Rev. Don Rivers
Many times we are faced with decisions in how to respond to a certain
situation. Sometimes we respond like a mature adult and sometimes we respond
like a little child. Does it make a difference how we respond? Sure it does,
we cannot act like little children. Greetings in the name of our Lord and
Savior, Jesus Christ.
I have watched recently the response of some competitors when
events on the track didnít go the way they wanted. They responded like a
spoiled little child would. You know the response, if I donít get my way I
am taking my ball and going home. They run away and hide not wanting to take
responsibility. What kind of example does that show others?
Letís face it, in racing there are going to be good days and bad
days. Some times everything is going to fall in place and you will find
yourself in Victory Lane. Sometimes everything is going to go against you
and the guy that ends up in Victory Lane doesnít deserve to be there. As one
songwriter put it,Ē Some days are diamonds and some days are stones.Ē How we
respond to the days that fall short of our hopes and dreams reveals how
mature we are. It also sets the tone for days to come.
We may not realize it but when we act in a way that doesnít honor
God we set in motion a path that leads away from Him and His plan for our
lives. Think if it this way, good produces good, bad produces bad, good
doesnít come from doing things against God.
Yes, we all know bad things happen to good people. There are many
reasons for that, one being not everyone has your best interest at heart.
Most times people are so caught up in themselves that they donít take the
time to think how their actions affect others. When someone acts in a
selfish way, good people will sometimes get in the way and bad things
We can however still honor God. This just provides another
opportunity for us to respond differently than what other might expect. We
need to remember who is in control and let God direct us. Think of the
example we set for others when we respond in a mature and honoring way? Here
is a passage that will help at times like these;
Matthew 5:43-48, ďYou have heard
the law that says, ĎLove your neighborí and hate your enemy. But I say, love
your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be
acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight
to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust
alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?
Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your
friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But
you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
We have all seen drivers who drive like no one else in the race
matters to them. They drive with one vision, get to the front at all costs.
Sometimes they win; sometimes they end up on the hook, wrecker or checkers.
But what about the damage and chaos they cause along the way? What about the
drivers who are the benefit of that driverís immature behavior? Maturity
requires that we think about our actions and how they affect those around
us. We canít just run roughshod through life and leave a path of destruction
along the way. That does not honor God.
Some of us excuse it if the driver is one we like. Some of us are
disappointed that the driver resorted to bad driving techniques to secure
the win. Some just reason it away as good hard racing. We have many ways of
looking at it. Let me help you understand something, how you view this goes
a long way toward revealing your own maturity level.
Paul, the writer of the Book of Ephesians, challenges us to grow
up, become mature in our faith so that we wonít be tossed about, believing
anything we hear as the true Word of God. He says;
Ephesians 4:11-16, Now these are
the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the
evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip
Godís people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.
This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and
knowledge of Godís Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to
the full and complete standard of Christ.
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We wonít be
tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be
influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like
the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way
more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes
the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special
work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and
growing and full of love.
We are all teachers and teach by example; our job is to build up
the Kingdom of God. We cannot do this if we act like immature children. The
goal is that we are mature in the Lord and do our part to make the body of
Christ one, whole, healthy, growing and full of love.
There is a danger if we fail to grow up; we will be tossed about,
running from here to there not knowing what to believe. Think of a dog
chasing his tail, running around and around in circles, he only knows what
he is chasing when he catches it, bites it and feels the pain. When we are
not mature we can be led astray by some find sounding teaching, we are like
that dog, chasing after something we believe to be something else, only to
catch it and find it is nothing at all. Then we feel the pain of
Solomon asked God for wisdom to understand all things. God granted
him that to him. He then set out to determine what was real and worth
pursuing. He determined that the pursuit of manís desires were like ďchasing
the windĒ and that nothing lasting and fulfilling came from those pursuits.
You can read his thoughts in the OT book of Ecclesiastes, here is his
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, Thatís
the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his
commands, for this is everyoneís duty. God will judge us for everything we
do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.
We need to mature in our faith, learn and teach about God. We need
to have a respect for God that is above everything in our lives. We need to
be obedient to His guidance, direction and instructions. Donít waste away
your life living like a little child, tossed here and there, without
anything to hold you firmly in place. Grow up.
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
SYRACUSE, ROLLING WHEELS AND DIRT - As many of you know this
race season can be summed up in a word, wet. Syracuse was no different, that
is until we showed up. Super Dirt Week was met with challenging weather
conditions that produced some interesting attire in the garage area. This
was my first dirt track event other than sitting in the stands once, back in
the 80ís, at Lebanon Valley. I learned some things about what the proper
foot wear should be and that black pants donít look as good covered in mud
as kaki pants do. Here is my fashion advice for you novices out there, match
your footwear and pants to the color of the track, black for asphalt, brown
for dirt. I needed some L.L. Bean boots and kaki pants, oh well I guess Iíll
know better next time. Yes, there will be a next time.
Being a rookie at a dirt event has its plusses and minuses. First
everyone wants you to fully experience the nuances of dirt track racing.
This entails clouds of dirt, flying clumps of the track, slipping in the
clay as you cross the track, dirt/clay covered pace car, gritty teeth, shoes
that were once black becoming brown, watching where you sit, boot scrapers,
raccoon eyes, the list goes on but you get the point, dirt track racing is a
different animal than asphalt. I enjoyed every minute of it. It didnít
matter that we were there for the first time they treated us like family.
Arenít racers great? You bet they are.
We were surprised to see so many folks we knew, we ran into Bryon
and Buzz Chew, former competitors on the Camping World Series East, who have
now hooked up with Stewart Friesen and are getting their feet dirty. We
reminisced about old times and different tracks we have been to. The sand
pits at Beech Ridge came up. They were always a challenge because the sand
found its way into everything. This weekend though they would have traded
the sand for the mud at Syracuse anytime. That sort of thing happens when a
dirt track meets a rainy stretch. At an asphalt track you just have to worry
about the puddles, at a dirt track you may just start sinking and need to
get pulled out. Have you ever noticed how sticky clay is? It sticks to
I witnessed first hand, up close and personal my first WOO show.
WOW, they are fast. I was amazed that the could make the entire lap at
Rolling Wheels five-eighths mile track without lifting with the faster cars
running times in the low sixteens. That is fast! One thing that I took note
of was the crowd, they had to squeeze them in. They kept asking the folks to
squeeze together to make more room. Getting close wasnít a problem on this
night as it made the cool temperatures more bearable. Ran across Jimmy and
Bubba Broderick in the pits, Bubba was trying to make the feature but with
the number of 410ís the odds were against him as he runs a 360. Maybe there
is a 410 in his future; it would be great to see him run on the same plane
as the big boys.
Also had the opportunity to meet and minister with Finish Line
Chaplain Ed Harkins. Ed can usually be found at Lebanon Valley on Saturday
nights but made the trip to Syracuse to be with his drivers that were
running there. We had a wonderful opportunity to get to know each other and
make plans for the future. We are looking forward to a building a great
relationship with our dirt track brothers.
We would like to thank all the folks at World Racing Group,
Syracuse, Rolling Wheels, and Joe Skotnicki for rolling out the brown carpet
and letting us participate in their event. It was a blessing for us and I am
sure that there were folks that were blessed by our participation. We canít
wait to get back out there and play in the dirt. The next time though Iíll
wear the right colors!
ONE RACE TO SETTLE IT - We head to Thompson this week to
crown the 2009 Whelen Modified Tour Champion. Two drivers have the inside
track to the crown; Donny Lia sits in first place 26 points ahead of Ryan
Preece. You know what is neat about this race to the crown? It is being
contested by two historic race teams, the Mystic Missile and Ole Blue. Two
teams steeped in modified racing history now have the chance to add another
chapter to the book. Letís hope for a great race and a champion worthy of
the crown. Weíll see you there.
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
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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
ED & GAYLE FERREE - Saxonburg, PA multi-time PA Motor Speedway Big-Block
Late Model dirt champion and owner of Frankland Racing Supply and
Clincher Gears and wife have their 33rd anniversary.
VILL AND ARLENE HARD - The Ford racing fans from Clifton, NJ have
52nd anniversary as a loving couple and partners in racing.
DICK & JUDY WIBBELSMAN - Gainesville, FL RWJM Advisor and Counselor wife
share their 42nd anniversary.
BOB & CAROL PRATT - The brother of dirt Mod driver Richie Pratt and
share their 32nd anniversary.
EARL & PAM KRAUSE - The Area Auto Racing News Assistant to the Editor
columnist/ ARDC PR Director/Announcer and budding TV racing personality
along with his best friend wife have their 39th anniversary.
JASON JARRETT - Hickory, NC NNS/ARCA driving grandson of Ned and son of
JOE VENEZIAN - Proprietor of Perth Amboy Springs (NJ) and Statewide
JERRY GLANVILLE - Roswell, GA occasional ARCA/NNS driver, former NFL
coach and TV commentator.
PATRICK MANNING - Sheldonville, MA Carl Pasteryak NASCAR WMT fan.
MATTHEW PELLETIER - Oldest son of #27 SK Light Stafford Motor Speedway
driver Earl turns 12.
EARL PELLETIER - Driver of the #27 SK Light at Stafford Motor
KRISTIN MARQUIS - Another one of Enfield, CT Karen and NASCAR CWES/
driver Jerry's kids and she celebrates on their anniversary.
SEAN WOODSIDE - Saugus, CA NASCAR West Series driver.
DON PRINGLE - Ontario, NY Street Stock driver at Spencer Speedway.
WOODY FEBRIELLO - Retired asphalt Modified team owner.
TOODI ROSATI - The former Toodi Gelinas, famous weekly racing
wife of retired Modified driver John Rosati in Agawam, MA.
KEVIN PELLETIER - Owner of the #27 SK Light at Stafford Motor Speedway.
MARK BRIDGES - Durham, ME former Joe Bessey crewman.
KEN SPRING - The "Area Auto Racing News" and Racing with Jesus
CWES photographer from Braintree, MA.
RIT DULAC - Plantsville, CT NASCAR retired Modified and CWES driver.
SHAUN ROBERTS - Crew member for the #27 SK Light at Stafford Motor
RICK FULLER - Auburn, MA NASCAR WMT/Super Late Model driver.
DANA PATTEN - Enfield, NH former NASCAR CWES/NNS U.S. Chrome driver.
GARY ST. AMANT - Columbus, OH late model driver.
YOLANDA SHERIDEN - Retired Riverhead Raceway lady driver.
LISA WOOD - Wife of Pelham, NH SuperModified driver Russ.
MICHELLE SAVERY - Daughter of Seekonk driver Dana and wife Laurie.
RUSS DOWD - Thompson Speedway General Manager, golden throated
and friend of this ministry.
HOLLY PRINGLE - Ontario, NY 2002 Stock Microd champion at Sodus
LARRY BROLSMA - Midland Park, NJ dirt Modified driver.
BOBBY ZUROWSKI - Riverhead Raceway LM driver.
STEVEN COLLICHO - Former Tom Baldwin NASCAR WMT team crewman.
BILL ARMOUR - Bluefield, VA writer.
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Don Rivers / Racing With Jesus Ministries