HOW ARE WE
RUNNING THE RACE
Rev. Don Rivers
Sometimes things get heated up at the track. Sometimes we donít respond in a
way that honors God. We need to remember, even in the heat of the moment,
that we belong to God. We need to remember that we need to reflect his
character not ours. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus
One of the most challenging things to do in racing is to keep your
composure when everything around you is going crazy. When we develop that
composure we go a long way toward responding in a way that honors God.
What does it take to win a race? I thought about the ingredients
necessary to win but had trouble putting my finger on them. I thought, you
need a fast car, but the fastest car doesnít always win. I thought, you need
a car that can get out front and lead, but the car that leads the most laps
doesnít always win the race. I thought, you need the skills and talent to
drive a racecar, but the most skilled driver doesnít always win. I then
thought surely that a skilled team that can make the necessary changes
during the race would win, but the best team doesnít always win. Weíll as
you can see I couldnít put my finger on the necessary ingredients to win.
What does it take to win? I guess that depends on the race you are running.
In racing we need all the things mentioned above, we need them to
come together on race day and this still doesnít guarantee victory. We need
to run the race. Things will happen during the race that will have a
significant impact on the outcome. If we donít attempt to run we can never
Running the race properly involves responding to situations in a
way that honors God. If we do not handle ourselves correctly we do not run
the race properly. How should we run? Listen to what Paul writes.
1Corinthians 9:24-27, Do you not
know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in
such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into
strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it
to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man
running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my
body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself
will not be disqualified for the prize.
I am reminded of the story of David and Goliath. If we look at the
two competitors the race was over before it began. On one side we have the
giant Goliath, an experienced fighter and intimidating. On the other side we
have a Shepard boy with no armor, just his sling and staff. There was
however something that tipped the scales in Davidís favor, God. Goliath
fought with his own strength and power. David fought not only with his
strength and skill, but also with the blessing of God. You see to run the
race in a way as which to win, you must race within the will of God.
God blesses us when we follow His direction. When we choose to take
things on with our own strength and understanding we are not running in a
way as which to win. Paul points out three things that are important.
Donít run aimlessly. In order to win the race we must know where
the finish line is and the way to get there. God provides a direction for
us. Seek Him out and follow His guidance. He is the best crew chief going.
Donít fight against things that are not there. Too many times we
spend our energy worrying about things that havenít even happened. We get
anxious and try to predict the future, donít get caught up chasing the
shadows of things that are not there. Deal with what is real and use the
wisdom and strength of God.
Donít be disqualified. We reason our way out of doing the things
that are right. We find excuses to justify the choices we make. We cannot
let ourselves give in to our selfish desires, but instead we must do what is
right. We can justify anything we do with many reasons, but that doesnít
make it right. We must do what is right in the eyes of God.
Paul adds that there is a way to respond that honors God. We need
to reflect the character of God when we run the race. Only then can we have
victory even in defeat.
Ephesians 4:1a-3, I urge you to
live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble
and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort
to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Many times we race against competitors who are full of themselves.
They strut around like they are so great. They are full of pride and
arrogance. I am here to tell you if you get drawn into that thought process
you will never win the race. Donít get me wrong you can still be competitive
and a tenacious combatant and still honor God. The secret is not to think
more of yourself than you ought to. Look at David and how he was able to be
victorious over Goliath.
Goliath laughed at him when he walked on the battlefield. Goliath
insulted him and the nation he represented. Goliath didnít take him
seriously. David wasnít defeated by the arrogance of Goliath. He placed a
rock in his sling and flung one stone striking Goliath in the forehead and
We need to remember what we have been called to and run the race in
a way that will honor God. We will not wilt when the circumstances seem to
be overwhelming, the pressure seems too much. Whatever we do will prosper,
we will taste victory. Look forward to experiencing Godís blessings. Run in
such a way as to win!
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
THIRD TIME A CHARM - We got it in! Yes after two previous tries
the True Value Modified Racing Series was able to complete their event at
Thompson Speedway this last Thursday under absolutely beautiful conditions.
Judging from the fullness of the stands this was a great night to enjoy some
The teamwork award goes to the Brady Bunch. After a stuck valve
rendered their primary power plant useless the race was on to swap engines.
There were a few obstacles in the way. The only way to get the replacement
out of its resting place was brute strength. Help came from all corners and
no short of 18 guys were there to help. They literally carried the motor to
a place where it could be put on a hoist. Time to complete the change; 2
hours and 2 minutes. The entire Brady Bunch crew wants to extend their
thanks to everyone who helped. How did the new power plant work out, it was
good enough for forth place.
As is their custom the TVMRS runs 75 green laps. This night their
would be just as many caution laps and the fuel situation played a roll is
what would have been a closer finish if the second place car of Rowan
Pennink didnít run out of fuel. Andy Seuss won his first on the TVMRS as he
held off Richard Savary and Todd Owen on the last restart.
I talked with a few crew chiefs and they admitted they
underestimated the amount of fuel they would need for this event. They
didnít think they would run more caution laps than green. They shared it was
easier to calculate when you have a total number of laps that will be run.
STAFFORD AND CHEMUNG NOT SO FORTUNATE - Yes that dreaded wet
weather wasnít too far away and managed to show up in time to rain out the
show at Stafford on Friday night and the Whelen Modified Tour race at
scheduled for Saturday at Chemung. To their credit the call for the Chemung
race was made at noontime on Friday. That call saved the travel expenses for
the teams and any savings is appreciated.
GOING FOR TWO IN A ROW - This Thursday we will be back at
Thompson to try and make up the Whelen Modified Tour race that was washed
out a few weeks ago. Letís hope we donít have to try this on a third time.
Weíll be there and we hope to see you there also.
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
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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
WILLIS & LOIS MERRILL - Kennebunk, ME NASCAR CWES fans celebrate their
DAVID & COLLEEN BENNETT - Officials with the old Busch North now David
with Sprint Cup celebrate their 23rd lap together.
BOBBY & SUSAN SILAPIGNI - Sheba Racing NASCAR WMT team crewman and wife
have their anniversary.
RICH & MARY PAWLICH - These Rocky Hill, CT NASCAR WMT fans have their
JIM CHAPIN - Friend of RWJM ministries.
JACK JOHNSON - Duanesburg, NY legendary dirt Modified driver.
MARK FUSCO - DIRT Modified driver.
BLAIR AIKEN - Lakeport, CA NASCAR West driver.
STEVE GOLEMBESKI, Jr. - Jamie Tomaino NASCAR WMT team crewman.
CLAYLENE ADAMS - Wife of Pomfret, CT Pro Tour Truck and ProStock
ADAM VENEZIAN - The son of Statewide Trailer/Perth Amboy Spring owner
Joe and wife Linda.
ROWAN PENNINK - Driver of the #93 Whelen Modified, #25 True Value
Modified and #31 Sunoco Modified.
JACK PENNINGTON - Augusta, GA LMSC driver.
CARLTON P. MERRILL - From Newton, MA, Carl is the GM at Monadncok
Speedway near Keene, NH.
NORM McINTOSH - Crewman on the NH based Mike Weeden LM.
RANDY LEE JOHNSTON -A New Waterford Speedbowl fan.
BOB JENKINS - Renowned as racing's premier pass-by-pass action TV
announcer on ESPN for the IRL, this Indianapolis, IN resident is also with
Linger Productions who produces great race coverage and Bob is also the
voice of the Indy 500 Radio Network.
JOE BUBBICO - This former CT based Modified driver now at Orange Show
Speedway and Perris Speedway now makes his home in Winchester, CA.
JEFF FEHR - Mahoning Valley Speedway driver.
BRANDON BUTLER - Richmond, VA NASCAR CTS driver.
FRED STODDARD - Brother-in-Law of Stafford Late Model driver Tom
BILL EMHOFF - York Maine crew member on the #21 WMT.
DICK HOULIHAN - Massachusetts ProStock/ WMT driver.
BILL TANNER - Newtown, PA Bridgeport Modified driver.
KELLY TANNER - Woodinville, WA NASCAR West driver. (no relation to
JEFF GREEN - Owensboro, KY NNS driver.
KENNY BERNSTEIN - NHRA Funny Car driver.
DOROTHY "PETE" BLACKADAR - West Danville, VT NASCAR Registra.
DONNA WEARING - Wife of Western PA dirt big block LM driver Bob, Jr.
DAN AYOTTE - Waterville, ME racing writer.
GREG GODEK - Windsor Locks, CT Mini Sprint driver at Whip City and
brother in Christ.
JULIE STEFANIK - The Manager of Koszella Speed Warehouse in Rhode Island
and the supportive wife of past NASCAR Camping World East Series and Whelen
Modified Tour champion, Mike.
ANDY SANTERRE - Cherryfield, ME, now Mooresville, NC, 4-time CWES
Champion now is guiding ASM.
JOHN PRESTON - Wyalusing, PA NASCAR WMT/NASCAR CWES driver.
TOM FEARN - Feeding Hills, MA Late Model driver.
PEGGY HEEG - Sponsor of Mark Lento's Riverhead Raceway Firgure Eight
MARTY RADEWICK - Almost Retired Riverside Park Speedway Modified driver.
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Don Rivers / Racing With Jesus Ministries