As we reach the midpoint of our Winter Bible Study it is good to take a look
at the ground we have covered. As much as it is important to know where we
stand, it is also important to know where we have been; otherwise we are
condemned to repeat it. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus
Any good race team has a benchmark, the information they use to
tell if they are moving forward or backward. Letís take a moment and review
the ground we covered and see how we are doing. Are we progressing in the
right direction? Here are the Points to Remember that have guided our study,
along with our Scripture reference Colossians 3:1-17.
∑ Give thanks to God
∑ Focus on the things of God
∑ Put to death the habits of this world
∑ We are all the same in Godís eyes
∑ We need to reflect the character of God compassion, kindness,
humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness and love.
∑ Encourage one another
∑ Hold each other accountable
∑ Do everything in Christís name
∑ Give thanks to God.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things
above, not on earthly things.
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ,
who is your life, appears,
then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual
immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed,
which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to
walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.
But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage,
malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its
practices and have put on the new self,
which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there
is no Greek or Jew,
circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ
is all, and is in all.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves
with compassion, kindness, humility,
gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever
grievances you may have against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body
you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one
another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father
ALWAYS BE THANKFUL
Sometimes in life we face situations that are out of our control.
We are faced with making adjustments and changing direction because of the
decisions of others. Things do not always go as we planned. Remember, if we
are following God, things will go as He planned.
I was reminded of that driving home the other day. There it was for
the world to see, a billboard on the side of the highway, Colossians 3:15,
Always be thankful. Thatís all it said, thatís all it needed to say. Always
covers everything. No matter what we think should happen or what ends up
happening we should always be thankful.
A pretty simple message but sometimes we miss it. Sometimes we are
focused on why things didnít go the way we planned. Sometimes God just needs
to remind us. Sometimes He just writes it on a billboard and places it in
front of you.
Yes, things donít go as we plan, but we need to remember most
things in life are out of our control. If we live our life trying to control
things we will live a life of frustration. All the more reason to remember
we serve a gracious God who cares for us and promises to provide for our
needs. In the end we will have what we need. God took care of things for us
and He will continue to take care of things and provide for us. We need to
remain faithful and confident in that. We need to always be thankful.
ADJUSTING OUR FOCUS
We are sliding on an icy road, in more ways than one! Do you know
what happens if we fix your eyes on the telephone pole? We hit it. Do you
know what happens if we focus on the middle of the road ahead of us? Thatís
where we end up. Our mind takes over our body and controls it to accomplish
what we are focused on.
When we adjust our focus from the things of this world to the
things of God we start to see people differently. We start to value people
the way God values people. We treat them with respect and honor. This isnít
something new, it is the same teaching that God taught Israel through Moses
when he handed down His commandments.
It seems so easy, yet it is a challenge. We struggle to keep our
life focused on the things that truly matter, people. We find it so easy to
get caught up in the everyday distractions of this world, drawn into the
petty and destructive behaviors of others. We are not there yet, it is a
struggle to break free from the grip this world has on us. We struggle,
worry, get anxious and lose faith. We allow the world to seduce us with its
offers of fame, fortune, the easy life. We must fight against that.
We need to break free from the confines of this earthly existence
and turn our thoughts and hearts to those things that are of God. We must
make every effort to break out of the habits the world teaches us. We must
see as God sees. We must see lives that are so valuable to God that he
sacrificed His sonís life for them. We must adjust our focus.
ACTIONS DETRIMENTAL TO SERVING GOD
When you donít have a specific rule covering an infraction, you
have a rule that catches all the things that are undesirable; harmful,
unwelcome, objectionable, unwanted. A catchall if you will. This is
necessary because we will bend and twist the rules to our advantage. We are
a people who can manipulate anything until on some level we can justify it.
Put to death, strong words are used here to drive home the point.
Putting something to death means removing it, digging a hole and burying it,
never more to be a part of our lives. That is the only way to overcome
things in our lives that lead us away from God.
We need to remove anything and everything in our lives that will
lead us back to the person we were before we met Christ. We need to ďput to
deathĒ the things of this world, the list is there, we need to take it
seriously and follow it.
Funny thing is each and every one of us thinks we can handle it. We
think that we can have enough control to know when to stop. We think we can
have a little fun and then ask for forgiveness. After all God is forgiving,
The point being, we need to remove the things from our lives that
dishonor God, we need to put them to death, bury them, never more to be a
part of our lives. Then and only then can we receive the blessing God has to
offer. When our lives honor God, His blessing is with us. That is the only
source of true peace and fulfillment.
ONE IN CHRIST
We cannot allow our minds to tell us we are better than someone
else. That will lead to pride and pride will lead us to ruin. Likewise we
cannot think we are inferior to someone. That will lead to envy and
jealousy. Again, those thoughts will destroy us.
If we allow those feelings to guide our actions we open up a whole
can of worms that will only serve to be our demise. It is important that we
see things as they are in Godís eyes. No one is more important to God than
someone else. Jesus gave His life for each of us. We all need that
sacrifice. We can all come to Him and receive that gift. The Bible says;
Our situations in life are based on decisions we all make. Some
lead one way, some lead another. No matter where we find ourselves in life
we can always find someone better off and someone worse off. We need to
remember that the tables can be turned so quickly. It doesnít take much to
wipe out a lifetime of work.
When we stand before God our lifeís work will not matter, our
social status will not matter, our accumulated wealth will not matter, who
we were friends with will not matter. What will matter? Did you accept the
gift of forgiveness that God offered us through the sacrifice of Jesus
A GOOD REFLECTION
Think about a situation where you were on the outside looking in
and you watched someone make a decision that you knew would lead a certain
way. How often is our guidance received well? How often are we able to
influence others? As much as we want to help and provide guidance,
ultimately we have very little control on the decisions others make.
Therein lies the problem, we don't listen and learn. We think we
know it all or can figure it all out. God desires that we think otherwise.
God desires that we listen to the Holy Spirit and follow his direction. That
is the only way we move in the right direction. We need to reflect His
What do others see in us? Does that reflect well on God? One of the
challenges we face is looking at that reflection, sometimes it isn't pretty
or comfortable to look at. Sometimes we are just plain ugly. Funny thing
about a mirror is, it only reflects what it sees.
That is not how God desires us to be. His Word challenges us to
change the clothes we wear, change the attitude we have, change the way we
see things. In stark contrast to human nature, God expects us to see and act
differently. Let's be honest with ourselves, compassion, kindness, patience,
humility, gentleness and forgiveness are not the first things that come to
mind, we have to work on those.
We need to practice, that is the only way they will become second
nature. When we practice something we are able to improve ourselves. In
addition to that we need to be coached. That is where the Holy Spirit comes
in, He resides in our heart if we have accepted Christ as our Lord and
Savior, He is there to encourage us when we are right and convict us when we
are not. He guides and councils us in the ways of God, just like that
spotter or crew chief talking in our ear. Don't tune Him out. Don't ignore
His guidance. Don't think you know better.
That about covers where we have been, I am looking forward to where
we are going, if you havenít been along for the ride so far, dig up those
old copies of AARN and reread the last few columns. Then join us for the
rest of the journey. Have a blessed week.
FROM THE ROAD
HEADED TO THE DUNK - Dunkin
Donuts Arena will be the sight of racing action this weekend, as the indoor
races storm into town for a Saturday night show and a Sunday matinee. I am
looking forward to being there and hope to see you.
FAMILIES IN NEED OF PRAYER - First off continue to keep the
Meyerís family in your thoughts and prayers as they try to come to grips
with the loss of their son.
Also, I received a note from Paul Frantz and he asked if we could
lift up Mike Ertle and his family. Mikeís wife, Tara Ertle, who along with
Mike, were a part of their team and one of Paulís best friends, past away on
February 23. Tara was 35 years old. She was diagnosed with liver cancer in
July of 2009. She fought hard and always with a positive outlook. Shortly
before Thanksgiving, she had a stroke, and that's when doctors found the
cancer had spread to her brain. One of the hardest things is that they have
two children, Gabriel is 5 and Madeline is 3. There is going to be a fund
set up for the kids in lieu of flowers. Cards and letters can reach the
family at 1014 Lincoln Dr. , Springfield , PA 19064.
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. 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,
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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
JAMES & KATIE STANDLEY- This dedicated Christian couple are the proprietors
of Design 500 and Lady Eagle Safetywear in Seattle, WA, racing's leading
uniform and team wear maker. Visit them at www.design500.com as they
celebrate their 20th.
BARRY & KIM BABB- This Maine LM driver and wife have their 24th.
DAVE & JANET WITTE- This couple celebrates their 5th anniversary. Dave
returned to racing last year at Bridgeport with his number one fan, his wife
Janet by his side.
JOSEPH AND ALICE FERGUSON- The proprietor of Ferguson Painting and
Decorating and wife; fans from Howard, PA celebrate their 36th anniversary.
JEFF WITHEY- From Clifton Park, NY, Jeff writes about Fonda, NY Speedway for
"Area Auto Racing News."
RYAN DALE HUNSINGER- Son of dirt late model and IMCA modified driver Ricky
Hunsinger and wife Nakeisha. He is also the little brother of AJ Hunsinger
mini stock driver, based in Northeastern PA.
KIRK SHELMERDINE- Welcome,NC ARCA/NASCAR driver; NSC/NNS Crew Chief.
DONALD J. WORTH- NJ loyal fan of retired Wall Township Speedway Modified
great, Gil Hearn and NSC's Jeff Gordon.
CRAIG KEEL- WoO Sprint driver.
WARREN FRYE- "Jeep" is the Clayton, NJ based owner of the Bunky Higbee No.
26 and Grandfather of Glenn Fye Jr. and Bobby Devault Jr.
MIKE WALLACE- The driving middle brother of the famous racing Wallace's with
Kenny and Rusty.
DEAN CHRYSTAL- Milford, ME NASCAR KNPSE driver/ Graphics specialist.
ALFRED HILL- NC Modified driver.
MATT EMHOFF- York, Maine. He is a member of Ken and Art Barry's crew on the
Spearpoint Racing team.
RAQUEL RIOLO- Daughter of Stafford LM driver Joe and wife Brenda.
JOE GOSEK- NY based ISMA SuperModified driver.
HAL GOODSON- Darlington, SC All Pro driver.
BRIAN CRUNDEN- Connecticut ProStock driver.
DAVE BURNHAM- CT based LM driver.
VALARIE LeSIEUR- Daughter of former Speedway Scene Publisher, Val.
DAN BURY- Upstate NY photographer.
JOHN LANE- A son of NJ photographer Ace.
CAROL PARES- Wife of "Area Auto Racing News" NASCAR Mod Series photographer
Mike of Wayne, NJ.
FAITH THUNBERG - wife of Susquehanna Street Stock driver Scott Thunberg.
BOB HABERSTICK- Wall Township Speedway driver.
TODD MASSEY- Haw River, NC LMSC driver.
GREG COVERDALE- Milford, DE URC Sprint driver.
JEFF SPRAKER- Latham, NY NASCAR/ARCA Owner.
LYN ST. JAMES- Willoughby, OH born, now Daytona Beach, FL IRL driver.
SCOTT BONNEY- Lee Speedway (NH) LM driver.
RANDY KANE- Selinsgrove and Clinton County Pit Steward.
JASON KOHLER- Fleetwood, PA MicroSprint driver.
CRYSTAL SANSEVERINO- A daughter of Hillsborough, NC photographer Ed and wife
HALEY THUNBERG - Daughter of Susquehanna Street Stock (1998 & 2009) track
champ Scott Thunberg
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