The Chrome Horn - Racing With Jesus Ministries

   12/5/2009

TIME TO GET READY
by 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 preparation for?
   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 favor rests."


   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 away."

   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 Kuhlthau:

   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 witness.


   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 hi.

   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 financial support.


   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


CHECKERED CHEERS


***WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES***

December 4

CHRIS & LISA ERM
- This New Jersey Racing family have their 9th aniversary.

December 7
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.

***HAPPY BIRTHDAYS***

December 2
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 16.

December 3
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.

December 4
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.

December 5
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.

December 6
JOHN BROUWER, JR.
- New London, CT Thompson, CT Speedway WAAS Modified driver.
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.

December 7
BRETT BENDER
- Son of Colden, NY NASCAR CWES/LM driver Tim, now in NC.
CHAD WARNER - Member of the Beers Motorsports team.

December 8
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


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SourceRev Don Rivers / Racing With Jesus Ministries
Posted: December 5, 2009

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