prayer
and counseling needs and list all your prayer needs, no matter what part
of our racing family you are in, with the Racing Family Prayer Request
www.rwjm.org/page/prayers.php also send your prayer request by mail.
Until next time, 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. Check our weekly printed pages in "Area Auto Racing
News", the East Coastís largest weekly racing paper" See our on-line
Apparel Store for subscription information. Check our home page
www.rwjm.org for past articles. We invite you to input your thoughts as
you sign our Guest Book. Please remember, we can only do what we do
because of your prayerful financial support.
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
STEVE AND PATTY SMUDGE - The Easton, MA retired Mini Modified team
owner and wife have their 36th anniversary.
REV. DAN & DEBBIE PETFIELD - The RWJM Vice President/ BES Pastor and
wife share their 25th.
LLOYD & LINDA AGOR - From Brewster, NY, this Stafford DWRS Modified
2005 champion and wife have their 14th anniversary.
WALTER & TRUDY CHARETTE - The Linwood,MA proprietor of Son
Carpentry/ Mike Stefanik and Dale Jarrett fan and wife/ Reggie
Ruggiero/Ernie Irvan fan have their 11th anniversary.
RUSH & MARTA LIMBAUGH - This New York City based Indy car fan and
wife share their 12th anniversary.
*** BELATED ANNIVERSARIES ***
S.J. AND CAROL EVONSION - This former modified driver and his wife
celebrate their 37th anniversary.
WALLY DALLENBACH, JR- BGN - driver and TV commentator.
CHARLES ELMS III - Bear Ridge, VT Speedway owner and dirt Modified
STEVE CHOWANSKY - Stafford Speedway WAAS SK Modified team owner.
BOB BARKER - "Mad Dog," owner of the Legends 8NY driven by Paul
DALE NICKEL - This Thompson Speedway photographer is Joan's
brother-in-law and photographer Scott's brother.
LISA JO WORTH - South Tom's River, NJ Nextel Cup fan and wife of
RICKY CRAVEN - The Newburgh, ME NASCAR driver.
TERRY FISHER - Sandy, OR NASCAR West driver.
JOHN SPORS - Boston, NY NASCAR BES/ Holland Speedway driver.
MIKE MAIETTA - Beech Ridge Speedway LM driver, and occasional on the
NASCAR BES Series.
TIM DEROIN - Massachusetts based Modified Series driver and TV filim-maker.
CINDY BURDICK - Danielson, CT Stafford wife of Stafford announcing
staff member Harold.
STACY COMPTON - BGN driver.
RONALD COOPER - Statham, VA BGN team owner.
GEORGE BRUNNHOELZL - Lindenhurst, NY chassis builder.
LISA SANSEVERINO - A daughter of Hillsborough, NC photographer Ed
and wife Linda.
GREG GASTELU - Jackson, NJ Wall Township Speedway driver of the
famous No. 69 NAPA ProStock.
JEREMY MAYFIELD - Owensboro, KY NNC driver.
RON MOON - Cumberland, ME LM driver.
MARK GARMAN - "The Shark" is a Sprint writer from Laureldale, PA and
a member of the Grandview Speedway staff.
DR. DICK BERGGREN - Publisher and Editor of "Speedway Illustrated"
magazine and TV Race Commentator.
DON FORTE - Terrebone, Quebec LM driver.
WAYNE CARROLL, SR. - Dad of Massachusetts ProStock driver Wayne, Jr.
KEN SCHRADER - Fenton, MO NNC driver.
JIMMY MEANS - NNC/BGN/NASCAR West independent driver/owner.
AL UNSER, SR. - Retired Indy Car great, Little Al's dad.
BOBBY HAMILTON - Nashville, TN CTS driver and former champion.
LARRY BARNETT - Ledyard, CT Limited late model champion at Thompson
RITA TRUDEAU - Wife of retired Chaplin, CT Modified driver Joey.
RICH SYLVESTRI - Retired proprietor of Sylvestri's Auto Care in
Canterbury, CT formerly referred to as the Northern World Center of
RITA ST. JOHN - The mother of Jewett City (CT) Service Proprietor
TERI SUMMERS - The lovely wife of Rob Summers, WMT driver.
*** IN THE SHOP ***
LOIS MATCZAK - Wife of Skip Matczak is battling serious health
issues. Skip and his wife Lois have been prominent figures in the area
(actual national) racing scene for decades. During her illness, she has
enjoyed hearing from friends near and far, old and new. Letís try and
stuff their mailbox with words of support and encouragement! The
Matczakís address is 188 Parker Road, Somers, CT 06071. It would be
great if we could show how much we care about these truly wonderful
people. Letís keep Skip and Lois in our thoughts and prayers. Thanks go
out to Howie Hodge for letting us know.
*** NEW BEGINNINGS ***
HELEN RIGGOTT - Mother of Carol Evonsion, wife of former modified
driver S.J. Evonsion, passes away last week. S.J. called this week and
asked us to pray for the family, the children Ted, Carol and Bruce. Pray
also for grandson Dale who now competes on the True Value Modified
Series. Please the entire family in your thoughts and prayers. Cards of
sympathy can be sent to; Steve Evonsion, 202 Mountain Road, East
Hartland, CT, 06027
SHARE YOUR SPECIAL OCCASIONS WITH YOUR RACING FAMILY. SEND THEM TO
RACING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES AT PO BOX 586, Tolland, CT, 06084
Racing With Jesus Ministries Website