Sometimes we fail to see things as they are, their true significance escapes
us. As we look to the last refrain of our Winter Bible Study, Easter is a
time when we can be thankful for the empty tomb. Always be thankful, even
when the gift is empty. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus
Things are not all they seem. What we see and understand on the
surface doesnít always reveal the whole story. Have you ever wondered why on
Easter we celebrate an empty tomb? There is tremendous significance in not
finding Jesus in the tomb.
Luke 24:1-9; nlt, But
very early on Sunday morning, the women went to the tomb,
taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been
rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didnít find the
of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared
to them, clothed in dazzling robes.
The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the
ďWhy are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isnít here!
He is risen from the dead!
Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be
betrayed into the hands
of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third
Then they remembered that he had said this.
So they rushed back from the tomb to tell his eleven disciples - and
everyone else - what had happened.
As you know I am pastor of Emmanuel
Baptist Church in West Springfield, MA I like to begin the Easter service by
offering the children the best Easter egg they have ever seen. Each one
receives the plastic egg with the instructions not to open it until the end
of the service. They hold on to them with the assurance that what is inside
is going to be great.
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 empty you think that something is missing. That is not the same with
Christ, empty means hope and salvation.
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;
Philippians 2:6-8; nlt,
Though he (Jesus) was God, he did not think of equality with God as
something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a
slave and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and
died a criminalís death on a cross.
Before Jesus could come to Earth he
had to set some of His abilities aside, He had to stop being fully God. He
had to empty himself. 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 before you enter. 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 to
accomplish the will of His Father. He emptied himself.
Scripture reminds us that our attitude must be the same as
Christís. I wondered to myself, when was the last time we emptied ourself
for someone else? 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? When was
the last time we expected to be treated a certain way because of who we are?
We all have times when we expect to be the focus of attention. 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.
Some might say we are full of ourselves.
Jesus emptied himself out so that the penalty of our sin would be
covered. He emptied himself so that our relationship with God could be
restored. He emptied himself to set us free from the bondage of sin. He
stood in our place.
To come to Earth Jesus had to empty himself, to return to heaven He
had to empty the tomb. That fact 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 without regard of whether it is the best for us.
Christ went to the grave and overcame death so that our fear could
be removed. He put it this way;
John 14:1-4; nlt,
ďDonít let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.
There is more than enough room in my Fatherís home. If this were not so,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When
everything is ready,
I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.Ē.
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 and all we
have done is 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 accept the offer Christ
makes to fill ourselves with His Spirit? Will we empty ourselves in service
to others? Will we 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, Rev. Don
FROM THE ROAD
WATERFORD BLASTS OFF THE
SEASON - The weather wasnít the best, I guess we got spoiled a few weeks
ago and hoped for higher temps and sunshine, but this still is New England
and you can never predict what you get. Terry Eames and staff rolled with
punches and did everything in their power to make this a successful season
opener. Good job goes out to the entire Waterford Staff.
We were honored to conduct the Palm Sunday Service during the pit
party. Bobby Somers and Tara Stoehr led the service as the chaplains for the
VMRS and NEMA. Tara shared some thoughts with me that I would like to share.
Sometimes we get so used to asking God for help we forget to say
thank you when He answers our prayers, one of the NEMA crew members asked
for prayer for his wife during the season last year and when they arrived at
Waterford he shared with Tara that his wife was cancer free! Amen!
Tara also shared that there were several folks that encouraged her
as she ministered and prayed with folks. One friend of the ministry, Dennis
Savage, shared how he opened his home to a fan from Maine so that he would
not have to sleep in his car Saturday night.
She reminded me that this is a difficult time of the year for the
Marvuglio family and she was able to spend some time with Deb and Anthony as
they began the 2012 season. A new midget ride for Anthony and he was full
anticipation, having someone to pray with meant so much to them. Bug
finished 5th-he gave Tara the longest hug ever!
It often is what goes on behind the scenes that touches lives,
thanks for allowing us to be there for you.
VMRS Chaplain Bobby Somers had this to add; On Palm Sunday as I sat
in the infield preparing for Chapel service to start, the sun shining down,
feeling its warmth as I prayed, a message came to me. The warmth felt good
as I remembered this was the day Jesus made his way through Jerusalem to
fulfill the Fatherís plan. It let me know, once again, that Jesus is always
with us and that Chapel service was going to go just fine.
My sermon was about being in prayer and in Godís Word, the
importance of both in building that relationship Jesus wants from all of us.
I talked also about how much time we spend on things that keep us from
spending time with God. If we took a fraction of that each day, praying and
reading, that relationship would continue to grow. We would learn so much
more about Scripture and that relationship Jesus wants, so many things in
our life would change; people around us would certainly see the difference.
After service the clouds started to roll in and again the threat of
rain was being echoed by many in attendance. As I walked over to the start
finish line to deliver the Invocation the sun poked through, once again
reminding me of the day. I spoke to the many in attendance that the sun
shining through was a reminder of Palm Sunday and Jesus making his way
It was a blessing to meet Rev. Ray this weekend and share with him.
It has also been a while since I have seen Rev. Scott; I am very blessed to
have him around once again. He was the first person who gave me the guidance
when I started with RWJM and I look forward to once again to having him
along side as we pray and minister to the drivers and teams. We have a few
weeks off before heading to Monadnock Speedway; hope to see you there, God
K&N IN GREENVILLE - Rev. Dan along with Brother Dave headed
south last weekend for the first of two races at Greenville Pickens. This
historic track never fails to provide some exciting racing action. Dan
reported that they did not disappoint another classic race. We should here
more from him this week.
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
http://www.rwjm.com/store. 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,
Tolland, CT 06084.
Check our weekly printed pages in "Area Auto Racing
the East Coastís largest weekly racing paper.
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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 53 years
MARK & LINDA GEER- The former Waterford Speedbowl Mod Inspector and
Speedbowl Office Manager wife have their 42nd anniversary.
HARRY & PEGGY SOLT- This NH based NASCAR KNPSE crewman and wife share their
RED & MARGIE RAYNOR- The former Long Island Freeport Speedway driver and
wife from Deer Park, LI have their 43rd.
DOC & CAROL LEHMAN- This Smithville, OH AARN and RPM columnist and wife have
their 34th wedding anniversary.
PAUL & HEATHER FRANTZ- This Mountain Speedway couple celebrate their 12th
DENNIS & DARLA SETZER- The Newton, NC CWTS driver and wife have their
JOE & BRENDA RIOLO- This KNPSE driver and wife have their anniversary.
TONY & MARGI SISCONE - This Former WMT driver and wife celebrate their 36th
TOM PECK- McConnelsburg, PA KNPSE 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 and wife Lynda.
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, has her special day.
Praise the Lord!
MIKE BLISS- Milwaukee, OR USAC Midget and NASCAR NSC/NNS/Truck driver.
DAVE ASHLEY- Riverside, CA LM driver.
MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER, JR.- The son of Plainville, CT Modified driver Mike and
DAVE PETFIELD- Brother of Dan and treasurer of Racing with Jesus Ministries.
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.
LOY ALLEN, JR- former NSC driver.
VINNIE GREEN- Wall Township Speedway retired Modified driver.
WENDELL LEE MINTER- Ridgeway, VA host of the "Uncle Wendell's Gospel Music
Show aired daily on Martinsville's WODY.
LISA ERM- New Jersey based former race official.
JOHN SZERENCITS- Whitehall, PA dad of AARN subscription salesman Don.
JOSEPH ROBERT COX- Rev. Pat's third-cousin son of Bob and Tracy Cox in
ROBERT PRESSLEY- Asheville, NC NSC/NNS/CWTS driver.
BILLY MIDDLETON- Germantown, NC Modified driver.
MARK GREEN- Owensboro, KY NNS driver; middle brother with David and Jeff.
JEFF CROWLEY- NH ProStock driver.
JOE LARSEN- Former Riverhead Raceway Chief Steward, now an official with
NASCAR Touring Divisions.
TOMY MEMBRINO III- Son of Waterbury, CT ProStock driver Tony.
DALE SHAW- Center Conway, NH, father of DJ Shaw KNPSE driver, a former
BOBBY RUSS WOOD- Richmond, MO All Pro Series driver.
JOHN "PEACH FUZZ" JONES- This fan and son of Fuzzy Pete and Ro from Shirley,
KASEY KAHNE- Enumclaw, WA NSC team driver.
WARREN KUHLTHAU III- Wall Township Speedway Modified driver.
PAUL McELEARNEY- Riverhead LM driver from Commack, NY
SHIRLEY HIETALA- Enfield, CT mom of Mod driver Brad.
DEBORAH ZURAWSKI- Wife/car owner for husband Riverhead LM driver Robert.
BOBBY MENSCHNER- Son of wall Chaplain Bob Menschner.
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RACING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES
PO Box 586
Tolland, CT, 06084
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Racing With Jesus Ministries Website