The Chrome Horn - Racing With Jesus Ministries


by Rev. Don Rivers

   As we talked about last week we were going to spend some time reflecting on the seven statements Christ made from the cross. This week we will look at his first statement, Father forgive them. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

   Every time we leave someplace or someone there are words that are said that leave a lasting impression. My wife and I are in the habit of saying I love you when we close a conversation. It may not seem important but if they happen to be the last words she ever hears from me I want her to know how much she means to me.

   We have many relationships in life and racing. Sometimes we take them for granted and don’t realize the significance of what we say. Remember that the words we speak may very well be the last words we will say to someone. Make them worthwhile.

   Jesus knew the time had come, he hung on the cross, soon he would breath his last, but who was he thinking of? Who did he have on his mind? Despite the pain and suffering he wasn’t thinking of himself. Jesus prayed.

Luke 23:34, Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

   Now Jesus praying wasn’t out of the ordinary, but the subject of his prayer helps us understand his character. He didn’t pray for himself, he didn’t pray for mercy, he didn’t pray for relief, He prayed for his enemies. He prayed that God would forgive those who had beaten, mocked and crucified him.

   How many times have we prayed to God for our enemies? Alright now how many times have we asked God to forgive them? We pray for them alright, but we pray that God would somehow cause pain and suffering to come upon them. When we talk to God about our enemies it is unusual for us to ask for their forgiveness.

   Christ helps to understand that he meant it when he said love your enemies. He demonstrates it for us even in the hour of his greatest need. I would ask you this week to consider the example Christ has set for us, go to God and ask him to forgive your enemies.

   I am reminded of the Lord’s Prayer; the one Jesus gave us as a guide to learn how to pray. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Jesus was consistent in his teaching of forgiving those who sin against you. It is a significant teaching of Jesus; we should embrace it and practice it. Our own forgiveness depends on how we forgive others.


    ICEBREAKER MELTS UNDER THE HEAT - Bobby Santos didn’t wait too long to test out his new ride setting a new track record on his way to the pole and victory lane for the defending championship car owner Bob Garbarino. Looks like the Mystic Missile and Ole Blue have renewed their battle for 2010 as Ryan Preece followed Santos home in second place. I talked with both driver’s and they like their chance at winning the crown. It will be a great season watching them battle it out with the other contenders.

   The big attraction of the weekend was the southern invader, Burt Myers, whose team hauler parked on the end of the line attracted a crowd all weekend. I was surprised that Burt and his team could prepare the car for the race.

   It was a great kickoff to the Whelen Modified Tour Schedule. We got to catch up with old friends, meet some new ones and get the season started. We are looking forward to being at Stafford in a few weeks.

    A GREAT NIGHT IN QUAKERTOWN - This past Thursday I headed down to speak at Grace Bible Fellowship Church in Quakertown, PA. There was a tremendous turnout of men who came for dinner and to learn how God is working in the racing community. Scott Martin accompanied me down and we were welcomed with open arms. While there we met a couple of guys from Sundance Vacations Speedway. They shared with me their desire to get something started up there. Please pray that the Lord will provide the workers to minister there.

   We also want to thank Pastor Ron Kohl, Dave Sterner and the entire crew who worked to make the night a success. We were blessed by the interest they showed in our ministry.

    RPM RACING NEWS- We welcome aboard the readers of RPM to the AARN family and with their addition we welcome our own Rev. Bill to the column. Bill is our Western PA/Ohio coordinator and contributed his thoughts to RPM. We will now include his thoughts here along with the occasional Bible teaching. Let’s let Bill give us a little background on himself.

   The late Rev. Pat Evans issued a call to those in the racing community to join Racing With Jesus Ministries as chaplains in his weekly column in Area Auto Racing News. The week before, my daughter Krissy and I had attended Challenger Raceway and a driver was killed. Like most tracks, when a death occurs, they cancelled the rest of the night’s program and sent us home. I left answering my daughter’s questions and asking myself what I as an ordained minister could do to help in this situation. Then the column in AARN caught my eye and I contacted Pat. Thus began a journey as Chaplain at Challenger Speedway, then Latrobe, and now Bedford and Blairsville. Pat appointed me as Western PA/Ohio coordinator and I had the privilege of recruiting Joan Smeltzer to serve as Chaplain at Jennerstown and Doug Wantz at Lakeville. I am grateful to Pat for giving me this tremendous opportunity to minister in the racing community.

   About me: I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in September of 1974. I am an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren, and received my Doctorate in 2004. So technically I am “Rev Dr Bill!” For the past 18 years I have served the Greensburg Church of the Brethren as its pastor.

   On the personal side, I have been married to Dawn for almost 28 years and we have three daughters: Amanda, Kristen, and Danielle - all three out of the house for now. I have been a life long race fan and served on a pit crew with my dad and brother for a dirt latemodel. Now I cheer on my niece, Morgan, and nephew, Patrick, as they race their go-karts.

   About 10 years ago, Dave Kittey took a big chance and allowed me to begin a column called “Victory Lap” in RPM. Along with some sort of Bible teaching or reflections, I instituted a section called “IMHO.” There I shared thoughts on all sorts of racing events and issues. I am grateful for the start that Dave gave me. With the sale of RPM to Area Auto Racing News, I have been given the opportunity to share with all of you along with Rev. Don and Rev Dan. IMHO lives on and occasionally I will be sharing some Bible teachings as well.

   So begins a new chapter and I invite your comments and questions. Contact me at revbill87@comcast.net, 724-832-6436, or at 703 Green Street, Greensburg, PA 15601.

IMHO (In My Humble Opinion)
Some thoughts from Rev. Bill

   -Goodbye Lowes Motor Speedway. Welcome back Charlotte Motor Speedway!
   -Well I am still waiting for an apology from the Cheap Seats…Seems my writing about Danica coming to play in the NA$CAR sandbox has come true. Calling me a rumor mongerer or something of the like…
   -Sad to see the end of the MACS organization. I have enjoyed my association with the Geeseys over the years. (probably more than they did) and I think they did a lot of good for racing in their years. I am not going to Monday morning quarterback what went wrong. I do know that life and racing often involves changes and beginnings are balanced by endings.
   -Glad to see that Stan Lasky will be back promoting Motordrome. Honestly, if I wasn’t at Bedford on Friday nights, I would be there. For an asphalt track, they put on a good show and I think Stan does a great job. Check out their schedule and go see a race or two or three at the ‘Drome.
   -Stoneybrook’s schedule for 2010 contains an interesting intermission entertainment in that on 9/3 the Shriner’s Cycle and Motorcorps teams will be there in conjunction with “Race for the Cause.” Neat idea and a good cause to support.
   -I can think of no one better to be President of the Modified tour than Lou Long.
   -I will be back at Blairsville as photographer/Chaplain.
   As the new season begins, join my in prayer for all those involved in our sport that first of all, God will keep us safe and second that in our actions, we would live out the “Golden Rule” of do unto others as we would have them do to us.
   -There were sprints in the pits at Lernerville for their opener. Lou Long last week covered the pre-season maneuverings that had many teams and fans considering a boycott of tracks. Rumors are that not everyone is happy with the results.
   -Thank you to Don and Dan for this opportunity. I hope that my words will not force you to stock up on Tums like I am sure Pat had to!

   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 News", the East Coast’s 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



April 19
JIM & DORIS TROMBLY - The Pit Steward and Credentials manager wife at the Hudson (NH) Speedway have their 40th anniversary.


April 14
JOHNNY RUMLEY - Winston-Salem, NC NNS driver.
JEFF ANDRETTI - Bethlehem, PA Indy Car/NSC/NNS driver; Mario's youngest son.
PAUL SACKS - Son of NSC driver Greg.
DICK FEARN - Feeding Hills, MA dad of ProStock driver Tom.

BOBBY HUTCHENS - NC Modified driver.
JIM RAYMOND - Earlville, NY crewman on the Mitch Gobbs dirt Mod.

April 16
JERRY HIGBIE - Orange County Fairgrounds Speedway Modified driver.
ROCKY DeMATO - Brookfield, CT Mod crewman.

April 17
JOHN FLACH - Lebanon Valley based Mod driver.
MIKE CHASE - Concord, NC NASCAR West 1994 champion/ NASCAR Truck and LMSC driver.
RICH DeLONG - North Hills, Ca NASCAR West driver.
JOEY KOURAFAS - Retired Mass. NASCAR KNPSE driver.
TONY GLOVER - Sprint Cup Crew Chief.
DANIELLE HEDGER - NY based NASCAR KNPSE Brown Racing Crew Chief Ray's wife.
HOWARD & CAROL LARSON - This Stafford Springs, CT NASCAR WMT couple share the same birthday.

April 18
JOHNNY DENNISTON - This LI tow truck operator who hangs out at Riverhead and has been know to frequent the WMT stops in Connecticut has his special day. Rev. Pat, we’re still looking out for him.
GEOFF BODINE - The oldest of the racing Bodine brothers of Chemung, NY.
JIM HAWKEY - Wall Township Speedway Modified driver.
ROBERT TYLER LABONTE - Son of NSC driver Bobby and wife Donna is 15.
CHELSEA MARQUIS - A daughter of Enfield, CT NASCAR CWES/WMT driver Jerry and wife Karen is 13.

April 19
JACK ROUSH - NSC/NNS/Trans-Am multi-team owner.
ROBERT YATES - Noted engine builder, NSC team owner.
BOB AILES - St. Johnsbury, VT LM driver.

April 20
ED SPENCER III - Berwick, PA NASCAR Cup/NNS driver Jim's nephew.
RON BARFIELD, JR. - Florence, SC NASCAR CWTS/ All Pro Series driver.
DON DesROCHER - Retired Riverside Park Speedway driver.
RICH PAWLICH - Rocky Hill, CT Modified fan.
FRANCIS STODDARD - NSC Crew Chief for Boris Said.
BILL BALSER - Norton, MA veteran photographer.
KELLI BIRKBECK - Pawcatuck, CT, a huge fan of Kasey Kahne and Joey Lagano.


HENRY (HANK) NATALE - Hank died this past week as the result of injuries he received in a accident at his home. Hank was a friend to many on the Whelen Modified Tour having served in many capacities including chief mechanic. Please keep his family, the entire #2 Whelen Modified Team and the larger racing family in you prayers as we grieve the loss of our friend.

   Walter Elliot and family are in need of prayer as two of their sons recently died in an auto accident in North Carolina. There are many challenges they face in the coming weeks. Please lift them up in your prayers. Condolences can be directed to James Dobson, 160 South Orange Ave., Apt. 1602, Newark, NJ 07102


PO Box 586
Tolland, CT, 06084

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SourceRev Don Rivers / Racing With Jesus Ministries
Posted: April 16, 2010

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