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  The Chrome Horn - Racing With Jesus Ministries

   03/01/2013


WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED
by Rev. Don Rivers
 

   Have you ever noticed that wise people look old? Youíve seen him, the guy at the top of the mountain with a long, grey beard who knows the meaning of life. Most of us donít learn wisdom until we have lived a little. Take a look back on your early years and see if there arenít some things you are wiser about now. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

   Have you ever known someone who thinks they have an answer for everything? They know all there is to know and if they donít itís not worth knowing. You know the type, they are ready to tell you exactly what the right answer is whether you ask or not. Is that Wisdom?

   I am reminded of the movie Days of Thunder. Remember when the crew chief, Harry Hogge, was trying to teach Cole Trickle, rookie driver, how to conserve his tires for the end of the race? He let him drive so many laps his way and then he had to drive the way Harry wanted him to. The point was to learn how to finish with enough tire left to challenge for the win. Anyone can go fast, but it takes a driver with wisdom to finish the race. I think of guys like Mike Stefanik. He knows how to finish. No matter what he has to race with, he knows how to get the most out of it and finish the race. He is a wise driver.

   Sometimes we think we know what is best. The fact is we donít. It is difficult to have all the information necessary to understand what is best. There are many things that contribute to our inability to understand things; lack of experience for one. We may not be able to see things for what they are; we may be blinded by what we want to see. For whatever reason we do not have the ability to fully understand things.

   True wisdom is something we gain when we can put things in the right perspective, Godís perspective. James explains it for us.

James 3:13-18, Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life,
by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts,
do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly,
unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive,
full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

   Letís unpack this a little. James explains that the one who is wise will lead a good life, a life that honors God. He lives with humility and helps others with a humble heart. These are people for whom recognition is not as important as serving someone.

   In contrast there are those people who need to be recognized. When they enter the room everyone must stop and take notice of them. When they do something the world has to know. These are not the type of people James calls wise.

   The wisdom of the world is very different than the wisdom of God. James uses four words to describe worldly wisdom; envy, selfish, boast and deny. These words ring true in my ears of what we experience when we deal with worldly people. Think about those words. Envy means wanting something someone else has. It means not being satisfied with what you have. Are we satisfied with what God has provided us?

   Selfish means to keep everything for yourself. That indicates a lack of generosity and a desire to keep instead of share. Are we reluctant to give to others and help those in need?

   Boast means to let everyone know how good we think we are. To tell everyone exactly what we did and expect to be honored for it, boasting is the opposite of humility. Are we motivated to do things for others so that someone would notice us? When they donít, do we tell them anyway?

   Deny means to lie. Denying something means not taking responsibility for our actions. Many times we look for someone to blame instead of stepping up to the plate and taking responsibility. Are we looking for someone to blame? That pretty much sums up worldly wisdom; now letís look at Godís wisdom.

   James uses the words pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, mercy, impartial and sincere to describe the wisdom that comes from God. Thatís a pretty big list. If you are like me I sometimes display a few of those qualities but I am not sure I have displayed them all at once.

   Pure means exactly that, nothing that would tarnish, no impurities. Like metal that has been refined and the impurities burned away. Purity comes from testing under fire. We are not born pure we have to work at it. We develop purity, the absence of selfishness.

   Peace-loving is another one we need to learn. Many times we feel we have been taken advantage of or we havenít been treated fairly. When we have a peace-loving spirit it doesnít matter. Think of Christ and the cross. He didnít deserve any of it but He endured it so that we could be at peace with God through Him. Are we willing to do the same for others?

   The list goes on; considerate; do we consider others or just ourselves? Submissive, are we willing to follow someone or do we have to be in control? Do we have mercy on others or do we demand that they be judged and punished? Are we impartial or do we always want the advantage? Are we sincere in our actions or do we just wear the face of sincerity?

   When we stop and compare the two, which one is wise? Scripture tells us that Godís ways are not our ways. I think this passage from James shows us that. Sometimes we think a person is wise when they gain financially or have a high paying job. When we look behind the curtain we see the truth. We see the lives that were cast aside on the way to the top. We see the damage that was done in the name of advancement. I think there are many times in our lives when we think we made the wise choice but forget to look back and see the damage we have done.

   Take some time this week to reflect on what life has taught you. If it resembles worldly wisdom spend some time with God and start to change that. We need to have a Godly wisdom. That will reach out to others and help them discover the blessings God has for them.
 

   THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD

   HOME SWEET HOME - My favorite thing about being on the road is coming home. Home is that special place where you can relax and unwind. We headed north a little early with the hope of avoiding the freezing rain and snow, hugged the coast and made it home Saturday evening just as the temp hit 32. Although we drove from Georgia to Connecticut in the rain we didnít face any icy or slippery conditions and that was a blessing. We were a little disappointed that the snow was still here and the temps were about 60 degrees cooler, but spring is coming!

   GODíS PROVISION - With so many races during Speedweeks and so many tracks to travel to it is difficult to get to everything. As I looked back I realized that there was a time that RWJM didnít have the time or resources to head to Florida for all the activity. This year we had no short of seven folks on the ground in Florida to cover things. What is more amazing is how they got there.

   Steve Fowler drove from Montana to initiate the ministry to the WOO Late Models and he brought a couple friends along. One of his friends didnít know God had plans for him. At Bubba Speedway Park the track invited and provided pit passes to some homeless vets. As they talked with Steve and his friend, a Vietnam Vet, Steveís friend was able to speak their language, understand their challenges and help them look at the future differently. Those Vets are now in the process of being connected with some local resources and their future looks a whole lot brighter.

   Gary Dionne, our west coast coordinator, happened to make the drive from LA to Atlanta for work and then had to head down to Miami for a commercial shoot. God gave him a few days in central Florida and he was able to cover the last three nights at New Smyrna Speedway.

   Rev. Dan made it a quick trip for the Battle at the Beach and joined me at Daytona on Monday and Tuesday. As many of you saw it was a challenging event. Our hope is that if they choose to do this again it is done at a proper venue and not a temporary layout.

   Added to this Ed Harkins from Finish Line Chaplains was in town for the entire time and lended a hand in addition to ministering to the Big Block Modified Boys. Kyle Froman, Jim Foster and Bob Butcher from MRO were also there to minister to their charges.

   We had several opportunities to touch the lives of the racing community and it was all because of Godís provision. Thank you for your continued support, both in prayer and financially. We can only do these things as God leads others to provide for us.

   Please consider how you might partner with us. We have added an automatic monthly giving option to our donation page on our website, http://rwjm.com/donations/ check it out. Remember that the lives we touch will never be the same again, for they have seen the love of Christ.

   The best way to sum it up is an email we received from a member of the racing community at Volusia;

   Steve,

   It was great meeting you tonight at the track. I am a big fan of the work you do. As I said, I think your ministry might be one of the toughest out there...but you ARE making a difference. Keep up the good work!

   If you are ever in Ohio in the Summer, come by Limaland Motorsports Park and say hi!


   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 News",
   the East Coastís largest weekly racing paper.

   See our on-line Apparel Store for subscription information.

   Check our home page www.rwjm.org for past articles.

   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 financial support.

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
 


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SourceRev Don Rivers / Racing With Jesus Ministries
Posted: March 01, 2013

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