What would happen at the awards banquet if the champion wasn't honored?
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is Rev.
Dan giving Rev. Don a little rest. He is on vacation this week and
deserved a much needed break.
Let's go to the awards banquet at the end of the season. All of the
awards are handed out, Most Improved Driver, Rookie of the Year, Fan
Favorite etc. The drivers go up to the stage and receive a check and a
nice trophy, maybe they give a short speech. Then it's time for the top
20 to go up and get their trophies and checks. When the top 5 get up,
they have a short video and some upbeat music accompanying their walk up
to the stage. They receive a check and trophy and then give a brief
speech. Now it's the time we all have been waiting for - the champion. A
nice video is playing on the big screen with fast moving music. Everyone
is looking at the video to honor their champion. The video has finished
and the lights are now set on the driver as he heads to the podium to
receive his trophy and give his speech. Now imagine that the trophy
presenter walks up and gives him not a trophy, but a dirty oil filter
and an old tire covered with dirt and gravel. The champion takes hold of
the gifts and gets dirt and oil all over his tuxedo. He has a look of
disgust on his face. No one in their right mind would think of
dishonoring it's champion by bringing gifts like this. NASCAR does a
great job of honoring it's champions with the banquets, appearances,
trophies, gifts and the trip to New York for Champions Week. When we set
out to honor someone, we go all out and offer the best.
This did not happen to the people of Jerusalem in 420 BC. They
offered blemished sacrifices to God. The Israelites insulted God with
Malachi told them so in chapter 1:6-14.
"A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a
father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the
respect due me?" says the LORD Almighty. "It is you, O priests, who show
contempt for my name.
"But you ask, `How have we shown contempt for your name?'
"You place defiled food on my altar.
"But you ask, `How have we defiled you?'
"By saying that the LORD's table is contemptible. When you bring
blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice
crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to
your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?" says
the LORD Almighty.
"Now implore God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from
your hands, will he accept you?"--says the LORD Almighty.
"Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would
not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you," says
the LORD Almighty, "and I will accept no offering from your hands. My
name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of
the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my
name, because my name will be great among the nations," says the LORD
Before Jesus came and died on the cross, to ask forgiveness for
sins you had to build an alter and prepare a sacrifice. God asked for an
unblemished animal to be this sacrifice. The people got a little greedy
and started sacrificing lame, blind and disease ridden animals. God
wasn't pleased and he told them so. Today, we don't have to sacrifice
animals. All we have to do is ask Jesus for forgiveness because he came
down to earth to shed his blood and die on the cross - the perfect
unblemished sacrifice. I am sure that we all disapproved of the
Israelites who had given less than perfect sacrifices, but I want to ask
us something. What kind of offerings are we bringing to God? Are we
bringing him the most valuable , best and first of our possessions? Do
we offer to him what is most useful to him or do we offer what is most
convenient for us? Let us not be guilty of bringing bad gifts to God.
Romans 12:1 says "I beseech you brethren by the mercies of God
that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to
God, which is your reasonable service."
What do we have to give to God? We have our time, energy, efforts
and money. When Don and I schedule chapel service on race day, we look
for a time that is most convenient to the drivers and crew. We can't
please everyone, but those who make the sacrifice to be at chapel at
that appointed time are giving God their best. They probably could be
fine tuning the engine or changing something on the car, but they feel
it is more important to meet with God. This also is relevant when we are
not at the track and have an opportunity to go to God's house on Sunday
morning. He wants us to do our best and be in his house, not back home
in bed sleeping.
Our time also includes personal devotions. God wants us to read the
Bible and pray to him daily. How about our energy and efforts? Are we
going all out to be a witness for him and complete the tasks he has
given us, or do we just shrug it off. I know I don't want to stand
before God and have him tell me that I didn't obey him.
Our money also is part of our gifts to God. He asks for us to
return a potion of our income to go back to him. It should go back to
where you are ministered to. If it's at your church, it should go there.
If it's at the race track, it should go to the chaplains. There are
teams that tithe their race winnings to the racing ministry that they
are under. If you don't have a church and are blessed by what you watch
on TV or are blessed by reading articles, you should send the tithe to
them. It could also be a combination of all of those and you should
direct your offerings accordingly. I know we all have restrictions on
our time, energy, talents and money. God knows this and understands.
When we are finished though, do we say "I really wish I could do more"
or do we say "That's it, I've done my share - time to leave it for
someone else." Do we pray "God bless us with more money so I can give
you more or bless us with strength and health so I could serve you
better." Is that our real desire, or do we just want more money and
better health for selfish reasons.
I want to encourage each of you to bring your best gifts to God Ė
not blemished ones like they talked about in the book of Malachi. Let's
honor our champion with the best! God bless and have a great week! Rev.
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
Didnít have the opportunity to take in the local racing scene this
week, I traveled with Lynda up to her folks house in Maine to celebrate
the Fourth. We had a great time and I have recharged my batteries.
I am looking forward to being at Stafford Tuesday, July 8th
CARQUEST Extreme night when IMSA comes to town along with the NEMA
midgets and Pro-4 Modifieds. NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points leader
Johnny Benson, Jr. will be part of the ISMA Supermodified field for the
Tuesday Program. Johnny has never been to Stafford before and is looking
forward to the experience. He has his own Super Modified in the works
but it isnít quite ready yet.
Benson said, ďIíve heard lots of good things about Stafford , but
Iíve never seen it before,Ē said Benson. ďThat definitely should make it
more exciting!ĒÖ and itís a really nice thing to be able to travel to
different parts of the country and see some tracks that Iíve never seen
SWEET BABY JAMES - A song written by James Taylor and I am
sure when Jimmy and Katie look into the eyes of their new son, James
Denis, they think the same thing. It has been a great week for Jimmy
Blewett, after experiencing the joy of having a baby, his first, he went
out and won the twin Sunoco Modified features at Thompson. He followed
it up with a fifth place finish at Stafford on Saturday night. It has
been a great week Jimmy, congratulations.
KEITH ROCCO - Keith sits at the top of the Whelen
All-American Racing Series point lead on the strength of his early
season success at Waterford Speedbowl along with his strong showings at
Thompson and Stafford . Keith currently holds the #1 spot at Stafford,
the #2 spot at Waterford and the #4 spot at Thompson in the SKMod
division. That will be a challenge to maintain but I am sure Keith is up
to the challenge. I talked with his dad, Ronnie Rocco, a few weeks ago
at Thompson and he is thrilled at his sonís performance. He would love
to get back out there and run with him.
This coming week finds us headed in different directions, I am on
my way to Spencer in upstate NY for the Whelen Modified Tour race and
Dan is headed to Thompson for Full Fendered Frenzy on Saturday.
Dan is also celebrating his sonís graduation from the NYPD Police
Academy and his daughterís recent graduation from SUNY Cortland. The
party is in Thornwood on Sunday. Keep him and his family in your prayers
as two of his children begin their careers.
Looking forward to seeing you on the road, Have a great week.
Be a witness for our Lord with the ministry decals and apparel. See
them at the Online Apparel Store at
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 Page
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,
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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
GARY & KARIANN HARTSON - The proprietor of Clinton, CT G&H Trailer/
Waterford LM driver and wife have their 12th anniversary.
LEW & JOANN PARKS - This Glen Aubrey, NY Indy 500 tire specialist
and wife make it 47 years together.
BILL & PHYLLIS BALSER - The Norton, MA photographer and wife have
their 56th anniversary.
KEITH AND DEBBIE KRODEL - These former Jan Leaty NASCAR WMT team
members now living in Pensacola, FL have their 14th anniversary.
CARLTON ROBIE - Candia, NH dad of CWES/Al Pro driver Jarod Robie.
STEVE LOMBARDO - CT Modified driver.
CHUCK WELCH - Vacaville, CA NASCAR West driver.
TED PARKER - President of Praker Trucking in Avon, MA. Legends
GEORGE MARTIN, JR - Wernersville, PA writer.
BRIAN SACKS - Son of NSC driver Greg.
SAL MAGLIO - Scranton, PA fan.
INGRID D'ALESSANDRO - From Agawam, MA, the wife of former asphalt
Modified driver Ron who is currently crewing a NWAAS Modified.
BOBBY DOTTER - Chicago, IL NCTS driver.
JOE BEAN - San Diego, CA NASCAR West driver.
DONNA LITTLE - Wife of former NSC driver now WMT director Chad.
KYLE BELMONT - Langhorne, PA ARCA driver Andy and wife Sue's
youngest is 13.
TOM CAREY - Former New Salem, MA NASCAR CWES driver/crew cheif now
Charlotte based fabricator.
KRISTA ROEHRIG - The lady is the best friend and wife of former Big
Diamond Speedway owner/promoter Fritz.
ED SPENCER II - Berwick, PA former Crew Chief for Jim Spencer in his
BILLY STEBBINS - Former Jim Broderick Modified Crew Chief, now
living in NH.
TOM BALDWIN III - Grandson of the late NASCAR WMT driver Tom and son
of NNC Crew Chief Tom II.
MENA FELTENBERGER - Wife of Grandview/Big Diamond flgamn/photographer
BOBBY BABB - Maine based LM driver.
JEAN DEBOIS - Mom of Pam Krause, wife of AARN Ass't
RICH SENDZIK - NJ asphalt Modified driver.
BOB NORTHRUP - D.I.R.T. Modified driver.
MIKE EDDY - Veteran ASA driver.
BOBBY MASON - Former Riverhead Raceway Figure 8 driver.
WARREN KUHLTHAU - Point Pleasant Beach, NJ Ryan Seamon CWES driver
team supporter and former Wally D crewman.
KAREN TURBUSH - Long Island Hut Stricklin fan.
BILL HUNEKE - Auto Sports columnist for the New Brunswick, NJ "Home
CAROL WEISS - Fiance of Don Szerencits, Northampton, PA AARN Field
MICHELE CONWAY - Newfoundland, PA Micro Sprint driver at Lake
AUSTIN GLEN BREHIO - Son of NASCAR CWES driver Glen and wife Teri is
LARRY MURDOCK - "Urkel" is a crew member on the Later Model 14 Team,
driven by Mike Mortimer, at Riverhead Raceway.
JOHN GEORGIADES, JR. - CT based ProStock driver.
CARRIE SHUBA - From Syracuse, NY, she was the 1997 Ms Miller
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