It’s Summertime!

It is official, it is summertime. The kids are out of school. Vacation plans are being made. It is the lazy, hazy days of summer. What do you have planned for this summer? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Summertime means an opportunity to spend more time enjoying the great outdoors. We took our first trip to Maine and spent some quality time relaxing. It is good to get away and recharge your batteries once in a while.

Many times we don’t take the time to relax and get away from the routine. For racers summer is a time for racing, here, there and everywhere. We spend most of our time on the road from one track to the other. The off season is getting more and more crowded with things to do, I often wonder when do we have time just to relax and enjoy what God has provided for us?

I think we feel that as long as we are having fun we are relaxing, but I think we need to look at that differently. Relaxing is very different than racing. Relaxing is something that is difficult for some people to do. They just do not sit still well. For the most part I think racers fit into this category. We spend a lot of time waiting around, but I don’t think we are particularly good at it. We don’t relax well.

I am here to tell you that I also have trouble relaxing. I get this feeling that I am missing something. I feel like I always have to have a plan and be working on something. I find it difficult to relax. Are you in the same boat?

I went to Maine to relax. It is one of those places that does not have the best cell phone service. The folks there are pretty laid back, so don’t expect things to move too fast. It doesn’t matter whether you want to or not, relaxing is required. My wife and I relaxed, took a break from The Daily Grind and recharged our batteries.

What plans do you have for the summer? Are you going to get away and relax? Recharge your batteries? I think it would be beneficial to you and your family to schedule some time away from everything.

We all need time away, time to unwind and relax. I want to encourage you to do that. Don’t overlook its importance. The weight of this world can be tremendous. Each day we find ourselves sinking deeper. Some of us are wondering what is next? How much more can I take? When will it all end?

We let the things of this world overwhelm us. We need to refocus our attention and find out what is truly important, truly significant. We get ourselves into trouble when we attach the wrong level of significance to something and think it is more important that it is. Let’s face it some people do not think racing is all that important, but for some of us we can’t live without it.

What happens when we get our priorities all messed up? Our lives get out of balance. We need to make adjustments. I saw it all too plain Thursday night at Thompson. A driver had an altercation with another driver on the track and it spilled over into the pits. The driver who felt he needed to settle the score took it out on his competitor’s toolbox, leaving it in a heap after he rammed it with his racecar. I must admit it was pretty funny to see and some of the Tour drivers who witnessed it wondered out loud why they didn’t think of that somewhere along the line, but the fact remains, too much significance was placed on that race. I think the drivers involved need a little R & R, what do you think?

Jesus knew this world would overwhelm us. He knew that there would come a time in each of our lives that we would wonder if we could make it through. He knew that if we followed our own direction long enough it would lead us to destruction. He offers us a way out. Listen to His words in Matthew;

Matthew 11: 28-30; “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

He knows us well doesn’t he? How many of us feel burdened and weary? How many times does the weight of the world seem too much to bear? Jesus offers us rest. “Come to me and I will give you rest.” Let me explain how that works. Jesus accepts our burdens, the very ones that are wearing us down. He will accept responsibility for them. We need to trust him and release them over to him. When that happens, the weight of the world is removed from your shoulders. What a tremendous gift, but it doesn’t stop there; He will teach us a way to live that will prevent the burdens from returning.

He says learn from me how to be gentle and humble and you will find rest for your soul. What that means is the way we live our lives will determine how we feel inside. If we are restless because we haven’t been treating others right then we need to change. Remember that driver at Thompson? He drove right to his hauler, loaded up and was on his way out of the track before the dust had settled. I didn’t ask him but I am pretty confident his soul was restless. You see the way we live, the things we do determine whether we are at peace with ourselves. Peace is the opposite of stressed. Jesus will teach us how to be at peace.

He lets us know that it is not a difficult thing and learning how to live this way is not an additional burden for us. It is easy. I wonder how many of us are willing to accept the offer. How many of us are ready to relieve the stress we are under and learn a new way of living? Christ will take our burdens and give us rest, trust in Him.

THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD

THURSDAY NIGHT NO THUNDER- It was a beautiful night at Thompson Speedway last Thursday, Whelen Weather as it has come to be known. This time the weather wasn’t a factor in the running of the 75 green lap event. It did however take about 130 plus laps to get in 75. Some of those can be attributed to the fact that the cautions could run a lap or two longer as they didn’t count against the total laps. A good crowd was on hand to watch Ronnie Silk out duel Ted Christopher and return Hillbilly Racing to Victory Lane. Mike Stefanic came home third with a car he thought he could win with. He lamented the fact that only one scoring loop existed and every time he passed several cars only to see the yellow come out and they were moved back in front of him. He said he passed several cars more that once.

I am not sure how this race will be received, I think maybe giving the teams an option of putting on at least one tire might shake things up a bit. All in all it was a good race.

ROCCO EARLY SEASON FAVORITE- Boosted by his early success at Waterford and now Thompson Keith Rocco got an early jump on the competition in the Whelen All- American Racing Series in Connecticut. We’ll have to see if TC or Woody Pitkat can respond.

We are heading for NHMS this week for the first of two trips there this season. I am looking forward to seeing some of the changes that have been put in place. Should be a great event as always with the Whelen Modified Tour taking the stage at 12:00 on Saturday and the Camping World Series East closing out the activities on Friday night. We are speaking at a church up in Belmont on Wednesday night to kick off the weekend activities and we are looking for a true blessing from the Lord.

This is one of the race weekends that keeps us away from home for the most time, please lift our families up in your prayers as we are away from them. Also keep Megan in your prayers, she is the young lady that courageously has battled cancer, she has another battle on her hands. Please pray for her as she endures an operation this week.

Be a witness for our Lord with the ministry decals and apparel. See them at the Online Apparel Store at www.RWJM.org. Call us with your prayer and counseling needs and list all your prayer needs, no matter what part of our racing family you are in, with the Racing Family Prayer Request Page www.rwjm.org/page/prayers.php also send your prayer request by mail. Until next time, remember that God loves you, we love you and

Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing. GOD BLESS.

Mail reaches us at Racing with Jesus Ministries, PO Box 586, Tolland, CT 06084. Check our weekly printed pages in “Area Auto Racing News”, the East Coast’s largest weekly racing paper” See our on-line Apparel Store for subscription information. Check our home page www.rwjm.org for past articles. We invite you to input your thoughts as you sign our Guest Book. Please remember, we can only do what we do because of your prayerful financial support.

Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

May God always Bless you, everyday in everyway. Rev. Don

CHECKERED CHEERS

***WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES***
June 26

CHARLIE & TERRY LEACH- This Beech Ridge Speedway driver and wife celebrate their 26th anniversary.

TOM & JUDY KEHLEY- This Brooklyn, NY couple Modified team owners have their 36th anniversary.

July 1

RENE & ELAINE LaLUMIERE- From Jefferson, NH, this former ACT LM driver and wife; faithful Ministry helpers, have their 19th anniversary.

***HAPPY BIRTHDAYS***
June 25

JOE BESSEY- Former CWES championship driver/owner.

BOBBY GILL- Dalton, GA NASCAR All Pro Series driver.

DAVE MAVLOUGANES- West Springfield, MA photographer.

JERRY ELLIOTT, JR.- Montville, CT Mike Stefanik and Waterford Mod’s Jerry Pearl fan.

June 26

KRAMER WILLIAMSON- URC Sprint driver.

STEVE GRISSOM- Gadsden, AL NSC/NNS driver.

KEVIN LePAGE- Shelburne, VT NSC/NNS driver.

STEVEN DINO- Pennsy Sprint KART driver.

KIMBERLY SASSAMAN- Daughter of Pennsy dirt superstar Kenny Brightbill.

ALLISON ZYLA- Elysburg, PA writer/editor Greg’s daughter.

REBEKAH PERKINS- The sister of Angelina Stuart, wife of Preston, CT JDM Chassis proprietor and LM driver Jay.

RACHEL WISOCKI- This Old Saybrook, CT Jim Broderick fan.

June 27

JOHNNY BENSON, JR.- CTS driver from Grand Rapids, MI

ROBBIE REISER- Allentown, WI NSC/NNS Matt Kenseth Crew Chief.

June 28

MIKE SKINNER- Randleman, NC CTS driver.

JOHNNY JOHNSON- NC Modified/Virginia Sprint Series driver.

DICK WIBBELSMAN- RWJM Advisor from Gainesville, FL.

AL GEAUDREAU- Owner of New London, CT’s Quality Auto Electric and famous former Waterford Speedbowl Modified Team owner.

KRIS HANSEN- Green Lane, PA wife of Al, Grandview/Bridgeport crew members.

MARIAH THOMAS- Neice of JDM Chassis owner Jay and Angelina Sturat in Preston, CT.

June 29

JEFF BURTON- South Boston, VA RCR Cup driver.

MARTIN TRUEX, JR.- Mayetta, NJ NSC DEI team #1 driver.

BILLY ELLIS- Oley, PA URC Sprint driver.

LARRY CAUDILL- No. Wilkesboro, NC NASCAR driver.

NICOLE ROSE BELLISLE- The daughter of Canterbury, CT Waterford Speedbowl Strictly Stock driver Jim is 13.

THOMAS URIAH JAMES- “TJ” is the eldest son of Canterbury, CT RWJM Advisors Scott and Lisa and turns his 13th lap.

June 30

STERLING MARLIN- Columbia, TN Cup driver.

JEFF TROMBLEY- NY D.I.R.T. Modified driver.

JIMMY BEGOLO- D.I.R.T. Modified driver.

BOB PARK- East Northport, NY former NASCAR WMT driver, turned Southern Modified driver, and proud dad of  driver Steve Park.

LYNDON AMICK- Batesburg, SC NASCAR NNS driver.

DAVE MADER III- NC LMSC/NNS driver.

JOHN GRADY- “Turtle” is a Lebanon Valley Speedway based photographer.

BILL BRICE III- Husband of Janice and Familiar sight at NJ racetracks.

SKIP MATCZAK- Ellington, CT SuperModified team owner.

LISA GRAVEL- Wife of Groton, MA driver Gege.

JERRY SOLOMITO- Son of Riverhead Raceway driver Jerry and wife Linda.

July 1

GREG ZYLA- Shamokin, PA Editor/writer.

JOAN NICKEL- The wife of Thompson Speedway photographer Scott.

CHRIS LOMASTRO- She is a Stafford Herb Bennett LM driver and Lebanon Valley Billy Decker Modified fan.

SALLY CAVALLERO- This Cup and Wall Township race fan, wife of Tom, mother of Emily, Bobby and Joey, daughter of Doris Bradley. Sally’s brother-in-law Woody works for Ray Evernham in North Carolina.

SHARE YOUR SPECIAL OCCASIONS WITH YOUR RACING FAMILY. SEND THEM TO RACING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES AT PO BOX 586, Tolland, CT, 06084.

Sources: Rev. Don Rivers/RWJM


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