Tag Archives: Racing with Jesus Ministries

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.

HELPER

By Rev. Don Rivers

Life has its share of temptations, challenges, difficulties and decisions. Are we trying to get through it on our own? Is there someone watching over us? Who is helping us on the road of Life? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

We have been talking about the people we are thankful for. We have some by our side and others we gather with. There is one who for the most part is not seen. He is the Holy Spirit. Sometimes his role is misunderstood. As we continue to give thanks let us also give thanks for the provision of a guide, counselor, advocate, comforter, convicter and helper.

We do a lot of standing around and waiting at the track. Sometimes we get so into a conversation we lose track of the schedule. Then there is that reminder of what is happening on the track. You start to see the stream of spotters walk by with the tools of their trade. You know it is time for the racing to begin.

A spotter’s tools are simple; a good set of eyes to be able to watch what is happening, good judgment about how to advise the driver and a way to communicate to the driver. We can all watch but it helps to know what we are looking at. A good spotter sees difficulty coming before it happens. Some of those things need to be communicated, some don’t. A good spotter doesn’t overload the driver with information that they don’t need to run the race. The third thing a good spotter needs is a way to communicate to the driver. I’m not talking about having a radio and speaking into the mike, that doesn’t qualify. The spotter and the driver need to speak the same language, not only to hear each other but to understand what the other means.

Think of it this way, when the spotter says “inside” does that mean go inside or go outside? It could mean either, that is up to the spotter and driver. The driver and the spotter develop a language all their own and develop an understanding of each other so that they can communicate with each other. When that works, things go well. When it doesn’t it usually means disaster.

I have heard it said many times after a car runs into a wreck and the announcer says “his spotter didn’t warn him.” With our ability to listen to the driver/spotter communications, we know if it is true. It isn’t always that cut and dry though. Sometimes there just isn’t enough time. Sometimes the driver doesn’t listen. Just remember, we may be speaking, but that doesn’t mean we are communicating.

Spotters are required when you go on the track. Wouldn’t it be great to have a spotter for life also? Well we do if we look around. The past few weeks we have talked about the people we surround ourselves with. We have influences around us but what if we had a voice inside our head? Someone who is in our ear, living inside us and guiding us in the right path. God has provided a spotter for us all; his name is The Holy Spirit. Listen to what Jesus says about the Spirit;

John 14:16-18, 25-27, (Jesus answered) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

   “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

In addition, we read in Acts of the Apostles

Acts 5:5,  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

The Holy Spirit is given to us to guide our hearts in the paths that are right. I am reminded of the cartoon with the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other. This is a good illustration of what happens when the Spirit becomes our spotter. He guides us with the right advice, but there is that other voice. The voice of our own making telling us something different, something not of God. Which voice do we follow? Which guidance do we take?

We need the help of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Someone who will hold you accountable to the choices we make. Someone trust worthy, someone who loves us. Someone who would lay down their life for us, a true friend. We need this kind of helper in our lives. The Holy Spirit’s job is much the same as a race spotter. They look out ahead and spot the trouble before we see it. They talk to us and guide us around the difficulty. They want us to finish the race of life in the best possible condition.

We need to have The Holy Spirit as our guide. We receive The Holy Spirit when we ask Jesus to come into our heart. When we seek forgiveness from God for our shortcomings and accept the sacrifice Jesus made for us. When we seek out God He sends The Holy Spirit to live in our heart, to guide us in the paths that are right, to counsel us, to show us the truth.

Do you have The Holy Spirit in your heart? You can. He will be a spotter that will never leave you. Ask God today to send Him and God will honor that request and send Him. The key component is asking with sincerity in your heart; you have to want to. Seek out the guidance of The Holy Spirit today. Accept the sacrifice Jesus made for you and ask God to forgive your sin. If your heart is sincere the transaction is done, your life has changed.

I would ask that you share that with us so that we can rejoice with you. We will also be here to help and guide you along the road. We will come along side you and walk with you through life. We will help you through the difficulties. We will do our best to help you figure out life and learn how to live it to the fullest.

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.

Together

By Rev Don Rivers

Thanksgiving, a time where we collectively give thanks. Thanksgiving is one of the biggest holiday weekends that we enjoy. It is a time where we gather with one another and share about the year that has gone by. Sometimes we can get too busy in life and forget the simple joy of gathering together. I hope you can take the time to turn the phone off and just relax together. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

One of the things that we are reminded of this time of year is how busy we have been. How crazy our lives have gotten. How caught up in the rat race we have been. We get so involved in things that we forget about how much joy we get from just gathering together. I want to encourage you to make an effort to gather together, count your blessings and be thankful for the opportunities we have.

I was invited to participate this year in the NEAR Hall of Fame Banquet. NEAR stands for New England Antique (Auto) Racers, a place to remember where we come from and celebrate those who paved the way. One thing that struck me was the desire to be together. The stories, the comradery, remembering the days gone by, but also looking forward to continuing the pursuit of racing. This room was filled with history, the history of New England racing. It was an honor to be a part of this celebration.

Together the racers in New England have forged a reputation that extends beyond the region. Many have come here to race with the best. Many others have left here after cutting their teeth to go on and accomplish great things in Auto Racing. The tradition is alive and well. As I parked the pace car in the pits at The Dirt Track at Charlotte on Friday afternoon a young man approached me and asked about that New England Auto Racing tradition. He shared how much he had heard and was counting the days until he could take it in live, in person. He is planning his vacation around a trip north to see for himself. His eyes lit up when he heard that I had witnessed firsthand some of the driver’s he had only heard about. We talked and I gave him some ideas about what to see and where to go. He left with a spring in his step excited about the opportunity to travel north and experience New England Auto Racing.

We can lose sight of what we have. We need to protect against taking things for granted and not lose the art of celebrating what we have been a part of. We party a lot but too many times we push the envelope so far we have trouble remembering what we did. A true celebration is one we can remember when it is over. A celebration, a gathering together to spending time sharing the things we are passionate about, acknowledging where we have been, what we have been through and looking ahead to the days when we get back at it.

I enjoy a good picnic, nothing formal just some burgers and hotdogs, soda and salads, but the people make the difference. Taking time to catch up on each other’s lives. It is a time to show them you care for them and will be there if needed. It is a time to connect with the past and remember where you come from. I’ve had a few opportunities this summer to spread out the welcome mat, those are fun times.

I am concerned though about how many of us are so busy we can’t take the time to sit a spell and enjoy a meal together. I wonder if we have forgotten some of the truly blessed times we have just sitting down and sharing a meal together. Thanksgiving is one of those times, don’t let the world take it away from you.

The writer of Hebrews reminds us that meeting together and encouraging each other is valuable and necessary.

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.

The day is approaching when some of us will no longer be on this earth. We will look back on our lives and wonder what we missed. There are things in life that are important and should not be overlooked; spending time with each other is one of those things.

You won’t find many thinking they should have spent more time at the track or in the garage working on the car or at work. Many will look back and see the opportunities missed. The time wasted on things.

I encourage you not to be caught up in the trap of thinking of ourselves as more important than others. Getting caught in the trap of thinking we are doing important things and there will be time to get together later. We will soon look back alone and wonder where everyone went. God created us to live together. Our lives are not complete without others to compliment us. The team concept comes out of the family unit that God put in place. We need each other.

If we bypass these opportunities to gather together, we will soon find ourselves alone and without hope. That is not the way to live a full and blessed life. If you haven’t yet; stop and make it a priority to get together. Remember it doesn’t have to be formal or fancy. Being together is one of the most important and significant things we can do to make life more satisfying and fulfilling.

So put the phone down, turn the TV off, through some food on the grill or in the crockpot and spend some time together. 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.