Sometimes things are not all they seem. Have you ever wondered why we
celebrate an empty tomb? There is tremendous significance in not finding
Jesus in the tomb. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus
As Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in West Springfield, MA I
would begin the Easter service by offering the children the best Easter egg
they had ever seen. Each one received the plastic egg with the instructions
not to open it until the end of the service. They held on to them with the
assurance that what was inside was going to be great. At the end of the
service each one would open their egg and find them empty. They would ask me
“what is so great about an empty egg?” I would then help them to understand
the meaning of empty.
In racing empty has its own meaning, it means nothing. When you go
out and race and come up empty it means you didn't win anything. When you
hear the word you think that something is wrong or missing. That is not the
same with Christ, empty means hope and salvation.
Let's explore that a little. A few things had to happen to make
Easter possible. First Jesus had to come to Earth in the form of a man.
Scripture puts it this way;
(Jesus) who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality
with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a
bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in
appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of
death, even death on a cross.
Before Jesus could come to Earth
he had to set some of His privileges of being God aside. He had to empty
himself out. Think of it like going to prison. I hope none of you have
experienced this, but if you have you know what I am speaking of. You have
to remove everything and surrender everything to the police. They give you
new clothes to wear and hold on to your personal belongings until you are
set free again.
It was the same for Jesus, He imprisoned Himself in the form of a
human and set aside His Godliness for our sake. He became a slave for us. He
didn't demand his rights as the Son of God, He set those rights aside so
that we could be free. He emptied himself.
When was the last time we emptied ourself for someone else? Do we know what
that means? When was the last time it didn't matter what we wanted but it
mattered what someone else needed more? When was the last time we let
something go and didn't demand our rights or to be treated fairly?
We all can relate to these times. They are the times when we think
more of ourselves than we should. They are the times when we think we are
something special and others should honor us. I think they have some
adjectives that describe it, we become full of ourselves.
Do you know why some drivers are so well liked? They are
appreciative of the chance they have been given. They don't think they
deserved it but are glad to have the opportunity. They are willing to do
whatever it takes to honor those who gave it to them. We like that about
Jesus emptied himself out so that we would have the opportunity to
be free from the bondage of sin. How free are you today? Do you have freedom
in Christ? He made it available for you.
To come to Earth Jesus had to empty Himself, to return to heaven He had to
empty the tomb. Do you know what separates Christianity from every other
religion? An empty tomb. Other religions point to a founder whose grave and
remains can be located and identified. We know where Christ was laid to rest
but the place is still empty. He is alive. He has victory over death. He
offers the same to us.
Death could not hold Christ and it should not hold us. One of our
biggest fears in life is dying. We know the odds, 100% of us will die. Why
then if it is a forgone conclusion does it make us so fearful? I think it is
fear of the unknown. We fear what we don't know and try desperately to hold
onto what we do know regardless if it the best for us or not.
Christ went to the grave and overcame death so that our fear could
be removed. He put it this way;
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my
Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I
am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place
for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be
where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."
Jesus prepares a place for us beyond
death. A place that is better than the one we know. A place in heaven. Think
of it this way, God created everything we have here; all we have done is to
spoil it, how much better will heaven be if it is unspoiled. I can't wait.
There is work to be done before we get there though.
Do you remember the children holding the eggs? Now open them and
what do you find? They are empty, but yet they are full. They are full of
life, full of hope, full of peace and full of love. In their emptiness we
find everything we need to know about God. Jesus emptied Himself for you and
me. He conquered death for you and me. He is waiting for our response.
How will we respond this Easter? Will we empty ourselves in service
to others? Will we accept the offer Christ makes to fill ourselves with His
Spirit? Will we be the ones to go and bring the message of the empty tomb to
others; the message of Hope, Peace and Love? Christ emptied Himself for us,
now we need to empty ourselves for Him. God Bless and Happy Easter,
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
WATERFORD WEEKEND -
We had a different kind of experience at Waterford this past weekend. My
thanks to Tom Fox and his entire staff at Waterford Speedbowl for extending
us their hospitality this past weekend, our time there was blessed. The
weekend started early with an email on Thursday from Scott Martin inquiring
about how to become involved with our ministry. One thing led to another and
Scott was my companion as we headed to Waterford to be with our friends from
NEMA. As you may know NEMA recently suffered a great loss with the passing
of longtime owner Gene Angelillo. It is a challenge getting everything in
order for the first race of the season and without the presence of a good
friend it makes it harder. Gene and Marilyn’s passion was there and finished
second to first time winner Chris Leonard.
We not only had one chapel service on Sunday, but two. The first
scheduled time went by with most of the crews and fans not allowed into the
track while they assembled the cars for the pit party. So we had a second
one after they opened the gate. People responded and came to worship God.
All in all we were encouraged by the time we spent at Waterford and
if this is any indication of what the season holds we can’t wait.
K&N PRO SERIES KICKS OFF IN GREENVILLE - I received a call
from Dan on Saturday, almost twenty rookies showed up to run the event. He
was excited about the opportunity to meet so many new, young drivers. Again,
God has blessed us with another opportunity to build new relationships.
Revolution Racing made its debut with a victory. No it was not Sergio Pena
this time it was Darrell Wallace Jr. who made the most of a
green-white-checker finish to win in his debut in the series. New sponsor,
new winner, looks like exciting times ahead.
SAFETY COMES FIRST - This past Friday it was announced that
SFI has removed its certification of Impact products and instructed all
those who have purchased items to return them for a full refund. The problem
comes from counterfeit SFI tags that were made and installed on Impact
We strive to encourage competitors to make every effort to be safe.
This news is troubling on a few fronts, the first being trust. SFI took this
action so that we can continue to trust what their label and approval means.
It is also troubling that someone would gamble with the safety of others.
Sometimes things are not all they seem to be.
Don’t compromise your safety, investigate the safety equipment you
purchase, make sure it is what it claims to be. Many manufacturers have
built their reputations on supplying quality products, find out who they
are. You only have one life.
MADHOUSE AT THOMPSON - No not in the parking lot for the
prime parking spot, on the track. Looks like the plans are official for one
of the Myers brothers to compete in the Icebreaker. Burt is looking forward
to coming up hear and running on the famed 5/8 mile high banked oval.
Providing they keep things together at South Boston this week we should see
them at Thompson. Maybe they can bring some heat!
QUICK TRIP TO SOBO - This week finds us headed south again
for the K&N Pro series race at South Boston. There they will be joined by
the Whelen Southern Modified Tour for a double header. We are looking
forward to being at South Boston once again as they always make us feel at
home. We’ll be back for Easter Morning Services, so keep us in your prayers.
Be a witness for our Lord with
the ministry decals and apparel. See them at the Show Your Faith Apparel
Store at www.rwjm.com.
Send us your prayer and counseling needs no matter what part of our racing
family you are in, or give us a call. 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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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
DON & MARILYN TOAL - This ROC Rep. and her husband celebrate 51 years
MARK & LINDA GEER - The former Waterford Speedbowl Mod Inspector and
Speedbowl Office Manager wife have their 40th anniversary.
RON SMOKER - Upstate, NY D.I.R.T. Modified driver.
S.J. EVONSION - East Hartland, CT Whelen Modified tour driver/Crew
Chief for son.
FRED SCHIELE IV - Son of Riverhead Raceway regular Fred III.
WILLIE CHARETTE - Retired Riverside Park Speedway Modified driver.
MARYANN GRECO - Widow of the late Stafford Modified driver George.
BRENDAN JONES - Manchester, CT Brad Hietala Modified fan.
BETTY DENNIS - The mom of Laura Dennis from Appomattox, VA a Jamie
Tomaino WMT fan.
April 1 - NO APRIL FOOLS
JIMMY PHELPS - This driver of the 99J New York dirt Modified from
Baldwinsville, NY celebrates.
JARRETT SENG - Orefield, PA Micro Sprint driver. Recognize the car by
Bible verse Hebrews 12: 1-2 on it.
SCOTT HOUSTON - NNS Crew Chief from Hickory, NC; a son of retired NNS
FRANKLIN HIETALA - Dad of Enfield, CT Modified driver Brad.
MARTY NOLL - Scranton, PA NASCAR KNPSE driver.
GEORGE MAYLOTT, JR. - Jim Spencer fan.
JOHN SWANSON - Concord, MA NASCAR KNPSE driver/Crew Chief.
DAN PARDUS - Daytona Beach, FL NASCAR driver.
ED WATSON - Mt. Vernon, WA NASCAR West driver.
JOHN R. JANISITIS - The son of the late Waterford and Seekonk Public
Relation Director in the 70's and 80's, John Janisitis and wife Ruth.
JOE BUSCH - Norwich, CT Tri-State 4 cyl. Kart driver.
MIKE HURLBERT - Lynden, WA NASCAR West driver.
MIKE KOST - New Jersey born and raised Sprint Cup team member.
LISA RAINONE - Wife of NASCAR KNPSE driver Anthony.
TIARA BUSCH - Kart driver Joe and wife Fran's daughter is 19.
SHANE CONNOLLY - Son of Endicott, NY NASCAR WMT driver Tim.
TOM PECK - McConnelsburg, PA CWS and Dirt Big Block LM driver.
BOB BAKER - Sharon, VT ProStock driver.
HEATH TOMAR - Son of Greensboro, NC track GM Larry.
CINDY SAVLUK - Wife of Lisbon, CT's Roger at Savluk Service Center.
DONNA HANKS - Wife of Somers, CT LM driver Scott.
ED PERRY III - Seekonk Speedway Prostock driver.
SIERRA JESANIS - niece of RWJM President Rev. Don will be 14.
KATIE STANDLEY - proprietor of Lady Eagleware and the wife and number
one partner of James, proprietor of the famous Design 500 in Seattle, WA,
and maker of the RWJM Chaplain Uniforms and Driver Uniforms in partnership
with ASI Racewear, also the Ministry Northwest Coordinators and board
members, has her special day. Praise the Lord!
MIKE BLISS - Milwaukee, OR USAC Midget and NASCAR NSC/NNS/Truck
DAVE ASHLEY - Riverside, CA LM driver.
MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER, JR. - The son of Plainville, CT Modified driver
Mike and wife Jennifer is 10.
ROSE FRYE - The wife of Ferrell,NJ Team owner Warren "Jeep" and
grandmother of Glenn, JR.
DAVE PETFIELD - Brother of Dan and treasurer of Racing with Jesus
AFFONSO GIAFFONE - Sao Paulo, Brazil IRL driver.
KEVIN REX - Pennsy asphalt Modified driver.
WAYNE PATTERSON - Richmond, VA LMSC driver.
KEN BOUCHARD - Fitchburg, MA NASCAR KNPSE/WMT driver, and proprietor
of the Thompson Speedway based Modified driving school.
FRED ROSNER - Agawam, MA ProStock/NASCAR CWES fabricator.
DAVE ST. JOHN - The military career son of Henry St. John, proprietor
of Jewett City Service.
JORDYN ROSE BENNETT - The daughter of Stamford, CT born KNPSE/CWTS
driver Brad and wife Diane is 9.
*** REMEMBRANCES ***
SHANE HAMMOND - It has been two years since Shane went home to the
Lord, In his memory the Shane Hammond Believe Foundation was started to
teach safety and help drivers obtain safety equipment. Please consider
supporting this foundation in Shane's honor.
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