The season is winding down but there is no shortage of racing left. The
championship races are coming down to the wire. As things come into focus,
how do we perform? Will people see our true character? When they do, will
they see the love of Jesus? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior,
Many times in life and racing we find ourselves in pressure packed
situations. We need to perform better to retain a sponsor or we need a good
finish to secure our point standings. There are many opportunities at this
time of the racing season to forget about everything and focus on our on
track performance. Crunch Time!
Many times when we put that pressure on ourselves we fail to
represent God well. We lose sight of what we have been called to become in
Christ and we revert back to a self-focused and self-serving nature. We
forget to look around and see what others are going through. We should be
looking around for the opportunities that God has for us. When we turn our
focus internally we do not see or hear the voice of God. Jesus encourages us
to remember who we are called to be.
In Matthew’s Gospel there is a passage of Scripture referred to as
“The Sermon on the Mount”. A time when Jesus sat and taught some of the most
significant lessons we can learn as Christians to his disciples. I want to
share part of this passage and see if we can learn and apply its teaching.
"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness,
how can it be made salty again?
It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by
men. "You are the light of the world.
A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it
under a bowl.
Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the
house. In the same way,
let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and
praise your Father in heaven.
Jesus uses two analogies, salt
and light. Let’s take a look at salt first.
We use salt for different things such as to season food or melting
ice. When we use it as a seasoning we do so to enhance the flavor. We need
to take a look around and see if we are enhancing those around us. Are we
making things better or worse?
We also use salt to change things. When we put salt on ice it melts
and makes it easier to remove. Salt can be corrosive, when used in the wrong
way it can tear thing apart. One of the things we must guard against it
using our influence, salt, to tear things down.
We are encouraged by Jesus to use the love of Christ that is in our
hearts to improve the situation. Jesus cautions that if we lose our focus
and our “salt” is no longer affective we become useless.
Let me stop here and explain. We have the opportunity each moment
we live to affect those around us, either for good or evil. We decide how we
will use our influence. When we choose to be destructive our ability to
claim the love of Christ and help others is gone. Our witness is no longer
respected. When we find ourselves under pressure we need to be aware of how
we are demonstrating our faith. We need to remember who is in control. We
need to avoid losing our saltiness, our credibility, our witness.
Jesus also put in each one of us a light that will dispel the
darkness. Don’t hide your light, let it shine. When it shines it removes the
shadow cast on things and brings shady, dark deeds into view. We need to use
the light to brighten the world around us.
Have you ever been in a cave and the lights went out. You cannot
see your hand in front of your face. Then you light a match, a little flame
and you are amazed at how much light it provides. We are the same kind of
light. We, as Christians, have the same opportunity to light the darkness
that others are experiencing. When all hope is gone the light of one who
knows Jesus can bring hope to the world.
Have you ever tried to stumble around in the dark? Even in your own
home, you think you know where things are, but you still stub your toe and
stumble. When we hide our light we cause others to stumble around in the
darkness. When we keep the love of God to ourselves and do not share it we
leave others to find their own way in the darkness. Let you light shine! Put
it on a lamp stand and help others find their way.
Jesus used these two analogies to demonstrate two important
functions we have as Christians. We need to improve the lives of others and
shine our light to help them find their way. Have we improved the lives of
those around us or have we been an obstacle? The lesson Jesus teaches us in
this passage is that we have a responsibility to lead others. Whether we
realize it or not we are leading. Make sure we are leading people to what is
FROM THE ROAD
WHERE, THERE AND
EVERYWHERE - Let’s see, what day is this? I have been there and back
over the last few day, at last count over 1,800 miles and five races under
my belt this week. They all start to blend together.
Bristol was, well Bristol. I know what they said they changed and I
didn’t think it would affect the racing but I think someone snuck something
in the water. Mike Joy coined the phrase Wad-it-up Wednesday. I watched most
of the race from the couch. The couch in the infield care facility that is.
Some drivers made return appearances. It wasn’t an instant classic, but this
is after all Bristol. Off to Thompson and beyond.
I enjoyed some good racing on the local scene this week, I could
have stayed home and watched the big boys in prime time but what would be
the fun about that, they will replay it later in the week and you only get
one chance to see live local racing. It will the off season far too soon to
pass up. Besides, I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t go.
I did get home in time from the Speedbowl to see the finish from
Bristol on Saturday night, I tuned in with less than a hundred to go but I
didn’t see the checkered, I awoke during the Victory Lane celebration. I
guess I was a little tired from all my travels.
With the PASS tour making its inaugural visit to Stafford Motor
Speedway on Sunday there was no time to rest. Under a beautiful sunny sky
the boys of the PASS tour set out to figure out this half-mile. In the end
it was none other than Mr. Stafford himself taking home the big prize, TC
led wire to wire in the 125 lap main event.
While I was out and about Bobby Somers was at Lee and Monadnock and
filed this report. Also NEMA visited the Steel Palace and Tara Stoehr shared
MAD DOG AND CHROME HORNS - Friday night under the lights and
no forecast of rain was a pleasant thing to see at Lee USA Speedway. Not
only didn’t we have rain but comfortable temps drew in a great crowd. As
Vinetta and I were making our rounds to speak with the drivers, one shared
There has been a driver that doesn't accept prayer and every week
one of us have tried.
Last night this driver walked up to Vinetta and said the following:
“I know you both have asked me many weeks about praying and I
appreciate that. I have heard all over the Pits how great it is to have you
here and the comfort it is as well. Thanks for being here!”
As we were going along the staging area praying with the drivers
another driver shared this with us. As I finished praying with him he held
onto my hand and said you know what "Every night at dinner our 3yr old
daughter says grace". He took the few extra minutes we had to talk about his
family and how they have a strong Christian background. It was just enough
time before they had to fire the engines and move out onto the track for the
This is just a couple of times we have been encouraged and blessed
by the several new relationships made at Lee USA Speedway. Off to Monadnock
for the Valenti Modified Racing Series.
At Monadnock Speedway it seemed that many drivers had the mad dog
look and the chrome horn was the word of the day. This was the final stop at
Mad Dog for the 2012 season. I would have to look into the track history for
the VMRS, but this may have been a new track record for cautions. I learned
a valuable lesson tonight. Never ask the question, do you think this will be
an early night?
There were two drivers returning from Bristol to run at Mad Dog;
Jon McKennedy who took home 16th place there while Rowan Pennink was caught
up in that early wreck on lap 3 destroying his car.
Tonight had 32 cars registered for 25 starting spots with a few
cars that haven’t seen the Mad Dog oval this season. There was really no
momentum in this race due to the number of cautions. One driver that kept
coming into the pits was the #09 of Tommy Barrett. Since his return from
suspension things have been going good for him. He has gained some patience
and learned to conserve his tires for the right moment. Announcer John
Spence let the crowd know, he was the one to watch as he started to make his
climb to the front. He made it all the way to third coming home behind race
winner Dwight Jarvis and Rowan Pennink.
NEMA RETURNS TO THE STEEL PALACE - The NEMA Midgets and
Lites were at Oswego Speedway this past weekend after a long absence from
the Steel Palace. It was the first appearance for the NEMA Lites at the
track. I forgot how fast Oswego was!! Some of the Lites were averaging 115
mph! I can only imagine the average speed for the NEMA Midgets. Jim Miller
in the 3m established a new record lap time for the midgets!
By the smiles on their faces and interviews at the end of the race,
it was truly evident that all of the drivers would love to go back to the
track. What a great show! Oswego Speedway truly puts on a class act! I would
like to give thanks and glory to God for the safety and protection of the
drivers, crews and officials! Next Saturday, the NEMA Midgets and Lites will
be at the Waterford Speedbowl for the Angelillo Memorial Race.
SOCCER MOMS HAVE NOTHING ON RACE MOMS - As I worked through
my marathon week, 5 races in five days, I kept seeing a familiar face
everywhere I went. I knew the face; I see it at just about every track I go
to. My hat goes off to Melissa Pearl, Race Mom extraordinaire!
My week was nothing compared to hers. We talked at Stafford on
Sunday and she still had another race on her schedule. Let’s see if I can
get this straight, Monday-Stafford, Tuesday-New Egypt, Wednesday-Bristol,
Thursday-Thompson, Friday-Stafford, Saturday-Waterford, Sunday-Stafford and
Monday-Stafford! What a week!
It is funny how we think our path in life is the most challenging,
but then we meet someone who handles a heavier load. Hats off to Melissa and
all the race moms out there, I am sure a race mom’s “minivan” can take a
soccer mom’s any time. Sounds like something we need to get a promoter
I am off this weekend for a little R&R and a wedding to perform
Sunday night for Keith Rocco and Cassie Ceravolo, but our folks will be out
there. Dan will be in Greenville with the K&N; Ray will be at Stafford with
Ben and Waterford with Tara and NEMA. Me, I’ll be camping with the family on
our annual family camping weekend.
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,
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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
RICK & LINDA RODENBAUGH- This NASCAR WMT couple with the team of Wade Cole
share their 10th.
BRUCE & SALLY SHIREY- This Latrobe, PA couple who live just five miles from
Latrobe Speedway and also enjoy road racing, have their 27th anniversary.
WILLIS & LOIS MERRILL- Kennebunk, ME NASCAR KNPSE fans celebrate their
MARK FLEURY- NY DIRT Modified driver.
MICHAEL JAWORECKI JR.- “JAWS Jr.” Son of Jaws! a familiar fixture by his
dad's side at the racetrack.
KEVIN ECKERT- Allentown, PA based Sprint/Midget writer.
AUSTIN MARIE BRUNO- This little lady is the first child of Bomoseen, VT ACT/
KNPSE driver Mike and wife Alayne.
JERRY SOLOMITO- Riverhead Modified driver.
JOHN HEWITT- DIRT Modified driver.
GARY MOORE- Horseshoe, NC driver/owner.
HOWIE HODGE- Well liked and respected photographer from Manchester, CT. Also
a frequent flyer in the RWJM Pace Car.
BRIANNA CHILDRESS- Daughter of Kip, KNPSE Race Director and wife Jenny.
BRETT HEARN- Sussex, NJ top DIRT Modified driver.
LENNY FISCHER- Riverhead Raceway Modified driver.
EDDIE HOWELL- Lakeland, Fl former Dash Series driver.
LARRY BOUCHARD- Feeding Hills, MA ProStock driver.
DAVID STOKES- Son of Wall Township Speedway co-announcer Roger Stokes.
FRAN COLSON III- Son of Leominster, MA ProStock driver Fran and wife Doreen.
JIM CHAPIN- Friend of RWJM ministries.
JACK JOHNSON- Duanesburg, NY legendary dirt Modified driver.
MARK FUSCO- DIRT Modified driver.
BLAIR AIKEN- Lakeport, CA NASCAR West driver.
STEVE GOLEMBESKI, Jr.- Jamie Tomaino NASCAR WMT team crewman.
CLAYLENE ADAMS- Wife of Pomfret, CT Pro Tour Truck and ProStock driver Leo.
ADAM VENEZIAN- The son of Statewide Trailer/Perth Amboy Spring owner Joe and
JACK PENNINGTON- Augusta, GA LMSC driver.
CARLTON P. MERRILL- From Newton, MA, Carl is the GM at Monadncok Speedway
near Keene, NH.
NORM McINTOSH- Crewman on the NH based Mike Weeden LM.
RANDY LEE JOHNSTON-A New Waterford Speedbowl fan.
BOB JENKINS- Renowned as racing's premier pass-by-pass action TV announcer,
this Indianapolis, IN resident is also with Linger Productions who produces
great race coverage and the voice of the Indy 500 Radio Network.
JOE BUBBICO- This former CT based Modified driver now at Orange Show
Speedway and Perris Speedway now makes his home in Winchester, CA.
JEFF FEHR- Mahoning Valley Speedway driver.
BRANDON BUTLER- Richmond, VA NASCAR CWTS driver.
FRED STODDARD- Brother-in-Law of Stafford Late Model driver Tom Fearn.
BILL EMHOFF- York Maine crew member on the #2 MRS.
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