Summer is unofficially here! Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of
the summer season. Sometimes the true meaning of the celebration gets lost.
We should remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our
freedom. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
No, Freedom Isnít Free
I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud
With hair cut square and eyes alert
Heíd stand out in a crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothersí tears?
How many pilotsí planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many died in foxholes?
No, freedom isnít free
I heard the sound of taps one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That taps meant ďAmen,Ē
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of the fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isnít free.
Isnít Free is a poem written to recall the memory of those who paid the
ultimate sacrifice in the giving of their lives. Their willingness to give
secures to this day our freedom; freedom to do what we enjoy, racing.
I was thinking the other day what would this country look like if
we werenít free? Would there even be racing, as we know it? On any given
weekend I can choose where I go to watch a race. You can choose where to
race. If you donít like going to a certain track you can choose another. We
have the freedom of choice. That is not something to take lightly.
Stop and think of all the choices we can make in our life and then
think of some of the other nations in the world who donít have the same
option. The difference is freedom. The founders of our country decided to
organize it on the foundation of God and freedom of choice. We have fought
for over 200 years to maintain that, not only for us but also for other
nations and peoples of the world.
God also gives us the freedom to choose. He makes available for us
a life of abundance and freedom. We can choose if we are going to accept
that life. Jesus saidÖ
John 10:10, The thief
comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Paul adds in GalatiansÖ
Galatians 5:1, It is
for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of
came and gave His life as a sacrifice so that we could know the abundant and
free life that God has offered us. Not unlike those who have fought for our
countryís freedom so that we can enjoy an abundant and free life. For us to
experience freedom it cost someone something.
Think of a race team. Some are funded well and some are run on a
shoestring. It doesnít matter; to be able to race someone pays. Someoneís
hard work earns the money necessary to cover the cost of preparing the car
and team to race. We have to opportunity to race because someone else paid
the price. The situation is the same whether it is our hard work or someone
elseís hard work, to race someone pays. Freedom isnít free either.
For us to have freedom as a country many men and women paid with
their very own lives. They made the ultimate sacrifice for the good of
others. They gave their lives. Likewise Jesus gave His life so that we might
3:16-17, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to
save the world through him.
lives that were given for us secured our freedom. Jesus Christ gave His life
to save us from death and destruction. Let me ask a question, do you enjoy
your freedom as an American? If you do, take the time to pay your respect to
those who have made it possible. We shouldnít look past the sacrifice made
for our sake.
Let me ask another, do you want to the abundant and free life that
only comes from knowing Jesus Christ as your Savior? Do you want the freedom
from condemnation? Jesus gave His life to give you that opportunity, accept
it and free yourself from the burden of sin.
Freedom isnít free. It cost someone, something. Be thankful there
are those who are willing to pay the price for our freedom. Honor those who
gave everything for us.
FROM THE ROAD
SOMETHING IN THE AIR - It
seem to always happen this time of year, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes,
no wait, I mean screaming, running mouth, swollen eyes. The beginning of the
race season has shown itself, new rides, new faces, new cars, all trying to
jockey for position. Drivers and teams trying to sort things out, find there
place in the pecking order. Sometimes the result can be ugly. Sometimes it
reflects poorly on our sport.
They say politics makes strange bedfellows but racing isnít very
far behind. In the quest to win we see teams come together that we wouldnít
have thought would. We see drivers act and drive in a way that is out of
character. We see a lot of strange things.
Have no fear this will settle down into another fine racing season.
As the weeks pass and things get going, cooler heads will prevail. Letís
hope there is a car or two left to put on a good show.
IOWA GOES TO CHASE - Another driver has stepped out of
his fatherís shadow and put his name on the victory list. Chase Elliot won
the K&N East West Showdown at Iowa Speedway over the weekend and I am sure
Bill couldnít be more proud.
Having been able to build a good relationship with Chase and Bill
it is always rewarding to see them succeed. I remember walking through the
Hall of Fame and there was a father and his son, reliving the glory days of
the sport, just enjoying their time together, stopping for the occasional
autograph and photo. It made me proud to be a part of a sport that is passed
down from generation to generation.
This is only the beginning for Elliot and following right behind is
a group of next generation drivers that will contend right along with the
new guys, LaJoie, Pressley, Blaney, McRenolds, Little, Kennedy, the future
is bright for our sport.
VMRS GETS A CHANCE TO SHINE IN THE SUN - With one of the ten
best days of the year in place the VMRS collected the biggest modified car
count in recent memory. 35 cars showed up to contend for the prize at
Thompson Speedway last Sunday. The decision was made to start them all.
The debate continues over time trials or heats but this goes down
as one for the heat races. Unlike earlier efforts at other tracks the heat
races at Thompson offered some exciting action. Maybe it was the composition
of drivers that was on hand? The plus minus system worked out to TCís favor.
He didnít win his heat race but passed 8 cars in it and that put him on the
pole for the feature.
I like this format, 75 laps and let the run, wide open from the
drop of the green. I think that is where the Modifieds shine. Wouldnít a WOO
format would be neat to see with a Modified event, time trials to set the
heat races, heat races to transfer into the feature, a dash to set the top
eight, consi racing to fill the field and a 30 lap feature. Throw in $10,000
to win and I think we would have a winner. Maybe that is the answer?
Rowan Pennink crossed the line first for the second time this year
at Thompson, this time he wouldnít be denied and took home the checkered
flag. The time he spent here running in a Sunoco Modified helped him figure
this place out and he has shown he is the man to beat when you race
Modifieds at Thompson.
Although the filed started strong a restart mishap took out several
of the competitors. This led to only 16 of the starting 35 to finish the
event. That being said, I think it was an encouraging day for Modified
Racing, lets hope the trend continues.
MEMORIAL DAY WMT AT STAFFORD - As has been the custom
the WMT tour will kick off the holiday weekend with a Friday night tilt at
Stafford. We will be there to take in the action. Make your plans now to
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
Lord over Auto Racing. GOD BLESS.
Mail reaches us at Racing with Jesus Ministries, PO Box 586, Tolland, CT
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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
STEVE AND PATTY SMUDGE- The Easton, MA retired Mini Modified team owner and
wife have their 41st anniversary.
LLOYD & LINDA AGOR- From Brewster, NY, this Stafford WAARS Modified 2005
champion and wife have their 19th anniversary.
WALTER & TRUDY CHARETTE- The Linwood,MA proprietor of Son Carpentry/ Mike
Stefanik and Dale Jarrett fan and wife/ Reggie Ruggiero/Ernie Irvan fan have
their 16th anniversary.
WALLY DALLENBACH, JR- NNS driver and TV commentator.
CHARLES ELMS III- Bear Ridge, VT Speedway owner and dirt Modified driver.
STEVE CHOWANSKY- Stafford Speedway WAAS SK Modified team owner.
BOB BARKER- "Mad Dog," owner of the Legends 8NY driven by Paul Rochelle III.
DALE NICKEL- This Thompson Speedway photographer is Joan's brother-in-law
and photographer Scott's brother.
LISA JO WORTH- South Tom's River, NJ Nextel Cup fan and wife of Don.
RICKY CRAVEN- The Newburgh, ME NASCAR driver has turned his eforts to
TERRY FISHER- Sandy, OR NASCAR West driver.
JOHN SPORS- Boston, NY NASCAR KNPSE/ Holland Speedway driver.
DALE NELSON- Wife of Cliff, supporter of many local racing teams in CT.
MIKE MAIETTA- Beech Ridge Speedway LM driver, and occasional on the NASCAR
TIM DEROIN- Massachusetts based Modified Series driver and TV filim-maker.
CINDY BURDICK- Danielson, CT wife of Stafford announcing staff member
STACY COMPTON- NNS driver.
RONALD COOPER- Statham, VA NNS team owner.
GEORGE BRUNNHOELZL- Lindenhurst, NY chassis builder.
LISA SANSEVERINO- A daughter of Hillsborough, NC photographer Ed and wife
GREG GASTELU- Jackson, NJ Wall Township Speedway driver of the famous No. 69
RON MOON- Cumberland, ME LM driver.
MARK GARMAN- "The Shark" is a Sprint writer from Laureldale, PA and a member
of the Grandview Speedway staff.
DR. DICK BERGGREN- TV Race Commentator and short track fan.
DON FORTE- Terrebone, Quebec LM driver.
WAYNE CARROLL, SR.- Dad of Massachusetts ProStock driver Wayne, Jr.
KEN SCHRADER- Fenton, MO NSC driver.
JIMMY MEANS- NSC/NNS/NASCAR West independent driver/owner.
AL UNSER, SR.- Retired Indy Car great, Little Al's dad.
LARRY BARNETT- Ledyard, CT Limited late model champion at Thompson Speedway.
RITA TRUDEAU- Wife of retired Chaplin, CT Modified driver Joey.
RICH SYLVESTRI- Retired proprietor of Sylvestri's Auto Care in Canterbury,
CT formerly referred to as the Northern World Center of Speed.
RITA ST. JOHN- The mother of Jewett City (CT) Service Proprietor Henry.
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