The Chrome Horn - Racing With Jesus Ministries


by Rev. Don Rivers

   We Belong To God, we are His creation and He desires a relationship with us. The challenges we face in life are much easier with God by our side. The suddenness and finality of life’s end is extremely challenging. Don’t wait, there is no guarantee that when it is our appointed time to leave this earth that we will have time to make things right with God. Don’t think for a moment that our relationship with God is something that can take a back seat. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

   Seven years ago on August 7, 2004 I had the pleasure of performing a wedding ceremony for John Mackay and Olga Taku. I remember the day well and have often joked about it; both the Bride and Groom were late for the ceremony. But the thought that struck me was the note on the church sign that day, “Does the road you’re on lead to my place?- God.”

   Saturday afternoon August 6, 2011, I was with Olga and John again, this time to say goodbye, John was headed to God’s place. I stood next to them both once again, this time to provide comfort and peace for Olga as she let go of John as he peddled down the road that led to God’s place.

   John inspired us all to live a life of unconditional love. John was intelligent far beyond my comprehension. He was eccentric, it didn’t matter to him if his hair was combed or his clothes matched. His could speak several languages and was an accomplished musician. But there was one thing that John didn’t know, the word “no”.

   Maybe it was too small of a word for him to bother with? Maybe he just didn’t think it was worth his breath to utter? For whatever reason John never used the word, he never said no to anyone. He was there, putting his life aside to help in any way he could, whoever needed it and whatever the task, he gave it his all.

   John’s life reminds me of two important lessons we can learn from God’s word.

1Corinthians 13:1-3; If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love,
I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Matthew 6:25-34; "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body,
what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire,
will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?' or
`What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly
Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

   John taught us that there were things in life that mattered more than knowledge, clothes, hair or even our own body; he taught us that unconditional love, the same love we receive from God, is the only thing that matters. When we learn to value what God values then we are on the right road.

   John lived a care free life, he didn’t play games or manipulate others, he had no hidden agenda, he wasn’t looking for what he could get out of you. John was honest, transparent and loving. It didn’t matter who you were or what position you held, he loved you anyway.

   His smile and whimsical approach to life will live on, not only in me but in the lives he touched. Olga, his wife, shared how thankful to God she was for bringing John into her life, he was the perfect husband. She could never get him angry.

   Pray for Olga, our Church and me, as we try to comfort one another in our time of grief. Also, praise God for giving us John to remind us of how life should be. He was truly an inspiration to all the lives he touched. He was on the road that led to God’s place. Today he is home resting in the arms of our Lord. Thank you John for your love.

   VMRS RETURNED TO ACTION - Rev. Scott checked in with this report. It has been a few weeks since I have been at the track but last Saturday night I knew I had to put everything down and be back with my Family on the VMRS. This year has brought a lot of uncertainty for many people with jobs and finances. We have seen the numbers at the track dwindle both on the race track and in the stands but one thing I know for sure is that God still sits upon His throne, He is still in charge.

   The whole VMRS family headed north to Scarborough, Maine with very heavy hearts last weekend. We all had lost a friend the week before when race director John Hoyt unexpectedly passed away. With the race getting rained out at Stafford the Friday before we all knew this evening was going to be tough. Fellow Race Chaplain Ray Pavkov came to assist me as we knew there would be a lot of questions.

   As we arrived at the track early in the morning some competitors were already there and we had a chance to talk. This day wasn't going to be just about the racing on the track but it was going to be about everyday life and who we are as individuals. We had the chance to have some very meaningful conversations; over and over I heard “We are glad you are here with us.” Even in the midst of turmoil these guys knew that they had a friend that they could trust and a friend that they could turn to.

   This same friend is found in Jesus Christ who went to the cross for every situation that we walk through on a daily basis. Never allow the things of this world to get you to a place of no hope. Turn all your cares upon Him and He promises never to leave you or forsake you.

   Before the night was over we had to do what everyone had come to do. The Armored Chariots rode into the ring to do battle at the famed Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. Once again the boys put on one heck of a show and Mike Holdridge walked away with his first VMRS feature win. I was really excited for these guys, they may not have the big budget like others have, but at the end of the day they tasted victory. This is what makes this series so exciting.

   I was also very happy to see young Joey Jarvis take down the 5th place spot as I knew it meant the world to so many who were suffering with the challenges of the weekend. I told that young man to believe in himself, allow God to do the rest and he will see amazing things in his future.

   The Bible says " Those who honor God, He will honor" and on this night He honored all of us. I am more and more humbled by the day to be a part of what He is doing on this Earth. Everyone be blessed this week and see all of you next week on the Connecticut shore at Waterford.

   WMT MAKES THEIR SUMMER VISIT TO SMS - Last Friday night saw the Whelen Modified Tour back at the famed Connecticut half-mile for their annual August visit. It reminded me of the old days when Friday nights meant Tour Mods at Stafford. The pits were full and the heat was on. Tom Rodgers Jr. rebounded from a disappointing Riverhead event to qualify second fastest but it was Doug Coby who sat on the pole.

   Racing heads up takes some getting used to, I am not sure which I like best. To ask the pole winner to start as far down as tenth is tough but it does add some early race excitement.

   Rodgers grabbed the early lead but Coby wrestled it back at lap 15 and held it until the lap 87, about the time the first caution flew. After the shuffling caused by pitstops TC worked his way to the front and battled with Mike Stefanik until the end. TC took home the victory followed by Stefanik and Santos.

   It was a great finish for the Flamingo Racing Team and Mike Stefanik. This was the first time in a long time that Julie, Mike’s wife, wasn’t the voice he heard in his ear. Julie was at home resting and recovering from the events at Riverhead.

   Julie and Mike want to send along their deepest appreciation for the outpouring of concern for them during the last week. Julie was overwhelmed with encouragement and well wishes. I think it is always surprising to us when we see how much others really care.

   The WMT heads to NHMS for their second visit of the year, this time to support the IZOD Indy Car Series. It should be interesting to see how the championship battle progresses. Right now just one point separates Silk and Pennink. Stay Tuned!

   LEE SPEEDWAY PREPARES FOR THE OLLIE SILVA CLASSIC - This week at Lee USA Speedway had a full schedule of some of the most exciting racing this season. It was great to get a Taste of what’s around the corner with the “Ollie Silva Classic” just two weeks away. They had the S.T.A.R cars on hand and that helped many fans see what the Modified division looked liked several years ago. With a six division night of racing Bob Watson kept everything rolling smooth.

   There was talk that “Max” was going to be on hand to meet the kids tonight. Well Max Zachem came to mind but it was “Max” the mascot from Manchester Monarchs giving the Green flag for the Late Model Sportsman Feature.

   Also on the schedule for tonight was the “Meet and Greet”. I think almost every fan was on the track to say hello to their favorite driver and get an autograph. One of the fan favorites on the track was Kayla Cavares #22 Limited Sportsman Driver, mentioning she must have signed 85 autographs. Its drivers like Kayla that help promote the sport, she shows that you can juggle school and racing by being a honor student. She also proves racing isn’t just for guys.

   One mom was pleading with her daughter to come out of the race car bribing with an ice cream then some fries. The little voice of “No” turning the wheel back and forth visions of racing. Drivers like Kayla Cavares, Danielle Simoneau, Michelle Fushpanski, Heather Desrosiers and many other talented female drivers that help make these dreams grow for other females to turn into drivers someday!

   Until next time, 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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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



August 10
CLIFF KULIKOWSKI & SUSAN ZINSMEISTER- This Christian brother now Atlanta, GA commercial Direct TV dealer, Atlanta Antenna, transplanted from Brooklyn, NY tied the knot.

August 13
RON & GLORIA HANNA- This Amsterdam, NY Fonda Speedway fans have their 12th anniversary and were wed as an early birthday present for Ron who celebrates on the 19th.

August 14
BOB & DEBBIE YURKO- This couple can be seen recording the action at Monadnock and Thompson weekly have their special day. As I heard one anouncer put it "she must be a saint"

August 15
JOHN & DENISE DURLING- This Grandview Speedway Late Model driver and wife from Reading. PA share their 9th anniversary.


August 10
DON NEUENBERGER- Fort Washington, PA former NASCAR driver.
CHRIS URBAN- The grandson of Bob Pratt and grandson of Richie Pratt, Sr.
JOHN TEMCHAK- Canterbury, NH NHIS Victory Lane Staff Member.

August 11
FRANKIE SCHNEIDER- The "Master of Dirt Modifieds" from the 1950's through early 80's is now retired. God Bless, Frankie.
ED ZWICKEL- "Bubba" drives the late Model #1 at Riverhead Raceway and is said to have the best BBQ in town; at least in the pits.
KEN WALLACE- Dallas, PA SCCA driver.

August 12
CRAIG Von DOHREN- BARTO, PA dirt Modified driver.
JERRY YOUNG- Plainfield, CT LM driver.
RICHIE GALLUP- Agawam, MA Modified driver.
RON HUMES- Islip, NY Modified driver.
LONNIE RUSH, JR.- Pickerington, OH CTS driver.
SCOTT GAYLORD- Lakewood, CO NASCAR West driver.
LENNY CHANDLER- Windham, CT fan and friend of Jimmy Broderick.

August 13
DAN COLEMAN- Griswold, CT former Modified championship owner and expert carpenter.
LINDA BRADY- The wife of Stoughton, MA legendary NASCAR WMT 00 owner, Joe Brady.
WILLIAM WOOD- Son of Tammy and Steve. Tammy is the daughter of Doris Bradley, sister to Judy and Sally.

August 14
RUSTY WALLACE- St. Louis, MO retired NSC driver now ABC commentator.
LAURA DENNIS- Ocean, NJ long-time Jamie Tomaino NASCAR WMT fan.
MERL BREHM- Mechanicsburg, PA Sr. Champ Kart driver.

August 15
JOHN DURLING- Reading, PA championship Grandview Speedway Late Model driver.
A.J. ROMANO- Johnstown, NY dirt Modified driver.
SAM SCHMIDT- Las Vegas, NV part-time IRL driver.
MARIO FIORE- The famous Agawam, MA NASCAR Modified Team owner.
DICK CLARK- Long Island occasional NASCAR WMT driver.
MARCEL DUSSEAULT- Somerswoth, NH former NASCAR KNPSE Marc Motorsports team owner.
KENNY HOLLIS- No. Easton, MA AARN race fan.
ADAM LEE O'BRIEN- Kyle Petty's biggest fan and son of Tammy from Boyertown, PA.

August 16
DR. JERRY PUNCH- Cornelius, NC much loved ESPN/ABC racing announcer, but most importantly, Joni's husband.
ERIC BEERS- Northampton, PA WMT Modified driver.
LOU PRIOR- CT former ProStock driver.
BILL KISER- Concord, NC NNS writer.
MARK BOURCIER- CT based veteran racing writer.
DAWN SANSEVERINO- A daughter of Hillsborough, NC photographer Ed and wife Linda.
MICHAEL JIVANELLI- A son of Hampton Bays, NY Riverhead Raceway driver Dan.


PO Box 586
Tolland, CT, 06084

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SourceRev Don Rivers / Racing With Jesus Ministries
Posted: August 12, 2011

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