I was reading a story the other day that reminded me of Hank Parker Jr. and
the testimony he gave at an event I attended. It made me ask myself if I
make decisions based on what honors God. What do we consider when we make
life changing decisions? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus
As I read some of Hanks story it made me think about where I would draw
the line. I hope that I could have the faith that he demonstrated when he
had a decision to make. It is important the foundation we build our life on.
Hank Parker Jr. is not a household name because of what he was taught at
home. His Father instilled in him Christian values that would serve him well
when he 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 mad 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 God’s 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's people
that were better than I was, but I feel like I did the best that I could.”
He decided to honor God in his decisions and let his life be led by the
values that he learned from his father. He knew that God had to be number
one priority if his life was to have any significance.
I am reminded of the nation of Israel and their journey in the Promised
Land. The people that inherited the land had their faults but they were
getting better. Some would say they learned from their forefather’s
mistakes. That didn’t remain the case as we find out when we read in
Jeremiah 7:26; (Amplified Bible), Yet the people would not listen to and
obey Me or bend their ears [to Me], but stiffened their necks and behaved
worse than their fathers.
If we stay the same and do not learn, we move away from God.
A father out for a walk with his son, met and old friend he had not seen
“Fine boy you have,” said the friend. “I hope he grows up to be as good a
man as his dad.”
On the surface the compliment should encourage, but the father knew that
his son needed to be more than that.
The father answered, “I would be ashamed of him if he does not become a
much better man that his dad.”
Therein lies the secret, we need to spur our children on to a greater and
deeper respect for God than we have. We need to help them understand the
challenges we faced and help them learn from them.
The boy was amazed at his father’s choice of words, he look up to his dad
and thought he was the best man on earth. Then he began to realize the
lessons he learned from his father. Many were because his father had
experienced difficulties, made wrong choices. From those lessons his father
showed him the right way to go.
He taught his son how to lead his life, because of the mistakes he made
and the lessons he learned. He taught his son that he wasn’t the authority,
he too answered to his Father in Heaven. He taught his son that in all
things we need to prepare and run in such a way as to win. Each generation
can improve on the succeeding one when they are taught to look to God and
honor Him. God must be number one.
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. We should teach our children that some things are not worth
compromising our faith over. Make every effort to honor God in everything
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
BOSTON LOUIE - July 1 is the date,
Seekonk Speedway is the place. NEMA Midgets and Lites join with the mighty
ground pounding Tour-Type Modifieds to put on a pre Fourth of July show at
the Concrete Palace.
I am looking forward to taking in the action as Ken Schrader, Bentley
Warren and other top names invade the regulars on the NEMA circuit for this
prestigious event. I was talking with Bobby Seymour the other day about the
event and you could see the excitement on his face. For those who know Bobby
he holds his cards pretty close to his chest. It was encouraging to see the
This event has been moved around the schedule the last few years looking
for a good fit. I think the Open Wheel Wednesday Show may just be that fit.
This event is steeped in tradition, honoring the Patriarch of the Seymour
family and Midget racing throughout the country. I am hoping it has found a
date that can be looked forward to each season.
We will be there supporting the event, the Mods and NEMA. Make your plans
today to join us. There is no better way to kick off the holiday weekend
than with some live racing.
RIVERHEAD #1 - Last Saturday night the Mighty Mods step back in
time invading the ¼ mile bullring in Riverhead, Long Island. For those of
you who haven’t made that turn into the parking lot you have missed a
transformation into days gone by. Riverhead, surrounded by new development
with shining facades the changes are evident, but the short trip down the
drive puts it all behind you.
The last holdout of the glory days of Modified racing on Long Island this
will be the place to be Saturday night. Come, bring the family, like going
to the drive-in, support a time honored Saturday night at your local track.
RWJM BENEFIT - It is never too early to plan ahead. We are looking
at the schedule in late August for a date to welcome you all to our new
home, Mt. Carmel Christian Church in North Haven, CT. Please look for the
formal announcement and make plans to enjoy a great day with us. We are
looking to have some race cars and would welcome yours if you would offer it
to us. Also, we will be having some food and fun for the whole family. Thank
you for your continued support, it is tremendously encouraging.
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.
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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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