Category Archives: Racing With Jesus Ministries

Fall

By Rev Don Rivers

As we begin to see the change in the seasons, we feel the change in the air. Summer has given us many memories to relive in the days to come; now it is time for the things of summer to rest. I enjoy fall for many things but most of all I enjoy fall for the change. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The crisp cool mornings, the color of the trees, the sound of geese trumpeting their way to southern regions, the sound as you bite into a fresh picked apple, the smell of a roasting turkey with all the fixings, you get the picture. If we take the time to look, each season has blessings of its own to provide for us a reminder that God created this for our enjoyment.

Sometimes we get so busy during the summer that we forget to stop and take a look around. We forget to enjoy the blessings God has provided for us. We forget that this was created for our pleasure.

Have you ever gotten to the point that racing wasn’t any fun anymore? Has going to the shop become drudgery? Do you look for rain in the forecast so you don’t have to go to the track? These are all signs that racing isn’t fun anymore.

When the things we enjoy, the things that make our heart beat faster, no longer excite us then it is time to take a step back. Understanding that it is difficult to get to the track every week. It takes a lot of hard work to get the car ready to race. It is a challenge to get enough guys together to help out. There are so many struggles that when you heart just isn’t in it, it makes the effort that much more of a burden.

It is the same with our walk with God. Our heart needs to be in it. When we give a halfhearted effort we are prone to wonder where God is. When we sit on the sidelines and watch instead of getting in the game we wonder if God is even out there. Like racing our walk with God is participatory, we need to be involved and connected with Him.

I am reminded of the words of Jeremiah, a prophet, as he spoke about God’s plans for us;

Jeremiah 29:11, NIV, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

God’s plan for our life is good. He gives us hope and a future. Think of how you feel when you face a new race season. You are full of hope. At the end of the season you hope to be standing on top, champion.

When we get to the end of the season and that hope isn’t realized it can be demoralizing, it can make racing a burden. But if we read on we find an answer to how we need to maintain that hope and future that God promises.

Jeremiah 29:12-13; NIV, Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Our search has to continue when times get tough. We need to call upon God, have a conversation with Him. He will hear us, but if our heart is in it. Only when we seek Him with all of our heart.

There is a saying in sports, “mailed it in”; it means that your effort was so lacking that you should have just stayed home and sent it in by mail. It means your heart wasn’t in it. Don’t let your walk with God fall into the same trap. Don’t mail it in and wonder how come things are not going the way we want them to.

We must seek God with all our heart; we must stay in contact with him; we must put forth the effort for the results to be there. A race car doesn’t prepare itself for the race. Our walk with God just doesn’t happen either; we need to put our heart into it.

Spend some time this week getting your heart right with God. Spend some effort making a point to talk with Him. Ask him where you need to make adjustments in your life. His plans are good; they are full of hope and a future. We just need to put our heart into it.

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.

ALONE

By Rev Don Rivers

As the season winds down we find ourselves looking ahead to the off season. A time when we will be apart from each other. Sometimes that is a good thing, but most times it isn’t. How do you plan to spend your time this off season? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Racing season has us busy running from one track to another, leaving little time to fit much else in. It flies by with a blur. It is great to see everyone a few times a week, you get used to talking and racing together. But what happens when we stop for a few months?

I would like to keep having Chapel services throughout the off season. I think it is important for us to stay connected with each other and with God. It is important to receive the encouragement of each other. We need to know there are others who stand alongside of us to help through life’s challenges.

During the off season I still write this column and post to the blog. Let me know if you would like to be added to the email list. I know that sometimes we don’t have the time to read it so I’m thinking of doing a podcast or two. Would you be interested in hearing that? Maybe Facebook live. Let me know what would interest you and keep us connected.

I also would encourage you to find a place to worship in the off season. If you do not have a place to go, contact us and we will help you find one. If you live in the CT, MA & RI tristate area maybe we could plan to get together. If enough of us would like to get together I’d welcome planning a chapel/worship service.

It is important in your walk with Christ that we gather together with other Christians. The coming together is necessary to help us maintain and grow. This encourages us grow in the right way. There are many challenges we face in the world and we need to help each other through. Let me try to illustrate what happens when we don’t stay connected with one another.

A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the preacher decided to visit him.

It was a chilly evening. The preacher found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his preachers visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited.

The preacher made himself at home but said nothing. In the silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the preacher took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone then he sat back in his chair, still silent.

The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead.


Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. The preacher glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the preacher reached the door to leave, his host said; ‘Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I will be back in church next Sunday.’

Paul wrote these words to encourage Christians to stay connected;

Hebrews 10:25; Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

And David wrote these words to help us understand the benefits we receive by staying in touch with God.


Psalm 23 with comment;
The Lord is my Shepherd —– that’s a Relationship!
I shall not want —– that’s Supply! 
He makes me to lie down in green pastures —-that’s Rest!
He leads me beside the still waters —–that’s Refreshment!
He restores my soul —– that’s Healing!
He leads me in the paths of righteousness –that’s Guidance!
For His name sake —– that’s Purpose!
Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death–that’s Testing!
I will fear no evil —– that’s Protection!
For You art with me —– that’s Faithfulness!
Your rod and your staff they comfort me —–that’s Discipline!
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies——that’s Hope!
You anoint my head with oil —– that’s Consecration!
My cup runs over —– that’s Abundance!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life—-that’s Blessing!
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord —–that’s Security!
Forever —– that’s Eternity!

Don’t be a stranger to God in the off season, find a place to worship and receive the food we need for our soul. Honor God by giving Him our time and let His Spirit fill our soul. Let us know what we can do to keep the fire burning. Don’t go it alone.

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.

Winning

A phrase proclaiming that, in our opinion, we are winning. Winning is a much more complex concept. The fact is that we don’t get to decide if we are winning, that is for others to decide. We want to tell the world we are “winning” and maybe if we say it often enough they will believe it. Truly winning involves a joy and peace that comes from only one source. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

We crown our champions and celebrate the season. We roll into victory lane and celebrate a race won. The driver collects the hardware but in fact the team behind the driver has just as much to celebrate. Without those who surround the driver, winning is impossible. Putting together a collection of people that come together and are focused is the key to winning.

My favorite pictures in victory lane are those where the whole team assembles behind the driver and car. They are wearing a hat that proclaims their victory. These are just the crew members that come to the track, I’m sure there are many more behind the scenes. Winning is a team accomplishment. No one person wins, you need multiple people who look at things from different perspectives to see all the options. So goes the story of winning. The combination of personnel, machine, desire, commitment and performance all come together in a victory. No one wins on their own. No one stands alone. We need to remember that is life also. We need to surround ourselves with support, encouragement and guidance.

When you see teams dominate year after year think about what it takes for them achieve such success. Let me tell you it isn’t achieved by standing pat. It is not accomplished by being complacent. It is done by constant change and adjustment. It is achieved by not being satisfied, always looking at what can be done to improve.

Proverbs 16:27; NLT,Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.

Each one of our lives needs a support structure. One that is good for us, not one that is destructive. Sometimes we need to separate ourselves from certain people, places and things because of the influence they have on us. It doesn’t matter if they are friends or relatives some people are not good to have around. There are places that we should not be, things we should not desire. Giving ourselves the opportunity to find joy and peace depends on who and what we surround ourselves with.

Living a complacent and idle life will not lead to the desired joy and peace we strive for. A satisfying and fulfilling life is not achieved by idleness. We need to be proactive, seeking, searching, knocking. Being idle allows the devil a foothold. It allows our minds to go places that are not beneficial. I’m not sure why social media comes to mind but I can tell you at its core is idleness. We fill our time looking, writing and believing what we see. We burden ourselves with what others think and say. We need a filter, letting only the things in that are beneficial. The world around us is destined for destruction, let’s not sit idly by and watch it happen.

2Thessolonians 3:11-13; NLT,Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business.We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good.

The key to winning is activity, being active in the things that honor God. Believe me it is just like trying to win anything it takes practice. For the opportunities to come our way we need to be doing good things. Things that reflect the character of God; grace, forgiving, caring, love, patience. These things take practice, we have to want to. Don’t get tired of doing good.

We grow tired of doing good though. We all lament the time we helped someone and they didn’t respond the way we had hoped. We are reluctant to do it again. That is not the way we should look at things. We should not be motivated by the response but we should focus on doing what is right in God’s eyes. The joy and peace comes from inside our soul not the outward recognition from those we help. When we do the right things we can sleep at night. We can be confident of our motives and our desire to do good. Unlike winning a race with its outward display and celebration.  Truly winning yields peace in our soul, a confidence that our motives were good and a joy in knowing we honored God.

I have never heard a race team say they are fast enough, we don’t need to try and get faster. They keep working at it, trying to find a little more speed, a little more quickness. The teams that win are those that don’t settle. But looking for speed and finding it are two different things. Sometimes you have to look at things in different ways.

Have you ever played solitaire? I do and sometimes have to play a game several times to figure out how to move the cards, according to the rules, until I find the way to win. Sometimes you have to make moves that don’t make sense or are unconventional before you find the winning combination. Sometimes you have to play the game differently to win.

How quickly do we give up when our first attempt fails? To win we need to keep at it, use unconventional methods, and try even the options that don’t make sense. We are called to be imitators of Christ. Remember his motive was to do the will of his father, to honor God. For him it wasn’t about recognition or accolades, it was about doing the right thing even in the most unconventional way.

Truly winning isn’t about being celebrated and honored, it is about doing the right thing even if no one notices, a peace in our soul, a joy achieved when our motives are to please God. We know it when we feel it, winning.

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.