With the New Year comes the opportunity to look back and
see the hand of the Lord on your life. What is difficult to see in the
moment becomes all too clear in hindsight. God is walking alongside each of
us and He wants only for us to reach out to Him. Greetings in the name of
our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Recently one of our Chaplains, Bobby Somers, lost his brother Joey.
As he reflected on that during the holiday season it caused him to reflect
on his own journey. He shared his very personal testimony with the hope that
it may help us all move closer to God.
As I Pondered the Years Past, Bobby Somers;
With the loss of my brother Joey so close to the holidays it
has caused me to look at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years in a very
different light. A very nice tree decorated by my wife Vinetta, but yet when
I gazed at the tree, a light or ornament felt missing. Where did my strength
come from? What gave me strength was not only family but Christ, the
strength He provided, knowing He was there along side me to help me keep
things all together and keep the great memories close.
The loss of my brother Joey was difficult for me, his past mirrored
many things of my own past. I sometimes struggle, was there something I
could have said and done that would have changed things. The fact remains,
we all have our paths designed by our own making. It’s when we decide to
step from that path and walk as Christ wants us to that change does happen.
We are scared, we don’t like change. My past life was very
troubling one of drugs and just living a very destructive life of “Oh well”.
One day during a one rehab stint of many, several of us were dropped off for
a meeting at an offsite building many miles away. It wasn’t that great of a
rehab facility, but God used it to start my life in a new direction. This
was the start of a new plan not put together by me.
The meeting was canceled and the van was not available to pick us
up and bring us back. The director told us if we wanted to come back we
could walk or wait. I had on very light clothing but I decided to make the
choice of walking back. I became cold and confused because I didn’t really
know where I was or how far I needed to walk. I became colder as I went,
walking faster but walking down the wrong streets just trying to figure out
the way back. I chose what I thought was a quick path and things would be
better, but the day just became worse. If I had only listened and waited.
As I walked passed people on the sidewalk I asked directions. Some
ignored my voice, others stated, “You have a long way to go.” I had come a
long way already and my path was just longer, troubling and more confusing.
I made it back cold, hungry and very mad. I signed myself out of the rehab
and was back on my own.
Then on a cold January day my life was changed by the very
beautiful voice of a little girl. It was my birthday and I decided to share
it with my daughter. When I arrived at her house a birthday cupcake and
candle awaited me. We shared some time and as I decided to leave, a hug and
these words “You’re the best daddy in the whole world”.
Those eight words broke me as I realized I wasn’t. My life needed
to change. I admitted myself back into the hospital; I spent the next three
months there. It was a gift given to me by my daughter, those words helped
change my life around.
Just two weeks into my stay I became very seriously sick and ended
up in ICU, I was unconscious for five hours, partially paralyzed and had the
vocabulary of a three-year-old. I was told I wouldn’t be going home that my
life now would be living in a nursing home. I cried for a very long time
after the doctors told me the news. The tears pouring down my face, and I
remembered what my daughter had said many days ago.
The hospital Chaplain came by one morning; she greeted me asking if
I would like prayer. I wasn’t a Christian but we became very close friends
during my stay in the hospital. She would read to me everyday, sit and
explain various parts of scripture for me to understand.
Every day like clockwork I would gaze up at the clock in my room
and know she would be coming soon to sit at my bedside and read. I started
to pray everyday. One thing I prayed to God for was that I wouldn’t turn to
drugs, that I would only use as prescribed.
I had ongoing therapy for speech and physical therapy everyday, On
some of the better days I realized I still had a ways to go. This pastor and
my daughter were two very special people guiding me back, but there were
three all along. God was also there, helping me find my life again.
There were countless hours of ongoing visits from every staff
member just sitting and talking. I just didn’t see what was happening around
me. I enjoyed the visits and awaited the pastor every day; it was my
favorite time of day.
It’s the simple things in life we need to acknowledge, looking at
all the bad minutes in a day we become smothered and feel no hope. For three
months, I started to see the tears of others, the pain I have caused and
realized I was still loved. There were nights where staff would just sit at
my bedside, I always wondered why so many stayed to chat, yet I had
troubling speaking but it was the miracle of what they were seeing.
When I could talk for a little bit I would get on the phone to say
hello to my daughter and make up an excuse to end the conversation. Her
voice would give me strength, listening to a giggle or a story she shared.
We should listen to what others say and stop letting all the other noise be
I didn’t go to my daughter’s house on my own that afternoon; Christ
had those words ready for her to speak. On Any other day would those words
have meant anything? Maybe they were said but I never heard them? How many
times have your child, spouse and friend said something and never heard? How
many times have you heard someone say “are you listening to me, to what I am
Three months had passed and it was time to turn the page that
Christ had written. I sat in the wheelchair waiting to get discharged, it
was April. The staff gathered around to say their goodbyes. There were
smiles and tears and it was the beginning of the path Christ now had
It was scary to leave; I had become so close to all of these
people. As the Chaplain stood there alongside me, she smiled and said it was
time. I stood up slowly from my wheelchair and made several small steps on
my own. I continued on walking and turning back slowly with a wave, smile
There are many days I travel by that hospital and gaze up at the
window I looked out of for so many days. Sometimes, at a red light I will
stare with a little tear. It is just a reminder.
Don’t ever give up saying that prayer doesn’t work.
Don’t ever give up stating Christ doesn’t love you because of what
you done in your past.
Don’t give up in believing people around you love you or care about
Don’t make excuses for not going to Church or Chapel service at the
track. It may be the day an important message is provided for you.
Don’t give up reading scripture because you have too many other
things on your list to do.
Don’t give up “BELIEVING”.
This January birthday I will be 10 years clean, I am hoping my
testimony will be words of encouragement for you!
God Bless everyone and Happy New Year!!
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
As we look back on this past weekend we are encouraged, this was one of our
most successful shows. Thanks to Flamingo Racing, RPM Motorsports, Grimm
Racing and Green Flag Driving Experience for displaying your cars in our
Booth. Thanks also to Ryan Preece and Rowan Pennink for coming down on
Saturday to provide some autographs for the fans.
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
We apologize for Eddie MacDonald not being able to come; a late
decision to attend Daytona in a few weeks meant that Eddie had a lot of work
to do in the shop getting two cars ready.
We are looking forward to Atlantic City and the indoor races. Hope
to see you there.
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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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
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