by Rev. Don Rivers
Do you know what is going on around you? Sometimes we get tunnel vision.
When we focus so much in one direction we can lose our sense of what is
going on around us. We need to be focused but not so much so that we lose
our sensitivity to what is going on around us. What happens when you get
proximity blindness? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus
Have you ever gone looking for something in your shop? You know
where it is supposed to be but when you look there you don't find it. Now
lets be honest some shops are more organized than others. For you guys with
the not so organized shops this is not a problem, you are used to not
finding things where they are supposed to be. For the guys who have
everything in its place, it can be very frustrating when you cannot find
something. The first response is to “ask” who didn't put it back where it
belonged. Then you start to look for it. After a long search someone finds
it very close to where it belonged. You never saw it. You have proximity
Let me explain. This is what happens when we are looking for
something, we expect it to be in a certain place and when we look we fail to
see what is around it. This doesn't only happen when we are looking for
something but it also happens when we expect things to happen a certain way.
When things don't happen the way we expect them to, we fail to figure out
what is really happening. We don't always look and see everything going on
In racing we have spotters to help us know what is going on around
us. We can't always see everything and we need someone to guide us. Wouldn't
it be great to have spotters in life? We could use someone who is watching
what we are doing and guide us in the correct way. There are many people who
try to tell us where to go and what to do, but not everyone has our best
interest at heart. Who do you trust to guide you?
Did you find what you were looking for in the empty tomb? Did you
find a reason for hope and faith? Did you find your savior?
Isaiah the prophet explained to us who the Messiah would be. In
Isaiah 53 he explained what we needed to be looking for.
Isaiah 53, Who has believed our
message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of
dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his
appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a
man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide
their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our
infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he
was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was
upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has
turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led
like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of
For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the
transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the
wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor
was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his
offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his
hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be
satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he
will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will
divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto
death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
When Jesus came not everyone recognized Him. Many thought he was a
good man. Others thought he was a prophet and still others thought he was
someone else. Jesus posed this question to his disciples, “But what about
you, who do you say that I am?”
What a great question. Who do we say Jesus is? You see that goes a
long way in how we respond to him. If we do not think he can heal us or
forgive us than what do we think he can do? Most times we look to Jesus when
we have gotten ourselves into a difficult spot, a situation that we can no
longer deal with. We turn to Jesus when we have no other option. We turn to
Him as a last resort instead of a first option. Is it because He is not who
we are looking for? Maybe?
We may be looking for someone to set things right; someone to right
the wrongs committed toward us. In Isaiah 53 it says that even though Jesus
was falsely accused He did not open His mouth. Jesus took the false
accusations. Jesus didn't argue or retaliate. He let them say what they
We may be looking for someone to over throw the government. Jesus
did not come to change the government. Jesus came as a humble servant. In
fact he was asked if it was right to pay taxes to Caesar. He took a coin and
asked whose picture is on it. Caesar was the reply. Jesus said, give to
Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God what is God's.
If we are not looking for the right thing we will not see what God
has given us. Jesus endured the cross to atone for our sin. He suffered and
died so that we could be forgiven. At the hands of the Roman guards he was
beaten and abused. In the end as he hung on the cross one Roman guard found
what he was looking for. He put it this way,” Surely this was the Son of
God.” I find it amazing that in all of this the guard’s heart was touched by
the Holy Spirit and he came to understand what so many had missed. This was
God's one and only son who gave his life for me.
As you look into the empty tomb I ask you to think of the cross.
Think of the Savior God sent to save you and me. Think of the cost. Think of
what you are looking for in life. You will find it in Christ. Christ is the
answer to any question.
John 3:16-17 "For God so loved
the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him
shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into
the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Are you looking for a Savior? Look to Jesus, accept the sacrifice
He made to set you free. Find him waiting there ready to forgive.
God Bless, Rev. Don
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
WALL REOPENS FOR THE SEASON
- Many times in life we see parallels, just like we thought Christ was
dead only to have him rise from the dead, we also thought we had seen the
last of Wall Stadium. That is not true, Wall Lives. Wall opened for the 2009
season last Saturday night and our man on the job, Bob Menschner was there
and filed this report.
We had a very good start to the season. The stands were 3/4
full and about the same for the pits. When I was making my "rounds" in the
pits, I saw Jamie Tomaino. He had an off night and came by to help a local
racer to set up his modified. Lots of drivers came by to chat. My brother
and his wife are doing different "ministries" at their church and wanted to
see my "track ministry" work. They have been to the track many times but not
in the pits, so I had them walk my rounds with me and I let my brother pray
with some of the teams. They were so impressed with the way the drivers want
prayer. He is going back to his pastor to share with him how this ministry
is helping the racing "community", on a local level. I was handing out lots
of stickers and received some support for the ministry!!!! I will send it
Also, I got to talk with Warren Kaulthau, the guy you took for a
ride in the "ministry" car at Turkey Derby. He told me to tell you that he
is fine and he’s been asked to do some "speaking" at different places on his
recovery and how prayer has played a big part of it. He said to remind Don,
that you promised him he could drive the "ministry" car at the next Turkey
Derby. We had a good opening night and reached people with the ministry,
handed out some stickers and shared the "word" under clear skies, so I would
say we did alright.
WEDDING ON TAP FOR SIZZLER WEEKEND - I am glad I don’t have
to pay the cost for all the guest at the reception for this one, probably
about 4,000. During the pit party next week at Stafford Motor Speedway look
over to Victory Lane and witness the nuptials of George Jones and Allison
Evans, crewmembers on the 21 Whelen Modified Team. Firesuits will be the
acceptable attire, not the traditional Tux and Wedding Dress. The place is
special to the couple because it is the place they met. Put on your firesuit
and join us for the festivities.
DOUBLE HEADER FOR RWJM - This weekend not only sees us
kicking off the season at Stafford Motor Speedway and the race that has been
dubbed the “Greatest race of the spring” it also has us at Tri-county
Speedway in Hudson , NC for the Camping World East Series.
Rev. Dan will make the trip down south with Ricky Maddox and
8-Track. He is looking forward to another successful trip and a chance to
visit a new track for us.
I have a full schedule on this end, Chapel at 9:20 on Sunday
morning, Wedding at 10:30, Racing at 12:00. Can’t think of a better way to
welcome in Spring.
Make your plans to join us either here or there. See you at a track
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 Coast’s 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
ROGER & MELISSA HORVATH - This NY ELS Sprint driver and wife have their
J.J. & KELLY MICHAELS - This Small Block Modified driver at Fulton
and Utica-Rome Speedways in New York and his wonderful wife Kelly share
their 10th anniversary.
PAUL & MICHELLE McELEARNEY - This veteran Riverhead Raceway LM driver
and wife have their anniversary today.
MIKE AND SHARON TALLMAN - A crewman on the Thompson Speedway Modified
driven by Sharon's brother Tom Tagg and his wife have anniversary 23.
GEORGE AND BEVERLY BOULEY - The family that races together stays
together. This family that includes children Kim and CWES driver Scott and
the entire #26 team started at Danbury Arena and have become a common sight
at tracks throughout the East. They always have a smile and a laugh despite
what the circumstances may be. Let us wish them a blessed anniversary as
they complete 54 laps in the family camper.
BOB HOWARD - Colorado Springs, CO NASCAR West driver.
ROBBIE CROUCH - Burlington, VT's "Tampa Tornado" retired NASCAR CWES/LM
JASON KELLER - Greensville, SC NNS driver.
P.J. JONES - Rolling Hills, CA Indy car/ NASCAR Truck series driver.
CHUCK GAFRARAR - Team Penske fabricator.
AL ROBINSON - World-wide race announcer and Storyteller
J.J. O'MALLEY - Al's buddy and the PR Director at Watkins Glen
BOB PRATT - A brother of Joe Pratt, NJ Mod driver Ed and uncle of
sportsman driver Richie Pratt, Jr.
MICHELLE McELEARNEY - The wife of Commack, NY Riverhead LM driver,
RICK SCHAFFER - Woxall, PA all-time winningest Mod driver at Grandview.
HERMIE SADLER - Emporia, VA NNS/NSC driver.
ED FLEMKE - Southington, CT NASCAR WMT Modified driver/ chassis
CHERYL MARKS - Grandview Souvenir Stand Manager.
LINDA GOLDEN - Daughter of retired Midget owner Joe Sukup from
Schodack Landing, NY.
WALTER NEWCOMB - Keeper of the cup, this Long Island WMT crewmember
has his big day.
BILL HENDERSON - Owner of a KARS Sprint team at Williams Grove.
MIKE LENMAN - Driver of Bill Henderson's KARS Sprint.
RAY MILLER - Former driver of the Henderson KARS Sprint.
JOHN MICHALOWSKI, JR. - From Riverhead, NY, now driving LMSC in NC.
CHET THOMPSON - Former Wall Township Speedway driver, now G.S.U.S.C.E.
member and race fan.
SHAWN PODZIEWSKI - CWES crewman.
CHRISTINA CASAGRANDE - Sister of Riverhead Blunderbust driver Bob.
AARON MICHAEL COX - One of Rev. Pat's cousin Bob and wife Tracy Cox'
children down in Boyertown, PA is 10.
BILL DIMMICH - Slatington, PA Former Pocono 500 chief announcer and
JIMMY KITCHENS - Birmingham, AL NNS/NW driver.
JUNIOR MILLER - Winston-Salem, NC WSMT 2005 Championship driver.
RON SHEPHERD - From NY, now in NC driving Modifieds and Concord
Motorsports Park Super LMSC.
ROGER GODIN - Maine LM driver.
ALLEN MONETTE - NH ProStock driver.
RON & ED PROVOST - Oxford Plains Speedway official and son.
BOBBY SUMMERS - The owner of Hoosier Tire East in Manchester, CT and
provider of the racing rubber for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and proud
dad of WMT driver Rob.
RICK KNAPP - Scotland, CT retired Waterford Speedbowl Modified
JIM PETERSON - CT LM driver.
AUSTIN DILLON - A son of NNS driver/spotter Mike and Tina and driver
of the famed #3 Camping World Series entry.
KIRK BRYANT - Thomasville, NC LMSC driver.
MARK GEER - Waterford Speedbowl former Chief Tech. Inspector.
JUDY MARTIN - Concord, NC NSC photographer.
NATHAN DIAS - Son of Westport, MA Seekonk ProStock driver Tony and
wife Elizabeth is 13.
*** NEW BEGINNINGS ***
DOUG MATTISON - former DIRT big-block Modified driver died on April 15.
He was only 57, and had battled cancer for over a year. He competed in the
big-blocks in the 1970s and 80s, driving the powder blue No. 91; and was a
winner at Canandaigua, N.Y., Speedway. Later, he was a popular co-host on
the racing radio show "Chasin' Racin' on N.Y.'s WFLR. Cards may be sent to:
Mary Ellen Mattison, 125 Hamilton St., Penn Yan, NY 14527.
SHARE YOUR SPECIAL OCCASIONS WITH YOUR RACING FAMILY.
SEND THEM TO:
RACING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES
PO Box 586
Tolland, CT, 06084
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Racing With Jesus Ministries Website
Don Rivers / Racing With Jesus Ministries