Tag Archives: Racing with Jesus Ministries

Unscheduled Time, RWJM Blog, 6.9.18

We are creatures of schedule. It is rare that we have unscheduled time in our days. Many times we need it and should provide for it but we are unable to sit still long enough to enjoy it. Technology does not help. Being online and available at a moment’s notice doesn’t help. We need to listen to the Holy Spirit as he prompts us to take a break for some unscheduled time. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I think back to the time of year when the new schedules come out. We anticipate what the new season will bring. What new tracks are on the horizon? We sort out how each will fit into our schedule. We fill the upcoming racing season with opportunities. Very rarely do we schedule down time.

I have followed along the journeys of many friends on social media as they share their vacation exploits. I see this place and that, here and there, but never nowhere. Somehow, somewhere, someway, unscheduled time is not in our plans. Most times we need a vacation from our vacation.

This subject is on my mind because I have struggled with leaving room in my schedule for God. I get so busy that there isn’t room for Him. Not that I am not serving Him and ministering in His name but that I have Him scheduled into a box of time. Here you go God, here is your time to speak to me, what’s up. Okay on to the next scheduled item.

I am afraid I have gotten so busy that I have squeezed God out. Not as a part of my life; I serve Him every day, but as a part of my scheduling. Maybe you are going through a similar time. God will not force His way in. He will wait until we realize that we haven’t seen His hand working in our lives lately.

The question of the day is, how are we allowing God to adjust our schedule for His glory? Are we even considering Him wanting to have input? Let me be candid, I have been going through a very difficult struggle for several months trying to figure out which direction God wants me to move.

This is not unlike a racer deciding which races to run. We try our best with the information we have to make decisions that will give us the best opportunity to move forward. Very rarely do we decide to do something that will take us backward or slow us down. We are a forward moving people. To the front!

This past weekend God got my attention. I had it all planned. I would head to Memphis to cover the K&N race. Lynda would join me as we planned on visiting some friends in Western Tennessee. We planned to bring our popup camper and stay on their farm. Sounds like a good plan, right? I thought so.

I put in place all the coverage needed to cover my usual responsibilities. Rev. Dan and Todd Heft would cover the Whelen Modified Tour at Seekonk. Rev. Jerry Jones would cover preaching for me at Mount Carmel Christian Church. Lynda shared with our Daughter that we would need to adjust our schedule in watching the grandkids. Looks like we have the bases covered, pack up the camper, let’s go!

We needed to take time and listen to God. You see as the trip approached there wasn’t a peace in our hearts about going. Not that we weren’t planning to do good things, but that God had other plans that would be more beneficial to us. This can be the most difficult part of walking with God, when he wants you to move in a different direction than the one you have plans in place to go.

Proverbs 3:5-6, (NLT), Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Most of the plan was good, God confirmed that. The part that had to change was our location. As Lynda and I became aware that God had a different plan for us we made adjustments. You know it is God when people are ready and waiting to step in and serve in your place.

I was ready to make the trip without Lynda as care for our grandchildren made her joining me difficult. God then started on me and helped me know He had a replacement available to cover Memphis. A chaplain friend who lived in Nashville and had over 12 years of experience working with NASCAR was available and willing to cover the race. In some way he needed to be there and I didn’t.

Okay I’m not going to Memphis, all my responsibilities are covered, what am I going to do? Unscheduled time, something I rarely have, let alone need. I was given the opportunity to step back and evaluate how important my presence really is. Sometimes we think we are more important than we really are.

God helped me see this past weekend that I need to be on His schedule. I need to follow His plan. If I am not I will miss His presence in my life. I am not the one who makes the world go round, He is. I must admit this past weekend wasn’t comfortable for me. I’m much more comfortable when I am on a mission. Taking a step back with some unscheduled time left my mind contemplating a few things. God got my attention!

Fight the urge to fill every moment of your life with something. Fight the urge to be accessible twenty four-seven. Instead let God help you learn how to follow Him. Let him make the adjustments in your life that will lead to a closer relationship with him. Let those lessons help you live life better.

John 10:10, (NLT), The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

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.

Laying Down Our Lives, RWJM Blog, 5.26.18

Our country is built on the foundation of freedom and the willingness to sacrifice for the common good. God established at the foundation of creation that Christ would give His life for our freedom. This weekend is Memorial Day, when we remember those who gave their lives for our freedom. Let’s take a moment and reflect on our lives; are we willing to lay down our lives for the benefit of someone else? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Every day in every corner of the world men and women have set their lives aside to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. They have put their families on hold. They have missed birthdays, weddings, births and deaths. Why, to serve us. Many have laid down their life for us. They defended our right to freedom;  defended our right to go to the track of our choice and enjoy racing; defended our right to say whatever we want; defended our right to protest; defended our right to vote and have a say in how this country is run. America is still the greatest nation on the earth because of these men and women. People from around the world still want to come here because of the freedoms we enjoy. We need to appreciate what we have been given and recognize those who sacrifice in service to maintain it. Don’t be guilty of complacency; let them know you are thankful for their sacrifice.

Galatians 5:13-14, (NLT), For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

One of the basic concepts of life is give and take. Life is much more rewarding and fulfilling when we learn the balance of giving and taking. When our life seems out of control, it can be traced to giving and taking being out of balance. We are either taking too much or giving too much. You can decide which one you are prone to do.

Think about it in racing terms, when we have a race with some give and take the racing is better. When someone is out there and all they’re doing is taking, the racing gets heated and contentious. The other drivers are frustrated and the results are not the best. Conversely, when all someone does is pull over and let everyone pass the racing isn’t very exciting either. When there is a balance there is better racing.

The concept of giving one’s life for the benefit of others is not new. This is the greatest gift someone can give. The problem arises when we take it for granted. When we do not remember to acknowledge that sacrifice we become the takers. We instead should be motivated to give because of the opportunity we have been received.

Think about times in your life when you have been given something, something of great value. If your first feeling is that you don’t deserve it; that is good. Then if you are motivated to give back, that is great. It is when we have the attitude that we deserved it that we falter. Compassion has its roots in our willingness to give when we have been provided for.

Our country is based on the right response to the gift of freedom provided by those who have laid down their lives for us. If we respond with an attitude that we deserve this we are wrong. The right response is to express a deep appreciation to those who have given so much. This appreciation should motivate us to give as we have been given to.

God gave us the opportunity to overcome our shortcomings. He loved us and didn’t want us to live our lives in vain, separated from His guidance and wisdom. He provided a way for us to receive forgiveness. Out of love for us, He provided Jesus.

John 3:16-18, “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 in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

As you read these verses you can see how the proper response is one of believing and accepting this gift. Without a proper response to the gift we have been given we condemn ourselves to living life and eternity separated from God.

I would encourage you to develop the right spirit in your heart. Recognize the gift of freedom we have been given by those who have laid down their lives for us. Go out this weekend and drive through a cemetery, look at the American Flags that adorn the graves of the veterans who have paid the ultimate price. Take a moment to say thank you and pray for the family that lost this person. Let them know that you appreciate their sacrifice.

Likewise, remember the gift of forgiveness that has been provided to us by God, and say thank you to Him. Let Him know how much you appreciate His sacrifice for our freedom from the consequences of sin.

After we have said our thanks, commit to live a life that demonstrates that appreciation. Live like you have been given a tremendous gift, the gift of freedom to live.

1Peter 3:8-12,  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.  For,

   “Whoever would love life

    and see good days

  must keep his tongue from evil

    and his lips from deceitful speech.

    He must turn from evil and do good;

    he must seek peace and pursue it.

   For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous

    and his ears are attentive to their prayer,

  but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

 

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.

The Driver’s Prayer

Do you have a RWJM driver’s prayer in your car? If you do, take a little time and read it through. If you don’t, let us know and we can get you one. I specifically wanted to talk about our responsibility of responding in a way that honors God. Have we been actively engaged in trying to honor God? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

When we get ready to start the race we glance over and look, maybe even read the driver’s prayer attached to our dash. Some of us have them on our passenger car dashboard. Do you have one? It is a pretty simple prayer, but one that should set your frame of mind for the race of the day.

For those of you who haven’t seen it let me quote the prayer for you here;

“Father God, in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, we ask for Your hand of protection on us. We ask that Your Spirit will guide our actions and that we would respond in a way that will honor you. Give us your wisdom, patience and guidance. We thank you for answering our prayers. In Jesus name, Amen”

Let me ask a question, how do we handle adversity when it comes at us at the track? Maybe someone accused us of doing or saying something we didn’t. They may be right or totally wrong. It may be just an outright attack because someone doesn’t like us. The reason for such an encounter may have its basis in fact or be pure fiction. There are times it feels we are being criticized for things we may not be responsible for.

Back to the prayer, read the line “We ask that Your Spirit will guide our actions and that we would respond in a way that will honor you.” We cannot control what other people say or do. We can control how we respond. If we respond in a way that honors God we change the situation.

I remember a conversation I had with a driver who had just been used up on the track by another driver. He was hot! He was pacing, swearing, casting down hellfire and damnation. I asked him to think of responding differently. Maybe just let it go, no heated argument, no threats, just smile and wave. That might just cast some doubt in the mind of the other driver. It may cause him to think twice. Will it change him? I don’t know, but it will calm you down and allow you to move forward without holding burdens from the past.

Think about it for a moment and ask yourself how you feel when someone yells back at you. We tend to yell back. Our blood pressure rises. We either start defending ourselves with reasons or we get angry back. Either way all bets are off when it comes to honoring God.

Then think about how it feels when someone responds with grace and self-control. Your response is not the same. You head does not explode. Your defenses are not raised. Try this test, everyone you meet today greet with a smile. You don’t have to say anything just show them a smile. That one little gesture will change the whole conversation.

We should remember that when people come in contact with us they should leave with a better spirit than when they came. We should add some goodness to those we come in contact with. Why, because Jesus did. Jesus reached out to people and showed them compassion and mercy.

Paul writes in Galatians about the difference the Spirit of God should make in our response to others.

Galatians 5:17-26; For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

There is a conflict between goodness and evil. It takes place in each one of us. We have to decide which little voice we are going to listen to. The one that says I don’t get mad I get even. Or the voice that shows grace and self-control. We all make that decision, some think it through and some shoot from the hip.

When you are driving on the track or just down the road and someone cuts you off what are the first thoughts that come to mind? I know and you know what they are. The key is to take five seconds and remember to respond in a way that will honor God. Remember the passage from Galatians. Now, we can give them the benefit of the doubt and let them go without the horn beep or the indication that you think they are number one. The more we do it the easier it becomes. We will start a habit of reflecting the character of Jesus.

Do you know why the people came to Jesus? Because, He had mercy and compassion for them regardless of what they had done. Jesus didn’t condemn, he forgave. Jesus tolerated their shortcoming in order to have the opportunity to show them a better way.

Are we as attractive as Jesus? Do people come to us because we treat them with respect and understanding? Have we shown them the fruit of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? How we respond to the challenging situations and people in our lives determines what kind of witness we are. We will only honor God if we respond in the right way.

I would encourage you to commit this sentence to memory, “I will only let goodness flow from me.” With this type of approach we accomplish two things, one we honor God, two we honor those who we come in contact with. Show the love of Jesus to all those you meet. 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.