I was reading a story the other day that reminded me of Hank Parker Jr. and
the testimony he gave at an event I attended. It made me ask myself if I
make decisions based on what honors God. What do we consider when we make
life changing decisions? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus
As I read some of Hanks story it made me think about where I would
draw the line. I hope that I could have the faith that he demonstrated when
he had a decision to make. It is important the foundation we build our life
Hank Parker Jr. is not a household name because of what he was
taught at home. His Father instilled in him Christian values that would
serve him well when he to make a difficult choice. His biography helps us
understand how he honored God.
The Parkers are big on family, always have been. When Hank Jr.
began racing in the Busch Series, he did so in a car fielded by his father.
The team did the best it could through the 2000 season, and after that,
Parker turned to a team co-owned by Frank Cicci and Scott Welliver. It was
with them that he scored his two career victories, one each in 2001 and
Parker appeared headed for even bigger things. He made the lone Cup
start of his career for Ray Evernham late in 2002, completing 389 of 393
laps at Rockingham and finishing 33rd. After that, he went to work on
putting the final touches on the deal that would've put him in a Roush
Racing Ford for the 2003 season.
Parker was testing a car that would have been his car at Daytona
when word came down that the sponsor was going elsewhere. You see Hank had
mad it clear that he would not drive a car with a certain sponsor on the
hood, and they decided to go elsewhere. There were no other sponsors
available and Parker was out, almost for good.
He drove just six Busch Series races in 2003, three of them in a
Dale Earnhardt Inc. mount for his good friend Dale Jr. While Parker scored
four top-10 finishes in those half-dozen races, he has just one other start
in the series, at Nashville for Roush in a fill-in deal for Edwards.
While turning down a certain chance at stardom on the Cup series
might have deflated a lesser person, Parker was confident that moving away
from racing was God’s plan for his life.
"Seeing how God is in control has been amazing," Parker said.
"There came a point in time in my career where I really just laid down my
career and my life, and gave my life to Christ. God has changed so many
things and my perspective on things."
"I'm good ... I'm content," Parker said. "I actually had a phone
call the other day to see if I'd come back, and I felt really good about
saying no. ... It was time to bow out. I feel like I gave it a good shot. I
feel like I gave it my best. A lot about racing is timing. Obviously,
there's people that were better than I was, but I feel like I did the best
that I could.”
He decided to honor God in his decisions and let his life be led by
the values that he learned from his father.
I am reminded of the nation of Israel and their journey in the
Promised Land. The people that inherited the land had their faults but they
were better than their fathers. That didn’t remain the case as we find out
when we read in Jeremiah 7:26; (Amplified Bible), Yet the people would not
listen to and obey Me or bend their ears [to Me], but stiffened their necks
and behaved worse than their fathers.
If we stay the same and do not learn, we move away from God.
A father out for a walk with his son, met and old friend he had not
seen for years.
“Fine boy you have,” said the friend. “I hope he grows up to be as
good a man as his dad.”
On the surface the compliment should encourage, but the father knew
that his son needed to be more than that.
The father answered, “I would be ashamed of him if he does not
become a much better man that his dad.”
Therein lies the secret, we need to spur our children on to a
greater and deeper respect for God than we have. We need to help them
understand the challenges we faced and help them learn from them.
The boy was amazed at his father’s choice of words, he look up to
his dad and thought he was the best man on earth. Then he began to realize
the lessons he learned from his father. Many were because his father had
experienced difficulties, made wrong choices. From those lessons his father
showed him the right way to go.
He taught his son how to lead his life, because of the mistakes he
made and the lessons he learned. He taught his son that he wasn’t the
authority, he too answered to his Father in Heaven. He taught his son that
in all things we need to prepare and run in such a way as to win. Each
generation can improve on the succeeding one when they are taught to look to
God and honor Him.
We should make every effort to honor God in the decisions we make.
We should be ready to draw the line when we are asked to compromise our
beliefs. We should teach our children that some things are not worth
compromising our faith over. Make every effort to honor God in everything
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
GETTING A LITTLE DIRTY - I am learning after
my trip to Syracuse, on my trip to Grandview I wore light colored pants and
light colored shoes, but I still have some lessons to learn about watching
racing at a dirt track.
The things I learned at Grandview;
It matters where you stand or sit
It matters which way the wind blows
Your shirt will be a different color at the end of the night
Be careful crossing the track, it is difficult coming down the banking after
they just watered
Wear eye protection
I hung out in the infield with Lenny, figuring he would know the
best place to stand. I guess the wind supersedes the location and we were
covered early. The wind changed for the feature and I received an up close
view of the Big Blocks slashing and sliding. I am amazed that they can
maneuver and change position so easily; it was a thrill to watch.
TC AND THE KID - We were back at Thompson for Thursday
night as the MRS was in town but the Sunoco Mods stole the show. TC and Kid
Roc again wagged a tremendous, lead exchanging battle if their 40 lap
feature. Right now the two of them are putting on some of the most exciting
racing you will find. After a 15 lead change battle the previous Friday
night at Stafford they continued to swap places like a game of musical
chairs (sorry, you can thank Matt B. for that one). If you have the chance,
get out there and watch them run.
HINCKLEY BENEFITS IN MRS FEATURE - Les Hinckley was in
the right place at the right time. When Stefanik and Pennink touched on a
late race restart Les moved to the front of the class. He was able to hold
the lead and become the first repeat winner on MRS this year holding off TC
who came home second.
At the driver’s meeting Rev. Scott was officially introduced to the
drivers and teams as their RWJM Chaplain. He was received with open arms and
many stopped by with encouraging words and expressions of thanks for his
presence. Rev. Scott will be the primary chaplain for the series with
support coming from the rest of our group. We are thankful for the
opportunity to serve them.
NHMS IS THE PLACE - this week most of our focus heads to
NHMS as we go the Magic Mile for the first of two shows in support if the
Cup guys. It is a lot of ground to cover but I think we are up for it. Not
sure if I will make it back for the open tour show at Thompson on Thursday
night but we’ll see.
Looking ahead a little we have a double header next weekend also on
a road course. Dan and I will be headed to Lime Rock Park to see the WMT and
K&N guys in action. Hope to see you there.
I wanted to pass along this note I received this week and ask for
your help. Sue Santerre’s Uncle Jim passed away last week from complications
of lung cancer. We met Jim at various family and race functions through the
years. You would remember him for his wide smile. He and his wife were very
supportive of Andy and Sue Santerre’s racing endeavors and attended many
races with her folks.
Sue shared this about her uncle; Uncle Jim was a quiet, unassuming
man who typically stayed in the background and observed as he didn't want to
be in anyone's way. He loved racing and meeting all of you more than words
can say, even a five minute conversation was cherished because you took the
time. He was so proud to have been a part of the race team no matter how
Sue thought it would be a great tribute to Uncle Jim if each of us
who met him through the years sent a card to his wife Joanne. Maybe mention
racing in a note so she knows who you are and how you knew Uncle Jim. I
think it would bring her comfort and mean a lot to her at this terrible
time. He leaves behind his wife, Joanne, Son, Brian (Barb), Daughter, Beth
(Tim) and grandkids, Meyghan, Mayre and Austin. Cards can be sent to; Joanne
Newcomb, P. O. Box 37, Wayland, Ohio 44285. Thank you for your thoughts and
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.
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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
STEVE & ESTHER DEVINE- This Lebanon Valley Speedway Modified driver and wife
from Danbury, CT complete 26 laps together.
CHARLIE & TERRY LEACH- This Beech Ridge Speedway driver and wife celebrate
their 28th anniversary.
TOM & JUDY KEHLEY- This Brooklyn, NY couple Modified team owners have their
ROGER TREICHLER- Retired D.I.R.T. Hall of Famer.
MELISSA RESNER- Wife of Riverhead LM team owner Richie.
HUT STRICKLIN- Former NSC driver.
JIM BOWN- Portland, OR NNS/CTS driver/ team owner.
CLAUDE BOURBONNAIS- lle Perrot, Quebec IRL driver.
PETER DANIELS- Lebanon, NH ProStock/Modified/CWSE driver.
HENRY ST. JOHN, SR.- The father of the proprietor of Jewett City (CT)
Service Henry, Jr.
JOE BESSEY- Former KNPSE championship driver/owner.
BOBBY GILL- Dalton, GA NASCAR All Pro Series driver.
DAVE MAVLOUGANES- West Springfield, MA photographer.
JERRY ELLIOTT, JR.- Montville, CT Mike Stefanik and Waterford Mod's Jerry
JOE DUNAY- Crew member for the #20 SKMod at Stafford Motor Speedway.
KRAMER WILLIAMSON- URC Sprint driver.
STEVE GRISSOM- Gadsden, AL NSC/NNS driver.
KEVIN LePAGE- Shelburne, VT NSC/NNS driver.
STEVEN DINO- Pennsy Sprint KART driver.
KIMBERLY SASSAMAN- Daughter of Pennsy dirt superstar Kenny Brightbill.
ALLISON ZYLA- Elysburg, PA writer/editor Greg's daughter.
REBEKAH PERKINS- The sister of Angelina Stuart, wife of Preston, CT JDM
Chassis proprietor and LM driver Jay.
RACHEL WISOCKI- This Old Saybrook, CT Jim Broderick fan.
JOHNNY BENSON, JR.- CWTS/IMSA driver from Grand Rapids, MI
ROBBIE REISER- Allentown, WI NSC/NNS Matt Kenseth Crew Chief.
MIKE SKINNER- Randleman, NC CWTS driver.
JOHNNY JOHNSON- NC Modified/Virginia Sprint Series driver.
DICK WIBBELSMAN- RWJM Advisor from Gainesville, FL.
AL GEAUDREAU- Owner of New London, CT's Quality Auto Electric and famous
former Waterford Speedbowl Modified Team owner.
KRIS HANSEN- Green Lane, PA wife of Al, Grandview/Bridgeport crew members.
MARIAH THOMAS- Neice of JDM Chassis owner Jay and Angelina Sturat in
JEFF BURTON- South Boston, VA RCR Cup driver.
MARTIN TRUEX, JR.- Mayetta, NJ NSC MWR #56 driver.
BILLY ELLIS- Oley, PA URC Sprint driver.
LARRY CAUDILL- No. Wilkesboro, NC NASCAR driver.
NICOLE ROSE BELLISLE- The daughter of Canterbury, CT Waterford Speedbowl
Strictly Stock driver Jim is 15.
THOMAS URIAH JAMES- "TJ" is the eldest son of Canterbury, CT RWJM Advisors
Scott and Lisa and turns his 15th lap.
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RACING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES
PO Box 586
Tolland, CT, 06084
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