As we look to the close of 2008 it is time to prepare for what lies ahead. How do you see the future? Are you ready for what God has in store? Preparation for tomorrow starts today. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
As the year winds down the preparation for the hope of tomorrow begins. With December comes the Christian celebration of Advent. In expectation of the fulfillment of Scripture we focus on being prepared for the coming of our Lord and Savior. Ask yourself, am I prepared to accept the gift that is given.
The main component of success in racing is being prepared. Preparation for the track, the weather conditions and the competitors you will face is essential. If you do not prepare properly your chances for success are severely diminished. Try it and see how much preparation plays in racing success. For your next race don’t bother going to the shop. Don’t load the truck. Don’t do anything ahead of time. Just go to the garage and load the car and leave. How successful do you think you will be? Not very.
The same happens when we don’t give any thought to what God has in store for us. If we don’t take the time to read about the promise of a Savior in God’s word. If we ignore the guidance and direction God gives. If we fail to anticipate the blessings that God has for us then what? We are not prepared for the birth of Jesus.
This week begins Advent, the preparation time for us to reflect on the significance of the birth of Christ. Christmas isn’t about Santa Claus and reindeer. For Christians it is the celebration of the best gift of all, a Savior. If you have watched “A Charlie Brown Christmas” you have heard the story. Linus reads it from the Gospel of Luke.
Luke 2:8-11; And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
The angels proclaimed the birth of a Savior, but how did the Shepard’s know? How come they didn’t just ignore them and reason it away as too much wine. They were expecting this night. The prophets told them that this day was coming. They had received hope from the prophet’s words about a coming savior. They rested in that hope and when the proclamation came they knew it was true. The prophet Isaiah proclaimed;
Isaiah 7:14; Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
The entire Old Testament points to the coming of Christ. Isaiah said we would call him Immanuel, which means God with us. The promise from God was a Savior. Not only a Savior, but His very presence with us. The one who would be born of a virgin. Our Hope and Salvation. Let us prepare to welcome Him.
Let’s look at it a different way. Have you ever wanted something for Christmas that you couldn’t live without? You dropped every hint you could think of. You hoped that your parents heard and saw all your hints. You waited anxiously, hoping that you would receive that gift on Christmas morning.
Remember that movie “The Christmas Story”? Ralphy wanted a Red Ryder BB gun. He couldn’t live without it. He dropped every hint he could and hoped it would be there on Christmas morning. His father made sure he received what he asked for.
Allow me to substitute Jesus as that present. You can’t live without Him. You have asked your Father in Heaven for Him. You wait hopeful that you will receive this gift. God being a good father provides the gift we cannot live without; the gift of a Savior.
Prepare for his coming just as you would that gift you wanted as a kid. You learned everything you could about it. You knew all the ins and outs of it. There wasn’t anything you didn’t know.
How much do we know about Jesus? Do we know Him completely? Do we know everything about Him? That’s what the time of preparation is for. Prepare to know Jesus. Prepare to receive God’s gift. It is truly a gift you cannot live without.
In the weeks to come we will cover the other steps in preparation, Peace, Joy and Love. Don’t let this time of year pass you by without taking time to contemplate the blessed event of Christmas.
Isaiah 9:6; For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
RACE FANS MAKE A STATEMENT- The main lot was full and they were bused in from the overflow lot at the airport. That soon filled up and the local park was used for overflow parking. Even Bob Uker couldn’t find a seat in the front row. The Stadium rocked and rolled in anticipation of the return of racing on the Jersey Shore. The fans left no doubt, WE WANT WALL BACK! I hope folks are listening.
JIM MORTON, THANK YOU- The fans and staff at Wall knew the force behind the effort to return racing at Wall, Jim Morton. Putting everything he had on the line Jim made sure everything was in place for this event to take place. He showed those who will take note that the racing community is alive and well. Jim, your efforts were not wasted on us. In recognition of those efforts Jim was presented an award by the staff and fans.
BORROWING A PAGE FROM JIMMY SPENCER- A long time ago Ben Dodge coined the phrase ” Mr. Excitement” when speaking about the afore mentioned Jimmy Spencer. It was said that he drove through the field and didn’t miss a car on the way through. Jimmy Blewett drove through the field to victory in the Open Mod portion of the Turkey Derby. After pitting early for tires he needed to work his way back to the front and work he did. He passed Matt Hirschman with a handful of laps left to secure the victory. Matt Hirschman used a no pit strategy but didn’t have enough to hold Jimmy off. Local standout Steven Reed came home third.
Rowan Pennink brought home the victory in the SKmod feature followed by Woody Pitkat. This was a hard fought victory and it is good to see the strides that Rowan has taken this year. Watch out in 2009 I think you just might see him in victory lane on the tour.
THANKFUL FOR A WONDERFUL TIME- Once again the officials, drivers and teams at Wall rolled out the red carpet for RWJM and we are thankful for the support. They may have only had one event in 2008, but they didn’t let us go unnoticed. I was joined by Ricky Maddox and we both want to say thank you for the hospitality. I have a feeling we will be back at Wall in 2009 after all this is the season of hope.
BACK IN THE PULPIT- As you know Rev. Rick Satkowski went home to be with the Lord last week. He left a void in the pulpit at Emmanuel Baptist Church in West Springfield, MA. As some of you may remember I served Emmanuel as their Pastor before I came on board at RWJM. I was honored to stand in Rick’s place in the pulpit this past Sunday. I will be preaching there during the off season as my schedule permits. Please keep them in your prayers as the search for a new pastor.
If you are in the area stop in and join us for worship on Sunday mornings at 10:00am. For those who need a geography reference, it is 10 minutes from Riverside Park and 5 minutes from Racearama. I know both are no longer in operation but we will always remember them.
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
***WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES***December 4
CHRIS & LISA ERM- This New Jersey NASCAR Mod Series officiating couple; he in the tech. area and she is the WMT Chief Scorer, have their 8th aniversary.
ANDY & SUE SANTERRE- From Cherryfield, ME, now in Mooresville, NC, the 1998 CWES Rookie of the Year and 4-time CWES champion and lovely wife share their 11th anniversary.
RICHIE & MELISSA RESNER- Riverhead Raceway LM Team owner and wife share their anniversary.
BOBBY ALLISON- Hueytown,AL former Winston Cup great.
WALKER EVANS- Riverside, CA CTS Team owner, retired driver.
KEITH KRODEL- This long-time friend of Rev. Pat and former Jan Leaty NASCAR WMT crewman now lives in Pensacola, FL.
RAUL BOESEL- Curtiba, Brazil born, Key Biscayne, FL IRL driver.
JOE SUKUP- Retired Midget team owner from Shodack Landing, NY
AGNES KICHURY- Mother-In-Law of Mod tour photographer Michael Pares.
JAMIE TOMAINO, JR- Modified driver and CTS crewman from Howell, NJ.
BOB BERRY, SR.- River Vale, NJ,Former modified and TQ midget owner and driver, past president of the ATQMRA and current TQ owner for Bob, Jr.
JOHN BROUWER, JR.- New London, CT Thompson, CT Speedway WAAS Modified driver.
PERCY HALE- Batavia, NY Crew Chief.
KATHERINE ANNE HALEY- Daughter of McFalls, ME LM/NASCAR CWES driver Bruce and wife Sandy.
PATTI MUDGE- Wife of Easton, MA former Pro 4 Modified owner Steve.
AARON PETFIELD- Son of Thornwood, NY RWJM CWES Pastorand Vice-president Dan and wife Deb.
AMANDA UDES- The daughter of Morris Plains, NJ asphalt Mod driver John and wife Laurie.
BRETT BENDER- Son of Colden, NY NASCAR CWES/LM driver Tim, now in NC.
CHAD WARNER- Member of the Beers Motorsports team.
CHRIS MOORE- Vermont based Lebanon Valley Modified driver.
KEVIN HARVICK- NNS/NSC driver and team owner.
KERRY EARNHARDT- Dale’s oldest son; former CTS driver.
FRANK MUOIO- Westerly, RI fan.
RUSS SMITH- Former Riverside Park Speedway scorer.
TODD PARK- Another son of Bob and Dottie and Steve’s brother.
BRAD TEAGUE- Johnson City, TN NSC/NNS driver.
MICHAEL PARES- NASCAR Modified Series “Area Auto Racing News” photographer.
SHARON HEWITT- Wife of former NY Mod driver, now NSC Crew Chief, Doug.
BRIAN TAGG- Son of Webster, MA Thompson/Stafford Modified driver Tom and wife Linda.
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