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  The Chrome Horn - Racing With Jesus Ministries

   09/20/2013


FINISHING THE RACE
by Rev. Don Rivers
 

   We come to the closing weeks of another racing season. In the pressure of achieving our goals we can lose focus on the things that matter. Sometimes we donít respond in a way that honors God. We need to remember, even in the heat of the moment, that we belong to God. We need to remember that we need to reflect his character not ours. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

   One of the most challenging things to do in racing is to keep your composure when everything around you is going crazy. Learning how to do that is difficult. It requires that we endure situations that test us and strain us. But when we develop that composure we go a long way toward responding in a way that honors God.

   What does it take to win a race? As we think about that letís decide if our thoughts are valid. I thought, you need a fast car, but the fastest car doesnít always win. I thought, you need a car that can get out front and lead, but the car that leads the most laps doesnít always win the race. I thought, you need the skills and talent to drive a racecar, but the most skilled driver doesnít always win. I then thought surely that a skilled team that can make the necessary changes during the race would win, but the best team doesnít always win. Well as you can see it is difficult to put your finger on the necessary ingredients to win.

   What does it take to win? I guess that depends on the race you are running.

   To run a race at the track we need all the things mentioned above, we need them to come together on race day but that doesnít guarantee victory. We need to run the race. We also need to finish the race. Things will happen as we run the race that will have a significant impact on the outcome. If we donít finish we can never win.

   Running the race properly involves responding to situations in a way that honors God. If we do not handle ourselves correctly we will not finish the race. How should we run to ensure we will finish? Listen to what Paul writes.

1Corinthians 9:24-27, Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

   I am reminded of the story of David and Goliath. If we look at the two competitors the race was over before it began. On one side we have the giant Goliath, an experienced fighter and intimidating. On the other side we have a Shepard boy with no armor, just his sling and staff. There was however something that tipped the scales in Davidís favor; God. Goliath fought with his own strength and power. David fought not only with his strength and skill, but also with the blessing of God. You see to run the race in a way as which to win, you must race within the will of God.

   Paul points out three things that are important. God blesses us when we follow His direction. When we choose to take things on with our own strength and understanding we are not running in a way as which to win.

   Donít run aimlessly. In order to finish the race we must know where the finish line is and the way to get there. God provides a direction for us. Seek Him out and follow His guidance. He is the best crew chief going.

   Donít fight against things that are not there. Too many times we spend our energy worrying about things that havenít even happened. We get anxious and try to predict the future, donít get caught up chasing the shadows of things that are not there. Deal with what is real and use the wisdom and strength of God.

   Donít be disqualified. We can reason our way out of doing the things that are right. We find excuses to justify the choices we make. We cannot let ourselves give in to our selfish desires, but instead we must do what is right. We can justify anything we do with many reasons, but that doesnít make it right. We must do what is right in the eyes of God.

   Paul adds that there is a way to respond that honors God. We need to reflect the character of God when we run the race. Only then can we have victory when we finish the race.

Ephesians 4:1a-3, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

   Many times we race against competitors who are full of themselves. They strut around like they are so great. They are full of pride and arrogance. I am here to tell you if you get drawn into that thought process you will never experience the joy of victory. Donít get me wrong you can still be competitive and a tenacious combatant and still honor God. The secret is not to think more of yourself than you ought to. Look at David and how he was able to be victorious over Goliath.

   Goliath laughed at him when he walked on the battlefield. Goliath insulted him and the nation he represented. Goliath didnít take him seriously. David wasnít defeated by the arrogance of Goliath. He placed a rock in his sling and flung one stone striking Goliath in the forehead and killing him.

   We need to remember what we have been called to and run the race in a way that will honor God. We will not wilt when the circumstances seem to be overwhelming, the pressure seems too much. Whatever we do will prosper, we will taste victory. Look forward to experiencing Godís blessings. Run in such a way as to win! Finish with the blessing of God.


THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD

   A DEAR FRIEND AND SUPPORTER - Spencer Leavitt Bowen, 88, went peacefully home to be with the Lord on Sept. 17, 2013. He was a life long resident of Eastford, Ct. Spencer was an honest and trusted business man running/working in the family business, Bowen's Garage in Eastford, for more than 75 years. He worked everyday until Sept. 2008 when he retired at the age of 83. He was a long time member of Eastford Baptist Church , where he served as Deacon, head usher and bell ringer for many years. He was a member of the Gideon's Northeast Camp for over 35 years.

   He is survived by his beloved wife of 67 years Arline (Marvin) Bowen, his children Nancy and Carl Norman of Woodstock, Ct, Marjorie and Steve Krug of Catonsville, Md, Stephen and Diana Bowen of Eastford, Ct, his grandchildren, Jason and Melissa Norman of Elizabethtown, Pa, Michael and Jenn Norman of Eastford, Ct, Joanna and Rich Fitte of Woodstock, Ct, Alexandra Krug of Ashville, NC, Rebekah and Ryan Ciliax of Catonville, Md, Jonathan and Carriel Bowen of Eastford, Ct, 7 great grand children, his sister Betsy Erickson, and many nieces and nephews.

   He was predeceased by his sister Nancy Ann, and his brothers, Charles and Russell.

   Spencer's memorial service will be held on Monday September 23rd at 6pm at Eastford Baptist Church at 133 Union Road in Eastford , CT. The service will be followed by an ice cream social in honor of Spencer. The garage will close at 3pm that day.

   Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Bowenís Family.

   NEMA AT OSWEGO - Tara Stoehr sent in this report from NEMAís visit to Oswego:

   Oswego Speedway; winding down the season. Three races left. What a great, safe weekend. Oswego is a class act! All divisions in the infield, everyone unloaded their trailers and parked them out in the parking lot. The show moved along nicely, great racing!

   At the Driver's meeting I shared; Racing with Jesus Ministries was founded back in 1980 by the late Rev Pat Evans-His vision was to be a racers church. One of the reasons it's called the racers church is because for many of us this is the only church we attend during the week. You don't "need" a building to have a church. Scripture says God values devoted obedience far more than adherence to religious regulations. It's about a relationship with Him, not a religion. God is concerned with our hearts. So what is the condition of your heart these days?

   I read once that "the human heart was not created to be a container for hate". When there is hate, bitterness, anger there is also conviction. You may be able to fool other people, but you can't fool God. God's conviction is his way of trying to lead us toward a contrite heart, broken and humbled before Him, which will lead us to repent and turn to him. You don't have to earn His acceptance or work for his care. When you spend time in His presence he teaches you His ways and how to live each day. Thank you God that you did not send your son into the world to judge the world but that the world might be saved through Him, so when we put our faith and trust in Jesus we will have life eternal, we will never be perfect but we will have joy, peace, hope and direction when we follow Him!


   Thanks Tara for that report.

   LIVES CHANGED - As I read a report this week from one of our Chaplains I found it interesting how many lives we touch through our outreach. It is important for us to remember that no matter where we are there are lives for us to touch. Let share a little about the lives we touch.

   A driver and his girlfriend searching for direction in life and their relationship have found that direction and made changes in their schedules to make a place for God.

   An Official needing comfort and prayer for family members that are suffering with the difficult medical conditions found comfort and prayer in the presence of one of our Chaplains.

   A team member who is a faithful chapel attendee and Christian was questioned at work about his faith and was able to share why he races and what the presence of RWJM means to the competitors.

   As we continue to reach out to those in the racing community there are a few we need to lift up in prayer. K&N Official Steve Nestroyl is headed back to the doctor for some additional tests as a result of what they saw in a checkup. Also Tinker, crew member with the #99 Tour Modified of Jamie Tomaino, is entering chemo and radiation treatments for his condition.

   We are in the business of changing peopleís lives. We are here to help. Do not hesitate to call on us.

   RIVERHEAD REVISITED - One thing was evident as we came back to Riverhead for our second visit, the more laps you have at this place the better your chances of winning. The front of the field was loaded with Riverhead regulars and Tour drivers who cut their teeth driving Mods on the quarter mile bull ring. The one exception was Ryan Preece, but he made up for lost time this year by running at Riverhead every week he had the chance to. That strategy has proved successful as he has swept the last three tour races on the Island .

   Saturday night he and Timmy Solomito waged an epic struggle for the top spot as caution flags ruled the night. Each restart saw these two side by side, lap after lap. Eventually Preece got by with the laps winding down to take the victory.

   This wasnít a race for the ages, but it is Riverhead and sometimes this is how it plays out. As was said by some competitors, you take what you get and press on to the next race. They wonít have to wait long, Thursday the haulers roll into New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Weíll see both the K&N and Whelen Modified families in New Hampshire ; should be a great time at the track.

   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.

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

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   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: September 20, 2013

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