Category Archives: Racing With Jesus Ministries

Rules (cont)

By Rev Don Rivers

Rules supply the framework of the world we live in. We have an interesting thought about who the rules apply to though. Many think the rules are something for us to take into consideration.  I am pretty confident the Ten Commandments weren’t intended to be the ten suggestions. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

There is said to be a golden rule; the man with the gold rules. It is very true in racing, the one with the deepest pockets has the ability to search and find the latest and greatest technology that pushes the envelope of the rules looking for an advantage. That is the nature of the beast, winning! When they find an advantage the rules are revisited and usually adjusted to level the playing field. And the chase is on.

Sometimes the real race is finding the advantage and holding it for as long as you can before others catch on. Take a walk through the garage area and you’ll see cars that have covers on certain parts. Did the team find something and they don’t want you to see it? Maybe they didn’t but they want you to think they did. Ever notice when something is hidden you want it even more.

In the beginning God created the Garden of Eden, a wonderful place for Him and his creation, us, to spend time together and live. He only had one rule; don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Just one tree in all of paradise. You have everything you need in abundance but there was that tree. God does not constrain us from making decisions on our own and as it is recorded Adam and Eve were tempted and succumbed to the temptation of eating from that tree. And the rest is history!

I think it is like that sign; Wet Paint; you just have to go over and touch it. Racers know all too well, when they are told something is off limits they are drawn to wonder why. But they don’t stop there, racers wonder if it really means what it says. Furthermore, how close can we get without crossing the line? I’m pretty sure Adam and Eve were like racers, that tree had no chance. Let’s just see what all this forbidden fruit is all about. That’s the deal, they make rules we find a way around them.

Well, when it comes to these ten rules I am pretty sure of what the consequences are for disobedience; disqualification! Thank God for Jesus and forgiveness. But these rules have more to them than just obedience, they come with the promise of blessing, God’s blessing. I haven’t met too many people who do not want God’s blessing. There is a catch, God’s blessing comes when we live a life that honors God. That is to say we live within the framework of His rules. Don’t misunderstand, there is forgiveness for our disobedience, but forgiveness doesn’t remove the consequences our disobedience created. Our decisions affect others and not necessarily in a good way. We are reminded;

1Corinthians 10:23-24; NLT; You say, “I am allowed to do anything” —but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.

We need to be conscious of how our actions influence others. I’ve heard it said, “Do as I say, not as I do” but that isn’t an effective way to show people the right way to live. So much so that we even have a living example in the life of Christ on how to live in a way that honors God. The Ten Commandments provide the foundation on which to build a life that recognizes God and honors Him.

Let’s dig in, here’s the simple list and I’ll expand on each one when we get there.

The 10 Commandments:

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall not make idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.

Let’s take a look at the top of the list.

Exodus 20:1-2; NLT; “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.

“You must not have any other god but me.

Deuteronomy 5:2-6; NLT; “The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Mount Sinai. The Lord did not make this covenant with our ancestors, but with all of us who are alive today. At the mountain the Lord spoke to you face to face from the heart of the fire. I stood as an intermediary between you and the Lord, for you were afraid of the fire and did not want to approach the mountain. He spoke to me, and I passed his words on to you. This is what he said:

“I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.

“You must not have any other god but me.

This one sets up all the rest, There is one God, the God of creation revealed in the Holy Scripture. Without this belief and understanding nothing in the world He created will make sense. There has to be a creator, unlike what some believe we didn’t get here by accident, or by some man-devised thought process of evolution. How can we be sure of this?

Go into your shop, grab a bolt, a nut and a washer, any one. Put them in a bag and shake them until the washer goes on the bolt and the nut threads itself. How long will it take? If they are not a matched set, never, but if you think about putting in a matched set you prove my point, you are choosing what goes in the bag, you become god of the bag, you are the creator. Are you starting to see the point? Nothing comes together without an outside force making some creation decisions.

“I am the Lord your God…you must have no other god but me.”

Rules to live by, I am looking forward to exploring them further. 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.

Rules

By Rev Don Rivers

Rules supply the framework of the world we live in. We actually feel much more comfortable when we are given a framework to live within. We find comfort and security within these rules. We can find rules to live by in God’s Word. What rules do we live by? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I saw a post the other day asking if the rules for a certain division had been released yet. I happen to be on a mailing list and I receive rulebook changes during the season. I often wonder why rulebooks are printed in racing, the minute someone finds a creative interpretation they change the rules. The challenge comes with hitting a moving target. When the rules aren’t stable they create confusion and confrontation.

That brings up the subject of technical inspection, the way the officials find out if the racecar conforms to the rules. There have been some places where the rules are just suggestions and you can “run what you brung”. There are others that hold the teams to the letter of the law, no flexibility. Depending on where you race depends on how you prepare your car. You are in for a rude awakening when you think they won’t check and then they do. That just might cost you a race.

Maybe there ought to be one open division. A division with the most basic rules leaving most of the particulars up to the car builder. I miss the ingenuity and creativity we used to see. Can there ever be another Pinto revolution? I don’t think so but that’s a discussion for another day.

We do better when we have parameters to define where we can operate. Think about the road we drive on. They paint the rules on that road. The lines and colors define the lane we are allowed to drive in. We have confidence when we travel that if we stay in our lane we can travel safely. But what if they repaint the lines? I remember an episode of Seinfeld where Kramer adopted a road. He decided it was his road and he could repaint it the way he wanted. He did, confusing the drivers and causing accidents.

But why is it lines in parking lots don’t count? There are places where the rules are ignored and that causes confusion, anxiety and stress. We have to remember, when you enter a parking lot all rules are off, the lines mean nothing! I have been in places that have roads with marking similar to those in the US but they are not followed by the people that drive on them. I was told to just blow my horn and I could use whatever lane I wanted; even on the wrong side of the road. The rule there was, the one who blows his horn first has the right of way. You better make sure the horn works! I’ll give you one guess how traffic was. Chaos ensued.

We need rules. We need to follow the rules. Life needs to be bound by things that are always true, always dependable and always predictable. In the absence of that foundation we are lost. We have nothing we can count on and chaos ensues. God’s Word provides us rules to live by. Rules that give us hope and a future. Rules that will provide us with a fulfilled and satisfied life.

Deuteronomy 4:39-40, NLT; “So remember this and keep it firmly in mind: The Lord is God both in heaven and on earth, and there is no other. If you obey all the decrees and commands I am giving you today, all will be well with you and your children. I am giving you these instructions so you will enjoy a long life in the land the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”

I thought it might be good to take a look at some of those rules that God gave Moses for our benefit as part of our winter Bible Study. They are referred to as the Ten Commandments. God indicated it would be good for us to let these rules frame our life. Jesus also taught on these rules and we’ll look at that also.

I invite you to join me as we take a look at the rules that should frame our lives.  This is what Moses said about them.

Deuteronomy 4:5-8, NLT; “Look, I now teach you these decrees and regulations just as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy. Obey them completely, and you will display your wisdom and intelligence among the surrounding nations. When they hear all these decrees, they will exclaim, ‘How wise and prudent are the people of this great nation!’ For what great nation has a god as near to them as the Lord our God is near to us whenever we call on him? And what great nation has decrees and regulations as righteous and fair as this body of instructions that I am giving you today?

As my friend from Key Life Ministries, Steve Brown, is fond of saying “There are really only two Spiritual laws; there is a God, and you’re not him.” Therein lies the main reason why it is beneficial for us to heed the commandments God gives us. There are also other reasons but look at the passage above, it says if we obey, others will see us as wise and intelligent. Those are two character traits that I think we should all desire. We also learn that only God’s commandments are fair and righteous, no nation possesses those traits except the ones that obey God’s commands.

Here’s the list and I am sure most of us have heard them in some shape or form. You’ll find them in your Bible in Exodus 20 and repeated in Deuteronomy 5. Spend some time reflecting on them this week and we’ll talk about them.

The 10 Commandments:

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall not make idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.

Rules to live by, I am looking forward to spending some time exploring the meaning and implications behind each of these. 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 Goal

By Rev Doin Rivers

Have you set some goals for the upcoming year? We are in the habit of using the beginning of the year as a time to change, make commitments to be better. We use this new beginning to set some new goals. What is the goal? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Racing gives us a unique opportunity to put the past behind us and look ahead to the future. A new season, a new slate, an opportunity to set aside last year and look ahead. What improvements can we make? What is our goal?

Goals are different for each race team, but we all strive to be better this year than last. I don’t think anyone says, “Let’s see if we can finish behind where we did last year.” I don’t think we even say, “Let’s see if we can do the same.” Even the champion wants to do better, win more races, set faster times. 

I think the same can be said about life, we all see room for improvement. The usual suspects, family, health, job, finances. They may prove to be elusive but there is one area we can focus on and make a difference, honoring God. The goal, to honor God, might seem abstract, let me simplify, how about if we strive to value what God values?  Let’s just focus on one thing, human life. Let’s simplify that even more, the goal is to not call anyone an idiot. Easy, right? Not so easy.

Matthew5:21-22NLT““You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.”

We are good at looking out for number one, but it usually means we mess a lot of other things up, mainly relationships; the way we treat others. It is not possible to focus on yourself and at the same time be aware and concerned about others. Building relationships means sacrificing your own wants and desires. When we focus on ourselves we lose focus on what is important to God, the lives of others.

Don’t fall into the trap of self-gratification and preservation that is not the way we are wired. We do not find satisfaction and fulfillment in building ourselves up, we will never get there. Think about it, are you ever thin enough, good looking enough, healthy enough? No? So what if we stop thinking of ourselves and turn our focus on others? There we can find true fulfillment and satisfaction when we get a different focus.

We can give encouragement, support, companionship, mentoring, the list goes on. It has one thing in common; time. If we stop spending our time focused on ourselves and look around we will find many opportunities to reach the goal. Remember the goal, no one is an idiot. I told you it wasn’t that easy.

Philippians3:12-14NLT“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

We are not there yet, but progress is something we can make every moment. Think about it. How easy it can be to value others before yourself. Hold the door, say thank you when served, let someone in line in front of you. Opps! I’m sure I struck a nerve with that last one. Somethings take more practice than others. The kicker is doing this even when they don’t deserve it. 

What are we practicing? Are we focused on the trinity of self: me, myself and I? Or maybe, just maybe each day we get a little closer to reflecting the grace and forgiveness we received from God. There is nothing quite like the feeling you get when you truly care for someone and put their interests above yours.

Forget the past, that is, the last time we referred to someone in a not so nice manner. It is good to remember we are not perfect either. Let’s press on toward the goal. Perseverance can come with many failures. If we got it right the first time we wouldn’t need it. But that’s okay, we learn more from our failures than our successes. 

Let’s set our goal high and make every effort to lift one another up. The personal benefits are greater than you could ever imagine. God’s Spirit in us produces wealth money can’t buy.

Galatians5:22-23a NLT; “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control….”

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.