Category Archives: Racing With Jesus Ministries

PEACE

Have we ever sat down and acknowledged our life was in God’s hands? I mean really relaxed and let His peace reign in our heart? Let the things of the day slip from our mind, our worry, anxiety, stress just melt away, calmed by the assurance that our lives are in good hands. Have we ever been at peace? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

Where do we think peace comes from? A win at the track, a great effort by the pit crew, a well-run race. We think peace equals happiness, when I am happy I will be peaceful. I don’t think that is quite it. Happiness is a moving target, there is always something more, something else we need to be happy. When we attain that thing, for a brief time, we are “happy”, then our mind starts to wander and our heart starts to pine for something new, something different.

Being at peace is not something we can make happen. We can try to stop doing things and stop going here and there, but the truth be told our insides are still churning. We are in constant motion searching, thinking, wanting, trying, activity that is difficult to stop. Being that way is a product of our environment. We have been taught that we have to make things happen, we have to be on the ball, we have to be one step ahead. That is not true.

Effort and doing our very best are important and extremely significant in our life. We miss the mark though when we think we can make things happen that are beneficial for our life. We cannot control the things that happen to us. We think we can, but in reality everyone else out there is doing the same thing. We collide like ping pong balls in a lottery machine and only one makes it up the chute.

Our thinking needs adjustment. We base peace on a state of contentment, an emotion. We think we attain peace when we have given our best effort and are satisfied with the result. That type of peace is fleeting. That type of peace only exists when things go the way we plan and meet our expectations.

True peace comes from one source, Jesus Christ. Peace is a confidence, an assurance that the person we have placed our trust and faith in is capable of handling whatever life throws at us. True peace comes when we surrender control and follow the lead of Christ. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He also knows what is beneficial for us. He can be trusted with our lives. When we do that we can then be at peace.

Think of it this way, when we need help we look for someone who knows more than we do. We look for a professional, be it a crew chief, mechanic, electrician, plumber, etc.; we go to someone who we think knows more about the situation that we do. We put our trust and confidence in them to solve the problem. There is a degree of peace we receive when we know someone who is capable has the situation under control. When that proves true we can relax, for a short time.

Conversely, when we trust someone and they prove they are not capable we are disappointed. We lose faith and trust. We struggle with finding someone else to help us. We may even try to handle it ourselves. After all we are taught to be independent.

Both situations lead us away from true peace. They lead us to putting our trust and faith in someone who is not able to handle the challenges we face. Whether it is ourselves or someone else, there is no one on this earth that can offer us true peace. There will always be doubt. And with doubt comes worry. And with worry comes anxiety. And with anxiety comes failure. And none of that leads to peace.

Jesus said in John’s Gospel

John 16:33; “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

“IN ME YOU MAY HAVE PEACE”

Peace is found in no one else. Jesus knows the challenges we face, he knows the temptation. He also knows what is in store for us tomorrow. He not only knows the future, he holds it in his hand.

“BUT TAKE HEART, I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD”

Jesus has been there and conquered the thing we fear most, death. He has overcome the day to day challenges we face. He knows the things we need and the things that are beneficial to living the best life possible. He is the creator of life itself.

We not only have hope in Christ, we also can find peace in Christ; a peace that when the whole world is crumbling around us will stand firm. A peace that we don’t understand, but a peace that will allow us to be free from worry, free from anxiety and free from guilt.

Isaiah 9:6, (NLT)

For a child is born to us,
    a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
    And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor,Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

This Christmas season we celebrate the coming of the Prince of Peace, don’t allow the world to swallow you up running from here to there trying to find happiness. It is not happiness that we need it is peace, a peace that only Christ can provide.

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.

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Hope

By Rev Don Rivers

As we begin the season of advent that leads up to the celebration of the birth of Christ I wonder what is on your Christmas List. The four cornerstones of Advent are Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. As we look forward with anticipation what is on your heart? What do you hope for? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

So what does a race team hope for? What do they need to get the job done? What do they need to take the get the shop to next level? We all have a wish list. It is different for each one. Some know exactly what they want and others are still searching for the answer. What is it that we want verses what we need?

What do we hope for? Many time we get want and need confused. We want this and that but the truth is we don’t need those things. Who remembers those things on your wish list that you couldn’t live without? I’ve had a few, some brought tremendous celebration but it didn’t last. It seemed there was always something to move on to.

As we look forward to the birth of Christ we find there is one thing that we can’t live without, Him!

John 1:1-4. NASB; In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Sometimes we don’t know what we need. Sometimes we don’t understand what is best for us. Peter, one of the Apostles, knew what it was to have hope in Christ. You see Peter knew what it was to be hopeless. He experienced both extremes, being a close companion of Jesus and being totally separated from him. He didn’t realize what he needed until he had pushed it away. When he denied Christ his heart mourned. He then knew the only hope he could have was through Christ.

Peter understood the difference that having Christ in your life makes. He knew that without Christ life was not worth living. Without Christ the blessing of God would not be on your life. Without Christ we have no hope.

We need to tell people of the hope we have in Christ. Peer knew that it was important for everyone to know that life is different when we put our hope in Christ. For those of us who have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior Peter gave us some instructions on how we should share that hope.

1Peter 3:8-10; Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

If we have a hope in Christ we will live like it, we will be humble, show compassion and sympathy. We will value what God values and be focused on the things of God. Let me ask, how has our life changed because we have hope in Christ?

Each of our lives has a story, we have a history. When we come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ our lives move in a different direction, changes are made, we turn and head down the road that leads to God.

We have three aspects of our lives that tell the story of hope. We have the person we were, when we lived by our own rules, when we directed our own path, when we determined what was best for us.

The next step along the journey is our encounter with Christ, someone, some place, somehow we are introduced to Jesus. We come to understand to hope, forgiveness and the life he offers. Our heart is led to accept the gift of His grace and we become a child of God.

Live begins anew, we are born-again. The life that God has for you begins and now you let God direct your path and determine what is best for you. We grow to understand that this is a life worth living; this is a life full of hope.

 The preparation for the coming Savior begin with hope, hope that comes with a fresh start. The world only has hope when we take Christ to them. We need to share that hope with others. We can set them free from their burdens. We can give them hope for the forgiveness of their sins.

We can do this only if we respond to the hope we have received. In this season of hope the hearts of men are tuned to receive the gift of life that comes from knowing Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Take this opportunity to proclaim the good news of great joy! Take this time and be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

1Peter 3:15; But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

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.

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Time

By Rev. Don Rivers

With the banquet comes the close of the season. 2019 is in the books. What has transpired on the track has been photographed and recorded. We look forward to the season with goals, hopes, dreams; some realized, some not, times up. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

As we sit down to our Holiday table, no matter how extensive or intimate, our tendency is to look back, thinking of the time that has passed. Some of those thoughts can bring a smile to our face, a laugh and a sense of thanksgiving to our heart. Some bring disappointment, lament, and sadness. Very few are met with complacency, a take it or leave it attitude. We tend not to reflect on the things that don’t stir our emotions.

When we gather together at this time of the year it is one of reflection and anticipation. The calendar reminds us that soon we will turn the page. We reflect on the milestones of the journey, they mark the times we have experienced, some foreseen, others a result of circumstances and choices. Over our shoulder the steps along the road, each marking the path of our journey melted in to our memory shaping who we have become. Some leave a sweet and savory taste of anticipated achievements others a result of choices and consequences. Forward we look with anticipation of what the future holds.

One particular moving part of the NASCAR Banquet celebration caught me off guard this year; In Remembrance. Too many, too close, too significant. I reflected on each one, how had their lives touched mine. How had their families dealt with the loss? I prayed for God’s comfort, grace and mercy to surround them through this holiday season. As the song played, Nobody Knows by the Lumineers, the words struck me; nobody knows

“Nobody knows how the story ends. Live today, do what you can, this is only where it began, nobody knows how the story ends.”

Today we have to begin the stories that will become the memories of tomorrow. We need to grasp that, hold tightly to the opportunity that time affords to do what we can, not what we want, but what we can to make a difference in the lives of those around us.

Value is determined by rarity. When we are young the days ahead are many, wasting the time away is easy, there is so much more life left, we struggle to grasp the finality of life. As time moves we begin to notice its propensity to keep moving, not stopping, never standing still. Soon we realize it is gone. Our day have numbers, time is precious, the value of which is realized when it is gone.

James4:13-17NLT; “Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil. Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.”

We are reminded by Dickens in A Christmas Carol, of the twin thieves that rob us of time, ignorance and want. They consume our time with endeavors that make only a difference for us. Mankind is our business. We should be about the consideration of others and invest our time accordingly. The Golden Rule reminds us;

Matthew7:12NLT; ““Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”

We are fond of planning for tomorrow, looking ahead to the things we are going to do, the places we will go. Oh the plans we make. Truth be told it is in those moments when we lose sight of what is truly important, today, here, now.

We can get so caught up in life that we forget to live. We forget to look around and see the lives of others. We can be so focused on tomorrow that we forget that today is all we can count on and really it is just this moment in time. We expend so much effort trying to secure the future we overlook the opportunities we have to change the lives of those around us each day.  Maybe an adjustment is in order?

We need remember the people we have met, the places we have been, the times that have touched our heart, and cherish those memories. Without words we can communicate the value of others. We do that by choosing to be together, spending time. One of our greatest gifts we can give is our time. Worrying about tomorrow isn’t something that is beneficial to our lives. We need to take the time we have today and use it, spend time with those around us.

As Hastings wrote in his poem The Station; So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot oftener, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more and cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station (end) will come soon enough.

Our lives need to reflect the character of the Holy Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Not the ways of the world; hatred, discord, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy. If we choose to live in the way of the world have no hope of seeing things through the eyes of God.

The choice is ours. As we remember we should reflect on how we are living. How have our choices helped or hurt those around us? We can decide to live differently. We can let life pass without having any effect on us or we take this moment to inspire us to see things differently. I encourage you to slow down, look around, let the lives of others touch your heart, and then touch theirs.

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.