Do you ever wonder sometimes where the resources we need will come from? God
is in the providing business. He provides for our needs and has been known
to provide blessings that overflow. His intent is that we would use the
overflow to provide for others. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior
What did you think when you read the
title of this weeks article? Did you think I was talking about a city in
Rhode Island ? Well, in a way I am. Providence received its name from Roger
Williams, a religious exile from Massachusetts , for him this was Godís
provision. Have we seen Godís hand provide for us?
When we focus on having the resources to race, what do we miss? Does God
provide what we want or does he provide what we need? I think there are
times, even when our world seems to be crashing down around us, that God
make a provision for us. That provision will require us to make a decision
about who are we serving. Who is more important in our life?
Hank Parker Jr. is not a household name because of a decision he made. At
home, instilled in him, were Christian values that would serve him well when
he had to make a difficult choice. His biography helps us understand how he
The Parkers are big on family, always have been. When Hank Jr. began
racing in the Busch Series, he did so in a car fielded by his father. The
team did the best it could through the 2000 season, and after that, Parker
turned to a team co-owned by Frank Cicci and Scott Welliver. It was with
them that he scored his two career victories, one each in 2001 and 2002.
Parker appeared headed for even bigger things. He made the lone Cup start
of his career for Ray Evernham late in 2002, completing 389 of 393 laps at
Rockingham and finishing 33rd. After that, he went to work on putting the
final touches on the deal that would've put him in a Roush Racing Ford for
the 2003 season.
Parker was testing a car that would have been his car at Daytona when
word came down that the sponsor was going elsewhere. You see Hank had made
it clear that he would not drive a car with a certain sponsor on the hood,
and they decided to go elsewhere. There were no other sponsors available and
Parker was out, almost for good.
He drove just six Busch Series races in 2003, three of them in a Dale
Earnhardt Inc. mount for his good friend Dale Jr. While Parker scored four
top-10 finishes in those half-dozen races, he has just one other start in
the series, at Nashville for Roush in a fill-in deal for Edwards.
While turning down a certain chance at stardom on the Cup series might
have deflated a lesser person, Parker was confident that moving away from
racing was Godís plan for his life.
"Seeing how God is in control has been amazing," Parker said. "There came
a point in time in my career where I really just laid down my career and my
life, and gave my life to Christ. God has changed so many things and my
perspective on things."
"I'm good ... I'm content," Parker said. "I actually had a phone call the
other day to see if I'd come back, and I felt really good about saying no.
... It was time to bow out. I feel like I gave it a good shot. I feel like I
gave it my best. A lot about racing is timing. Obviously, there are people
that were better than I was, but I feel like I did the best that I could.Ē
He decided to honor God in his decisions and let his life be led by the
values that he was taught about God. We see Godís provision when we allow
God to have priority over everything in our lives.
God has a provision for all of us, but it requires that we see things
through His eyes. It requires that we have His values. It requires us to
allow God to have full control over our lives.
James 4:13-17, Now
listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city,
spend a year there,
carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will
happen tomorrow. What is your life?
You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead,
you ought to say,
"If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you
boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.
James points out to us that when we make our
agenda and we live focused on it we bypass what God would have us do. Even
if we plan on doing good things we miss the point if we are not doing what
God wants us to. I remember it this way, ďGet out of my way I am going to do
great things for God.Ē We can get so focused on what we think is right that
we lose sight of what is going on around us.
We see it in racing, teams are so intent on winning they will do almost
anything. They justify the means by the result. How do we live our life? Do
we think we can live anyway we want as long as we do something good.
If we have faith we will depend on God to provide our direction. When we
start to think that we know what is best then we start down the wrong road.
Depending on God isnít easy because it means relinquishing control of our
life to Him. Letting God have control means that we will have to stop living
on our agenda and live on His.
Let me challenge you this week to stop and ask God for His provision.
Depend on God and He will lead you down the right road. The writer of
Proverbs puts it this way;
Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust
in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
We should make every effort to honor God in the
decisions we make. We should be ready to draw the line when we are asked to
compromise our beliefs for success. We should learn that some things are not
worth compromising our faith over. Make every effort to honor God in
everything you do.
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
A FAN - I sometimes get on my soapbox and say something that I think
needs to be said. I am not a fan of racing on Easter Weekend. We have
compromised too much in the name of our enjoyment. That does not serve God
well. I understand the need to run races and get the season started. I just
think there needs to be some times in our life that we say no.
It was difficult for me to know that we had Chaplains away from home
covering Saturday night races. They were there for the racers and the
families but I think it would be better if God was put first and honored.
Thank you to all of you who gave up time this past weekend to serve those in
the racing community.
I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW THE RAIN IS GONE - After standing in the
rain at two different tracks over the past four days, I donít think Iíll
need to shower for a couple of weeks. Wet and damp are two words that donít
go with racing and donít feel good when it describes what you are wearing.
But we persevered. Plans changed and schedules were adjusted and in the end
both races were run. Not necessarily under the best conditions, but we ran
the race, persevered through the challenges and we can move forward with the
schedule. I want to thank all of our dedicated personnel that remained
flexible and made adjustments to their schedules this past weekend; we
couldnít do it without you.
A SPRING CLASSIC - With the threat of rain the Sizzler took on
a new meaning, it wasnít a run some laps, get down to the last 50 and then
run all out to the finish. This one sizzled from the green flag; they were
racing to the 100 lap mark, just in case there was more rain to fall. That
challenged teams to adjust their strategy and make decisions on the fly. In
the end Bobby Santos rolled into victory lane after a side by side battle
with Doug Coby. Rowan Pennink followed in third. Woody Pitkat raced to a
fourth place finish despite not having low gear. That was not made any
easier with several late race cautions. Justin Bonsignore rounded out the
top five. The Whelen Modified Tour will be in action next right back at
Stafford Motor Speedway on Memorial Day Weekend.
I DIDNíT WIN THE MOST TRAVELED TITLE THIS PAST WEEKEND - I
travel many miles and many hours to get to the different races I need to be
at, but this past weekend I was outdone by K&N, Nationwide & Mexico Touring
Series driver Daniel Suarez.
Suarez competed Friday night at Richmond , hung around for the 9:00 am
K&N race on Saturday and then traveled to Monterrey , Mexico to compete in
the NMTS race where he has won three of the first four races. Suarez posted
a top 20 in the Nationwide race, suffered electrical problems in the K&N
race, not unexpected with all the fact that the cars sat outside, impounded,
in the rain for hours and he won the NMTS race. He has set the bar high but
I am up to the challenge, maybe I can do a Canada , America and Mexico
triple. I am off to check the schedules!
OHIO DOUBLE - While our NASCAR responsibilities take a break
this week I am off to play in the dirt, Eldora on Friday and Sharon Speedway
on Saturday is the plan right now. Iíll have my favorite race tourist with
me, Howie Hodge to keep me focused on the road. Sometimes you just have to
go to a race to watch!
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.
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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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