Tag Archives: Racing with Jesus Ministries

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.

Need a Drink

As we continue to look at selected passages from Scripture that detail face to face encounters with Christ we find ourselves at Jacob’s well. One of the most important things we need to sustain life is water. Christ offers us something better, living water. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Going places is a way of life especially for those who race. Where have you gone recently? What trips have you made? Did you go because you wanted to or because you needed to? Travel is a part of the world we live in. We travel from here to there at a moment’s notice. Isn’t it great to have that freedom? What motivates us to go places? Generally it is a race, right? We are in Florida for a race, actually several. There are many options here for racers and race fans, so we travel to Daytona in February. What would happen if we let our travel plans be directed by God? Where would we go then?

We have been studying passages that talk about meeting Jesus face to face. We have been talking about the changes that are possible, and probable, in your life when you come face to face with the living God. Those that know Jesus are the face of Jesus to the world. That means we are the ones people need to come face to face with. We must go to the places Jesus would.

When we start to look at things through those eyes we should start to see a different motive. We should go to places with the desire to meet people face to face and show them that Jesus cares for them. We stop being motivated to please ourselves and start letting Christ guide our lives, after all that is what Jesus did.

John 4:4, Now he (Jesus) had to go through Samaria.

Jesus found it necessary; he had to go through Samaria. Samaria was like a bad neighborhood, Jewish people didn’t go there because they didn’t like the people there. Jews believed that the people that lived there had corrupted their faith by intermarrying. They avoided the area by crossing the Jordan, traveling up the other side and then crossing back over when they reached their destination. Crossing the river was not without risk, but they would rather take the risk then go through Samaria.

Jesus set a different tone; He had to go through Samaria. What does that mean for us? Do we go where we are comfortable and safe? Do we avoid those places where people are different than us? Do we reach out to those who need to know Christ or do we only reach out to those we are comfortable with?

We have to go through Samaria. We have to follow God’s lead and go to the places that maybe we wouldn’t think to go, where people need to know Jesus and the love and care Jesus has for them. Ask God to give you the faith, strength and courage to go through Samaria.

When Jesus arrived he needed to rest and get a drink. He headed to a well-established watering hole, Jacob’s well. Our passage relays the story of a hot summer day and the need for water to quench our thirst.

John 4:7-15; When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

  The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. )

 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

  “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”

  Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

 There are many things we can discuss about this conversation. First, Jews and Samaritans didn’t get along; in fact they didn’t even talk to each other. I am sure there are some teams in the pits that have the same kind of relationship. We start to see the why Jesus had to go through Samaria; he had to start breaking down the barriers that man had built.

Another thing to look at is the fact that we don’t always see things for what they are. The time of day was noon, the hottest part of the day. Why would you come to draw water at that hour? Why wouldn’t you come in the morning when it is cool and everyone else comes? Because you don’t want to have to answer the questions about your lifestyle that those people were asking. We will learn as we continue to examine this passage that this woman wasn’t leading the best life she could.

Another thing to notice is that she didn’t expect to meet Jesus at the well. She really hoped to be alone at the well so when someone was there she was surprised. When Jesus spoke to her she got defensive. She wasn’t sure who this man was. She also knew she had never seen him before.

Did you notice the question she asked when he offered her a drink? How can you give me a drink, you don’t have anything to draw water with and the well is deep. Jesus draws from a different well than we do. He doesn’t offer us water from a well, he offers us living water.

Living water restores your soul, cleanses your sin and allows you to enter into a relationship with God as one of his children. Living water gives us eternal life in heaven with God. Let me ask you, are you thirsty? Do you want the forgiveness that comes through Jesus? Do you want the inheritance that comes with being a child of God? Do you need a drink?

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.

Fixing A Hole

Continuing on we are looking at how coming face to face with God will change you. Sometimes there is a little construction involved. How’s the effort going to meet Jesus? Have you taken the time to seek him out? Let’s take a look and figure out how we can fix this hole. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

We have many opportunities to help others. I know at the racetrack when someone has a problem there are many who are ready to lend a hand. I think that is one of the greatest things about the racing family, their willingness to help when there is a need. Sometimes though help requires a little more than lending a hand. I remember an engine change on Joe Brady’s modified. A group of guys worked to get the engine out of the car while another worked to get the backup out of the hauler. Because of space limitations it took some pretty strong guys to lift the motor out and onto the ground. Sometimes you need more than help you need brute strength.

The Scripture I want to start looking at this week tells us about some friends who wanted to help their friend out. In the end they needed brute strength to cut a hole in the roof. They also needed a roofer to come back and fix the hole. Was it worth it?  Read along and we’ll talk about it.

MARK 2:1-12, A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

    Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

    Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, `Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, `Get up, take your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .” He said to the paralytic, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

Have you ever reached out to help someone and it ended up costing you something? Most times agreeing to help someone means there is a cost. We know we are willing to help in any way when we don’t count the cost. Referring back to the engine story, not one guy who helped with the engine change lamented their helping. There were smiles of accomplishment and pats on the back for the difficulties they overcame for their friend.

Think about these friends who wanted to get their friend to Jesus so much that they cut a hole in the roof. They knew he needed to get to him, the crowd was too big and so they took matters into their own hands and lowered him through the roof. I wonder how much discussion went into the decision. I think it was much like something at the track. There’s a problem, let’s fix it. When the first guy is committed to the solution others will follow and soon enough the challenge is overcome.

How do we feel about those we care about? Do we think they need to meet Jesus? Are we willing to take the risk and the expense to bring them to Jesus? If we think that meeting Jesus face to face will change their life why then won’t we will go to any length to bring someone to Him? We can come up with many reasons not to but the fact remains if we believe Jesus is the answer we need to make every effort.

If we don’t think it matters whether they know Jesus or not then we will come up with all kinds of excuses why it is not worth the effort. Our commitment and faith in Jesus determines how far we will go to help someone change their life. These friends dug a hole in the roof. What are we willing to do?

Another component of this passage was the people in the house. What were they there for? Jesus was returning home and I am sure there were friends and family who wanted to see him. There were people who heard about the miracles he performed and hoped to see one for them. There were those who needed healing and came with the hope that they would be healed. There were those who were skeptical and sought to trap Jesus and prove he wasn’t who he said he was.

There were so many people the house was full and there wasn’t room for these friends to get to Jesus. Let me note something, most of the people were there for good reasons but they were focused on themselves and they blocked someone else from getting to Jesus. I am glad that the guys that brought their friend were not deterred and dug a hole in the roof.

The life changing encounter with Jesus had an interesting effect on the crowd. Jesus forgave the sins of the paralytic, but that wasn’t enough for some in the crowd. Jesus knew what was on their hearts and met their challenges head on, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .” He said to the paralytic, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”

Take notice that the wall to wall, standing room only crowd was no more. The man picked up his mat and walked out in full view of the people left. Where did the crowd go? I think some realized they were in the presence of the Living God and left because of their transgressions. I think others left because Jesus could see right through them into their heart. Some knew they had crossed a line by challenging God; they would have trouble dealing with that.

I thought about all the people that jump on the bandwagon and want to be around until it gets uncomfortable, they start to drift away. What you have left are your true friends, those you can count on. Amazing isn’t it. When you come face to face with the living God you don’t leave the same way you came.

We can learn a few things, first and foremost, Jesus can and will forgive our sin. He will give us a new, fresh start. Jesus can and will heal our physical problems. We should not be deterred because there are obstacles in our way. Desire in your heart to meet Jesus face to face and you won’t leave the same way you came. Our commitment and faith in Jesus determines how far we will go to help someone have that opportunity. These friends dug a hole in the roof. What are we willing to do?

HEADED SOUTH- When you read this, barring any unforeseen detours, we will have had Chaplains at the tracks in Georgia and Florida. The season has already started and we have a little catching up to do. The 410’s have been racing at Bubba Speedway Park with a couple of familiar names visiting Victory Lane. Thanks to Joe Kelly for being there as things got started.

Our plans have us at Screven, Volusia, Bronson, New Smyrna and Bubba to name a few but I’m not ruling out a visit to Daytona to cheer on some teams with Modified roots. We’ll see how it goes. If you are in the neighborhood track us down and say hi. Looking forward to meeting some old friends and making some new ones.

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.