WITHOUT CHRIST IT IS JUST A MESS
I asked my wife, Lynda to share her perspective on Christmas with you
this week.. Her topic of discussion is the coming season of Christmas
and our preparation for it. Let me pose the question to you, what are
you doing to prepare for the celebration? Read her notes as she
discusses how we should prepare. Greetings in the name of our Lord and
Savior, Jesus Christ.
This time of year is a time of preparation, preparing for a season
of giving, getting, fun, frenzy and exhaustion. Just like preparing for
a race the Christmas season leaves us with much to do. In church at this
time of year we hear about the Advent season. Advent is a time to
prepare for Christmas. Each Sunday leads up to Christmas Day and we hear
about the topics of Hope, Joy, Peace, and Love. But what are we really
in preparation for?
When I am with Don at a race I am amazed at the amount of time it
takes to prepare for the race. Teams arrive hours ahead of the race and
spend that time on getting the car ready for the track along with time
spent at driverís meetings, time trials, practice and I had better not
forget chapel service. Obviously the winner did not get to Victory Lane
by deciding to race that day and showing up at the track a just few
minutes before the race began. Just showing up doesnít guarantee a win.
We can want to win but it can all fall apart by perhaps missing the
driverís meeting, not focusing on practice, not making the right
adjustments or not having good communication between every crewmember.
So why does preparing for Christmas really matter? As we run around
trying to find the perfect gifts, getting ourselves into debt and
sometimes mumbling about how we canít wait for this season to be over,
arenít we just trying to show those close to us how much we care about
them? Is that what Christmas is supposed to be about? If we look back in
history we will find that giving gifts for Christmas is actually a
relatively new thing. It wasnít until around two hundred years ago that
gifts started to be exchanged (before that it was considered an insult
to give gifts on Christís birthday) and if a gift was given then it was
a simple handmade or inexpensive gift so as not to make someone feel
ashamed about the worth of their gift. Commercialism just started to
take over somewhere around 50 to 60 years ago. From there it has
spiraled out of control. We have all fallen into the trap of buying
bigger and better gifts than the year before. Let me ask you how many of
us can really even remember what we received the year before?
Recently I looked into the meaning of Advent and getting ready for
Christmas. I first must admit that I was well on my way to having a
rather bad attitude towards Christmas this year. I couldnít possibly see
how I was going to find the time to shop or even think about what to
buy. I was planning on feeling overwhelmed and tired and I was sure that
Christmas was going to come and go before I was able to enjoy it. When I
looked into the meaning of Advent I found that it meant ďto come toĒ or
ďan arrivalĒ and that it refers to Christís coming into this world.
Luke 2:8-20, And there were shepherds living out in the
fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the
Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and
they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I
bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today
in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the
Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths
and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the
angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds
said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has
happened, which the Lord has told us about."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who
was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word
concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard
it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up
all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen,
which were just as they had been told.
However, Advent has another meaning; it refers to is Christís
second coming as He has promised to come back again.
Revelation 21: 1-4, Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth,
for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was
no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down
out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her
husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the
dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be
his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will
wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning
or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
I have to admit that I tend to lean towards thinking about the
birth of Christ at Christmas. As Christians though we should be looking
for the second coming of Christ. It should remind us that He is found
within us every day, we are never alone and one day he will come back in
glory so that we might share in Godís Kingdom with Him.
By bringing the true meaning of Christmas back in front of us we
will be able to let go of the pressure of thinking that it is all about
finding just the right gift, how much money to spend this year, which
party to attend and do we go to the grandmaís house or just stay home
this year? If we take the time to slow down and step back from all the
frenzy we will find the moments that bring us the most joy. What would
happen if we spent less time shopping this year? Perhaps we wouldnít
spend the next few months trying to pay it off or catch up with the
bills? Often we donít realize that we put pressure on those around us to
keep up when they canít really afford to. They end up depressed and
often dread this time of year because they canít ďshow offĒ about what
they have. We have become very competitive about what we have in
material things and about the houses we live in. Itís not that we have
to eliminate gift giving or decorating but we need to get back to more
of a balance. We often think that by doing less we are depriving
ourselves from living the ďgood lifeĒ. What we donít realize is that we
actually will feel better about how we live if we have a more
disciplined life. Having more things just means we have more to take
care of or more to throw away or more things that we have to replace by
buying a bigger or better model. By making things simpler and less
stressed we can focus on what Godís plan has always been for us.
Romans 5: 1-5,Therefore, since we have been justified
through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we
now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so,
but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering
produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And
hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into
our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
After spending time looking into what Christmas should be about I
have changed my way of looking at it this year. I am feeling I have more
control over how this season will go by letting go of the control over
it and just remembering to honor God for the gift He gave us with the
birth of Christ and the promise that He will come again. By looking at
the gifts that we can give, we should all realize that the best gift is
our time. By helping those in need, visiting a lonely person, giving a
friend a call or praying for a closer walk with God we will let go of
the need to compete with those around us and the true reason we
celebrate Christmas will follow us long into the New Year. May each of
us have the blessed season that we were intended to have. God Bless!
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
In one word, boring and boy does it feel good. It has been a while
since I didnít have a race looming on the horizon. That just means I
have to catch up on all the things that have been let go during the
racing season. The paperwork is staggering. I want to thank all of you
for being patient waiting for me to respond to some of your requests.
Iíll get there soon.
Iíll be headed down to Orlando this week for the PRI Show. I hope
to see a few of you there. Dan will cover the banquets at Mohegan Sun.
Relax and enjoy the holiday season. Take some time and just sit down and
visit. God bless and enjoy the time off.
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,
Tolland, CT 06084. Check our weekly printed pages in "Area Auto Racing
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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
ERNIE & MARILYN SAXTON - The legendary Grandview announcer,
Motorsports Marketing Founder/President and Eastern Motorsports Press
Association Pres. and the woman who has been by his side all the way
have their 33rd anniversary.
BILL & CINDY ELLIOTT - Awesome Bill from Dawsonville, GA and wife
their 15th anniversary.
JIM & PATTY MAVLOUGANES - This Wethersfield, CT ProStock driver
share their 10th anniversary.
JEFF KERTAINIS - NASCAR WMT team crewman.
ANDREA JIVANELLI - Wife of Riverhead Raceway driver Dan.
LYNN POZZUTTO - Office Manager and devoted employee of Frankland
Racing Supply Racing Rears and Clincher Gears; VP Dan's wife.
EDWARD SHELMERDINE - Son of ARCA driver/ Crew Chief Kirk.
JAROD ROBIE - Manchester, NH Robie Motorsports NASCAR CWES and All
STEVE "WOODY" WOOD - Former Truex Crewman, now NSC crew for Ray
Evernham in Mooresville, NC, also the son-in-law of Doris Bradley.
CHRISSY DIONNE - A daughter of RWJM West Coast Coordinator Gary and
Counselor wife Debbie.
ED LILLY - Retired PA/NJ asphalt Mod driver.
AMANDA & CHRISTEN WAUGH - The twin daughters of RWJM Western PA/Ohio
Coordinator/ Challenger Raceway Chaplain Rev. Bill and wife Dawn.
BILL LADABOUCHE - Maine writer.
MARSHA MEANS - NSC Jimmy's wife.
GARY SHACKFORD - Center Conway, NH Camping World East Series
TREY TOMAINO - This Wall Township Speedway Modified driver is a
son of Howell, NJ NASCAR WMT driver/RWJM Rep. Jamie and wife Cheryl and
CTS crew member.
CHERIE WIBBELSMAN - Wife of Dr. Chris, son of Dunwoody, GA RWJM
advisor Dick and wife Judy.
HERSHELL McGRIFF - California's ageless driver/owner.
CRAIG ORMSBY - D.I.R.T. Modified driver.
MARK BYRD - Lebanon Valley Modified driver.
MIKE SCHANTZENBACH - Mahoning Valley driver.
JOHNY CHAPMAN - Stony Point, NC LMSC/BGN driver.
STEVE HMIEL - NSC/NNS Crew Chief.
GEORGE HARRINGTON - Lebanon Valley fan.
ALLISON BELMONT - One of ARCA driver/East Windsor Promoter Andy and
wife Jennifer children.
JAN LEATY - Williamson, NY NASCAR WMT driver.
TOMMY MARKHAM - Son of Fredricksburg, VA NSC/NNS driver Curtis is
DANIELLE WAUGH - RWJM Challenger/Jennerstown Chaplain Bill and wife
Dawn's youngest child is 21.
JANAI WILSON - The daughter and fellow track crewman with her husbad
and aslo dad RWJM Chaplain Bob Menschner at Wall Township Speedway.
BILL ROBINSON - Whiting, NJ NASCAR, Wall Township Speedway and New
Egypt Speedway fan and the son-in-law of Doris Bradley, another WTS and
LISA JAMES - Canterbury, CT RWJM advisor and longtime assistant to
Pat. Also the wife of RWJM advisor Scott.
TOM HAGER - West Easton, PA dirt Modified legendary driver.
TED DENSIESKI - Brother of Riverhead Raceway Mod driver Ed.
JUDY BRYANT - Wife of NC Modified driver Johnny.
LINDA VENEZIAN - Wife of Joe, Proprietor of Perth Amboy Springs.
TRAVERS CAMBRA - Former Wall Township Speedway photographer, now
Sales Rep. for Overhead Doors.
*** CREW ADDITIONS ***
LOGAN CARL WATTS, Ryan Watts and wife Lesley welcomed their son on
December 1, 2008, as a new addition to their crew. Ryan is a dirt
modified driver at Big Diamond and Bridgeport
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