Category Archives: Racing with Jesus Ministries

Who Will Step Up?

There are times in life when we need to step up, step up to the challenge we face and accept greater responsibility. The time comes when it is necessary to own up to who we are and what we have done. Are you ready to step up? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The opportunity comes for you to move up to a new division, faster cars, better competition, longer races, are you ready to step up? Many times in our racing career we have decisions to make about stepping up to the next level. That comes many questions, am I ready, can I compete, will I be able to win?

In the racing world today many of those decisions are being made at a younger age. Some say too young, drivers haven’t had the chance to mature. There seems to be a plan set in place to move up the ladder. Moving up doesn’t necessarily mean we are ready to step up. Stepping up is a maturing process. Many of the decisions to move up are made for drivers by someone else; that adds the pressure to live up to someone else’s expectations. In a sport that is already full of challenging choices this just adds to the pressure to perform.

They say the first sign of maturity comes with the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left. That fact is lost on many who were born in the nineties and later because of the advent of digital radios and buttons for the volume. Suffice to say when we mature we realize that life doesn’t have to be lived at full volume, everything isn’t life or death and there are somethings that are better dealt with after we have had some time to think about it. The key to maturity is taking responsibility for your actions.

Maturity means stepping up and accepting the consequences for your actions. That isn’t the norm these days; too many times we want to blame things on something or someone else. When we refuse to accept the consequences because we made a decision that affected someone else we refuse to step up to the plate.

As we close out our Winter Bible Study and our look into Scriptures that help us understand what happens when we meet God face to face, let me encourage you to step up and take responsibility for yourself. You and you alone can decide to meet God face to face. No one else can do it for you. Isaiah had such an encounter, let’s take a look at how it went.

Isaiah 6:1-8; In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

  “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;

    the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”

Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

There are a few things we can learn from Isaiah that will help us understand who God is and help us prepare to step up.

First, Isaiah had an idea what God looked like. Would we recognize him if we were standing before God? Do you remember the movie Bruce Almighty? Do you remember the bum on the street corner? Do you remember that at the end of the movie you could see who he really was? Sometimes what we see isn’t what is really there. There is a difference between looking through God’s eyes vs our eyes, feeling with God’s heart vs our heart and listening with God’s ears vs our ears. Would we recognize God if we saw Him?

Second, Isaiah knew he was a sinner. He knew he was not worthy enough to be in God’s presence. Sometimes we are not honest with ourselves and we think we are something we are not. Have we taken responsibility for the decisions we have made in our life?

Third, Isaiah knew that sin has no place before God. We sometimes think that we can have sin in our lives and still serve God. God is just and sin is not something He allows in His presence. We need to make every effort to live lives free from sin. We need to live in a way that honors God.

We can’t however be good enough to remove our capacity to sin. No matter how good we are there is still that nature in us to sin against God. We still need something to make us worthy to be in God’s presence.

Fourth, God made a provision to remove Isaiah’s sin. He cleansed him and made atonement for his sin. God also made a provision to forgive our sin, Jesus Christ. Jesus came and gave his life to atone for our sin. He submitted himself to death on the cross, a perfect sacrifice for our imperfection. Through Him we can be forgiven and have a personal relationship with God.

Fifth, Isaiah responded when God called. How many times do we come up with excuses when God calls? We tend to look for someone else to answer, surely he doesn’t mean me. Isaiah wasn’t perfect, he was willing, why? He was willing because of the forgiveness he received from God. God did not condemn him for his sin, he made atonement for it. The same is offered to us as a gift from God in Jesus Christ. When we receive Jesus we are then ready to do the work God has prepared for us to do. Will we step up and accept the challenge? Other people’s lives depend on it.

Who will step up? Like Isaiah, will we recognize God, acknowledge him, take responsibility for our actions, receive his forgiveness and let Him guide our way? When we do that we have a new lease on life. Our eternal destination is secure and we can focus on the journey. The journey the God leads us on.

Ephesians 2:8-10; For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

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.

Ya Gotta Believe

Growing up one of my favorite teams was the New York Mets. I remember the Miracle Mets, 1969 version; Seaver, Koosman, Agee, Kranepool, Harrelson, Jones, Ryan, and McGraw to name a few. To a boy of nine they were bigger than life. What stuck with me most was the line Tug McGraw coined, “Ya Gotta Believe”. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I have had the pleasure of participating in some special racing events, one being the “Shane Race for Fun” charity event. It’s all in the name of Fun for Safety. The Shane Hammond Believe Foundation has been established as a 501c(3) to assist drivers with safety education & equipment options for all divisions. This is an opportunity to race against the best and the worst whether it’s your pit crew, racing buddy, fans, friends or family. Race for FUN! WHEN: March 30, 2019 WHERE: X1 BOSTON 290 Wood Road, Braintree, MA 02184. It is a tremendous event for a great cause. Go to www.shanehammondfoundation.org/ to register. In the name of the foundation we find encouragement, Believe.

To believe you have to have faith. Faith in something you cannot see, something you cannot touch, but you know it when you have it. Faith is trusting in what you know in your heart to be true. Like sending your car in, full tilt and knowing it will stick. I am reminded of the definition of faith that we find in Hebrews.

Hebrews 11:1, Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

As a driver gets into their car, turns the motor over and sends it into turn one, that’s faith for a driver. Some drivers go over the car with a fine tooth comb to eliminate any doubt they may have that the car is ready to run. I remember watching a driver check every bolt and nut. I thought that was a tedious thing to go through so I asked him why. He indicated that he takes full responsibility for the car being ready. He didn’t want anyone on the crew to feel responsible if something broke or wasn’t secure. As the driver he would bear the weight of making sure the car was ready to race. He put his faith in himself.

That works on a smaller scale but life is larger than that. We put our faith in others every day. Think about the next intersection you approach. There is another car approaching. We have to trust that their car is in good shape. We hope their brakes work. The fact today is we hope they are paying attention. I have been in that situation where I had to take evasive action because another driver didn’t yield at a rotary. As a result I now have a dash cam to use when I am traveling. We place our life in the hands of others countless times every day; just think gas station sushi, the ultimate of faith on the road.

Three words that are connected together and form the basis for everything we have in Christ are trust, faith and belief. When we trust Christ with our lives and we put our faith in Him, that process is called belief. “Ya Gotta Believe.”

Romans 10:8a-10,NLT, And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.

Trust, Faith and Belief in Christ will change the direction of your life. I have been writing on the subject for several weeks now; how when we come face to face with the living God we don’t leave the same way we came. Why? Ya Gotta Believe.

Think about the Woman at the well and her response to the realization she was in the presence of our Lord and Savior. She understood He was offering her grace, forgiveness for her sin and eternal security, a personal relationship with our Lord. She ran to the very people she was trying to avoid and proclaimed, come meet the man that knows me better than I know myself.

John 4:39, NLT, Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” 

When we truly see God we see what He can do in our lives. We see that He knows us. We see the life He wants to provide for us. When we place our trust and faith in Him we are changed, we become a new creation; we are born again. Not a physical birth, but a spiritual birth. The Holy Spirit enters our heart. The Holy Spirit guides us, helps us decide what is right, shows us the right way to go and many other things we need to know.

One of the benefits of belief is forgiveness, when we place our belief in Christ and confess our sins, we are forgiven. Jesus sacrificed His life on the cross to make our forgiveness possible. Listen to how John puts it;

John 3:16-17, “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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Whoever believes, did you see that in there? God explains very simply that it is a matter of belief. Will we put our trust and faith in Him? I guess the question that comes to mind is; who else would we put our trust and faith in? The answer is ourselves.

We think we know all the answers and can make decisions that will guide and direct our lives. We can but they will not lead us to the most abundant life. They will eventually lead us down a path of discontent and possible destruction. Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.

I would encourage you this week to believe. Put your faith and trust in God. Ask him to come into your life, forgive your sin and guide your life. He will honor that request and you will be changed, you will be saved, you will be born again. Ya Gotta Believe!

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.

How’s Your Focus

Have you ever noticed that you can be so focused on something that you miss the gorilla in the room? My wife tells me all the time that I can’t find things that are right under my nose. I think we all suffer from proximity blindness. How focused are we? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

Being successful at the track requires focus. The teams that are focused on the task at hand come out on top. They are the ones that can put everything aside and get down to the business at hand. How easily are we distracted from our mission?

Sometimes it isn’t about focus. We can be the most focused person on earth, we just happen to be focused on the wrong thing. Think about it, have you ever been so focused on something that you didn’t even notice that someone was talking to you? Guys this is what happens when you get so involved in a sporting event on TV and your wife wants you to help decide which pattern looks better. We can be so focused on something we forget what is truly important.

As we continue studying our passage about the woman at the well we see the disciples were focused on something but not the most important thing. Do you remember how we started? “He had to go through Samaria.” Did you ask yourself why? They had to go through Samaria to bring the good news of the Gospel to the people there. The disciples were just focused on getting through Samaria to Galilee.

John 4:31-38; Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”

But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”

Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Do you not say, `Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying `One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

You see the disciples were focused on finding food to give them strength to continue the journey to where they were going. Jesus however was already there. Jesus came to Samaria to proclaim the Gospel. The disciples were so focused on where they thought they were going that they forget what was really important, to touch the lives of others on the way.

Have you ever been so focused on the destination that you forgot to enjoy the trip? Don’t go through life so focused on the destination that you miss all the blessings God has for you along the way.

Jesus explained to the disciples that the fields were ready to harvest, places that they haven’t even been before. He explained that they needed to open their eyes and see what God has prepared for them to harvest. We need to look beyond our own world, our own focus and see what God sees.

We need to look beyond our focus, look beyond our destination and see the people around us. We need to take a break, stop our journey and look around. Change the lives of people we meet along the way. What are we focused on?

“I said it before and I’ll say it again, life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around you might miss it.” Ferris Bueller

RACING FOR A GREAT CAUSE – The Shane Hammond Believe Foundation once again will host the “Shane Race for Fun” on tap for Saturday, March 30 at X1 Boston, 290 Wood Road, Braintree, MA. This is your chance to chance to race against all those bench racers who think they know how it’s done. To top it off all the proceeds go to support safer racers and racing. The Shane Hammond Believe Foundation is a 501C3 established to assist drivers with safety education and equipment options and is open drivers in all divisions. Make your plans to be there. Space is limited so go to www.shanehammondfoundation.org and sign up today.

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.