I was thinking the other day about the lives we lead, the challenges we face
and the bumps and bruises we encounter along the way. Sometimes the thought
crosses our mind that it would be great to start over. Knowing what we know
now, we might do things differently. Greetings in the name of our Lord and
Savior, Jesus Christ.
When I was on Long Island a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of
visiting an old race car collector. He had one car completely restored,
looked brand new, everything in its place. On the rear deck were photographs
that documented the carís history, the driverís exploits and the history of
its racing career.
Out back he had anther car, sitting under a tarp, a coupe, the way
it came off the track. It didnít need a book of photos, its history was
written all over it. You could see where it rubbed another competitor, you
could see the decals, the history, this car wrote its own story.
Each car had its place and each one has its attraction. Each one
has run the race, challenged for the lead and took home the prize. I enjoyed
looking at the both cars; each told a story. They restored a little of the
history we like to reminisce about.
As much as it is enjoyable to relive the good ole days of racing it
is a challenge sometimes to relive some of our past and the decisions we
have made. There seems to be a contrast, when we see a restored race car we
remember the good times, but when we reflect on our own lives we tend to
remember our mistakes.
It is those mistakes that lead us to a place that isnít healthy for
us. We have trouble forgiving ourselves for the choices that didnít benefit
our lives. Thatís when we need to turn to God and allow Him to restore us,
to forgive our transgressions and remember them no more. Then we need to
forget them also and move forward in our lives.
That is the challenge; letting God restore us, pull us out of the
valley; the dry, hot barren valley that we reside in when we donít think we
have lived the right kind of life. We do not feel worthy of Godís
forgiveness and restoration. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I was reading in the book of Ezekiel about the valley of dry bones
and the question God asked him.
Ezekiel 37: 1-3a;
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the
and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back
and forth among them,
and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were
very dry. He asked me,
"Son of man, can these bones live?"
An interesting question, the
fact remains that apart from God we are dead in our transgressions, there is
no hope for our life. Apart from the saving grace of Jesus Christ we cannot
do anything to change our destiny. Apart from God there is certain death, a
valley of dry bones.
Can these bones live?
Yes, they can when the breath of life is breathed into them, when
the living water of the Holy Spirit fills them. Yes, when we turn from our
ways and receive the grace and forgiveness that only God can offer.
If you have been to the races recently and attended chapel you saw
me illustrate this with a water bottle. When we are full of living water we
have integrity and the ability to resist the pressures of life. But when we
are empty, the world crushes us and we crumble into a twisted mess, a poor
reflection of the life we were created to live.
I demonstrated how God can breathe into us the breath of life and
restore our life to its previous form and fill us again. We can be restored
and God is willing to do the restoring. Turn to him and ask for his
restoration. Ask him to breathe into you the breath of life and fill you
with the living water that will quench your every thirst.
Jesus makes this offer recorded in Matthewís Gospel.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in
heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
For those of us who have been
restored and know the presence of God in our lives we have work to do. We
have the restorative powers of God to proclaim. We have lives to live that
show how God is willing and able to use anyone to demonstrate His power and
glory, even us.
I remember John the Baptist and how he spent his life proclaiming
the one who would come after him that was able to forgive sins. The prophet
Isaiah tells us of the task at hand.
A voice of one calling:
"In the desert prepare
the way for the LORD;
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
God is in the restoration business.
He desires that every one of us would receive the restoration he offers. He
desires that those who have been restored would proclaim the change that God
has accomplished in their lives.
I encourage you to allow God to restore meaning and purpose to the
life you are living. Let Him fill you with Living Water and breathe the
breath of life into your tired and weary body. Let Him lead you to those who
need to know the gift of grace that comes from our God in Heaven.
FROM THE ROAD
THOMPSON MAKES IT IN
BEFORE THE STORM - Last week looked to be a great week of racing;
Thompson, Stafford, Waterford but the weather again created difficulties
completing the schedule; time to juggle things again.
The Whelen Modified Tour did manage to get their annual Thursday
night visit to Thompson in without weather issues. It looked like there were
storms coming but they dried up before reaching the track.
We saw the race for the championship tighten up as Donny Lia coming
from a lap down, as the result of difficulties on a pit stop, to Victory
Lane. Twenty seven points separate second through fifth as they chase Coby
who continued to lead the way.
Lia was followed home by Silk and Coby with TC and Mighty Mike
closing out the top five. It looks to be an interesting race shaping up for
Bristol and then back here at Thompson to kick off a four race stretch in
September that will go a long way to determining who comes out on top.
We did have some difficulties in the under card at Thompson,
Limited Late Model competitor, Jason Dean, crashed hard into the turn two
wall and needed the cage cut to extricate him from the car. He was
transported to the local hospital and then up to UMASS in Worcester to make
sure he received the proper treatment of his injuries. He is doing well and
the healing process has begun. Please keep his recovery in your prayers and
lift up his family as they get through this difficult time.
WATERFORD WINGS GOES TO THIS SATURDAY - We will be back
at the Speedbowl this Saturday night minus the Valenti Modified Racing
Series who will be at Seekonk. NEMA and ISMA will join the SKLites and SKs
for an opened wheel show with wings. Keep in mind this is the Shane Hammond
Memorial for NEMA, please make an effort to get there and show your support
as we honor this young man who gave us so much encouragement.
SAFETY HAS TO BE YOUR PRIORITY - In the wake of the
events at Thompson on Thursday I would like to remind every competitor that
safety is not a place to save money. It only takes one accident to change
your life and you cannot go back and undo what is done. We are available to
connect you with the resources in the industry to help you make your car and
you as safe as you can be. It is difficult to see drivers not make the
investment in equipment that is available to make racing safer. Many donít
think it will happen to them. I ask the question, ďhow much is your life
worth?Ē Please take the time and have your equipment checked out, spend your
money wisely, in a place that can and will save your life.
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.
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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
JOHN & DENISE DURLING- This Grandview Speedway Late Model driver and wife
from Reading. PA share their 10th anniversary.
ANDY & BARBARA HALL- This former NASCAR PR director, now Indy Racing League
official, and wife have their 23rd anniversary.
DAN & LAURIE WALKER- The Public Relations Director at Beech Ridge Motor
Speedway and wife share their 27th.
JERRY & LESLIE BURCHETTE- This Super Pro IHRA driver and wife share their
STEVE & BONNIE MILLER- This NASCAR KNPSE couple from Waterford, NJ have
their 39th anniversary.
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 and BIG Tommy
DICK CLARK- Long Island occasional NASCAR WMT driver.
MARCEL DUSSEAULT- Somerswoth, NH former NASCAR KNPSE Marc Motorsports team
GEORGE FOSSETT- Gray, ME fan.
KENNY HOLLIS- No. Easton, MA AARN race fan.
ADAM LEE O'BRIEN- Kyle Petty's biggest fan and son of Tammy from Boyertown,
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
MICHAEL JIVANELLI- A son of Hampton Bays, NY Riverhead Raceway driver Dan.
PHIL RONDEAU- Baltic, CT Hooters Cup/LM driver.
JIM MAVLOUGANES- CT based LAte Model driver.
JIM ROSENFIELD- MA ProStock driver.
JIM TERWILLIGER- Bloomingburg, NY 1956 Sprint URC Rookie of the Year, now
CHRIS ROMANO- AARN's "Midget Magic" columnist, now down south.
SHERIL PERRY- She writes about Seekonk Speedway from Rehoboth, MA.
ARLENE HARD- Wife of Vill, race car fan since 1958 from Clifton, NJ.
RON HANNA- Amsterdam, NY Fonda Speedway fan.
DAVEY JOHNSON- Imperial, PA S.T.A.R.S. Late Model driver.
DOUG DIDERO- Oswego Speedway/ISMA SuperModified driver.
SAM STERN- MA ProStock driver.
BETH SEMINARA- Originally from Brewster, NY now Mt. Holly, NC, wife of "Area
Auto RAcing News" Cup photographer Ted.
AMANDA VECCHIO- The daughter of Syracuse, NY former NASCAR KNPSE team owners
Tony and Debbie.
BOB BURKET- Former NJ dirt modified owner.
MIKE ROWE- One of Maine's legendary NASCAR KNPSE/LM drivers and very proud
dad of Turner, Maine KNPSE/LM driver Benji.
PAUL SPENCER- Berwick, PA brother of Verses commentator JIm.
TIM BENDER- Colden, NY NASCAR KNPSE driver.
FRAN COLSON- Leominster, MA ProStock driver.
JIM KEEKER- USAC Midget driver.
LINDA SANSEVERINO- Wife of Hillsborough, NC photographer Ed.
JULIE POTTER- Preston, CT Modified fan.
JOHN LESNIAK- Wallingford, CT NASCAR KNPSE driver
CHARLIE KREMER- NJ asphalt Modified driver.
STEVE MILLER- Waterford, NJ KNPSE team part-owner.
DENNIS PUNCH- PR man for the Brewco NNS Team. Dennis is also Dr. Jerry's
NEAL FEOLA- He really isn't "Nasty Neal" and is a Blunderbust driver at
TIM ATTAYA- Promoter of the Augusta, ME civic Center Motorsports Show in
January and Maine TV personality.
RENE LaLUMIERE- Jefferson, NH retired LM driver.
KAREN MARQUIS- Enfield, CT wife of semi-retired NASCAR WMT and KNPSE driver
BILL SANSEVERINO- Son of Hillsborough, NC photographer Ed and wife Linda.
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SEND THEM TO:
RACING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES
PO Box 586
Tolland, CT, 06084
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Racing With Jesus Ministries Website