THOSE WHO GAVE ALL
by Rev. Don Rivers
Summer is unofficially here! Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of
the summer season. But racing and fun shouldn’t be the only thing on our
minds. Sometimes the true meaning of the celebration gets lost. We should
remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
No, Freedom Isn’t Free
I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He’d stand out in a crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers’ tears?
How many pilots’ planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many died in foxholes?
No, freedom isn’t free
I heard the sound of taps one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That taps meant “Amen,”
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of the fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn’t free.
Freedom Isn’t Free is a poem written to recall the memory of those
who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the giving of their lives. Their
willingness to give secures to this day our freedom. Freedom to do what we
I was thinking the other day what would this country look like if
we weren’t free? Would there even be racing, as we know it? On any given
weekend I can choose where I go to watch a race. We can choose where to
race. If you don’t like going to a certain track you can choose another. We
have the freedom of choice. That is not something to take lightly.
Stop and think of all the choices we can make in our life and then
think of some of the other nations in the world who don’t have the same
option. The difference is freedom. The founders of our country decided to
organize on the foundation of God and freedom of choice. We have fought for
over 200 years to maintain that, not only for us but also for other nations
and peoples of the world.
God also gives us the freedom to choose. He makes available for us
a life of abundance and freedom. We can choose if we are going to accept
that life. Jesus said…
John 10:10, The thief comes
only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and
have it to the full.
Paul adds in Galations…
Galatians 5:1, It is for
freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let
yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Jesus came and gave His life as a sacrifice so that we could know
the abundant and free life that God has offered us. Not unlike those who
have fought for our country’s freedom so that we can enjoy an abundant and
free life. For us to experience freedom it cost someone something.
Think of a race team. Some are funded well and some are run on a
shoestring. It doesn’t matter; to be able to race someone pays. Someone’s
hard work earns the money we receive to pay the cost of preparing your car
and team to race. We experience the freedom to race because someone else
paid the price. The situation is the same whether it is our hard work or
someone else’s hard work, to race someone pays. Freedom isn’t free either.
For us to have freedom as a country many men and women paid with
their very own lives. They made the ultimate sacrifice for the good of
others. They gave their lives. Likewise Jesus gave His life so that we might
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.
Those lives that were given for us secured our freedom. Jesus
Christ gave His life for us to save us from death and destruction. Let me
ask a question, do you enjoy your freedom as an American? If you do take the
time to say thank you to those who have made it possible.
Let me ask another, do you want to experience an abundant and free
life that only comes from knowing Jesus Christ as your Savior? He gave His
life to give you that opportunity, accept it and free yourself from the
burden of sin.
Freedom isn’t free. It cost someone, something. Be thankful there
are those who are willing to pay the price for our freedom. Thank them.
God Bless, Rev. Don
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
BUSY WEEKEND FOR RWJM - With the split squad in action this
weekend Dan headed west to be with the Camping World Series at Iowa and I
headed south to Dover to help out Monster Racing with a wedding.
Dan was joined at Iowa by Mid West Coordinator Chuck McNeil as both
the East and West divisions met in what has become an annual race in May at
the 7/8^ mile track that Rusty built. They had a few issues with the weather
but were able to get things going. Kyle Busch set a new track record in
qualifying to take the pole.
Sometimes the unexpected happens. Dan spent the last laps of the
race on his way to the local hospital with Jeff, one of Matt Kobyluck’s
crewmembers. Jeff had a problem with his knee while refueling the car. We
don’t know anything yet but will update you when we get the word.
Kyle Busch dominated followed by the East’s Brian Ickler and the
West’s David Mayhew. Jeffrey Earnhardt returned to action and came home
fourth. The annual visit to the Midwest again proved to be a popular event
with the fans as the race was again a sellout. We are already looking
forward to returning next year.
I was joined on my trip by my wife. One of the perks that go along
with doing a wedding for Monster racing is the chance to get behind the
wheel and drive. It also gave me a chance to get Lynda in a car.
She often has asked me, “Why do they do this?” What is the draw?”
“Why do they get in these cars and drive for hours?” She got her answer.
After a quick four lap ride along she was hooked. When the
opportunity came to ride along with one of the instructors for the ten lap
segments she was ready. Thirty plus laps later getting her out of the car
was the harder than convincing her to get in. She now understands what it is
that so attracts us to racing. I can see a driving experience in her future.
With thanks to ASI, Design 500 and Bell, I was appropriately
attired to set off on my complimentary drive. I enjoy the opportunity to
drive any chance I can and I am thankful to Gerry Wright and Monster Racing
for their willingness to let me.
I do have a confession to make. I am as impatient in a race car as
I am in life. It is not something I am proud of but it is something I am
working on. It came to light when the green flag fell. The format is three
cars you follow the one in front of you and the speeds increase gradually.
There was a young fellow in front of me so I figured he would want to go! He
was more comfortable at a slower speed regardless of how much I tried to
encourage him. I didn’t use the chrome horn but the call came over the
radio, “I think the Rev. is getting a little impatient.” The yellow flew, I
passed and the rest of my laps were run as fast as the instructor would go.
I did perform the marriage of John and Christine later in the day
then headed back home to preach at Emmanuel Baptist Church in West
Springfield, MA. on Sunday morning. I then headed out to the Pine Wood Derby
at Eastford Congregational Church in Eastford, CT on Sunday afternoon. Busy,
but worth it to spread the Good News.
THOMPSON GETS THINGS GOING - This Thursday Thompson Speedway
gets Thursday Night Thunder going. They are the last of the three weekly
racing facilities in Connecticut to get things started. With Thompson in
full swing that gives fans three opportunities to get out there and take in
some live weekly racing.
This week we return to Stafford Motor Speedway for the Friday night
Whelen Modified Tour race to kickoff the summer racing season. From here
things get going full steam. Make plans now to join us at a track near you.
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
TODD & LINDA HENSHAW
- This Thompson MiniStock driver turned crewchief
and wife share their 20th anniversary.
REV. DAN & DEBBIE PETFIELD - The RWJM Vice President/BES Pastor and
wife share their 27th.
STEVE AND PATTY SMUDGE - The Easton, MA retired Mini Modified team owner
and wife have their 38th anniversary.
LLOYD & LINDA AGOR - From Brewster, NY, this Stafford WAARS Modified
2005 champion now WMT #2 crew Chief and wife have their 16th anniversary.
BOB MENSCHNER - Wall Stadium's RWJM Chaplain from Waretown, NJ. Keep
up the good work.
MIKE STEFANIK - Coventry, RI Whelen Modified Tour and Camping World
East multi-time champion and current WMT driver.
TONY STEWART - Rushville, IN born, now in Columbus, IN car owner and
driver in NSC.
ERIC NORRIS - Redondo Beach, CA NASCAR West/NNS driver.
FRED SCHIELE - Riverhead Raceway regular.
ASHLEY FULLER - A daughter of Karen and NASCAR WMT champ Jerry
Marquis of Enfield, CT.
RODNEY FRANKLIN - Cross Junction, VA dirt LM driver.
DANNY ONGAIS - Hawaii born, now Santa Ana, CA IRL driver.
DAN MASON - Holland and Spencer Speedways NASCAR LM driver.
DAVE NESEMANN - Crewman on George Andretta Wall Stadium ProStock
ERNEST WINSLOW - Scotland Neck, NC LMSC driver.
RAY DANIELS - Colorado Springs, CO NASCAR LM driver.
STEVE PORTENGA - Ukiah, CA NASCAR West driver.
CLAYTON MURPHY - Plymouth, MA Regional Manager for Ferrero Candies,
including Tic-Tac and a good friend to all in the camping World East Series
and Modified Tour.
BILL POTTEIGER III - This Christian fan and Vintage Car enthusiast
from Enola, PA has his birthday.
WALLY DALLENBACH, JR - NNS 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 Don.
RICKY CRAVEN - The Newburgh, ME NASCAR driver.
TERRY FISHER - Sandy, OR NASCAR West driver.
JOHN SPORS - Boston, NY NASCAR CWES/ Holland Speedway driver.
MIKE MAIETTA - Beech Ridge Speedway LM driver, and occasional on the
NASCAR CWES Series.
TIM DEROIN - Massachusetts based Modified Series driver and TV filim-maker.
CINDY BURDICK - Danielson, CT wife of Stafford announcing staff
STACY COMPTON - NNS driver.
RONALD COOPER - Statham, VA NNS team owner.
GEORGE BRUNNHOELZL - Lindenhurst, NY chassis builder.
LISA SANSEVERINO - A daughter of Hillsborough, NC photographer Ed and
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SEND THEM TO:
RACING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES
PO Box 586
Tolland, CT, 06084
TheChromeHorn RWJM Archives
Racing With Jesus Ministries Website
Don Rivers / Racing With Jesus Ministries