COMMITTED TO THE
by Rev. Don Rivers
We work together on many different fronts in life; at work, at home, at the
track and at play. Working together is a necessity in life. There is not one
of us who can go it alone. Whose team are we on? Who do we labor for? Whom
do we serve? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Have you ever looked at what you wear to the track? What do your
clothes say to others? I have seen many things on shirts in the pits that I
can’t write here or repeat in public. I am not sure what some people are
thinking when they wear such things in public. It shows me they have lost
respect for themselves. I am sure it is done for attention but at what cost?
I think we would be better served if we wore clothes that showed a little
Who needs a Facebook page? Jeff Foxworthy says you can find out
many things about someone from their T-shirts. Where they went on vacation,
their favorite beer, their favorite sports team and their favorite NASCAR
driver. What we wear communicates many things to people, but does it
communicate the right things?
When we work on a race team we wear the colors of the team. We
represent that owner and those sponsors. Have we ever thought about what we
say and do reflects on those people. Do we do a good job for them? Are they
proud to have us on their team? Take a look at your uniform and think about
each company represented there, act in a way that would honor them.
Being on a team comes with the responsibility to the other team
members. We have to think of the team before we think of ourselves. When we
don't it causes problems. When we act selfishly the team suffers and we
suffer. That type of behavior is destructive and leads to destruction. We
need to make a commitment to work together, forgive one another and be
dedicated for the good of the team.
Jesus put together a team of sorts when he started his ministry
here on Earth. They didn't know where it would lead, but they were willing
to follow. Jesus accepted them and taught them the things they would need to
know. Mark's Gospel records the first members joining the team.
MARK 1:14-20, After John was put
in prison, Jesus went into Galilee , proclaiming the good news of God. "The
time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the
As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his
brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come,
follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they
left their nets and followed him.
When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and
his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called
them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and
Think about the team members Jesus chose. Would they be the ones we
would choose? I think if we were given the choice we might have gone to the
temple to choose the members of God's team. We would have tried to pick
someone who knew about God and His word. Not so with Jesus, he looked for
those who were willing more than those who were qualified. Think about
forming a race team and picking guys who knew nothing about racing. How
could this work?
Jesus knew what he was doing. He knew they would fail sometimes. He
knew they would not understand some of His instructions. He knew they would
desert Him when He needed them most. But He chose them anyway. What could
they possibly have that qualified them for Jesus' team?
Ask yourself who you want working beside you, someone who knows
everything or someone who is willing to give everything they have for the
team? I think the later, someone who is willing makes a difference on a
team. They will do whatever they are asked without question. They will make
every effort to do the right thing. These are the type of people we want to
Jesus knew the heart of the men he called. He knew their
shortcomings. He also knew that the passion in their hearts would carry them
through all their shortcomings. He would pick them again. What can we learn?
Things aren't always as they appear on the outside.
Think about the people around you. Are they the ones that you would
go into battle with? The best team members are those who you would trust
your life with. They may not be the most qualified or talented, but they are
the most willing. Jesus picked His team members based on their hearts. We
should do the same.
Remember that it is what is in your heart that matters. Jesus
indicated that to us when he spoke to us about sin. The same holds true when
it comes to serving God, our hearts have to be in it. Put your heart into
serving God. It doesn't matter what your qualifications are, if your heart
is in it then you will honor God. Ask yourself if you are committed to the
team, Christ’s team. Are you willing? Desire in your heart to serve God
above all things. God Bless, Rev. Don.
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
SOBO ROAD TRIP - This weekend we went back to one of our
favorite places down south, South Boston Speedway. Our thanks go out to
Kathy Rice and the entire crew for making us feel at home. Also, a big
thanks to MRO Chaplain Jim Foster and his wife for opening their home to a
couple of traveling preachers and a shutter bug. Their hospitality helps
make the trip that much more bearable. Have you ever noticed how a good
shower and a few hours of rest in a bed help you shake off the road weary
South Boston is one of those old cup tracks that has a history for
some close racing. This race would run true to that heritage. Fewer cautions
than last year allowed for more green flag action. This may have been
because of the low car count, 23. That helped improve the racing on this
tight 4/10 mile circuit.
Records were meant to be broken and one fell this weekend. Just
when you thought Joey Lagano was young along comes Brett Moffitt from the
mid-west and wins his first Camping World East Race two months younger than
Sliced Bread. I am surely getting old! Brett's dad had the quote of the day
as he jumped higher than I have ever seen a white man jump, “Praise the
It was good to join Andy Santerre Motorsports in victory lane
again. Andy has a knack for getting the car right when it matters. Brett
conserved the car early as he followed Ryan Truex, in the first third of the
race. After a few restarts Brett was able to make the pass stick and took
over the top spot. His next stop, Victory Lane !
Ryan Truex, driving for Michael Waltrip racing, won the pole. In
only his second visit to the track, the first being a start in a late model
race, he proved to be a quick learner. The relationship with Michael Waltrip
may be the forerunner of things to come for the Truex family, there may be
some changes down the road. Martin Sr. was on hand to encourage Ryan and he
was pleased with a pole and third place finish.
An old friend joined us at South Boston . Sean Caisse, fresh off
his new development contract with RCR ran a car prepared by Dave Davis
Racing. His practice time was cut short with engine issues. They were able
to swap motors and get a little practice in. He managed to qualify third but
came home seventh. Look for the deal with RCR to provide both Nationwide and
Sprint Cup opportunities for Sean. It has been a struggle to get to this
point, but Sean has worked hard to earn this chance. I teased him as he
helped with the motor change, about how far he has come, he has learned a
lot. Show them what you have Sean.
Who says a race promoter won't get their hands dirty? When Eddie
McDonald broke his rear end in the first practice his dad, Red, Proprietor
of Lee Speedway in New Hampshire put on some coveralls and jumped right in.
Nothing demonstrates the willingness to sacrifice more than a family getting
dirty together so that one can race. Eddie came back from a sub par
qualifying effort to finish in the top ten.
We are always amazed at the things God has for us when we head to
the track and SoBo was no different. The encouragement we received was
tremendous. We find a renewed strength in our spirit as God continues to be
faithful to His promise. Look for some exciting announcements in the coming
weeks as we share what God is doing. Also be in prayer for us as we continue
to walk in faith.
PRAYER LIST - A couple of things to put on your prayer list,
remember Laurie, Matt and Melissa Sampson. This past week Bunk's mom went
home to the Lord and they will need our prayers as they deal with their
loss. Keep the Sellers family in your prayers as Mary had some recent
emergency health issues. She is recovering and things look good, but
continue to pray for her healing. Also, keep the LaJoie family in your
thoughts and prayers as they continue to deal with some medical challenges.
Speaking of the LaJoie’s look for young Corey to venture into the
Camping World Series. Randy said he has a car and may head north to Thompson
to get their feet wet before heading to New Hampshire and Dover . Another
young gun, it will be interesting to see if the championship heritage can be
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
SCOTT & LISA JAMES - This couple from Canterbury, CT who helped
lead this ministry in the past and currently serve as ministry advisors have
their 16th anniversary
LLOYD & LINDA MOORE - This Unity, ME driver and wife have their 36th
REV. DON AND LYNDA RIVERS - The RWJM President and WMT Pastor and wife
celebrate their 29th anniversary.
SCOTT NICKEL - The Thompson Speedway based photographer and brother of
BETTY ANN EVANS - The wife of Racing with Jesus Ministries founder Rev.
BOBBY HILLIN, JR. - Midland, TX NNS driver.
MICHAEL DOKKEN - St. Petersburg, FL LM/CWTS driver.
JENETTE SMULLEY - Daughter of Big Diamond owners Fritz and Krista
BUTCH MILLER - Coopersville, MI NASCAR CTS driver.
MIKE & TED CHRISTOPHER - Plainville, CT twin drivers, both talented
in open and closed wheel competition.
EUGENE SENA - Middletown, CT Mike Christopher and NASCAR WMT crewman.
GARY NELSON - NASCAR Managing Director of Competition.
TONY SYLVESTER, JR. - The son of semi-retired Lebanon, CT Mod/NASCAR
CWES driver Tony and wife Diane is 19.
LISA NICKEL - The daughter of Thompson Speedway photographer Scott
and wife Joan is 18.
RANDY PORTER - Greenville, SC NNS and Greenville Pickens Speedway LMSC
JIM HAILEY, JR. - Winston-Salem, NC Tri-County and Caraway Speedways
LMSC driver; son of Richard Childress Show Car Team Manager Jim, Sr.
BILL "TIGER" PERRY - Seekonk Speedway Sportsman driver.
WENDELL & CAROL KILCOLLINS - This husband and wife from Stafford
Springs both celebrate. Wendell is a retired Modified driver, now Crew Chief
for Willie Hardee's WAAS Modified team.
KATY COLSON - Daughter of Leominster, MA ProStock driver Fran and
VICTORIA ACKERLY - The daughter of Orange County Fairgrounds Speedway
Modified driver Ray is 13.
DENNIS DEMERS - Shelburne, VT NASCAR CWES driver.
RAY HORNER - New Jersey asphalt Modified driver.
TIM DAMIANI - Pennsy Modified driver.
ANTHONY DAMIANI - A son of Tim's is 15.
JIM BOARDMAN - Maynard, MA LM/NASCAR CWES driver.
MIKE SWAIM - Archdale, NC LMSC driver.
CHUCK MONTVILLE - Crewman on the Ralph Solhem Danny Sammons driven
NASCAR WMT team.
LESLIE LaJOIE - Wife of two time NNS champion driver Randy.
MARTIN SCHIFF - Wayland, MA proprietor of Sponsor Development of
Reston, Ent., husband of Wayland Travel's Jane.
JOEL MARTIN - Son of Concord, NC NSC photographers Gary and Judy.
BRIDGETT JIVANELLI - Daughter of Riverhead Raceway driver Dan.
KELSEY BABB - Daughter of Beech Ridge Speedway LM driver Bobby and
wife Carla is 18.
ZACHARY D'ALESSANDRO - Agawam, MA son of Ingrid and former Modified
driver Ron is 13.
JOE BUCHEK - Binghamton, NY retired Modified driver; We-Go Racing Fan
SHARON MOORE - Horseshoe, NC wife of Gary.
KRISTEN LABONTE - Daughter of Nextel Cup driver Terry and wife Kim.
JON MAYLOTT - Enfield, CT Lebanon Valley Speedway RWJM Counselor,
hockey coach and CT District Commissioner for Youth Hockey.
BILLY BIGLEY, JR. - Naples, FL All Pro Series driver.
RON D'ALESSANDRO - Agawam, MA former Mod No. 124 owner/driver at the
now closed Riverside Park Speedway.
TY BERGER - A past Advertising Director for "National Speed Sport
News" from 1969 to 1978 and always involved in racing from Kutztown, PA.
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