Do The Rules Apply

Have you ever noticed in life we are increasingly looking for an advantage? As we look around we see a world who is focused on being first, to the point of rudeness. Why is it that we think we deserve to be first, or in some way treated differently than others? Our passage today reminds us that the rules written long ago still apply. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

At the track every team is looking for the things that will make their car go the fastest. They are searching for that one thing that gives them an advantage over the rest. That in itself isn’t wrong, it is when that desire leads us across the line into the questionable area, the gray area of the rules. Some have even been known to actually break the rules to gain an advantage.

We have heard the saying in racing, ” we get paid to cheat and they get paid to catch us.” We rationalize our creative interpretation of the rules as something necessary to get that competitive advantage that allows us to win. What is a win really worth if it is won by cheating?

Some think winning at all cost is the right motto to live by. Somehow we think integrity is for losers. Why is it that we think we don’t have to answer to anyone? Jesus introduced his discussion on the Ten Commandments with this passage. As we continue our Winter Bible Study we will take a look at how this short passage has a big impact.

Matthew 5:17-20; “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Those commandments were written so long ago that we think they surely are outdated. Jesus makes it pretty clear that the law still applies. We tend to think that the rules and the law are for someone else. We are not that bad and surely God will understand. We look for a way to do what we want to do without the consequences.

Jesus used this passage as an introduction to his discussion about how the commandments should be interpreted. Jesus took the time to let us know how we were in error in our interpretation. Have you ever thought you had the right interpretation of the rules only to have the correct interpretation pointed out to you?

Rules govern the way we live. They keep order in our lives. We, however, think they can be bent or broken if by doing so we gain something. It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission, right? Take a look at this passage and see if that is the case.

Jesus didn’t come to remove our responsibility to follow God’s law. He came to complete the law, to show us how to live according to the law. He came to help us understand what the law means and how to apply it to our lives.

One reason for this were the religious leaders of the day. They were leading the people in the wrong direction. Jesus makes reference to this when he says we need to live better lives than they do if we want to enter the kingdom of God. You see they only pretended to follow God’s law. They had an interpretation that benefited their needs. Their interpretation was not correct. Jesus set the record straight.

We need to understand what the law says and what it means. Jesus took the time to explain it and in the next few weeks we will explore how we need to live and conduct our lives. I encourage you to join us and learn what it means to live according to God’s Law.

THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD

MOTORSORTS 2009- A bit different this year, it seems that maybe things were a little off because of the economy. The show itself ran two days instead of the usual three with Saturday being the traditional  crowded day. Our booth was missing the WMT champion’s car and the Champion. We will make every effort to return the Whelen Modified Tour Champion to it’s traditional spot next year. We do want to thank Matt Kobyluck and Kerry Malone for loaning us their cars. We also need to thank Len Sammons and the entire staff at AARN for putting on a first class event.

Chad Little was on hand for NASCAR and indicated that a late February date is set and some WMT teams have been invited to test down at Bristol. I know the prospect of racing at Bristol has peaked the interest of many former and current modified drivers. Once the chassis package is determined I am sure there will be many surprises in the lineup come August.

Look for Modified racing to get an early start this year with an early March race at Orange County in NC will kick things off. On March 6 & 7 C&C Promotions is putting the program together and already have commitments from several WMT regulars. It has been setup so that the ASA license for the weekend is covered in the pit fee. From what I understand Orange County is wide and fast. That should prove to be good for some side by side racing.

I received a special surprise from Design 500 this weekend. We have been working on firesuits for our chaplains who are in the pit during a race. As has happened in the past we have need to respond to a situation on the track but lacked the proper safety equipment. We do not want to be a liability. We settled on a design and I hoped to have something to look at before the Icebreaker, wrong. I returned to the booth after closing the driver’s meeting and there in the driver’s seat of the pace car was the suit on a dummy driving the car. There were several comments about the IQ of the usual driver of the pace car and how this was an improvement, but I won’t go there. The suit looks Awesome, several pictures were taken and I’ll try to get some posted for you. Several Mod drivers saw it and wanted to know if we could now change their tires!

Bob Menschner worked the pits at Atlantic City and wanted to let everyone know how much the teams there appreciate this ministry. We would like to send along a thank you to the Zrinski family for their support of RWJM and Bob. Bob had a good visit with them and enjoyed sharing a meal with them. Thanks to all of you who help us minister to the racing family.

RACING AT THE DUNK- Look for the indoor racing schedule to include a late March race in Providence RI. The TQ Midgets and Champ Carts will put on two shows at the Dunkin Donuts Arena. The hope is that this will prove to be successful and something that can be done at other arenas throughout the Northeast. If that proves to be so look for a couple more to be added to the traditional Atlantic City race for a several race winter series.

TOYOTA ALL STAR SHOWDOWN- Rev. Dan heads west this week to join West Coast Coordinator Gary Dionne at Irwindale Speedway. It should be a great time with some awesome racing. Look for him live Friday night and Saturday night on Speed Channel.

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***
January 21
ED & LINDA SANSEVERINO- This AARN/RWJM photographer and wife from Hillsborough, NC have their 34th anniversary.
January 22
IRA & KIMBERLY HARTOUGH, JR.- Long time fans of Bob Park, NASCAR Modified driver, have their 9th.
January 23
KERRY & RENE’ EARNHARDT- This Kannapolis, NC driving son of the late Dale share their 11th anniversary.
BOB & LOIS MARTI- This Watertown, CT Modified Team crewman and wife have their 41st anniversary.

***HAPPY BIRTHDAYS***
January 21
ERNIE SAXTON- Fellow AARN columnist and Motorsports Marketing President of Langhorne, PA and president of Eastern Motorsports Press Association.
GARY “BUGS” HAIRFIELD- Chesterfield, VA LMSC driver.
BUD KUEHNE- Clinton, CT  Waterford LM driver.
HARRY SOLT- NH based NASCAR CWES crewman.
BILLY SOLT- Lehigh Valley, PA NASCAR WMT crewman and Harry’s twin.
BOB RUDNE- Brother of Norwich, CT race car letterer Alan Coulle.
LINDA BROWN- Riverhead Raceway fan.
January 22
DAVE STACY- Enon, OH Dash Series driver.
JACK CARUSO- Former New Jersey dirt Sportsman driver and crewman, also proud dad of Micro sprint driver Angela Caruso.
January 23
HERB DRUGG- Troy,NH NASCAR NCWS driver.
BRAD HIETALA- Ellington, CT Modified driver.
January 24
BRETT ROUBINEK- Chicago, IL born, Lakeville, CT occasional Crystal Rock Water NASCAR NCWS driver and lead sports car driving instructor.
GARY SPENCER- Shickshinny, PA NASCAR NCWS driver from the famous Berwick, PA racing family.
AUSTIN CAMERON- El Cajon, CA NASCAR West driver.
TINA CAMPBELL- Wife of Busch Sport Scene editor and organizer of the Annual Busch Sport Scene Snowmobile Poker Run for Charity, George
JENSEN PICARDL- Riverhead Raceway crewman/ driver.
JEFF SANDT- Gainseville, GA All Pro/ UDTRA photographer and writer.
JAMES CASEY- Seekonk Speedway fan.
ALEXANDRIA TWINEM- The daughter of Brookfield, WI fans Tom and Carita.
January 25
JOE PLAZEK- Caistor Centre, Ontario D.I.R.T. Modified driver.
DALE QUARTERLY- Westfield, MA NCWS owner, crew chief and part-time driver.
BUDDY BAKER- Nextel Cup retired great, now race commentator.
BRIAN BOISSONNEAULT- Windham, CT ProStock team owner with brother Brad as driver.
BRIAN DANKO- Southington, CT famous AARN Modified Series columnist.
LYNDA HEDGER- Wife of NASCAR Sprint Cup Official, Randy.
ROBERT BLAISDELL- Champaign, IL fan.
January 26
JOE TIEZZI- Ivoryton, CT retired Mod driver.
CAROL PRATT- Bob’s wife/ sister-in-Law of the late AARN Advertising Manager Joe Pratt and aunt to drivers Ed, Richie and Richie, Jr.
MICHELLE McMECHEN- The wife of Steve and daughter Henry St. John at Jewett City Service.
MICHAEL PARES, JR- Raceway Park Champion and the son of “Area Auto Racing News” NASCAR Mod Series photographer Mike and wife Carol.
JONNY KERSLAKE- son of Danbury racer John and a racer in his own right.
January 27
ROB BOUCHARD- Massachusetts ProStock driver.
RIT PATCHEN- Retired Danbury, CT Modified driver.
LEWIS COMPTON- Martinsville Speedway Retired Chief Announcer.
BILL YODER- Glenside, PA fan and EMPA Secretary.
BRIAN T. CUMMINS- New Jersey fan.
CHRIS McMURRAY- Schenectady, NY Eddie Marshall Lebanon Valley friend and fan.


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