Love Your Enemy

We all have people we enjoy spending time with. We all have people we are comfortable being around. Then there are the folks that don’t sit well with us, the people that we really don’t care to be around. What do we do with them? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

At the track we have those folks we love to hang out with. With the Icebreaker a few weeks away you can see the evidence of this. Take a ride out to the track and look around the parking lot. You will see campsites marked off with various different methods. Not just one camp site, several areas big enough for several campers. Folks they want to hang out with and enjoy the weekend.

When you need some advice on setup and you need to talk it over with someone, you go to someone you like. You don’t go to the guy who put you in the wall last week. You seek out a friend, not an enemy. We want to be around folks that we enjoy being around.

This helps explain why we don’t think to highly of our enemies. We would rather see something bad happen to them. We would like to see them get what they deserve. What goes around comes around; it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. We like it when our enemies have misfortune.

That is not the way Christ expects us to act. He expects more from us, more than we sometimes are willing to give. Take a look at this passage and see if we start to understand what Jesus is talking about.

Matthew 5:43-48;  ”You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

You see we are called to be different. We are called to love not only those we like, but those we don’t care for. You might ask why. The answer is simple, God values each person the same. Our performance doesn’t affect our value to God. Though it does affect our usefulness to God.

What sets Christians apart from the rest of creation is that we care about our enemies as much as we do our friends. To do this requires that we look past their shortcomings, forgive them when they need to be and reach out to them when they need help. Not easy things for us to do, but they are the things that Christ expects from us.

What needs to be changed in our lives to allow us to reach out to those we don’t see eye to eye with? What do we need to do to show the love of Christ to those we do not really care for? Only you can answer that question. Take a look at your life, the people close to you, the people you don’t care for and try to change the way you view them. Try to change the way you see people. Remember that God values each one of us the same. Remember that Christ died for each of us.

Perfection is a high standard but it is one that God expects us to strive for. We can’t get there if we don’t try one relationship at a time. Make every effort this week to reach out to someone who you don’t care for. Let them see that Christ rules in your life, not your personal feelings.

Next week we will close out our Winter Bible Study. I know it is springtime already, but I think the extra time was worth it. Take a moment and review the lessons we have studied and see what the Lord is saying to you. After next week we will get into the racing season with our first service at the Icebreaker in Thompson. That will be a special day as we celebrate Palm Sunday. If you are going to be at the track make your plans to join us.

THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD

ICEBREAKER ON THE HORIZON- This past weekend Thompson International Speedway opened for practice. The open practice day is the prelude to the season opener for the Whelen Modified Tour the first weekend in April. There will be another open practice next week, but the tour cars will be absent due to the 7 day rule. It is good to see the start of another racing season.

BUD NATIONALS AT WATERFORD- As of this writing Waterford plans to open under the NASCAR banner with the traditional open SKMod show. While the off-season has seen many more chapters written in the soap opera that has become Waterford the plans are in place to start a new season. Terry is back at the helm and a new board is in place. The court has given them a reprieve from foreclosure. Let’s hope that stability is the future. This track can be the place for some exciting racing action.

IMPACT RECALL This week Impact racing issued a recall for several safety items with SFI certification.

IMPACT RACING PRODUCT RECALL

Any and all driver suits, pants, jackets, shoes and boots manufactured by Impact Racing pursuant to SFI Specifications 3.2A/15, 3.2A/20, 3.3/15 and 3.3/20 at any time during the year 2008 have been decertified by SFI Foundation, Inc. and must be immediately returned to Impact Racing offices or an Impact representative. Impact Racing has reason to believe that these products do not fully comply with the stated SFI Specifications and therefore do not meet SFI manufacturer certification requirements. This recall applies to all such products whether or not they have been updated, rebadged, or recertified by Impact Racing. This recall applies even if the product now has a 2009 SFI patch or label affixed to the product. All applicable sanctioning bodies have been notified of this noncompliance.

In my investigation it appears that most of this recall is limited to the drag racing items but be safe, go to their website, check out the recall and make sure everything you have is safe.

WHELEN MODIFIED SOUTHERN TOUR GOES GREEN- After rain postponed last weeks race at Caraway the tour got things going at a familiar place, Concord Motorsports Park. The place that was made famous by the John Blewett Memorial North-South Shootout proved to be familiar territory for the Northern invaders. Burt Myers won his record 18 pole but was passed on lap one by TC and TC never looked back winning wire to wire. TC was followed home by a young driver who is coming into his own, Rowan Pennink. Rowan continues to build on his Turkey Derby victory as he prepares for the Whelen Modified Tour up north. Don’t be surprised to see Rowan in victory lane this year. Another northerner turned southerner turned in probably the best ride of the day coming from the rear of the field after engine trouble to finish third, George Brunnhoelzl III. Myers came home forth followed by Erick Rudolph. Ace Speedway is up next for the WSMT next 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***
March 25
J.R. & JASLYN WILLIAMS- This Carson City, NV Midget driver and wife share their 22nd anniversary.
March 29
BOBBY & DONNA LABONTE- The Corpus Christi, TX NSC driver and wife have their 17th anniversary.

***HAPPY BIRTHDAYS***
BELATED

March 23
CALAB WILSON- Grandson of Wall Chaplain Bob Menschner.

March 25
KEVIN CULVER- Portland, OR NASCAR West driver.
TONY SISCONE- Hammonton,NJ retired asphalt Modified driver.
DAVID TOWNS- Sportsman division Champion for 2007 at Fonda Speedway.
KURT SCHAFFER- Son of Gradnview Modified driver Rick and wife Donna is 16.
AMY BROWN- A daughter of Farmingdale,NJ Dwarf Car driver Bobby and wife Carolyn.
TRACY COX- Dirt and NSCS Mark Martin fan from Boyertown, PA, wife of Rev. Pat’s cousin Bob.
March 26
JOHN MARKOVIC, JR.- Mountain Speedway and ocasional NWMT driver.
DOROTHY BEERS- Mom of Northampton, PA NASCAR WMT driver Eric.
JODI PAPALE- Wife of Meriden, CT ProStock/Modified driver Tony.
SHAYNE GEIST- Son of Wescosville, PA Mahoning Valley Speedway driver Todd and wife Karen is 19.
NATALEE JARRETT- One of Hickory, NC based NNC’s Dale and wife Kelley’s children turns 17.
March 27
GLEN DAVIS- This Maine based sports photographer has his special day.
ANDY HALL- Formerly of NASCAR, now with the Indy Racing League.
CALE YARBOROUGH- Retired NNC team owner, retired champion and one of the founders of the very first NNC ministry.
RODNEY COMBS- Lost Creek, WV NNS driver.
JEFF FULLER- Auburn, MA born NNS driver.
BOSCO LOWE- Retired Southern Virginia NNS driver.
NICKI STOUT- Neptune,NJ Jamie Tomaino NASCAR WMT driver and NNC’s Dupont driver Jeff Gordon fan is 20.
MACKENZIE MICHEL- Daughter of Wall Township Speedway Modified driver Dave and wife Kyle is 9.
March 28
BOB BREVAK- Ashalnd, WI ASA/ NASCAR Truck Series driver.
JAKE SMULLEY- Jake is the step-son of Big Diamond Former Promoter Fritz Roehrig and son of Fritz’s wife Krista.   He was also Frit’s right-hand man at the track.
March 29
DOUG HEVERON- Liverpool, NY BGN driver/spotter.
JEFF SCHMETZLE- PA Sportsman Modified driver.
JOE ROSENFIELD- Mass. ProStock driver.
RON FOX- Retired CT Modified driver, dad of Plainfield, CT Modified driver Tom.
STEVE GEORGIADES- Crew Chief brother for brother Bobby’s Stafford/Thompson Modified team.
JOE CUDNIK, JR.- Crewman on the Enfield, CT Brad Hietala Modified team.
SHAWN HOULIHAN- CWES Flagman, NASCAR official, SMS and TIS Flagman, son of retired WMT driver Dick.
THE REV. BILL WAUGH- RWJM Western PA Coordinator and Chaplain, also Pastor at the Greensburg, PA Church of the Brethren.
March 30
MARIO ALBERTO- This AMSRA Micro Stock rookie at MVS and son of writer Dino from Lehighton, PA.
March 31
RON SMOKER- Upstate, NY D.I.R.T. Modified driver.
S.J. EVONSION- East Hartland, CT Whelen Modified tour driver/Crew Chief for son.
FRED SCHIELE IV- Son of Riverhead Raceway regular Fred III.
WILLIE CHARETTE- Retired Riverside Park Speedway Modified driver.
MARYANN GRECO- Widow of the late Stafford Modified driver George.
BRENDAN JONES- Manchester, CT Brad Hietala Modified fan.
BETTY DENNIS- The mom of Laura Dennis from Appomattox, VA a Jamie Tomaino WMT fan.

*** NEW BEGINNINGS ***

STANLEY “STUB” FADDEN – Stub went home to be with the Lord on March 11, 2009. He was the patriarch of Fadden Racing and raced throughout the Northeast for six decades running his last a few years ago at Thunderroad in Barre Vermont. Stub ran many races in his life and touched the hearts of many.. One of his greatest joys was racing with his grandson, Two-time CWES Champion Mike Olsen. He also loved going to the track and cheering on his other children and grandchildren. Stub had a tremendous influence in the racing careers of so many drivers. We will miss that smiling face greeting us when we return to the pits. Sympathy cards can be directed to his wife Charlotte Fadden, at P.O. Box 427, North Haverhill, N.H. 03774.

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