TIME TO GET
Rev. Don Rivers
From time to time, my wife Lynda shares some of her thoughts. This week I
thought it would be good to read her perspective on the coming Christmas
season. Read her notes as she discusses how we should prepare. Greetings in
the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
This time of year is a time of preparation; preparing for a season
of giving, getting, fun, frenzy and exhaustion. Just like preparing for a
race, the Christmas season leaves us with much to do. In church at this time
of year we hear about the Advent season. Advent is a time to prepare for
Christmas. Each Sunday leads up to Christmas Day and we hear about the
messages of Hope, Joy, Peace, and Love. But what are we really in
When I am with Don at a race, I am amazed at the amount of time it
takes to prepare for the race. Teams arrive hours ahead of the race and
spend that time getting the car ready for the track along with time spent at
driverís meetings, time trials, practice and I had better not forget, chapel
service. Obviously the winner did not get to Victory Lane by deciding to
race that day and showing up at the track just a few minutes before the race
began. Just showing up doesnít guarantee a win. We can want to win but it
can all fall apart by perhaps missing the driverís meeting, not focusing on
practice, not making the right adjustments or not having good communication
between every crewmember.
So why does preparing for Christmas really matter? As we run around
trying to find the perfect gifts, getting ourselves into debt and sometimes
mumbling about how we canít wait for this season to be over, arenít we just
trying to show those close to us how much we care about them? Is that what
Christmas is supposed to be about? If we look back in history we will find
that giving gifts for Christmas is actually a relatively new thing. It
wasnít until around two hundred years ago that gifts started to be exchanged
(before that it was considered an insult to give gifts on Christís birthday)
and if a gift was given then it was a simple handmade or inexpensive gift so
as not to make someone feel ashamed about the worth of their gift.
Commercialism just started to take over somewhere around 50 to 60 years ago.
From there it has spiraled out of control. We have all fallen into the trap
of buying bigger and better gifts than the year before. Let me ask you how
many of us can really even remember what we received the year before?
Recently I looked into the meaning of Advent and getting ready for
Christmas. I first must admit that I was well on my way to having a rather
bad attitude towards Christmas this year. I couldnít possibly see how I was
going to find the time to shop or even think about what to buy. I was
planning on feeling overwhelmed and tired and I was sure that Christmas was
going to come and go before I was able to enjoy it. When I looked into the
meaning of Advent I found that it meant ďto come toĒ or ďan arrivalĒ and
that it refers to Christís coming into this world.
Luke 2:8-20, And there were
shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks
at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord
shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do
not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the
people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is
Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in
cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the
angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds
said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has
happened, which the Lord has told us about."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who
was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word
concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it
were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all
these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen,
which were just as they had been told.
However, Advent has another meaning; it also refers to Christís
second coming, as He has promised to come back again.
Revelation 21: 1-4, Then I saw a
new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had
passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City , the new
Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride
beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the
throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with
them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be
their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more
death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed
I have to admit that I tend to lean towards thinking about the
birth of Christ at Christmas. As Christians though, we should be looking for
the second coming of Christ. It should remind us that He is found within us
every day, we are never alone and one day he will come back in glory so that
we might share in Godís Kingdom with Him.
By bringing the true meaning of Christmas back in front of us we
will be able to let go of the pressure of thinking that it is all about
finding just the right gift or how much money to spend this year, which
party to attend and do we go to the grandmaís house or just stay home this
year? If we take the time to slow down and step back from all the frenzy we
will find the moments that bring us the most joy. What would happen if we
spent less time shopping this year? Perhaps we wouldnít spend the next few
months trying to pay it off or catch up with the bills? Often we donít
realize that we put pressure on those around us to keep up when they canít
really afford to. They end up depressed and often dread this time of year
because they canít ďshow offĒ about what they have. We have become very
competitive about what we have in material things and about the houses we
live in. Itís not that we have to eliminate gift giving or decorating but we
need to get back to more of a balance. We often think that by doing less we
are depriving ourselves from living the ďgood lifeĒ. What we donít realize
is that we actually will feel better about how we live if we have a more
disciplined life. Having more things just means we have more to take care of
or more to throw away or more things that we have to replace by buying a
bigger or better model. By making things simpler and less stressed we can
focus on what Godís plan has always been for us.
Romans 5: 1-5,Therefore, since
we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our
Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this
grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that
suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character,
hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love
into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
After spending time looking into what Christmas should be about I
have changed my way of looking at it this year. I am feeling I have more
control over how this season will go, by letting go of the control over it
and just remembering to honor God for the gift He gave us with the birth of
Christ and the promise that He will come again. By looking at the gifts that
we can give, we should all realize that the best gift is our time. By
helping those in need, visiting a lonely person, giving a friend a call or
praying for a closer walk with God we will let go of the need to compete
with those around us and the true reason we celebrate Christmas will follow
us long into the New Year. May each of us have the blessed season that we
were intended to have. God Bless!
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
TURKEY DERBY IN THE BOOKS - Putting a cap on a breakout
season, Rowan Pennink took the crown for the Tour Type Modifieds. Rowan
raced anywhere he could find a ride in 2009 and had his share of success.
With this kind of finish I am sure he is chomping at the bit to get to
Florida in February. Congratulations to the entire #93 team.
PACING THE FIELD - I received this report from Rev. Dan who
turned over the keys of the pace car to Honorary Grand Marshal Warren
I made the trip to Wall Stadium for the Turkey Derby with a
special mission in mind. When I saw Warren Kuhlthau in the pits I knew this
would be a special day. He and I both wanted him to fulfill his promise to
us last year that he would be available to drive the pace car for Turkey
Derby in 2009. Warren has been battling cancer and recently had a few bumps
in the road; his prayer was for enough strength to not only make the trip,
but to drive the pace car.
We sat and talked for a few moments in the car during qualifying.
When it came time for opening ceremonies Warren and Bob Menschner joined me
as we drove out to Victory Lane . They stood beside me and lent their
support as I brought the invocation. Earl Kraus came down and I did the
invocation, he thanked me for the beautiful prayer and the National Anthem
was sung. What happened next was special for me to be a part of. After the
anthem was completed, Earl spoke to the crowd. He explained that there was
someone very special with us today. He went on to explain Warren 's physical
struggles with cancer and told them the story about his promise to beat this
and come back and drive the ministry pace car at Turkey Derby this year.
Praise God, he fulfilled his promise. Earl then made Warren the Honorary
Grand Marshall and asked him to start the program off by giving the command
for drivers to start their engines. It was a very touching moment.
We then set out to pace the field. With Warren in the driverís seat
and the Whelen supplied light bar on the roof, we led the first feature
around the famed Wall Stadium to start off the Turkey Derby features. Warren
was deeply moved and we want to thank Earl Kraus for creating a very
touching moment at Turkey Derby 2009.
We donít all get to take a victory lap when we beat cancer. Warren
was able to do so at a place that held so many precious memories for him. No
matter where tomorrow leads Warren is confident that it is God who leads his
life and he is ready to follow. Thank you, Warren , for such a strong
I received a call from Warren Sunday afternoon; he was thankful and
grateful for the opportunity to have a part in our ministry. Keep Warren in
your thoughts and prayers, he still has a few bumps in the road.
HEADED TO INDY - I am off this week to Indy for the IMIS
show. If you are in the neighborhood, stop by the Design 500 booth and say
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
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
CHRIS & LISA ERM - This New Jersey Racing family have their 9th
ANDY & SUE SANTERRE - From Cherryfield, ME, now in Mooresville , NC ,
the 1998 CWES Rookie of the Year and 4 time CWES champion and lovely wife
share their 12th anniversary.
RICHIE & MELISSA RESNER - Riverhead Raceway LM Team owner and wife
share their anniversary.
RUSS FRANTZ - PA asphalt Modified driver.
FRANK BETTENCOURT - MA based Mini Modified driver.
ANDREW BELMONT - Son of New Egypt Promoter Andy and wife Jennifer is
GREG DICKERSON - Long Island modified fan known for his roasted corn on
the cob, aka "Chief".
BOBBY ALLISON - Hueytown, AL former NASCAR Cup great.
WALKER EVANS - Riverside, CA CTS Team owner, retired driver.
KEITH KRODEL - This long-time friend of Rev. Pat and former Jan Leaty
NASCAR WMT crewman now lives in Pensacola, FL.
RAUL BOESEL - Curtiba, Brazil born, Key Biscayne, FL IRL driver.
JOE SUKUP - Retired Midget team owner from Shodack Landing , NY
AGNES KICHURY - Mother-In-Law of Mod tour photographer Michael Pares.
DASHIEL BOSTON CHRISTLEY - Son of NASCAR Communications Director
Development Series, Jason and his wife.
JAMIE TOMAINO, JR - Modified driver and CTS crewman from Howell , NJ .
BOB BERRY, SR. - River Vale, NJ, Former modified and TQ midget owner
and driver, past president of the ATQMRA and current TQ owner for Bob, Jr.
JOHN BROUWER, JR. - New London, CT Thompson, CT Speedway WAAS Modified
PERCY HALE - Batavia , NY Crew Chief.
KATHERINE ANNE HALEY - Daughter of McFalls, ME LM/NASCAR CWES driver
Bruce and wife Sandy.
PATTI MUDGE - Wife of Easton , MA former Pro 4 Modified owner Steve.
AARON PETFIELD - Son of Thornwood, NY RWJM CWES Pastor and
Vice-president Dan and wife Deb.
AMANDA UDES - The daughter of Morris Plains, NJ asphalt Mod driver
John and wife Laurie.
BRETT BENDER - Son of Colden, NY NASCAR CWES/LM driver Tim, now in NC.
CHAD WARNER - Member of the Beers Motorsports team.
CHRIS MOORE - Vermont based Lebanon Valley Modified driver.
KEVIN HARVICK - NNS/NSC driver and team owner.
KERRY EARNHARDT - Dale's oldest son; former CTS driver.
FRANK MUOIO - Westerly, RI fan.
RUSS SMITH - Former Riverside Park Speedway scorer.
TODD PARK - Another son of Bob and Dottie and Steve's brother.
SHARE YOUR SPECIAL OCCASIONS WITH YOUR RACING FAMILY.
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