Category Archives: Racing With Jesus Ministries

Blessed

By Rev Don Rivers

Do we realize what we have? Think about the time we spend involved with racing. Think about the blessings we have to be at the track. How about the other blessings in life; family, friends, house and home? Do we realize the value of it? We are blessed. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

Do we value the time we spend living life? We put a tremendous amount of effort into racing and preparing to run the race but do we stop to appreciate it? One of the dangers we face is looking ahead to the next event on the calendar and not appreciating this one, this moment, this place, these people, this day.

Psalm 118:24; (NIV), The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.

To realize the value of ten years: Ask a newly Divorced couple.
To realize the value of four years: Ask a graduate. 
To realize the value of one year: Ask a student who has failed a final exam.
To realize the value of one month: ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of one week: ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of one minute: ask a person who has missed a train, bus or plane.
To realize the value of one-second: ask a person who has survived an accident.
 

I was that person who missed being killed by a split second. I was at a stop sign in an intersection and heard a siren.  I noticed a police car with its lights on coming from my left. I proceed to pull through the intersection to clear it, getting out of the way I pull over into a driveway on the side of the road. What I didn’t see was the car the officer was chasing as it sped away from the officer. It swerved to miss the cars at the stop sign, passed between my car and those stopped, lost control, hit the side of the road, flew through the air, took out a bus stop enclosure, and rolled over several times before coming to rest on its roof. A split second and I would have been broad sided by that car. We need to realize how valuable the time is that we have.

Time is precious and does not stand still. There is no force we know of that can stop the march of time. We need to value every moment we have.


 
To realize the value of a friend or family member: LOSE ONE.


We need to stop procrastinating and looking down the road. We need to stop and cherish what has been given to us. How many of us are guilty of looking past today and wanting what tomorrow brings? When we do that we fail to see the blessings that we have right here, right now. We are condemned to look back and say what if…..

How much would change if we only took the time to realize what we have? How much more peace and joy would we have if we only took the time to appreciate each moment? Don’t get to the end of your life and wonder what would have happened if you did things differently. Through Jesus Christ we can secure our future so that we can have peace in each moment.

We all want to get somewhere in life. We all want to accomplish something. We all have our sights set on attaining things in the future.

One thing that we can secure now that will change our focus forever is securing our eternal destiny. Billy Graham asks the question; “How sure are you that if you died today you are of going to heaven.” Well, are you one hundred percent positive you will be in heaven if the call came today? You can be.

We all have issues; we haven’t lived a perfect life. We all have made choices that don’t honor God. We all like to think we are good but the fact remains we fall short.

Let me ask you; have you told more than 20 lies in your life? Have you ever taken something that belongs to someone else, even a little thing? Have you ever used God’s name in vain? Jesus said if you look at someone with lust in heart you have committed a sin, have you ever looked at someone with lust in your heart? Well when you look at things that way we are blaspheming lying thieves with lust in our hearts.

Scripture tells us

Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

But

Romans 5:8, “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Titus 3:5, “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.”

What do you think will happen when we stand before God? Scripture tells us if we are guilty of these things we will end up in hell. That is not where we want to be, eternally separated from God and His goodness. We can fix that, God made a provision through Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 10:9-10, “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Are we ready to accept the gift of eternal life that Jesus is offering, to secure our future that will allow us to be at peace?

We must acknowledge that we are a sinner in need of a Savior – this is to repent or turn away from sin. We must believe in our heart that God raised Jesus from the dead – this is to trust that Jesus paid the full penalty for our sins. We must confess Jesus as our Lord and our God – this is to surrender control of our life to Jesus. We then receive Jesus as our Savior forever – this is to accept that God has done for us and in us what He promised.

A Prayer for Salvation

“Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and I do not deserve eternal life. But, I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever. Jesus, come into my life, take control of my life, forgive my sins and save me. I am now placing my trust in You alone for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life. Amen”

Please share with us if you made a decision to accept the gift of life that God offers. We would welcome the opportunity to rejoice with you. Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.

The Journey

By Rev Don Rivers

Last time I talked about looking back over the season and seeing how God has blessed. As I looked forward to this weekend, I found myself following that advice. Sometimes you need to step back and reflect before you can really see things clearly. Between Bristol and St. Louis I spent a little time away from the racing world with my daughter. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

One of the challenges in racing is that most of what we do is done when the weather is the best. This summer has had no shortage of glorious days. With those days come plenty of opportunities to head out to the track somewhere. It is difficult on many counts to stay home and rest. I am thankful for the understanding my family gives me to reach out to others, but there comes a time when we need to prioritize things.

It is no secret that the family unit is high in the pecking order of God’s priorities. God has an order to things, they should go something like this, God, marriage, family, others then ourselves. Many times we get our priorities wrong. Notice there are a few things missing from the list. “Things” do not belong on the list of God’s priorities. Things are not important in God’s design, relationships are.

Also take a look at where taking care of ourselves falls. Most times when we get things out of balance is when we flip the list around, putting ourselves first. It is not in our best interest to place importance on ourselves. Selfishness is not an attractive quality.

Listen to what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount;

Matthew 6:31-33, (NLT); “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

The trinity of selfishness, me, myself and I, has no place in our lives and shouldn’t be our focus. God created us to serve. When we figure that out we start to understand what is truly important and fulfilling. We are called to serve, not to be served.

Matthew 20:28 (NLT); “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

I make this point to say that we do not always get things in the right order. Too many times our priorities get out of order. I am not saying we are not doing good things, but maybe we are not doing the best thing.

There is no such thing as a part-time Pastor; we are on call 24-7. I am amazed at how many cold dinners I have eaten because of a phone call or a person that needed to talk with me. I am not complaining but I hope in some way you might understand the demands on a Pastor’s time. Sometimes we need to remember our priorities and put things in the proper perspective.

We can read in God’s word that he provides for us when we need to take a break.

Matthew 11:28 (NLT); Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Psalm 23:2-3 (NLT); He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.

It is necessary to take a break once in a while, to get away from things and renew your strength. To rest and let the rat race run without you. I am thankful that we have grown in such a way that I am able to take that rest.

Racing with Jesus Ministries has been blessed this season with the addition of many new faces to help carry the torch. God has called Todd Heft, Tim Garrison, Rob Hamel, Scotty Frazier, Chris & Christine Minnich and others to serve Him here. They along with our group of existing and dedicated chaplains have been able to go more places and serve more people. We are also confident that God has others waiting in the wings to answer that call.

We now have several tracks and touring series that would allow us to place a Chaplain there if we had them. God has opened doors that were previously closed. God has provided personnel to meet the growing need of faith in the racing community and as we grow we continue to see more opportunities. God has truly blessed us.

A funny thing happened a few weeks ago that should not go unnoticed, we sent out a team of chaplains to a touring event. It may not seem like a milestone event but it is. We have trained up workers who go in the name of Jesus and minister. God has truly blessed. God has provided the workers to cover the events. Racing with Jesus continues to explore new horizons that allows us a greater reach. We continue to see the hand of God growing this ministry. We watch as His plan unfolds before our eyes. God has put His hand of blessing on us.

With this new growth comes new responsibilities and needs.  Racing with Jesus Ministries exists through God’s grace and those He leads to support us. Please pray about how you might partner with us and expand our ability to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the racing world. To provide support for our efforts please visit our website, www.rwjm.com and use the “Donate” tab.

I am excited about what God has in store for us. I am also excited about those of you He will call to partner with us. As His Word says,

“Nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37

Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.

Chemistry

By Rev Don Rivers

I know, I know, Chemistry, didn’t we study that in school. What does chemistry have to do with racing or God? More than we could imagine. When we get this right we will be amazed at how cohesive things can be. How is our lifestyle chemistry working out for us? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

As I shared last week we were going to take some time and look at relationships, the good, bad and the ugly. Believe it or not we each have relationships that fit into each category. That isn’t necessarily bad if we handle them the properly. Realizing what category the relationships we have fall under will go a long way to achieving success in each one.

I was talking with a young driver the other day and asked how things were going. The look on his face couldn’t hide his disappointment. Without saying a word he communicated to me there were difficulties in the relationship between him and his new team. Chemistry or lack thereof.

A little background, this kid is a promising up and coming driver. Up until this point in his career things have seemed to come easy. He is talented, runs up front, doesn’t trash the equipment, and finishes the race. His progress up the ladder was all planned and the future was there for the taking. What happened on the way to Cup? Reality.

Now I am a firm believer that difficulty and struggle are necessary components of developing into a mature, stable adult. Sometimes we would like to take the short cut around them in order to avoid the agony of defeat. I can tell you this; nothing ever worth winning ever tasted sweeter than when the road to Victory Lane traveled through difficulty and struggle. How can we know we are on the mountain top unless we have travelled through the valley of difficulty and struggle?

He shared with me the chemistry just wasn’t there. The equipment is good, the people have the skills, the driver has the talent, but the package just isn’t firing on all cylinders. Some adjustments need to be made. Now comes the struggle, the difficulty, what do we need to change?

Relationship are living, breathing organisms. They require feeding, nurturing and attention. Some things are beneficial to that growth and some are not. The process with which they grow is dependent on the effort put forth by those involved. They require honest assessment. They require an equal commitment.

We’ll get into some of those as we unpack the chemistry of relationships. We won’t cover it all today, but we’ll get there. I did want to set the stage for that discussion by talking about the relationship we can have with God through Jesus Christ. We can count on the fact that the one who knows how to live the most satisfying and fulfilling life is the creator of life itself. Having a relationship with Him will be the most beneficial thing we can do in our life.

Success at an early age in life isn’t just a recent phenomenon of stock car racing. It dates back to biblical times. David was about 13 years old when he tasted the sweetest victory he would know. With a sling and staff, seven smooth stones, he stepped out onto the battlefield and defeated Goliath. The boy would be king! But there was another thing he stepped out on the battlefield with, a relationship with the Lord God Almighty. The confidence of knowing God is with you can go a long way. Not only in victory, but in the difficulties and struggles of life.

David’s life wasn’t all mountain top victories. In fact much of his journey was spent getting through the difficulties and struggles he created for himself when he didn’t rely on God. He left us a beautiful passage of scripture to outline how that relationship with God defined his journey.

Psalm 23; NLT, The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.

You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil.

My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

David figured out that a relationship with God was all he needed to live life to the fullest. He had been estranged from God, He had tried his own way. He committed sins against God, adultery and murder. He knew what life was without God and he knew life wasn’t worth living apart from Him.

Let’s just take a moment to pull out some of the realizations that David discovered; provision, rest, peace, renewal, strength, direction, protection, comfort, celebration, identification, blessing, goodness, unfailing love and eternal dwelling. That’s a pretty good list. If we look close we see the things we desire when we build relationships with one another. Short of eternal dwelling everything on this list is achievable. We will spend some time sorting out the framework for building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships.

Although we would be hard pressed to attain perfection it is something we can strive for. We can always improve. It is only when we decide not to put forth the effort that things fall apart. This week Lynda and I celebrate 39 years of marriage. We have been together for 41 years. I can say with certainty that there have been days that we didn’t like each other very much, but the love we have for one another helped us persevere. We can look back and see how God has brought us through the difficulties and struggles. I can also say with certainty that if I hadn’t figured out what David did and turned to God we would not have made it this far. I was not the man or husband I needed to be. I thank God each day for his provision and loving care.

Let us not grow weary of doing what is right. Let us desire the things that fulfill and satisfy in life. Let seek out the Lord and His presence in our lives. Then we will have the right chemistry to be the person we need to be to build an abundant life that shows others the love of God.

Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.