I was reading an article the other day about a father; he
made this comment; ďMy most important priority in life is to make sure my
children are happy.Ē I disagree. It sounds nice, but the role of a father is
to train up their children in the way of the Lord. Greetings in the name of
our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Our responsibility as leaders in our home and community is to teach
the next generation. Lessons are not easy. Learning is not comfortable.
Discipline does not make you happy.
I realize that he may have met something different than what was
recorded, that happens quite a bit in interviews. But to put the notion out
there that a fatherís primary job is to make their children happy is wrong.
This type of thinking has created the mess we call society. It also
If a Fatherís job is to make his children happy does that mean our
Heavenly Fatherís job is to make us happy? That will not be beneficial for
us. God loves us too much to make us spoiled brats.
Many second and third generation families exist in racing solely on
the fact that one generation taught the next and so on. The generation
coming behind us will follow the things they are taught. They do what they
know how to do, most times improving on the lessons they have learned.
As I thought about my dad, I reflected on some of the lessons I
learned at my Fatherís knee. I wondered how many of us know what we know
because our father put it there. What did you learn from your Father?
I think every parent only wants that opportunity, the opportunity
to teach their children the lessons that they learned; the opportunity to
teach their children what and how this life should be lived.
I was rereading a story told by Geoff Bodine in the March 2003
issue of Guideposts. He talked about the family feud that went public after
that faithful day in Indy when he and Brett exchanged love taps in turn
three and four. Geoff recounted how he shot his mouth off and exposed a
family matter for the whole world to see.
He remembered what his dad had taught him and wondered what his
father would make of the whole thing. He behaved in a way that went against
everything his father had taught him. ďI couldnít imagine how deeply our
fighting must have hurt Dad.Ē
Geoff continued, ďI grew up on my grandfatherís farm in Chemung ,
NY . Grandpa worked the dairy part. Dad and I worked the chicken farm.
Side-by-side with dad, I learned what it meant to be a caring, decent
Christian man. He was always giving, whether it was a meal, a job or money.
People in church and the community counted on him. I canít remember him ever
once saying anything bad about anyone; especially family.Ē
Geoff shared how something continued to nag at him, despite all his
success he had forsaken the lessons he learned from his father. His dad
loved his wife, loved his children and most of all loved living a life that
pleased God. Geoff remembers praying, ďPlease Lord, teach me how to make you
more a part of my life. Like dad.Ē
In the end God would come to Geoffís aid, as he tumbled in a
horrific crash at Daytona, God came to him and spared his life. ďIt wasnít
luck or safety restraints that saved me, it was a miracle. I am here to tell
them Iím alive only by the grace and power of God. Iím sure Dad would be
How does a fatherís influence affect a child?
We canít all say we have had the best dad in the world. Letís face
it some of us fall short. The Bible tells us that fathers have certain
responsibilities to their families. Scripture tells us that the father is
the head of the family. That does not mean he is king and lord to be served
by the family. It means quite the opposite. The father is the chief servant
of the family. He will be held responsible by God for the actions of his
Listen to what Paul writes;
Ephesians 5: 25-33,
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church
and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing
with water through the word,
and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle
or any other blemish,
but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives
as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own
body, but he feeds and cares for it,
just as Christ does the church-- for we are members of his body.
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his
and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery--but I am
talking about Christ and the church.
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and
the wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 6:4, Fathers, do not exasperate your
instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
The foundation of a God honoring family
starts with a father who is willing to set aside his wants and desires for
the benefit of his wife and family. A fatherís role is to lay down his life
for his wife. The needs of the family are more important that his wants.
A father needs first to put his wife ahead of himself. This proves
difficult for most men. We somehow think our wives are here to serve us. We
need to get this right if we can expect to have a family that honors God.
This scripture also tells us that our role as fathers is not to antagonize
and frustrate our children but to train them and instruct them in the way of
the Lord. This implies that the father knows the way of the Lord.
If you donít, start learning it now. It is never too late. When we
change as fathers we influence our entire family. Know also that God can and
will change the results of our past transgressions. I have seen it happen
time and again. It has happened in my own family. When the father gets his
relationship with God right and starts following Godís Will the family
follows and is better for it.
I would encourage you to submit to Godís authority through Jesus
Christ. When you do, your family will follow. When you live according to
Godís Will, you and your family will be blessed. Follow the ways of the Lord
and He will lead you along the right path.
FROM THE ROAD
HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE - Race
season is in full swing and the weather has finally decided to cooperate. It
seemed that this week was a whirlwind of travel for me. First I headed down
to New Jersey for my first trip to New Egypt at the request of Dirt. This
was the first race back for the dirt racing community in New Jersey after
the crash at Bridgeport and having some extra Chaplains around would be a
good thing. I enjoyed my experience there and look forward to my next trip
After Jersey it was back to Connecticut for Thompson, this was my
first trip out there this year, mostly because of the weather. I guess we
all know what happens when we have almost a month off from racing. Patience
is something we acquire from racing, not sitting around watching it rain.
There was work to be done.
It was good to see Jimmy Wilson in town, tour director for the
Whelen Modified Tour. With the race Saturday night at Waterford he came up a
little early to take in Thompson and Stafford. I enjoyed my time with him
and it is great to see him taking an interest in the local scene.
Friday night had the Valenti Modified Racing Series in town at
Stafford Motor Speedway for the Inaugural VMRS 80. Tommy Barrett became the
first repeat winner in the series and the forth different winner this year.
Thirty-three cars were on hand for the twenty-six starting spots, a
good sign of the health of the series. Many of the Stafford regulars found
rides but in the end it was the series drivers that won this round with #09
Barrett, #13 Masse and #34 Etheridge taking the podium spots. This could
develop into the WOO vs The Pennsylvania Posse battles we see on dirt. That
would be great.
From Stafford I headed south to Waterford for the Richie Evans
Memorial 161 for the Whelen Modified Tour. Last year the overflowing crowd
was an indication that this is what modified fans wanted more of. The Staff
at Waterford brought them back and the fans supported it again. It is
encouraging to look up from the front stretch and see the grandstands full.
The fans that stayed for the green, white, checker finish got what they came
for, all out side by side racing for the win.
With a couple late race cautions that allowed Ryan Preece to cool
his tires and move back up into the second spot the stage was set for a drag
race to the finish. When the green fell the race was on, Preece had a slight
advantage but Doug Coby fought back on the outside. Coming to the checker it
was Preece by a car length to take down the win. Coby wasnít pleased with
second place and that understandable, he dominated the last half of the race
and if the race went green to the end he would have had the victory.
Next week we head to another bull ring, Riverhead Raceway, make
your plans now; there is some racing to be done.
CONDOLENCES TO THE CHRISTOPHER FAMILY - It was a challenging
week for TC, Mike and the whole family as on Wednesday evening family
patriarch Bill Christopher passed away. We are given only one mom and one
dad and losing either one is difficult and sometimes you just need some time
alone. People donít understand how racers can just go out and race in the
midst of such a loss. TC shared with me that being in the race car was a
place he could be alone, away form it all and just have some time to
TC also made it to victory lane on Friday night in the 40 lap SK
feature at Stafford . As he sat in his car in victory lane and I am sure he
was thanking his dad for giving him the drive to race.
Please join me and the entire Racing with Jesus Family in extending
our deepest condolences and sympathies to the Christopher family. Please
lift them up in your thoughts and prayers.
Until next time, be a witness for our Lord with the ministry decals
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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.
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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
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