HAPPY NEW YEAR
by Rev. Don Rivers
A familiar refrain we hear this time of the year, but can we assure the year
to come will be
happy? What does it take to be happy? How can we assure that no
matter what the circumstances the New Year brings we will be happy?
Happiness is more a condition of the heart than a result of the events that
happen around us. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus
Have you ever listened to a post incident interview that took place
with the drivers who were involved? Each driver has a take on what took
place. Each one saw things from a different perspective. If you listen
closely you can determine the one event that triggered the incident. It
starts something like this; ďI thought I couldĒ or ďI had the position butĒ.
We think we can predict the results of our choices but many times the
results are not what we would expect.
Our perception of the situation is many times different from
someone elseís. Most times we donít see or donít understand all the effects
of our actions. Did you ever wonder why we need officials at races? They are
the ones whose perception counts. They are the ones who decide what really
happened. Who has the final say on the other decisions we make in our life?
Whose opinion do we listen to?
What does this have to do with being happy? Well, think of it this
way, when we understand that the results of our decisions affect more than
just us our perspective changes. When we realize that things donít revolve
around us we begin to understand that the decisions we make should take
others into consideration. When we consider the condition of others we start
to see things through Godís eyes. True happiness is a direct result of how
we affect the lives of others. We think however that our happiness is a
direct result of the things we do and have.
We live much of our lives focused on what affects us. When
according to Godís plan we should live our lives with more consideration for
the welfare of others. Paul writes in Philippians about how we should
respond to the blessings we receive from God.
Philippians 2:1-5: If you have any encouragement from being
united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the
Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being
like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do
nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider
others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own
interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the
same as that of Christ Jesus:
Paul reminds us that our attitude should be the same as Christís.
Think of Jesus, He came and sacrificed His life, not for what He received,
but for what we received. I believe it pleased Him to give His life up for
anyone who would believe in Him. His heart was at peace and He was filled
with joy. Paul outlines it for us;
Philippians 2:6-8: (Jesus), being in very nature God, did
not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself
nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became
obedient to death-- even death on a cross!
This seems contrary to our definition of happiness. How can you be
suffering so and yet be ďhappyĒ?
Happiness for a Christian is defined differently than it is for
others. Happiness is less a state of circumstances and more a condition of
the heart. When our heart is in tune with Godís will we are filled with a
peace that passes understanding and a joy that isnít easily understood. The
love of God in our lives demonstrated to others in the choices we make
produces true happiness in our lives.
Paul helps us redefine our focus in life. We find the peace of God
when we concentrate on the things that please God. Paul explained that being
in Godís will was more important than having all the trappings the world has
Philippians4:8-13: Finally, brothers, whatever is true,
whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about
such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen
in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your
concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity
to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to
be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and
I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content
in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in
plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
We are programmed in life to think happiness comes from what we
have. That is not true. Did you ever know someone who had everything they
ever wanted? That is not possible because there is always something else we
want. It seems we are never satisfied. We never have everything we want. In
his letter to Timothy, Paul councils him to pursue the things of God.
1Timothy 6:6-12: But godliness with contentment is great
gain. For we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of
it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People
who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish
and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love
of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have
wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness,
godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of
We think that we can satisfy ourselves by attaining things. We
think happiness comes from having those things. The fact is that no matter
what we have there is always something missing. Something only God can
provide. No matter what we attain in life we are not satisfied until we ask
Jesus into our heart. He is the only one who can fill the void that we try
to fill with everything else. We can only receive that peace that passes
understanding from God through Jesus.
So when I say Happy New Year I mean I hope you find the true
meaning of life. I hope you realize where true satisfaction and fulfillment
come from. I hope you find the saving grace of Jesus. God promises peace to
those who trust in Him. Are you at peace? God fills our hearts with joy when
we pursue His will. Happiness is a result of living the life that God has
planned for us. Make a New Yearís resolution that will change your life,
resolve this year to submit to Godís will for your life. Let God have
control and make every effort to let Him guide your thoughts and actions.
God Bless, Rev. Don
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
4TH ANNUAL GEOFF BODINE BOBSLED CHALLENGE - The schedule of the
holidays worked out perfectly this year and I was able to make the trip to
Lake Placid. Lynda and I headed up on New Yearís Day for what would prove to
be the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Sometimes in life you do get to
fulfill your dreams. Before we get into that I want to talk about what a
tremendous event this is.
Geoff Bodineís vision of bringing together the auto racing
community in support of the USA Bobsled effort and have some fun doing it
has proved to be a tremendous hit. Some of you may not know this but this
event has become the source of funding for the USA Bobsled effort. Other
countries have budgets and support of their governments but here they depend
on the support of sponsors and supporters.
What a wonderful opportunity to increase awareness of a truly World
Class program. With the advent of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled the Americans have
regained their standing in the sport on top of the podium. I remember
watching the event on ABCís Wide World of Sports when I was a kid. I longed
for the USA to win. Now we are the team to beat. With the World
Championships next month in Lake Placid look for the USA to be a favorite.
Root on the USA.
For me, I always wanted the chance to ride down the track covered
with a sheet of ice. I got that opportunity on Saturday morning. 47.55 was
the time in a Four-man sled from Start House 3, AWESOME! What was over in
less than a minute fulfilled a lifelong dream. God has truly blessed me. But
God didnít stop there on Saturday night Lynda and I sat at the same table
with USA World Cup Champion Sled Pilot, Steve Holcomb. It was a great time
getting to know him and learning some things about Bobsledding. Sometimes in
life God blesses us beyond our wildest dreams. I could not have predicted or
even imagined what the weekend would have in store, but God had it all
I am as patriotic as they come, I get choked up when they sing the
national anthem, I fly my flag and I take pride in what this country stands
for, One Nation under God. What I saw this weekend filled me with that
pride. Geoff and his team have put the USA back on the map, he has included
the racing community and he has helped create the bonds that will last into
the future. My hats off to everyone involved in this project and event.
Todd Bodine proved to be King of the Hill in both qualifying and
heads up racing winning both. He was on his way to claiming his third win of
the weekend when he went 81. That is Bobsled code for turning over. That
meant Morgan Lucas would win the NASCAR vs. NHRA challenge. The two went
head to head in the same sleds used by our USA Bobsled teams. They also had
USA coaches as their brakemen for the final heads up run. Lucas proved the
sled made a tremendous difference as he took two seconds off the best time
of the day.
It was a great weekend to show support for our Olympic Athletes and
their efforts to put the USA on the top of the heap. Again if you have the
chance, get out there and show your support for the USA Bobsled team. You
can watch the action from this weekends event on Speed Channel, January 18
at noon. I need to thank Whelen Engineering and Phil Kurze for extending the
invitation and showing us a tremendous time. We are looking forward to
returning next year.
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 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
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
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 PAINE - "Hurricane", Waterloo, NY dirt Mod driver.
MARTY HOUSTON - Hickory, NC NASCAR Truck Series driver.
LANCE WADE - Victoria, British Columbia NASCAR West driver.
LINDA LARSEN - Official at Riverhead.
BOBBY HAMILTON, JR - NASCAR NNS/CTS/CWSE driver.
JIM COURAGE - Fair Oaks, CA NASCAR West driver.
BETTY JO YARBOROUGH - Wife the NSC former great Cale.
DEBBIE HAYES - Norwich, CT Waterford Speedbowl fan
MARK MARTIN - Batesville, AK Viagra NSC driver.
SCOTT BOULEY - Thomaston, CT NASCAR CWSE driver.
CHRIS WHITEHEAD - NY D.I.R.T. Mod driver.
ROBERT HENDRICKSON - NJ asphalt Mod driver.
MELISSA DIONNE - Street Stock driver; Daughter of RWJM's Gary and
Debbie in Acton, CA.
JANICE BRICE - Wife of Bill III.
FREDERICK, BRANDON & FRANCESCA RAHMER - The triplets of PA Sprint
driver Fred and Debbie are 12.
HARRY GANT- Statesville, NC retired NSC great.
EDDIE CHEEVER- Phoenix, AZ born, now Tampa, FL IRL driver.
JOHN WINTER - S. Salem, NY retired to Palm Coast, FL Lebanon Valley
TRUDY CHARETTE - The wife of Linwood, MA carpenter fan Walter.
BRETT BODINE - Chemung, NY former cup driver now in R&D for NASCAR.
PETE SILVA - Leicester, NC LMSC driver, a former Maine hotshoe.
BOB RANDALL - Maine LM driver.
GAVIN WILLIAM STAKEY - The son of Stafford LM driver Cliff and wife
Lorna is 9.
ERIC LONGACRE - Against All Odds Racing's Tammy's son.
BOBBY DRAGON - Milton, VT CWSE driver.
KERRY TEAGUE - Concord, NC NSC/NNS driver.
MATTHEW KOCHER - This Quarter Midget driver at Blue Mountain QMRA is
Berlinsville, PA, and son of Kerri Sue and Eric Kocher, Mahoning Valley Mod
driver, turns 12.
RUSH LIMBAUGH - New York, NY Indy car fan; radio host.
ERNIE IRVAN - Salinas, CA Sprint Cup retired driver.
TIM NOONER - Las Vegas, NV NASCAR Truck driver.
KEVIN ALLEN - of New Milford, Ct is a crew member on Lloyd Agor's
team at Stafford Speedway.
*** NEW BEGINNINGS ***
TRISNAWATY "TRIS" WILLIAMS: Wife of "Ice Cream Johnny" Williams, a
long-time food concessionaire at N.J.'s New Egypt and East Windsor
Speedway.She passed away on Dec. 13 at age 54, from cancer. Cards may be
sent to Johnny at: 154 Devon Ct., Old Bridge, NJ 08857.
DICK IVINS: Died on Dec. 17 at age 80. Noted auto racing movie
photographer at tracks such as Trenton Speedway, East Windsor, Flemington
and Old Bridge. He was also a columnist and race results writer for AARN in
the paper's early years, and a press director for URC in the 1970s. Cards
can be sent to his wife Dianne and family at 5 Perilli Dr., Trenton, NJ
JOHN LeVAN: Publisher and webmaster of openwheelracers.com; and
reporter and photographer for the racing trade paper Keystone News. Also a
former URC publicity director. Died on Dec. 18, just days from his 60th
birthday. Cards can be sent to his wife LuAnn and the family go to: 1202 N.
Front St., Reading, PA 19601
BILL NAABE: President for 25 years of N.J.'s Pit Stop Fan Club. Died
at age 82 on Dec. 21. Cards can be sent to his wife Evelyn and the family
at, 229 Center Rd., Elmer, NJ 08318.
DALE MOORE: Long-time URC Sprint Car official, who also fielded the
original MZM Racing No. 17 sprinter driven by Jimmy Martin Sr., Jimmy Martin
Jr. and most-recently Becca Anderson. Cards may be sent to his wife Mary
Louise and the family at: 17 Hudson Branch Dr., Frederica, DE 19946.
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