Racing Family Values

The sights I see at the racetracks I travel to encourage me. We call ourselves a family; a group of people who endure the same set of challenges together. The time we spend at the track takes away from the time we spend at home. Keeping our lives in balance is one of the challenges we face. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Balancing priorities is one of the greatest challenges we face when we try to pursue a racing career and raise a family. We have a passion for racing and we could easily consume all our time turning wrenches, traveling and racing. Many a family has suffered because of the imbalance of priorities. It is always refreshing to see families who happen to be racers enjoy their time together at the track.

I have seen a daughter snuggle close to her father as they attended chapel service together. I have seen the look of joy on the face of a grandfather as he watched his son hold his grandson. I watched a driver, his wife and their three girls walk hand in hand down an access road with smiles on their faces. I watched as crewmembers scrambled to find help for a fallen crewmember. I saw the genuine look of thanks on the face of that crewmember when he thanked us for being there. I saw the joy on the face of a father who watched his daughter celebrate her first victory.

We are a family at the track, but we also have responsibilities away from the track. How we manage those responsibilities will ultimately determine how successful we are in life. What are our priorities? How do we manage our relationships away from the track? Do we ever wonder if there is a way to keep it all in balance?

When we turn to God’s word we find wisdom as it relates to how we prioritize relationships in our life. First, we must recognize God as creator and sustainer of life. Without Him nothing is possible. Proverbs tells us to trust in the Lord.

Proverbs 3:5; Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

The key here is not only to trust the Lord, but also to acknowledge Him in all we do. That doesn’t mean just some of what we do, but all we do. We say we trust God, but then we try to handle things with our own strength and understanding. The promise contained here says that if we trust God, He will make our paths straight. In other words, He will direct us to the right solution, direct us in the correct way to go. We have only to trust Him and acknowledge Him.

The next relationship that takes priority in our lives is our family. If we have submitted ourselves to marriage, as God defines, one man and one woman, this becomes your next priority in life.

Ephesians 5:21, 31-33; Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

In addition to our spouse we also have the relationship between parents and children. Scripture helps us to know how we should address those. Both parents and children have a responsibility. It is not a one-way street.

Ephesians 6:1-4; Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”–which is the first commandment with a promise– “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.


God is clear in His word that the family is the foundation of all our relationships. With our family priorities in order we will be in God’s will. When our family is out of balance our life is out of balance.


If we are to achieve anything in our life we need to have our priorities right. Our relationship with God must always be the top priority. God is creator and sustainer. Nothing exists without God allowing it to.

Fight the temptation to replace your relationship with God with your passion for racing. If you acknowledge God in all you do, He promises to make our path straight.

Also fight the temptation to sacrifice your relationship with your family for racing. God is not honored, your family is not honored and your life is out of balance.

By keeping our priorities right and honoring the things that God values our lives will be blessed, in God’s will. Many of the difficulties we bring upon ourselves will be gone. When we have things in order the byproduct is good.

Proverbs 3:5-6; Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD

WET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t need to belabor the point but it has been one wet spring. Summer made its’ appearance on Father’s Day and let’s hope it will usher in some dryer weather. Again two out of the three local race tracks had to cancel their shows. I was looking forward to being with the True Value Modified Series Thursday night at Thompson but they would have been better off racing boats. The race has been rescheduled for July 23.

Stafford held out hope for Friday night against the forecast and what do you know the sun came out. It has been very few Friday nights this season that the sun has shined on Stafford. The racing was great. I saw many Whelen Modified Tour folks at the track, drivers, crewmembers, owners. Seems they are chomping at the bit to go racing again. I talked with one who lamented the large gaps between races early in the season. We’ll get things wound up tight in mid-July.

It has been a bittersweet week for the Hopkins family, their driver, Keith Rocco, climbed to the top of the Whelen All-American Series National Standings on the strength of his victory in the 100 lap SKMod Feature last week at Stafford and won again this week to cement his position. Sandwiched around the on track success they said goodbye to their son, brother, uncle and friend, Cooter. It is difficult to muster up the strength to race under such difficult circumstance, but Cooter would have been upset if they didn’t. Continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

NHMS highlights this week’s schedule. Dan and I will head up on Thursday morning. We will be joined by our West Coast Coordinator, Gary Dionne and also Dan’s wife Debbie and daughter Amanda. The schedule is not only busy with racing but Saturday night we have the honor of joining ASM crewmember Warren Hamilton and Denise Poland in Holy Matrimony down in Portsmouth. Gary will handle the safety workers chapel on Sunday morning allowing me to be in the pulpit at Emmanuel Baptist in West Springfield. Keep our travel in your prayers and also ask the Lord’s blessing for Warren and Denise.

I hope you were able to spend some time with your family over the Father’s Day weekend. I am looking forward to seeing you on the road, God Bless.

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 Pagewww.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 27th anniversary.
TOM & JUDY KEHLEY- This Brooklyn, NY couple Modified team owners have their 37th anniversary.
June 30
JAMES & JANAI WILSON- Daughter and son-in-law of Wall Chaplain Bob Menschner celebrate their day.

***HAPPY BIRTHDAYS***

June 24
HUT STRICKLIN- Former NSC driver.
JIM BOWN- Portland, OR NNS/CTS driver/ team owner.
CLAUDE BOURBONNAIS- lle Perrot, Quebec IRL driver.
PETER DANIELS- Lebanon, NH ProStock/Modified/CWSE  driver.
HENRY ST. JOHN, SR.- The father of the proprietor of Jewett City (CT) Service Henry, Jr.
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.
JOE DUNAY- Crew member for the #20 SKMod at Stafford Motor Speedway.
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/IMSA 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 14.
THOMAS URIAH JAMES- “TJ” is the eldest son of Canterbury, CT RWJM Advisors Scott and Lisa and turns his 14th 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.

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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